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What are you working on?

This is a discussion on What are you working on? within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        02-25-2013, 04:41 PM
      #211
    Trained
    The horse sounds like every upper level horse I've every ridden. He is not being "bad" he does not "have your number" he is just very confused by your aids.
    Upper level horses have lots of buttons. Depending on the way I use my leg and at which point in the stride and how my seat is I may be asking for a quicker hind leg, more cadence, more extension, more collection, or a complete gait change.
    The timing of your aids is immensely important. Generally a slow leg at the top of the stride is asking for more cadence from the horse, or leads into a passage. Try using a very quick leg (think 15 aids per second) and when the horse has one diagonal pair on the ground. Also use your back to ride every stride quicker, ie when a DP has landed, already be pushing with your back for the apex of the stride.
    Same thing in the canter. And take your leg off. If he trots same thing - 15 kicks per second, and if needed a tap.

    Upper level horses do not like whips. Mine is extremely offended by them. Use your back, use your core and have very good timing with your legs and the horse will become hot.

    Good luck!
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    1322271927queen likes this.
         
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        02-25-2013, 05:09 PM
      #212
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by 1322271927queen    
    Sometimes I have him balanced and forward but when I ask him to canter he just keeps trotting at the same pace with absolutely no reaction until I hit him behind my inside leg with the whip. At the trot he likes to move up and down and behind the bit instead of forward. Usually I can get him out of it but lately he's been ignoreing my legs and my spurs. If I poke him behind his elbow with my toe he moves but Im afraid soon that won't work either. A few times I hit him with the whip on his butt but he kicked out instead of going forward. Actually he usually doesn't tolerate being hit with the whip anywhere but his inside flank. He hates being hit with the whip from the outside and just kicks out. He's has huge legs and made a hole in the side of the indoor (not while I was riding him) from kicking out next to the wall. He usually does it next to the wall so I think he likes destroying the walls.
    Okay.... this to me sounds like you are relying WAY too much on your spurs and the whip. You need to use your legs effectively. Tap tap taping is better than squeeezzzzing. Soft aids are better than strong aids, so once the horse reactions, go back to soft. Use sharper aids when the horse ignores you.

    He's obviously kicking out because you smacked him on the hind end. That does NOT send them forward... that is how you get bucked off. The horse isn't a fan of "destroying walls" he probably kicks out from misuse of a whip and ergo a wall is there.

    SEAT and LEG is how you send a horse forward. Maybe he reacted to the whip behind your leg because your cueing leg wasn't far back enough. Upper level horses require finesse... if you don't RIDE and rely on other aids, they'll blow you off or be very confused.

    I am not a know it all, but this was all from my opportunity to ride TWO high level dressage horses and this is what I gleaned from that experience.
         
        03-03-2013, 11:36 AM
      #213
    Green Broke
    We made a massive leap forwards with Reeco today!! For the last week I've had him in the passoa (3 times this week) and he seems to have learnt that canter doesnt hurt and that he doesnt need to chuck his head up my nose to get himself into canter.

    I got him in and went to lunge him, normaly he is extremely responsive and sharp and will go from the voice straight away and a flick of your finers is enough to put him in orbit. Well Not today, today we went in the school and I actualy (SHOCK HORROR) had to pick up a lunge whip to get him into trot!

    I got on him after less than 10 mins and my instructor lunged us (she also had to pick up the big stick), he happily popped into canter on both reins with no fuss or panic, no throwing of his head.

    I think we had 4 or 5 canters on each rein and then we went out on a hack! He was absolutly ACE and whilst very very nosey he wasnt spooky or difficult.

    Long may it continue
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        03-03-2013, 11:41 AM
      #214
    Yearling
    I'm working on barrel drills with my mustang. He's also myall around horse (cattle, english, western). This show season will be our first complete season (local/open). We won three classes & got trophys at our first show this year so we're off to a good start. I'll hit a couple playdays and jackpots just to lope the pattern and get him experience. We need to work on speed and confidence in indoor arenas, he doesn't have much experience in them and is reluctant. This summer should fix that.
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        03-30-2013, 02:33 AM
      #215
    Trained
    I promised myself that I wouldn't touch flying changes until after state champs in 3 weeks - I've entered novice/elementary so plenty of w/c/w, counter canter etc.
    But the canter felt so beautiful today, that I couldn't help myself. Popped my leg back and got a lovely clear change l-r, then back r-l :) Finished off with counter canter though to get changes out of his brain!

    His new double bridle arrived yesterday as well, just waiting to try a few different weymouths on him, then we'll be up and running. He's well and truly ready to start in a double, everything is established up to medium in a snaffle minus the changes. I'm hoping to be competing medium by the end of 2013, and well versed in the advanced movements.
    The trot work is coming along very solidly, and I'm getting some very snappy hind legs in the half steps.

    I've got a clinic this weekend with the rider of my youngster's sire, who hasn't been down this neck of the woods since before I purchased Speeg last year. So I'm very keen to see what he thinks of him, he's very honest!
         
        03-30-2013, 04:28 AM
      #216
    Green Broke
    Well I've been working on canter with Reeco.
    Yesterday we were cantering figures of 8 (i.e cantering the short sides and then trotting accross the diagonals.
    It was wonky and not in any form of outline however he did get the correct leg every time and there was no sign at all of bolting.
    He had a few moments of "OMG there is a pony eating monster in the hedge I must levitate sideways" but not even a hint at a bolt!!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        03-30-2013, 11:41 AM
      #217
    Yearling
    I haven't ridden much other than a few bareback walks through the snowy pasture in a out 6 months, but signed up for a dressage / jumping clinic this weekend. Yesterday was dressage and it went OK. I need to shorten my reins a bunch and stretch out my arms more and stop leaning forward so much. My horse is very flexible and he's really quick, so I need to straighten him out and get him moving off his haunches to keep him more together. Shortening the reins and adjusting my position seems to help.

    We worked on some shoulder ins and some diagonal quarter and half lines and did pretty well. I find it hard to soften my inside rein while trying to shorten my reins overall and ride him more inside leg to outside rein, but we are getting it slowly but surely. It feels good to ride with more structure and purpose again.

    Today we will try some jumping for variety. I haven't jumped in many years, so I will be in the beginner class. It should be fun and something different. Tomorrow it is back to dressage.

    Since we still have a lot of snow, it is difficult to ride without hauling in somewhere. Hopefully, I will join my daughters haul in lesson starting May 1 and we can continue our work in dressage more earnestly. Until then we try to haul in weekly to an arena where I can practice what I have learned at the clinic. Next year I need to consider boarding over the winter so we don't get so far out of shape. A 6 month riding season just doesn't seem long enough to accomplish much.
         
        04-02-2013, 10:05 PM
      #218
    Showing
    I am working on dropping my weight down into my seat and not being as tense. Also I am learning lateral moves like haunches in/out along with leg yield.. so figuring those out without pinching with my knee or losing one of my seat bones.

    It's pretty exhausting but I love it.
         
        04-03-2013, 12:49 AM
      #219
    Weanling
    I'm working on keeping my weight down and our impulsion up at canter. Also I need to focus on sitting deeper over jumps.
         
        04-03-2013, 12:54 AM
      #220
    Weanling
    I am working on balancing our canter and him listening to me for leads. Our ride will feel great, but then I'll look back at our video (I try to video our arena work) and see his nose poked out and going between using his haunches and falling back onto his forehand. Gah! I'm thinking of trying little nub spurs so I can give him more detailed direction with my leg (eg. A roll upwards versus encouragement forwards), but I'm paranoid that I'm not "deserving" of spurs yet! I will probably wait until I'm consistently working with a trainer again and receive the "OK."

    The good news is our right lead canter is looking better and better... left lead... well, at least we aren't moving backwards with our progress!
         

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