The Grand Prix Special was a fabulous class and like I wrote in my report, it feels like a new dawn of dressage has finally started. I’m so happy that the days of pulling are almost finally over. It has taken the judges years to finally see through all the flash, electricity and super spectacularly moving horses that inccorect training was at the basis of it. Now we see more and more horses that are beautifully ridden, soft in the hand and can be as impressive in their movement mechanism without a rider forcing them into learned helplessness. If you see riders like Langehanenberg, Vilhelmson, zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, Steffen Peters, and a new comer such as Laura Graves rewarded for their work it makes my heart flutter. Dujardin is also part of this new generation. Her contact may not be as light as the former five, and she certainly is riding on that Olympic halo points-wise, but there is no blue tongue nor a gaping mouth with her horse and harmony prevails over flash. I can only say bravo to the judges who have the guts to down score tense, mechanically moving horses and reward naturally swinging ones that are happy in their work. What a relief.
Astrid Appels: Yes We Can: For Whom the Bell Tolls (Eurodressage)

(Source: leavingtheplanet)

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