3 Dressage Issues and an Idea of Sorts - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 01:01 PM Thread Starter
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3 Dressage Issues and an Idea of Sorts

Hello! I currently have 3 issues in dressage I'm atteming to work on, and an idea gathering (for lack of better words) too.

What are other monthly riding ideas? I know there is "No Stirrup November", but what else is there?

1. Getting the Proper Frame- I would really like to improve my riding beyond where I am and I'm kinda stuck. We're working on dressage (my trainer doesn't train jumping correctly, and thats what both my horse and I love, but dressage is a close second) and I'm not sure what to do. I'm working on collecting him and getting him forward into the bit, while staying to my outside aids as well. He does, however sad to say it, look like a mule sometimes! He works well for about 6-7 strides, then he pops his nose in the air and brings it back down. Its like a wave. He seems to only do this on the straight wall (60m), but not on the short wall (20m) or any circles. I'm not changing my aids either.

2. Tracking Left, Nose Is Right- Whenever we track left, Chevy insists on needing his inside rein shorter than the outside, to keep him straight. It kills my arm after just 10 minutes because I'm always fighting him. There is close to no contact in the outside rein and no matter how hard i push with the inside leg, I have to contort my inside rein into some weird shape to get him to bend. A) I shouldn't be having my hand in that weird position and B) It hurts after a few minutes because my wrist pops out of socket!

3. Crazy Legs- I can NOT for the life of me, get my legs to stay still. I used to have legs that barely moved, and in recent months, I've noticed that their moving more and more. Im not sure why either! Whenever i try "melting into my heels" i look like a rag doll getting flung about. Besides that, my trainer(retired pro circuit rider) and friends(one of which is an AMAZING rider and who's mom was in the pro circuit) have all commented how perfect my position is. My back is straight as a board and my hands are still and soft. I don't know what do do! Help please.

Sorry for such a long post- I didn't want to have 3-4 different posts going. Thanks everyone! Any little tid-bit of advice is appreciated.
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 01:27 PM
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my sense is that the horse is resistant to your rein contact because there is stiffness in his body. you won't and shouldn't force him into a frame or a bend with the rein, and if in attempting to you encounter a lot of resistance, this can tell you a lot about the things that need to be done before you take up more contact with the bit.

collection comes after you have the horse going forward in a rhythmic and balanced way. it comes after a lot of things that you probably should focus on first.

however, I think you are really probably talking about "contact' when you say "frame" and "collection". What I think you mean is that your horse contact the bit , and soften to the inside and remain steady on the outside rein, right?

worthy goals. But, I wonder how supple your horse is in his body, to begin with. Him throwing his head up after a few strides can mean your hands are not able to hold the bit in a steady but responsive way, or that you are pulling downward, or backward or bumping him. It can mean the saddle doesn't fit well, or that you are bumping back into the cantle.

it can mean that he has stiffness in his own body, and the terminus of that stiffness is his poll, and when you try to "pull" his poll this way or that, it hurts, so he resists. it can mean that his ribs are very tight on one side (why he cannot elongate his right side going around a circle in the leftward circle.

I think posting a video would be most helpful. I am sorry that my advice cannot be a simple nip here or tuck there.
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post #3 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 06:30 PM
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Get your riding fixed first, then start looking at the horse's training. If you're legs are flailing around you cannot hope to ever apply a correct and well timed aid.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #4 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 09:10 PM
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I think that you should work on them the other way around.

Sort out no. 3 first. There has to be something you are doing to your body aside from your legs that are causing them to flap around. It could even be linked to your no. 2 issue. Make sure that you aren't holding too much tension in your seat and spine, then ensure that you are sitting evenly and that your pelvis is allowing the rest of your body to be effective.

As for issue 2: Make sure you are straight on him first. A good test that I learned on the weekend at a riding lecture I attended. Sit up straight on a chair, legs out in front of you and feet on the ground. Now place your hands under your seat bones. Do you have equal pressure on both hands? If I was a betting person, I would put money on the answer being no. Now lift one leg off of the floor. Is the weight even? Try the other leg. Is it even into your hands now? When you are sitting on you horse he can feel that unevenness. Now apply that feeling to how you sit on your horse.

Issue 1 - honestly I think that if you sort out issues 3 and 2 issue 1 will right itself.

Perhaps consider that there are maybe a physical issue your horse has that is contributing to no. 2. How are his teeth? Back, neck, poll? Does he need a chiro or a massage?
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-26-2014, 11:08 PM
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With a picture we can only guess. If a horse is lifting the neck/sticking the nose out likely the hands are too low and the horse is too compressed or too low. When that happens the bit acts on the bars, and the horse seeks to relieve himself of pain on the bars. When a horse is on a curved line they are less likely to do so because there is clear positioning laterally and the horse is into the outside rein. So, are you riding with light positioning (millimeters of inside flexion so you can see the inside eyelashes) when you are going straight ahead? Are YOU upright/bended elbows/straight line from elbow to horse's mouth/hands lifted with thumbs up?

Horses cannot counter bend unless they are allow to do so (going left/flexed right). So, instead of shortening the inside rein simply lift it. Horses will flex to the lifted rein w/o a backward action. Remember horses do not fight/people do, he ends up with the action and you are reacting. It must be the other way around, you act, review, relax, repeat. You HAVE to keep the contact with the outside rein to have the inside rein have impact. (Are you flexing the wrist? That should NOT happen.)

Perhaps we need more explanation of the leg issues, are you locking the knees and pushing the leg out of alignment (ear/shoulder/hip/back of heel) or ????
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