Dreams and the times we live in…

27 Aug

From Team GBR’s peerless High Performance Leader,Will Connell’s blog:

<< … But I still have a dream. I have a dream that as one sport we can rise up and embrace that emotion that has touched so many, whether it be the written media, TV, radio or the wee lad in the stadium who shouted: “We love those dancing horses” . That mantra can embrace all, whether it be dressage, jumping, cross country, vaulting etc etc. The beauty of the horse and its ability to perform amazing skills…. I have a dream that we can further educate all age groups as to the therapeutic value of horses for those with disabilities or special needs. I have a dream that we can take elite equine sport once more in to the centre of our Capital City and other great Cities around the country. Imagine dressage and jumping on The Mall…regardless of discipline it still celebrates the horse….VIP hospitality one side..inner city children the other side of the arena…what a send off for the World Games in 2014 that would be. I have a dream that all young people can enjoy that freedom and majesty of riding horses. >>


Years ago, Californian Olympic rider (also  teacher/trainer/coach/breeder/judge)  Hilda Gurney set the dressage world on its ear. A teacher of disadvantaged children, she would get up before school started, ride a few horses, go teach all day , change in her van, grab a sandwich at home, go back to the barn and ride and teach until it was too dark to see.

Sometimes, she would put 2 horses in the trailer, and take them to the school where she taught during the day. The school officials had put in a small square of grass just for her. She would unload, and out of this tiny yellow trailer would come a large red horse-the legendary Keen, considered the best dressage horse in the world in his time—which is forever.

She would tack him up and then talk to the children gather around the tiny square of grass. She would piaffe and passage, somehow squeeze in a flying change here and there, and tell the children what she was doing—talking to her horse. Sculpting his body to make him ever more beautiful.


Then she would tack up the other horse and give pony rides—we didn’t use Keen because he was so tall, it was hard to hold the children upright on the saddle.


…So—who can imagine doing this today?

In today’s litigious world, I cannot.

Something has been lost in the magic, and it is hard to believe we will find it again.




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