Saturday, January 17, 2009


I had my lesson with Sarah this morning. All the horses were turned out and Werther had to be brought in early, so I was worried he was going to be obnoxious, but he was actually quite good. We started our trot work really focusing on getting Werther moving forward, Sarah told me I should go much faster than I need to since he is generally a very quiet horse and we need to get him motivated. We got him going forward at the trot and did some collections and extensions, and some leg yield and shoulder-in. However, I had a hard time getting him to canter as Werther decided the extended trot was a much easier option and much more fun for him. We got him cantering and he was pretty good, he only rooted once, and it was half hearted at best. Next Sarah had me do some no stirrups work, and we did some stretching exercises for my hip flexor at the walk. Next we moved on to the trot which was really hard for me, with hunters we always use no stirrup work as a leg strengthening exercise, but Sarah wanted me to loosen my leg and open my hip angle, which was very counter intuitive. Sarah said if I can sit Werther's trot, i'll be able to sit just about any trot. We finished with Sarah lengthening my stirrups a couple of holes to a more dressage-y length and we did some canter work, which focused on me keeping my butt in the saddle and not getting up in half seat. I asked Sarah how long Dressage stirrups should be, and her answer was very interesting to me. She said the length of the stirrup often depends on the training level of the horse, like with a green horse she would have her stirrups slightly below the ankle bone, but with a very well trained upper level horse you can have them longer but they should not be so long that you are not able to post properly. We finished with a nice loose rein trot. I'm looking into getting a Dressage saddle, I asked Sarah if she had any clients with saddles for sale, I'm hoping to bypass paying a commission mark up at a saddle shop for a used one. She said she actually knew of a few and would bring them over for me to try.

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