Monday, 13 October 2014

Meeting some Olympians!

Recently, I went to Carl Hester's yard in Gloucestershire for a morning.
It was organised by Heather Moffett of Enlightened Equitation and the money we paid to go along was split between 2 charities which was nice.

When we arrived, we were welcomed through the gates by one of Carl's riders and drove past the arenas where Carl was riding one of his horses.

There was a pile of dogs fast asleep in the sunshine at the edge of the arena and they all came mooching over to greet us. What a motley assortment there were! From a Mastiff type to a one eyed Dachshund, a boxer, poodle, collie, terrier etc. 

Carl directed us towards the indoor arena where we bumped into the one and only VALEGRO just heading back to his stable.
Charlotte Dujardin was also there and said a quick good morning before carrying on with getting her next horse ready.

We watched a 3 hour demo showing the different horses from the youngest at 4 years old up to Carl's World Equestrian Games horse, Nip Tuck.

It was so interesting to see what they look for in a horse and how they work them. 
Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take photos or videos while they were riding but it was better really because we were listening and watching 'properly' rather than through a camera lens.

Carl's methods of training are excellent and the way he keeps his horses is exceptional. 
He really is an incredible person and has done so much for the sport.
He deserves every ounce of credit he gets and every medal he wins.

Some of his horses cost so little (much cheaper than my hairy scraggy nags!) and now they are at world level. It goes to show that anyone can buy a potential top horse, you just have to know how to train it!

Carl was really interesting to listen to, funny, inspiring and I was riveted!

After the ridden demo, he took us over to the stable yard where the farrier was busy shoeing.
As we walked round the corner, he said 'that little cob over there is Valegro' and there he was! The wonder horse himself! Double Olympic gold medal winner, World, European, British champion. Basically one of the most famous horses in the world right now.
He was so friendly and inquisitive, checking us all out. We got a pat and a photo with him and then went and said hello to the others on the yard including Carl's Olympic gold medal winning ride Uthopia.
There was also Leibling who is retired now and Dances with Wolves who was shoving us to get our attention while we were cooing over Valegro.
The other horses are up and coming and I shall be keeping my eyes out for them on the future.
Here's some more info on Carl's Horses

It was the most amazing morning and I am so lucky to have been given the opportunity to go. 
I still get all excited when I think about it!!


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