Rudj Bellini is a magnificent Italian artist who mixes theater, dance, and music, of course, being on horseback. Here is a beautiful video with him and Brezo Aldara, his horse, doing a bit of dressage training for the internet public eyes.
Dressage is all about learning to work with your horse and help him achieve greater suppleness, flexibility, and obedience, enhance his natural movements and ability and improve his athleticism. Dressage is a tricky business. They say it takes two lifetimes for a rider to learn how to ride. It’s not only difficult for us riders, but it also takes a very special horse to make it all the way to Grand Prix. It usually takes around five years to train a horse to Grand Prix level, assuming that you don’t suffer any setbacks along the way. That’s how long it takes for the horse to develop the physical and mental strength that he needs to be able to perform the movements required at that level.
Dressage is probably the safest discipline in the sport of equestrian. You aren’t jumping over barriers, or over natural obstacles. But, all equestrian sports have a certain level of risk much higher than other sports due to the involvement of horses, which are sentient beings. So it takes a great rider to make it work because dressage riding is a complex process that requires effort, hard work, commitment, discipline, and dedication on the part of the rider.
Great dressage riders aren’t just born that way. The most successful and talented dressage riders spend a lot of time in the saddle. That time can be spent having coaching, practicing the movements that they find most challenging, or schooling their horse along the scales of training to build a firm foundation for the more advanced work that is to come. The best dressage riders are also humble enough to admit that they still have much to learn. They’re also curious, never missing an opportunity to learn from their peers.
Loving and respecting horses as magnificent, empathetic animals is what brings most riders into working and living with horses in the first place, and that’s a crucial thing to remember.