Monday, February 16, 2009

Sarah's Ride

I didn't have work today so I went out to the barn to watch Sarah ride Werther. I wanted to take pictures but I couldn't find my real camera and the cell phone camera just could not cut it. It was really helpful to me to watch Sarah ride. I don't have much experience with Dressage apart for watching the olympics. I was able to watch Sarah's position especially her hands, and see where Werther's neck should be when he is on the bit. We talked about what Sarah was working on with Werther, and her challenges when she rides him. Sarah worked  on getting a quicker reaction time off of the leg aids. She said he was more dull on the left side, which is the side that is effected by CP. She did half steps with Werther as well and is working him up to a full passage. She also worked on getting his canter more uphill and dynamic. One of Sarah's challenges when she rode Werther was getting him to overcome that intial resitanece and getting him to go to work. This made me feel better because this is my main challenge with Werther, abeit he testes me a lot harder that he does Sarah. Sarah has to work on keeping her hands soft with Werther as well. She said that Werther has the most sensative mouth out of any upper level horse that she has ever ridden and if you get too much in his face he shuts down and she sometimes struggles with how much hand to use. If you ask for something correctly and firmly Werther will do it right away. Sarah said he is almost so push button that she has trouble timing her aids right, especially for the flying change. We also talked about Werther in general, we think the reason he was sold to be a  big EQ horse is that while he is able to perform the movements, he is not quite flashy enough to be super successful at FEI level, and his quietness would make it a more difficult ride at that level. At some point I may have to do some soul searching a decide if I want to continue with Hunters or just do Dressage. Werther may not be a Grand Prix horse for me but if he can take me all the way to fourth that is a lot to learn. I feel like Werther is a horse that doesn't seem challenge when you first ride him, but as you continue things get more and more nuanced. I think he will teach me how to be a really good rider no matter what I decide to do.  

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