To the Olympics for Ann Romney

Ann Romney's dressage horse Rafalca won a place on the 2012 US Olympic Team this weekend. Rafalca, the 15-year-old Oldenburg mare co-owned by Mrs. Romney, won a spot on the Olympic dressage team, along with trainer Jan Ebeling. The U.S. Equestrian Federation made the official announcement naming the Olympic competitors over the weekend. While our ever smarmy press  keeps calling it "horse ballet" to make the Romney's sound effete, the sport of dressage, like all the mounted equestrian events, actually has its roots in the bloody traditions of European mounted warfare.  Before the horse was replaced by motorized vehicles in the mid 20th century many nation's international equestrian teams consisted largely of military officers.  From the beginning knights needed to control their mounts with subtle shifts of leg pressure to keep hands free first for lance shield.  The horses themselves needed to be conditioned into suppleness and trained to make flying lead...(Read Full Post)