What are you working on? - Page 3

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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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    04-20-2012, 06:52 PM
Always to the left, even when the left is on the outside. My trainer said it might be because my left side is much weaker then my right, so when I get tired my weight will naturally fall to the part of my body that is the weakest. Which makes sense to me... I have started with some yoga for balance and strengthening that left side. But sometimes I do it when I am not tired. I do it a lot, I feel like she's constantly telling me to pick my head up and look straight over the horses ears.
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    04-20-2012, 06:57 PM
Sorry for the sound of the wind, but this might give you a better idea.

100_3429.MOV - YouTube
    04-20-2012, 07:43 PM
My first job is exposing the horse to just about everything. We still have issues with pink or purple flowers, we don't like to walk through puddles (they might swallow us whole), we spooked at a pile of manure yesterday and tracks in the dirt from jump standards being dragged create these really deep gullies we just are too smart to walk over...(rolling eyes). However, we don't care about the tractor, motorcycles revving up, weed trimmers or electric hedge trimmers.

As for actual work :), well, we are working on slow and easy. As Paddy gets quicker he gets tight and starts more of an up and down motion. Slowing him down gets him to really work under himself. Also doing a lot of work with stretching down and forward in the walk (for the free walk) and in the trot in order to start showing training level next month (I am barred, nicely :), from riding Intro in away shows just due to scheduling). As one poster already mentioned, we are also working on desensitizing the urge to canter...Paddy does that same giraffe impression as soon as he thinks it is time to canter and once he DOES canter, every time we come around a corner or are in a circle, he tries to canter...in other words, sheer anticipation. I do a lot of trot work with him in between until he settles but he usually resembles a pogo stick and is tossing his head like crazy for a few minutes until he settles again. If he thinks I am taking too long to ask again, he starts sidepassing and dancing....crazy TBs..gotta love 'em :) If I ease him into the canter transition he will do a proper transition but once I get one, asking for another at any time during that same ride results in the giraffe imitation.

He does do better at the training level tests in the canter than in Intro C..he has more time to settle down into his stride before having to trot again.
    04-20-2012, 07:49 PM
Originally Posted by SarahAnn    
Always to the left, even when the left is on the outside. My trainer said it might be because my left side is much weaker then my right, so when I get tired my weight will naturally fall to the part of my body that is the weakest. Which makes sense to me... I have started with some yoga for balance and strengthening that left side. But sometimes I do it when I am not tired. I do it a lot, I feel like she's constantly telling me to pick my head up and look straight over the horses ears.
You know, that's funny. The judge at our show last weekend told me something similar. She indicated the connection isn't as nice when we are tracking left but tracking right we are dead on. It just so happens that Paddy's "bad" side is tracking left and she asked me if I was right handed. She says it is natural for someone to have weaker aids to their non-dominant side and with Paddy being stiff to the left as well, it just exacerbates the problem. Needless to say we are doing a lot more work on left rein than right these days.
    04-20-2012, 07:54 PM
It makes total sense! Since I started taking lessons (about 8 weeks ago) I have noticed A LOT of things that I don't do well with my left side. So I have started to just do small things like leading with my left foot when going up the stairs, and stepping out of bed with my left leg first. I think it's made a difference!
    04-21-2012, 03:56 PM
Until we start, I'm never quite sure what I'm going to have to work on!

In general, though, somewhere along the line we went from just getting the canter without bucking, to improving the canter, so we're doing much more cantering, smaller circles, counter-canter etc.

Probably the main issue is still getting my horse light to the leg. She likes to "go" but it can take awhile to remind her! After that, we do laterals, and we've begun to develop the leg-yielding into vigorous shoulder-in and half-pass (which is still pretty vague.)

I'm working on keeping my short legs long (!) with heels down, not using them so much, which is impossible unless my horse is on what we call "whisper leg." I'm also working on finding places we can ride, with decent footing. It's come to the point where our lumpy. Slippery "arena" isn't really good enough.
    04-21-2012, 07:20 PM
Noblessa - She's still a big baby, so all I'm asking of her is a light contact with the bit. That she will go forward when I ask her, and go slower when I want her to go slower. And I'm teaching her that if I ask her to trot, she is supposed to trot in the exact speed I asked her to trot in, until I say otherwise. It's so simple to rider horses that understand this. I think you call it - off the leg?

She's the type of horse that is spooky, and she will jump, stop and stare at anything that's unnatural - according to her. So that takes a lot of work too.

And then there is a thing called turning. Lol, well we're working on that too, and now she does nice circles and turns whenever I want to.

Primanova - Another baby, but she thinks she's a queen. If she don't want do it, she wont. Lol, typical warmblood with really good gaits and lots of temperament. But she's a great horse. We're working towards a steady frame, and for her to seek more contact with the bit. Mostly we're just out on the trails working cantering, building up strength.

Florencia - This one is a feisty one. We're working on her canter a lot. Whenever she thinks I'm giving her a hard time, she will start doing flying changes all over the place. All I'm asking off her is to keep in that darn left shoulder in all the work we do. Often I have to start with the pirouette work on this one to get a grip on that shoulder.

But I'm mostly doing the normal work on this one, working with the basic stuff until she will be willing to start working correctly with that shoulder.

She rather do the piaff or passage, than walking straight forward with the same contact on both reins.

Highlight - He's a real baby, three years this year. Been ridden a month last year, but nothing since then. He's this huge thing, spider legs and tiny body. I guess I need to crawl up on him to find out if he's as sweet now as he was last year.
But with him, the work will be him getting used to me as a rider, start understanding the leg and the reins.
    04-22-2012, 10:48 PM
I've started some 'baby' travers over the weekend, to get some more strength in his right hind. At the moment, while on the right rein he wants to step with the inside hind forward and sideways to the outside, rather than tracking true. So Using some travers of a 20m circle, so build up that hind leg.
In the canter, pretty similar work to the trot, trying to get those hind legs straight and working, as he wants to plow around on the forehand. I've been riding spirals in canter, alternating between medium canter and working canter. This approach has made a huge difference in his hind legs and he's starting to carry himself rather than relying on me.

The half halts is another sticky issue. At the moment there is no reaction to a half halt from my seat, there is only a reaction to the rein. So I've been working on getting reaction to my seat, my lesson on Saturday was a real break through moment in that respect.
    04-24-2012, 01:25 PM
I'm always working on my position so Remy can relax and bring his back up. Of course when that happens his trot gets HUGE and I usually have to stop and rebalance myself. I'm hoping to at least be able to accomplish the basics sometime in the 20 years or so.....
DressageDreamer and Horsealot like this.
    04-24-2012, 01:40 PM
Working on my position as well - have to bend those elbows more often...tend to straighten out my arms I have found in pictures of us riding.

Also working on a nice bend with Night so that when I bring my outside leg back behind the girth to control her hind end from swinging out, she doesn't think I am trying to signal for a canter. She hasn't broke into a canter, but I can feel her start to build for it. I quickly give a small squeeze of the reins just enough to get her attention and release. So far that has worked.

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