Counterbent *help* - Page 2

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Counterbent *help*

This is a discussion on Counterbent *help* within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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    06-05-2009, 10:36 PM
I agree with Spyder.
I do think that you're basically over complicating things though. Ride the horse forward to the contact and straight from both legs to both reins. If you're riding straight, your horse will go straight. If you're not riding straight then your horse isn't going to be straight. Stop pulling on the outside rein, basically. And if your horse is ignoring your inside leg then something else you're doing is blocking its action (like pulling on the outside rein) or you aren't applying it correctly.
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    06-05-2009, 10:43 PM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
The horse is not straight.

The concept of crookedness/straightness is complicated so I will not try to get you confused with a lot of terminology but suffice to say that crookedness is viewable in both the horse and rider.

Crookedness is caused when the horse's hind legs are not working with equal thrust and support. If for example the horse is traveling left and the left hind does not stride forward as far as the right then it does not supporting the shoulder on that side. This means the left front leg has too much weight and the shoulder leans into the left shoulder with the horse bending to the outside or to the right. This will force the right hind farther out to the right so that it no longer remains under the horse and now is supporting absolutely nothing as it is no longer thrusting or carrying.

So how to fix.

The area to look at is not so much the left hind as it is the right hind that is not doing any work. This side needs to be pushed over to bring the right leg more under the body and make it start carrying weight and using thrust so that the two hind legs are working more in unison. The horse may try to avoid this extra work by pushing the shoulders left so the rider will need to use their left calf and supporting the neck/wither connection with the left rein. A heavier right seat bone will help also.

Now in all this be careful that the inside shoulder of the horse has not caused you the rider to feel like you are slipping to the outside so you automatically weigh the inside more in an attempt to balance yourself (that dreaded collapsed hip). This will only cause the problem to increase in its magnitude. This may have started out with a minor crookedness on the part of the horse but incorrect riding has cause the problem to worsen.

To do this you will have to be strong and persistent.
That just really confused me... I don't know if it's just me or if it's just too late at night or what, but I don't really get any of that. Sorry... probably just me. Anyways I think I'm just going to focus on sitting more on the inside seat bone like Flitterbug said. That seems to make the most sense to me... if I sit more on the inside, and put my whole inside leg on, and use inside rein less, Dakota should bend away from my weight.
    06-05-2009, 10:52 PM
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan    
if I sit more on the inside, and put my whole inside leg on, and use inside rein less, Dakota should bend away from my weight.

That is exactly what you should NOT do. That causes the horse to do what it is doing and will cause more problems. The horse is already weighed to the inside.

Ride FORWARD and push the outside hind leg over so it is in line with the inside shoulder.
    06-05-2009, 10:55 PM
No, I meant around the corners. I need to work on being straight on the rail and bent around the turns.
    06-05-2009, 11:28 PM
Originally Posted by Equuestriaan    
No, I meant around the corners. I need to work on being straight on the rail and bent around the turns.
I will add only one thing and that is it for me.

A straight horse in dressage has nothing to do with the bend of the horse's body.

Straight in dressage means that each leg is carrying and supporting the horse equally whether the horse is in a straight line or going around a turn.
    06-05-2009, 11:40 PM
Please remember that I ride Western. Pretend that you're driving when you're riding. You steer for what's coming not what's here right now. Look where you want to end up. When you look where you wish to be those small, subtle movements are telegraphed to your horse. You do not want to bend the turn. That's unstable.

Remember, your emotions are also telegraphed to your horse. When you're angry and frustrated those feelings are telegraphed to your horse. When we learned about training dogs we were taught about telegraphing your emotions through the leash. You do that with your seat as you ride your horse. Remain calm. Sing. That keeps your mind off the stress of what you're doing.
    06-05-2009, 11:41 PM
Oh! Okay I think I get that. :)
    06-05-2009, 11:51 PM
I don't really have any advice, but I can offer moral support. I'm going throught the same problems right now, and it can be very frustrating!

My trainer is having me do lots of circles, and focusing on pushing his but out before his front end. It always seems like there is no progress, but after several weeks I'm beginning to see the difference
    06-06-2009, 12:28 AM
Hmmm I agree that circles help alot, maybe you should have your trainer hop on him and give him a go a couple times; its never good to be mad/frustrated/upset with your horse; maybe having a trainer ride him will be good for both of you.
    06-06-2009, 12:45 AM
You got some great advice from Spyder.

Can you get video footage of you riding in the corners. Footage close up to where we can see your aids and body clearly.

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