Do you remember “The Bucket List” with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman? I really enjoyed that movie and promptly created my own list after seeing it. Of course, many of my items include riding and travel. Fortunately, I was able to check one item off before even starting my list—riding in Wales. During college, I had the incredible experience of training there for two weeks, during which time I rode with British Eventing Olympian Mary King. She was fantastic—so personable and a fantastic instructor.
This month, we caught up with King’s fellow countryman, dressage Olympian, Carl Hester. In a candid one-on-one interview with freelance writer Rebecca Ashton, Hester talks about many things, including his life as a dressage star, riding young horses and bringing up riders, including gold-medal Olympian Charlotte Dujardin.
When asked about his Olympic Games experience in London, he was frank, saying, “Whatever a nervous breakdown felt like, I was having one. It was just horrific. I was just shattered, shocked, worried, so much resting on our shoulders. I can’t say it was an enjoyable time. Obviously, looking back now, it was amazing. I enjoy it now, but not then.” Read the full interview, which includes the sidebar “The Making of Charlotte” on p. 30.
In addition to Wales, I’ve always wanted to visit Ireland, Italy and now, France. In honor of the 2014 Alltech World Equestrian Games being held in Normandy, France, this August, we’re taking you to Saumur—France’s unofficial city of horses. Photojournalist Silke Rotterman gives us a first-hand look at the city she says can easily keep up with that of her hometown of Heidelberg, Germany.
Silke’s travels provided so much information about this horse-loving city. For instance, did you know that horses actually helped save Saumur from disaster during World War II? Find out how on p. 50.
Also in this issue is our DT Classic “The Secrets of the Half Halt” by Conrad Schumacher (p. 42). First published in June 1998, the article gives readers a step-by-step look at how to ride a proper half halt, clarifies the reasons for using it and explains why the proper execution of this aid is so important.
Additional reads include FEI judge Dr. Josef Knipp’s exercises and advice on the collected walk (p. 58), an exclusive story on the decision to add the Grand Prix to the 2015 Pan American Games in Brazil (p. 46) and tips and tricks from top trainers for better barn keeping in “Small Conveniences” on p. 62.
It’s a full issue. From perfecting a movement to traveling the world, perhaps you can find something that can be added to your bucket list.
Until next time …