After decades of studying Europe’s breeding philosophies, America is holding her own in breeding quality, competition horses. This is an accomplishment in a country where breeding restrictions are unheard of. In the years to come, America will be producing horses with the athleticism and talent comparable to Edward Gal’s Moorlands Totilas or Anky’s Salinero.
Every year there are impressive ceremonies celebrating breathtaking freestyles and record-breaking Grand Prix rides from horses that are bred to be more expressive and athletic with each generation. However, the only ceremony that has actually brought tears to my eyes was on a video I watched of Britain’s Horse of the Year Show. This is an incredible horse show, where riding of all types, and horses and ponies of all breeds are revered. I’m not sure what year this particular ceremony took place, but after all the prize givings for the top competitors were complete, two well turned-out older horses were led into the arena.
As the two noble horses paraded around the arena, adorned with roses around their necks, the announcer explained that these horses were there to represent all school horses, worldwide, that have selflessly taught the most accomplished competitors to the most passionate pleasure riders. The two “representatives” were then offered as many apples and carrots from huge silver bowls that they cared to eat. Everyone in the coliseum was standing to applaud these generous horses that offer so much, to so many.
I have been lucky to have known so many great horses in my life. I will always be grateful to every horse that has taught me on my journey towards a career and life with horses. But a special thank you is in order to the patient ponies and horses that carried me about while I tried to figure out this thing called riding. Much love to you all…Fred, Twinkle, Piccolo, Sam, Bayboy, Young George, Cadbury, Ushi……(and all the rest!)