Real Life Dressage: Training Advice from Novice to Grand Prix by Carl Hester and Polly Ellison
Model Number: 9781872119496
In Real Life Dressage Carl Hester shares his training methods and shows how they can be adapted to suit individual horses.
Surprisingly, all the horses featured in this book are horses who have problems. None of them is perfect – because in real life dressage the perfect horse doesn’t exist. ‘The aim of this book,’ Carl explains, ‘is not to describe ideal training scenarios but to look at what we can do, to the best of our ability, with the horses we have. Difficult horses can become good horses, as I have proved with Escapado; and it is important not to give up until you are absolutely sure that it’s not going to work.’
Assisted by co-writer Polly Ellison, he outlines his training regimes and favourite exercises, following some of his own horses up the levels to Grand Prix. As the training progresses Carl examines the problems that are commonly encountered, and explains how he and other riders might overcome them. As Carl says, ‘I have deliberately chosen horses with differing conformations and mental attitudes in order to illustrate the factors that need to be taken into account when training a horse to these levels.’
Carl’s training philosophy is very much on the lines of the German training system, the ‘Richtlinien’ or broad path, that German trainers use so successfully. ‘With each of my horses, no matter what type or temperament, the fundamental ground rules from the “scales of training” apply. In working up the levels to Grand Prix you will see that I regularly refer back to various aspects of the training scale, as I believe these ground rules should be applied constantly if you want to get the best out of your horse.’
‘If there is a glimmer of hope,’ says Carl, ‘it is worth persevering. It might take longer to get there, but if you, the rider, have the patience it may well still be possible – and this is just as true at the higher levels as it is at the lower ones.’