Sorry, but I have to get this off of my chest. It's a topic that could go on for pages, but I'll keep it short. First let me say that I love classical dressage and I have a great respect for both the professionals and amateurs who pursue this discipline / art. My rant certainly isn't directed at everyone using the term and not at any of my fellow bloggers here.
Lately I find the term 'classical dressage' is being usurped more and more by people who, in my opinion, are badly off track. They try to make it about baroque horses, the riding and gaits put forward as good are awful, and they heap vitriol on anyone outside their 'group' who they hope to feel superior to. This makes me mad.
Honest to God, from what I've observed at times, even riding your horse on the bit must be abusive. Apparently the only way to avoid riding behind the vertical is a half loose rein held like a china tea cup - never mind that it's whacking the horse in the mouth with every stride. And the fact that the beautiful, sensitive horse has hollowed his back and stuck his head up in the air isn't related to this either. No that's caused by some vague, grey, as yet undiagnosed training issue that can probably be fixed with a different bit, or no bit, or more riding from the seat and core with even less rein (Guess what? You need both). God.
This can go on for years. The horse develops incorrect muscles, with all the accompanying problems, but of course this isn't being negligent or careless about the horse's welfare. They drop training levels instead of gaining them, but hey, those levels are part of the whole crazy, modern dressage world anyway, right?
Look I know there is lots of room for improvement in competitive dressage, but there have been huge positive shifts too. Also I love classical dressage (thus the blog name, which I may now change) which makes me angry that the term is being taken over by flakes.
This new classical community (an oxymoron?) has lots to say, criticizing 'modern dressage'. They are all over the Web. They can and will do damage to dressage. I wish they would shut up, stop trying to out do one another in pointing out what's wrong with every other discipline and rider in the world, and focus on getting their own horses going correctly.