I’ll be quick. has been accused of tampering with the pictures of Akeem, and coloring his tongue blue in Photoshop. In response, they have released all the pictures they have from the open house event, in the original JPG, in their drop box. Follow this link:

( asks that if you download and send the pictures to the media or publish them, please let Epona know, because they would like to keep track of the story.)

Now, I know. 50 pictures. They could have all been tampered with. It doesn’t take that long to run 50 pictures through Photoshop. If you have to be sure that you can’t be accused of tampering with pictures, you should shoot in RAW, because then you will always be able to reset whatever has been done to the pictures. As it is, with a JPG, there is no way of knowing if they have indeed been tampered with.

I for one, trust that has not touched the pictures. It would be very unlike them to do something like that. But I can’t tell what the anonymous person who took the pictures might have done to them. It’s a JPG. You can never be sure.

What you CAN be sure off, is what is in the pictures. No matter the color of Akeem’s tongue, no hand should be pulling on a double bit like that. No matter the color, this horse is screaming and no one is listening.


I will point out though, that it is highly unlikely that these pictures has been through Photoshop and has had their blue color enhanced. Note the blue line on Andreas’ shirt. It is truly a professional who have run this through Photoshop, and managed to make the tongue blue, and not overexpose the blue line on the shirt.

Something else, you CAN be sure off, is that this is pretty much some of the most off-beat trot I have ever seen. This is not a well balanced, collected horse.


Abuse? I would say so, yes. And I don’t care if there are in fact wounds on Akeem’s sides, or what color his tongue is. These pictures speak for themselves, Photoshop or not. This is a horse in pain, desperately trying to avoid his rider’s hands and spurs. This is not what we should be happy to see in “one of the best riders in Denmark.”

And I know, everyone is out to get Andreas at the moment. He is even being accused of having cheated the owner of a horse for millions, in a sale, yet again. I have to admit, it is bothering me a little.

Not that I mind that the media is happy to take him down at the moment. He had it coming, he really did. Still, it takes focus away from the real issue.

This is the equestrian world. I challenge you to find a top rider who have not “trained” their horse like that, or cheated someone out of a few millions. Hell, I dare you to find a random girl at a local stable, who have not copied the professionals when she was training her own horse, and who have not somehow cheated someone out of a little money, one way or another. The scale is different, but Andreas is not the only one. Not by far.

I couldn’t care less who he screwed over in the sale of a horse. Especially not since he already did it once before and got caught. Trusting him to sell your horse after that, does seem a bit like stupidity from the owner’s side.

I do care though, that we keep focus here. I do care that we do NOT resort to personal threats to get our point across. And I care very much for what this should be about.

The horse.

The animal.

The helpless, voiceless, “sports prop.”


That is why I am here, that is why I keep writing posts like this. To give the horse a voice.

And not just Akeem. Every abused, misunderstood, forced, and tortured “athlete” out there.

Let us keep in mind, if Andreas was not rewarded by the judges for his riding, he would not do it. Andreas is not what is wrong with the sport. He is a symptom, not the illness.


About Starstone

-Owned by horses. Writer, Photographer, Director, Musician.
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6 Responses to Photoshop…?

  1. If it is photoshop it is really amazing.. 😉 Making the horse move in gaits never seen before..

  2. Nevilene says:

    This is horrific! Someone should stick a bit in his mouth and haul his chin in to his chest and keep it there for several minutes at a him. Maybe then he’ll get an idea of what his horse is going through. As for the judges, they should be ashamed of themselves for placing or giving good marks to people that ride like this.

  3. Christina Keppie says:

    I will just say, that the magazine in Denmark, Ridehesten also have a picture of Andreas riding and the horse has also the blue tongue there. That picture is taken by their own photograph and the magazine is normally very pro Helgstrand

  4. C says:

    Not only is this horse ridden way to hard on the bid but it is a sad excuse of a true dressage rider if you need to turn your horses tongue blue and yank his head back to make it look like he is being ridden “on the bid” when it is clearly visible that his hind legs are not under the back. The whole point of ridden a horse “on the bid” is to make its gait smother by creating a more pleasant ridding experience for the rider…that and the look. When the horse is truly “on the bid” his back is slightly arched up which creates a “rounder and smoother ride”. It is clearly visible in the second picture that this horse is not truly ridden on the bid meaning the rider has only accomplished to force the horse to round it’s not by overuse of the double bid. The horses back is not rounded and his hind quarters and not “ridden under” and are as a matter of fact high which is very likely due to the stiffness and restriction in the neck. To be a true dressage rider it takes a bit more then to create a “swan neck” look and a double bid.

    A european trained dressage rider who competed for years…until she got sick of all the abuse and moved to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina…Now I enjoy riding trails to watch wildlife.

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