Dressage Lesson [very pic heavy] - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 11:39 PM Thread Starter
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Dressage Lesson [very pic heavy]

So I had a dressage lesson monday and a friend came and got some pictures. I think we're tons better than before the lessons, although we still have a long way to go! Please critique both me and Zeus..


Warming up.



I was fixing my glasses, they were sliding down my nose. Ha ha.

Our canter still needs lots more work.

More in next post...

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #2 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Got a little strong here.

My trainer, ha ha.

Trotting down the center line.

The end.
I did warn you, LOTS of pictures!
Looking forward to the critiques.

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #3 of 21 Old 07-28-2009, 11:52 PM
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Wow Zeus is gorgeous!
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post #4 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 12:02 AM
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I think you and Zeus look lovely!
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post #5 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 02:06 AM
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I think you look really good and so does Zeus. Only thing I can see with my very inexperienced eye is that you don't always have your fingers closed (maybe you were half halting at the time lol) and that you need to sit more deeply in the saddle, you look as though you lean forward a teeny bit. In the last couple you are sitting deeper but your leg has come forward. Are you in a jumping saddle? it can be hard to get the right feel of how you should sit without a dressage saddle, I didn't learn how it felt until I got to ride in a dressage saddle.

Boxer Diligent, loyal, strong
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post #6 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 08:45 AM
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Ok, take a deep breath, let it out, now shake your entire body. You are very stable up there, but a bit tense. I would like to see you come to your seat bones a little better, pull in through your belly button, and flatten your lower back. Press out through your rib cage and let your shoulders fall into position. Bend your arms a little more, you are riding very much out of your shoulders instead of your core. Your legs are nice, steady, and secure, but I would rotate the thigh bone through the hip to the inside, so your knees and toes are pointing forward, so it is more like you are standing over the horse than sitting on top of. As Boxer mentioned, this is easier in a dressage saddle, but can be accomplished in any saddle, just may feel a bit awkward.

Zeus is a cutey, with a lot of potential. He is very focused on you and seems to be looking for your guidance. As far as traveling, he looks to be a bit of a handful, litteraly, you must have some serious upper body girl! With that gag bit, he is relying heavily on your hands for balance. I saw several shots with a gaping mouth, he seems to be bracing and balancing on the bit rather than just having a gentle contact. He is very congested in the throat latch area, which shows that he is pulling in his lower neck and breaking at the pole instead of releasing the lower neck, stretching through the topline, and falling into a nice contact with the bit.

Moving onto the midsection, he is using his abdominals well, but still falling a little heavy on his front legs. We want the horse to lift through c6 and c7, the last of the cervical vertebrae, and pick up the front of the saddle, bearing more of the weight on the hind legs. He looks a little tight in his lower back and slightly disconnected through the hind end. He is trying his heart out though and is getting pretty good extension.

Sorry if I'm being too specific, please don't feel over criticized, you are a beautiful rider with loads of potential and it looks like you are very young still. Zeus is also looking to be quite the impressive horse that is just hung up on one little glitch before he can find his place on his own.

For a long time, I had the ability to get on anything in hold it together in an aesthetically pleasing way, however the next person to get on that horse would have a world of trouble. That is why I started to learn that instead of relying on myself to hold the horse together, I need to teach the horse how to hold itself there. That is when all of the small signs started to jump out at me, the small catches that prevent the horse from achieving balance. I have had great help along the way. Keep up the good work!
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post #7 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 08:52 AM
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Wow, Zeus is beautiful! FlitterBug gave you some great advice, and I also think the saddle makes a big difference. When I can see your position getting a little "off" for dressage it just looks more hunter/jumper-y, not "wrong." I think Zeus's trot has a load of potential -- is it his strongest gait? Looks like it.

Have fun with your boy!
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post #8 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 10:22 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks you guys! And thank you flitterbug for the detailed critique!
Zeus is definitely a powerhouse, ha ha. He has no previous training in dressage, so this is all very new to both of us. He used to be a jumper, and while I do have plans to get him jumping again, right now we are focusing solely on dressage and just flat flat flat. Most of my training has been in hunter/jumper and when I'm not thinking about it that's where my position goes. Definitely still something that I need to work on myself. He trot is his most schooled gait, his canter and walk need work. I really do want to get a dressage saddle, as yes, I am riding in a jumping saddle, but it's all I have right now. We're also looking to switch his bit sometimes soon, either we're going to add a second rein and have a snaffle rein, and a gag rein, or I'm just going to switch him to my rubber d snaffle. He's gone in it before but he's new here and when he first got here he REALLY needed to be back in his gag, he'd just run straight through your hands. He still gets heavy sometimes but it's getting better so I'm thinking I'll be switching soon, especially because the gag right now isn't dressage legal, ha ha. Zeus is very much aware of your seat and how you sit and move with him in the saddle, so as I improve, and as my position improves, he'll improve.

My dressage trainer really is amazing, and has helped SO much in only a few weeks of lessons. With more lessons, and more time, and hopefully with a new saddle soon, I can't wait to see where we'll be.

Thanks again!

I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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post #9 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 11:58 AM
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Wow! You and Zeus look like an amazing team.
If you don't remember me, I'm from UHB, I have Mark.

Have you bought Zeus, or are you leasing?

But I'm no dressage expert, just thought I'd comment and say that you guys look like you are making HUGE progress!

~Kait & Mark~
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post #10 of 21 Old 07-29-2009, 12:26 PM Thread Starter
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^ I remember you and Mark!
I'm leasing Zeus right now, but as long as everything goes well we really hope to buy him.


I give myself very good advice, But I very seldom follow it
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