Dressage Today

Dressage Today August 2018

One of America's most popular equestrian disciplines -- Dressage Today features insights from the world's most respected trainers, riders, and judges. It also includes coverage of national and international dressage events, as well as articles on the care and management of dressage horses.

United States
Active Interest Media
Back issues only
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en este número

2 min.
thank you, mr. zettl

Sometimes there are people who touch your life even though you never had the chance to meet them. For me, Walter Zettl was one of those people. Walter passed away June 7 at the age of 89. Ever since I started with Dressage Today in 2009, I remember his Christmastime calls. That wonderful, kind voice on the other end of the line wishing the DT staff a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year was always so appreciated. And while I never had the opportunity to meet Walter, his dedication to the sport, compassion for the horse and support of Dressage Today as Advisor Emeritus through the years have helped the staff shape a magazine that we hope still remains true to his beliefs. So when I sat down to write this…

3 min.
walter zettl (1929–2018)

From the moment you saw Walter Zettl teaching, you knew there was something truly special about this man—his passion for horses, his loving and giving way of teaching. What he taught was way beyond dressage lessons. He communicated a philosophy and exemplified the kind of calmness and patience that horses and riders adore in their teachers. Walter was born in the former Republic of Czechoslovakia and immigrated to Canada in 1981. His passion for horses started early in life and he was just 16 when he entered the riding school of Bad Kissingen in Kronberg, Ludwigsburg. At 21 he was the youngest person ever to be awarded the German Federation Gold Riding Medal. Not only did Walter train and compete at Grand Prix in both dressage and jumping, he ran schools…

1 min.
walter’s words of wisdom

• “Show the horse what you want and then allow the horse to do it.”• “Careful, careful! When you pick up the reins remember you are now going into the most sensitive part of the horse.”• “Give… Give… Give.”• “When the horse spooks, just ignore it.”• “The horse has to trust you.”• “Ride up in heaven, not down in hell!”• “Go to the limit, but not over the limit.”• “When you ride to the limit, that is where the learning happens.”• “Dressage is an art.”• “Your horse feels your deepest emotion.”• “This is just the beginning my dear, just you wait. It takes time. Good riding is like watching grass growing.”…

1 min.

According to Johan Knaap, KWPN director, “KWPN horses are so successful at the top levels of international dressage thanks to strict selection by both our studbook and our breeders. This has resulted in strong dam lines, in which performance is deeply rooted. The predicate system is unique: No other studbook distinguishes the qualities of their mares in this manner. Every predicate has a different meaning and entails different requirements to receive the predicate.” Predicates reflect various aspects of the KWPN breeding goals. Some are earned by the horse, others are earned through offspring. For example, at the time of inspection, a horse can be awarded a ster predicate, indicating the horse has above-average conformation and movement and/or jumping ability. Liwilarda, Verdades’ dam, is distinguished with a ster predicate. Awarding of this…

5 min.
bloodlines of top dressage horses

Most dressage enthusiasts will be familiar with the blood, sweat and tears tale of Laura Graves and her Verdades (Florett As X Liwilarda by Goya). Together with her mother, then 15-year-old Graves purchased Verdades as a weanling directly from his breeder, the late Peter Jan (Piet) Crum of Herveld, The Netherlands, in 2002. Over the next decade, Graves would almost give up on the challenging bay gelding (and her competitive dressage dreams) many times, but they stuck together, eventually landing a spot on the 2016 U.S. Olympic team. In Rio, Graves and Verdades were part of the bronze-medal-winning team, placing fourth individually. Other notable placements include fifth at the World Equestrian Games in 2014 (Grand Prix debut year), silver at the 2015 Pan American Games and an individual bronze medal at…

2 min.
going dutch

KWPN stands for Koninklijk Warmbloed Paardenstamboek Nederland, which translates as Royal Warmblood Horse Studbook of The Netherlands. KWPN-NA stands for KWPN North America. KWPN horses like Verdades are commonly referred to as Dutch Warmbloods, and there are three among our Top 11 horses, which merits an exploration of this studbook and its priorities. Johan Knaap, KWPN director, provides an overview: “KWPN distinguishes the following characteristics in our breeding goal: performance, health, conformation and character. Horses are strictly selected according to these standards.” Knaap also explains that the KWPN distinguishes a separate breeding standard for each breeding direction, providing descriptions for the ideal dressage, jumping, harness and the Gelders (all-purpose) horse. He says, “The functional aspect for the sport is our starting point. For example, does the height of the withers…