Wednesday, November 25, 2009

RIP Mythilus and Wolfgang May Clinic

I just saw this in the latest issue of Dressage Today and was sorrowful to hear so. The amazing Dutch Warmblood Mythilus passed away due to complications in a colic surgery. His rider, a favorite rider of mine, Courtney Kind-Dye, wrote a very nice letter concerning his passing. Read it here.

This horse was quite an amazing competitor. He went on to compete in the Olympics and did very well. There was drug scandal that marred his record, but the FEI admits that it was not an intentionally administered drug, it was just a scant trace that ended up by freak accident ( a very scant trace) but they still had to go by their no-slack policy. While it was upsetting, it was a good thing on behalf of the FEI for staying true to their policies, and it was good on behalf of King-Dye that accepted their ruling without a fuss. Good for her.

Nonetheless, I was quite attracted to the horse when I saw him on TV. I mean, look at the picture! Doesn't he look like a charmer? What a lovely face! And such a glowly bay color! And according to King-Dye (though I'm sure anyone will say this about their horse) he was truly a wonderful horse. I was looking forward to seeing him at the WEG like they intended and a long career afterwards. But he lives on in memory and foals! RIP Mythilus.

On December 13, Greta and I will participate in our very first clinic with Wolfgang May! My instructor was a former student of his, and fortunately was able to set up a private clinic for her students at her place. I'm very excited! It'll be a 45 minute lesson with a Spanish Riding School graduate and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Hopefully Greta will be just as excited and cooperative haha! I've learned to manage her marishness in the saddle, and it's not like she's a hardcore spook, so I'm sure it will go well <3

Any advice on clinics?


  1. Hmmm I have mixed feelings on this. I feel terrible for the horse but I have always felt terrible for the horse. My people here were close to Lendon and Courtney (and Courtney actually lost two horses in that one week, another nice mare) and I know the vet who operated on the horse. I have inside information from a very reliable (and very classical) source about his drug scandal and yeah... they doped the horse because he had some sort of hoof injury at the Olympics and was lame. The horse had always been ridden improperly hard and heavily injected from a young age. It's so opposite of classical work, all of it. From what I understand, he was a very cool horse, and in that respect I feel very bad. But the private vet hospital that the operating vet is from is 10 minutes down the road from me and I refuse to ever, ever use them... we call them Injecticon. I've seen those vets inject a horse with bleeding ulcers in the hip triads, hocks, fetlocks, stifles, low back, mid back, SI, wither, neck, and coffin joints all in one go. Money money money money vets that work off of commission. Pure evil.

    I'm not sure I made any sense just then but that was my little morning rant about the evils of overworking, laming, doping and continuing to overwork your animals. Sometimes you reap what you sow.

  2. REALLY??!!

    Damn! That always pisses me off when vets pull.... stuff like that. It's like for every good vet that refuses to inject a horse needlessly, there's one that the owner can run that'll give them a whole bouquet of needless or even dangerous concoctions. For every vet that says "geld that sour-tempered, ewe-neck, bow-legged stallion, please! He shouldn't be breeding!" there's another that says "oh, sure, you can breed him, try this spooky grade mare over here who's only two, she'll work. Just pay me for everything, necessary and unnecessary, and I'll give the okay!" Ooh, how did they even get their degree?

    I feel especially terrible for the horse. Yeah, I felt bad for King-Dye, but she has multiple other horses she rides and works with. Perhaps if this horse's training had been at a much slower pace like it should be with any horse, he could be seeing multiple WEGs and Dressage Cups and Olympic games and then many more long years as a stud and pasture ornament. Is competition the death of the art?

    But yes, you reap what you sow indeed.

    Oh, and to get off-topic, there's a book they were advertising in SmartPak I think called "Back to Work" about how to rehabilitate and recondition a horse. I thought of Miss Gogo right away! Give her a hug for me!

  3. I thought about that book. I am so going to go look into that. Happy Thanksgiving!

  4. From what I'm seeing, very few upper level competition dressage horses have been properly trained. I see far too many horses who are not using their hind ends (but flinging their front legs around extravagantly, which seems to distract the judges from their incorrect balance), horses behind the vertical, horses with backs sinking down into oblivion, and horses that appear tortured. It has gotten ridiculous. These riders should not be getting high scores. They should be banned from competition.

    It is really not that hard to bring a horse along properly...sure, it takes more time, but if an amatuer like me, who is working with seriously flawed (from any "dressage queen's" point of view) horses can teach them to relax and work in self carriage, why can't we see that in the world of competitive dressage, which is supposed to be the pinnacle of the sport, a good example for all of us to strive for?

    Anyway...congratulations on getting to do an awesome clinic! I'm completely jealous. Be sure to do a full report!

  5. Thank you Meghan! Welcome to the blog! And I will DEFINITELY be posting about the clinic!!!

    My theory behind all of that is "Time is money." If it takes longer for a horse to be properly trained that means the owners of the horse will be spending more moeny getting the horse to where he should be before he can compete, whereas it's cheaper for the horse to be half-assed trained because it's shorter and thus cheaper.

    But hey, it looks flashier to the uneducated eye (which is a lot of eyes)! It's quicker to teach the horse to look flashy than it is learn how to properly use its body and become a better and more beautiful athlete.

    But I have to agree with the Behind the Bit author: though the practices seen in modern dressage are not usually correct nor good ofr the horse, in comparison to horse cruelty in general, these horses have it much better off than say, and overworked and neglected pack horse in Peru or a emaciated horse living in a junk yard in the back of somebody's trailer lot in Bodunkville, USA.

    Rollkur and -some- other practices in modern dressage (a lot of upper level riders I've seen, almost always the ones not making bukoo$ of money and being shown on TV, actually ride pretty nice but that is ALL another blog post for another day folks) are wrong, very wrong, and give the sport a bad name. But in the board spectrum of horse abuse, sadly, it doesn't top my list. But because I'm not rehabbing horses anymore, then I can devote my anger to people who call themselves "equestrians" and their "modern methods".

    I still love dressage. I won't be shaken off yet, if ever. When I become a vet and have a professional career of treating f-ed up horses backing me up, I will become the advocate for horses' rights from hell and hopefully help to stop some of this mayhem and foolishness. Needless shoeing, rollkur, slaughter, the lot of it!

  6. Do you know if he has any room left in his clinic? May be interested.

  7. It's a private clinic, actually :(

    But here is the link to his website with a list of clinics. It looks like he has another one coming up in Boerne, TX (if it's at the Double Diamond Equestrian Center, it's GORGEOUS!) and Retama, TX at the very bottom: link.


Comments are greatly appreciated and, most importantly, Greta loves you for commenting ♥

Thanks guys!