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Actuelle de Massa

Actuelle de Massa, the 'ugly duckling' turned 'little genius' is one of the rare dressage Grand Prix horses...
Actuelle de Massa

© Franck Marioton, Chloé Michotte

Actuelle de Massa by  Pastor, a Lusitanian stallion also a resident at Massa farm, is one of his only two foals. Her mother is Ofelia de la Font (Fusilador), a Lusitanian mare dear to  Anne-Sophie. She is now one of the rare Dressage Grand Prix horses and more specifically she is the horse that took Anne-Sophie Serre, to her first Young Horses World Championships in Ermelo, and her first World Cup last November at Equita Lyon. 

Where does your name come from?

Every year several foals are  born on the Massa farm. Actuelle was a name that my breeders chose for me. Now they think that this name is quite revealing of how significant the  discipline is turning out to be by welcoming Lusitanian horses as sports horses. I hope to become a model for the race by reaching the top level in dressage.

Where do you live? Can you describe your stables?

I live in a stable that is very bright and very airy, because it is a stable that is not completely closed and we can see outside. I like watching the foals that live in the meadows until weaning.

How do you get on with your stable mates?

The stable is divided  to ensure a calm life, as we live in a community. The stallions and geldings are on one side of the stables and the mares are gathered on the other side.

I am surrounded by mare-neighbours, my sister Venice is on my right and Dynasty is on my left.

We get along very well and take time for some chatter or  scratching each other through the bars so we can see each other. A real horse life!

What do you like most about your rider?

I like my rider to pamper  me. Before and after each work session, we have a  ritual. Anne-Sophie scratches me at the withers, under the mane and I like to scratch her shoulder, and her arm and lick her hand before she gives me  an apple. This is our moment of complicity.

What is your best skill?

My rider says of me that I am a “little genius”. We had a very good connection from the beginning. This is the reason why I  learn quickly and with great pleasure.

I also want to always do well. My rider only needs to ask  me to do something once and presto, it’s done! I like doing new exercises but mainly I like to please my rider 

What is your worst flaw? What is the worst mischief you got into?

At the beginning of my career, I was a little “ugly duckling”. I was a late bloomer in growth. . My neckline was not drawn correctly, I had  high legs and I was long in the back. But one day the little caterpillar metamorphosed into a butterfly 

I’ll give you a little secret: It took me a year to learn how to piaffe !

I did not understand what my riders wanted from me. Moving in diagonal pairs … I used to get in a muddle  it was terrible, … until the day when I finally clicked and managed to get good coordination as a true Lusitanian and acquired  the knowledge of a future Grand Prix horse!

When I turned 7 it was a true revelation  for my rider.

What is your guilty pleasure?

Apples !

I always get  an apple cut in pieces after each session, and I swallow it in two seconds. So now my rider gives me two apples so I have more  time to enjoy my treat.

What is your favourite colour?

Blue / white / red in  reference to the French flag.

Which dream would you like to come true in your life?

I am the mare who accompanies Anne-Sophie every time she enters a competition for the first time. So why not the Olympic Games? 

Beyond that, I dream that we have a long and beautiful career and a long retirement to enjoy life to the fullest.

What makes you feel the happiest?

Strangely, I love to piaffe !

I know at what time of the session you have to piaffe  and I do it with a lot of enthusiasm.

What do you dislike most in the world?

I do not like to stop. I don’t understand the purpose of this exercise… We stop when my rider goes up and when she goes down. In between , there is no logic to this exercise 

What has been your best memory?

Vierzon! I did compete the entire Championship (Grand Prix + Grand Prix Special) following the injury of Vistoso, observed the day before the start of the event.

After coming straight to the 3rd place in the Grand Prix (which was only the 2nd of my career), we took the start of my very first Grand Prix Special at the Pro Elite Championship. And if the Grand Prix had put us in trust, the Grand Prix Special was really the forerunner of the fluidity of the rehearsals that followed during the various competitions we took part in afterwards. I let myself be guided in total confidence on a route that I did not know at all. It was osmosis 

Which frame of mind are you in at the moment?

I am very serene. My daily  schedule at the moment is a small daily job with gymnastics and work on  flexibility, permeability and neckline.

Do you have a life motto you would like to share with us?

“To be is better than to have”. We are  both completely in the present . We do not know what tomorrow will be made of so we just live in the moment with a lot of serenity.

How can we keep up to date with your news?

Our Facebook page and on Instagram : Arnaud Anne Sophie Serre !

Discover other dressage horses: Quartz of Jazz or After You

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