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Well now...

This is a discussion on Well now... within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

     
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        11-12-2009, 03:27 PM
      #11
    Started
    Thanks for the advice you guys. My coach is the same as you say your second one was MIE (the good second one), she doesn't expect us to get it at the trot or canter until we have it at the walk, and she teaches what you advised MissDiva. She's a great instructor but I can't afford to get her out more than once a week. I'm on my own most of the time. So, today I'm going to lunge him before I ride, just to be sure he's not sore, and it's just a mindset or attitude he's in. I've never ground driven a horse before but it sounds like a great idea. Only thing is, on the ground we have NONE of these problems. He woahs, trots, backs, bends, everything. His attitude is completley different. The other thing is that he'll really track up, reach for the contact, and carry himself properly at the walk, but the second I asked for the trot he's hollow out, start pulling on me, and just fall apart. I know it's me not getting something here, but it's not helping that he's figured out just how much stronger he is than me. I really have been trying what you all suggested and have been riding more with my outside rein.

    I'll keep at it. I know I can't expect it to change and for him to start carrying himself perfectly right away without the correct muscles to do it.

    Anabel, I can't afford to have someone else riding him for me. It's either pay for lessons or that, and I need to be educating myself, not paying someone to ride my horse while I sit in a rut and not learning how to get out of it. Thanks for your advice though.

    I have to go, so no time to add anything else.
    Thanks again!
         
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        11-12-2009, 03:42 PM
      #12
    Started
    Just had to add. I ask about all this because I care, and because I want to be a better rider, and I want to do what's best for my horse. I really do try, and while a lot of stuff has helped us make some big leaps in our communication some rides it feels like we've taken just as many steps back. I suppose that's just how these things go. He's never done dressage, and neither have I, so we're learning together. We have our amazing moments, and than fall apart shortly after. I make mistakes and I learn from them. I'll always be glad I found this horse, who is teaching me so much, AND learning so much. I'm glad he challenges me, I'm glad he's not easy. It definitely gets frustrating, but I don't let it get to me and I ask for advice. I wish I had you guys here coaching me through all your advice but I've gotta work with what I have.

    I'll let you all know how today's ride goes and what we work on.
    :]
         
        11-12-2009, 03:45 PM
      #13
    Yearling
    I didn't really have the time to read through, but wanted to ask--how do you warm him up, specifically?
         
        11-12-2009, 03:55 PM
      #14
    Started
    We warm up by starting with the walk. I get him moving forward, get him stretching and tracking up. Than I pick up contact and start asking for a bend, working him inside leg to outside rein, circles, spirals, turns on the forehand and haunches, once he's loosened up we'll move onto the trot, repeat what we did at the walk, etc. Right now we're not even touching his canter. I can't expect him to respond at the canter when we don't have the trot down yet. We warm up for however long it takes. Usually about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes longer. I also always do some stretches and basic ground work before I get on.
         
        11-12-2009, 07:20 PM
      #15
    Trained
    Quote:
    Only thing is, on the ground we have NONE of these problems. He woahs, trots, backs, bends, everything. His attitude is completley different. The other thing is that he'll really track up, reach for the contact, and carry himself properly at the walk, but the second I asked for the trot he's hollow out, start pulling on me, and just fall apart. I know it's me not getting something here, but it's not helping that he's figured out just how much stronger he is than me. I really have been trying what you all suggested and have been riding more with my outside rein.
    I still want to go back to my first assumption - the Gag Bit is at fault.

    While you used the Gag Bit all this time you've been leasing him, and all that time that his previous owner used it on him - he has developed all the incorrect muscles because the bit was doing its' job - creating pressure.

    So over all that time, he was never properly balanced because he was never using the proper muscles. And so on and so on and so on.

    So now, that you've changed the bit, and aren't using pressure on his front end to get a level of control, you are now realizing - that you have to start back at square one again, to rebuild the proper muscles he needs, to be lighter, softer, balanced and able to carry himself.

    The reason why you have it at the walk, and loose it at the canter - is because he doesn't have the proper muscles needed, to withstand the gait.

    I do not believe this has anythign to do with him thinking he has one up on you - that isn't how horses think - the reason that he is acting the way he is, is because the Gag Bit muted/hid/camoflauged the all the faults, and now - they are re-surfacing.

    So, you have to change your way of riding - to meet half way.

    My coach says "If you bake a cake with 1 recepie and the cake turns out to be a failure, you're not going to a second cake with the same recepie, you're going to change it"

    Same thing applies. If you have done all you possibly know how - on how to change this outcome, and you still haven't gotten it right, stop and figure out what it is that you could be doing incorrectly in the saddle, that isn't making what you are asking clear to Zeus.

    If you can get someone to vid your next ride, and share it with me or Anabel privately in a PM - or Spyder - that would be a great help.
         
        11-12-2009, 07:22 PM
      #16
    Trained
    Just to add, this is why I really dislike the Gag Bit. This bit along with other strong bits such as this one - mutes or hides the real issues that are going on in the rider/horses education.

    I feel for ya girly - I wish I could be there to help you out in person.
         
        11-12-2009, 09:23 PM
      #17
    Started
    Rode this evening. He was MUCH better. It was a good ride. Got him working more correctly, not perfectly, but loads better. I did the same things I did yesterday. But you know, horses have days just like we do. And maybe he was having one yesterday.

    I am a little concerned though, because it seemed like he might be sore. It felt very slight, but turning to the left, or going left really at all he'd stiffen up, his head would go up, and he'd just feel... a bit funky. Now I lunged him before I rode, and didn't see anything. It could be that his left side is his weaker side, it could be his left front bothering him, or it could (this is something i've been thinking the last few rides) his saddle. Here's my concern with the saddle. Sitting on his back with nothing underneath it fits great, it clears his back, it sits perfectly. What I've discovered is that with any kind of saddle pad, from a thin normal one, to a fluffier half pad I have, it doesn't fit the same. With or without the gel pad that I use. I'll tack up, check to see that there's space at least two stacked finger's height between the pommel and his back. After I'm on and riding when I check the space, there's none. No space at all. His saddle isn't sliding and it's not too far forward.

    I'm honestly not sure what's going on. But he does feel stiff going to the left. However, it's inconsistent. It's very on and off. I'm just really confused at this point, and don't really know what to think. Ugh, if it's not one thing it's another. :/ I'm just thinking right now I should wait and see. I have a lesson tomorrow and I'll ask my instructor about the saddle, how he's moving, etc. I am a worry wart, so it could be nothing, but I'd rather be aware and watching out for it, than not notice.
         
        11-12-2009, 09:33 PM
      #18
    Trained
    Try to get a Professional Saddle Maker/Fitter out - or even contact a Chiropractor and see what they find.
         
        11-12-2009, 09:42 PM
      #19
    Started
    ^ That's what I'm thinking. Better safe than sorry. I'm thinking I might even just get a full vet check because we'd get one before we would buy him anyway... it's gotta happen eventually. Cover all my bases. I shall talk to the parents. They will not be thrilled. Ha ha, oh well.
         
        11-13-2009, 12:20 PM
      #20
    Yearling
    Just wanted to add--

    I do a lot of shoulder-in work at the trot, in a circle, to warm up my paint gelding. You really want that inside leg crossing underneath the body and carrying that weight. It gets their entire body bending, lifting, and moving the way it should.

    My paint was having a few back problems and saddle fitting problems and 'soreness' tendencies going to the left (ears pinned, throwing his head up), until I added this to his warm-up. When you do it both ways its GREAT for building strength and a wonderful way to supple them, all at the same time.

    As for him getting forward, I would pull him into a 5-or-so-meter circle and make it smaller until he relaxes. And you can't pull back or hold him there--it's his job to keep the pace. They learn pretty quick to relax. ;)

    He needs a lot of long and low work where he's reaching for the contact. He needs leg yields and shoulders in. And with a month or so of that, he'll be ready to canter with the right muscles.
         

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