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OK. I might not be the perfect person to write about Rafalca and dressage and Ann Rmoney. After all, I have piloted a horse exactly once as an adult. That particular horse was alleged to be the gentlest, calmest, oldest one in her group.  That's why she and I were together. Briefly. I don't think she liked me any more than I liked sitting on her sweating back.

And given an apple recently to feed a different, smaller horse, which horse happened to have the job of pulling a small wagon (don't ask), I arranged for somebody more experienced in horse matters to do it instead of me. I just didn't want to put my clean hands near said equine's toothsome mouth. In fact, everybody is probably more experienced with horses than me. But that does not matter.

Yes, some of my friends and neighbors have some horses, or ride them, or are interested in rescuing abused horses, or they compete in simulations or actual barbaric blood sports in which simulated or real foxes are chased with real live hounds while they ride after the melee on huge horses. I live in the country, after all. In upstate New York. But I know nothing about the details of those outings.  It's not a topic I have discussed.

Put simply, I am just not a horse person. I have nothing against horses. But horses, as opposed to races and betting, are not something that the formerly urban, lower middle class (that would be my family of origin) generally has dealt with. Yes, the kids occasionally got in touch with a pony or two, but that's it. And my experience with horses was limited to day old Racing Forms. And speculation about great windfalls.

Despite this generational equine aversion, I was delighted today to read the following in the newspaper of record:

As he rode into the ring on his horse, Rafalca, the equestrian Jan Ebeling blew a kiss to a few women in the stands he calls the three amigos: his wife, Amy Ebeling; Beth Meyer; and Ann Romney, whose husband, Mitt, is the presumptive presidential candidate for the Republican Party.

They share ownership of Rafalca, a 15-year-old mare, and they were on hand at Greenwich Park on Tuesday morning to see what would be Ebeling and Rafalca’s last ride at the London Games.

“I’m really happy with her piaffes,” Ebeling said about Rafalca’s moves in the ring after their turn in the Grand Prix Special portion of the dressage finals.

Ebeling and Rafalca received an individual score of 69.302, not enough to advance to the Grand Prix Freestyle on Thursday. Ebeling and his “three amigos” learned on Tuesday afternoon that the United States finished sixth in team dressage. Britain won, followed by Germany and the Netherlands.

Look.  I've got a problem with this. We're talking here about the New York Times. The Gray Lady.  There are three women, so they are tres amigas, or if you insist on mixing languages,which I do all the time but which the Newspaper of Record frowns at, three amigas, but they cannot be three amigos. Never. And then we have the piaffes. Ignorant moi. I thought there was only one, Edith, whom I adored. How little I knew. I didn't know horses could talk, let alone sing.  Except Mr. Ed.  And as far as I know, he didn't do dressage.  He was a talker, not a dancer.

But enough of this confused quadruped palaver.  

The best news of all: this by now famous horse hasn't made the grade. It will not advance. It will not be on NBC's Olympics, though it might be on the MSNBC news. Again. But it won't be because of sport. (An aside: how can what a horse does be considered in the same arena as something like the pole vault?). No. It will be because of our national reflection on Rafalca's significance.

 I wish I had said this:

Mitt Romney would have us believe that he cares nothing about the Olympic performance of his horse Rafalca. Why, then, own this exquisite and superbly trained animal whose housing costs alone are nearly $29,000 a year? Could it be that the horse yields the Romneys a $77,000 plus yearly tax credit?

Our family owns an adorable and very spoiled Dachshund who animates the household with her cheerful attitude and her unconditional love. Yet, the cost of her housing, food and veterinary care do not qualify for a tax credit.

Why does the United States tax code discriminate in favor of fancy horse owners as opposed to those of us who love dogs? Both Rafalca and pet dogs are luxuries and not essentials. They are not business investments but choices to enrich our lives. But, maybe there is a distinction based on who influences and produces the tax code to the benefit of some and not to others.

Hah. Why indeed. And that's the conservative Union Leader's editorial staff talking about Rafalca.

This is about a $77,000 per year tax credit on a horse that is 15 years old and does not win a medal.  And does not qualify for the finals.  It comes in sixth. So would that be like 15 x $77,000? I spare you the math: it's $1.15 Million. I also spare you the inevitable comparison to US annual household income. Let's just say the horse's numbers are way higher. Significantly higher.  The horse's housing and eating expenses are higher than an average American's (to clairify: an average North American variety American, and ridiculously much higher than all the rest of the Americans in this Hemisphere).

So I'm happy that this particular tax boondoggle has now failed, at least as far as Olympic medals are concerned. But you must note that this particular equine boondoggle is an outrageously successful winner in the Form 1040 arena. It's apparently succeeded wildly at that. Just as the tres amigas and the chofers thought it would.

I confess it. This Olympic, equine comeuppance really makes me want to see Rmoney's tax returns. I want to see all these tax credits for horses like Rafalca and heaven knows what other nonsense he's making a killing on.  Note, if you will that you make the tax killing whether or not the beast is any good at whatever it's supposed to be good at.  In other words, even if you fail in horse dancing world, you win, win, win in Form 1040 world.

I'd like to see all of Rmoney's returns for the past decade. I'd like to see how he's been horsing around (I've suppressed that this far into the essay, give me a break). I bet his tax returns would make my eyes fall out.  And you know what? I bet he knows that our eyes would fall out, too, so he's not going to allow the Affordable Care Act to replace our eyes. No. He's going to repeal ACA and just not show us his income tax returns. That, Willard, if I can be forgiven from using phrases you yourself might use, is mighty white of you.

I know. I know. I'm never gonna see those returns. I'm going to have to trust Rmoney on this one.

Know what? I don't think I do. I don't think I do at all. And I won't bet $10,000 on Rafalca either.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Rafalca's just one horse (5+ / 0-)

      I love horses, and I also love this diary.

      This Rafalca is a fabulous animal, fabulously cosseted,  fabulously trained, and fabulously expensive.

      The owners (the three amigos) probably paid several hundreds of thousands of dollars to buy Rafalca (I seem to remember that Rafalca was bought in Europe already well advanced in training).

      They then paid probably hundreds of thousands of dollars over the years in additional expenses -- vets, farriers, and all the rest. Ebeling, the Olympic rider, provided additional training. Did he do this for free? Don't be silly. People like  Ebeling cost a lot of money. Barn fees for stalls and feeding? Of course. For a typical barn the costs hover around  $1,000 monthly; those monthly costs might easily be two or three times higher at the sort of high-end barn Ebeling runs.

      A horse, even a cheap one, is a giant hole in the ground into which owners pour money. For a world-class horse like Rafalca, the expenses never end. You have to spend a hell of a lot of money to be able to claim a $77,000 tax deduction on your horse business.

      Here's the kicker. People never own just one horse like Rafalca. They normally own several -- because you never know when the one horse you own will go lame. And of course, Rafalca is getting on in years and will need to be replaced sooner or later. I'd imagine the Romney's own or co-own up to half a dozen of these expensive animals.

      BTW: I don't doubt that Ann Romney rides to help with her MS. A friend of mine took up riding for exactly that reason -- the horse is able to exercise muscles patients can't exercise on their own. But Ann can get whatever therapeutic benefits she receives on a $5,000 or $10,000 horse. She doesn't need a fabulous horse for that. Frankly, I'd be surprised if she ever climbs on Rafalca's back. She might. She might be an exceptionally talented amateur,  but I very much doubt she's good enough to be trusted on a highly trained dressage horse. Horses like Rafalca are trained to respond immediately to the faintest hint from a  world-class rider like Ebeling about what they're expected to do next. An amateur kicking at Rafalca's sides or yanking on her mouth would quickly ruin a highly trained horse, making it numb to the rider's requests and destroying the horse's competitive value.

      So I get the best of all possible worlds with this story about the Romney's Olympic horse. I get to follow the horse -- and I get to laugh at Romney's pretense that he's a tribune of the people while hiding behind his wife's skirts when the obvious question about the costs of this horse are raised.

  •  Rafalca=glue pot. n/t (0+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:31:29 PM PDT

    •  Ewww. (5+ / 0-)

      I don't like horses, yes, but I'm a treehugger. So the idea of that is kinda too much for me.  Rafalca didn't file the tax returns, after all. Rmoney did.

      Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

      by davidseth on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:34:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  No. He'll be sold (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Remediator, Hey338Too

      And if their past dealings are any indication, he'll be drugged to make him seem all happy and healthy for the transaction.

      •  My hope is that Rafalca bolts (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        radical simplicity, davidseth, JeffW

        from the airport and runs off into the English countryside.  

        She can hang out a bit and then some time later, join a band in Birmingham.  

        She's better off on her own, without Ann and Willard, those fussy nitwits.  

      •  First -its a Mare - so a She (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        davidseth, JeffW

        Secondly, at 15 years old she is at the end of her competitive career, so has little value as a future competitor. In addition, top level dressage horses work in partnership with their rider, and it usually takes at least a year for the partnership to develop.

        Being a mare, she can be used for breeding, but only for maybe two or three foals, and it is unlikely to make a fortune that way.

        So in this particular case - owning Rafalca was a hobby not a business. A business proposition would be buying 5 or 6 year olds, training them up to Grand Prix Level and then selling  them as they enter their peak competition years 10 to 15.

        •  um. wrong here. i learned pirouettes at the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blaneyboy, JeffW

          canter on a 27 yr old prix st george horse.

          15 is still relatively young for a dressage horse.  it takes YEARS to properly bring along a dressage grand prix horse.  this isn't done overnight.  the average is 7 yrs for the horse.

          the value of a former olympic horse is huge for those training upper level with aspirations of competing on the international level.  the "grand masters" can teach riders how to accomplish the higher level movements because they do NOT give those movements until the balance and aids are correct.

          buying a 5 or 6 yr old and training to grand prix means the horse would be... duh ... 11 - 12 yrs old to even REACH that level, but not sufficient to have a strong proven show career.

          plus, training a young horse has no guarantees that it will successfully succeed to grand prix level.

          how do i know this? i bought my horse from the woman now coaching the olympic dressage team - she bred (don't know if she still does), trains and shows international levels and in an olympic rated judge.  the horses she trained and sold were all for serious riders who wanted to learn the discipline and wanted to have a horse that could actually perform in the show ring.

          me? i bought sani because i adored the brilliant stallion that was his sire AND i wanted to learn how to do this.  i ran out of money for showing but i didn't care - i still am riding and learning and loving every minute.  my horse is now 25 and i'm 66 - and neither of us have any intention of stopping for the next 6-7 years.

          •  I think the facts are not on your side. (0+ / 0-)

            Of course you can continue to ride a dressage horse until it falls over, but the peak competition years between ten an 15 years old.

            Check out the horses in the current Olympics at the top of the scores and they are generally 10 to 12 years old - Uthopia, Desperados, Velagro etc.

            The world's most expensive dressage horse, Totilas born 2000.

            Also, your math is a little off. You don't start training a dressage horse at 5 or 6 but as soon as it is capable of being ridden. By the time it is 5 or 6 it will have 2 or 3 years training already and if it has talent it will start to  be evident,  and this is when a breeder/trainer operation will start to really up the training, and a horse with real potential will be at Grand Prix level at 9 or 10 years old.

            This is when its value will be the highest see Totilas

            •  jesus h. christ on a pogo stick! (0+ / 0-)
              Also, your math is a little off. You don't start training a dressage horse at 5 or 6 but as soon as it is capable of being ridden. By the time it is 5 or 6 it will have 2 or 3 years training already and if it has talent it will start to  be evident,  and this is when a breeder/trainer operation will start to really up the training, and a horse with real potential will be at Grand Prix level at 9 or 10 years old.
              training depends on the maturation of the horse - warmbloods mature much later than thoroughbreds, arab, quarter, etc.

              this is NOT a punch by the numbers activity.  EACH horse progresses at his/her own level and ability.

              my horse, at 4 1/2 - after only  30 days under saddle took second in every training class he was entered.  the judges were all international rated - since the show was one of the qualifiers for the pan am games.

              he came in second only to his brother, who had been under saddle for 60 days.

              a month later, the second round of qualifiers was held - sani won every training class and a fifth in first level.  he had been under saddle for two months only.

              the only markdowns were that he held his head "too high" for his level.  the catch was, if you dropped the reins, that was where he carried himself - something most riders struggle to achieve for years.

              yes, the training starts from the first backing, but the FEI has set age limits on when horses can compete.  the young horse is ineligible to show before 36 months of foaling date.  the horse cannot be shown at fourth level before 6 yrs old and grand prix before it is 7 yrs old.  

              No horse may compete in any under saddle class if it is under thirty-six months of age (of foaling date) at the time of competition. Horses competing at the Grand Prix Level must be at least 7 years of age and horses competing above Fourth Level must be at least 6 years of age; the horse’s age is to b
              your comment that one can continue to ride "until the horse falls over" is very offensive.  for your information, sir, dressage is the conditioning and training that KEEPS older horses from "falling over" - many compete into their late 20s and occasionally a 30 year old is out there kicking up his/her heels.  

              for the navicular horse, dressage is the BEST schooling, the same for ringbone, as it teaches the horse to shift his/her weight OFF the front feet and legs.  the training equally develops and balances the body to support the frame, keep the back from swaying and keeps the internal organs functioning better due to increased circulation, better digestion and better all round health.

              leaving a horse to stand in paddock untouched is the surest way to end up with an old, unhealthy horse... just like leaving a human to sit inactive as they age.

              that the horses in the olympics are younger has more to do with the immediate sale of those horses after they are "proven" - they are usually sold to people interested in riding at a higher level of expertise or those who wish to compete on the international circuit and have lost their own mounts.  

              dr. reiner klimke and his stallion, ahlerich competed in both the 84 and 88 olympics and took gold both times.  ahlerich was a two time gold medal winner with dr. klimke - and the good doctor never betrayed the loyalty of his horse by selling him because of those wins.

              now, the reason so many "young" horses are shown in the olympics is quite simple:  money.  once the horses are shown and do well, the dangle of gold is often too much for the riders to turn away due to the expense of this level of competition... thus, the next group of olympic horses are younger - being schooled and brought along to try to reach for gold.

              as much as i dislike anky von grunsven, she has held onto her own horse - who is 18.  she has ridden salerino twice in olympic competition - again, he is 18 yrs old.  your post below misses out on the age of salerino - again, 18.

              if you notice, the younger horses did not fare as well - lack of experience and ring time... and schooling to become solid competitors.  

              laura bechtolsheimer, the bronze winner, did so on an 17 yr old horse.

              dr klimke's famous two time gold medal winner in team and once in individual was show in 1984 and 1988 (when he was 16) - he was still travelling the world for years after that as an ambassador of the discipline.

          •  Just checked out the data. (0+ / 0-)

            Of the top ten individual dressage horses in yesterday's competition,only one was older than 15 years, which was Mistral Hojris, who was born in 1995, ridden by Laura Bechtolsheimer.

    •  Aw, c'mon. She could (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      FarWestGirl, JeffW

      probably make a good living teaching beginner dressage. That wouldn't get the tax advantage though.

      Only thing more infuriating than an ignorant man is one who tries to make others ignorant for his own gain. Crashing Vor

      by emmasnacker on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:26:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They declared the horse as an investment and (9+ / 0-)

    they regularly declare a loss on the "investment" due to the exorbitant costs of caring for it, housing it, hauling it around the world to fancy horse shows, etc.  The horse competes but it doesn't win anywhere near the money that it costs to keep it.  And as it's an "investment", they therefore get to take a tax deduction for it by declaring it at a "loss" each year.

    So our mistake-- we peons-- is not declaring our pets as "investments."  We need to declare our household pets as investments, hire them out for some pittance per year to show that our investments are indeed bringing in some kind of money, and then declare all the expenses related to feeding and caring for them.  Voila!! Now we can be assholes just like Mitt and Ann Romney!

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:33:38 PM PDT

  •  what you said (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, jessical, mama jo

    I'd like to see it spread around.

    This Rover crossed over.. Willie Nelson, written by Dorothy Fields

    by Karl Rover on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:35:35 PM PDT

  •  hundreds of thousands of dressage riders would (8+ / 0-)

    be thrilled to death with that 'defeat'

    and sigh, yes, it is at least as athletic as pole vaulting. it takes about ten years of training developing muscle carrying strenght to achieve that level. by the end of the test the horse's strength is flagging and the ones who do maintain proper carriage all the way through are rewarded

    this is SO. TIRESOME. how about opening a book and learning about it, you prove your ignorance admirably in your first 5 paragraphs yet you feel qualified to opine

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:36:10 PM PDT

    •  Sorry you are offended. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gooserock, zane

      Are there really "hundreds of thousands of dressage riders"?

      Seriously. You don't like my opinion, fine. Want to complain about my ignorance? Take a number. That's how I see it. And I piaffe stand behind it.

      Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

      by davidseth on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:40:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  easily. nt (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, KayCeSF, misslegalbeagle

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:42:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  us organization membership (10+ / 0-)
        USDF Membership:

        304 Business Memberships
        20,177 Participating Memberships
        15,214 Group Member Organization Memberships
        129 Affiliated Group Member Organizations
        37 Intercollegiate/Interscholastic Member Organizations
        850 Recognized Competitions

        this is people who have paid a membership. there are many more who don't belong to the national organization. this is in the US, where the sport is unheard of compared to Europe. As you can tell - by the results of today's competition!

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:45:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I think it is a fair point (11+ / 0-)

        Denigrating sports you don't understand seems a tiresome  rightwingish thing to do. As a long time soccer fan (yes even to NASL days!) I get tired of it.     Frankly dressage might be cheaper than an Olympic 49er campaign.
        So, boat the Romneys and their obscene wealth and dishonesty all you like, but there's no need to disparage all the other riders.  Horsemanship is older than taxation, after all. Sailing, too

        Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

        by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:07:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't mind being tarred occasionally, (0+ / 0-)

          but as a futbol fan for years, I do take some umbrage at this:

          Denigrating sports you don't understand seems a tiresome  rightwingish thing to do.

          Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

          by davidseth on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:10:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That too is a fair point! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FarWestGirl, phonegery

            I do associate with the "that's unAmerican" attitude toward anything that isn't football, baseball, or basketball, but it is admittedly a low blow.  


            Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

            by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:39:16 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  or rather (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FarWestGirl, phonegery, edrie

              I do associate such comments. I personally try NOT to associate with such attitudes.  

              However I am considering petitioning the Olympic committee to add "foot in mouth" to the gymnastic roster. Of course I'll never get past Romney in the qualifiers

              Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

              by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:43:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  um, actually, i agree with mindful - the arrogance (5+ / 0-)

            of many around here as they lambast dressage and make completely erroneous false claims of abuse, ignorant statements from opinions that show a total lack of knowledge of the discipline is something we expect from the uneducated - right wingers.  it is disturbing to find it here.

            if you want to know something about the real driving force behind dressage, check out my favorite authors diary from last nite.  i think it is still on the community spotlight.

      •  Yes. 30 Years Ago I Was Browsing an Upscale (9+ / 0-)

        investment magazine and an advertisement caught my eye. It was about sailing yachts; at the economic high-water mark of the American middle class around 15 years earlier (late 60's) I was racing sailing dinghies and crewing on small cruising sail yachts, and shortly afterwards I worked a number of years for a yacht builder.

        The ad that caught my eye was for fiberglass yachts of 100 to 150 meters' length.

        That's half again longer than Old Ironsides.

        The really key word in the ad was "fiberglass." Cars, planes, yachts, houses for the rich are so often built to outlandish extremes when they're built custom -- one-off.

        Fiberglass boats, auto bodies or anything else is laid-up in molds. Molds are used because there's a big enough market for semi-mass production.

        So: 30 years ago, Reagan is President, unions are half again bigger than today, the working class is still holding more wealth than the super rich -- but already, there's so many people with so much wealth that there's a production-oriented industry for yachts bigger than all our national ships from the historic age of sail that rocket along in the late 20th century at 8 knots tops.

        Most of the money at the top today got there after then.

        That's why hippies have been whining since Beatles were still singing. It's very difficult to convey how rich the super rich are, or how much of our economy involves the "merely" rich.

        The bottom 90% of Americans can only muster half of total US consumer spending.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:07:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If laid end to end, or, rather, stem to stern, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Bob Duck

          there were 14 miles of yachts on order in 2005.

          According to ShowBoats International’s 2005 Global Order Book, the market for luxury yachts has tripled since 1997. This year’s 144-yacht increase in orders over 2004 is the same size as the entire global yacht market of 1992. This represents 14 miles of yachts currently under construction . . . . estimated $1.22 billion jump in the value of the industry’s new yacht construction.

          Democrats - We represent America!

          by phonegery on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:24:26 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  a morgan outisland - that was my dreamboat. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          forget the actual human who was with me to look at it.

          when i bought nimbus (my first pony), the debate was a sailboat or a horse.  well, the decision was easy - i didn't have to haul the horse four months out of the year!  (and, being kissed by a horse was MUCH better than being kissed by a sailboat!)

          one day, i'd still like to have that morgan... dreaming... dreaming... maybe i'd better get my butt in gear and start trying to sell some of my writing!

        •  Gooserock - there are thousands of middle class (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          eXtina, misslegalbeagle

          dressage riders and horse owners. While you have to be rich, or have a rich sponsor, to compete on an international level, there are hundreds of local dressage shows every weekend in the US where regular folks compete.

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 09:50:03 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  and her score was quite good! i'm waiting to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KayCeSF, eXtina

      see how she does in the freestyle.  i dont' understand why there are so many wishing ill on this horse and this rider.  

      i confess, eberling is not my favorite rider, but i'm pulling for both him and for rafalca to have a wonderful experience.  after all, how many people sitting behind the keyboards here could even get to the olympics with a plane ticket and a seat!

      extina, did you have a chance to check out my favorite authors diary?  it's on franz mairinger, tom roberts and erik herbermann - and it's all about the mental attitude of dressage.

      sadly, too many folks around here go for the cheap shot without having one iota about this extraordinary discipline.

      come on over and enjoy!  i quoted some really neat parts of their books!

      •  she didn't make the cutoff to the freestyle (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        which is sort of actually the point of this diary - without the diarist realizing it or conveying that.

        thanks for the headsup on your diary, I will have a look

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 05:32:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  that the british were in the 80s was astounding! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          granted, their rides warranted those scores - but the 80s are almost unheard of!

          the individuals will be interesting.  i wouldn't be surprised to see the brits come close to taking all three.  i'd love to see peters advance to the podium - he is a really awesome rider.

          should be interesting.  two friends from the barn flew over and have tickets - they keep facebooking pics from the venues.  how wonderful that they got to go!

          •  the brits really stepped to the plate this year (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            obviously they've always been good at horse sports but never particularly in dressage. they've really upped their game their (in the eventing dressage too) and I was really happy to see the Germans finally dethroned

            my barn owner is there too.

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 05:54:53 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  even better, to see anky dethroned. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              now the brits just have to push her down to the bottom of the scores.  same goes for kittel.

              •  yeah, her star has really fallen :-) (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                what happened with those abuse pictures of kittel they were investigating, any idea?

                "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

                by eXtina on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 06:08:38 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  the fei representatives said they have stewards (0+ / 0-)

                  watching closely.  it isn't illegal (but should be) to do this for a few minutes then stop.  what the pictures HAVE done is spill over into the international media - and onto kittel's facebook page where he tried to defend it.

                  i am totally convinced that continuing international pressure and local pressure on these riders will force them to end the practice.  woe to the one who does this at a show where i'm attending.  i have NO problem with direct confrontation and then reporting anyone who does this - ever.

                  from nbc, there's this story... "abuse claim dogs swedish rider..."

                  WHEN enough pressure is applied, the riders will meet with enough hostility on the show circuit that they will be unlikely to continue.  i am quite sure the negativity that faced kittlel affected his schooling, if not his ride.

                  let's keep up the pressure on both the governing bodies AND the riders to stop that ugly practice.

  •  why is this horse an investment? (6+ / 0-)

    Seems like a hobby to  me. And hobbies are not a deduction. Tax fraud? I just don't know.

    (By the way, in the diary, you confuse "tax deduction" with "tax credit" - you should correct for that.)

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    by TX Dem 50 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:39:02 PM PDT

  •  I'd be sitting pretty if pet bills got tax credits (6+ / 0-)

    I've easily had a couple of thousand in vet bills alone over the last year, without even touching on every day expenses like heartworm and flea meds, and food.

    •  DrEB - if you dog was a show dog (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidseth, FarWestGirl, edrie

      and was shown at the top shows in the US and you bought, trained, showed and sold dogs you would have a similar business to Ann and her two friends and would be able to take a deduction. However, all deductions of this type are "passive" and cannot shelter W2 or 1099 income.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:56:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  me too (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      edrie, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

      My old dog was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.  X-rays, cardiology work ups, blood work daily meds.  She responded fabulously only to contract lung cancer.  Man. Can't treat that one but she is a freaking tank.  She is doing well enough a year after she was supposed to be dead our vet jumped up and down for joy and ran a couple of complimentary tests to see what's going on (she's a veterinary cardiology researcher also so it is an academic work for her). Still I am always surprised when she greets me at the door.   She is looking great for a dead dog!

      Courtesy Kos. Trying to call on the better angels of our nature.

      by Mindful Nature on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:26:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I had a Bishon who was diagnosed with (0+ / 0-)

        congestive heart failure, at age 12, which made everyone in the house despondent. However, the dog lived a happy and very active life for another two years. He suffered a heart attack about a week before he passed away that really took the life out of him, at age 14, and then quietly slipped away over the next seven days.  

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:50:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  mr tee slipped into heart failure - the diabetes (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN

          probably brought it on - i still know exactly when he had his first heart episode - i'm sure it was a mild attack.  he recovered enough to spend the next month with me - but he went from very active to very old within that month.  i am so grateful for that month.  i was able to stay at home with him and just spend the time by his side - slept by him at night.  it was peaceful, including the heart attack that took him within just a few minutes - in my arms, of course.

  •  Remember the "Welfare Cadillac"? (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, mama jo, JeffW, Remediator, zane

    Romney has a Welfare Horse - a taxpayer-subsidized frivolity.  I hope some silly hippies liberate Rafalca and leave behind an invoice for back taxes.

    Conservatives only want Small Government because it's cheaper to corrupt.

    by Troubadour on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:44:14 PM PDT

  •  Are show dogs also tax deductible? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, JeffW, eXtina, Mindful Nature

    A quick google--without looking at it that closely--
    it looks as if they might be. people's expensive, highly-bred exclusive-type dogs:
    an Investment, and a tax deduction.

    Everyone else's mutt:  yer pet.

    Yeh.  The tax laws need looked at.

    •  Yes they are (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      davidseth, mama jo, VClib, FarWestGirl, edrie

      The costs of showing, including a handler (unless the owners shows the dog), travel, food, grooming, etc. etc. are all deductible expenses, deductible against any money earned by selling puppies/stud fees, etc. All on a Sch. C (business income/expense). Horses may be on Sch. F (Farm income/expense)

      However, because of the tax rules, if you don't earn money (rather than having expenses higher than income) to cover those expenses for enough years, it can reclassed as a hobby, which means the income goes in the "miscellaneous income" on the front of the 1040 and the expenses are included on the Sch. A (up to the amount of the income). If you don't have enough to include on the Sch. A to meet the requirements (more than standard deductions), you don't get to deduct the expenses.

      I reject your reality and substitute my own - Adam Savage

      by woolibaar on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:06:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Wouldn't that seem to be the case (0+ / 0-)

        for the Romney's horse?
        I'm not sure of the details here, but from what I've read,
        their Rafalca seems to fall under the "Hobby" category,
        i.e., not a big earner.
        How is it possible that they're still using him
        as a deduction?
        [or maybe dressage horses are a whole different thing.]

        •  not hobby. buying, training and selling dressage (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          VClib, mama jo

          horses - and if one makes it to the olympics, the value of that horse rises exponentially.

          compare purchasing and restoring antique cars.  the profit made after restoring and selling can be offset by the money put into the restoration IF this is a business and not a hobby.

          that the partnership invests in many horses to buy and sell, part of the value of the horses trained is their show experience and scores.  

          it really isn't that difficult.  it is just some around here want to make a faux issue of it and use this as a fake reason for OUTRAGE!!!!!!!

          •  but...why? (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not trying to be a PITA here,
            but seriously---what is the value of this dressage thing?
            A couple of minutes in an arena?

            An antique car might be driven, and actually put to use,
            but what is the value of a highly-trained horse,
            [and i'm not even going to go into the rationale of horses...
            in the olympics, which we all think of as Human sport],

            other than as a Hobby for someone with a lot of money?

            If there is a true value to dressage horses--
            other than a rich people's hobby--
            I'm not seeing it.  

            •  you really are not understanding what dressage (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              misslegalbeagle, jessical

              is all about.  it isn't about six minutes in the ring - it is about the decades of learning HOW to do this - 7 yrs for the horse, 12 years for the rider.  dressage is about the daily practice and development of those skills - skills which take a spiritual grounding to accomplish.  i really recommend you go read last nite's diary for a better understanding of this art of riding and the comments made by the three authors about how it is about letting go of arrogance, anger, envy, ego, attitude.  

              i'm not rich.  i ride dressage.  why? because i LOVE the interaction with the horse.  because it keeps me physically able to work and work after major back issues (the first having nothing to do with horses).  because i prefer this to going to restaurants, watching teevee, going to movies, playing cards, playing golf, going to fitness clubs, jogging, playing tennis, doing OTHER things that OTHER people do for entertainment in their lives.

              do you condemn my choice of adding quality to my life and health?

              why do so many question this.  it is erroneous to assume that it is JUST something "rich" people do.  that is completely false.

              there is such an "anti-elitist" snobbery going on around here of late that it is even carrying over into something that is really a personal choice.  it harms no one - takes nothing away from ANY other person if i and others choose to devote our free time to learning the most classically pure form of riding (it is as close to bareback as one gets).

              i really don't get all this slamming of dressage and those of us who ride the discipline.  and, yes, when you make snide comments denigrating dressage, you aren't denigrating some rich person, you are denigrating me and all of us who ride this way.

              this hostility seems to be directly tied to the resentment of people who have money.  why?  i don't begrudge ANY person his or her wealth.  what i do expect is that those who have wealth pay their equal taxes.  nothing less, nothing more.

              with all this 99% stuff these days, the ugly side of the "class warfare" seems to be moving to our side where people show open hostility to what another person has, no matter how they obtained it.

              we really need to do some serious examination of how we look at everyone in this nation.  it is time to stop wasting energy resenting/envying people who are perceived to be "wealthy" and time to return to the real issues at hand.

              this ain't one of them.

              •  in spite of the previous (0+ / 0-)

                silly comment, supporters of the 99% movement don't resent wealthy people on the whole.
                We resent wealthy people who are using their money to legalize slave labor, and refuse to use that same money to put back into the system by paying their employees.

                I love horses and like learning about dressage, but the reality is that the Romenys have NO IDEA what it's like living paycheck to paycheck.  They have no idea what it's like to not be able to throw money away on a horse like Rafalca.

                What' you're reading is the resent toward Romenys' "Imma midddle class unemployed persun, too! hurr hurr!" attitude.

                •  actually, what i've been reading around these (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  rafalca diaries is a whole lot of resentment of people who ride dressage - the resentment stems from the fact it is inaccurately labelled as a "sport" of the "elite/wealthy".

                  resentment doesn't change the political landscape.  voting does.

                  we are faced with the biggest challenge to our nation since its inception.  i hear over and over how "occupy" isn't political - well, don't know how to break it to folks, EVERYTHING is political.  the wasted hostility toward a horse and a riding discipline is misplaced - the anger is over, as you appropriately put it - over the detachment of mitt romney from the rest of us.

                  instead of taking it out on the horse and those who ride this discipline (very FEW of us are "wealthy", btw), the focus SHOULD be on the lack of qualifications of this man for president.  AND, we should be working our respective horses' butts off to get the OTHER candidate elected to ensure that mitt doesn't get any where NEAR the white house.

                  instead, this site has been overrun with the wannabe humorists who are wastiing precious time before one of the most critical decisions this nation faces in perhaps its entire existence.

                  my anger is to see so many distortions, lies, misrepresentations, repetitions of debunked distorted statements (like the tax issue) that wastes time and space on this site that SHOULD be filled with strategies to get barack obama re-elected.  everytime someone starts to do that, another wild meta bs diary like this one appears - SHINY!!! SQUIRREL!!! SHIIIINNNNNNEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

                  and off to the races we go - myself getting sucked in because i cannot ABIDE deliberate or ignorant lies and distortions - on any topic.

                  IF the real story is about how the romney's don't know how to live from paycheck to paycheck - then let's talk about that.  the horse is a distraction and an unfortunate one.  i was pulling for eberling and rafalca to do as well as they possibly could.  they were representing ALL of us, not just the romneys.  while i don't like eberling's stlyle of riding, while he was there, i was pulling for him to do well BECAUSE it is the olympics and he was chosen and deserves support for that remarkable feat.

                  as for resenting wealthy people ... don't bother.  it doesn't hurt them but it sure hurts you and those who are distracted by that resentment and forget what the real prize for change is... (hint:  a democratic majority in the house, a supermajority in the senate and holding onto the white house so that something actually might get accomplished instead of blocked!)

                  it's time to get back to what is important - and, believe me, rafalca isn't.

          •  Not if she is 15 years old. (0+ / 0-)

            She is at the end of her career, and even having competed at the olympics her value is now declining.

            •  no, she is NOT at the end of the career. (0+ / 0-)

              are you not aware of the price olympic horses sell for?

              well, to show you how uninformed you are, let me enlighten you.  two of the british horses will sell for over $10 million pounds after the olympics.

              end of career?  puleese!  the information is out there if you bother to look for it.  why not do that before making statements that discredit everything you post.

              here is the link that is current as of... oh .... yesterday ... at 9:45pm.

              One or both horses are expected to be on the market shortly after the Games. The top scorers were the subject of multi-million pound offers from continental Europe after springing to prominence with European team golds in 2011. Carl Hester has a capital share in both – fifty-fifty with Roly Luard in Charlotte Dujardin’s Olympic record holder Valegro and initially a minority share in his own partner Uthopia.
              and the kicker paragraph about the worth of this level dressage horse is here (from same article):
              Matthias Rath’s abject failure to gel with super stallion Totilas – poached by Germany from Holland in 2010 for a rumoured £10 million – is unlikely to deter potential buyers.
              a little bit of knowledge goes a very long way - and, in this day and age, it is too easy to find that knowledge.  please stop making wild assumptions and stating them as "facts" that can so easily be disproven.
              •  See my other reply. (0+ / 0-)

                Only one of the top ten placed horses yesterday was over 15.

                The horses you are talking about are 10 and 12 years old, meaning that they, subject to injury or a bad rider, will be in thier prime for the 2016 Olympics and the intervening years.

                Rafalca would be 19 in 2016.

                Totilas  is 12 years old.

                And please try not to be so patronising. You are not the only person on this site with an ownership interest in a dressage horse.

                •  i realize you were getting the tail end of my (0+ / 0-)

                  frustration with these diaries.  while i disagree with you about the age of horses' shelf life, rafalca's value isn't just for the olympics.  there are the pan am games, the world cup, many top level competitions both in the us and in europe - and a horse with rafalca's experience is extremely valuable to a rider wanting to advance their own skills and scores for the next competition - AND for the olympics.  to learn on a dressage competitor while bringing along a younger horse is standard.  at this level, the riders don't have just one mount (in most cases).  they have an older horse to use for schooling that is 'proven" and the younger ones that are being groomed.

                  for the younger ones, it is totally unpredictable whether or not that horse can actually carry the rider all the way to the top.  many top trainers have a great prospect in lower levels that cannot perform at the hgher more demanding levels due to mental or physical reasons.  the rider won't know until the time comes and the horse is put into the test.

                  having the proven horse still gives the rider the ability to develop and hone his/her skills while grooming the next prospect.

                  the comment i am challenging you over is the statemnt you made that her career is "over" - that is far from true.  her career will continue well into her twenties - including showing at venues such as devon, del mar, pebble beach (IF they finally get the sand levels right) and elsewhere.    if you read the article i linked - you'll see that these horses are sold for people who want to compete on an international/national level - the olympics only happen every four years - but the competitions are non-stop.

                  my interest in this discipline is far more than simply having a dressage horse - it is also my keen interest into the discipline, its origins, its horses and riders and trainers.  i've spent months watching anne gribbons train and school her horses, train her instructors, train her students - 4 months, to be exact, while i recovered from bailing from a thoroughbred and cracking a vertebrae.  i've spent a great deal of time auditing many clinics, riding, riding a blind horse as well as sani, riding grand master school horses and it still isn't enough.  the learning never stops - ever.

                  i wish you well with your beautfiul one and i hope you have great joy from the time you share with him - that you find that moment of magic that makes you want, crave, more.  for some of us, it is a deeply personal experience - with no need to show.  been there, done that - it was fun - but that isn't why i ride dressage.  it is the magic between me and my horse that i seek.  for that reason alone do i ride.  

                  i don't even have pictures of us riding - never thought about it - wasn't important - what IS important is when i feel his back rise up underneath me - when i simply THINK "halt at C and i'll give you a cookie!" and when his shoulder hits C, he HALTS (then turns around for his cookie!)  i love what we do - i love the feeling of being a part of his spine and moving in perfect harmony with him.  that is why i do this.

                  to hear some of the ridiculous comments made around here lately - well, you caught the tail end of my annoyance, and for that, i apologize if i sounded patronizing.  when i had someone tell me that the horse is supposed to take the bit in his teeth and hold on - that's why cavesson nosebands are bad, or how abusive dressage is - well, perhaps you can see where i'm coming from.

                  is this your family riding that beautiful horse?  what part of deutchland?  how long have you had the horse? since he was a youngster?

                  •  Thanks for the gracious apology. (0+ / 0-)

                    MY point about Rafalca's  value was that horse who has the potential to be an Olympic or World champion will command a higher price than one who almost made it, but didn't.

                    That doesn't mean I think that she should be put out to pasture, but like last year's Nascar runner up, she will be a good training horse for an up and coming rider, but it is unlikely that her scores will improve over time, or that a young and upcoming rider would want to invest too  much time in training on her when in 2 to 4 years he will need to start over on a new mount. All of this will influence her market value, and if Romney is running a business, he missed the optimum time to cash out.

                    wrt to our horse - I don't ride myself - she is a 10 year old Hanoverian mare. My partner and her daughter ride her along with a friend of my partner who is doing most of the training.

                    WE bought her when she was 6, but lost 12 months due to a rotator cuff injury, so this season we are starting again straight in at L level.

                    Prior to that we had a huge Westfalische stallion, but he proved too much for the girls - then 12 and 13 - to handle.

                    Also have a straight Egyptian (from the Egyptian national stud)- which we use for jumping and dressage - only 6 years old so still a lot of work to do.

            •  okay - here is something rather than be irritated (0+ / 0-)

              by all these negative comments of late...


              this is seldom seen's retirement ceremony at 16 - back in 1997 before we started understanding better care makes even longer riding lives.  (chiropractic, massage, reiki, acupuncture plus better nutrition, etc.)

              type of horse that makes a dressage horse?  seldom seen was a connemara thoroughbred cross - a pony.  a pony who was repeatedly short listed for the olympics/pan am games/world cup/ etc.

              there is no such thing as a "dressage horse" - there are horses who are trained in dressage.

              enjoy.  especially at the end when seldom seen tries to eat the bouquet of flowers.

            •  from an fei competitor/trainer and usdf (0+ / 0-)

              rider, here are the ages that a dressage horse matures and is shown and he also explains the value of the 20 yr old dressage horse.

              his bona fides:

              Bill Solyntjes is a U.S. Dressage Federation (USDF) bronze, silver and gold medalist, a USDF "S" judge, "R" Sport Horse judge and has been recently invited to join the "L" faculty. He also chairs the USDF test writing committee and is a member of the Sport Horse committee. He has trained and shown several horses to Grand Prix. Based in Hamel, Minn., he operates Brandywine Farm, a dressage training and breeding facility that has produced many year-end award winners both in hand and under saddle.
              at what age are horses trained?  sani, after 30 days under saddle, came in second in all his tests (only behind his brother, who was started 30 days before him). one month later, at the second round of the trials for the pan am games, sani placed first in all his training level classes and fifth in a first level class.  he had only been ridden 60 days.

              training several levels above what is shown is the way to get an honest judgement of your horse's progress from top level judges.  and, as soylentes states, training doesn't mean learning one level, then going on to the next.  the movements are natural and when the horse and rider master them, it is natural to add components that will make up the movements of the next level.  when the horse is on the aids, round and moving forward (NOT running through the rider's hands, but actually moving off his hindquarters), then it is easy to ask the horse to do the next evolution of movement and easy for the horse to naturally do so.

              I also want to point out that professional trainers who are training equine elite athletes don't skip levels. Rather, they combine levels. When training a gifted horse, at age 5, they're showing First and Second Level. At age 6, they're showing Third and Fourth Level and at age 7, they're showing Prix St. Georges and Intermediaire I. At age 8, they show Intermediaire I and a little bit of Intermediaire II by the end of the year.

              When the horse is 9, they start to show at Grand Prix level. But this doesn't mean the horse is proficient at Grand Prix at that time. Rather, the horse's development is viewed as a process that takes years. The first year of Grand Prix they're just doing the movements. This means they're teaching their horses all the required movements for the test. The second year they're starting to perfect the movements and get more quality and consistency. Only then--at age 11--are they starting to get a smooth and dependable Grand Prix horse. If the Olympics happen to come three years later, the horse could be 14 before they even start to qualify for the first Olympics. Also, we would hope a horse has more than one opportunity to show at the Olympic level as they become more and more dependable and consistent in the process. By then, they could be 18 years old at their second Olympics.

              he has much more to say about the age of showing horses, how under 36 months is not allowed - at what age a horse can be shown fourth level and more.  if you truly are interested in dressage, read this article and many more.  articles by anne gribbons and many other top trainers offer excellent insight into successful schooling and riding.

              here is the crux of the article re old age...

              When these equine elite athletes are 20, they're starting to give back. They become our schoolmasters and may teach three amateurs how to ride at the upper level. They also may be a Young Rider horse, starting a young person on her or his career to become a professional trainer.
  •  Doubt ole Williard has ever dealt with a 1040 form (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, JeffW, Remediator

    Who cares what banks may fail in Yonkers. Long as you've got a kiss that conquers.

    by rasbobbo on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:50:59 PM PDT

  •  Damn -- $77K down the drain for US taxpayers (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Our little prancer didn't produce in the Olympics.  

    We taxpayers are already in for AT LEAST $77K on this loser.  How many years did Mitt and Ann take a tax credit on their horse?  If only there was a way to find about about Mitt's tax records ...

    Meanwhile, can we all claim Rafalca as a tax credit?

  •  Has anyone said (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, Remediator

    how much it cost to fly the horse to England?  I'll bet that will be a tax deduction next year.  These people are clueless.

    My social security, medicare and military retirement are EARNED benefits. The checks Paris Hilton and the Waltons receive while sitting around the pool are entitlements. Don't let the Republicans confuse you.

    by regis on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:57:05 PM PDT

    •  regis - the US Olympic Committee pays for the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Bob Duck

      transportation and care of the horses during the time they are in England.

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:53:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and they pay (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        just $400.00 a month maintenance for a weight lifter who has no sponsors?  That makes absolutely NO sense.

        My social security, medicare and military retirement are EARNED benefits. The checks Paris Hilton and the Waltons receive while sitting around the pool are entitlements. Don't let the Republicans confuse you.

        by regis on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:31:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  regis - how could the US compete in equestrian (0+ / 0-)

          events if the horses were not flown to England?

          "let's talk about that"

          by VClib on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 03:26:20 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  the Rmoney's are multi millionaires` (0+ / 0-)

            they can fly their horse over.  Instead of taking money from Olympians who really need it.

            My social security, medicare and military retirement are EARNED benefits. The checks Paris Hilton and the Waltons receive while sitting around the pool are entitlements. Don't let the Republicans confuse you.

            by regis on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 04:09:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well the Romney's are annual six figure supports (0+ / 0-)

              of the Olympic Committee so they probably more than covered the $6,000 round trip airfare as well as the boarding fees in England. But if you restrict Olympic equestrians to only those people who can afford to ship their horse to the Olympics you narrow the range of people who can actually try and compete for a place on the team. That would seem not be be in the Olympic spirit.  It wouldn't be fair for the USOC to pay for all the travel, room and board of all the other competitors and have a different policy for the horses.

              "let's talk about that"

              by VClib on Thu Aug 09, 2012 at 05:36:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  About $3K via KLM, ( the most common carrier) n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. The Druid

      by FarWestGirl on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:55:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit... (4+ / 0-)

    is an example of how a show horse can be involved in taxes... old Disney movie in which a young girl convinces her Madison Ave dad to have a company buy a horse which is named for the company's product ... starred Dean Jones

    It's the same thing as NASCAR cars covered with business decals ...and now horse racing jockeys get to rent out the space on their white jockey pants from advertising also ...

    There is another diary today which deals with Romney's religion and how it contributed to his sense of entitlement ... and it may be true of the Mormon religion that it makes men feel too entitled

    but Romney's real religion is MONEY ... and poor Rafalca is one of the proofs of it ....

    Give your heart a real workout! Love your enemies!

    by moonbatlulu on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 07:57:45 PM PDT

  •  Sorry if I'm whistling off the back (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidseth, zett

    porch here, but on the subject of horses, I think Alan Strang, in Equus, comes the closest to understanding their truest nature.

    His psychiatrist, Dr. Dysart, questions Alan on the nature of his interest in horses.  The horses Alan seems drawn to are not dressage horses at all.  Ostensibly they are horses of the modern world -- seen in streets or parks or stables, etc.

    But Dr. Dysart learns more as the play goes on, and Alan's horses predate Homer.

    If Ann and Rafalca happen to be getting you down, read Peter Shaffer's play, Equus.  IMO it's spellbinding.  

    •  saw the original on broadway with anthony (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      hopkins.  it was awesome.

      when richard burton took over, i couldn't bring myself to see him in the role.  was doing peter shaffer's makeup for a pbs thing and told him that - he arranged for me to have house seats (three rows back) to go see burton... but i STILL couldn't do it - gave the tickets to my downstairs neighbors.

      hopkins was brilliant!  i cannot imaging burton in that role.

      •  Burton did nicely. Aso saw Hopkins (0+ / 0-)

        as Dysart -- maybe we were at the same performance.  That was many moons ago now.  But what a performance all around.  

        In a couple later cast shakeups, I saw Anthony Perkins and Leonard Nimoy play Dysart -- both very well -- and Nimoy perhaps the best of the entire bunch.  

        •  i can see nimoy more than burton. i can't get (0+ / 0-)

          past burton as burton no matter what character he is supposed to be.

          new york? first season?  did you live in the city?  that is when i was working with small opera companies before i switched over strictly to ballet.  designed a ballet for gerry arpino and redid joffrey's petrouchka for the diaghilev festival with nureyev on broadway.  sigh - those were fun days!

          also was doing makeup (as permit worker since the union hadn't opened its doors for years) for the soaps, pbs and cbs - then started freelancing with cbs radio network news as a temp exec assistant to the vps to get the money to buy my dancers silk instead of polyester.  yes, i subsidized a whole bunch of baby ballerinas for a while.  heh.

          i would loved to see daniel radcliffe in the remake of equus - he has the ability to carry it off.  what a time in the city the 70s and 80s were, though... a virtual renaissance of art back then.

          sigh.... THANK you, ronnie reagan, for cutting the funding to the arts, may you rot in hell for it.

          •  New York. Now you've got me (0+ / 0-)

            hungry for Benny's Burritos.  I wish I could go there for lunch, but we live some many, many miles away these days.  

            I appreciate your misgivings about Richard Burton, but don't share them.  I think he was very good in the film version of Equus, and in Night of the Iguana, and even in the WWII adventure yarn Where Eagles Dare, with Clint Eastwood, of all people.  

            Your work in New York sounds terrific.  Petrouchka with Nureyev.  I am wildly envious.  

            •  don't be, nureyev was a first class JERK! (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              he was still the best dancer i ever saw EVER - but he was a total *sshole.  someday, i'll share some stories - not very nice ones.

              that said, i still flew to europe 4 times to see performances he did and productions he mounted.  when he, fonteyn, makarova and semour danced pas de quatre - since fonteyn was near retirement, the odds of ever seeing that grouping of greats onstage again - well, i bought a ticket to london!


              •  An artist, though. A very human one (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                in emotional zones, but a blazing artist on the stage.  

                The most recent good thing I've read about Nureyev is Colum McCann's novel Dancer.  Excellent read.  I have a feeling you would appreciate it.  


                In one passage, the reader is told that having Nureyev in close quarters was "like having a panther in the house."  The novel is rich in these sorts of observations.  

                His life has inspired a film or two -- though I think we are yet to see a definitive one.  It may be for a later generation.  

                •  thanks, i'll check it out. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  nureyev wasn't without cause for his bad behavior - from being followed by the soviets and with a contract out on his life (kruschev thought that if he succeeded in defecting, others would follow - they did), to being a magnet for completely crazy, obsessed fans (i'm talking lunatics, REAL lunatics), nureyev definitely had a reason to be paranoid.

                  the nastiness was something else, though,  i watched him hit a young dancer in the balls - a dancer carrying a small child on his shoulders while standing near the edge of the proscenium) because that dancer was in his way during a performance of petrouchka.  the kid STILL worshiped him.

                  many many more stories - person encounters where i ended up telling him off and ignoring him throughout the balance of the run (something he was unaccustomed to occurring and it drove him to distraction), how joffrey put him in his place to show how i was legitimately a part of that company - yep.  i've got stories.  still, i flew to euorpe to see his dance and caught every performance i could because he truly was the greatest onstage.  that emotional hurricane of emotions, when onstage, was mesmerizing.

                  working with him?  not so much.

  •  Regardless Of How Much Work Dressage Is..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    it is not run of the mill.  It's spendy.  It is considered elite in many respects.  Mitt doesn't need anything else elite hooked to his political tail.

    He's happy the horse didn't win this year.  Imagine the press if Rafalca had won.  

  •  Just a little story for perspective.... (7+ / 0-)

    For 25 years, we raised a bunch of kids and horses.  These were a family hobby and 4-H projects for the kids.  We had 11 acres of pasture, horse trailers, pick-up truck and SUV to haul them to horse shows all around the state. We never claimed any tax deductions for the feed, vet bills, farrier, tack, etc.  We both had good jobs to pay for this great activity for the kids. Now, my daughter has a horse farm with a 12 year old stallion ranked #8 in the country for his breed. She has 4 mares to show and also to breed... and a pony for the granddaughter. She trains, gives lessons, pays for all the vet bills, feed, transport, etc. and shows these horses regularly.  She also has a full-time job, so she declares this as a business.  Six horses and she claimed an $18,000 deduction last year.  This is no casual operation either... she does dressage, jumping, hunt seat and western on her horses and has won at the state, regional and national level.  So, I resent the Romneys taking such a huge tax break for their "investment", while so many others do all the work themselves instead of paying grooms and trainers - because they actually love horses the equestrian sports.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Tue Aug 07, 2012 at 08:30:37 PM PDT

  •  wow. reading some comments here i realize (0+ / 0-)

    i'm doin' it wrong!  i should just ask all these "experts" on dressage to tell me how to ride instead of actually getting on my horse, taking instruction, going to clinics, etc.

    heck.  i am so silly.

    here i thought that by going to excellent trainers that i could learn sumthin, when all i really had to do was come to the great orange!


    silly me!

    a whole BOATLOAD of experts all right here in front of their tellys and puter screens who know everything there is to know about classical riding - and i've been wasting my time actually listening to international riders and top rated trainers who ride and teach.

    i am SO mortified for being so stupid.

    heck ... maybe i should just shoot my horse now and save him from all this "abuse" folks tell me i'm doin to him.  i could then have him stuffed.  i could call him "trigger", just like roy's horse.  then i wouldn't need those "abusive" training methods (like sugar cubes and carrot cookies) and he wouldn't have to "suffer" any more.

  •  this diary is petty. it is ugly and green with (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ugly envy and petty.  

    this site is better than this garbage.

    enough, already!

    •  I'm sorry you dislike what I wrote. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      And I'm sorry you feel it was an attack of some kind on dressage or horses or people who are wealthy. It wasn't.  I thought it was a joke that there was a claim of a $77,000 tax benefit by Rmoney for this horse, and I was offended by that.  So I wrote what I thought was a humorous send up of that. If it didn't work as far as you're concerned, fine. Everybody is a critic, I guess. Forgive me if I don't agree with you.

      BTW I am not offended by your comment, that "this site is better than this garbage". Maybe I should be.

      Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

      by davidseth on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 04:33:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  do you know how many times on this site that (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        rumor of the $77k tax credit has been debunked in these so-called "dressage tax" diaries?  yours is the last in a very LONG line of them - that is why i reacted as i did.  at what point do we stop perpetuating a lie around here.  all of us, myself included, need to start checking the sources and accuracies of what we read before we become outraged and fly off at the handle.

        that lie over the tax credit that wasn't allowed has turned into a constant bashing of dressage, dressage riders, the rich, all the way down to bashing friggin' cavesson nosebands and bits!

        we have so much bigger fish to fry - like 90 days before the election, this issue isn't going to matter one whit as to whether romney wins or loses.  the average joe blow doesn't care.

        we have to be focusing in on what will keep this nation from being totally destroyed by the right wing with a major agenda - one so big that it is willing to put in place yet another puppet so they can pull the strings behind the scenes.  

        first reagan, then bush and now romney - all with the same characters with their hands up the back of the necks of these empty suits:  cheney, rumsfeld, kiissenger (yes, HE was on charlie rose tonite - that oughta scare the hell out of you!)

        less than 90 days to go and all over these boards all anyone can do is make fun of a horse and make snide remarks about a tax deduction that wasn't.

        if i yell FIRE!!!! at the top of my lungs, do you think anyone will look up and refocus?

        and, yes, i'm p*ssed off.  wouldn't you be?

        •  Evidently, I wouldn't be, but (0+ / 0-)

          thanks for the explanation of why what I wrote (as opposed to the long line of allegedly similar essays) was garbage.

          Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

          by davidseth on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 11:07:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It has got to suck (0+ / 0-)

 have a beloved activity be a convenient political target.  And once people start piling on in a diary, they have all the morality of hungry dogs.

          But y'know, equestrian sports are a long time target of the poor, from the times when the rich rode, the lower classes used horses for work, and the poor walked.   There's no way on earth this topic would be anything but a proxy for Mitt's wealth and MBA-style christian bidness evil.

          I get your anger (really, 9 times out of 10 I'm the asshole in diaries, going, "wait a minute!").  But I'd vote heavily for giving David a break here.  While he's gone off once or twice (who hasn't) he's one of the diarists with a good heart.  I would have stopped at one solid poke.  Unlike some on here, he's sure to get it on the first take.

          ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

          by jessical on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 11:47:44 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  did you read his last reply? what troubles me is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jessical, davidseth

            that people defend (not just david) the repeating of a lie - and that hurts our credibility in this tight political race.

            as for the many (um, i won't use the word of choice here) "posters" who have been laying into dressage - my problem with them is the same as with this diary:  learn something about the topic before you insert your foot in your mouth!

            feet aren't tasty - i know because i've done it a few times in my own live.

            the intolerance for any view that differs, despite the presentation of multiple outside reliable sources isn't just related to dressage around here.  i really don't understand how we have become a site that is more determined to defend "territory" of wrong assumptions than we are to learn and move forward.

            having such rigid positions is what the OTHER side does - it isn't where we are supposed to be starting.

            this is a larger issue than dressage - or a tax write-off - it has to do with critical thinking, the ability to acknowledge when we make a mistake and correct it, the ability to discuss issues and ideas and be open to modifying our own when presented with good sets of verifiable facts.

            sigh... perhaps i expect too much - especially 90 days before the election that could kill us all off finanacially and socially.

            •  yes but... (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              edrie, davidseth

              ... let ye has not thrown up their hands in overdramatic misery cast the first HR is my general policy, and I don't qualify :}

              sigh... perhaps i expect too much - especially 90 days before the election that could kill us all off financially and socially.
              made me laugh.  Yes, probably.  I don't know away around it.  It is akin to wandering straight from classrooms to rock throwing crowds and back again.  Damn internet :}

              ...j'ai découvert que tout le malheur des hommes vient d'une seule chose, qui est de ne savoir pas demeurer en repos dans une chambre.

              by jessical on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 02:09:56 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I'm dropping this. (0+ / 0-)

              There is evidently no chance in your mind  that you might be overreacting to what I wrote. Or that you might be giving me "credit" for what others said on this general topic.

              At any rate, I can see I'm not going to get the benefit of the doubt (if there is one) because I offended you. I already apologized (see comment in this thread above). I meant that. It was a conciliatory gesture because I believe in making peace. I guess you won't meet me half way on this. That's ok. That saddens me.  I'm sorry you didn't like what I wrote and that it offended you. There. I've said it yet again.

              Is there any chance that you could perceive why I might be offended by your comments about what I wrote in this thread?


              Please read and enjoy my novella, Tulum, available in soft cover and eBook formats.

              by davidseth on Wed Aug 08, 2012 at 03:03:50 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  david, i missed your apology - and it is readily (0+ / 0-)

                accepted if you'll accept mine for lashing out at you for the other non-stop diaries with subsequent outlandish comments and charges in the other diaries.  i know you didn't do that - and for coming at you with talons bared, i apologize.

                i'd just gotten into a protracted discussion with a young woman who kept twisting everything said into circular contradictory arguments - was driving me absolutely nuts until i decided to disengage.

                if you read the other diaries, my reaction might be a bit more understandable.  i'm now trying for what is the basic tenet of dressage - patience.  

                so, again, i apologize - but please do go look up and see why your diary hit a lot of buttons with me (and others who have horses).

                as someone living in ny city when i first started riding (claremont riding academy, 89th between amsterdam and columbus in a converted buiding that housed many horses on many floors), this isn't just a rural activity.

                the tax credit has repeatedly been explained ($49, not $77k, but that doesn't sound as glamourous) and the ridicule of a very old and difficult school of riding gets to be a bit over the top.

                even colbert took the time to go and actually TRY to ride - almost wetting his breeches when the horse spooked under him.  that look can't be faked - ever.  

                dressage is a discipline.  it is a discipline of the rider even more so than the horse - it takes inner balance, control over emotions and attitude and patience - loads of patience.

                mine, unfortunately, has been worn very thin with the stupidity of some of the comments on this topic over these last days - mostlly from non-riders screaming peta type accusations of ABUSE!!!!!!!

                so, by the time you wrote what you thought was a humorous take on all this, many of us who own horses, love them, work VERY hard to do what is right as riders and horse owners, well - we're pretty tired of mucking out the orange stall. we do that for our horses because we love the source.

                around here, not so much for some of those sources.

                okay - i'm out of here - lesson tomorrow - had the flu all week so i'm having sharon ride him while i watch and study and learn from the ground.  it takes as much concentration to "ride from the ground" as it does in the saddle.  and, it's gonna be bloody hot tomorrow.  ugh!


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