What are you working on? - Page 8

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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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    05-16-2012, 12:38 PM
Working on not being nervous cantering!
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    05-17-2012, 02:53 PM
We're working a lot on softening and accepting the bit. He's gotten hard-mouthed and I feel terrible because I know that it's happened because of me. He's still a little unbalanced at the canter and was running through it and just bracing to keep from tripping up, but I guess I just braced back. My trainer (his owner!) rode him about a month ago and that's when we realized it because she immediately felt how hard he was.

But, since then we've focused a lot on getting him to reach for the bit and accept it, and he's gotten much much better even in just a month! Getting him better at accepting the bit has also helped tons on his picking up the wrong lead. He gets the correct one on the first try almost every time now :)
    05-19-2012, 11:45 AM
Started flying changes with Spighi today - just doing the prep work, cantered across the short diagonal, he was getting great simple changes, so figured I'd give a flying change a whirl - POP - clean change straight off the aid. A horse that hasn't done changes before!!!!! Put in a few more on both reins, all clear bar one when he changed early behind. God I am really loving this horse, he has blown all of my expectations of him out of the water, what a little star!
    05-19-2012, 11:49 AM
Kayty...*stern mom face* Are you going to end up keeping him?
    05-19-2012, 12:02 PM
Maaaaaaaaaaaybe :P
He's so much fun!!!!!! And the way he's going at the moment, I think I'll have a pretty good chance of getting him at least to PSG in the next few years. The laterals are there, the changes are there, he can certainly piaffe with such beautiful bendy hocks and sit behind. The 'tricks' will be easy to teach him I think, it'll be the strength building and getting him even and through consistently on both reins that will be the longer process, though considering it's only been 6 weeks, he is doing superbly!!
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    05-24-2012, 10:53 AM
My horse is quite cold and stallion-like. At the moment all our sessions a 2 main focuses - FORWARD and supple. FORWARD is always first followed by lots of latetals , counter canter, voltes etc. The proportion of each session devoted to one or the other is dictated by how he gets out of bed in the am.
I've had to learn how to ride him 'hollow' as when I bought him he would curl up and throw everything onto his shoulder.
I keep having to remind myself to keep things very simple- he hasn't read manuals on dressage. When I keep things very straight forward we can rock out some really good work. Unfortunately I've come to.the realisation that my current trainer may not be suited to me. I feel utterly inadequate after our sessions and we ALL seem depressed. I understand she trains for competition, but it always feels somewhat frantic. There is no flow and only struggle. I will never set the world on fire, but if I can compeyently ride canter pirouettes why do I feel I can't even ride a circle when i'm done a lesson? So perhaps the other thing i'm working on is letting her go gently...
    05-24-2012, 08:59 PM
Sounds like it is time to say goodbye to that instructor, dpnaomi. Unfortunately it seems to work out that way in horses, one instructor will suit you on a particular horse, or doing particular work, but they start to decrease in productivity until you feel like you're going backwards. The challenge is to find someone who is on the same page as you in regards to your goals in riding, and your horses capabilities. I have 2 main people that I go to, one is from interstate so I only see him for lessons 1 weekend/month, the other I ride with 1-2 lessons/week. They compliment each other very well, my regular coach is brilliant at getting all my basic work done, drills correct work into you etc. The interstate coach is an international grand prix rider as well as breaker and young horse rider, so he tends to come over, and push me up to that next level each time he comes over. I film the lessons, watch them back with my regular coach, and we work on that until his next visit.
Works well for me :)
    05-25-2012, 12:12 AM
Just got back from the barn and have to say I love my little mare! She sure tried hard for me today. She was soft and supple on both sides, responded like a beauty off my leg, did picture perfect leg yields both ways (walk, trot AND a little canter). She had nice transitions and the only time she got a little wound up was when one of the green Arabs started losing it because of light on the ground. Still though, she still kept some of her attention on me and I was able to get her back into a relaxed canter.

Our trailer is going to be ready tommorrow! It needed new paint and some touch ups, but as soon as it's done we can go have lessons with my trainer again! Woot woot!
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    05-26-2012, 06:23 AM
Have tried a few here. I agree thay have to be empathetic to your horse and to you
What I really want is someone who will work on the long term aims with me.
He is at elem/ med level but has had lots of time off due to an old SI injury. You have to be really careful coming back as he will get quite sore- instead if 8 weeks it takes 3-4 months to get him back to the point he needs to be at to progress. It is difficult to find someone who doesn't want to push him too much physically eg half steps, changes etc at this point
I shall keep cracking at it though.
    06-07-2012, 02:21 AM
I've got my first official, sponsored competition coming up this Sunday, and am starting to feel a bit nervous!!
I had a lovely ride this morning before work though to settle the nerves. Kept it very simple, just basic walk, trot and canter with simple transitions, no laterals etc. Just straight, forward and between the aids. It was definitely beneficial for both of us, as I realised how much I was not using half halts to keep him together. He reacts very well to a half halt through the right rein, not so good with reactions to the left rein as he does not want to take enough contact on it.
I could sit on him very well once I got his back and he started getting off his shoulders through turns. I'm feeling like I'm sitting into him rather than on him now, there is a response to what I do with my seat, compared to when I first got him 2 months ago he had no clue about staying with the rider's seat.

I'm also doing a lot of work on getting him to give through his shoulders, thinking of bending through the ribs. He wants to turn like a ship, quarters out shoulders in, or shoulders out quarters in, rather than bending. This is especially a problem in walk. So lots of shoulder fore, moving him around my inside leg, and keeping those half halts coming through on the ouside rein to regulate his speed.

Canter work is very good, I need to work on not throwing my reins away into the transition though. He gets heavy in the upwards and I give my reins out without really realising it. So I've been really focussing on keeping my reins, and making him come back to me, rather than me giving in and giving him the rein.
This little adjustment has improved the canter work enormously and I feel like I have so much more tempo control.

Another ride in the morning, a lesson on Saturday and then off to compete on Sunday.
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