Sunday, January 25, 2009

Friday and Saturday's rides

So my farrier Scott was on the other side of the state on Thursday and could not come out until Friday to put on Werther's shoe. When I got to the barn on Friday night I decided to turn Werther out in the indoor and chase him before I got on to be safe since he had an extra day off and I was riding alone. I'm awfully glad I did, because Werther ran and bucked like an idiot. He was still puffing a little when I got him tacked up and got on. I spent some extra time at the walk so Werther could catch his breath and I practiced switching hands with my Dressage whip. I rode in the Dressage saddle I am trying again, I think with the extra day off it was hard. I just felt like I could not get myself in sync with Werther, especially at the posting trot. I did some leg yields which were pretty good, but I had a hard time maintaining his impulsion. The Shoulder-in however, I was very happy with. I worked on my position at the sitting trot and canter, and I felt much more connected and in sync than at the posting trot. I ended with a sitting trot on a loose rein while still maintaining the frame, and Werther had really nice forward trot, and I just need to work on getting that trot when I have more contact. In my lesson on Saturday we spent the majority of the lesson working on my position again. We did some shoulder-in off the wall as well as the quarter line, we worked on making sure Werther still had a straight neck, but maintained plenty of angle in the shoulder in. At the sitting trot and canter the key equitation thing we worked on was me maintaining a loose long leg, that is weighted in the feet and not in the heels. With my seat we worked on keeping in the saddle, but allowing it to flexible enough to accommodate the horses side to side motion at the trot. We also worked on loosening my lower back and opening up my hips, which is very counter intuitive coming from a huntseat background. I've always had to work at keeping my shoulders back, but Sarah wants them even further back than my hunt seat trainers, and of course, there is the challenge of every discipline quiet hands! I got a really nice connection with Werther at the sitting trot, but he was going really slow. Sarah was OK with that, she said we can build on getting the impulsion out of him. I really like training with Sarah and I think she really likes giving lessons, unlike Andre who I think views giving lessons as a necessary evil so she can ride horses. I think it is especially fun for Sarah to work with someone close to her age, she said all of the boarders at the barn she works with are 50 plus with exception of her and her younger sister. They actually refer to themselves as menopause manor! We are still not entirely sure on the saddle, the lady who owns it wants a grand for it, and it may be a little close to Werther's withers. We are going to try it with a different pad next week, and she is going to bring another saddle so I have a base of comparison. I definitely don't want to rush into a big purchase like this. 

Aside: Little barn updates, Callie went back to Crooked Willow on Thursday and Dr. Turner came out and gave Wesley his tumor vaccine. We also got in our shipment of paddock cakes, which the horses would gladly murder for! 

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