Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Final Thoughts On The Olympics

I haven't been this interested in the Olympics in a long time.  I blame the uncharacteristically hot weather on the East Coast for this.  I was holed up in the house forever, with nothing else to do than watch the Games.  So, I watched things I wouldn't normally be interested in. Things like swimming and bicycle stuff (I'm a terrible swimmer and haven't been on a bicycle in 20 years!).

I did find some inspiration in one of those events, though.  It was one of the earlier events, before the dressage.  I don't actually remember which one it was, I think it may have been swimming (or maybe diving?).  The sport itself wasn't that important, because the advice was good.  One of the contenders was talking about her journey to the Olympics, and said that her father had told her that "if she wanted to be the best, she needed to watch the best".  And that is what she did.

So, I spent a lot of time watching the riders in these Games.  I watched the horses, too.  But, mostly I watched the riders.  I hope to apply some of what I saw to my own riding.  I hope to avoid some other things I saw.

Most people watch the horses in the Olympic events.  I now think that's a mistake.  Most of us will never own a Valegro, a Fuego or a Parzival.  Horses of that caliber are out of our league, it's just not a realistic aspiration.  We cannot make our horses go like them.

But, even if we will never have our very own Olympic caliber horse, we can all try to ride like Olympians.  That is a goal that every one of us can aspire to.  It is something I aspire to.

I know I'll never ride in the Olympics. I know I'll never own a Uthopia.  I don't want my horse to move like that.  I know he can't move like that.  I know I'll never own a horse that has that level of talent.  So, I will watch the riders instead, because I want to be the best.  I want to be the best rider I can be for my horse.

If I want to be the best, I have to watch the best.

And if you know which athlete said that, please tell me in the comments, because I'd really like to credit her!


4 comments:

  1. That is a very good point. My orginal dressage trainer's husband told me something similar. He said that I could learn a lot just by watching really good riders. So whenever I had the opportunity, I watched my teacher ride. Watching Olympians would be even better, of course!

    I think it is important to study riders who ride the way you want to ride. I have been given this advice when choosing a trainer as well.

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  2. Super advice. I too watch the riders, but actually, the horses tell me a lot more about the riders than just watching the riders. The best riders had soft, happy horses, and it all looked so easy.

    The same is true in the jumpers. There are some riders who can get on any horse and give it a good ride. I think in one of the World Cup classes, the riders had to switch horses. That was telling. Not every rider can successfully ride a new horse first time on, but a good rider can.

    So indeed, watch the riders, but also watch the horses under them.

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  3. That is bloody good advice, Love It!

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  4. Yes! That is why I absolutely love watching the Germans Michael Jung and Marcus Ehning. So fluid and with the horse. Carl Hester is also one of my favourites. Women wise I like Ingrid Klmke, Penelope Leprevost and Charlotte of course ^_^
    What I retain from the Olympics is many dressage rider (women usually) were simply over horse O_o and you really notice it by watching the rider using so much strength for barely controlling their BIG warmblood!
    I was also amazed how relax Carl and Charlotte's horses were. I would like to know their secret ;-)

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