Riverhead, NY - He's only had a few months to get accustomed to that wedding band on his ring finger, but for one of the world's top-ranked dressage riders and newlywed, Lars Petersen, it's been time enough to demonstrate how his trademark soft hands are as adroit – and Neue Schule Best Hands Award-winning – as ever. Petersen, 48, an Olympic and World Cup veteran, tied the knot in December 2013 with USDF Gold and Silver medalist Melissa Taylor, 44, in Telluride, CO. The pair operate Legacy Farm, a top Grand Prix-level dressage training facility in Loxahatchee, FL. Petersen was wearing both his band and a smile as he accepted his Best Hands Award, new set of reins and Neue Schule Bit from the U.K.-based ergonomic bit company's Neue Schule representative and North American authorized dealer, Mette Larsen of Metlar Saddlery in Riverhead, NY.
“There's no secret to good riding. What truly matters are soft hands. Not yanking or pulling, but knowing when to give. It's a feeling you have to develop,” said Petersen, who was at the GDF12 CDI5*/3* and National Show in Wellington campaigning, among others, his own 17-hand gray Danish warmblood gelding, Willano. In their FEI Grand Prix 2014 test on Thursday afternoon, the pair scored a 67.040% to pin seventh among the best in the world.
“Next is the World Cup Finals, in France and Danish championships,” said the five-time Danish National Champion. “I'm also excited to learn about my new Neue Schule Bit. I'm sure I'll like what I feel.”
“In his goals and riding, Lars demonstrates how to keep an eye on the horizon while one's hands stay independently in control,” said Larsen. “That's what having the best, soft hands are all about.”
Some of the best hands In Wellington this season have been attached to Neue Schule bits, whose mouthpieces offer dressage riders new and better-fitting choices in snaffle and curb bit designs. 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.