Another laid back superstar in the making was Swedish rider Karin Persson’s Giuliano B (Bon Bavour x Mandilia), a six-year-old gelding whom was reserve champion at the National Championships at five and and won young horse classes at Devon. Karin is head trainer at Stonebridge Sport Horses in Bedford, NY.
“We say ‘ride like Charlotte’ at home a lot,” laughs Karin. She has owned the black gelding for two years and after Devon and Nationals planned an easier year at home to train. “He looks lazy but you can make him hot. He gets sometimes restless in barn but once you get on, he’s focused. He’s quite a character.”
“Put some of your rhythm into his sofa canter, you could be drinking wine up there with the rhythm he offers. Connect your legs to the hind legs. Medium canter and pat him, then calm it down and collect on a circle.” Riding the inside hind leg between front legs helps straightness even on circle.
While the horse’s flying changes were obedient, Carl addressed the lack of impulsion and jump with long side pony club gallops. “Make it like a game, less rigid, play with your horse,” he directed to everyone. “Off his back, reins forward, no hand, cluck, and let him go! I’ll catch you!”
To all the riders, Carl insisted on landing light instead of just stopping, he wants to see the reins move. Light reins, light landing. The start of collection is the half-halt. Carl worked on a short canter to a light walk back to canter.
“This horse has the ability to sit, and good balance in the canter so use it. Take and let go, until he’s light in the hand, this conditions a horse to collection. A lot of horses improve in canter.” At home, he noted they ride 75% in canter work, that gets the horses conditioned.
Carl noted how changes are beneficial to motivate this horse as he’s easy in the canter work, he enjoys it, and it gives him more to do but stressed to ride each change as an individual movement, as dressage riders tend to get over ambitious and many horses can get tense.
“You can see the future in the movement, he has Grand Prix written all over him, the mechanics, the temperament. a lovely walk that tracks up, a natural trot. He just needs sharper transitions to make this horse spectacular and animated.” Carl only cautioned increasing sensitivity but not at the expense of making the neck too short or the wrong shape.
He can’t balance himself with the neck too short and said to watch out for wrinkles at the base of the neck that meant resistance and hollowing. As a trainer to have Carl’s eyes on the ground was motivating advice at the right time for Karin. “His way is straightforward, not complicated but very detail oriented.”