Blue Hors Matine: Poetry in Motion

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This video shows a horse and her rider as they dance — yes, dance — in front of thousands of people. When you watch this video, watch the rider .. how does he tell Matine what he wants her to do? He barely moves, yet he can communicate clearly with this 1200 pound animal, and the result is pure poetry in motion. It is so amazing to see the intense bond between this horse and rider, as if they read each other’s minds. It’s a rare person who ever enjoys such a strong bond with another living thing, be it another person or an animal. [6:30]

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About GrrlScientist

grrlscientist is the pseudonym of an evolutionary biologist and ornithologist who writes about evolution, ethology, and ecology, especially in birds. After earning a degree in microbiology (thesis focus: virology) and working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, she earned her PhD in zoology from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she studied the molecular correlates of testosterone and behaviour in white-crowned sparrows. She then worked a Chapman Postdoctoral Fellow at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, where she studied the speciation and distribution of lories and other parrots throughout the South Pacific Islands. A discarded scientist, she returned to her roots: writing. Formerly hosted by The Guardian (UK), she now writes about science for Forbes and for the non-profit think tank, the Evolution Institute and she writes podcasts for BirdNote Radio. An avid lifelong birder and aviculturist, she lives with a flock of songbirds and parrots somewhere in Germany.
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0 Responses to Blue Hors Matine: Poetry in Motion

  1. jea says:

    Matine is stunning–her passage is incredible. To have achieved that level of execution at age 9 is very rare indeed. I’m just sorry that she won’t be paired with Andreas H. any longer since he is leaving Blue Hors stud to begin his own business.

  2. peter says:

    truly impressive, though I sort of thought that the top hat and tails sort of conflicted with “voulez vous couchez avec moi” music (though I suppose it might help explain that bond you were talking about…(sorry, couldn’t resist…please forgive me…))

  3. Carol says:

    As a former horse person, I assure you this horse is not happy. The twisting tail is a glaring sign, as well as the ears flipping back and under at times. The frothing mouth is from resisting two bits, one usually a snaffle with a break, and one with a cinch mechanism under the chin. The rider has the horse “behind the bit” which the horse is fighting. He has taught the horse to fear the bits.
    Every time I see this I feel I must speak up for that horse, who deserves a few months on pasture duty.

  4. Beverly says:

    If you enjoyed that…you’d likely enjoy this one too; about a dog, not a horse:
    http://breathingeasy.wordpress.com/2008/03/15/dog-dance/
    It’s sweet…and that’s a HAPPY DOG!

  5. Susan says:

    To Peter-Grand Prix rides are always ridden with top hat and tails. It is very formal.
    To Carol from another “horse person.” This mare is most certainly a most happy horse. No one can get this kind of “dancing” by force from any horse. It you look closely, the tail swishing is not “tail-wringing” but is a marish response to every touch of the spur. My mare was the same. It you look at Matine’s walk and extended trot, where to leg aids are applied, her tail is quiet. Her ears are so relaxed in most of her movements, they can’t help but flop. She is just totally in tune with her rider. Mares ususally have larger ears, especially the warm-bloods. Sometimes her ears are pricked forward in interest.
    As for the foaming mouth, that is a sign of a wet, responsive mouth and is highly desireable. Dressage riders work carefully to achieve this and would be very concerned it the horse’s mouth stayed dry. Andreas has marvelous hands and the mare is certainly not afraid of his hands nor of the bits. It is highly likely she would do all of that in a simple snaffle bit, but the full bridle is part of the appropriate appointments for a Grand Prix competition and is useful for giving more finely tuned aids. Yes, the mare’s poll is not always the highest point, but much worse than she get highly rewarded in wins all of the time.

  6. Sep says:

    to carol a former horse person,
    there is no proper response to such a negative outlook on horses, riding, and people in gerneral. It lacks knowledge, empathy, and touches on envy. I don’t think I would like to be your friend.

  7. trish says:

    I’m very late with my commments. However, have had horses most of my life, never to that level…I am truly in awe of those two, what a partnership. As for the tail swishing, maybe not so desirable, but, I love it, I think it shows her individuality and she looks so SASSY, looks like she enjoys every second and I agree can’t get that from force…..I will miss them…

  8. Emma says:

    Just had to totally disagree with Carol’s comments about Matine not being happy. This is nonsense and ignorant.
    Some horses do swish their tails when working. It can denote tension, but I do not believe that to be the case here.
    Her ears are moving – but they are totally relaxed to the point of being floppy.
    And a horse should foam at the mouth when working. This actually proves the horse’s mouth has not been hardened by heavy-handed riding.
    I was fortunate enough to see this pair compete up close and it was phenomenal. Andreas is a fabulous and sympathetic trainer.

  9. Matine Fan says:

    I admire Carol’s good intentions but she is dead wrong.
    It would help her to take some horsemanship classes. Ray Hunt was the granddaddy of them all, RIP.

  10. eva denmark says:

    Just by the by: Matiné was injured in a fall in Las Vegas, and due to the damage done then she is now retired to the pasture and will be a brood mare.