Looking at the best horses and riders

Commenting on some images of horses and riders of the CHIO Aachen 2017Commenting on some images of horses and riders of the CHIO Aachen 2017

The World Equestrian Festival, CHIO Aachen, 2017 took place from July 14th to 23rd.
Aachen is the best horse show in the world for myriad reasons, but in particular in Aachen we can see the best couples in the World in the olympic disciplines: show jumping, dressage, eventing.
Looking at these great champions it’s hardly to say who is the best; the results show a minimum difference in penalties, timing and scores of judges. This is because the technical and fitness level of horses and riders is very high.
Looking at the couples, at least the best thirty, we can clearly recognize the horse training principles, the basics of riding. Riding is only one, based on some classical but timeless principles. Simplicity is the key word.

For a well-coordinated, forward-going, agile, athletic horse, there are three main aspects to his training we need to consider. They are rhythm, balance and suppleness, without which it is not possible to achieve a good contact, impulsion, straightness and collection.
Rhythm refers to the pattern and regularity of the steps, which should cover equal distances and be of equal duration. It is not concerned with speed.
Balance refers to the ability to maintain a laterally and longitudinally balanced posture. Lateral balance is improved with equal bending in both directions which, in turn, will allow the rider to keep the horse straight. Longitudinal balance is improved by working on transitions both within and between the gaits. Suppleness is sometimes referred to as looseness or relaxation. It requires the muscles to be sufficiently conditioned and free from tension to allow the horse to cope both mentally and physically with the work required of him.
In order to obtain these three important qualities, we need time, patience, calm, wisdom: in others words we must be very good riders and horsemen.