Four Videos- Need Advice and Commentary! - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
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Four Videos- Need Advice and Commentary!

AHHHH I AM SO EXCITED!

I have 4 new videos. Each showing a different stage of my ride this evening with my best friend visiting.

The first.. is obviously when I was warming up.. but by the end we are so golden! There's a good chunk missing.. the part where my horse decided to buck around and bolt and whatnot cantering to the left, but I sorted him out ;) Also not sure if there are any leg yields in there.. but they are looking great!

Anyway






And yes the fork is back on... :/ my trainer's orders. Plus he was SO bad on Friday.. just trying to avoid cantering because it is a lot of work. Ack! Though the fork helped and encouraged him to come back down.

But yeah I'm just going to listen to my trainer and have some days where I practice without it (like before.)

Anyway, let me know what you think! Wish I had a video of that left lead canter..

My abs are burning, so something must be right! ;) And apologies for the yellow... the camera made everything the same shade as my sweater haha

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 02-05-2012 at 12:27 AM.
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post #2 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:26 AM
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Looking pretty good. It's so fun to watch your regular posts. Did you ask your friend what she means by "soften"? Specifically.

I do see that as you go along, you get really very much attuned to his movement.
Just about the only thing I can say is to put a little more bend in your elbow and connect your elbows to your core.

Doing GREAT!
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post #3 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:33 AM Thread Starter
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Yeah she means soften the bit in his mouth and to me that also means use more leg and encourage him to stretch.

Thanks :) I am so proud of my sitting trot.. not in the first video but as it goes along! Finally starting to become less noisy uptop.

Yeah I need to work on my elbows.. I'll keep it in mind next time I ride!

Thanks tinyliny!! :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #4 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:46 AM
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This is one of those things where I get stuck on words. "soften the bit in his mouth". Does that mean you get him to flex to the bit? Does that mean you ease your hands forward to give him more rein? Does that mean you softly squeeze your fingers, or just the ones on the inside rein?
People say "soften" but what's actually happening as a result of being told to "soften the bit".
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post #5 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Well we were kind of discussing it a bit over this past 2 weeks she's been here. How she does it, is she squeezes each rein one side than the other until he comes down. She doesn't feel his back lift or anything, she just pays attention to the head.

The issue with that is my horse is so good at faking a frame. But even if he's using his back and hind and having his head like so.. he can still be stiff and "stuck" and tense.

I rather squeeze on the outside rein, use my inside leg and push him in the bridle without him locking up anywhere. Sometimes I flex him slightly at the poll on the inside rein going straight then bent then straight, etc. Until he loosens up. When he fights me and gets stiff, then I sponge the inside rein (he leans on that by default when he gets stiff) harder and use both legs like at a marching walk to get him out of that stuck loop.

I'm still learning but that seems to work for us.

Oh I didn't see the other bit... yeah I don't ease my hands forward, if he needs more rein then I slowly peel it out. But I keep pushing him forward. And by pushing I don't mean Go forward or I'm going to bite you or Go forward by me squeezing the jelly out of you. :P

For ME, the result of softening is he loosens up that jaw to neck area. He tends to get reaaaaaaaally bracey there and by flexing him and pushing him forward and asking him to stretch instead of "frame up" he becomes nice and supple and carries himself better and I can stay with him better.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 02-05-2012 at 01:58 AM.
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post #6 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 06:38 AM
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There was such a brilliant improvement in your sitting trot! Wish I could tune into Gabby's trot that quick, I'm alright if she's in one of those lazy trots, but once she gets going...ahem!
Your two-point is looking nice and secure :)
And I've noticed since your last video your canter seat has improved dramatically!
You're doing so so good!!
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To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #7 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much Elaine!!!!!! :) I'm tickled pink, haha

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:41 PM
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I liked your detailed explanation of your actions. BTW, I was just asking what it means to you, not making any observations on how you do softening. Just being curious and nit picky about those ubiquitous dressage phrases.

As I said, I , too, see a lot of improvement!
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post #9 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Haha you're welcome. I sat here for a minute pretending I was on my horse.. it was great.

Thanks again! I am just so happy. I'm so much more confident on him. And I notice after I canter my horse, my sitting trot is awesome. Prior, no matter how hard I try.. doesn't work out. Just goes to show a warm up is for both horse and rider!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 27 Old 02-05-2012, 02:14 PM
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You guys looks pretty good together! You look A LOT more relaxed than you have looked in some of the other videos I've seen, nice job! That canter was really fantastic. I'm proud. :)

Take this with a grain of salt because I'm definitely not a dressage pro but in these videos, to me, it looks like Sky is being placed into a frame that he's not ready for. If you look at his back, it's nowhere near being raised (like it would be if he was using it). His face is in the "right" place but his face/neck can be as rounded as they want without him actually being collected.
In the first video especially, a smidge later on too, I saw a few times where he went to stretch down but you had enough of a grip on the reins that he wasn't able to stretch at all. Once he realized that he couldn't stretch down, he "swan necked" up and made his neck all bendy in the air, resisting the bit.
The video in this thread is your BFF, imo: Great Video On Working Your Horses Back

Personally, if this were Lacey and I were having similar issues with her (I used to!), I would try to get her stretching down more and moving forward. Forget about holding Sky's head in (or whatever's going on there, maybe worry about him taking off? I know that one), give him enough rein to sttttrrrretttttttch, and work on getting a really forward trot vs this one that just goes along without any impulsion.
I like to play a little game with myself and Lacey where I give her quite a bit of rein (but keep enough for myself that I know I can easily gather them and have control if need be) to where I can just feel her mouth, and see how far I can get using my legs and seat.
Currently my highscore is getting a full small circle, a fast trot, slow trot, medium trot, sitting trot, walk, stop, and weaving, all off my legs/seat. We started out a month or two ago with maaaaaaybe sometimes being able to weave off my legs alone so yknow, I'm kinda pleased. Haha!
Of course, since she's a sassy monster, she likes to oblige me for 10 minutes and then start ignoring me but then I just pick the reins back up, make her do some harder stuff and then go back to this game.
This "game" has really done wonders for us. It's taught me to rely on my legs more (75% legs, 25% hands) and it's helped Lacey become more confident with me since I'm not in her face all the time anymore.

Anyway, I'd really work on stretching him down. He's trying, just make sure you give him the rein necessary to succeed. :)


And remember, grain of salt, I really know nothing (aside from "thanks to the internet" possible knowledge) about the higher and finer mechanics of dressage. :)
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Last edited by Wallaby; 02-05-2012 at 02:17 PM.
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