Schooling for first Novice test. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
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 . . .
I have trouble keeping my hands up (I'm used to riding a tb who carries her head completely differently with a long neck) and also getting those thumbs on top I will have a go at changing my stirrup length, that's a good idea.
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post #12 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 04:11 PM
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HAHA!!

Wiggle down that center line.....

Gosh, I wish I was in a position to work with you and your horse. There are some issues that could easily be fixed.

You need to energize your horse more. You horse loses it's bend quite often and, when it does, it becomes unbalanced. Every time a horse changes bend (corners!!) it will lose LOTS of impulsion. As a result you need to really learn to ride your corners. Corners are a wonderful tool, if used well. You need to flex your horse to prepare for the bend. Lots of leg, bend, leg, half halt, leg......Corners are difficult to ride well but will set your horse up for whatever movement is coming up next. Learn to LOVE corners. Shorten the stride a bit to go through the corners (Do not change the tempo, though).

As for the canter, your horse loses her bend and becomes quite heavy on the forehand. Work on the bend first. When they throw their weight onto that inside shoulder and lose their bend, no amount of impulsion will help. It will only make matters worse. Keep that inside leg at the girth and work to push your horse off the inside shoulder and into that outside rein. When you horse can maintain the correct bend, then you can work on building on their impulsion. LEG and half halt...LEG and half halt.

Your lower leg keeps going way back, for some reason. You should not try to build impulsion from that leg position. You build "forward" with your leg at the girth. You do this especially at the walk. Don't move your leg back to get a better walk. Keep the leg at the girth and move him forward from there.

Don't throw your reins away at the free walk. This is not a lazy la-de-da walk they want. It is a FORWARD longer walk. You can keep a light but longer contact, not flopping your reins.

Gosh, I do go on, don't I. Sorry if this is too much. I really like you two and couldn't resist trying to help...LOL!
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post #13 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
HAHA!!

Wiggle down that center line.....

Gosh, I wish I was in a position to work with you and your horse. There are some issues that could easily be fixed.

You need to energize your horse more. You horse loses it's bend quite often and, when it does, it becomes unbalanced. Every time a horse changes bend (corners!!) it will lose LOTS of impulsion. As a result you need to really learn to ride your corners. Corners are a wonderful tool, if used well. You need to flex your horse to prepare for the bend. Lots of leg, bend, leg, half halt, leg......Corners are difficult to ride well but will set your horse up for whatever movement is coming up next. Learn to LOVE corners. Shorten the stride a bit to go through the corners (Do not change the tempo, though).

As for the canter, your horse loses her bend and becomes quite heavy on the forehand. Work on the bend first. When they throw their weight onto that inside shoulder and lose their bend, no amount of impulsion will help. It will only make matters worse. Keep that inside leg at the girth and work to push your horse off the inside shoulder and into that outside rein. When you horse can maintain the correct bend, then you can work on building on their impulsion. LEG and half halt...LEG and half halt.

Your lower leg keeps going way back, for some reason. You should not try to build impulsion from that leg position. You build "forward" with your leg at the girth. You do this especially at the walk. Don't move your leg back to get a better walk. Keep the leg at the girth and move him forward from there.

Don't throw your reins away at the free walk. This is not a lazy la-de-da walk they want. It is a FORWARD longer walk. You can keep a light but longer contact, not flopping your reins.

Gosh, I do go on, don't I. Sorry if this is too much. I really like you two and couldn't resist trying to help...LOL!

Thank you, wow lots to think about! I will work on my corners and learn to love them as I have noticed that things go astray there too (especially in canter). Canter is a fairly recent pace for us in the school (I know that sounds odd but we have been taking things slow), for a long time I couldn't get her to canter on the lunge at all, so I left it but following on from preparing for a couple of tests she has started to canter more and can now happily canter on the lunge.

I think my lower leg is getting involved with nagging her forward I found myself doing it on a hack yesterday, so I must stop that.

Free walk on a long rein - well I started a whole thread about that a while ago, but we got an 8 for it in this test so I wasn't too unhappy, but I will try to maintain a better contact but I really wanted her to stretch after a poor mark previously.

Gosh...shame you are such a long way away, I feel I could learn lots from you
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post #14 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 04:31 PM
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Allison, since you took the time to write that lesson in a box, could you elaborate on this portion:


As for the canter, your horse loses her bend and becomes quite heavy on the forehand. Work on the bend first. When they throw their weight onto that inside shoulder and lose their bend, no amount of impulsion will help. It will only make matters worse. Keep that inside leg at the girth and work to push your horse off the inside shoulder and into that outside rein. When you horse can maintain the correct bend, then you can work on building on their impulsion. LEG and half halt...LEG and half halt.

Can you describe, in detaile (like idiot-speak level) step by step order, the things (aids) you would apply to get a horse that IS leaning in on the circle at trot and canter, up and off that shoulder. This is a big problem for Z and I am sure that my efforts to help him probably end up hindering him.

Clava, I am not trying to hijack your thread, but hopefully you will want to know this too and won't mind if I ask for it to be broken down into smaller steps.
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post #15 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post

Can you describe, in detaile (like idiot-speak level) step by step order, the things (aids) you would apply to get a horse that IS leaning in on the circle at trot and canter, up and off that shoulder. This is a big problem for Z and I am sure that my efforts to help him probably end up hindering him.

Clava, I am not trying to hijack your thread, but hopefully you will want to know this too and won't mind if I ask for it to be broken down into smaller steps.

I'd love to know more.

In my last lesson we worked on sorting my errant left hand which is trying all on it's own (and of it's own accord!) to correct a lack of inside leg, so Alison has hit on the problem exactly. I do Ride With Your Mind lessons (Mary Wanless teachings) and they use interesting analogies about the "stuffing" to the sides of the horse and correcting which side has more by altering how we sit / apply the aids (hard to explain, but it makes a huge difference during the lessons).
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post #16 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 05:13 PM
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Darn! I miss lessons. I don't have the opportunity to take them right now. I have first dibs on getting Allison to give me one. You can go second.
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post #17 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 06:25 PM
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I do love it when someone gives 'real' advice that most anyone can understand - so much more helpful than the technical blurb that so often gets trotted out
Thanks from me too Allison!!!
Clava - I've watched Hatties progress so even though there are faults that you are aware of I see so much improvement in every video you take of her - you can only keep improving
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post #18 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 07:07 PM
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I just wanted to say that Hattie the Haflinger is beautiful!
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post #19 of 23 Old 09-11-2013, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Clava View Post

I think my lower leg is getting involved with nagging her forward I found myself doing it on a hack yesterday, so I must stop that.
Ah, yes....nagging. We often let our legs drift back because that is where the horse bulges and we can get our legs on them there the easiest! But, nagging is very counterproductive. It serves to deaden the horse to the leg. If you poke yourself in the side constantly, you can easily learn to ignore that annoyance. What you need to do is use your leg more sharply and get a real response from the horse. If the horse ignores the leg, a tap with a dressage whip reinforces this aid. When the horse reacts, you praise it mightily. Then, you need to let your leg go quiet. Yes, the horse will take advantage and lose the energy you wanted. That's OK. You simply re-energize with a stronger leg and get a response again. Eventually, your horse will understand if they don't carry that energy for a while, a strong correction will come. They will decide to carry themselves longer and longer. You need to encourage the horse literally every step of the way. You want the horse to carry themselves, not react dully to your nagging.

I hope this makes sense.

Tiny, Horses are right handed and left handed, just as we are. They will have a good side and a bad side. On one side they are much more likely to "lean in" on the circle. They throw all their weight onto the inside shoulder.

I liken that to a bicycle. When a bike goes around a corner, it cannot bend. As a result, they have to lean in when going around a corner. When a horse leans in, the rider ends up leaning in, too. This adds the rider's weight onto the inside shoulder, too. This makes matters even worse.

So, we need to give the horse the tools to bend. Inside leg, at the girth, pushes and lets go...pushes and lets go.....to encourage the horse to move off of that inside shoulder. The inside rein encourages the horse to bring his head in to help increase the bending the leg is asking for. AND, at least in the beginning, the rider puts extra weight into the outside stirrup to get their weight off of the inside shoulder. The rider sinks onto the outside seatbone. All in an effort to get their own weight Off of the inside shoulder. This will help give the horse the tools to bend on the circle.

The outside rein is all important. It must remain firm and very QUIET (no fussing). The horse must learn to trust that this rein will never be anything but supportive so that they will be willing to move into it and use it for supporting the bend.

The faster the gait, the more important it is to give the horse these tools to help with the bend. At the canter, until they can bend, they will be unable to correctly balance themselves. Once they bend better at the trot, it is time to work on the canter....not before.

At the canter, it is important to give bending aids even more. As the horse learns to bend, you can work much less and not have to shift your weight to the outside as much.

It is important to ask the horse to come forward in the canter. You need to encourage the horse to come off of the forehand. LEG!! Leg increases the energy but must not, necessarily, increase the speed of the horse. Leg to energize and engage, half halt to control the speed. You may have to half halt every other stride. So, it is LEG, half halt....LEG, half halt. All the while you are giving the bending aids. Sound complicated? You bet!!

Geeze, I seem to be long winded tonight. I don't even know if my fast typing is coming up with anything that is making sense. I am much better in person....Or so I've heard
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post #20 of 23 Old 09-12-2013, 02:39 AM Thread Starter
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Totally agree about the bicycle image and leaning, if your weight is too much to the inside the horse will be too, move your weight over and the horse moves to be under you and come upright

Thank you Alison that was great I know I shouldn't nag with my leg and she isn't really lazy or generally ignoring my leg, but I guess I'm used to a much more forward horse and I expect her to move off more from my leg and then I slip into nagging without even noticing I'm doing it. I do use a schooling whip and Hattie is capable of learning things very quickly so I think I just need to back my aids up more often until she gets the idea.

I was playing with half passes the other day (I know we are not ready yet -and I haven't done them with my RI-, but it was a development of other lateral work and I think helping with out straightness afterwards and our collection) Would you like to see?...but please be ware that it was just for fun and "having a go".
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