Friday, October 10, 2008

Riding Lesson

I had a really good riding lesson today. We started out working at the trot, doing a lot of walk trot transitions and alternating between posting trot and sitting trot. Our new goal with Werther at the trot is to get him moving forward as quickly as possible without resorting to using the stick. Even though Werther is very quiet and could probably use them, I don't wear spurs because I don't trust my leg to be stable enough, so I use a stick. Werther was very uncooperative about the canter transition, so Andre had to get on him and do a mini trainer ride so he would pay attention to me.  The new plan is to keep my stick in my right hand (because of my CP my left hand is weak and I cannot react as quickly with it), cluck and then hit Werther really hard with my stick and maintain contact so he stays balanced and does not rush into an extended trot. Andre thinks the more time I spend working with Werther the better he will get, it will just take him more time to get used to me as I ride differently from most people. I am supposed to start Werther out on the right lead as that is my more difficult direction and he tends to favor his left lead anyway. Andre thinks that the quality of canter I am getting out of him is much better which is encouraging, and she also thinks I look more confident. We worked jumping the pilled up ground poles again, Andre was pretty happy with me. I missed one lead change, Werther's canter is so smooth and I was so focused on him not breaking that I did not even realize he was counter cantering. Her best words of trainer wisdom today came about turning on the line to the jump: If you plan out your turn, all you have to do is guide instead of steer. I am also starting to look for a dressage trainer to take some lessons with so I can improve my flatwork and help me with my communication with Werther, as he started out his life as a Dressage horse.

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