How do you know when your horse is ready to move up?
 
 

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How do you know when your horse is ready to move up?

This is a discussion on How do you know when your horse is ready to move up? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How do you know when your horse is ready to foal
  • your scores at intro dressage

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    12-05-2011, 04:26 PM
  #1
Green Broke
Red face How do you know when your horse is ready to move up?

I've been working very hard with Cinny, and despite the fact that we STILL don't have a trainer (sigh) I think we are doing fairly well. I have been going to clinics, anything I can find to help even if it's with a top reiner, and I can control so many movements with Cin now. Cin has also come a long way in the ways of building up muscle and control for himself.

Last year we did one schooling show at Intro level and did pretty respectably although judges notes said we had a ways to go in obedience and bit acceptance. We also were noted for Cin's lack of stretching down in his free walk. It's been almost a year since that show and we are now starting to school level 1 movements. He is bitting nicely now, showing more obedience (but still gives an occasional head toss or pinned ears) but seems to have the muscle, balance and stamina to carry them out. I am going to try to video as much as I can so that I can at least see myself and what I need to correct. He not only will stretch down in the free walk, but he will now do a nice, relaxed trot with his nose to the ground and my hand at the buckle.

I was thinking of showing Intro and Training level, but a few people say I shouldn't do intro again because it's not fair because Cin is past that. I think that until he stops grinding his teeth and tossing his head in transitions, that Intro/training is where he should be. He also pins his ears when I ask for a canter. I'm not talking flicking them back as if to listen, this is a real ear pin and he looks like if he could easily do so, he would turn and give me a nice bite or even a buck.

So, I'm not sure where to go from here when I enter the show ring this year. I really want to do the schooling circuit in my area and maybe do the Cornhusker Classic at the end of the year (year end state show). Do I stay back in Intro/Training until he stops the ear pinning, head tossing, or should I push ahead to Training/1st level which we are schooling and he can do well, except for the afore mentioned issues? They way I have always understood it, until I get the obedience and acceptance in Training level, he shouldn't move up. Am I right, or am I just being unfair to the other Intro riders?
     
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    12-05-2011, 04:28 PM
  #2
Foal
I would start moving up when you and your horse are both confident and trust each other.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:33 PM
  #3
Foal
You know my opinion on this. I don't know what level cinny is on but I wouldent want to be on a level where a blue ribbon is locked up. You know how I hate that girl who has the push button show horse and competes on lower levels and gets blues in every thing she does. Would not be fun or challenging to me. I think the classes Cinny was in last year were perfect for him AT THAT TIME now I think he may be beyond that class.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:39 PM
  #4
Green Broke
Okay, guys, I pulled out Cinny's score cards from that show.

Intro A 56.25% 90 points and Intro B 58.125% 93 points. We placed 3rd for both because there were only 6 competitors for Adult Amateur.

Personally, I wouldn't call that a "locked up" blue. I know some people who told me if their horse got those scores they would cry.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:42 PM
  #5
Foal
Oh BTW I am very proud of both of you. You have come a long way with limited resources. Now on another note. By not having a dedicated trainer and just attending clinics, I think you and Cin have progressed much faster. I think the reason may be because when you go to clinics, you can focus on your issue (which seems odd) better then a trainer. When you were with a trainer, I remember they automatically decided on your level weather it was right or wrong and just had you go through the moves weather you already knew them or you were not ready for those moves.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:47 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by robohog    
Oh BTW I am very proud of both of you. You have come a long way with limited resources. Now on another note. By not having a dedicated trainer and just attending clinics, I think you and Cin have progressed much faster. I think the reason may be because when you go to clinics, you can focus on your issue (which seems odd) better then a trainer. When you were with a trainer, I remember they automatically decided on your level weather it was right or wrong and just had you go through the moves weather you already knew them or you were not ready for those moves.
OH, don't forget my last "trainer" whom I believe tried to sabotage me altogether by refusing to help me with the tests before the show and wouldn't even work on any of the Intro elements (just canter transitions), told me some nasty things 3 days before the show, and then tried to spook Cinny during one of our tests by dropping a stud chain onto the metal bleachers as we passed by. LOL.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:48 PM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
Okay, guys, I pulled out Cinny's score cards from that show.

Intro A 56.25% 90 points and Intro B 58.125% 93 points. We placed 3rd for both because there were only 6 competitors for Adult Amateur.

Personally, I wouldn't call that a "locked up" blue. I know some people who told me if their horse got those scores they would cry.
These were last years scores and if cinny were in that same class again today, those scores would be much higher.

I was proud of you and cinny that day. You both did wonderfully. But I do know Cin would blow away those other competitors today. That wouldent be much fun for me. I would rather have a hard fought 3rd then a walk in the park 1st.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:52 PM
  #8
Banned
You need to look and see what is being asked for at the new level you want to compete at.

I tell my students that if you feel you can do all that is asked then you consider the move. If ONLY one thing is SLIGHTLY below par you should consider it.

It it scares you then you are not ready.

If you do up your level be prepared to not get a great score on the first try...if you improve through the year then you are doing the level you should be doing.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:52 PM
  #9
Trained
When you are consistently able to score in the high 60% range with a good judge and feel like you can consistently school every movement to the level of an "8", then its time to move up.

Dressage is not about ribbons, its about scores. If you are winning everything with a 10% margin but still only at a 60% then you are still not ready for the next level!

Good luck!
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Cinnys Whinny and robohog like this.
     
    12-05-2011, 04:52 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Robohog, Yes, but I also don't want judges rolling their eyes at me and other competitors laughing and smirking because I'm doing 1st level on a horse that isn't accomplished with the basics yet.
     

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