“Most alleged training ‘innovations’ aren’t really new but were actually dismissed as useless centuries ago.”

Klaus Balkenhol, per Schoffman, Britta, Klaus Balkenhol, The Man and His Training Methods, 2007, Trafalgar Square, p.44.

I was committed to giving field school instruction the summer of ’92, and did not attend, but only read about, the Barcelona Olympics.  So while preparing this article, I was thrilled to find a November 2011 upload of Klaus Balkenhol and Goldstern 1992 Barcelona Olympics GP Special Test, from which I have intentionally not removed the audio commentation, which I believe to be the voices of Cameron Williams and Lucinda Green.

But I did accept assignments to cover the 1994 WEG denHagen for  equestrian print media, and saw all three of Goldstern’s tests from the press box, watching through binoculars rather than any of the many closed circuit television screens with which I was surrounded.

If, on that Thursday evening of the GP Kur, the applause meter had determined the winner, Goldstern was  Individual Gold. When the jury’s scores were announced, others in the press box, far more frequent and educated observers of the international scene than I, were raising their eyebrows, winking,  clearing their throats, or bowing their heads, to communicate their reactions to each other.

Two years later, at the 1996 Olympics, I again saw Balkenhol’s and Goldstern’s tests, and thrilled at their dance to Ravel’s Bolero. I hope that a video of that performance will eventually surface. ‘Til then, I will cherish vivid memory of their piaffe pirouette to that undeniably driving, climactic rhythm. Phew!

And recall that after each of those six rides, I left  Zuiderpark or Georgia International Horse Park, eyes lifted upward, silently pleading, “Hire him!”

Soon before Britta Schoffman’s Klaus Balkenhol, The Man and His Training Methods, 2007, Trafalgar Square came out, the USET did hire Balkenhol to coach and chef US Dressage riders. We Americans are much better horsemen for his intercession.

While reading this book again last summer, I took a LOT of notes. <br/>my favorite quote,from page 44:   “Most alleged training ‘innovations’ aren’t really new but were actually dismissed as useless centuries ago.”

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