Changing levels in the middle of a show season? - Page 2
   

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Changing levels in the middle of a show season?

This is a discussion on Changing levels in the middle of a show season? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Changing levels in dressage

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    12-14-2011, 09:31 AM
  #11
Banned
Sorry, I think it's a bad idea.

Two reasons - you say your weakest mark is in submission and obedience. I would not advance in levels until that improves. Doesn't mean you can't school more advanced movements at home, but I would not consider advancing up a level until you could ride a solid test with a score in the mid 60s and a good collective mark for submission and obedience.

Second, the stretchy circle, as you call it, is there in the test for a very specific reason, and that reason is as a test/check of your training. It's meant to expose holes in the foundation. Your response indicates that you have some holes in the foundation. If your horse quits/wanders when you feed rein to him, among other things, it means he's not sufficiently in front of your leg, and that you can't ride him from seat and leg. It may also mean his frame is produced front to back rather than back to front. And that he may not truly be stretching down in the long and low, but just doing what an instructor of mine called "Joe Hunter" - lowering the head but not using the back. Or in your case, Joe Western Pleasure.

So I would stay right where you are until you've really mastered stretching and a long and low warmup, and until you can ride on a long rein without losing the horse's focus and attention.
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    12-14-2011, 10:37 AM
  #12
Green Broke
Thank you Maura. I think I'm going to start focusing on his holes, and doing the other stuff as "in betweens" when he starts getting bored and unfocused. He focuses really well when I keep throwing in shoulder movements, or serpintine out of nowhere on him. He also relaxes into the bit better but then we we go back to basics, he begins to get board and tune out on me again.

One of the local trainers told me that this is a trade mark of the horses out of Cinny's Grand Sire. Something I didn't know. If you don't keep them challenged or moving, they tune out on you. If you keep things mixed up, their brains stay anchored to you. I don't know if this makes sense, but when I started taking his suggestions for Cinny I started getting far better results and Cin seems much happier during workouts.
     
    12-14-2011, 11:12 AM
  #13
Banned
While you're working on keeping him focused, don't make the mistake of confusing the movement with the desired result. The purpose of a shoulder in is to activate the inside hind and get the horse stretching and stepping up under itself.

It's a very common training mistake for the rider to say "Okay, I've moved his shoulders off the track slightly and he's moving on three tracks, check, he can do shoulder in, on to the next thing." If your shoulder in doesn't produce a horse that's more active behind, more thorough, and more round in the back, there's no point in doing it. Always remember the desired result of the exercise, don't just focus on the mechanics. Correct dressage training is not about performing the movements at the letters; it's about the whole picture and development of the horse as an athlete.

Free walk or trot on a long, not loose rein, is the hallmark of correct training at the Intro and Training Levels. Saying that you have a good test except for that movement is like have a successful parachute jump, except for the landing.
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    12-14-2011, 11:35 AM
  #14
Green Broke
Thank you. Most movements I work on with him I try to really focus on his hind end. Cinny is really easy to tell when he uses his hind because his whole back and hind elevate a good few inches. It kind of feels like when I switch my SUV from 2 wheel drive to 4 wheel... I can really FEEL him engage. When I feel this, I really make a big deal about it and let him know that YES this is what I really want, pat his should, vocally tell him and I know he understands because he then relaxes into it, chews his bit and looks very pleased with himself.

I don't really consider any movement schooled for that ride until I get this result. If he gets board we do another element and then come back to it except I've been really lax on those stretchy circles and free walks.

Oh, he's it's so funny now because when I turn him out, he is galloping around faster, doing tighter turns and spins and almost yelling "look what I can do now!" He knows he's got better balance than he used to and can pull off more aerial gymnastic tricks at a faster gait ha ha.
     
    12-14-2011, 04:30 PM
  #15
Green Broke
Honestly, I don't see a problem with changing levels just because it happens to be in the show season. If the horse is ready to move up, then it shouldn't matter what time of year it is.

If the horse isn't ready because he's not displaying relaxation, rhythm or other basic foundations, he shouldn't be moved up whether it's show season or not, though you can certainly still school him on movements at home if you need to keep his mind occupied. I'd worry about moving too far ahead at home, though, and it might be better to do some cross training (jumping, trail riding, or even cattle working) if your horse gets bored doing the same thing day in and day out.
     
    12-14-2011, 05:15 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by verona1016    
I'd worry about moving too far ahead at home, though, and it might be better to do some cross training (jumping, trail riding, or even cattle working) if your horse gets bored doing the same thing day in and day out.
I agree. I don't push for anything that seems too difficult for him. He he does it willingly and doesn't through some sort of tantrum when I ask, then we play with it a while. The only reason I have moved on with some things is due to a reining clinic (yes I said reining) that filled in a lot of holes and connected the dots with Cinny about a month ago. It's like a light switch went on in his little brain and he said "oh, there IS meaning to all of this." I have really been able to apply what I learned to a lot of dressage exercises and gotten much better results.

I usually start with fundamentals and then a more upper level challenge and then go back down to fundamentals again. About 3 months ago I couldn't get him to canter a 15M circle without bucking to save my life. Now we can canter a 15 and we are working on balancing a 10. I start with a good solid 15 and slowly go tighter making sure to support his shoulder. As soon as I feel him be a hint challenged I stop making it tighter and instead ask him to go into the bridle and engage his hiney a little more. We continue our circle and then I relax him back out, transition to walk and then free walk at least half a time around the arena. This is an example of a "challenge" between something fundamental.

I have a dressage ap for my phone "101 dressage exercises" and I frequently pick a couple of those to work on before my workout as my "goal for the day." A lot of them seem simple, but they will also find holes in training as well as fix some holes.

I think I'm going to continue Intro B/C and 1st A/B or B/C if I get really adventurous for the year or until Cinny consistently gets close to 70's. If that happens mid year, I will re-evaluate.
     
    12-14-2011, 05:18 PM
  #17
Banned
You said you were going to post a video...is it ready yet?
     
    12-14-2011, 06:17 PM
  #18
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
While you're working on keeping him focused, don't make the mistake of confusing the movement with the desired result. The purpose of a shoulder in is to activate the inside hind and get the horse stretching and stepping up under itself.

It's a very common training mistake for the rider to say "Okay, I've moved his shoulders off the track slightly and he's moving on three tracks, check, he can do shoulder in, on to the next thing." If your shoulder in doesn't produce a horse that's more active behind, more thorough, and more round in the back, there's no point in doing it. Always remember the desired result of the exercise, don't just focus on the mechanics. Correct dressage training is not about performing the movements at the letters; it's about the whole picture and development of the horse as an athlete.

Free walk or trot on a long, not loose rein, is the hallmark of correct training at the Intro and Training Levels. Saying that you have a good test except for that movement is like have a successful parachute jump, except for the landing.
Exactly!!


I am sorry Cinny although I am supportive of your dressage learning I have a hard time beleiving a horse/rider combo without a coach in under 12 months can progress from a 50% at intro to "schooling 2nd level".... It takes that long to teach a flying change, twice that long to develop a piaffe/passage and three times as long for an experienced trainer to move an extremely talented horse up from w/t/c to third level (the same amount of levels to jump as intro to second)...

Moving up levels during a season is not an issue. I showed 4th level and PSG last year as I was not confirmed at I1 yet. As long as you are sure you are meeting the requirements of the next level...

On your previous post you said there is a chacklist on a website you go to.. who is determining what a "balanced 10m circle" is and how well you are performing it? Is it worth an "8" infront of an FEI judge?? My point is if you don't have a knowledgeable person on the ground telling you what is right and what is wrong and how to go about correcting it you don't have a good perspective on how balanced your 10m circle is. What you really need is a coach to do the checklist with you...


Anyways.. it would be useful to see a video and pick out what is really going on.

Good luck!
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    12-14-2011, 09:02 PM
  #19
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Exactly!!


I am sorry Cinny although I am supportive of your dressage learning I have a hard time beleiving a horse/rider combo without a coach in under 12 months can progress from a 50% at intro to "schooling 2nd level".... It takes that long to teach a flying change, twice that long to develop a piaffe/passage and three times as long for an experienced trainer to move an extremely talented horse up from w/t/c to third level (the same amount of levels to jump as intro to second)...

Moving up levels during a season is not an issue. I showed 4th level and PSG last year as I was not confirmed at I1 yet. As long as you are sure you are meeting the requirements of the next level...

On your previous post you said there is a chacklist on a website you go to.. who is determining what a "balanced 10m circle" is and how well you are performing it? Is it worth an "8" infront of an FEI judge?? My point is if you don't have a knowledgeable person on the ground telling you what is right and what is wrong and how to go about correcting it you don't have a good perspective on how balanced your 10m circle is. What you really need is a coach to do the checklist with you...


Anyways.. it would be useful to see a video and pick out what is really going on.

Good luck!
ha ha, I WISH I were schooling second, no I am schooling 1st and SOME 2nd level elements LOL. I don't believe I said I was schooling all of the second level elements. I don't think Cinny could pull off 2nd, ever to be honest. And just because we work on them, doesn't mean I think we can go in front of a judge with them.

As for circles, I think that if we do one size very well, and have excelled in it, then tightening them would be a good challenge. I like it because he seems to always be prepared and working on his hind engagement and moving correctly in anticipation of tightening the circle so when we don't... well it's a pretty well finished element.

And Spyder, I'm still waiting for someone to help with the filming. I don't want to just put the camera on a try pod because then half the film will be unfocused low quality. I'd rather have someone be able to follow me and zoom in so that I can see what I'm doing, and so can everyone else.
     
    12-17-2011, 03:39 PM
  #20
Foal
Cinnys Whinny, in order to sucessfully move up the levels in dressage, it is best to work with a qualified dressage trainer who will be able to watch you and advise you as to what level you should be showing. If your horse is not doing a good solid stretchy circle, you are certainly not ready to show 1st Level. I'd say continue to show Intro until your begin to score around 60% or above, then you could show Intro C and Trng. 1 while schooling Training at home. It's a big leap from Training to 1st Level. There is no 'fast-forward' in dressage. Each level creates the building blocks for the next. There is no race. Dressage is really about showing only the tests/Level you have mastered, while schooling the more difficult movements at home.

I cannot stress it enought - the best thing for you and for the horse is to have a trainer who can be your eyes on the ground. It is also very, very helpful if you are able to ride in an arena with mirrors to that you are always able to check your position and your horse's position, etc.
     

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