Frustration: Outside Rein & Consistent Contact - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by MissH View Post
Alrighty. Lets get right into it. Typically lately, as the weather has turned and we've had lots of snow, she is a little frisky when I bring her in (no traction in the field even with the studs). So to start, we'll do about 15 minutes a side on the lunge. We'll focus on trot and canter, in the attempt to get her over her back and moving forward before I get on. After that, we'll warm up with a few rounds of walk on either rein, first with a loose rein, and then in the frame? (I put a "?" simply because I'm not quite sure what the favorite terminology is around here - I typically would've said on the vertical, but who knows - can someone clarify so when I'm explaining myself and trying to learn something I can be clear? ).

After this, I've already worked myself up to the point that we're going to have to trot eventually and this is where the problem starts. She'll be warm and soft and gorgeous at the walk - as soon as we kick it up a gear the first thing she does is bring her nose up. I think this is mainly attributed to the fact that she now knows that she can !@*# with me because I haven't been consistent with this in the past. So because she's gotten away with it before, now she's learned and this is where we're at. So we'll post trot for a decent amount of time on both reins. I'll work on some serpintines if I have room in the arena - really focusing on bending, flexing and trying to get her through. I have pace issues - so I'll try and stay conistent with the gait. I will try *not* to worry about not being in the connection, as as soon as I start to get worked up about not getting anywhere I get tense, then she braces - and as the others have mentioned, everything become more difficult.

Then we'll move on to sitting trot - I think I've done a great job thus far of really sitting and controlling my seat. We've done a lot of no stirrup work in the past and it has really helped. Now - if she's not over her back and we're not forward and round, obviously sitting becomes slightly harder and neither of us are as happy as we could be. None the less, I will sit and again work through serpintines, bending and flexing trying to accomplish the same thing.

Recently, as in over the course of the last week, we've bumped up canter to way earlier in our sessions as this helps with our forward movement, and I seem to have no problems with coordinating everything in the canter. She's round, forward, I can tell that my hands, seat, and legs are doing everything they are supposed to be doing, and I have a much great ability to "tweak" the gait more accurately then I do at the trot.

Anyways, eventually, after cantering (always after this point in our sessions/lessons), it's much easier to get her round and forward (obviously). So this is typically where I hit the 35 minutes and things start to come together (not all the time, only some).
I am going to make a suggestion in your warm up. Everything seems fine up to and including the walk and I get the feeling that neither she nor you in spite of what you feel, are not ready. Could be a cold back on your horse or that some horses just need more loosening up before they are ready.

I absolutely feel YOU are not ready in what your mind should be telling your body what to do, so rather than go through a long explanation I have a Youtube video of a well know trainer doing EXACTLY what I do. My horse needs to be more loosened up as he does have a cold back but I do find that what is shown in the video helps the rider get more co-ordinated before they start "into" working with the horse. These exercises gives both time to feel each other out and it does set the frame of mind for both horse and rider to get more "in" to each other.

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post #12 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by MissH View Post
I bet you anything that there was a time when you're coach told you all the same things about inside leg, outside rein, shoulders, positioning, blah blah blah - and that at the time you were going wtf am I supposed to do with all of this information - LOL... it's so easy to say "simplify" when you already have the ability to do it, and do it beautifully! I agree with your line of thinking, I'm just saying - remember back to when you weren't the gorgeous rider that you are now and you were going through the same issues I'm having, and try to remember how that felt.
This is why it is important for coaches of all types to have training in how to coach people and how people learn. Our horses learn a lot faster because they know how to walk trot and canter naturally. For humans it is not in their nature to be sitting on a horse and instructing it. This is why most of the training should be focused on the rider positioning herself in the most opportune place to allow the horse to do these things. The horse can already to P & P, go round in a frame and swing over the back naturally - we do not have to train them to do this. As riders we have to only balance ourselves to allow this to happen. This is what I think is a flaw in your thinking.
As far as for teaching people we need to only be giving them one bite of information at a time. Most coaches want to see the riders progress as fast as possible and be able to put the pieces together quickly. This is because they can do it and they find it easy. So they get frustrated and pile more things on the "To Do" list when the rider is simply not ready.
As riders, we need to simplify. Focus on the most important aspects first, and the least important aspects later. There is a saying, 80% of the job can be done with 20% of the work and the final 20% will take 80% of the work. We need to get the first 80% dealt with and then chip away at the final 20%. This is why I am saying - focus on what you can control. Get your balance, get your seat, stay centered, don't hang on the rein or over complicate things for the horse. Use your legs to go forward, your seat to balance the horse.
You can't just hop on and expect to get your "To Do" list done every ride. Start at the top - this is the same thing I do every ride. Get your head in the game, get yourself figured out and then start chipping away at the details. Some days I don't make it out of my warm up phase and that is OK! As long as I don't get frustrated, keep it simple and then I will learn.

Good luck!

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #13 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 08:52 PM
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Spyder . Thankyou for that video of Phillipe Karl. I admire him and his work so very much. Was that him speaking? It didn't look like him riding but the the resolution wasn't that good.
Interesting how much bend he had in that horse's neck. And I saw him use his hand several times in the "French" style of putting the knuckles fully upward and lifting.
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post #14 of 17 Old 12-17-2010, 11:12 PM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Spyder . Thankyou for that video of Phillipe Karl. I admire him and his work so very much. Was that him speaking? It didn't look like him riding but the the resolution wasn't that good.
Interesting how much bend he had in that horse's neck. And I saw him use his hand several times in the "French" style of putting the knuckles fully upward and lifting.

I do much the same with my horse but don't bend the neck as much.

The main point that I felt important is the back and forth movement to get the horse to settle into the rein and leg control and getting the relaxation of the horse.

This is very much towards the French school but as a warm up I find it does not only get the horse to settle but gives the rider time to settle and relax into the feeling of the horse. You will notice a few minutes into the video that the horse relaxes and drops its head and the rider follows the movement. Riders that tend to be stiff early in their ride or have trouble getting things co ordinated until they are deep into the ride will benefit from this exercise.
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post #15 of 17 Old 12-28-2010, 06:30 PM Thread Starter
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AMAZING results this week.

Spyder, thank you very much for that video of Phillipe Karl. And Anebel, the advice was great.

I was over-complicating the situation - the solution was in my wrist. My wrists (specifically my inside wrist) was completely locked and I suppose I never noticed it until I really really focused in on it. Anyways, to call more attention to this, I went to my local bike shop and bought a pair of SUPER BRIGHT motocross gloves (yes, you can giggle).

These ones:

If I saw pink in my peripheral, I knew my outside hand/wrist hand turned piano on me, and it basically just called more attention to my hands in general reminding me to be a bit more flexible/relaxed. Once I "gave" with my inside rein, things were in a completely different league.

Anyways just a huge thank you to you ladies. The problem really was a simple one. Over the last few days I've used a combination of really stretchy flexible inside/outside bending exercises (like the one in the Karl video) and focused on not being so stiff before we even got out of the walk. This worked, and by the time we picked up the trot she already knew what I wanted. Posted trot on both reins, and then went to sitting and she was round and through. All gaits have gotten better.

Psyched for the MacPherson clinic. Anebel, can't wait to hear what you think of the pics.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-28-2010, 06:41 PM
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Good for you.

What I find so much is that people will walk their horse around expecting them to "get stretched" and more often than not they don't. So when the trot is picked up they have not stretched their back like you think they have.

They are often just as stiff as when you first got on.

If you thought of that horse like a piece of old stiff leather and just putting oil on it will not get it supple. But SLOW bending back and forth gets the leather softer and softer and in the end you have a real nice piece of leather you can twist and turn to your hearts content.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-28-2010, 06:41 PM Thread Starter
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AGREE! I'm thrilled!
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