- Horse Training

Carl Hester: ‘Our legendary groom Alan Davies could also be stepping again, however I’m not…’

  • Carl Hester on why Glamourdale’s progress means he seems set to remain on prime of years to return, plus a big change for Carl’s yard in 2023

    You may suppose that 20 minutes is a really quick time to ship a presentation on what dressage is all about. However the Dressage Unwrapped masterclass on the London Worldwide Horse Present simply earlier than Christmas, which I used to be fortunate sufficient to be part of once more, made me realise that in that point you possibly can at the least ship a small portion of what’s occurring whenever you trip, at whichever stage of coaching you’re at, and convey what is sweet sufficient for that stage.

    With Dickie Waygood, Anne van Olst, Richard Davison and me every protecting totally different phases, we had been capable of present what to anticipate at every degree. The artwork of coaching horses is to know what is sweet for every stage. It was improbable to see Richard’s easy instruction on flying modifications, Dickie’s use of poles to enhance suppleness and accuracy, and Anne coaching Lottie Fry on Valegro’s “nephew” Nalegro, by Painted Black out of his full sister Jalegrofleur. It appears to me that the Van Olsts have bred a unending provide of sensible horses.

    The scales of coaching

    Lottie’s profitable freestyle on Glamourdale within the FEI World Cup qualifier at London was actually technically higher than their gold medal-winning efficiency 5 months in the past on the World Dressage Championships.

    Progress at this degree is about extra power and higher assortment, and their piaffe and pirouettes mirrored higher stability, with a typically extra uphill impression proven all through. Glamourdale seems set to be on the prime of the world for a few years to return, if all goes nicely.

    Winter coaching for all of us is geared in direction of transferring up in direction of the following degree. As any rider will let you know, straightness for a dressage horse is a lifetime’s work, and it’s one of many fundamentals to which we should listen.

    The scales of coaching, should you want a reminder, are rhythm, suppleness, contact, impulsion, straightness and assortment. These are the constructing blocks of dressage. All the time bear in mind to be happy with what your horse may give you for its stage of coaching.

    Thanks, Alan

    The actually large change for this yr at our yard is that Alan Davies is stepping again from his full-time work as groom for us. In addition to Charlotte Dujardin and I benefiting from his expertise over all these years, Alan has change into a well known character, a legend even, in his personal proper. This isn’t just for his excellent turnout abilities, and experience with regards to travelling our horses around the globe, however for his personal grooming vary, talks and demos throughout the nation, which have made him some of the recognisable faces on the planet of grooming. He and others have introduced the occupation to new ranges of recognition and equality.

    He went from hunt service to caring for worldwide showjumpers, to becoming a member of our workforce in 2011, simply as Valegro and Uthopia had been launching onto the worldwide stage. Then there’s his success exhibiting his miniature Shetlands and educating the now Princess of Wales to trip; the expertise Alan has collected over 30 years to change into a “super-groom” can by no means be missed.

    For the previous three Olympics, we’ve had medal success, so lacking a key member of that workforce goes to really feel very odd in 2023 and past. We hope that Alan will nonetheless advise and journey with our horses to exhibits in a part-time capability, however life on the yard goes to be very unusual with out his fixed presence.

    I do know I mentioned in my ebook Making it Occur that, as we’re of the identical classic, if Alan had been to retire it might imply I must, however simply to be clear, that isn’t about to occur.

    ● What would you prefer to see in masterclasses at large exhibits? Did you see Dressage Unwrapped? Tell us at hhletters@futurenet.com

    • This unique column will even be accessible in learn in Horse & Hound journal, on sale Thursday 12 January, 2023

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