Schooling for first Novice test. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 10:35 AM Thread Starter
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Schooling for first Novice test.

Hattie the Haflinger and I are thinking of doing our first Novice test (maybe No.27 British dressage). Other than the need for a more steady and even contact and softer canter (all of which we are working on), we also need to be able to show a few steps of Medium trot so I had a go today at asking for this. I haven't had a chance to go through this with my instructor so I expect I've made some huge errors, but I thought I 'd ask for your views and help

Here were a couple of attempts (slowed down so I could see what I was doing). Stopping her rushing will be one issue which I try to do by making my rise bigger and clearer. Anyway, how I can I improve?

Schooling Hattie - YouTube
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post #2 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 10:39 AM
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Looks nice.

The key to having good mediums is to have good transitions. SO many people forget to school transitions when working on lengthenings. So, show the working trot to medium trot back to working trot. That would make a better critique material.
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post #3 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 10:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
Looks nice.

The key to having good mediums is to have good transitions. SO many people forget to school transitions when working on lengthenings. So, show the working trot to medium trot back to working trot. That would make a better critique material.
Ah Ok, I really need a camera person then as I couldn't get an angle to show the trot and enough of the school, but I will have a go for the next video. To teach her the difference I am probably over collecting her before the attempt at medium trot, but I agree I should be working for a good working trot, thank you.
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post #4 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 11:07 AM
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The biggest mistake I see people make when schooling the lengthenings is believing the horse needs to really stretch their frame to get it. Then they throw their hands forward to allow the contact to go longer for that "stretch". They end up allowing the horse to dive onto their forehands by doing this. The whole idea is to keep them light on the forehand so that they can keep the same rhythm (if they get heavy on the forehand, they cannot do this and they will get a quicker rhythm). This lightness and slower rhythm will allow the freedom of the shoulder and allow it to REACH forward more. Keep your hands up and and keep the horse light on the forehand and engaged in the haunch so that they can power from behind. Throwing the contact forward will make it hard to do the medium.

Luckily, you seemed to support your horse nicely
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post #5 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post

Luckily, you seemed to support your horse nicely

Thank you, that's good I'm trying to get her off the forehand and lift the front so she has space to extend the front legs, it does mean that I'm leaning back slightly and I feel like my legs are too far forward though (but hopefully I can work on that).
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post #6 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Thinking about Novice 27 too, it looks straight forward...any thoughts?
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post #7 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Clava View Post
Thank you, that's good I'm trying to get her off the forehand and lift the front so she has space to extend the front legs, it does mean that I'm leaning back slightly and I feel like my legs are too far forward though (but hopefully I can work on that).
In my experience, when I sit and feel that my leg is too far forward, sitting on my seatbones and putting a little bend in my knee will bring my heel back under my hip. :) Cute horse!!
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post #8 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 03:20 PM
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I'm not familiar with European dressage levels. I'll look them up.

Your first pass on the video looks like it is slightly downhill. That contributed to the very heavy forehand there. That, and your throwing your weight forward and the end all contributed to a heavy and shorter stride.

The second pass was the best, IMO. The uphill helped and you were keeping her nicely forward. Her shoulder was light and free and was able to reach nicely. The third pass was good, but lacking a bit in forward. Your horse just might have been a bit tired. This work takes fitness as they are working harder than normal.

I hope you get a chance to video some transition work. I really like your halffie and would like to see more of her. Show us some of her canter too.
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post #9 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
I'm not familiar with European dressage levels. I'll look them up.

Your first pass on the video looks like it is slightly downhill. That contributed to the very heavy forehand there. That, and your throwing your weight forward and the end all contributed to a heavy and shorter stride.

The second pass was the best, IMO. The uphill helped and you were keeping her nicely forward. Her shoulder was light and free and was able to reach nicely. The third pass was good, but lacking a bit in forward. Your horse just might have been a bit tired. This work takes fitness as they are working harder than normal.

I hope you get a chance to video some transition work. I really like your halffie and would like to see more of her. Show us some of her canter too.

Thank you that is very helpful In the first pass I lean forward at the end as I'm patting her as I was pleased that she had tried! I agree the 2nd is the best and I'm sure it was tiring as it is not something she will have created muscles for yet.

I will video transitions (although we have a little jumping competition on Sunday so might do some of that before then ), the test I intend to do will be infront of a judge on the 13th Oct and then the judge will spend 15mins going through her comments with me and doing the test again (it is a test training session). I'm hoping it will be really helpful.

Here is my last prelim test just to show you where we are at (I know my left hand is dreadful! - and we have had words)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmbt...J7iCQotbWHAxtA
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post #10 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 03:50 PM
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Thank you, that's good I'm trying to get her off the forehand and lift the front so she has space to extend the front legs, it does mean that I'm leaning back slightly and I feel like my legs are too far forward though (but hopefully I can work on that).

I see that. Would it make any difference to shorten or lengthen your stirrup? Sometimes that's something to experiement with if one finds it hard to keep the leg under them. Take that from a person with little show experience, and lot's of experimenting experience (read: fartin' around).

Also, on occasion, you get a bit of puppy dog hands. I think it's part of the you wanting to kind of "help" her left up and stay light in the front, and allow her to stretch forward. If you keep that thumb on top, lasered into the bit, you will have that much better bit through to elbow elastic contact. But, you know all that . . .

Just saw your posting of the prelim show. you two are just the cutest pair!! you are doing a great job of bringing her along.

Last edited by tinyliny; 09-11-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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