He sets low

Trainer Charlie Carrel on course with E-Star ETC (Corrado I x Quick Star) a U.S. bred KWPN competing at Santa Fe Welcome, July 2018.

jumps in the pen to help the three-year- olds manage their feet. “I’m very care- ful to have every- thing set so that all their footfalls are controlled,” he explains. Completing the jumps in the oval, the horses are rewarded. When the youngsters jump, they experi- ence “release, effort, effort, cookie,” he

says. “I can do that with them when they are three-year-olds, and start jumping them [under saddle] in the middle of their four-year-old year.” Under saddle, he rides young horses outside. In new envi-

ronments, he says, “They look to you for your advice. Keep them forward and ride them on.” Charlie stresses ‘forward’ is key. He says he instills the lesson to listen to the leg and go forward from the leg. “They need to understand where they need to go from your leg to be successful and get a reward.” He agrees stopping does happen, typically due to the

rider. “The bottom line comes down to effectiveness of aids, rider’s body position and accuracy. Know the horse you have and where to place him,” he continues. “Nobody’s dead on accurate to every jump. If you have a

bad jump, the most important jump is the next jump. If you have an awkward distance, try like anything not to weaken and instead focus on giving your horse the best, most


confident ride you can give him to the next fence.” Charlie says the most challenging stopper is the one who

stops on the gathering stride. “When they’re gathering to load, then they just say, nope. As a rider, you know it takes a lot more energy to stop the jump. The horses that stop on the gathering stride, to me they tend to be the ones that are a lot tougher to fix. You need to have a good enough eye to see at least four strides out, so you can press a little bit all the way to the base.” In contrast, he talks about the horse who starts to stop

farther from the fence. The in-gate could be part of the prob- lem in this case. “The next time you trot into the ring, gallop all the way to the far end of the ring and make sure the horse is in front of your leg,” he advises. “Or if they are ones who stop from a long ways away, it could be more lack of rider support between the jumps. We all learn that, the better we get at show jumping, the hardest part is between the jumps. The jump is the fun part.” At the Grand Prix level, technical courses demand expert

riding. “The people who beat you are the ones who have complete control in the landing stride,” says Charlie. “All of a sudden it’s a triple bar and then a tight four down to a plank. Then, it’s the quicker you have to be on the back side of the fence to have your horse between your aids, balanced, in your hands, in front of your leg, and working off his hocks.” Going faster won’t cure a stopper. “Speed kills,” he warns.

“The horse starts to run flat, and his withers lower, the hocks aren’t underneath him, and they can’t push as well.” Charlie’s parting advice? “I like to get an active hind leg

and really get the horse boxed up [collected] with his hocks underneath him, then continue to ride him to the base and get a nice round jump with bascule that builds confidence. They are ‘in the box,’ I like to say. They are in your hand, between your legs, and you can feel that his hind leg is under your stirrup.”


Warmbloods Today 29

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