Statement Issued by Coby van Baalen
Yesterday, Friday 21 September, I have been contacted by a number of persons that pictures of Power and Paint
(taken during the lunging at the European Championships 2007 in Freudenberg) circulated on the internet. A Swedish magazine has asked me for a reaction on the relevant pictures. I think it is absolutely appropriate that people ask me to react in case my stable, my students or myself are the subject of wild discussions, which are unfounded. Therefore, I have decided to react on these discussions by way of this letter.
In short, my reaction to the Swedish magazine comes down to the following. The fact is that the photographer took these pictures in the first minute of the lunge with Power and Point and so, they do not tell the whole story. You can see that it is the start of the lunge as the pony is either standing or walking and he is not sweating from the exercise. In the pictures, both myself and my student are looking at the pony and immediately saw that the lunge was not established correctly. We allow the pony to walk a couple of seconds and change the lunge immediately so that it is in its normal position. After that, we have been able to lunge the pony in a good way, resulting in the pony’s looseness with a beautiful posture. Unfortunately, the photographer was not interested in this and did not make pictures of that, which I regret.
It serves no purpose to lunge a horse/pony in the way shown on the relevant pictures. We always lunge in the normal way and this was a one-off incident from which my student has learned and which lasted no longer than half a minute.
The various forums and blogs on the internet do not pay attention to my reaction, but prefer to draw conclusions themselves. They have every right to do so, but the conclusions are completely wrong.
Power and Paint
For years, Power and Paint is the most successful pony of The Netherlands with three different riders from Dressage Stable Van Baalen. Our training sessions are open for the public and everyone is allowed to come and visit our trainings, which happens a lot.
Power and Paint is not pitiful. He gets the best possible care and training and is treated with the highest degree of respect at our stables, as are all other horses at our stables.
About Angela Krooswijk, I would like to say the following. Angela is an unprecedented talent and a very concentrated competition rider. Angela has respect for her horses and ponies and has accomplished a lot considering her age.
I hope that, by way of this letter, I have clarified the situation and the background of the pictures and our way of training. To be absolutely clear: it serves no purpose to lunge in this particular way, it was a one-off incident which was immediately corrected and this is not at all our daily training mode. Everyone can see that at our stables in Brakel or read that in our books.
In the event that there are questions or remarks in relation to the above, I would like to invite the relevant person to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org instead of spreading all sorts of incorrect stories.
With kind regards,
Coby van Baalen