body. Rising trot, and allow the horse to swing through the back and be supple. At this stage, educate her in the right way so she gets

confident and strong—strong through her body. Touch her with your legs. Use your voice, now back to

trot. She has to learn when you ask, you get a reaction. Rebecca reflects:

Charlotte had us work on her overall balance, which is what I was really starting to address a little more. About self-carriage, I was becoming more and more aware of the forward hand. When you’re working with a horse that has just been started, you are helping them a little more. I was at the point to have hands fore, giving, so she could learn self-carriage. That’s something that Guenter [Siedel], Chris- tine [Traurig] and my husband David Blake help me with. Charlotte: A horse of this age doesn’t understand stretch- ing. This is the time to educate the horse how to stretch. Stretch her down more. Longer, longer reins. She worked hard. She now naturally wants to take her neck down and stretch. You see how she’s forward so the top part of her neck is really open, the base of the neck is lower, and behind you can see all the parts of the horse are moving. That’s a perfect example of a horse stretching. Rebecca reflects: Stretching has certainly gotten better.

“A horse of this age doesn’t understand stretching. Tis is the time to educate the horse how to stretch.”

FINAL THOUGHTS “It was more a good experience for my horse,” says Rebecca about her expressive KWPN mare. “She’s five and very green. It was her first time in the Equidome and in front of all those people.” “It was a good training experience as well,” she continues.

“Everything that Charlotte worked on with me at that time were the same as what my coaches Guenter Seidel and Chris- tine Traurig (USEF Young Horse Coach) were working on.” Rebecca‘s happy with how her youngster behaved.

“Iquem went through a stage, like most of them do,” she recalls. “She’s a Charmeur. They need hard work or a chal- lenge, then they will focus on that rather than entertain- ing themselves. Christine says she is like Serena Williams, so talented, so strong, such an athlete.” “The mare progressed very quickly,” Rebecca says. “Espe-

cially since the last horse show, one month before the master class [January 2018], I didn’t get off the longe line phase [she scratched all their classes]. She went from 0 to 100 in a few months.” “Charlotte does a super job. She’s entertaining, and she’s

wise beyond her years,” she adds. “She is a lovely horse with three super paces that are

easy and very loose and she’s naturally supple,” Charlotte said about Iquem. “She’s light and has a soft mouth.”

LEHUA CUSTER AND F.J. RAMZES Charlotte: Get your legs on him. Go forward, then back

again. When you go forward, make him accept your legs. Rather than getting quicker strides, think about opening up and getting more ground cover. Not more speed, but cover- ing ground. A horse for the Grand Prix has to sit and to push. Sit for

Top to Bottom: (1) Charlotte Dujar- din instructs Rebecca Rigdon to put her hands forward while trotting Iquem. (2) Rebecca is asking Iquem to keep the poll up in the canter. (3) Rebecca asks Iquem to take the neck down and stretch at the end of the class session.

the piaffe and pirouettes, or push for passage and extended trot. Now do a pirouette canter. Now collect. Now forward and out. See the reaction when you bring him back. Next time

Charlotte talked about the quickness of the hind legs, even through stretching. Don’t get lazy. It’s all along the same lines of Guenter and Christine. That’s what I love about Charlotte: It’s not new. It’s classical training, following the training scale and not cutting corners.

when you collect him be a little bit slower, and see if you keep his energy underneath you. Don’t let him stiffen—a little bit looser in his body. Think about pushing him sideways. It’s important that the horse doesn’t take over. Loose leg, looser leg. That’s it. Stay in control of those steps when they are collected. You don’t want the horse behind the leg. Think up and out. I want the poll to be the highest point with the nose in front of the vertical. Move your hands forward. Lehua reflects: Some of the main topics were how gaits

develop. Charlotte had me do a regular trot, then go into fancy trot. I thought that was nice to hear, because most of us don’t get to buy a ‘spider monkey’ (very fancy mover).

Warmbloods Today 33

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