When Blue Hors Matine took to the World Equestrian Games arena in 2006, she performed one of the best dressage freestyles you'll ever see.
The crowd never knew what was coming. Blue Hors Matine, a Danish-bred mare, entered the World Equestrian Games arena with rider Andreas Helgstrand. The two began their dressage freestyle with the opening chords of the music, and then the magic began.
Dressage freestyles highlight how closely dressage resembles dancing with horses; in a dressage freestyle, horse and rider perform a dressage test set to music. The music is used to enhance the performance, and when the test is carefully choreographed and appropriate music is chosen, the effect can be amazing.
There aren't words to describe the test completed by Helgstrand and Blue Hors Matine; you simply have to watch it.
Are you feeling inspired and want to give dressage a try? It will be a while before you get to a level where you'll be performing dressage freestyles, but a dressage foundation can benefit horses and riders in any discipline. In learning dressage, you will learn how to move effectively communicate with your horse. Dressage focuses on deliberate movement in both horse and rider, and can be a great way to increase your horse's agility, self-control, and overall strength and balance.
If you'd like to get started in dressage, you don't have to rush out to buy a dressage saddle. Lower level dressage can be performed in just about any model saddle. Ride western? Don't worry - Western dressage is an emerging discipline which is quickly gaining in popularity. More important than getting the right tack is finding a great teacher who can properly teach you and your horse the basics of dressage.
As for Blue Hors Matine? She and Helgstrand won individual silver and bronze medals during the 2006 World Equestrian Games. Blue Hors Matine was retired in 2009. She broke her leg in a paddock accident and sadly had to be euthanized in 2010.