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Carl Hester

Carl Hester Shares His Top Tips for Dressage

Olympian Carl Hester tells Horse&Rider his top tips for dressage success in the August 2012 issue...

There's no better expert on dressage than London 2012 gold medalist Carl Hester. His key to training horses is patience and consistency as well as incorporating a mix of schooling, hacking and jumping to keep the horse relaxed and focused.

1. Dressage is not just for competition. It is gymnastics for horses and all horses can benefit from it, as they are more likely to stay sound with a long, stretchy neck, soft body and easy movement.

2. When a horse is tired, he'll try to stretch down. Let him do it for a while, as it's something you want to encourage. To stretch your horse, lengthen the rein, lower your hand and massage his mouth with the bit by gently squeezing and releasing each rein. Stretch him regularly throughout your training sessions to relax him and reduce the risk of tension.

3. In canter always ride forward - imagine there's a big jump at the end of the long side that you're going to take on!

Want to ride like Carl? Read his top tips on everything from finding the right horse to training and stable management techniques in the August 2012 issue of Horse and Rider.

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