"Bay Watch" Dressage - Mari Monda Zdunic

September 1995, Dressage and Combined Training
To Those Concerned....
by Mari Monda Zdunic

Here we go again. I thought for certain we were past Bay Watch Dressage. Initially, horses placed that simply did the movements correctly, period. Evolving into horses winning that moved spectacularly with decent training, to horses with perfect tight looking frames yet lacking technical correctness.

Judges need to be educated beyond the frame of the horse and have a better understanding as to what is the correct performance of the movements at the different levels i.e. clean changes, piaffe with energy and height, correct frame corresponding with movement required by test specifications, and so on. Additionally, judges should ask themselves questions; such as, is the horse being ridden between hands and legs, is the horse in his correct frame for his conformation?

After all, this is an aesthetic sport so appearance is important - but folks, training counts also.

Make the sport fun by mathematically allowing the properly trained horse to at least end up close to the current style of horse. This will keep the door open to encourage people with average horses to aspire to train to Grand Prix.

Drop the Bay Watch approach, reward for movements performed technically correct!

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