Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Tori Colvin and Way Cool Upperville Score of 100

I know, this is a dressage blog, but it is worth taking a look at this PERFECT SCORE ride by Tori Colvin.  Watch it before reading more...

Talented rider, gorgeous horse that is good 'n fat, the way I like'em. 

Here is what I take away from this ride, as a dressage rider (who probably doesn't know what she is talking about!)...
  • This is an equitation class -- back "in the day" (the seventies?) you wanted to be, or at least appear, motionless in the saddle, heels driven down. Look how relaxed this rider is through her leg and hip -- not floppy (obviously) but not perched either. She's actually moving. It's just a really beautiful, fluid, effortless look.
  • The reins -- softness of the hands and in the horse's topline.
  • Balanced turns! 
  • Energy and lightness and perfect relaxation. A look and feel to aspire to in dressage.
The one thing I notice is something in the landing of almost every fence. Do you see it?  Maybe this is not such a big deal, especially in the hunter ring.

What a joy to watch.  


  1. It was a beautiful round and I love her soft feel on his mouth the whole way around too. But this is a hunter class, not an equitation class, which is probably why she's in such a half seat and allowing the horse to flow more. You're right that in an eq class she'd ride a little differently, although I've been surprised to see that lately the half seat is the norm in the big eq too.

  2. I'd take that horse as a dressage mount any day! What a lovely, relaxed, happy horse!

  3. Oh! I thought that it was a eq class, maybe youtube put in another link that confused me...

  4. PS when I look at the equitation rides she put down on other horses, her style is a bit different -- still lovely and soft, but different...

  5. I am certainly never going to be a big hunter, or a big EQ rider, but personally I think her and the style of most of the big hunter rides to be sloppy. Their lower leg is all over the place, and they are laying on their horse's necks even over small stuff. Not my personal idea of the perfect hunter rider.

  6. Marissa's right, because it's a hunter class she's doing her best to just stay out of the horse's way, because the class is judged on the horse's way of going. In theory (not in practice) Tori could do a handstand in the saddle in the class and it would have no impact on the score. Also, this is a handy round, which I always think look much better than standard hunter courses because the turns get the horses to raise the front end just a little. I generally find the pure hunter rounds to be heavy on the front end and a little dead.


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