Catch up with Carl Hester
We were delighted to catch up with Nettex brand ambassador, Carl Hester at his busy yard this week.
You started with eventing. How did that, and the fact that you still train eventers, form your philosophy with horses?
Eventing gets horses fit and supple and differing work such as flatwork, jumping and cross country keeps them mentally agile as well. We keep our horses stimulated with lots of hacking and believe in turning them out in the field which keeps them moving rather than being stabled 24/7.
You don’t come from a moneyed background. Is this an advantage or disadvantage?
Both. The advantages of having money are obvious – you have the time to spend on riding, training and competing without the worries of having to work to support your riding career. Dressage doesn’t have the winning prize funds that showjumping does so you can’t expect to earn a living competing. The horses also take longer to produce to top level and partnerships with dressage horses are much more complex than that of jumping or event horses. So producing horses to sell also takes time. Not having a moneyed background can make you work harder to achieve success and also teaches you to appreciate everything. I can’t afford to buy a top horse – but I can afford to spend a modest amount on a young horse that I can then spend my time on to be another international prospect. If I sell a couple on the way then this helps finance keeping my staff and my facilities.
What’s your plan for the Europeans, will Nip Tuck go?
Yes provided that we are chosen for the team, it’s up to the selectors!
Yes – again if they think he’s good enough!
How often are the horses hacked out?
Twice a week. It gives them down time and the chance to be introduced to scary things. It’s a way of de-sensitising them. A big plastic bag blowing in the bushes by the road side helps them cope with seeing this sort of thing should it happen at a show. Also gives their legs a chance to work on different surfaces which helps harden up the ligaments and tendons. It’s good for all round fitness – mental and physical.
For hot horses, time out in the field makes them much more rideable. When riders come to me saying that their young horse is becoming unmanageable and they want me to help them get over training issues, the first thing I suggest is turning them out for long periods. Some horses just need to wind down by being in their natural habitat, grazing and moving around. So listen to your horse if you feel you have one that is a bit hot or sharp. They aren’t naughty – they just need managing.
Let’s talk Nettex. Why do you choose their products? Do you have any particular favourites?
We all want the very best for our horses and ponies, which is why I put my trust in Nettex. All of my young horses are fed joint supplements – not only do they help keep their mobility and suppleness into their older years – but with the wear and tear we place on competition horses it helps keep them sound with the more demanding work we put them through.
All the products have been tried and tested on my horses and extensive research and formulations have had the seal of approval from me and my team. The equine specialists at Nettex have combined the very latest technology and ingredients to create products that give outstanding performance. All products are researched, formulated and manufactured here in the UK giving every horse owner total reassurance that Nettex have their horse’s health and performance interests at heart.
Every horse deserves the best and helping them keep aching joints at bay, build strong hooves or calming their nerves is as relevant for a riding club horse as it is for an Olympic prospect. My experience as both a rider and trainer, working with horses of all ages, temperaments and ability has taught me that every horse needs a little help. I am proud to be a brand ambassador for Nettex.
If you need any more convincing, Try It for yourself! The Nettex Try It Club is all about giving you the opportunity to try Nettex products at half the price.