Dressage Potential/Critique - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 12 Old 08-21-2010, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you Anebel!!
So much appreciated.

BTW, the game plan as of right now is to have him go and do training level next year and if I can get a solid 65+ out of him a few times in a row, try a first level test.

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he looks like he has the tendency to become very tight and peg legged when challenged.
Yes, yes, and YES!!!!!! This is what happens:
If I do something or suggest something that he doesn't like (this could be anything from trotting around to doing shoulder-ins) sometimes what he does is get tight as a coiled spring and hollow, and he "snaps" at me. He'll give me like 4 inches of loose rein then haul his face forward to try and pull the reins out of my hands. Even though he's 20, he still has a bit of bottle rocket in him and frequently does beautiful Lippizaner-style moves. He doesn't make me nervous at all (he's not dirty, just energetic) but he does tend to make me a little tense because he can and will blow.

I'm going to take all of your advice into play and video this weeks lesson (my last before I go back to school ) and post it here again. I'm hoping you can see improvements.

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-18-2010, 04:01 AM
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Hello,
That is a cute horse. I remember you said that the video was taken on a hot day, so might account for him not always going really forward with some drive from behind.

Yeah, you need the D saddle and nix the martingale.
The one thing I saw that I didn't see anyone else comment on is that when you were trying to get him "on the bit", perhaps by fiddling with your fingers, he came down and behind the vertical. Instead of reaching for the bit, he was coming behind it a bit, and putting his head so much behind the vertical and downward puts more weight onto his shoulder/front legs, ' Heavy on the forehand.
You said he was often "go go go" at jumping and I am going to guess that he had his head up and maybe pulled back to almost creat a "ewe" neck shape. ( I don't mean permanently, just as a reaction to the pull on the rein and his brace against it and the excitement).
Anyway, I would start his dressage training by working with him reaching forward and down and NOT coming behind the vertical, but rather staying a tiny bit in front of it. Then, you ask him for forward!
The correct development of the neck/shoulder muscles is very inportant. Dressage horses , when they are just starting, spend a long time working in this frame and at the lower levels, training and intro, the manuals emphasize relaxation and being just in front of the vertical.
He has decent rythm and working on geting him to reach forward and down to the soft bit will bring out his relaxation more.
I didin't see a lot of off balance, (video wasn't so good) but what isthere seems to come from him resisting the contact.
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