• VOLUME 41 • © HORSES For LIFE™ Magazine
Bent Branderup – 2/12/09
HFL: You have a new DVD coming out, I understand?
Mr. Branderup: We just made one with high-speed take on movements of the horse with a lot of pictures. Normal film takes from 24 pictures a second and we are reaching now over 1,000 pictures a second.
HFL: That’s incredible.
Mr. Branderup: So we can go in and, for example, see quite perfectly what the tracking of the hooves is, so I have made a film, ‘What is a Clean Walk, What is a Clean Trot, and What is a Clean Canter?’, breaking it down into one-hundredth of a second, and then looking at when the track changes and why.
HFL: I think that is an amazing work, and, something that needed to be done, definitely. I think too often when we do see people that are trying to show us movement, they’re not showing us on horses that are properly trained and so you can’t take that as your baseline.
Mr. Branderup: I think the worst riding we ever got was when Anky van Grunsven won the Olympic Games with Bonfire. Walk was no walk at all. There was nothing of walk. And, okay, now the judges are able to see the pass (the movement) is different from walk, but at that time either the judges were incapable or they were corrupt, and the corruption of judges is, of course, a very bad thing to speak about, but something that should be mentioned. And if they are not able to see what the walk is, then we need to show them. But I think they have gotten better, so you can get nowhere with a bad walk nowadays anymore. But still not a tracking-up trot in the track that they are riding.
Mr. Branderup: It is because the hands of the rider are too heavy, so the hind leg is getting late and getting behind the rhythm. When you see a horse, a modern horse, ridden in the modern way, you will see that the hind leg is not parallel with the front leg. And if the hind leg is not parallel with the side and the front leg, then horse is not in track.
HFL: Absolutely. They don’t seem to believe in the purity of the movement, or the purity of the rhythm anymore in a lot of competitions.
Mr. Branderup: Just looking for and getting a showiness that is just spectacular.
HFL: Absolutely. Which is why it’s so important to have people like you that can show people that there is a different way. So I think it’s wonderful that you’re doing these DVDs. Are the DVDs done already or are you still working on them?
Mr. Branderup: Yes, one is already done. Now I have the statement about the walk, trot and canter. The next thing is, of course, to go into the exercises. We have made very good takes of the flying change to see that we can make a 100% free flying change. Most flying changes you see are pass changes, not canter changes at all. So the horses nowadays change with the inside hind leg and the inside front leg at the same moment. But the new inside hind leg should jump forward with the outside front leg to be in a canter. Otherwise, it’s a pass jump and not a canter jump.
HFL: I have never thought of it as that way before, but yes, you’re absolutely right, that what you could get is a half-pass jump type thing. Absolutely.
Mr. Branderup: So the flying change in canter with the new beat should not be the inside hind leg jumping forward with the inside front leg. It must
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