This week I’m chatting with another exciting young British international dressage rider, Charlotte Lutener. Charlotte was selected to make her international debut for Team GB in 2020 at Keysoe CDI as a Young Rider and based on her performance there and subsequent performances, we are certain that Charlotte and her wonderful horses will enjoy great success both individually and for Team GB in the coming years. Read on to discover more about Charlotte’s journey so far.
Tell us a little about you and your horses
I am 20 years old and am currently training and competing my two dressage horses Florence (Full Fusion BS) and Bertie (AB Barroco), who I keep at my home in West Yorkshire. I am trained by Jess Dunn and have monthly lessons with Isobel Wessels. Florence is an 11 year mare who we bought in the summer of 2020 from Becky Moody. In the short period of owning and competing her, we were fortunate enough to be selected for my first International at Keysoe CDI in October as a young rider. We aim to progress up to Under 25 Grand Prix together in the not too distant future. Bertie is an 11 year old gelding who we have owned for 4 years, together we have achieved three regional titles together and have been placed at the National Championships. We were also fortunate to have been given the opportunity to ride in the Isabell Werth Masterclass at Your Horse Live in 2019, which was an incredible experience and one I will treasure forever. Bertie is now training and competing at Prix St George, which is something I am very proud of as he is very quirky and challenging at times so to have trained him to PSG from Medium myself is a real privilege.
How did your horses come into your life?
My Dad has yacht raced since I was a child and one weekend we were in Southampton and the race was cancelled, so we went to a friends in the New Forest for the day who had two shetland ponies. I sat on one and never looked back!
How long have you been riding?
For as long as I can remember! I started having lessons when I was 4 at a local riding school and I was fortunate to have my own pony Twinkle when I was 6. I attended Pony Club as I got older with my 15hh Connemara/Cross Country machine, Sunny (who is still with us today!) but my passion for dressage started in 2012 after watching Charlotte Dujardin’s magical freestyle at the London Olympic Games.
When and where do you ride?
I ride every day and am fortunate to have my horses at home, and when we are not training in the school we regularly hack around the beautiful Yorkshire countryside.
How did you start riding?
After having my first ride on a Shetland pony I started at a local riding school when I was 4 and had lessons every weekend!
What you and your horses currently working on?
Florence and I are currently polishing our test riding for the Young Rider tests and working on building our partnership everyday. Bertie is still very new to the Prix St George movements so I am currently working on establishing these in a calm and collected manner, as he likes to be a bit wild at times! I also like to make sure my horses have enough down time after training and competing, so they always have time to relax and recover in the field.
What do you love about riding?
I love the bond and partnership you get when riding, it is the most magical feeling when you and your horse completely trust one another whether it is in a test, daily training or out hacking. There is no better feeling than being at one.
What you would you like to be doing in the future and do you have any goals?
I would love to be riding at Senior International level competing alongside my idols.
Have you ever had to deal with nerves in riding?
Yes! I was always incredibly nervous going into tests, until last summer when I started speaking to Moira Lafferty a sport Psychologist who has helped me a tremendous amount. Putting relaxation and cue words into practice has allowed me to stay focused and have confidence when entering the arena. I also remember to always do my best!
How do you deal with them?
When I come out of my test I have started to name three positives from my test and one negative, this helps me focus on what went well and not dwell on what could have been better, as well as the relaxation techniques before and during my test.
Your Top Tip
My sports teacher always said at school “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard!” I love this saying as it is so true!
I would also add that you should always do your best and be willing to learn!
The Final Furlong
Who would be your dream horse to ride?
Who is your equestrian hero?
I find Charlotte Dujardin and Cathrine Dufour so inspiring, their non stop commitment, dedication and drive is something I channel in my training.
If you could have 5 people to dinner who would they be?
With the current situation at the moment* I’d just love to be able to have my friends and family over and be able to spend time with them.
Favourite colour horse?
I am a sucker for a Bay with a star
Favourite horse event
Olympia! It is the absolute best run up to Christmas
Favourite way to relax
Spending time with Family and friends
Mamma Mia 1 and 2!!
If you enjoyed meeting Charlotte you might like to see more chatting with interviews here You can keep up with Charlotte’s progress on her instagram page @charlottelutenerdressage
*refers to the CoVid-19 pandemic