Riverhead, NY - "If you don't have a good hand on a sensitive horse, then you are lost. There's no way you can go in there if you don't feel everything,” Mikala Gundersen told Neue Schule Best Hands Award presenter Mette Larsen, of Metlar Saddlery, the authorized U.S. and Canadian dealer for the UK-based sponsor and its ergonomic bits. Over the course of the Adequan Global Dressage Festival CDIW Palm Beach Dressage Derby weekend, Gundersen and Janne Rumbough's effervescent bay mare, My Lady, turned in a 71.660 to finish third in the FEI Grand Prix on Friday before really hitting their stride on Saturday to finish second with a 76.125% in the FEI Grand Prix Freestyle (scoring as high as 78.125% from one of the six judges).
"I'm very happy with her,” said Gundersen. “On Friday, she was really nervous in the warm-up, which made me nervous, so I hesitated coming in when I could have pushed more.
“We hadn't scored over 70 that many times yet, so I think I could have gotten a little higher score had I trusted her more. She's getting stronger and stronger, and better and better. The horse was there.”
Having sensitive hands, the Neue Schule Best Hands Award winner said, is essential not only with sensitive horses, but in approaching each horse as an individual: “Every horse is different. Your hands have to be elastic and change with the horse.”
“Mikala is a wonderful rider and My Lady is a very expressive ride,” said Larsen. "They will be earning more scores in the seventies from judges in the future I'm sure, and I hope they enjoy getting used to it!”
Some of the best hands in Wellington are attached to Neue Schule bits, whose mouthpieces offer dressage riders new and better-fitting choices like the Comfy Contact Eggbutt and Comfy Contact Baucher bits, whose gentle side-to-side action encourages contact and softens resistant polls and jaws.
Metlar Premium Performance Saddlery specializes in superior quality equipment and prestigious accessories inspired by the equestrian lifestyle, with a focus on progressive and creative innovation, comfort and high standards.
Learn more about Metlar and Neue Schule at www.metlar-us.com or call (631) 252-5574.