Carrie Adams of Centrelines Dressage explains her outlook and philosophy on training harmonious partnerships. . .
About Centrelines Dressage
Centrelines Dressage, which is based in Collingham, near Newark, Notts, is headed by British Dressage Group 2 rider/ trainer Carrie Adams, a Kelly Marks Recommended Associate and BEF Evaluator with more than 30 years’ experience, who successfully combines a calm, non-confrontational dressage training system while developing each horse’s own athletic ability.
Helen Hulse, who has organised and run numerous mare gradings, as well as foal and youngstock shows, has a wealth of equine experience in producing and breeding sports horses having been on the organising committee of the BEF Young Horse evaluations.
Centrelines Dressage, which offers youngstock and dressage schoolmasters for sale, runs a variety of courses and clinics throughout the year, including test riding, physiotherapy treatment days and its own ‘Monday Club’ open to all.
For more information visit www.centrelines.com
Here at Centrelines, we take a holistic approach to training with the aim of following our philosophy of “combining the principles of Natural Horsemanship within a dressage training system based on communication, trust and mutual respect”. But what does this actually mean in real terms for horse and rider? Having trained a great number of combinations over the past 30 years, one thing has become increasingly obvious when it comes to helping to create harmonious partnerships: horses aren’t born understanding our language so we should try to understand theirs! To produce high-class competition dressage horses our aim is to ensure that their mental and physical well-being is also taken into consideration — we respect their true nature and work with this to create confident happy athletes.
As a trainer, my aim is to get a horse to willingly offer me their best work, so it’s vital to pay attention to every detail – as we always say, the magic’s in the mix!
I’ve been lucky enough to ride and train a number of talented horses of all breeds and types over the years, including my “horse of a lifetime” Tramore, an Irish TB by Arctic Slave, who although not perfectly bred for the job of a dressage star, proved to be a “super talented freak”.
“Arnie” started out with me eventing and went on to train to advanced level, earning his place at four national dressage championship classes in the same year and being long-listed for the British Young Rider Dressage European team before tragically fracturing his pedal bone. . . as they say, horses are great levellers, but looking back each one teaches you something about yourself!
Training with Stephen and Monty
I was lucky enough to meet and work with Stephen Clarke [international judge and president of Olympic ground jury London 2012] early on in my career – I was his first working pupil at the age of 18 and have continued to train with him on and off ever since — now we’re lucky that he comes to Centrelines on a regular basis for clinics. For me Stephen is a very positive trainer and has a real “can do” attitude towards training. He has a strong emphasis on the basics being correct, which I like, but then balances this with pushing combinations up the training ladder. He’s got razor sharp perception and instincts for what he’s looking at and is very quick at “getting” your horse, suggesting the perfect exercises to make the right improvements. He’s really on the money, plus we’re both the same star sign so it just works!
Our time spent with Monty Roberts, since taking a very challenging young horse to him for help in 1998 and also joining him on tour 5 years ago, has proved invaluable. The whole experience had a tremendous impact on us and I have studied and incorporated Monty’s concepts into my training system ever since.
The approach of two different trainers has been a revelation: Stephen makes me think like a rider, Monty makes me think like a horse! I also get enormous satisfaction from training pupils and clients. It’s very fulfilling witnessing your pupils enjoying progress and success within whatever their discipline is, feeling that you’ve played a part in it and that you’ve been able to help make a difference. I would describe my approach as calm, effective and positive – I’m sympathetic and a confidence giver, but determined and mutual respect is high on my agenda too – it’s a two-way street!
We also enjoy studying successful European bloodlines and breeding future dressage prospects, which means we often have some of our youngstock for sale, as well as more advanced schoolmasters – again it’s very satisfying to match up compatible combinations. Our first foal for this year has just been born.
One thing we never forget is that we all should be in this business for the love of horses.
There was a recent quote from Monty which perfectly sums up how the team at Centrelines feel: “For me, working hard on something I don’t care about is called stress; but working hard for something I love is called passion. I love working with the horses!”
• Forthcoming events
BD Northern Region Dressage clinic with Carrie Adams 25th May at Centrelines Dressage, Collingham, Newark, Notts.NG23 7PZ. Contact Heidi Hutchinson on 07967 446171 [email protected]
• Centrelines Monday Club 28th May at Centrelines Dressage, Collingham, Newark, Notts.NG23 7PZ. Contact Helen at centrelines Dressage on 07703936443 for more details www.centrelines.co.uk
• Jane Peberdy Test-Riding clinic 31st May at Arena UK. Contact Helen at Centrelines Dressage on 07703936443 for more details www.centrelines.co.uk