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After Some Dressage Lessons - The Latest Cinny Vid

This is a discussion on After Some Dressage Lessons - The Latest Cinny Vid within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        09-12-2010, 10:44 PM
      #11
    Green Broke
    Tinyliny thank you. Yes I do a lot of walking, pretty close to 20 minutes to half an hour is all walking with me periodically letting go of the reins to the buckle, but haven't done this in the trot yet. We also work on our circles at a walk, mostly our 10 and 20 meters and arena positioning with our markers and getting to know where our markers are. This is more for me than him.

    In a lesson I am encouraged to give him "down time" and a lot of praise. During my own rides I do this pretty much every time he gets something correct, we stop and reward. He has been having issues with standing in the arena so now we periodically stand until he drops his head and licks. This is also the very last thing we do before I dismount. Sometimes he's so heated up from a ride that it can take about 5 minutes to get him to do this, but it's usually worth the wait.

    And I plan to buy half chaps before my clinic lesson on Saturday...yay.
         
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        09-13-2010, 01:04 AM
      #12
    Super Moderator
    I like the sound of your training rides. Really neat to hear how other people think and plan their rides. I hope you aren't insulted by the leg thingy. Did you used to ride hj?

    Sometimes when I go for an arena ride (I have to ride 30 minutes through trails to get to our neighborhood park with an arena), I don't know what I am going to do. I just start going and see what he tells me he wants/needs to do (other than go home, of course)
    I really need to get a teacher. It is so much more productive to have a good teacher.
    I had a really good dressage teacher for almost 3 years. She was kind of mean and went from barn to barn and kept having such bad relations with people that she burned her bridges behind her. BUT she always put the horse first and she spend HOURS and HOURs on fundamentals like position and having the horse going forward and reaching to the bit. She did not allow me to go up to the next level until I had gotten a 70% at the level I was at.
    Consequently, I didn't go far, but I hardly showed at all. When I did get to a 70% at training level, I had finally had it with her so very difficult personality and we split ways. But she gave me a foundation that is much closer to the classical than a lot of folks whose focus is more on outline and geometry and gadgetry. I don't mean to sound like I'm any great rider. Especialy since I have really only been trail riding for the last 3 years. I am soooo far out of shape dressage wise. Just that I am grateful for all that she taught me and am looking for a teacher with a similar philosophy. Harder to find than you would think, at least in my area . (I am not willing to drive great distances. Lazy and have old car and needy teen kids)

    Ariat makes great half chaps. I have some Grand Priz ones, but they are expensive.
    I said this in another forum but if you get the kind of half chaps that are cut away at the heel area, they will not interfere with your spurs, if and when you ever choose to wear them. They make my calves feel "snuggly". If you are on the fence about size, get the one that is a tiny bit smaller, rather than looser. They stretch.
         
        09-13-2010, 09:06 AM
      #13
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
    sarahver - I agree with you. It's funny, in my lessons we can get him to move that way but a few days later we somehow loose it. That's one of the reasons for the vid, I want to see what I'm doing wrong. I know he can do it, he has done it, and somehow I'm keeping him from continuing. I am going to see if someone can vid my next lesson so I can see what the difference is.
    Sorry, I spose I gave you the 'what' but not the 'why' or the 'how' from that video - not all that helpful!

    In order for him to move forwards, you really need to use more of a driving seat. When you are posting, try not to think of it as 'up' and 'down' but 'forwards' and 'back'. Anchor your heels down, toes forwards resting on the girth, not further forwards than that. When you rise to the trot, the motion should come purely from your hips and not from your lower leg, as you rise think of pushing him forwards with your own forwards motion through your hips.

    Same at a walk, use you seat to 'push' him rather than using leg cues to encourage a faster gait, like you are rocking him forwards with every forwards step that he takes. If you just use leg aids he may walk faster but what you really want is for him to walk with more impulsion, this comes from the hindquarters.

    I think you are doing a good job with your hands, the contact is ready to be taken up by him but not forced on him at all, now all you need is to push him up to it a little.

    Good luck!
         
        09-13-2010, 09:58 AM
      #14
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
    Speedy - Actually, it does feel very odd to me. I am actually used to having my hands much closer together and by his withers. For now, my trainer wants me to ride him this way. I am not sure if this is typical for dressage but she did say that she wants Cinny to feel like he has more room. I couldn't get him onto the bit at all my old way, but this new way he is starting to "look for contact."
    ok, fair enough, if your trainer told you to! He looks great though and once you have that contact and he gets the idea he will look like a great dressage horse, with a great dressage rider
         
        09-13-2010, 04:04 PM
      #15
    Trained
    You are really pulling the horse into a frame - hence the opposition from him. Any time a horse is that frantically waving his head and neck around to try and stay on his feet, he's trying to tell you something. In this case it is "stop pulling". You say a "respected" instructor in your area has told you to hold your hands in that way. Who respects her? I have "respected" instructors in my area that habitually raise 1" welts on their horses with whips and spurs, but I don't respect them, the yahoos do.
    Anyways.. with ANY horse I don't care how much training it's had, if you hold your hands softly in front of the pommel with the correct rein length and ride the horse to the contact - they will go round CORRECTLY. Also with any horse regardless of training, they will fight a hard, pulling back hand that is near the riders thighs. Yes the hands should be down, but they should always remain near the pommel/wither area and really never have to be more than 4" apart. When you are a dressage master that has ridden a few horses in the GP, then you can ride where ever you want with your hands, because they are educated properly. But until then they have a box and they stay in that box no matter what.
    Otherwise your equitation is decent. Really focus on balance, your horse is throwing you from left to right and front to back like a ragdoll. You need to stay exactly in the center of the horse all the time. This will be much easier after you stop focusing on the head because trying to control a highly mobile part of the horse (head and neck) with your arms when said part of the horse weighs a few hundred pounds is bound to throw you off balance. Hands in front, ride with your seat and legs and balance.
    Finally, the training scale is severely lacking. I highly suggest you review it. The first step is rhythm and it should be metronomic, then relaxation and THEN comes contact. You skipped the first two steps and went straight to the third so of course it's not going to work. As soon as the horse is rhythmic, balanced and relaxed and you let him trust your hands, he will be round. You can't force the horse into a frame with your hands and expect to have a happy partner.

    Good luck!
         
        09-13-2010, 04:45 PM
      #16
    Yearling
    Entirely agree with Anabel. First and foremost you need a supple, energetic, FORWARD stride in EVERY gait. You need to forget about his head and ride his body. You want to let him stretch for the contact, ride him on as loose a rein as you can and still maintain pace and steering. Get him moving out, stretching with his legs and striding up. When you ask for a bigger trot you don't want to post higher or bigger persay, you just want to draw out the post. You also want to be careful that you aren't posting with your hands. You want your hands in an even position around the pommel and you want to bring your hips forward to your hands, not the other way around. You want your hips to come forward and slightly up on the up beat and you want there to be a slight "hang time". Don't be in a hurry to come back down. The longer you stay "up" the longer your horse is going to use his back and hind end to reach under him. If you are sitting too soon you are shortening his stride.

    Also, I would suggest you play with your stirrups. Your leg is WAY too far forward to begin to have an effective forward trot. I would start with lengthening a hole or two and work on learning to sink down into the saddle with your thighs and bringing your lower leg back and your heels down. You need to have AT LEAST a straight ling from hip to heel and knee to toe. If you have trouble get an exercise ball and practice that position until you can maintain those lines. Don't think of it as just jamming your heel down, think of it as though you're sliding down over a barrel and gripping with your thighs, first pushing down into your knees and then sinking into your heel.

    You also want to learn to be effective with your hands and upper body BEFORE you ask for contact. Then when you start to ask for some contact you want to firm up your wrists and get your forearms almost parallel to the ground. You want your thumbs on top and your hands going no farther apart than your hip bones. You want to learn to feel an ounce of pressure in each rein and maintain it through small movements of your arms to maintain contact, you don't want to go from tight to loopy reins and back again because that will frustrate your horse and you. You want your elbows elastically tied into your hips not canted out from your body. Your power comes from your core so you want to tie everything as close to your body as possible while still being mobile. While I agree that sometimes opening up the rein angle can be beneficial for a green horse it should be done correctly and by someone with an independent seat and hands. For now you need to get your leg and seat in a better, more effective place before you start adding contact and worrying about hand placement. Large figures on a loose rein concentrating on your position with the correct lower body position, keeping your upper body and eyes lifted and open with a relaxed yet supple arm placement will work wonders for you.

    I understand you have come a long way but you really need to go back to the fundamentals now and get YOU solid before you start to ask your horse for anything more than stop, start and steer.
         
        09-13-2010, 04:56 PM
      #17
    Foal
    Agree with Anebel on the hands issue! There is no reason to ride like that. Especially because you say yourself you have trouble staying out of his mouth. Focus on keeping your hands in the "box" and then your hands will be still.
    My trainer likes to say "calm hands lead to a calm horse".
    Also agree that your horse has to be more forward.

    Also concentrait on getting your toes pointed inward. If your toes point toward your horse your knee and upper leg are automatically closed around your horse (or saddle) and your lower leg isn't constantly "talking" to the horse. Which means you only use your lower leg to give your horse clear signals.
         
        09-13-2010, 10:06 PM
      #18
    Yearling
    Cinny, you have made real progress over the summer and kudos to you for getting a trainer and taking dressage lessons. I think you are fighting an up hill battle being a green rider on a green horse. Well, obviously there isn't much that can be done about that but perhaps you can have lessons on a well schooled horse so you take half the battle out of the equation? I would also suggest having someone school Cinny for you as it is going to be a real challenge trying to fix his problems while fixing your own.

    You'd be amazed at how much more quickly you progress when you have a horse who knows his job and this in turn will translate to much better and HAPPIER rides with Cinny too. When you're on a well trained horse, he tells you instantly when you're doing something right. Just a suggestion.

    Keep up the good work though, I see lots of improvement from your other videos! And as usual, Anebel has given some very sound advice so listen to her!
         
        09-23-2010, 12:52 PM
      #19
    Weanling
    I'm not really following this too closely - but I've seen your vids since the beginning, and I'd say this is a wonderful difference. Congrats!
         
        09-23-2010, 06:32 PM
      #20
    Weanling
    Ok, I didn't read any of the comments from everyone else, but I really wanted to leave a critique bc dressage is becoming my forte. :) First off, I love your improvement. These are the main things I noticed though.
    -Keep your toes in, and your heels back a little bit more. It'll really help with keeping him forward, and I would work on driving him with your hips instead of only using leg cues. When you post, try posting a little bit higher, but don't grip with your legs! My worst habit is gripping, as my trainer says, "Like a crazy western girl."
    -When he's trotting he should be "tracking up" which means that his back hooves should be falling into his front tracks. Eventually he'll be able to maintain a slower trot, and still track up it just takes muscle and practice.
    -While your hands should be wide considering Cinny is a green horse, you should still have a little bit more contact, and try to keep your hands more steady. My trainer says you should have a constant light contact at all times, by ounces, not pounds, and when you get on the horse, your hands aren't yours anymore. They're Cinny's, keep your wrists loose, and your hands should give a little bit with a normal head bob at all three gaits (not that crazy head tossing. :P)
    -To help with the head bobbing try massaging the reins in your hands(while still maintaining a light contact), give and take, give and take in a slow rhythm, it'll help get his head down and help to stop his nose racing the rest of his body.

    Heres a page I like to read, they've got some great information about dressage that's really helped me improve my riding. :)

    Classical Dressage
         

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