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2018 Skvarla Recipient: Sydni Nusink

A Clinic with Mette Rosencrantz

“Bend Him in the Middle”


This past weekend I had the opportunity to ride with Mette Rosencrantz, and while it may seem intimidating to ride with an International Grand Prix rider, it's nothing but a good time. Mette has the ability to teach so many important things while making it seem simple and entertaining. I watched rider after rider come out of the ring exponentially improved from when they went in. One concept that she repeated many times was that riders need to make sure that the horse is bending in the middle… meaning that the rider does not take the head to the inside and horses hind end goes to the outside, the horse has to bend in the ribcage around the riders inside leg so that the haunches follow the shoulders and don't fall out. It was interesting to see her address it in training level riders, all the way up. Most of the issues people were having with their lateral work was fixed on a 10-meter circle to get the bend correct and honest then the lateral movement was vastly improved

Words of Wisdom

As I watched Mette teach over the course of two days, I wrote down a few quotes that stood out to me:

  • Talk to his tongue with your fingers
  • Set the tone for ride at the beginning. Attitude is a big deal.
  • The better she rides, the harder it is for the horse, so he starts to get opinions
  • Don’t let hot horses talk you into thinking they are untouchable
  • The slower you go, the more leg you need (in relation to collecting the trot)
  • Your rein is like a child, you have one on each side… don’t drop your (left) child!
  • Equal hands, Equal legs
  • Don’t throw away the contact, feel like the bit will fall out of his mouth if you don’t hold it steady in there
  • Just because you have gotten some good transitions, don’t take that for granted and think it’s just going to happen. Ride!

Never Stop Learning

If you ever have an opportunity to ride with or watch Mette teach, go do it!  So many auditors who don’t even ride dressage commented on how cool it was to understand what she is asking for and see it working.  She makes it clear and understandable and that is such a gift. In a sport where it can get so complex, it’s nice to just hear things in a way that makes sense to people who aren’t dressage experts. Mette is hilarious, she made me laugh all weekend long. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was given to participate in this clinic and for The Dressage Foundation for making it a reality for me.