Saturday, September 25, 2010

The First Day..........

While I have done other things today my focus has really been on the opening of the World Equestrian Games. I didn't get to watch the first session of reining this morning because I kept getting error messages that make me suspect their servers were overwhelmed by the initial response. I did, however, get to see the afternoon session. Yeah for me!!!!! Still I know that Sweden opened the games with the first ride in the reining competition. I learned that little tidbit in the opening ceremonies. I wish I'd taken some notes as the teams paraded into the arena because I probably missed some other good morsels of blog fodder. I do know that Poland sent a reining team............and only a reining team. .......whodda thunk.......... Have the cowboys taken over Europe?

The announcer, whose name has illuded me, has tickled my blogging fancy a bit. It was a bit confusing and a lot amusing listening to the European announcer talk reining during that event. My enjoyment carried over into the opening ceremonies.

Obviously European and well versed in the normal fare for these kinds of events his interpretations of things American, cowboy and reining have made me giggle at times. His commentary on reining in progress caught me a little off guard at first. I was not expecting to hear "canter" but I only did a small double take, and to his credit he only did it once or twice. Run downs as a description for small circles still has me shaking my head and since he does call the run down before the sliding stops just that, I am wondering if he's even realized he's using the same term for two different things.

It's OK! It just tickles me to hear the polished European voice complete with accent talking western dressage as he labelled it. Careful trying to back peddle a bit and still not dish the sport he went into a lengthy explantion of the comparisions to the sport he knows best. I couldn't help but giggle at all the dressage queens I've met over the years who would have been gritting their teeth and maybe even pulling their hair at their beloved, exclusive sport being help up against the good ole cowpokes if they'd heard it.

Maybe the world is making some changes after all. There was definitely respect in this man's voice as he described the skills of these horses and what kinds of things were bringing the highest scores.

In the opening ceremonies it was great to see Arabian horses given the credit they are due. Introduced as the oldest breed of horse and the horse upon which all other modern horse breeds are built. The Gift of the Desert - The Arabian Horse opened with a beautiful chesnut western pleasure horse ridden by Audrey Hart, I believe, and followed in by Arabian horses representing nearly every division of perfomance that Arabian horses do. There were few announcements of who the horses or riders were except for the mention of WN Knight Rider several times and his breeder, Wayne Newton. A presentation of the Gift of the Desert will be presented each day throughout the ALLTECH FEI World Equestrian Games.

Unfortunately I lost the feed a couple of times but I did get to see the dressage demonstation by ten beautiful Freisian horses. It was beautifully correographed and great fun to watch. Seeing things like that makes me think I might actually try dressage some day.

I missed the names of the cowboys doing the demonstation with the loose horses but that was pretty darn cool along with the Cowboy Dressage, which is definitely my style. If I could ever get lead changes down, I could do that stuff with Legs. The only thing he doesn't do that cowboy did is the changes like that and the deficiency is definitely mine and not Legs.

Stacy Westfall was amazing as always. More time was spent on the singer than Stacy but still any chance to see Stacy ride is a a real treat. I'd love to see her in person some day.

Oh, I must not forget the biggest laugh I got today from the announcer. It was during the parade of exhibitors when the huge US contingent entered with many wearing their...........Five gallon hats?? I need to get me one of those...............


  1. My internet was being super pathetic today so I missed a lot of it, but in the bits of commentary I caught during the reining I swear I heard a reference to a pirouette during a rollback (although I may have misheard since my audio was stuttering so bad). I had to chuckle anyway.

    Five gallon hats?! I love it! Maybe will all the Europeans they were talking imperial gallons? lol

  2. Five gallon hats for Hybrid cowboys?

  3. Story, you didn't mishear. He did make reference to the rollback being llike the pirouette. I forgot about that. LOL

    English Rider, with five gallon hats, they'd have to have smaller heads, don't you think. LOL

  4. The opening ceremonies is something I would have liked to have seen. It sounds like the Arabians were really being acknowledged. Yay! I'll bet that was awesome to see all the different disciplines the Arabians perform.
    Lol, run downs for circles. Pirouettes are similar to rollbacks but easier to perform to my way of thinking.
    Haha, five gallon hats!
    What kinds of horses do the Europeans use for their cowboy dressage?

  5. you mean an 18.927 liter hat? that's what they'd call it here. no, wait, cowboy stuff is ubercool, so they'd say 5 gallon but they'd say it wrong, for sure.

    FV, they ride quarter horses here. there is a german quarter horse ass'n just like in canada. but you gotta hear the germans say "quarter horse", it makes me giggle every time. i even say it wrong now sometimes.

    (the enunciate the T whereas americans roll over it like a D.)

    there are also lots of paints, but not many appys.

    cowyboys taking over europe - you are so right. there is a western shop near here the likes of which i've only seen back home. and they sell american products too, which are popular with western riders. you can even buy turnout blankets with "stock horse" design now!

    i wish i could have seen what you described! hopefully i can find it online.

    and you hear western riders using english words as they speak to their horses too. it's so funny to hear their way of speaking it!

    for example, when we tell our horses to move over, don't we say "over"? one western rider would push on her horse's side and say "TURN!"

    and i wonder if i'll ever hear them say the word "whoa" - that seems to be just me so far.

    i was perplexed when i first moved here and saw so many people riding down the street in western saddles. and many horse trailers go by with reining stickers on them. how on earth did this happen!

    at the last horse fair here i saw the DQHA doing cutting, but since there are no cows to be had for this, they used people! it was awesome! and the western pleasure goes a lot faster than in america.

    i have to admit when i first learned to ride (horse camp in stanwood, wa), it was western. so although i prefer english, i often find myself doing down the trail with reins in one hand. it just feels natural to me to have reins in one hand. so, should i join this new fad in europe and actually learn to ride western? ah, what an idea. i haven't forgotten how to cinch a western saddle, that stays with you for life.


  6. Five gallon hats for MIDGET cowboys LOL!!!

    Haven't watched but may test the links today.

  7. FV, I'm glat that lytha answered the question about what kind of horses they're using for cowboy dressage in Europe because I sure didn't know. The demonstration last night was someone from here and I'm guessing that horse was quarter horse too although I could sure see my Arab boy doing that stuff. It would be cool.

    lytha, so how many litres would a real TEN gallon hat be since that's what they used to call the hats the cowboys wore in the old westerns when I was a kid?

    Leah, NBC ran an hour and a half this morning, that was kind of cool and they will be running something next Sunday as well only a bit later in the day. Tomorrow the taped version from today will be run on the Universal Sports Network. Wish I knew how that translated to my local cable channels.