Olympic Dressage

When it’s time for Olympic Dressage… I’m glued to the screen. There is schwung in every step, graceful forward movement and prompt, smooth transitions. It takes my breath away. But the truth always comes out behind the scenes…

It’s often obvious which rider truly has a connection and good communication with their horse. The audience explodes with cheers and banners as the horse and rider exit the arena.

I see a robot. While the audience sees a super horse, the look in the horses eye tells me otherwise – so empty and frustrated! Mechanical…

Perhaps it was the third or fourth rider the camera men lingered on as they left the arena. Someone was fidgeting with her horse’s bridle. This horse, so „obedient“ or „perfect“ in the arena, freaked out. Flinging his or her head up to get away. This is just another example that a horse and rider trio can get to the Olympic level and still have issues with basic, daily routines and understanding. The horse is like a machine to train for the medal the rider wants to win. Other people deal with feeding, cleaning, and taking care of the horse, and the rider is there to hop on and boss the horse around. It was once again eye-opening to see this terrified horse go from robot-mode to not understood prey animal.

 

 

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