Competition Attitude - Page 3

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Competition Attitude

This is a discussion on Competition Attitude within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    12-19-2013, 12:05 AM
Originally Posted by Ashsunnyeventer    

And the sucking back you're talking about- I always thought that was me getting her to a really deep spot. Could it just be as easy as keeping more leg on?

Ironically yes. As I've recently discovered, more leg seems to be the answer to everything. While oxers naturally back a horse off a bit, she does seem to be losing impulsion or getting out of rhythm on approach, which is more likely you than her, but that would take good eyes to tell which.
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    12-19-2013, 11:24 PM
She was pretty good tonight. Not too supple or balanced, but much more willing to use her back than the previous rides. I took your "more leg" suggestion into our flat ride and while it made her more active in the hind end (yay!!), she wasn't as soft in her rib cage. That might have just been because she had two days off (feels like two weeks on her) and she has to get back into work.

I'm also thinking of trying new bits. Every now and then I switch her from the plain old loose ring snaffle to a copper egg butt snaffle (what she came with). Sometimes she just gets chomping and pulling on the loose ring, and the copper one seems to stop that. But after a while I feel like the copper one is too much bit and I switch back to the loose ring for a while. Also thinking of trying bitless? She's pretty sensitive and I already ride her mostly off leg and seat aids, so it could possibly work. Do you know if bitless bridles are allowed in dressage?

My trainer's brother is very, very sick right now and I'm pretty sure I won't be having a lesson tomorrow. I'll probably post a video of our ride...
    12-20-2013, 07:40 PM
Bitless not allowed in dressage, sorry. That's great the more leg thing worked.
    12-20-2013, 08:22 PM
Well the bitless thing didn't work out anyway. The transitions were great, but she just wasn't soft enough. I left my copper bit at home and didn't get a video tonight, but she was alright. It took her about 45 minutes to actually settle into a consistent frame, but after that she was good. The snow was falling off the roof of the indoor and it scared the heck out of both of us every time- I'm sure that didn't help her relax lol.

I found a lady who does massage and some sort of cold laser therapy thing. She isn't too expensive. What Sunny really needs right now is the chiropractor, but a massage might work as well. Have you ever heard of using a laser in this sort of therapy? I wonder if it works or if it's just one of those things that sounds really cool...
    12-20-2013, 09:53 PM
Originally Posted by Ashsunnyeventer    

Have you ever heard of using a laser in this sort of therapy? I wonder if it works or if it's just one of those things that sounds really cool...
That's a new one. Never heard of laser therapy. My horse does enjoy a good massage though.
    12-20-2013, 11:01 PM
I read through some of the more recent posts on this thread, starting with the videos you posted titled "jumping to the left" and "Jumping to the right".

To me, (and I believe that the ever knowledgable Allison touched on this) it doesn't look like you are making any decisions. You are the passenger here. In my opinion, you are not choosing when she takes off, what her pace is. You let her get ahead of you and intimidate you.

I think she could benefit from more flatwork.
Just my little opinions.

She's a nice looking horse! (:
    12-20-2013, 11:18 PM
Thank you :) When we flat I make every decision and I'm in charge. She needs a lot of guidance still for her balance and such. Most of the time it feel like I have to micromanage every little part of her body :)

I had always heard that when a younger or green horse is learning to jump, you let them make their own mistakes so that they learn to balance themselves, see a spot, pick up their feet etc. As a rider you are of course there to fix things when you see something going wrong, but you want your horse to learn to take care of you in case you ever get into a sticky situation. Just what I've heard... That's why I had they placing poles and usually jump her with gymnastics- she learns to use herself that way. I can stay out of her way and that way I'm not accidentally interfering with her jump, but I'm not supporting her for every step either. Is this a bad idea?

We do flat work almost every day. Honestly, I'm bored with it, she's bored with it and our jumping needs major improvement. Being confined to the indoor for most of the winter isn't fun for either of us at all, and I thought it would be a good opportunity to work on jumping.

Edit: I might add (since I can't remember if I said it earlier) those videos "jumping right/left" were the first time she had jumped in about a month. It was mostly just to let her do something different (other than flat work) and I wasn't going for a training ride (just a fun ride). We don't do many training rides with jumping because she gets so worked up and if you correct her certain ways it just makes it worse. I've figured out the best correction for her when she gets worked up and ignores me a bit is to make her work laterally. Usually after a few jumps where I make her be balanced and have a consistent tempo etc. we have to spend the rest of the ride going sideways to calm her down. She's gotten a lot better, but doesn't quite have the patience to listen to my corrections for the whole ride when she gets excited yet.
    01-04-2014, 11:00 PM
MAJOR confidence boost today. My barn hosted a clinic, and I was lucky enough to be able to ride in two classes. We were working with the same clinician I have had for the past 2-3 years. This was probably his 5th time working with me and Sunny together.

The high today was 19 degrees so she was a little antsy, but once she was put to work she was great. We were in the novice group, but since everyone in the lesson had already been successful at novice, he decided we could go bigger if they were being good. Every single gymnastic line we did was from the trot. I'll post a video of the exercise below.

One thing I really liked was that no matter if it was the 2'3 group, or the prelim group, he introduced the horses to each element the same way- starting with just the poles and slowly building the jumps up. This is importnat for Sunny's confidence because when the jumps change fast, she feels frazzled.

He had us work on keeping the same power, but each time through the grid, imagine making the exercise last half a second longer. This slowed down my body a ton which helped her slow her body down and have time to get her knees up and over the jump. She always jumps with her knees almost under her body and it was great to feel her really stretch out and be free today!

My trainer was there and watching/ listening to everything he said. She helped set up the grids too, so she knows the distances. At the end the three of us talked and agreed on a "game plan" for Sunny and I as far as what we need to work on with jumping to hopefully be able to finish the year with a training level event.

At one point he said "What have you been doing with her? She looks so much more mature than the last time I saw her" (August). When I answered that we had been doing only flat work, he said "Good work. It's paid off." *Insert proud mommy moment*

It felt great to not only know that we can jump well over three feet (something she's never done, and I haven't done in a LONG time), but also that we could look good doing it (at least in my opinion), and that our hard work has paid off.

And now I leave you with pictures :)

Clinic 1.jpg
Clinic 2.jpg
Clinic 3.jpg
Clinic 4.jpg
Clinic 5.jpg
clinic 6.jpg

This is a video of my lesson with another horse I was asked to ride. His name is Barney. Coming 11, but still pretty green over fences. He was such a good boy. This was the 2'3 class, but the grid was exactly the same- even the way we started with trot poles and then slowly built the line. The exercise at the end was the same too, but with Sunny he asked us to put 5 strides, then 6, then 5 again between the poles and the jumps.

I should add that this was the third time I have ridden him in over a year and he is blind in one eye. I'm in love with him :)
    01-04-2014, 11:15 PM
That is SO awesome!! That is the update I wanted to hear. Excellent clinician, excellent instructor, and excellent game plan. You should be proud, you both look awesome, happy and relaxed!! Again, I am no expert but just looking at the relatively recent before and after the difference is huge. Happy and relaxed is the most important thing.
    01-04-2014, 11:27 PM
This is the first time that I've seen her knees so square and with her ears up in every picture. I think she enjoyed being back to jumping. In his opinion, if I keep doing really wide oxers and a lot of the same slow, powerful grid word, we can make this position a habit for her.

Also, today showed me how beneficial a good lesson can be to improving my attitude and confidence. I wasn't frustrated once today. So my new years resolution for Sunny is going to be to try to take at least one jumping lesson a month. Whether it's with my trainer or in a clinic, I think it will really help us. (I know that this is what everyone was telling me, but I guess I needed to see it to believe it).

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