Dressage vs. Stressage?

Dr Reiner Klimke on Ahlerich at the 1984 Olympics (victory lap here):

Edward Gal on Moorlands Totilas at the 2010 World Equestrian Games:

And, for the hell of it, the Andalusian who stole the crowd’s heart in Kentucky:

Published by Susanna Forrest

Writer Amazons of Paris, The Age of the Horse and If Wishes Were Horses.

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  1. The clip of the Andalusian is lovely. But OMG, that German commentator is infuriating – full of platitiudes and clichés about the Spanish and chauvinism about German warmbloods. I bet he calls women riders “Amazons”. Gaaah.

  2. Yes, I understood the odd word here and there and picked up the jist. Interesting piece of German vs Dutch dressage and Totilas’ sale here: http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/totilas-coveted-his-neighbor

    Karen and I were chatting and wondering, after watching an old video of an Akhal Teke competing in dressage at the Olympics, if dressage wouldn’t have a wider audience if there weren’t a greater array of breeds. In the olde days there were Lipizzaners, TBs, and I’ve heard of Arabs doing good tests. Bit different to the Warmblood parade. A commenter on Horse and Hound said she thought Grand Prix dressage had become “showing for warmbloods”. It’s hard for warmbloods to do something that a Spanish horse can do fairly naturally (just look at his neck carriage… though his canter pirouette is enormous).

    Mind you, then all the various nations and traditions would have to work out what good dressage was…

  3. I love this thread – and I also think that, like ballet, we know what good dressage is. It is a way of moving, a sense of freedom, lightness and power. Some horses have a few of those elements, some have more.

    Wouldn’t it be great if we did have more diversity in dressage horses? I remember a buckskin pony that had an extended trot which would have put many a bigger horse to shame…

    But it is the whole picture, innit?


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