We are in the half way break of the freestyles at the Masters, and I am pleading with the DQ gods to improve on the first half – by A LOT. I’m not going to name names because I don’t need more enemies in Dressage Land – but I just saw a set of riders who sought to outdo each other for the ‘most stressed out horse’ award. It was all kick and pull, piaffe to extended canter to stand on head and spit nickels. Truly the worst trio of torture-to-music performances that I have ever seen at an event sanctioned by the FEI. And I’ve been watching freestyles for a long time. Dudes. Find a way to show your horse off that doesn’t cause psychological scarring, for your horse or for the audience.
It’s all in all a pretty crappy evening so far. It started out with the lamest demo ever dreamed up by two gay men whose riding is beyond reproach. Edward coughed (he has the flu) into a microphone while Hans Peter (Withney vetted out of the freestyle, whatever that means) rode Edward’s horse around. ‘He’s going sideways and forward’ was Edward’s highly informative description of the half pass HP was performing. We’re not reiners, Ed. We know what half pass is. And it’s just gone downhill from there. I’m currently surrounded in the press area by a bunch of old ladies who I am pretty sure have never written an article of any kind, not even how to safety pin a sanitary napkin to your panties. Announcer Brian Williams has resorted to his stock lines to fill in the awkward silences, including ‘finishing up in the main ring there…’ Brian! There is only one ring. You can’t use that one tonight.
Alright. I’m going to stop before I start naming (Lars Petersen your circus music makes me want to scream) names (Adrienne your horse needed a pat, not an extra goose to make his knees hit his ears). If the second half starts out badly, I’ll be checking myself into a clinic for post-freestyle-traumatic stress disorder and you won’t be hearing from me for a while.