I find it somewhat comforting to know that freakouts happen to horses in any level – including Grand Prix Dressage. I just stumbled upon this video, which shows rider Dinja Van Liere having serious difficulties with her horse, Hermes. I can’t find the exact details of this competition, but it’s clear Hermes wasn’t into it. Seems like he was spooked or very agitated, and completely unfocused.
To her credit, the rider did a great job with him. She kept cool, tried to ride it out and finally gave in, patted the boy and went out gracefully. I like her attitude a lot, and there’s a lot to learn from this video.