A message from Sarah

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My name is Sarah Sanders and I am Ride With Excellence. Over the last decade, I have been exposed to an incredibly broad foundation of horsemanship from all different types of masters. After riding under many different trainers with a diversity of disciplines, I realized that most disciplines are very similar and share a common goal. The pieces of the horse training puzzle were finally fitting together. While I was always aware of what the horse’s actions were suppose to be and how I was to “sit” on the horse, I was unsure as to how to accomplish these things. I discovered that what we think we are doing on the horse and what is actually happening are not the same. Horses are perfect without the rider, saddle, bridle, and other equipment. We must remind ourselves of this each time we ride and/or handle a horse.

I personally love to jump, work cows, school Dressage movements and over the hock maneuvers, gallop across country, run barrels, endurance race, show, foxhunt, and in general, be a versatile rider. By riding a number of various disciplines, I feel I can better “handle” my horse and have gained tremendous confidence as a rider. The Basic Handle Technique and the move basics will help you achieve higher goals in your chosen discipline as well as to ride with better balance and control of your own body. Being balanced on the horse will help your horse realize its fullest potential as well.

Most of the move basics coincide with the canter more than any other gait, but are taught at the walk and trot. The rider has the greatest impact on the horse, for better or worse, at the canter. This gait also requires the rider to stay flexible and soft since the degree of difficulty of performing maneuvers increases at the higher rate of speed. The horse also requires slightly more time to respond to our cues. For instance, when we ask for the horse to stop at the canter, we must give him sufficient time to accomplish this as well as to cue him at the right moment of the canter stride.

I encourage my students to ride at the pace at which they are most comfortable, whether it be the walk, trot, canter or gallop. When he or she is confident in their skills, we move to the next level. My personal preference is to work the horse at a canter since it keeps their feet and mind engaged in what we are doing. The horse does not have time to fidget or fuss while moving forward with loose reins and impulsion. If you enjoy riding hot-blooded horses like I do, this is a great way to calmly and softly train them.

In the Ride with Excellence program, we have riders of all ages, sizes, gender, and employ a variety of horse breeds. Each student has different goals they wish to accomplish with their horses — from showing (dressage, jumping, reining), to endurance racing, speed events, or pleasure and trail riding. Monte Foreman’s Basic Handle Technique and good equitation are the foundation of our program. Equitation, referring to the way we ride and sit on the horse, comes in many diverse forms and can be different for each horse and rider combination. The horse is the judge of our horsemanship since it is our biggest critic when we are on its back. As long as my horse is happy and moving forward, I can rest assured that I am helping, and not hindering, him. Remember, after the round pen, YOU can ride with excellence!

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