On June 13 approximately 50 fortunate F and I members and guests assembled at Carl Hester’s idyllic Gloucester base to feast our eyes and fuel our minds with Carl’s inspirational ways.
The morning started with Carl discussing his four year olds and then progressing through the ages and stages finishing up with Dances with Wolves – a horse which Carl is very excited about.
We were in store for an extra treat as double Olympic gold medallist Charlotte Dujardin was kindly showing some of the horses for us. Another young rider called “Sophie” was showing her talent and skills when riding the 7 year old Chocolate Orange.
Carl continually dropped in pearls of wisdom for us to soak up. A lot of the work at home is done in rising trot and a lot of leg yield is used. He stated that softness and submission was needed before riding forward. Create movement don’t buy it. A potential Grand Prix horse needs to have plenty of go as a youngster! His last gem was if you want them to stay sound keep them moving!
Throughout the morning Carl stressed his ethos with the horses, saying you will hear the same old thing , repeat and be consistent.
The horses work four times a week with plenty of hacking and daily turn out, often at night and together! It became very clear that Carl is not only an outstanding trainer but a man of true values, always putting his horses wellbeing before anything else, going to great lengths to make sure that they are being trained in a positive, happy environment.
Carl was outstandingly generous sharing his training methods and happily answering questions and later showing us around his splendid yard. He was always patient and amusing. Thank you Andrew for organising this splendid day which ran so smoothly, was such a success and a treat for us all.
Report by Caro Haynes