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Because of Horses

Mar 29, 2019

U.S. Olympian, dressage coach and youth mentor Charlotte Bredahl is Elise’s guest on this episode of Because of Horses Podcast.


Originally from Denmark, Bredahl moved to California at the age of 20 with little more than a suitcase and the dream of becoming an elite equestrian. Known for her compassion, work ethic and commitment to personal growth, Bredahl quickly rose to the Grand Prix level. She competed 42 horses over 37 years, many of whom she developed herself.

Bredahl is perhaps best known for her breathtaking performances on the quirky and sensitive Monsieur, her partner on the bronze medal winning team for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. She returned to the international spotlight in 1997, riding Lugano to the silver medal in the North American Championships. Bredahl trained both horses from start to the Grand Prix level. For Bredahl, riding and training has never been about winning ribbons. She loves the process of developing horses and has turned her focus almost exclusively to coaching and training others.

In 2018, Bredahl was appointed the US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Dressage Development Coach, which will allow her to help athletes to reach elite performance goals. Previously, she worked as the USEF Assistant Youth Coach and from 2009-2011, was the featured clinician for the US Dressage Federation (USDF) Adult Clinic Series, teaching riders in each of the country’s nine regions. She was presented the USDF Gold Medal of Distinction and named a USDF Honorary Instructor.


Topics of Discussion:

[:18] About today’s episode.

[1:15] Charlotte explains how her interest in horses began and some of her early experiences.

[9:37] Elise and Charlotte discuss her astounding determination at a young age to ride horses.

[11:41] Did Charlotte ever envision the Olympics for herself as a young girl, riding plow horses? Charlotte tells the story of her journey to becoming an Olympian (including the horse she trained to Grand Prix, training with Hilda Gurney, and more)!

[25:25] Charlotte speaks about the horses in her life and how they have guided her, personally and professionally.

[27:47] What is it about warmblood horses that makes them so well-suited to dressage?

[28:57] What is the trick to mastering the sitting trot with a warmblood horse?

[31:45] What differentiates dressage from other disciplines?

[32:28] Charlotte’s approach to training and why it’s so important for horses to be allowed to be horses.

[41:50] Charlotte continues the story of her journey to the Olympics with one of her horses-of-a-lifetime.

[44:19] Does Charlotte agree with the sentiment that many top horses are not easy horses?

[44:57] How did Charlotte get into reining? What about it appeals to her?

[51:31] The difference between a horse person and an equestrian.

[54:00] Charlotte shares her love for coaching and what it is like to see that lightbulb moment in those she trains.

[57:07] Next week’s episode of Because of Horses.

[58:10] What impact does Charlotte hope to have on dressage and what legacy would she like to someday leave?

[1:00:22] Where to find Charlotte online.


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Mentioned in this Episode:

Walter Farley

Hilda Gurney

Platinum Performance

Because of Horses episode 69: “Sandy Collier: Blazing Paths and Cutting Cattle”

Charlotte Bredahl’s Facebook

Charlotte’s Bredahl’s Website

Next week’s episode of Because of Horses


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