Finally got into actual dressage lessons... Holes in MY training! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 04:24 PM Thread Starter
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Finally got into actual dressage lessons... Holes in MY training!

I'm in pain. I've never worked so hard riding a horse!! Lol

I've been lessoning training level (yay, I got to skip intro! Lol) on a first level horse. We've found some serious holes in my training! I'm almost embarassed to even admit this.

I have to look down at the shoulder to see the diagonal

I just could NOT get it at the lesson! When I was in jumping lessons, we did work at the trot. However, it wasn't that big of a deal to look down. In dressage I know that will affect me HUGELY as I move up.

Instructor had me sit the trot and think about my hip movements. Then, once I thought I had it I was to post. I am extremely right side dominant as it turns out. I've been thinking about it a lot, lets see if I got this right.

Outside him moves forward, inside hip moves forward. Inside, out, Inside out. So when the inside leg pushed my outside hip forward, I should be out of the saddle? So I should begin to leave the saddle as soon as the outside leg lands (inside hip forward)? Sorry if that is confusing.

Also- The cue we use for canter is outside leg back, inside leg at girth, and inside hip lifted. Instructor also said I can think about my outside hip moving down- would that create the same effect, or is it better to think inside hip lifted?

And while we're on that note, when is it best to cue for canter (from trot)? When the outside hind is on the ground or the inside hind?

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 10:14 PM
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Why are you embarrassed!? I still look to check on my diagonal here and there, and especially when I'm on a new horse or a horse I don't ride often.

I think I have seen posts on this forum explaining that there is no such thing as a correct diagonal in dressage or that it at least is not as important as long as it isn't negatively influencing the movement of the horse. Perhaps do a search?

But back to you, was this a new trainer? You might be putting too much pressure on yourself and thinking about it too much. It happens to me when I get in front of someone new. Try feeling it out and letting the horse push you out of the saddle into your post.

I've never tried thinking of the outside hip moving down for the canter cue but I am willing to test it out to see if it works!
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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My trainer said in a circle it can cause the inside to shorten up and effect the suppleness and bend of the horse? And something about effecting leg yeilds as well.

It is a new trainer! I think my thing is I feel like I should be WAY beyond getting the correct diagonal! Lol but I am pretty hard on my self. It's a gift and a curse.

Yes try the canter cue! Sitting here, I can think "lift inside hip" and get the same effect as if I think "push outside hip down", but who knows? Let me know what happens

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 10:42 PM
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I've refined the art of just moving my eyes down to check diagonal. For reasons I cannot figure, whenever we're trotting on the right rein, I cannot feel the diagonal to save my life. I just tell myself it's the other one since I'm wrong 99% of the time. I just stay up for the first two beats instead of one to cancel out the fact that I'm always wrong, and that ends up being right.

As for cantering, I actually don't do squat with my outside leg, at least not the lower part. I can only describe it as scooching with my with inside seat bone and squeezing for that same second with my outer thigh like I was trying to scratch an itch on my inner thigh. Combined with a slight release of the inside rein to free up his shoulder and we're off.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Eliz View Post
My trainer said in a circle it can cause the inside to shorten up and effect the suppleness and bend of the horse? And something about effecting leg yeilds as well.

It is a new trainer! I think my thing is I feel like I should be WAY beyond getting the correct diagonal! Lol but I am pretty hard on my self. It's a gift and a curse.

Yes try the canter cue! Sitting here, I can think "lift inside hip" and get the same effect as if I think "push outside hip down", but who knows? Let me know what happens
Both of my trainers also teach correct diagonals but I remember reading about it on here as a non issue and thought it was interesting!

Ditto on coming down on yourself. I think most of us do that. You've been practicing hunt seat for the most part though right? You're using different muscles in dressage so give yourself a break! =).

I'll let you know how the canter cue goes. That's been one of my biggest vices from switching.
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 10:50 PM
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And while we're on that note, when is it best to cue for canter (from trot)? When the outside hind is on the ground or the inside hind?



I think you ask for it just after the leading leg has hit the ground, in the moment of suspension, just before the strike off leg reaches forward.

Read more: Finally got into actual dressage lessons... Holes in MY training!
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-18-2011, 11:33 PM
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Eliz, I wish I could take lessons with you. I have only a limited knowledge and ability with dressage and since I haven't had a lesson in 3 years, I feel so out of touch with it. Good for you for gettting back into it.

With the diagonal, what I read is that it only really matters when you are trotting a circle. Since you rise with the outside fore going forward, that would be the same time as the outside rear pushing off and going backward. As the rear pushes off, it causes the horse's hip on that side to rise up (when it is weight bearing ) and if you can rise up at that moment, then you help the horse, or at least stay out of his way as best as possible.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-19-2011, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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^

Thanks, it does help me mentally to think of it like that.

Puck, that cue makes a little more sense if you're going for the most subtle cues. I may do it that way when and if I ever find an eventing partner.

Shasta: YES! Omg I've gone from light hunt seat to deep seat, core-busting dressage. I just love it though. I feel accomplished even when I get stuck. My biggest vice is probably not leaning forward... Also, having to change that blasted dressage whip from hand to hand is kicking my butt :p

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-20-2011, 12:24 AM
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As far as the diagonal...yes it is a non issue when competing. There is no correct or incorrect diagonal. As far as circles they are all done sitting ( except at the very very lowest test where you have the option of rising or sitting trot).

As far as the canter aids we must remember two things.

Aids from the inside affects the opposite hind leg and you cannot influence a grounded leg. The outside rider's leg does not side back but remains at the girth and will move back ONLY if the haunches swing to the outside.
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-20-2011, 09:37 AM
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when I ask for the canter I weight my outside seat bone and you give a half halt before asking... so say you're going to ask for the left lead you would half half and flex your side hand to insure you have the correct bend to the left and as the front right leg is coming forward is when you would ask for the canter as at that moment the back left leg would be coming up next and then it would be the left front leg which is what you are asking for.

This is the pattern for walk:
right fore, left rear, left fore,

Since the trot is a diagonal two beat, if you were wanting to pick up the left lead you would ask as the right foreleg was coming forward
right rear.

"The horse you get off is not the same as the horse you got on; it is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible the change is for the better."
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