To be successful at the Three Day Event, (Dressage, Cross-country, Show Jumping) you needed to have one really big weapon in your arsenal. A good horse. Considering the two main horses I rode were Lemon, a palomino-Appaloosa cross that often lived up to his name, and Fun City, a Standardbred cross with feet the size of dinner platters, a heart of gold but a ‘fraidy cat disposition, was it any wonder I often crashed and burned the first day?
In dressage, you have to look good. The horse has to look good. Together, you have to look damn good. Try looking impressive on the equivalent of a Lemony bleach blonde.
Fun City was a big handsome bay, but I am short legged and we looked mismatched. Not to mention getting a horse with dinner platter feet to do a half pass without tripping over himself. Which he did, once. I could sympathize. Dressage wasn’t our forté. But the big boy could jump. In the arena, out in the fields, over picnic tables and parked cars… ahem.
(Me on the infamous "Lemon Drop")
Lemon could jump, but hated to work at all, resulting in me spending my riding time wondering when the sneak was going to duck a shoulder and plant me face first into a jump. And I’m sure having a horse heave a monumental sigh of boredom then a monumental blast of gas in the middle of the dressage competition didn’t impress the judges either.
But some people do it right. The video shows how the combination of great rider and great horse results in magic. The horse loves her work, without a doubt. This is Danish rider Andreas Helgstrand and his mount Blue Hors Matine. Try and ignore the commentators, who didn’t know when to shut up and just let us watch this horse practically dance to the music. (Video discovered courtesy of Donna G.)