The New York Times is again carrying the Obama Campaign's water, running this piece about Ann Romney's riding.
As Ann Romney immersed herself in the elite world of riding over the last dozen years, she relied on Jan Ebeling as a trusted tutor and horse scout. In her, he found a deep-pocketed patron.
A German-born trainer and top-ranked equestrian, Mr. Ebeling was at ease with the wealthy women drawn to the sport of dressage, in which horses costing up to seven figures execute pirouettes and other dancelike moves for riders wearing tails and top hats.
H/T Jazz Shaw. Now I rode horses as a teen - had two of my own that I showed. I even rode dressage for a few years - so I am very familiar with the discipline. I also know that when you compete at a certain level you are bump into Olympic caliber riders. Heck I even gave one his very first riding lesson many, many years ago. I even took a few lessons from a former Olympic dressage rider - it was a cross discipline study for my horses (jumpers) and I.
I also worked my behind off to get those lessons. One of the things I did was to assist with a local riding for the handicapped program. That is where I learned, first hand, the amazing therapeutic effects riding could have on someone with cerebral palsy, paralysis or even MS - like Mrs. Romney. Horses give mobility to people in wheelchairs and work muscles that would otherwise remain dormant while in a wheelchair. Anyone who has ever worked around a riding for the handicapped program can tell you multiple stories like Emma Douglas'.
TALENTED horsewoman Emma Douglas has become a successful dressage rider - despite having being paralysed from the waist down.
The 25-year-old, from Inverness, has mastered trotting, cantering and even jumping on her Irish thoroughbred Murphy, after suffering serious injuries when she fell off a friend's horse five years ago.
One of my personal favorites was a young boy in our program with cerebral palsy. He was wheelchair bound except when he was on the horse. One day - after a couple of years of riding, he was able to jump in his lesson. The look of sheer joy that lit up his face was only outdone by the joy that lit up his mother's face.
Then there is the newer form of equine therapy that is used for people who suffer from drug addictions and autism. So for the NYTimes to turn Mrs. Romney's therapy into a political attack is simply sadistic.
Mr. Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was also drawn in. He chose the music that Mr. Ebeling has ridden to in competitions, from the movie “The Mission.” He also took up trail riding.
Quelle horror - you mean he took an interest in his wife's therapy? The cad.
In a recent conversation with Sean Hannity of Fox News not meant for broadcast but leaked to the Internet, Mr. Romney showed a familiarity with expensive, esoteric breeds, mentioning his wife’s Austrian Warmbloods and his own Missouri Fox Trotter — “like a quarter horse, but just a much better gait.”
And he choose to educate himself on the subject? Apparently the new standard at the NYTimes is to mock someone from their own editorial ignorance. Anyone who is has spent any amount of time in a barn, with a pitchfork will learn a thing or three about the creatures that they are cleaning up after. And anyone who has had horses, has picked up a pitchfork a time or two. Even my mother, who could not spend much time around our horses because of spinal injuries she suffered when I was younger, could tell you about the various breeds and their uses and which breed was best for which discipline.
Of course the thing that strikes me funniest, our here in the west, if the underlying implication that if you have horses, then you are obviously obscenely wealthy. The anecdote about the lawsuit over a lame horse (I'm sorry but anyone who is thinking about spending that kind of money on a horse and doesn't have it vet checked by their own vet is a complete and total moron) was a great example of that. Many people can and do have horses - yes even dressage and jumping horses - on a budget. Oh it can be a challenge, and you do make sacrifices in other areas, but it is doable.
No - this story (reprinted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for those who can't get into the NYT article because it is behind their paid firewall) is nothing more than the media doing the Obama campaign's dirty work. They know that they can not have their candidate put this out there - not when he has millions of his own. No....it can't credibly come from the campaign, so they had their willing accomplices in the media run it for them. That is going to be the tenor of this campaign until the bitter....and I do mean bitter...end. For the more that the Obama Campaign focuses on horses and dogs and contraceptives and Osama bin Laden instead of focusing on the ONLY issue that voters really care about, the more that the voters are going to turn away from him and toward the candidate who IS focusing on what the voters are concerned about.