Uta Graf and Dandelion

This is a rider that I quite like and feel is underrated on the International scene – although she certainly does all right for herself.  Admittedly, I would prefer to have the horse not drop behind the vertical as much as he does, but the overall feeling of this ride is something I would like to see more of.  Note that the horse is not drenched in sweat from a too aggressive warm-up.  He is not covered in foam from having his parotid glands squeezed too tight in hyperflexion (only one “tasteful” glob of foam, to show that his mouth is working as it should).  There is no gaping from too aggressive reins – in fact, the curb is rarely engaged at all.

As for the quality of movements – the half-pass (trot and canter) are nicely balanced and not sped through, reaching rather than pushing.  His passage gets hovery at times, but largely has its cadence from the sinking of the steps to the ground, as it should be.  This horse also knows how to sit – something rare these days.  Although not perfect, his pirouettes and piaffe show very nice flexion of all of the hind leg joints.

I also love that this horse covers ground in his extensions and mediums, maintaining pure gaits, where his forearm and hind cannon remain at or near parallel.  Lastly, watch the stretch in the extended walk – and, more importantly, the relaxed ease with which they return to collection.

This is her “up and coming” horse, not her more veteran Le Noir, so I hope to see them improve even more over time.  Enjoy!

Be good to your horses!


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