What….is it? It’s always one of the first questions non-horse people ask about dressage.
Comedian/journalist Stephen Colbert is back in the Olympic Dressage spotlight as the three-day eventing wrapped up in London on Tuesday.
This time Colbert went to former Olympian and current U.S. Olympic dressage coach Michael Barisone’s farm in New Jersey to learn more about dressage and to perhaps try to help Barisone make it more “mainstream.”:
Horse mosh pit everyone? Barisone shot it down, explaining dressage was meant to showcase the horse’s fluid movements. And I’m not sure how Barisone can keep a straight face throughout the interview, especially with Colbert’s chair dancing and ideas of an equine “Dirty Dancing.”
My favorite line from part one? “What are the origins of dressage? Did just, one day, some young horse say to his dad, ‘Dad, I don’t want to charge into battle…I just wanna dance!’?”
From part two started off explaining the different maneuvers of “Horse Ballet”–piaffing (“fancy prancing”) and passage (“horsey walking sideways”). Growing up with horses, it’s quite funny to listen to what someone who is extremely unfamiliar with horses might think of different things like the lunge whip and the parts of a saddle.
I was equally impressed with how well Colbert was seated in the dressage saddle–his legs were pretty much in line and he looked comf