Five-time British Olympian and gold medalist Carl Hester doesn’t keep secrets about how he cares for, develops, and trains the horses in his care. He’s even got their daily routine posted on his website. And that’s lucky for us, because the man is a fountain of knowledge. He imparted some of his wisdom during his two-day October clinic at Caledon Equestrian Park in Palgrave, Ontario.
The way that we keep our horses is important. A lot of horses live out. They’re moving. Our vet used to say “the best way to keep a horse healthy is to keep him moving.” They are not supposed to stand still.
On young horses:
“Every day you build up. At seven and eight (years old), the horses should be getting to a level of self-carriage, where they really start to develop that as well as the movement.
We break our young horses to ride at three-and-a-half and we bring them in that autumn. Three-and-a-half is good enough to actually see how they’re going to move and what their temperaments are like. We don’t put shoes on them. If all goes well, and they are very well behaved, then we do about six weeks (of training). And then we turn them away and we bring them back into work again when they are four. If nothing has gone wrong, and everything goes right, (around the age of) nine or ten, you can expect them to reach Grand Prix around those ages, depending of course on their talent and on their natural ability.”
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