Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Future of Dressage?

Let me first clarify by stating that I have taken one dressage lesson ever in my life (didn't continue due to a scheduling conflict). Although I've been reading Build a Better Athlete by Leslie Webb, a blog about the adventures of a green dressage Arabian, and many other blog posts outraged about Rollkur, I am pretty much a dressage noob.

So when I was reorganizing a bookshelf last week and I saw a book outlining the future of dressage--with super brightly-colored costumes, fanciful horse torture devices, and extreme, hyperflexed movements--I was not entirely sure what to think.
It took me longer than I'd like to admit to realize that The Official 2060 SuperPrix Fan Guide by Michelle Guillot was intended to be a satire. A satire with eye-hurty oversaturated graphics that doesn't walk the line between humor and descriptions of a dystopian future very well, to be sure. But a satire, nonetheless.
21st century dressage
via book website
I only thumbed through the book and took photos of the most bizarre images, but if you ever come across it, it is definitely a trip.
New dressage training system
Training pyramid? Why bother?
Though I didn't read it closely, Dressage Today did. The book basically describes how dressage in the 21st century is more popular than pro football (yeah...wishful thinking, huh?) and how freestyle has been glitzed up and technologized as much as any other Olympic sport. The horses are genetically modified weirdos and the saddles clamp the spandex-clad riders into ideal positions to yank, crank, and spank their way to victory.
Click to read the anatomy of the dressage horse of the future
Of course, the author's idea is to criticize current trends in dressage that threaten to reach the extremes she lays out in her book, but as a dressage noob I was overwhelmed by the weirdness. I do think that Ariat's icky Volant boots are a step in the SuperPrix direction though.

Ariat Volant boots
Blech. Red? Why? via
 Just thought I'd share my bizarre experience with this book. Has anyone ever read it? It looks like it was independently published so who knows if it is even available anymore.


  1. Ahhhh, I feel so famous now that you've mentioned my blog! Thanks!! I have never seen this book, but I'm also doing dressage on a tiny, green broke, croup high, Arab mare so I may just be out of the loop.

    I'm not sure how I feel about the Ariat Volant boots. On the one hand I think they look cool. On the other hand, I'm not sure how I feel about fashion and horses. I have enough to worry about (ohdeargoddon'tletmefalloff) without adding fashion to the mix. And red would clash with my hot pink saddle pad.....Hahahahaha.

    1. My pleasure! I love reading your blog and I relate to a lot of your sentiments. I'm rooting for you and the Princess!

  2. I agree with the icky boots comment! My male coach likes to wear them but... *whispers* I don't like them.

    1. Lol maybe they just appeal more to guys. My boyfriend's dad saw a full-page ad for them while I was leafing through Practical Horseman, and he was like O_O WHERE CAN I GET THOSE?