Dressage, from the French verb, dressager, “to train” has a reputation for elitism. After all, the sport is based on highly trained cavalry manouvers shown at court before kings and queens.
The “princess principle” embodies the entilted few who have the means to compete a made horse, sometimes observed showing at a level above capacity. These riders as seen with an entourage of support personel rivaled only by minor celebrities and reality T.V. stars.
I stand firm in my conviction that those of us who tirelessly train our own horses in the classical style, manage their health, feed and turnout sacrifice as warriors of our sport. We save enough to buy a young prospect then fight to accumulate funds supporting years of training, boarding and care before we can step into the show ring.
Dressage warriors are their own grooms, personal managers, stable hands, veterinary technicians, tackers and cool out riders. Those with the embedded “princess principle” will never know the sacrifice and joy the rest of us experience. Warriors are absolutely willing to take on all of these roles and responsibilities. That’s how tough it is to get to Grand Prix. The difference between the warrior and the princess is the personal cost, the self sacrifice and what riders must give up to gain in the years it takes to train a Dressage horse. There is pride in being a warrior rather than a princess.
So not a princess