Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Monday and Tuesday Update

Sarah said Werther was good on Monday. She did a lot of canter transitions with him and worked on sharping his response to the flying lead change aids. She ended doing a little work on the passage with Werther, she said it seems like somebody started to teach him the movement but never quite finished. He gets the hesitation in the trot step, but has not quite figured out the airtime piece to it yet. Before I heard that I had basically won the tack lottery thanks to my Aunt Karen, I had ordered a saddle to try from a shop in White Bear Lake, a Stubben Tristan this time. It came today and I thought I would try it for my lesson. Werther pinned his ears and made faces when I put on the saddle, but I wrote that off as him complaining about me swinging the saddle over without the stirrups run up because they are wrapped. When Sarah and I checked on the ground, the saddle fit seemed to be OK, but when I got on and felt under the saddle, it felt a little tight on the withers. We started out with some trot with a light an gradually increasing the contact. Werther was a little spooky, but it was more of a bored spooking, than a I am actually scared of something spook. We decided to give Werther some work to do, since obviously he needed a harder task. Sarah had me ask for the canter, and he bucked repeatedly. 
We did the transition several times until he did it properly. We decided that the saddle was putting too much pressure on his withers, so we switched back to the one that I have been borrowing. Werther, the delicate flower that he is, was pissed for the rest of the lesson and I had a really hard time getting a connection with him. Overall I feel like I am becoming a much better rider these past few months with Werther, and I am glad that Werther's antics didn't phase me when they would have upset me before but I don't feel like I rode very well today. We worked on the leg yield at the trot on the circle and Sarah had me work on keeping Werther's neck straight and not letting him cheat by falling in with his shoulder. She also had me work on using less hand a more leg. This was really hard for me because we started out leg yielding to the right and I had to use my left leg which is the one that is effected by my CP. Automatically my brain wanted to go to using my hand, but that wasn't getting the result I needed. I need to to work more at using my dressage whip as a way to supplement the weakness of my left leg. Sarah's next big project for me is working on quieter hands, because Werther actually has quite a sensative mouth, and any jostling of the bit he wants to hold himself away from it. Which is why she thinks my ability to get Werther into a good frame right now is hit and miss. I guess this means more bicep and tricep work at the gym, as well as just really working on my mental awareness of what I am doing with my hand while I am riding. 

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