Another non-personal post? Seriously?
Yeah, yeah I know. But this has been bothering me for quite some time now. More internet wanderings have made me want to reclaim being a Dressage Queen as a good, positive thing (do a quick search on “DQ’s” and you’ll see what I mean). Like all disciplines, there are some snobs out there in dressage... But I prefer to think of them as PITAs or Divas. Dressage has no bearing on bitchyness. There are the people with more money than sense, and then there are people who have nice horses and have worked their size 26 behinds off to get it, and you know what? It can be hard to tell the difference between the two when both are wearing white and trotting down the centerline.
So yes, I am a Dressage Queen and proud of it.
- I have the nice tack. My saddles are fitted to my horses every year. My bridles are clean and oiled. My bits are name brand, clean and fit each horse correctly. I have leather halters for each horse…
- I’ve got the get-up. I wear tall boots for nearly every ride. I match my saddle pad/breeches/shirt combo to flatter my horses and present a professional turnout. I even wear a belt while schooling. Why? Because it’s elegant and completes the picture.
- I’ve got the right horses (except RC, that freak). I learned on a 17h Dutch Schoolmaster. My parents bought him for me to learn dressage, of course I looked like crap at my first few shows, but learn I did. Now I have talented GRPs who are a better fit for me, size wise, but still have the gaits to be competitive. My horses are always shod/trimmed on time, have their manes pulled and their tails banged. I take pride in their looking good and I don’t want to have to rush to get them ready before a show or clinic. They also wear blankets in the winter and fly sheets in the summer to keep them comfortable.
- I’m protective of the comfort of my horses. I want them bedded deep enough so that they don’t have to lay down in wet shavings or get hock sores from laying on the mats. I work them in polo wraps or woof boots and bell boots to keep them from hurting themselves. I am picky about footing. I won’t ride over rocks or holes or anything else that might harm my horses. I can spot a lameness or NQR at 200’ at any gait. I’m even pretty good at seeing where the lameness is originating.
- I clinic with the best trainers that I can afford, when I can afford it. I watch movies and read the books and magazines to further my dressage education whenever possible. I ride with the goal of improving myself and my horses with each ride. I use figures (yes, the dreaded circle that DQs are known for!) to help my horses learn to carry themselves and improve their natural way of going. Yes, I look serious while riding, but that’s because it’s work. It doesn't mean that I am not enjoying myself.
So I’ll say it again. I’m a Dressage Queen and proud of it. Are you?
Now where's my tiara?