Dressage Divas - Maybe she's born with it

Last week I read an article on Horse&Hound online on 25 signs that you're an incurable dressage diva/divo (in Hafl's case): http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/features/signs-dressage-diva/

Almost every sign out of this 25 fits perfectly with me.

 Is it because we ride dressage or is it because we are like that and ride dressage because of that? 

Are you a dressage diva by nature or nurture?

1. Every song you ever hear is immediately evaluated for its suitability for your horse’s paces for freestyle.

Oh yes! I even have a good feeling when it comes to judging whether a song would better fit to trot or canter, I caught myself counting BPMs already and searching online archives ranked by BPM to find the perfect music.

Here are two freestyles made (or at least helped) by me:





2. You look forward to Olympia more than Christmas.

For us, it is not Olympia in particular but ANY horse show! Especially, when there is a live stream available as there are no horse shows around here in winter. 

Driving all the way to NO MATTER WHERE to see a CDI NO MATTER how many stars


3. When you put your stirrups up two holes, you feel like Frankie Dettori.
OMG yes. Whenever we do some “jumping fences aka groundpole work” and somebody asks to shorten my stirrups I can literally FEEL my knees touching my CHIN! And this is not comfy! How can people ride a whole cross country like that?

These stirrups are short enough for jumping fences

4. Your horse’s tail is only too long if it’s touching the ground.

If that would only be possible! But with all the mud in the paddock (yup, we will say later NO MUD) it is not possible. And because there is no indoor wash stand with hot water – no chance to keep the tail clean enough. Compromise is to braid it – to make the best out of this situation.

Short tale fighting winter's muddy paddocks

5. You know at least three German words (well, you know how they sound, anyway): rollkur, braaf and good-so.


Too funny! Of course, I know more than that but sure, I use them too. Especially the Dutch good-so sticks in my head.

6. Basic maths is essential; without it, you’d never work out whether you’ve qualified for regionals or not.

Thahahahaha! Exactly what I do whenever there is a ranking update. I calculate my points and look where we would end up.
You better know ALL your rankings and points by heart

7. Beige breeches. Just no.

Well, it is not a just no. We can do it but then it is even more difficult to stay clean. Remember, there is mud and slobber…

They look good and work - for a short period of time at least

8. You half-halt with your seat, even when driving the car.

And clucking makes your car go faster! Not kidding!

Faster, Opi, *cluck cluck*

9. There’s nothing you wouldn’t do to look good: you have scars on the backs of your knees from the long, rigid boots to prove it (and if you can sit on the loo in them, they’re too short).

I even need to open up the zippers to mount – always make sure that you close them once mounted – have forgotten that plenty of times …..
Oh yes, one of the first shows in the new tall(est) boots

10. All your clothes match and, on a good day, your underwear too. It actually takes effort not to expose yourself to your yard-mates when you are particularly satisfied having achieved the perfect match in every department.

Not only clothes, it is about saddle pads, coolers, wraps…. Especially for shootings, there is NO excuse!
Matching everything - a must!

11. Short whips are only for use in the bedroom, not something that should be carried on a horse.
I do not even know how you could influence your horse with these toothpicks.

12. Out hacking, your horse has to be on the bit. Non negotiable.

What is hacking? But when I do, trails look like this - back to the arena!!!




13. You’d never deign to own a saddle-shaped numnah.

And here is why: where would you add all the bling and embroidery?


14. Patent and sheepskin and bling. On everything.
They are cosy, horses sweat less (ask the ones who wear UGG boots in summer) – and you do not clean patent leather (well…). So good reasons to use all this. 

Sparkling horse needs sparkling equipment

15. Seeing female competitors without hairnets makes your stomach turn.

I even BOUGHT a hairnet for one of my barn mates. I could not stand watching her ride her dressage tests during 3-day eventing without a hairnet anymore.


16. Grass is for grazing and most certainly not for doing dressage tests on.

Where in this world do you ride dressage tests on grass? 



17. Any turns — done anywhere in life and in any situation — are referred to as pirouettes.

And some of my canter pirouettes are pretty decent – especially when Hafl is spooking (seldom, but happens).

18. The lumps and bumps on your horse’s legs are far more familiar to you than your own pins.

I can tell a story to each and everyone of them. 

Keep the legs safe...
19. If your new car has a number plate finishing HXF or MXK, you basically think it’s personalised.
Why didn’t I think about that earlier? Now I have TCA2 on my car – at least, that is intended personalized. 


20. You’re no longer sure whether a coloured horse would be striking or just plain common.
No coloured horses – thanks - two tone Haflingers is the most I can stand...these white manes and tails....Cannot imagine what it feels like to have white parts on a horse!


21. No mud. Ever.

In our dreams, in our dreams…


22. Your family and friends are totally used to seeing you trot round the car park to learn your tests or air-trace them with your finger like a mad person in the supermarket (or anywhere else).

You can easily avoid that by doing it in your living room ONLY!

 - No picture of that! NEVER EVER!!! -

23. You actually understand what your trainer’s going on about when he shouts “More!” at you during a training session.

And that is GOOD SO!

24. Pulled and plaited tails give you the heeby-jeebies; you prefer to keep them full and weigh down the horse’s back end, thereby lightening the forehand in one (relatively) easy step.

This would mean with Hafl’s enormous tail, he should be really easy on the forehand…

Look at THAT tail! And the lightness in the forehand...


25. Going faster than extended canter is reserved only for skiing and motorways.

Whenever hacking out (seldom, but happens) it cannot be slow enough – ask the others! And here is a video:



Well, I would say: we dressage divas are born with it - and that is GOOD-SO!!!


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