What are you working on? - Page 26

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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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    05-13-2013, 02:03 PM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
It depends on my time Val, and I can't risk getting injured at the moment while I'm on probation for 12 months in a very physical job- an outside of work injury could have me being sacked as I won't have enough leave to cover time off!
That's totally make sense, Kayty! Good luck with your new job!
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    05-13-2013, 02:05 PM
Originally Posted by Strange    
Well, I know not many of you peruse the Eventing sub-forum, so I'm going to fill you in since I've been pretty absent around HF lately.

April 9th I got a 5 y/o Thoroughbred coming off a 2 month let down from track life! Her last race was the end of December ('12) and she was in training still up until about mid-late February when personal issues between the owner and trainer forced them to pull their horses out of training. She's super level headed and quite clever, very sweet in-you-pocket sort of personality as well. She's coming along much quicker than I expected actually. She's really understanding that I want her to stretch over her back now, and I think it's just lack of muscle that's slowing her down at this point, so we've been doing a lot of hacking in between working in the arena and it's really helping a lot.

The biggest issue I'm having with her right now is just that she's a little hesitant to stretch into the contact. She's very, very soft mouthed and I think I may have to move her to an even softer bit. She was originally in a french-link loose ring (she prefers it much more than the eggbutt french link I first rode her in), and now she's in a loose ring happy mouth. I'd really like to try her in a Nathe flexible loose ring if I can find someone that has one for me to try her in. I'd like to see how she likes it before I buy it, but that might not end up being an option. Any suggestions, in the mean time, on some really great ways to help encourage her to stretch into the contact instead of putting her head down and just ducking behind the vertical? She's way better in the happy mouth and I'm getting a little more consistency, but it's still super tentative. She's starting to understand some basic lateral work and we've been doing a lot of transitions as well.
Strange, haven't seen you for ages here! :) Are you still in CO?
    05-14-2013, 01:35 PM
Haha no I'm not actually! I'm back in Texas for the time being, though I'm realm missing the east coast and want to move back there before the end of the year if I can find a job out there!
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    05-14-2013, 02:00 PM
I'm working on shoulder in.....I think I got it this morning....it's definitely harder than haunches in....is that always the case?
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    05-14-2013, 03:33 PM
Originally Posted by Strange    
Haha no I'm not actually! I'm back in Texas for the time being, though I'm realm missing the east coast and want to move back there before the end of the year if I can find a job out there!
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Good luck! If you come back to MD let me know - we may ride some day! :)
    05-14-2013, 05:35 PM
Originally Posted by Muppetgirl    
I'm working on shoulder in.....I think I got it this morning....it's definitely harder than haunches in....is that always the case?
I believe so. Now I've just learned this too.. but I find that shoulder in really is dependent on where your ribcage is whereas for haunches in it's all about keeping your seat straight, and just turning your shoulders a bit once you apply your outside leg far back to wrap around your inside leg while having a bend to the inside track.

As a learner, I've found that going into haunches out and then adding those few elements to turn it into shoulder in, is a lot smoother for my horse.

So if going to the right, you have the haunches out with slight bend towards the outside track (as though you were about to leg yield.)

Again I've just learned this so it may not be right, but how I do it is I ask the horse to tip his nose gently towards the inside track to provide a bend, bring my ribcage over to the inside as I turn my shoulders slightly to follow the track. Outside leg is on by the girth and inside leg is back asking for haunches out. I don't shove his haunches away but I ask him to move away from both of my legs, to bend around the opposite leg, per say.


Since I'm still learning too, does anyone have any tips on making this a smoother movement?
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    05-14-2013, 05:59 PM
Shoulder in is harder than haunches in, because horses find it very easy to go crooked in haunches in. They can have their weight over their forehands and perform the movement but not the exercise, if that makes sense.
Shoulder in is the first lateral movement that should be taught as every movement thereafter is based on the shoulder in. It requires good engagement if the hind legs, and an open shoulder. If you are lacking either if these, you will find that the shoulder in feels jammed, as though you are dragging the shoulders off the track. That is where head tilt and other crookedness come in, and the point of the exercise, activating the inside hind, is lost. If you have engagement behind and a loose shoulder, the shoulder in will happen almost automatically (unless the rider is blocking somewhere).
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    05-14-2013, 06:31 PM
Oh, how I love change in hands!!! Once your really get them, they are just so freeing. Man, I'm on a high today :).
    05-14-2013, 06:32 PM
Thanks for that advice. I was coming off a small circle and into what I think was shoulder in. I was imagining having him on three track and I think it worked, but I will take this extra advice and attempt again tomorrow. The haunch in/out is definitely easier and I can pretty much keep his front half straight during it and have his haunch kind of curl around my inside leg....all the while being 'up'! Needs lots motivation and concentration;)
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    05-14-2013, 10:20 PM
Well, I am currently trialling a new dressage saddle with the black horse, a Bates Innova with extended contour blocs, I'm not yet sold on it though. He seems to go well in it, it fits him nicely and it doesn't slide around, but I just don't know. I feel like it is forcing me into position and it feels a little unnatural, but I have never ridden in a saddle like it before, so it could just take some getting used to. I have it on loan for a month so plenty of time to decide.

On a happier note, my grey mare had her first ride back after a huge layoff from injuries. She's fat, unfit, hairy, dirty and stiff, but she gives it everything she has from the minute I get on to the minute I get off. I had to force myself to get off her after 10 minutes so that I don't overdo it! Now I just need to get her a dressage saddle that fits! I can easily school her in the jump saddle for now, but once she's fit enough to start learning new stuff again I want a dressage saddle.

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