How to relax?
   

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How to relax?

This is a discussion on How to relax? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Getting a horse to relax for dressage
  • Getting tense dressage horse to relax chron of horse

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    04-19-2014, 12:51 PM
  #1
Weanling
How to relax?

Ok so, when riding I seem to get very tense.

My mum and instructors say its probably because I am trying too hard to get everything perfect. I do feel my self get tense sometimes too but breathing out just isn't cutting it.

If I relax I feel like I can use my leg at all and everything will go to pieces. And every time I use my leg I feel my body tighten.

This carries through into my poor pony, and I just don't know what to do. I feel as if my tenseness is dragging us down and making the whole picture look worse when it could look so much better.

Please any help would be really appreciated. If I can't get over this I don't think I would get further than elementry at a push because I'll be restricting the pony too much. I have videos if wanted of me riding during the week and at a show at the beginning of April.
     
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    04-19-2014, 12:53 PM
  #2
Weanling
I look at Edward Gal, and he is just so relaxed and can give aids so effectivly and I think why can't I even be a fraction of that relaxed and give aids a fraction as well.
     
    04-19-2014, 01:15 PM
  #3
Trained
Is this all the time or just in a show situation?

If it is all the time, then I would suggest just riding out hacking for a while, remember that this is meant to be fun to start with, so go have fun. If you stop concentrating so hard on being perfect it will help you to communicate! Remember dressage is a dance, but it is also work, the key is to look relaxed while working hard.

What has helped me to some extent is taking up physical fitness, I find the more I get used to getting my body to carry out Zumba moves, the more I can relax while doing it, and that is carrying over to my baby steps into Western Dressage. So maybe try something else to help get the body responding. Oh and I also spend evenings sat on my gym ball, practising using my leg, while not gripping up or tensing.
rhosroyalvelvet likes this.
     
    04-19-2014, 01:29 PM
  #4
Weanling
Thanks so much. I will definitely try what you suggested!

Acctually when I go in to the competition ring I relax a bit more but still not enough. Here are videos of at home and at show.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrTL1kbcf4U

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7CTErFeD88
     
    04-19-2014, 02:33 PM
  #5
Weanling
Try singing! Something with a steady beat, like a children's song. It tends to relax both horse and rider. I find it helps focus me to think about the words and melody rather than the sometimes hectic riding thoughts, and by concentrating on NOT concentrating, I ride with more relaxation, which brings more feel.
     
    04-19-2014, 02:39 PM
  #6
Weanling
Thanks!

I used to do that when I started riding but kind of forgot! Hopefully it will help. I will try tomorrow!
     
    04-19-2014, 02:52 PM
  #7
Trained
Love the videos, I can see what you mean, you looked more relaxed in the show ring than the home ring
rhosroyalvelvet likes this.
     
    04-20-2014, 08:50 AM
  #8
Weanling
I know!

It's usually the opposite for most people...
     
    04-20-2014, 09:03 AM
  #9
Trained
What I see is that you are quite hard in the hands and as such your horse is quite sucked back with a high neck. In other words, you are riding the front end and forgetting about the back end.
It would be useful to get a really great couple of lessons from someone who can help you through this. But basically, focus only on pushing the hands forward, and don't worry about the head.
The other thing I would suggest is to hop over some caveletti and jumps. If you can, try to at least have some trot poles set up every day and when you get tight go over them and release. And jumping is also very good because you must release!

Good luck!
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    04-20-2014, 09:27 AM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
What I see is that you are quite hard in the hands and as such your horse is quite sucked back with a high neck. In other words, you are riding the front end and forgetting about the back end.
It would be useful to get a really great couple of lessons from someone who can help you through this. But basically, focus only on pushing the hands forward, and don't worry about the head.
The other thing I would suggest is to hop over some caveletti and jumps. If you can, try to at least have some trot poles set up every day and when you get tight go over them and release. And jumping is also very good because you must release!

Good luck!
Posted via Mobile Device
Thank you! That is exactly what I feel going on I and do try to be softer in the hands and stonger in my legs, so I am pushing him forward into my hands. I have my mum and two other instructors. I am trying really hard to fix this, and am actually always thinking about the hind end and trying to be soft with my hands, though it never seems to be enough.

Jumping may be an issue because Rhos goes MAD! He tries to take off at any jump.

I really think I need to strenghten my core also to help make my half halts stonger and more defined than they are.

Anyway I'll just keep taking small steps at I time. Try to get my subconcious thoughts that everything must be perfect to go away and just take little improvents each day, which is what I know I need to do.
     

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