A) What is the secret to getting a good square halt? I'm working on him stopping without the reins, and listenting to my seat better, but how do I get the halt square?
B) What do you think the ideal length for a rider's leg should be in Dressage? The angle in mine is about 110 degrees maybe?
C) How do you get the "perfect" Medium Walk? As judges, what do you look for?
D) Geof gets nervous going into the ring. I was thinking of going to a couple regular dressage shows this season to try and help him get over those nerves. What do you think?
Thanks! And I'll post more if I think of them!
A) Skyhuntress is right about this one. Practice practice practice!! Remember also to REWARD when you get a square halt.
B) Again, depends on the rider and their strength, balance, and build. For me because I'm short, strong and generally balanced, I like to have my stirrup long enough so that I'm reaching for it to keep me from looking like a complete midget. My leg still stays quiet though, which is the important thing. You need a solid, quiet leg so you aren't aiding the horse every stride.
C) Unfortunately, a lot of the medium walk quality is based on what kind of walk the horse is born with. There is not a lot that can be done to fix a walk, and the only way you're going to do that is by improving the horse's overall balance and eventually, collection, in other gaits. At the lower levels, if your horse has a bad walk I have always been told not to fiddle with it and just accept your 4s until you have the horse in a better place in his training (ie 3rd-4th level). I am lucky, my horse has a fantastic walk and I can usually count on 8s for my walk movements.
D) Does Geof get nervous, or do you get nervous? Either way the more comfortable you can both be with being in the ring, the better. Show, show, show until you hate it and don't want to do it anymore. Then it becomes routine and you stop placing so much weight on the results and what happens. I basically have to be forced to show lmao. I would much prefer sitting at home and spending my money on lessons and clinics, but that's because I've been showing for 10 years.