Aptitude Test

I’m going to do a little post on my friend, LHK’s horse, Dorién.

This Saturday we were at the aptitude test with four year old Dorién. Now, we were a bit nervous about loading him into the trailer, since the last time we had driven him, it had taken us three hours to get him to load so we could get him back home again. I am not sure what his plan of action was, but clearly “going home,” doesn’t mean much to him… So, naturally we have trained and trained and trained…

Saturday morning it was pouring down. I had been told that I would have to be at the stable early, because of the roofers that should show up and fix the roof on the machine hall. Yes, they were supposed to arrive Saturday morning, so naturally I got on my bike and drove to the stable in the pouring rain, to move my horses away from the pasture they would have to enter with their heavy machinery.

I was soaked to the bone and freezing cold before I even got there, and the roofers, well they didn’t show up at all. (Not until Sunday, where we were showing Saleem, to be perfectly annoying.)

So, I took care of my horses in the rain, and went to LHK’s stable. Dorién loaded easily and off we went, both of us rather neavous about bringing him back home again…

Clearly, you just never know…

Still, the aptitude test is fairly simple. The young horses are shown ridden and judged on their walk, their trot, their canter, their rideability and their capacity. They are shown three at the time, before the judges.

Dorien 1

Dorién was fairly cool to bring, he didn’t spook too much over the warm up, which is utterly insane at events like these ones with about 9-11 riders in the same hall at the same time, all of them on four year olds… I was not doing that for the life of me…

The time schedule slipped though, and we weren’t told. Now, it was only 15 minutes behind, but that is a lot when it is four year old horses. Before LHK got to go before the judges, Dorién was getting tired.

He soldiered on though, and did really good. Still, it always bothers me, the way the judges evaluate the young horses. Dorén got 6,5 in rideability , with the comment from the judge, that he didn’t bend his neck enough.

Dorien 2

First off, you have got to be kidding, this is a four year old! Second, you have got to be kidding…

If you ask me, and I know that no one does, I would say he does bend his neck enough, by far, really, sometimes even a little too much for me… Not that LHK is trying to “bend his neck” she wants him to carry himself correctly, and be in balance, which is always hard with such a young horse.

Dorien 3

I got to admit, seeing the one she rode with, I do see the difference, and if that is what is required of a four year old, overextending the neck- the other horse got an 8 in rideability, and a comment that it held its head perfectly- then it really is hopeless to compete without damaging your horse. Or losing.

Dorien 5

Dorien 6

So, let that be a lesson. Learn to lose with pride. Dorién was great, LHK was very happy about him, he was exactly like she wanted him to be, and so I guess we couldn’t ask for more.

He didn’t lose either. There were about ten that was disqualified, one on their “team,” because she was wearing boots, not bandages on the horses legs… Another because the horse blew up and threw her… Yeah, so many rules in dressage, you never know what is going to get you…

I love it though, that LHK expected this, she even said to me as we drove there, that she wasn’t riding the same competition as the others. What she was doing, was showing a happy, relaxed four year old, and first and foremost, she was showing a young horse that would still be around in ten years from now.

That is the real competition. Who can ride their horse without killing it.

Dorien 4

And she is right. I’ll bet you anything most of these youngsters were shown last year and will be shown again next year and then we will never hear from them again. A select, hardcore few will last a little longer, but most of them will break down. Sadly.

Anyway, as we came to load Dorén and go home, he said “nah… I don’t think so.” Luckily it had stopped raining by then, but still it took us about an hour and a half to lure him into the trailer. I don’t get this horse. He loads so easily at home, he doesn’t mind the trailer at all, he just won’t go home again?

Sometimes you must look at a horse and wonder what goes through his head. But I guess we are not done training trailer then.

Next step, load him at home, drive him around, unload and load again… Yep, we will get this at some point…  I got to admit, I am secretly not too annoyed by Dorién’s trailer issues, because that means that it’s not just Saleem and me, being annoying, forcing LHK to help us train all the time… Still, I am so looking forward to the day when we will both look back on this and laugh at the time when we spent an entire summer training trailer with Saleem and Dorién… Which reminds me of a cute little picture I came across the other day…


I know the feeling… I really do.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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7 Responses to Aptitude Test

  1. LHK says:

    Thak you so much for this lovely post… ❤

  2. sammerson says:

    Awww…I think Dorien is just trying to tell you both that he LOVES showing. Obviously why wouldn’t he? He’s treated with respect and he gets to show off! Sounds like a good deal to me!

  3. Jenny says:

    Strong going LHK! It has to be tough to be one of few that doesn’t do as all the other riders 😦 And to spend a lot of time and money on going to these things and knowing how it will turn ut, I’m shure that it’s not easy to do (mentally).

    t’s really scary that the judges rewards this kind of riding 😦 And at young horses! Perfect picture that says it alls!: https://starstonestenfalk.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/dorien-6.jpg

    • Starstone says:

      yeah it is… Its not easy. But if no one does it… I mean, someone has to show the judges and the audience, that it can be done differently…. other wise nothing is going to change…

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