15.4.16

Learning from others: Brooksby Dressage with Charlotte Dujardin

So this happened!!! I don't have the words to explain how excited I was to be accompanying Lili (from Brooksby Dressage) to one of her regular Charlotte lessons! Even though we had to leave the yard before 8am (which meant I had to wake up before 6am to have Vallu done before we left) it was so worth it. Charlotte is everything you have imagined and read about online and is even better in real life. It was absolutely amazing to witness how Charlotte managed to make Lili and Fons look even better than they normally do.
The lesson started with Lili warming Fons up just doing trot and canter around the outdoor, whilst Charlotte and Lili caught up on how Fons had been since the last lesson. I did wonder at the start of how the lesson would go because there was so much going on. Dogs running around, the outdoor is next to the road, horse galloping around in the paddock next to the outdoor! Charlotte joked that Fons is find going to competitions relaxing when the lessons are this busy and that nothing should faze him! I don't think Vallu would have coped half as well as Fons did, he didn't do a single spook!
There was a lot of work that was all focused on getting the horse straighter, rounder and softer through the back whilst getting the rider quicker, braver and riding more accurately. One of the first exercises was to do shoulder-in on the 3/4 line towards the mirrors to gain straightness from the horse and more accuracy from the rider. If Lili didn't get exactly on the 3/4 line and didn't turn well enough from the corner Charlotte made her do it again! You can see how Charlotte wins everything because she is so accurate herself when riding that therefore she wants her pupils to be accurate too.
The rest of the lesson had lots more of lateral movements like half pass and travers. Everything was focused on getting the rider accurate and the horse soft and forward - sounds basic, but incredibly important! I had a great time, it was totally worth the 8 hour round trip and I am so inspired ♥︎ 
Smiles! :)

(For anyone interested: Lili wears the new Pikeur Helene jacket and Fons is wearing the Eskadron Platinum saddle pad and bandages and Horka overreach boots - all from Fur Feather Meds)

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