Ladies and gents, I give you… BABY TOTILAS!
He is 5 years old here, competing in Verden and look at his ickle baby self! There is not much flash or knee, he gives a little whinny mid way through and he is overall adorable and a little average, but with good, basic gaits.
Yes, I say average, because compared to some five year olds who come to the arena in Verden with huge flashy gaits all up to their chin, so uphill you can barely sit on them, Toto looks average. But here is the thing. Many of these overly flashy youngsters do not go on to do GP, and certainly not at a world record level. Those huge gaits are too much for them to sit, too much to collect, and to do GP you can’t just have BIG in your face gaits. You need strength, flexibility, suppleness, stamina.
We all know how he looked under Edward. He made Totilas, because if you have good basics like Toto, you can build on them. You build up their strength, their flexibility, and THEN you get the flashy gaits. I almost think its wrong of me to describe Toto as “flashy” because it sounds artificial to me, and I see so many people having a go at him for not being natural. These people would risk a serious facial injury if I got hold of them because Totilas is the fruit of a lot of hard work and careful training. Edward made him, he took these basics and built on them, to produce a true wonder.
If that is not dressage I don’t know what is.