Five-Gait Winner: Respect Your Horse

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Five-Gait Winner: Respect Your Horse

Icelandic rider Magnús Skúlason, who won gold for Sweden in five-gait, traveled with thoughtfulness to Berlin. Had left home with the words of his old riding instructor Reynir Aðalsteinsson in mind, that the rider must always show respect for his horse.

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Magnús Skúlason on Hraunar frá Efri-Rauðalæk. Photo: Henk Peterse.

Only a few hours before the final in five-gait on Sunday morning, Magnús Skúlason remained relaxed: “It’s just business as usual,” he said.

Last winter he set the goal to win gold in five-gait and present a “perfect show.” His horse Hraunar frá Efri-Rauðalæk was fit and ready to go. The preparatory tournaments had all worked out well—the man had no worries.

What about the respect? Can the horse be truly respected in this scene of human ambition, I wondered.“I can always respect my horse by being with him, at any moment, as long as I have a true connection with him and give him no reason for misunderstanding,” Magnús responded.

Respect is extremely important to Magnús. The horse should be able to give its best—always together with him.

And Reynir?

“He’s here with us,” Magnús smiled. “I think he’s having fun watching us and seeing beautiful presentations.”

Magnús added that he had seen many of those, especially among the young riders demonstrating good riding.

Dagmar Trodler reports for Iceland Review from Berlin.