Today I’m sharing a video from a time when watching top level Dressage was my passion, and not my horror. This particular video is extra fun, as it features two of the best of the time in a pas de deux (pair ride). If you have not tried this, or quadrille, believe me that it is challenging to do well! Yet, they do a lovely job without resorting to “manhandling” their horses.
The performers in question are Anne-Grethe Jensen riding Marzog and the late Dr Reiner Klimke on Ahlerich. Some of my favorite things about this video:
- The horses’ physiques – just look at the well filled, nicely arched necks (even at the moments of rest), and the strong rounded backs leading into gorgeous filled out butts – proof of good training, and a strong contrast to today’s all too common upside-down necks, hollow backs and underdeveloped haunches.
- The phenomenal ground covering extensions
- The truly cadenced passages, where the pause between strides comes from the sinking of the weight into each support phase, that elastically rebounds into the next stride – rather than today’s “hang time” hovering in the air, resulting from tension, not cadence
- The calm relaxation of these horses, even during a standing ovation
- Correct carriage throughout
I could go on and on … but I will let you enjoy for yourself.
I had the pleasure of seeing both pairs at the 1984 Olympics, along with Klaus Balkenhol. Those rides cemented my passion for Dressage, and gave me something I continue to aspire to. I hope you enjoyed.
Be good to your horses!