Get out of going through the motions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-24-2011, 03:23 PM Thread Starter
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Get out of going through the motions

I have read and viewed many posts and critiques about "the horse looks good, but is just going through the motions". I'm wondering if a horse is simply born with a desire to perform at a higher level or can it be developed and trained? If a horse is simply going through the motions, how do you get past this? Or is it time to look for another horse in order to move up?
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-25-2011, 05:40 PM
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It is rarely the horses fault that they are simply going through the motions... the rider has to ask for and ride excellence from the horse. A horse who is struggling at a certain level will not appear to be "going through the motions", he will be struggling. A horse who is "going through the motions" is not being pushed or challenged and it is likely the rider is also simply perched atop the horse looking pretty and riding a pattern - not riding Dressage.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 05:28 PM
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I don't think I've ever heard that phrase. Does it mean a competent ride but without stress? Sounds kind of nice. . .? I wonder why the well-trained horse has to be "pushed."
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post #4 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Beling View Post
I don't think I've ever heard that phrase. Does it mean a competent ride but without stress? Sounds kind of nice. . .? I wonder why the well-trained horse has to be "pushed."
Hi Beling, it means the horse is simply doing the movements of the test, but there is no 'extra something'. The horse is finding it easy, almost boring, and there is nothing special about the test. Generally coupled with a horse that is a leg mover, not a back mover, as the rider is not doing their job.

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post #5 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 06:09 PM
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Was going to say I had no idea what this phrase meant as well.. so basically when a rider sits there and allows the horse to work.. horse takes some advantage and says I'll do the bare minimum?

Hmm... thanks for that.. learn something new every day!
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyJo View Post
I have read and viewed many posts and critiques about "the horse looks good, but is just going through the motions". I'm wondering if a horse is simply born with a desire to perform at a higher level or can it be developed and trained? If a horse is simply going through the motions, how do you get past this? Or is it time to look for another horse in order to move up?

Although it can appear at any level it is mostly at the lower levels.

Horses that can more or less do what is required, but the rider through inexperience or trying to do a test without creating waves in the test often gets a passable mark ( like 55 or even 60) but the judge will be thinking " I bet they will have trouble at the next level".

This is because the higher you go the more the horse has to show and "nice quiet tests" will not cut it anymore.

I said this before...to get something beyond "going through the motions" you have to ride between sanity and insanity. A passenger just will never get there.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 06:54 PM
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I think it's common amongst school horses as well. They become bored and know their job coupled with students, like spyder said, don't know how to ask for more or don't want to risk waves. There needs to be some spark, even if it's just a sign of enjoyment.

I haven't seen it in Dressage, but local hunters have their fair share of horse (especially the flat classes) just going around, ears floppy, eyes dull, doing the correct but bare minimum.

It's enough to make you want to take the poor horse out for a nice brisk hack.

If your horse says no, you either asked the wrong question or asked the question wrong

And God took a handful of southerly wind, blew His breath over it and created the horse
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post #8 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
It is rarely the horses fault that they are simply going through the motions... the rider has to ask for and ride excellence from the horse. A horse who is struggling at a certain level will not appear to be "going through the motions", he will be struggling. A horse who is "going through the motions" is not being pushed or challenged and it is likely the rider is also simply perched atop the horse looking pretty and riding a pattern - not riding Dressage.
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Loved your post Anabel. Although I can't see me and my little 14.2 hand paint mare riding Grand Prix level, it's ensightful to know that as long as I continue to improve and to push her, she can be ridden better and in turn, get better herself.

I just realized how much of a team sport it is.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-26-2011, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Spyder View Post
I said this before...to get something beyond "going through the motions" you have to ride between sanity and insanity. A passenger just will never get there.
In other words, we need an "X" factor. I love it!

I think that we as newbies worry too much about how we might be making a mistake that we are afraid to sometimes even look like we are enjoying ourselves! Then the horse probably mirrors us in its movements.

Quiet, quiet, quiet....
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-27-2011, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BaileyJo View Post
I have read and viewed many posts and critiques about "the horse looks good, but is just going through the motions". I'm wondering if a horse is simply born with a desire to perform at a higher level or can it be developed and trained? If a horse is simply going through the motions, how do you get past this? Or is it time to look for another horse in order to move up?
As I now understand it then, "going through the motions" isn't quite fulfilling the test--that is, the trot isn't really "working" perhaps, the canter balanced but strung out, etc.

Then definitely, it's all about the riding and/or training! For us at the lower levels, there's always a better horse out there; but in most cases, we're not NEAR to getting what we can out of the horses we have.
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