This Gift is Priceless


Christmas really is about giving. I was so happy to give my 11 yr old god daughter Ruby an early birthday gift of a lesson on the one and only Valegro. – Carl Hester

Imagine being 11 years old and getting the chance to lesson on a horse like Valegro? Certainly not even within the realm of most people’s possibilities.

Years ago I had the chance to ride my trainer’s Prix St. Georges horse. It was an unbelievable treat. And I learned more in that 45 minutes than I’d thought possible. Imagine a horse that moves under your weight and bends around your leg. Effortlessly. A horse that taught me what a trot lengthening should feel like – something akin to being shot out of a cannon.

I’ve never ridden another horse with that level of training, but I hold that memory dear. How about you? Have you had the chance to ride a famous horse? Or one trained to a high level?

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One thought on “This Gift is Priceless

  1. I have never ridden a ”’famous” horse…but I have ridden a 4th level dressage horse. No, let me qualify that. I was taken for a short but memorable ride on a 4th Level horse. My friend’s Dutch Warmblood mare, Marquee, was beautifully trained. Push button? you bet. She invited me to ride Marquee. I climbed aboard and was marveling at how the dressage saddle fit me so well…I was still in the search for a saddle, and had never in my life sat in a dressage saddle before…and suddenly, Marquee was sidepassing at great speed across the arena.
    “What is she doing!!” I called out, almost in a panic.
    Oh, so helpfully, my friend…laughing helplessly, shouted back, “What did you ask her”? Well that’s no help at all, because I had no idea what I’d said to Marquee, but obviously it wasn’t a nice walk.

    When Miss Marquee understood that I was a total buffoon, she stopped and allowed me to get off. She could be a very opinionated mare, but she loved me, and was kind enough to not hold my error against me. My friend was still giggling when I led the mare back to the side. And to be honest, so was I. I bet it looked funny as hell. That’s when I learned how responsive and sensitive a horse can truly be, and how much I love a dressage saddle. I will never ride in anything else.

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