Dressage critique please - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 10:49 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the great feedback, really. It all makes things very clear and especially helpful with the examples. I feel like my hands must have been cement blocks on her mouth. Ugh. I will definitely work on them.

Here's to Spring!
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post #12 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 11:16 AM
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didn't read all posts but I just watched a special on TV today. When you are rising at the post up push your hands down towards the withers and when you sit you let your hands up to keep consistant through out
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post #13 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 11:55 AM
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Oh my! Took me forever to get her into a second gear!
Ideally, you'd get her to slow her tempo down while still covering the same amount of ground. As she gets more balanced and starts stretching into a steady contact, she should begin to loosen up and work more freely through her back, which will help her swing more behind and lengthen her stride. For where you're both at right now, though, I wouldn't worry too much about slowing her tempo down yet - at this stage of the game, forward is key. But with that being said, one of the things you can start thinking about and working on is keeping her tempo steady, down the long sides, through the corners -- everywhere, you should be striving to maintain a steady rhythm.
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post #14 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 02:22 PM
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Personaly I thought she needed to go forwards more, gain a bit more impulsion as well. Worry about that before anything else. She cannot go in an outline without going forwards and engaging her hind end.

You personaly I think you need to bend your elbow and put your thumbs on top. At the moment your elbows are straight and locked which doesnt allow your hands to go with the movement and hence the mixed signals your mare is getting.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT


Last edited by faye; 09-04-2011 at 02:30 PM.
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post #15 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 03:40 PM
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Originally Posted by faye View Post
Personaly I thought she needed to go forwards more, gain a bit more impulsion as well. Worry about that before anything else. She cannot go in an outline without going forwards and engaging her hind end.

You personaly I think you need to bend your elbow and put your thumbs on top. At the moment your elbows are straight and locked which doesnt allow your hands to go with the movement and hence the mixed signals your mare is getting.

Agree VERY much with what is said here.

To the OP

Slowing her down when there is no rhythm established would be the worst thing. Forward does not mean rushing and if the horse should rush when driving more use turns and direction changes will NATURALLY slow her down and establish any rhythm lost..

Agree with the arms also. By having them this straight you can't give or take back without compromising your position. This would also allow you to monitor your contact with the horse which is very irregular. You also have a very irregular posting rhythm and this part I would try to relax more.
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post #16 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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I see what everyone is saying about my elbows. Moving them back will probably help with being able to sit back and allow me to roll my shoulders back - as well as allowing an ability to ebb and flow in contact with her. Like they are, I can only pull back.

About the forward.... what exactly does "forward" mean....? (Yes, I know. Dressage 101.)

BTW, this feedback has been very helpful and appreciated.
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post #17 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 06:24 PM
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To me the trot looks like it isnt going anywhere, it needs more energy. Not nessecarily faster but with more energy, she needs to want to go forward and find her rythem

It is a very difficult concept to explain over a forum, perhaps anouther member will have more ability!

Are you getting lessonswith a trainer at all? Even one every month would put you on the right track, but if you can afford it every week would be best.

RIDE your horse FORWARDS and keep him STRAIGHT

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post #18 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 07:30 PM
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I have to say you have done wonders with that lovely little mare and you should be so proud of how youve nursed her back to health and she is SO wanting to please you :) You will notice so much differnce when you have improved your arms and get more impulsion which will give you more energy and power in the trot without it being so rushed. Keep up the good work you are making fab progress and look forward to future posts remember impulsion not speed :) speed = flat can't wait to see more xx
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post #19 of 26 Old 09-04-2011, 07:55 PM
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I've got a few ideas here. First, I see no consistent rhythm. While I like that you're trying to get her forward and into the contact, she's just going through the motions. Use your posting to slow down that trot just a little bit. Pick a song or count 1/2/1/2 so you are posting like you are a human metronome. Make sure she adapts to your posting tempo rather than tricking you into going along with her.

Reins - my contact has been all over the place this year. I've had some very colorful remarks on my dressage tests. What I did to begin to fix it was, let my shoulders soften and drop so my elbows hang dead against my sides. Then I use my pinky fingers to find a fixed point on my horse, and keep them there no matter what. The trick is to be very careful about keeping your elbows and shoulders from locking up in order to follow your horse's motion. Just find the right contact, keep it there, and let her find it herself.

Have you tried transitions within the trot with her? In the video she's going around without any changes in tempo. Once you get that metronome rhythm going, start working in some balancing half halts to get her to engage her hind end a bit.

That's all I've got!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #20 of 26 Old 09-06-2011, 08:00 AM
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I have no hi speed internet on weekends so I am just getting to this. I will temper this by saying I do not recall the original video and currently do not have time to go back to it.. so this is starting from scratch.

You have a nice horse here. You need to do more help her.

First thing I wonder is why are you POSTING to the trot? This has your legs and your hands bouncing about a bit. Every time you post, you move your hands.. so if she is stretching she bets banged in the mouth.. and her head movement tells you that is happening. When you post, you are only IN the saddle 50% of the time. Sit the trot.. and then you have 100% of your time in the sdalle and able to drive her forward. When she goes forward, release with your hands (to let her go) and THEN post a few strides. I suggest sitting thru the turns and short side of the arena and then as you come out of the turn, drive her forward, RELEASE her with your hands and start to post. She gets rewarded for goring forward both by your posting and the release.

It is hard to sit up straight and drive the horse forward when posting. Sit the trot, driver her into the turns with a steady leg on the girth on the inside and an active (not kicking) leg behind the girth as she goes into the turn.. as she comes out of the turn Driver her forward with legs and seat, IMMEDIATELY release her and start to post. You are on the straight.. don't worry about the diagonal right now. You want her to understand forward is good.

Sit the trot and work on serpentines and figure 8's next with her straight where the two circles of the figure 8 touch and then reverse the bend as you start the new circle. Do spirals (again.. sit the trot so you can use your seat to help push her forward).

Steady up you hands and learn how to do a gentle half halt into the turns as you drive her forward (this action is gentle.. like squeezing a spnge and releasing).

Are you lunging this horse with a lunging cavesson and side reins to help her learn to bend and strack up properly? If not, she would benefit from this. If you do not know how to lunge her properly, then do not do it until you learn how. It can backfire if you do it incorrectly.

Again... a very nice horse. BTW I love her Cremelo foal. My first horse was a Cremelo and I have never met a cremello I did not like (disposition wise). I hope you still have her foal and that he is as good as his Mom.

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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