Photo Report: 2009 Equitana Golden Kids Cup and Expert Platforms
The Golden Kids Cup, an FEI Dressage Pony freestyle competition, is a dream chance for pony riders -- especially girls -- to win a prestigious ribbon and dress up in some fancy costume. It's a feast for the eyes every time. Some of the participants were:
Florine Kienbaum and Donnertraum won the competition -- literally -- single-handedly. Dressed up as Indiana Jones, Florine demonstrated some real coolness -- not only did she ride without spurs and whip, she also rode parts of her test holding the reins in one hand. Bravo!
Many expert platforms made this Equitana such an awesome assembly of knowledge (even if some of it was controversial):
Isabell Werth and Wolfram Wittig's presentation of the steps of dressage training from a four-year-old to an accomplished dressage horse drew a huge crowd. Isabell talked about what she looks for in a young horse aboard 4-year-old Lezard: good impetus in the trot, cadence in canter, elasticism and quick reactions. Her stable rider Mathias Bouten showed 5-year-old Flatley. Aboard 7-yr-old Don Johnson, Isabell demonstrated one of the many challenges a rider may have to meet when training young horses: "At first, I as a rider listened to the horse to find out when he was ready for a flying change. Now he must learn to listen to me and do the change at my aid." Interestingly enough, Werth advocates letting young horses -- very young horses even -- learn the flying changes first. "It is my experience that it's easier for them to do the changes first and then learn how to carry themselves in the counter-canter later."
All photos copyrighted Barbara Schnell
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