This is the best article that I have read in a long time. Each time I find a new piece of Charlotte’s story, I am more amazed. Sam Knight did a great job of explaining our sport and capturing its story.

Written by Sam Knight

The piaffe is probably the most demanding and exquisite movement in the Olympic sport of dressage.

A horse in piaffe defies what horses otherwise do. Instead of going anywhere, it jogs on the spot, three-quarters of a ton of moving muscle, feet rising and falling in the same four hoofprints like an animation in a flip book. Next week, in Rio de Janeiro, seven judges around an arena, known as a manège, will evaluate the piaffes of the four-day dressage competition. In addition to making sure that the horses don’t go forward or backward, or side to side, the judges will keep track of the number of steps (twelve to fifteen), their height (as high as the cannon bone on the foreleg; as high as the fetlock on the rear), and insure that they are not, in the somewhat baroque language of the sport, “unlevel.” Then they will score each piaffe out of ten.

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