Teaching Eventers Dressage
Carl Hester is one of Britain’s most successful dressage riders and trainers. He first represented Britain at the 1990 WEG riding Rubelit von Unkenriff, then in 1992 rode Georgioni at the Olympic Games in Barcelona. He rode for Britain at the 1999 European Championships on Legal Democrat, and at the 2000 Sydney Olympics on Gullit. He rode at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games on Escapado – and was ruled out of the Beijing Team at the last minute when his horse, Lecantos was unable to compete at the final selection trial. Carl also made a name for himself as a coach for Eventing Riders – helping some of the most famous…
“I was team trainer in Atlanta for the New Zealanders. I did Mary King for a while. At one time I was having 18 – 20 to help at a Badminton, which was a killer. That’s not the way to do it. You turn up at an event and you get bombarded. Look, look, look, HELP! Over the years I have worked with a few of the better known eventers – it is always a challenge.”
So do you change a lot when you teach eventers from a ‘normal’ dressage rider?
“Actually I don’t. I think the main thing with event riders is the stabilizing of the outline. That is really what is lacking, consistency of outline. The next step is the suppleness, which is also lacking in lots of their horses. I think a lot of the eventers haven’t realised that the neck is the basis of the way a horse learns to balance himself, and that’s where you can unlock the tension. It was mainly a question of teaching the riders more about stretching exercises, and bending exercises.”