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Monday, February 10, 2014

Wednesday! (sorry for no photos)

Please go to our Facebook Page for photos - I am pushed for time and can not edit/caption everything that needs to go up on 2 sites, so I'll will be doing that there until things settle down a bit more.

Wednesday to Saturday - 

Rien van der Schaft has been here this week working with Catherine and her stable of riders. If you haven’t heard of him that is not a large surprise as I had not either. Rien is a very highly regarded trainer in Holland and has a sensitive touch for fine tuning Grand Prix horses for the international arena. Rein was also on the short list for the US Dressage Coach position not too long ago! He has been a pure delight to watch and listen to each and every day! All of the corrections are logical, well time and executed with the horse’s welfare and progression of knowledge held as the most important facet in the training. 

Wednesday - 

Best phrase of the day from Rein - “Get the neck out of the way and just ride forward” or “Ride the hind legs into the collection.”

I learned so very much watching the improvement of the horses and riders in just a few days time! The ability to articulate while knowing instantly what a horse needs from their rider - that is a true gift! 

Wendy was very good for her second lesson with Catherine. We worked on activating her hind legs and encouraging her to step more under her body as she works forward and uphill without increasing pressure in the bridle. I tried to incorporate the philosophy and concepts from the morning lessons I had observed. At the same time it was a fantastic opportunity for me to work on the bad habits I have in my equitation - slightly rounded shoulders, caved in chest and spread elbows. 

Wyatt was also very good for his work. If you are wondering why I started with Wendy vs. Wyatt with Catherine - that is due to the fact Catherine has seen Wyatt quite a bit over the past few years and she has never seen Wendy at all. So I wanted her guidance as to where/what/how to improve things with Wendy while Wyatt had a bit more time to settle into the routine in the stable. He was very impressed with the big blue sky and distant horizons!! It is quite a change from home and our small (but efficient!) indoor arena.

Speaking of home, I feel absolutely terrible for leaving Mom and Dad behind in the awful weather that arrived with all of that ice! They have been without power for days and it is bitterly cold. My hero Sandro has been helping them take care of the horses and be safe until the power is restored. 

In the stable today the very well known farrier Dean Pearson was here tending to some of Catherine’s horses. He is a delightful man and just every so pleasant to interact with - even on a limited basis. His assistant Matt was very nice also and they celebrities in my eyes - much like so many of the horses and riders here in the stable!

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