Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Breinigsville, PA
• Horses: 0
Tips? Advice? Book Recommendations?
Danny has a lot of green, stubborn, bored issues from a lack of prior training. In the four months that I've had him, he has improved tremendously. He rarely stops dead in the middle of trotting anymore, is picking up the correct leads almost every time to the left and right, and will actually canter more than once around without breaking. We've started dresssage lessons, since I think this is the best way to go to give him a good foundation and improve some of his quirks.
For example, he pops his right shoulder every time he wants to ignore what I'm asking him to do. If we're going to the right, and I ask him to pick up the trot, he will bulge his right shoulder and contort his neck while sidepassing right to the center of the ring. This usually results in a fight, until my trainer pointed out last night that ever time he does this, he buys himself time before he has to pick up the trot. When he bulges, I forget about asking him to trot, and instead try to fix the bulge and get him straight again. It's like a game with him that gets worse as he becomes more bored during a lesson or ride. So, last night must have been pretty funny to watch, since I stopped fighting the bulge and continued asking for the trot instead. He wandered all OVER the ring trying to entice me to forget about trotting. After a few times, he seemed to give up and the bulge happened less and less.
Anyway, our biggest issues of the moment are forward, straightness, and teaching him to engage his hind end instead of plodding along as slow as he can possibly get away with. I think a lot of his problems can be fixed once he learns to drive from the backend. In the last several years I've read almost every dressage book on the market, but most are geared towards theory and performing more advanced movements. I have found very little that deals with the beginning stages of training (pre-training level showing) and teaching a horse to move off the leg, accepting the bridle, engaging the hind, etc. Any good suggestions for books that provide practical applications for truly beginner dressage riders? I'd like to think that MOST of this stuff can be fixed if I change my way of asking him.
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