Yes! I had a great practice again AND got it on video, which I'm working on right now.
But here are the details:
I rode with the martengale again, I loooove it and have it set so it only works when she gets all hot and bothered and morphs into a giraffe.
I worked a lot of seat and voice cues today - and had her rating when I would just say "eaaasy" (I came to the conclusion she's like on of Sherry Cervi's horses when she says "the more I pick, the hotter and he/she gets") so I really want to get to the point of riding her on the pattern with as much seat and voice as possible.
She was very relaxed the whole ride. Still has some issues with picking up her leads in warmup - she looooves to crossfire and have you any idea how hard it is to tell if your horse is cross firing when you are on it!? Hhahaha I had to lean over and try to see the shadow and it was interesting to say the least.
Heres a picture of how I like to see martengales adjusted... the way some people do it makes me cringe.
And she was STARVING after her ride. You'd swear she isnt on turnout all day and all night. (no wonder she has so much energy)
(Guilty face ^^^^)
I know in the loping part she gets "hoppy" and its cause she wants to run and I'm telling her NO. Which she is getting better at handling instead of throwing a fit when I say "NO", she stopped and walked the pattern on a loose rein after! So it's ALL good.
Wow, you're so good that you can practice a day in the future and post it ahead of time! ......... You have July 13th as the practice date ........ that's tomorrow!!
Overall, yes, I do see some improvement in Squiggy. But I still see a lot of the same mistakes we talked about before (a lot of them the same mistakes I was making with Red and didn't realize it until someone pointed it out).
Bend, bend, bend, and some more bend!!! You always go STRAIGHT into your turns. Here's an example:
At this point of the turn, since she's still learning, she needs to have bend in her body.
I love this video of Dena Kirkpatrick because she has beautiful bend in her horses.
And really work on keeping Squiggy's hip INWARD when you initiate the turn. I do see you correcting her here and there, but you aren't consistent with it. So she is still swinging her butt OUT in the turn and not engaging it.
This screen shot doesn't capture it as much as the video, but she swings around the barrel big time on this one.
When she does that, circle that barrel again and again until she gives you a nice one. Then move on. I've a big fan of circling the barrel multiple times until your horse gives you what you want.
And exactly how many times did you do the pattern? I tried to kind of count and you must have done the pattern 15 to 20 times. That is WAY too much, in my opinion. You're going to sour her. At least mix it up and do some drills, or all rights, or all lefts, or work on pole bending, etc. Red would kill me if I took him through the pattern that many times on one occasion. Maybe 8 times was the very most I have ever worked the pattern with him.
I also see that Squiggy is starting to DIVE on you sometimes.
Getting her to bend and lift that inside shoulder as you approach your turn will help with her diving, and also circling the barrel several times will help her not to dive.
The important thing here is if they do a good job the first time, leave them alone. If Red gives me a good first barrel turn at the trot (for example) I do not make him circle it again. I let him move on. However, if he cuts his second barrel, I will circle it over and over until he gives me a good turn. But when he does give me a good one, I move onto the next barrel. Etc. So that might mean when I go to practice the barrels, we might walk it once, trot it once, lope it once, and then QUIT. If he did a good job at each gait and I didn't have to correct him, my reward to him is QUITTING because he did a good job.
Yes, I do see some improvement since the last video. She isn't throwing her head/nose as much (still some) but it is better. Again, I think a German martingale would work much better than a running martingale.
Make sure you keep that hip in.
Make sure you keep bend in her body the whole time and that shoulder up (use your inside leg to create the bend and keep the shoulder up). Circle the barrel multiple times when she doesn't keep her butt engaged.
And don't do the pattern 20 times in one practice.
Oh poo. The date on my laptop is wrong then :/
My biggest focus lately haa been her second barrel, because she was having the most issues with it.
I've been looking st german martangales and I'm not so sure about them. I guess I don't quite understand how they work so they scare me.
Looking back at the video and when you said ibgo straight into my turns, I know why. I keep her from turning until her hip is about at the barrel and don't ask for bend until then. It would make more sense if I asked for the bend, gave inside leg until jee hip was at the barrel and then asked for the turn.
I realize I did do the pattern a lot, but I've found with her, the more repititious I am, the better she is. If I quit when she does it good once or twice, then she always wants to quit and throws a fit when I ask for a bit more. In my experience with her, I'm better off releasing her rather than quitting and letting her walk trot or lope out, because she likes being forward and GOING. She's a goofy horse like that ;)
The german martingale is a great tool. For me, I leave it on the loosest ring and then cinch it down for ten minute or so, then let it out again. Ruger was one who was CONSTANTLY in it because he was a high headed son of a gun. Eventually he got to graduate out of it, but it took awhile.
How it works is when you pick up on the reins, the string through the bit tightens and adds more pressure to the horse to soften at the poll and put their head down. It picks up and "draws" them down, and makes it more difficult to go back up. If you ride light, you should be fine. Just know some horses might feel bound up about it at first, so make her give to it on the ground before you do anything else. And ALWAYS in a snaffle.
Have you ever put draw reins on Squiggy in the round pen? Or tied her through the cinch D rings and up onto the horn? I do that with all colts, really gets them hunting the release and softening. They learn on their own that their head needs to be down.
If you tie the draw reins on your horn, then ask her to go around the round pen, she will learn to soften. Nothing too tight, just tight enough that she can't bring her head up but finds that natural softness.
Like that, but over the horn.
Or, if you choose to check them up through the D rings, (I personally do both) Then thread your split reins through on either side. Make it taught but not tooo tight.
Hard to find ANY pictures of that...But about this tight.
If you haven't done it before she might decide she wants to be stupid, throw herself around, just let her. She'll figure it out. Don't put too much pressure on her but still keep asking her to go forward.
I'm actually going to be doing this with two horses this weekend. If that doesn't make sense, I can take a video for you.
Definitely agree with Beau on the bend. Most of the problems you are having are consistent through the videos. Not enough bend, kicking hip, and diving in. Use your INSIDE leg. I need to find a video of that too. Inside leg says "Hey, look here, bend." They should curl around your inside leg. Your inside leg is going to set them up for that turn. If you go in straight, they are stiff and are unable to set up for the turn and will blow out, raise their heads, etc. It will also take away the hip blowing once they soften to the inside.
I'm going to share this picture of Selena again. Exaggerate the bend. Obviously they won't have this much when you're running mach 5, but do this practicing. See how soft and low headed she is? Also note how her hip is stepping in and not swinging out.
Look at this too. My inside leg was JUST going on her, and she was just turning her head to the left in preperation to turn a pole. Look at her hind leg, the inside one with the pink boot. Look how far under her that is.
I saw a how to on making your own german martengale, so I might give it a try. I looked at some on the weekend and they were priced stupidly for some leather and rings. LOL.
I've been using more inside leg lately and its starting to work the way its supposed to. She thought "oh crap, I gotta move away from that leg ASAP" VRRRROOOOOOM . But a lot of circling w/t into spirals and stuff with inside leg solid on her and outside leg bumping is working. The way I'm looking at that is that the inside leg is pushing her ribcage out and the outside leg is bumping her shoulders and hiney in, creating that "curl".
I have not used side reins on her, or draw reins. She gets really "accordion-ed" if I put too much pressure on her. She just bunches up and doesnt move out. I've been really pushing for moving out without her spazzing and launching around, and its working - that's why I've been back at working the pattern regularly. She is relaxed and I can now focus on something that isnt relaxing and freeing up a bit.
I might do a bit of it in accordance with our English rides, which I throw in and focus on her being round and giving me collection, extension, leg yeilds and stuff, so using draw reins as a warmup when lunging might be a good idea.
I personally have had a lot of luck with the German Martingale. I use them for flat work and , Work at the Walk and trot and slow Canter.
As for Cross fireiing usually its because a horse need to develop the muscling to carry themselves appropriately. I would recommend spending some time working on circles at the walk and trot Varity the size from large to small and work on her getting to carry herself and not relying on you. I think that will help you bend and the dropping of the shoulder that you are feeling.