How do you know when you and your horse are ready to move up a level? - Page 2

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How do you know when you and your horse are ready to move up a level?

This is a discussion on How do you know when you and your horse are ready to move up a level? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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    06-25-2010, 11:04 PM
Thank you Spyder! For everything!
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    06-26-2010, 12:15 AM
Green Broke
I agree. That's what I've seen. I would suggest doing exercises to get his ribcage even more up. For Geof that would be haunches out. Get his head and neck up more. Lateral movements maybe? Or shorten your reins.... LOL!
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    06-26-2010, 12:20 AM
It's the reins. I need to learn how to allow my hands and arms to work together, while working independantly. So the problem is my hands. I shorten my reins and then my arms stiffen up because I cannot allow my hands/fingers to be independant, so then Nelson responds by throwing his head up - so then I'll relax, and then before I know reins are long.
    06-26-2010, 04:22 PM
Well, I had a great lesson today! We did strait dressage and I was thrilled with the outcome!

My Coach worked primarily with me and my hands and my rein length. She gave me great analagies that helped me allow my hands work independantly from my arms so that when I had a connection with Nelson due to shorter reins, I wasn't stiff.

I had to imagine my hands no longer belonging to me, but to Nelson so therefore they must beable to move with his head and work with him, not against him.

So we started out on a long rein doing long and low and doing a decent warm up where we did half passes and turns on the haunches and fore and some shoulder in's and out's - then we worked on shorter rein length.

At first, Nelson started to grind his teeth real loudly, which was a result of how stiff I was. He was doing what I asked, but he was showing his distaste for it - so when my Coach had me soften my arms and had me work on having my hands work independantly, he changed his behaviour and become much softer in the poll and jaw.

Then we merged into trot work and canter work.

We had it very nice at the trot - at first he sucked back and wouldn't track up, so I had to work on getting that energy back through my inside leg driving into my outside rein - and then I got it, once the lightbulb turned on, it was great.

My Coach says I am too loud though. My post is too loud and I have to quiet myself down. She said the only time I want to be as loud as I have been, is when I need Nelson to get back to the rhythm needed, no other time. So I had to soften my seat and soften my whole being while ontop.

My post became much quieter, where I was barely leaving the saddle during the rising trot - it was quite nice!

So when I figured out how to quiet myself, Nelson became quiet and softer - that was nice.

Our Canter transitions needs work, he throws his head up into the transition, which is in result of me - so I have quiet my seat, soften my body and relax - in result he will too.

Which comes into what I say - our horses reflect us 100% of the time when we are in the saddle.

So anyways, I was able to fix my rein length, work on seperating my hands from my arms and was able to keep our energy flowing - so I had a great lesson!

Lots to work on!!!

Thank you Spyder and Stormy!
    06-26-2010, 09:36 PM
Well I can't really go by Jimmy Woffords rules because the selection of shows around here is very slim unless you ride western. So my season usually consists of MAYBE 4 events along with several other shows with just classes.
But I know when I'm ready if
-I feel confident in myself and my horse.
-I can jump courses both cross-country and stadium with no huge problems.
(and canter circles better on my big, clumsy horse)

For me it is all about confidence, I can jump over 2'6" on the right horse (which is big for me, maybe not you lol), but I usually don't have the right amount of confidence to do so. I am a really nervous rider/person in general, once I get over my nerves about things I know I can do, I will allow myself to move up a level.
But that's just me, being the nervous nelly I am
    06-26-2010, 09:55 PM
I think you need to read my thead "Stop In The Name Of Sexy, Stadium Jumping Is Fun" and you'll find out my limitations with heights and Stadium Fences :)

I think your rules are solid and functional :)
    06-26-2010, 10:26 PM
Well thanks, I will go read that! You're actually one of the people I admire on this forum :P. Even though most of my jumping fears are X-C based (from an accident involving my horse going down on his knees and me flying off.) I like to hear other peoples techniques to getting over fear.
    06-26-2010, 11:39 PM
I'll have to buy you a red cape :) :)

Thank you for the kind words though :)

I have some great tips on how to overcome fear :) I have to thank my Coach for that and Jane Savoire :) :)
    06-27-2010, 07:34 PM
Green Broke
Congrats on your great lesson kim!! I like the analogy you used with your arms being your horse's...I'm going to have to think about that next time I ride :)
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    06-27-2010, 08:14 PM
I totally understand about being nervous about stadium fences. For whatever reason I am 100% more comfortable riding 2'9 cross country fences than I am stadium jumps. Maybe because in stadium there are at least 8 fences right in a row, while in XC you have time to think in between each one.
Finally at the last show we were at I felt at peace with (most of) the stadium jumps.

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