Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Sarah's Ride Yesterday

I got to go out to the barn and watch Sarah ride my Werther yesterday. It was fascinating. She was able to talk me through a lot of what she was doing and why. This isn't a exact blow by blow of the session, but these are the exercises that really stood out to me.
1. Early in the ride, after warming up she did a lot of shoulder in at the trot down the long side of the ring, stopping at the short side to do some turn on the forehand, the going back down the long side and doing renvers. She did this exercise several times to loosen him up and get him jazzed up about the ride.
2. The second highlight of the ride for me was something new she just started doing with Werther today. She had him to eight meter leg yield circles at the trot, kind of coiling him up like spring, and then made him give a really good quality trot across the diagonal, so he has more air time at the trot and gets stronger and already improves upon a already very good gait.
3. Sarah's rides are a little like circuit training for people, after doing that bit of strength training, she made sure to do more stretching exercises at the trot and gave him a walk break. After this she did some schooling canter pirouettes intermixed with some extended canter. I haven't seen Werther do pirouettes before, so even though they were not show ring pirouettes, they were still fun to watch.
4. Lastly she rode Werther through training level test 4 for me. It was really good opportunity for me to see how she would ride the test. It helped me to understand the serpentines a lot better, the bend is actually a lot more understated that I thought it was when I have been riding them.

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