Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Today was my first day riding after work. I got to the barn at 5:30, it was very quiet with the six horses gone to the show. I'd also never been to ride at night, which was strange. Werther was not ridden on Monday because Mom and Andre were packing the trailer in the indoor for Thermal. I thought about chasing him in the ring but I decided against it, since Sarah would be on hand to help. Werther had never been in our indoor at night, but what turned out to be a bigger problem was the barn cats. Without the dogs to chase them, the cats were running wild in the indoor and Werther was already a little fresh, so he was using as an excuse to act spooky. But when he actually leapt away from the cats and did a little canter jig,  he had to stop immediately to itch his nose on his leg so I could tell he was not too scared. We started out with a nice forward trot and he was being very good about the bit. However, when I went to start my canter on a circle he rooted so hard, I thought he was going to drag me out of the ring for a minute. Sarah got on him after than and he even fought her a little when she first made him trot. She made him do a lot of lateral work and really focus as well as a lot of transitions before I got back on. He was still really fighting me on the canter transition, and put in a little buck when I got after him about balling up and trying to root. Near the end he gave up his temper tantrum and we did get some nice transitions. Sarah thinks he was testing me to see if he really had to do the new level work we are putting him in, and that he may have had a more timid rider in the past the would have been intimidated by a little attitude so he could get his way. With the little snit he was in tonight, this seems like an accurate assessment,  and while it was not a good ride today, I'm glad I was able to convince Werther I'm not a pushover. The chestnut baby from the last post came just as I was leaving, he is a huge, he is only 2 and a minimum of 17 HH. Of course, Orvis got kicked the day before he left and his right knee is big, I'll post picks on my next trip out.

A question for any Dressage rider who might be reading: Sarah was trying to explain to me when Dressage riders ask for a canter transition they rock their hips while using the leg to encourage the horse to move up and forward and I'm not sure I'm getting what I should be doing, can someone explain this to me in a different way?

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