There is no doubt this is a special horse, but he also had a special trainer. Danish dressage trainer Bent Branderup met Hugin, a two-year-old Knabstrupper stallion, in 1988.
It was love at first sight.
In 1991, Hugin was named Premium Champion Stallion of the Year in Denmark.
Then the unthinkable happened. Hugin was injured in a breeding accident – he fractured both rear femurs and suffered a front splint bone.
The veterinarian recommended immediate euthanasia. Branderup said no. Instead, he worked for years on healing the stallion’s legs, slowly re-introducing dressage to stretch and strengthen them.
He made a complete recovery.
But there were more challenges ahead. In 1996, Hugin went blind in both eyes. Again, Branderup did not give up on this faithful mount. Instead, he rebuilt Hugin’s trust in a world he could no longer see, through dressage.
In 2013, Hugin couldn’t stand on three legs for a long time, so they found a creative way to trim his hooves. This is true dedication in the part of the owner and farrier.
You can feel the love this amazing trainer has for his horse.
Watch Hugin beautifully execute maneuvers at twenty-three in the following video, which shows the special relationship he had with Branderup. Be sure to have tissues handy.
After a long and loved life, Hugin passed away. At the Summer Academy 2015, Branderup revealed the lovely tribute he had made for this amazing stallion.
I recommend following the Academic Art of Riding by Bent Branderup on Facebook and, if you can, go to one of his clinics. He has a lot to teach.
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