Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dancing Horse

This post is really for my horse friends so please bear with me while I lapse into the equestrian world for a minute! Last week the UK's Charolette Dujadin became the first rider to hold Olympic, world, European and World Cup titles simultaneously with her horse Valegro. She won the World Cup Dressage competition for the second time with a score of 94.19% - just shy of beating her own world record. 

A few weeks before the competition, she was interviewed by the BBC (you can find it on YouTube) and she said that since the Olympics she’s been called the woman with the "dancing horse." 

It’s the perfect description of this amazing sport that is considered one of the hardest levels of athleticism for equestrians. These horses are super smart, well-trained and like to put on a show. They know they are performing and want it as much as their riders!

I’ve only attempted the most basic level of dressage and it is not easy. The rule in dressage is that the easier it looks the harder it is on the horse and rider. The horse I rode in Jackson, Dakota, could do the diagonal stepping across the arena (called piaffe). However, he could go right but not left. Just like humans, horses have a stronger side of the body! He could also do flying lead changes - in the video that's when it looks like the horse is skipping across the ring at a canter.

Thank you for indulging my horsiness for a moment!

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