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Beginning Dressage - Run into Problems

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  • Running martingale trainer beginner dressage
  • What bit can you not use in dressage?

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    05-27-2012, 07:44 AM
  #11
Foal
I'd just like to report back that a lot of these things have helped a lot! He had a bit of a break-through on Tuesday! We did dressage practically all week and by the end he was carrying himself very well. He still needs work with his straightness, but I don't expect that to be fixed for awhile, and his right lead canter will probably just be a muscle building thing (although even in this short time, by repositioning myself, it has gotten better!). The tripping has pretty much gone away - none at all this whole week. Keeping my fingers crossed that it stays away. He still has moments where he will try to hollow his back and bring his head up, but they are much less frequent. Now (when we're working) its about 75% of the time he's carrying himself well.

I've moved my hands closer together and I have started working with shorter reins (request from my instructor). In doing so, my hand rotated so my thumbs were on top and I feel like I have a better connection with his mouth!

Just want to say thank you so much guys!

And one more thing...

Dressage 3.JPG
We were trying to get him to collect up his step just a little bit, and I know how to ride it, but I really don't know what I'm doing in dressage yet, so I can't identify it in pictures. My instructor was there (she was teaching me how) and I could definitely feel the difference. Anyway, in the above picture, is it at least sort of what I should be looking for? And ignore me - she had me posting really tall (but staying light in the saddle) to bring my shoulders back and help me wrap my leg around him. And the picture was at an awkward time when I was shortening my reins - I have fixed my hand trust me!
Anyway, thanks a bunch!
     
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    05-27-2012, 07:52 AM
  #12
Showing
Sorry to intrude... your recent post.

I think this is more what you want.. and I'll explain.



You want the horse to use his back, which he is in this picture more so than the one you posted. He's using his hind to really get under himself instead of plowing on the front end. His overall balance is neutral. He isn't heavy on the forehand, but he isn't on the hind end either.

You eventually want him to be on his hind end, but this is a good start.

He's a bit more on the forehand in this picture, but still using his back.


Now compare to the one you just posted. Look at his entire hind end, his legs, and his back. What do you see? I see a horse that isn't really using them as much as the other pictures.



Are you seeing what I'm seeing?

It's hard for a horse to use their back and not plow around. But eventually you'll help them get there. It'll just come in short bursts.

Hopefully someone will explain it better as I'm only a novice. Anebel and Kayty know way more than I do.

I do have a question.. why the running martingale? I did notice you were in a jumping (or maybe AP.. again not sure) saddle
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    05-27-2012, 08:12 AM
  #13
Foal
Thank you for the help! I do see that about the hind. Again, I didn't really know what to look for but now I get it (at least more than before). He typically uses his hind really well - to the point my instructor (a high level German dressage rider) comments on how well he does. But I think part of it for that day was that we were really trying to get him to slow down (he has a naturally fast trot - which he was doing in all the pictures I have posted except this one last one).

Anyway, in the first pic I post and the first one you brought up again, I have a couple questions just as far as learning more to identify aspects of dressage. Riding that day, his steps were really (like extremely) short, fast, and choppy. He had actually hollowed his back a ton (not sure its very visible in this picture) and he was really, really learning on my hands. This was one of the days that his tripping was really bad. But over all you like this picture, because of how he is using his hind? I can see that he is using it better than in this last picture, but its hard to see past the other glaring flaws in my memory from riding it.

Anyway, thanks a bunch! And the running martingale was because it was supposed to be a jumping lesson, but my instructor and I found an upcoming HT that she'd like us to do and so we made the decision to do dressage instead. We probably should have taken it off. Normally for our dressage he doesn't wear the breastplate or the martingale :)
     
    05-27-2012, 08:47 AM
  #14
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hedgie    
Anyway, in the first pic I post and the first one you brought up again, I have a couple questions just as far as learning more to identify aspects of dressage. Riding that day, his steps were really (like extremely) short, fast, and choppy. He had actually hollowed his back a ton (not sure its very visible in this picture) and he was really, really learning on my hands. This was one of the days that his tripping was really bad. But over all you like this picture, because of how he is using his hind? I can see that he is using it better than in this last picture, but its hard to see past the other glaring flaws in my memory from riding it.

That's the thing about pictures, a still frame doesn't account for the rest of the ride, or the feel.

Compared with the other ones, I like how he's trying to get there. But yeah he isn't completely there yet. I think if you take up the rein, you need to use your seat and leg to push them forwards so you don't inadvertently pull on the reins and cause them to brace against you (heavy in hands?)

Like I said before, a horse using their back is a LOT of work so it's not going to be perfect all of the time.

You really have to follow the training scale. Do you know about the scale? Some info: http://www.classicaldressage.co.uk/T...ng_scales.html

You can't focus on the more advanced things without first getting the basic things down. They all mesh together, but there's a certain method to the madness :P

You asked about what you should be looking for (again I'm a novice) but what I like to see is the horse really stepping under themselves instead of digging with their fronts and engaging those back muscles.

But if a horse isn't forward relaxed and with rhythm then you shouldn't be looking for contact or impulsion yet. If his strides are choppy, then he's probably not relaxed and having an established rhythm (again.. novice, making educated guesses as I wasn't riding him nor there.)

And again.. Kayty and Anebel are MUCH better at explaining it than me as they are way more experienced lol.
     
    05-27-2012, 08:57 AM
  #15
Foal
My instructor taught me about the scale :)

That picture is very old - from January - when we first bought him. We spent all of February on relaxation and rhythm. March we started asking him to step under and take the contact a bit. It was a bit too soon and so we ended up spending April on it too. But these pictures are showing his progression - they are over course of the time I have had him from January to now.

Now that he's really gotten a lot better at carrying himself, we're started asking him to slow down his trot some. It's nothing too challenging, and I would never push him for anything he's not ready for. I totally trust my trainer and she has trained and competed with some amazing horses.

I know its going to take a while (longer than most horses I bet) for him to use his back. He's still building muscle and has a long way to go.

What you are saying makes a lot of senses :) Thank you!
     
    05-27-2012, 09:03 AM
  #16
Showing
Well you guys are coming along nicely :) And you're welcome. I'm glad my posts were helpful
     

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