He isn't a dressage horse, buuuutt..... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 03-17-2010, 11:37 AM Thread Starter
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He isn't a dressage horse, buuuutt.....

Jester has been taught to collect and extend as beginning dressage training before we got him, but I haven't built on it. He hasn't used this in nearly ten years but recently I've realized. "Hmm...I really hate his trot. is there any way I can collect it and make it better?" *Click* "Oh wait, I can!"

So yeah. That was my big blonde moment of the day. I took him out to the arena and did collected trotting all over the place. But when I aske dhim to extend he got really pissy and swished his tail, throwing his ehad around and even did a little buck. I've driven him forward, but never actually asked for a specific extend before. I kept light contact on the reins and squeezed with my legs every stride. It's worked on Toni's horses, so I assumed it would work on him too. Granted I haven't done much dressage, so I'm sure I did something wrong.

Is this just him being frisky, or is there some sort of deeper meaning that I'm not getting? Help would be deeply apreciate, thanks.

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #2 of 7 Old 03-17-2010, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by SorrelHorse View Post
I kept light contact on the reins and squeezed with my legs every stride. It's worked on Toni's horses, so I assumed it would work on him too. Granted I haven't done much dressage, so I'm sure I did something wrong.
That won't necessarily get an extended gait, assuming he is trained properly. Also all movements above your basic W/T/C are the result of a build up of muscles, balance and an understanding of what is being asked for by the horse (meaning practice).
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post #3 of 7 Old 03-20-2010, 10:42 AM
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if you haven't practiced it for a long time, then really collect him and ask him for an extention it would probably be very hard for him to do that. I have been teaching my horse to extend, I am also collecting her more, it is getting tougher for her but our 'extentions' started out as a faster trot, now she's really lifting her legs and lengtheningg her strides, and now if I just get that last step of the collection we need I bet it will turn into and extentiom easily, because we have been working on balance and aids. It takes time, and even though he's been taught it already it will probably still take a while to brush the dust off! :)
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post #4 of 7 Old 03-20-2010, 11:16 AM
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I think what we're talking about her is shortening and lenthening, not collecting and extending.

True collection requires a long period of systemic, correct, gymnastic training and is characterized by lowering of the croup and increased flexion/angulation in all the joints of the hind leg and general "uphill" outline. True extension is developed out of collection.

Many people use "collection" as a general term to mean shorter stride, or more connected front to back. Not necessarily incorrect, but not correct in the dressage sense.

The correct way to ask a horse to *lengthen* his stride at the trot is to apply alternate leg aid in rhythm with the trot, leg leg aid as the left hind comes forward, right leg aid as the right hind comes forward.

Squeezing with both legs at every stride probably confused him; it's a mild form of clashing aids. Practice going from a regular walk to a lengthened walk using alternate leg aid first, then try asking for the lengthened trot on the long sides of the ring.
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post #5 of 7 Old 03-23-2010, 03:13 PM
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Great advice Maura! The only thing I would add is to remember to sit in and with the trot and not bounce all over the place on his back. That will make him angry and you will lose the movement. You can lengthen posting as well but I think it's much harder to get a good lengthening when posting. IT is preferable to post the lengthening than really hitting their back though. Work on your sitting trot and getting them forward and engaged in a "collected or shortened" and working trot before you attempt to add the lengthenings and things.
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post #6 of 7 Old 03-25-2010, 05:51 PM
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That's funny, Nittany -

Since I came up primarily as a hunter rider and learned dressage much later, it's much easier for me to apply alternate leg aid when posting - inside leg as you rise, outside leg as you sit. Sitting the trot correctly with a following seat and asking for a lengthening at the same time is a pretty advanced skill, to my little hunter pea brain. I actually found it easier to ride a true extrension - starting in a collected frame made it easier to have a deep, following seat, and asking for the extension was more letting the coiled up energy of collection escape than a specific ask or aid.

I'm sure if all my early training was in dressage, with the expectation that the trot was usually ridden sitting, I would feel differently.

But thanks for your input, it's always interesting to hear how different disciplines respond to the same issue.
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post #7 of 7 Old 03-26-2010, 09:41 PM
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I was talking to her as she said she rides primarily western and there's a big difference between how they learned to ride and how hunters learned to ride. I have been recently working with a few amateur Horsemanship/Reining/Penning riders that wanted to as they put it "keep their teeth and enjoy trotting and trail riding again". They had schooled their horses to do exactly what they wanted in the ring, which was mostly loping and their horses didn't have a naturally good jog/trot. Like the OP they were tired of having sore rear ends from trying to sit their horses' bone jarring trots so they asked me to help them. I tried teaching them like I would my english riders and it was a miserable failure so I had to get creative and pretty much work backwards. They knew how to sit the movement but not to follow it and then alter it. It sure gave me a new appreciation for them though, after trying to ride that way just one time my butt was sore for days!! The saddle and where it puts you is also another obstacle in collections and lengthenings. The fenders and stirrup positions makes it kind of hard to get your body the way you need it to be to be effective as a dressage rider. You can't get your whole leg on the horse at any given time unless you're stretch armstrong! So you learn to ride western style dressage in a hurry haha!
*As a side note too Maura, it's easier for me to post and get my lengthenings and collections as well. Although now that I've been working with and riding more western moving/trained horses in western saddles I'm developing more of a "western seat". I worked a western horse this last month and didn't even climb in an english saddle for about 3 weeks, got back on my horse in an english saddle to school him after a lesson and I was like WHOA...where did my saddle go? It was pretty funny and I'm sure my EQ was horrible haha as I learned to balance again.
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