Assume The Position

Equestrian:  (noun) a rider or performer on horseback [Oxford Dictionary]

The 2016 Rio Olympics Equestrian event:

OVER 200 HORSES WILL BE COMPETING IN 3 CLASSIFICATIONS:  DRESSAGE, JUMPING AND CROSS COUNTRY.

I’m sorry, what? I thought the Olympic Games are for humans. Horses want to compete in the Olympics?  They aren’t perfectly content galloping in the wild?

Wild –

horse1

 

Olympics –

Ian Millar on the back of Star Power

Ian Millar on the back of Star Power

Don’t you agree Star Power would be a lot happier without Ian Miller on his back, and without that bit in his mouth?

The bit:

one of the more gentle bits, the mullen

one of the more gentle bits, the mullen [Wikipedia]

how would you like someone pulling back on this in your mouth? -the wire snaffle

how would you like someone pulling back on this in your mouth? -the wire snaffle [Wikimedia Commons]

Bitted horses often open their mouths… to avoid contact pain. [Buckit List  Lahle Wolfe, November 28, 2013]

Olympics+Day+3+Equestrian+ub0FAwADfvgl

Hwang Woojin, South Korea, and his horse Shearwater Oscar, 2012 Olympics

2012 South Korean entry

 

“Equestrian:  The only Olympic sport in which men and women compete against each other on a level playing field.”   [Rio 2016 web site]

That is, horses’ backs.

Dressage (performing a routine by memory), jumping, and cross country [an “endurance” test “to prove the speed, endurance and jumping ability” Wikipedia] should go ahead with just the riders, poshed up in their riding boots, pants, jackets and hats.

As spectacular as this looks, imagine how much more pleasurable, challenging it will be without the horse:

Henrik Von Eckermann [the rider] in the 2012 Olympics

Henrik Von Eckermann [the rider] in the 2012 Olympics

Take the equus out of equestrian.

Henrik Von Eckermann, assume the position:

Arms outstretched;

Hands clenched as if holding reins;

Traversing the course in a galloping gait.

greenwich_2287387a

Wouldn’t you really rather see that red jacketed competitor assuming the position?

Chariot racing ended almost 2,000 years ago.

Friends, it’s 2016.

Riders (an archaic term used before animals were banned from Olympic competition):

Assume The Position

A hush falls through the crowd.

A pistol fires. And they’re off!

wild-horses-california

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