Monday, January 7, 2013

Damon Hill: Better than Totilas?

Helen Langehanenberg and Damon Hill NRW, Germany’s top finishing partnership at the summer Olympics, won the German Masters World Cup Freestyle in November with the highest ever score for the pair internationally, 86.775%. Damon Hill is a Rubenstein X Donnerhall cross (like Riley!) and I really like his type.  In the young horse (five-year-old) competition his scores were  walk 9.2, trot 9.80, and canter 9.2.


  1. I certainly like him better than Totilas, but then again I'm not a huge fan, his gaits remind me of the big lick walkers, too much flash up the front with not enough behind.

    This guy is classy, plus he's chestnut :P not enough chestnut dressage horses out there in my opinion.

  2. Lovely, lovely. I like the way he goes better than Totilas--the last time I saw him. Amazing elevation in the piaffe and passage and best of all, very little tendency to go behind the vertical. He is nicely "open" in front and very correct.

    Keep waiting for the big showdowns with all the top horses in one place again. It will be some battle.

  3. I like this horse much more than Totilas. While Totilas is probably flashier this horse is just so correct. Thanks for sharing!

  4. The passage was amazing...and then I saw the extended still my heart! What a joy to watch!

  5. His babies are nice, too. I am a big fan of chestnuts as well ;o)

  6. The use of the topline is what gets me with him vs. Totilas. Really, most of the current top horses. You see it in the head carriage - where the face isn't held in a specific position, as it "hangs" from the topline muscles and sometimes will come BTV and usually be in front just depending on what the current cues are which are happening. It demonstrates WHY a horse is supposed to be slightly in front of the vertical - when using the topline well the head naturally is suspended at a slightly in front of the vertical position. Damon Hill, Damon Jerome, Uthopia, Legolas, Valegro - these horses who are trained in a variety of methods with varying amounts of long and low, varying amounts of flexibility/softness work all have similarities in how they use their toplines which I find far more pleasing to the eye than horses who are cranked into a position. They have varied amounts of engagement, overstep, ability in collection, etc. But they're all a pleasure to watch for me, whereas watching Totilas always just made me tighten up my body while watching no matter how spectacular he was or how beautiful his transitions.

  7. Love the horse, I'm not so in love with the rider though. He seems so stiff and rigid. Especially in his arms and upper body. The movements are supposed to be fluid and smooth and almost invisible. The horse is performing beautifully but the rider makes it look difficult. Maybe I'm crazy, lol. But it's just what I see.

    1. The rider is a female. Her seat is similar to Matthias Rath, so I can see what you mean about her stiff riding. Both being GER riders, perhaps it is the 'style' which they are taught.

      Damon Hill does not look like an easy horse to ride, seems quite hot. It appears she is constantly keeping him from anticipating the next step or keeping him from running off. So that could be why she 'looks' rigid.

      But then, I am not riding anywhere near her level nor do I ride Damon Hill so I may be wrong anyway. :-)


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