‘He started to dance’: miniature dressage stallion attracts global audience

  • A video of a miniature horse in training on long reins has gone viral on social media.

    The clip has been watched by more than 500,000 people and attracted thousands of likes, comments and shares.

    Spectacle of the Ark (Spectacle) is the pony featured in the clip.

    The four-year-old stallion was bred by Marianne Kloosterman and has been in training at Special Tiny Trotters in the Netherlands since November.

    The yard specialises in single pleasure driving and breeding miniature horses.

    “He’s really a happy horse and full of life!” Spectacle’s trainer Charlotte Van Gurp told H&H.

    “We have been teaching him the Spanish paso, which I learnt from Thamar Gotthjalpsen. She is one of the best instructors I know and together we have spent a few years training miniature horses in high dressage.

    “Every day Spectacle gave us more and more steps so we started asking him to do it in trot. He gave us big high movements and in the beginning his legs were everywhere and it was really funny.

    “But after a few weeks of training he got it — his balance improved and the carriage of his body went to his back legs.

    “With Spectacle it was like he was built like a little bodybuilder at first, but after a couple of weeks training he was progressing and he started to dance.

    “Every day he is improving but it takes time, patience and a lot of kisses and compliments.

    “He loves the work and comes out his stable every day with the Spanish walk, like, ‘Ok, I am ready!’”

    Charlotte trains Spectacle in a tennis court, which provides consistent ground all year round.

    While the majority of comments on the video of Spectacle were positive, some questioned the training techniques being used.

    A handful of Facebook users asked whether he was wearing weighted boots and others suggested he was being ‘strapped down’ with equipment.

    Spectacle was in fact just wearing bandages on his front legs.

    Charlotte added that he was not being forced into a certain carriage, but carrying himself freely.

    “Some horses are built to do certain things, just like some people are built to do or not do certain things,” she added.

    “Once you establish that it is natural, true training makes the horse responsible for their movements.

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    “You aren’t holding them there, you ask, and when you get the desired response, you give.

    “The horse catches on to what you are desiring from them and begins to move into self carriage.

    “We hope that the training of Spectacle will encourage more people around the world to start to train their miniature horses.

    “They are just as capable of doing dressage as bigger ones.”


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