Whimsy went to her first dressage lesson today!

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Whimsy went to her first dressage lesson today!

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  • First dressage lesson

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    10-31-2010, 10:16 PM
Whimsy went to her first dressage lesson today!

Whimsy went to her first dressage lesson today! She did fairly well for being so green! She had only been started a few months before I got her. She is pretty stiff,but my trainer liked her :) She is Andalusian/Quarter and 5-8 yrs old. I will be working on tons of suppling exercises and in hand work and walking the line. Any other tips to get her more supple (ground or riding)? Would be much appreciated :) Thanks!

P.S...welcome to pick apart my posture too haha...I haven't done any serious riding in months and need to work on my position badddddly
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    10-31-2010, 11:09 PM
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Whimsy is stunning! She is an Azteca, no? Really beautiful. You two look fantastic together. For one who hasnt' ridden for awhile, you look good. You are sitting upright and looking up. I think all those shots were at walk, so it would be fun to see some shots form a lesson with trot and canter (maybe not canter yet, for such agreen horse, no?)
Anyway here's what I see:
You lean forward just a touch. Your pelvis seems in a good classical orientation, but your upper body is angled too far forward. Looks a little "tentative". However, for a young horse, if your objective is to stay off her back, then it's understandable.
You have pulled your hands downward in the third shot and it looks a little off, the angle will pull the bit downward onto the horse's bars. Try to keep your hands up, not downward pull.

Really not much to say. You guys will go far.
    11-01-2010, 12:26 AM
Thanks! Yup Azteca :) we didnt do any trotting/cantering since that was her first lesson,but hopefully I can add some next time (at least of trotting).

Thanks for pointing out the leaning forward! Now that I look I do notice that. Though my trainer does usually have me not sit so deeply on the greenies backs that don't have a great topline yet.

Thanks in the hands too! I will work on that! I believe in that shot I was asking for flexion,but she is super stiff in the neck and was having trouble. I know I need to work on keeping my hands in the correct position,though! And I tend to not bend my elbows either...that is a constant for me :(

Thanks again for the comments! You gave me some more things to work on :)
    11-01-2010, 07:08 AM
Here is what I noticed:

1) Hands are very wide on most pics, on 3 pic right hand is higher than left, on last pic looks like the right hand goes over the withers.

2) Not a straight line for elbow-hand-wrist-rein-bit on most pics (I'm working hard on that too with my horse :) )

3) Looks like you are leaning inside on 2 & last pics (although I may be wrong on this one).

You have a very lovely horse, which seems to be build really nicely for dressage. I'm jealous....
    11-01-2010, 09:53 AM
Thanks for the tips Kitten Val! I think I was keeping my hands wider in most pics since I kept going over her withers....gahh....it is frustrating because when I took constant lessons last fall/winter I had been doing fairly well...now it seems I have lost SO much. Hopefully it will come back soon...haha...I feel so out of shape!

My trainer keeps saying that about the straight line too so I will really work on that as well!

And I really am leaning quite badly to the inside. Even more so in pics I did not post. We were working on inside flexion and for some reason I felt like leaning would help her bend around...haha.... I think next lesson I am not going to take Whimsy and am going to ride one of her friesians to work on seat work! Whimsy is so green I don't want to mess her up with a bad seat before we even really start working!

Thank you again so much for the tips/comments! I have lots to work on now....and if anyone sees something else feel free to point it out! Thanks!
    11-01-2010, 10:12 AM
Just curious, do you have mirrors in arena? The place I take lessons has (along the short side), and I found it to be very beneficial to use them to check the straightness, hands, etc. Also videotaping helps a lot (but I don't have a camcorder myself - it's my on my "future buys" list ).
    11-01-2010, 10:42 AM
Mmm...my trainer IS putting up mirrors! I believe she has ordered them so it shouldnt be too long....I am excited :) she built that arena I believe....early last year and is putting the finishing touches on it (benches,mirrors,more siding I think,etc.) I have not ridden with mirrors so this will be interesting :)

On a side note do your horses seem scared/spooked if the mirrors or are they usually fairly easy to adjust to?
    11-01-2010, 11:13 AM
Originally Posted by Piaffe    
Mmm...my trainer IS putting up mirrors! I believe she has ordered them so it shouldnt be too long....I am excited :) she built that arena I believe....early last year and is putting the finishing touches on it (benches,mirrors,more siding I think,etc.) I have not ridden with mirrors so this will be interesting :)

On a side note do your horses seem scared/spooked if the mirrors or are they usually fairly easy to adjust to?
Mirrors are real fun to ride with! All serious dressage places I know of (and some jumper/hunters) have them installed.

As for horse, it really depends. I have 2 horses. When I brought my qh to the arena with mirror she was unsure at first, so I let her touch it with the nose (very gentle). She realized it's just a hard surface, not a different horse, and she just ignores them ever since. Now I brought my nervous easy-excitable paint (who is also little dummy) to the arena with mirror... It was a nightmare. She was constantly behaving like it's another horse there. Even after I let her check it out, after 30 mins she was still behaving like other horse is going after her. So if your horse doesn't care about other horses much - I'm positive you'll be just fine.
    11-01-2010, 11:25 AM
Mmm...she isnt too spooky and seems fine with other horses. I have only had this horse a handful of weeks and don't know her super well yet so Ill just take it slow with her. Hopefully they wont bother her :)
    11-01-2010, 06:50 PM
My horse saw himself in a mirror for the first time this past summer. I swear he stood there staring at himself like he was thinking, "look at that magnificent gelding!". He was so into himself it was hysterical.

OP, very nice horse. Love that ring. Everyone already covered the bend at elbows, straight line to bit thing. It will come with time.

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