Hoping there has been progress... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-23-2013, 05:17 AM Thread Starter
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Hoping there has been progress...

I posted for a critique about a month ago and have been working on the comments I received. Just as a reminder, he is 4 yrs old, off the track since late last year. I haven't been in training for a little over a year now, I haven't had a lesson for over 8 or so months, and he has not been in any "professional" training other than two weeks working with another boarder to help with some issues. I hadn't had anymore videos taken of us since our last critique, but glad I now have these, as I can still point out things we need to work on. We have been working on contact, transitions (not falling onto his forehand), forwardness, and more on his canter.-- While his canter is still a big work in progress, he has gotten better at calming back down quickly after we go from canter to trot, which is great.

I know I need to keep working on keeping weight in my heels (due to my back/leg issue), work a little more on my elbows, and watch my hands/wrists. He needs to work on more transitions (my seat can get a little ugly/heavy during them at times), listening 100% when I ask to turn or slow down (you will see issues of this in the video), and work on his canter (especially to the left!). I also noticed in the videos that after cantering when we go back to trot work he tends to fall behind the vertical, so we will definitely be working on that!

In term of the trot pole video, you may critique it, but I was not asking him to do anything special (move forward, etc.) as we have just been working on being relaxed riding around the standards, over the poles, etc. We started him over fences just a tad bit (very rarely) a while ago and he got into the habit of freaking out about the poles, especially when he hit/tapped them, so we have gone back to only trot poles and learning it is okay to tap them and not freak out about touching them (I was pleased how he reacted to tripping over the first one in the video-- acted like it didn't even happen!). He has been super brave, and he just recently (the past week) started working over poles between standards (like in the video). He is pretty much back to normal now and is not afraid, so we will keep with trot poles for a while.

We picked a bad day to video as his canter was at his worse, mainly due to all the other horses out and about. He bolted once when asked to pick up the left canter, and would try to bolt when on the side of the arena near the playing horses. I normally do NOT pull so hard on the reins (as you can see from my normal contact), but we are still in the process of learning not to bolt and run WITH other horses and to listen when asked the first time (i.e. being asked to do something and not try to ignore the rider and pull the other direction). He can be strong at times and he knows his strength very well! That being said, I would appreciate that not being a part of your critique. When he is listening, he has gotten much softer/lighter in his mouth/contact since the last set of critique videos, which I am also very happy about.

I also know my upper body is still a little stiff at the canter. Any critique about our transitions or tips for his canter would be great too.-- You can also see how he sometimes anticipates the canter in the corner, whether I plan to ask him for it or not.

I might upload another video or two tomorrow.



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Last edited by LostDragonflyWings; 05-23-2013 at 05:20 AM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-23-2013, 10:15 PM
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Looking better.

In all gaits - let the horse carry you. You pump with your seat too much. Think about sitting up and back, shining your chest forward and just letting your horse carry you. In the transitions, same thing. Just sit there and let the horse do the transition. And if there's no response to your leg, back it up with a kick.

In the canter - the horse is not bolting because of other horses. He is bolting because you are pulling. I find that track TBs go faster the more you pull. I know it's scary but sit up and give. Because you are being filmed, you are probably more tense than normal (it's a human nature thing).

Overall, I like the quality better from him. Now you need to be tougher on your riding. Be quiet, don't interfere with the horse. This is the #1 thing to learn as a rider before you can progress to make a positive influence. And expect the horse to have a job. Don't make excuses for him. Expect him to be able to do things, challenge him and have high expectations. Don't let your personifications of the horse hold him back - especially horses bred for a job expect to be put to work, vices will develop if you diddle around too much.

Good luck!

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-24-2013, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
Looking better.

In all gaits - let the horse carry you. You pump with your seat too much. Think about sitting up and back, shining your chest forward and just letting your horse carry you. In the transitions, same thing. Just sit there and let the horse do the transition. And if there's no response to your leg, back it up with a kick.

In the canter - the horse is not bolting because of other horses. He is bolting because you are pulling. I find that track TBs go faster the more you pull. I know it's scary but sit up and give. Because you are being filmed, you are probably more tense than normal (it's a human nature thing).

Overall, I like the quality better from him. Now you need to be tougher on your riding. Be quiet, don't interfere with the horse. This is the #1 thing to learn as a rider before you can progress to make a positive influence. And expect the horse to have a job. Don't make excuses for him. Expect him to be able to do things, challenge him and have high expectations. Don't let your personifications of the horse hold him back - especially horses bred for a job expect to be put to work, vices will develop if you diddle around too much.

Good luck!
Thanks for the critique! :)

Good point about the "pulling" at the canter. I will have to try to trust him a little more to the left (we have worked to the left far less than to the right-- as you can see!). I will say that I agree with the bolting due to the rein pressure when I asked him for the left canter, but he did/does sometimes try to rush/bolt when other horses are running, etc., so I can't agree that was the case with the turned-out horses, as if they were not there he would not have done that (we get a lot of chances to ride when it is quiet and little to no people are around).

Also, I will work on letting him "carry" me more and not to overly-use my seat.

In terms of your comment to be quiet and not interfere with the horse, I am assuming you are saying I am currently not doing this. If so, can you be a little more specific as to in what aspects (if they are things other than what you have already touched on)?

Last edited by LostDragonflyWings; 05-24-2013 at 12:07 AM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-24-2013, 09:28 PM Thread Starter
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Anybody else?....
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-24-2013, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostDragonflyWings View Post
Thanks for the critique! :)

Good point about the "pulling" at the canter. I will have to try to trust him a little more to the left (we have worked to the left far less than to the right-- as you can see!). I will say that I agree with the bolting due to the rein pressure when I asked him for the left canter, but he did/does sometimes try to rush/bolt when other horses are running, etc., so I can't agree that was the case with the turned-out horses, as if they were not there he would not have done that (we get a lot of chances to ride when it is quiet and little to no people are around).

Also, I will work on letting him "carry" me more and not to overly-use my seat.

In terms of your comment to be quiet and not interfere with the horse, I am assuming you are saying I am currently not doing this. If so, can you be a little more specific as to in what aspects (if they are things other than what you have already touched on)?

Once the horse is with you, there can be a marching band and a horse race in the field next to you and you will not have to worry about the bolting. A lot of it is rider based. With any horse, if you get flapped, they do, they feel that tension and especially a more dominant horse will "take over the situation" and deal with it however he wants to. A less dominant horse, this will really scare, as if the herd leader (you) doesn't know what's happening, then the sky must be falling.

Pretty much, your seat has to be more with the horse, less of a driving aid, and your hands need to become independent of your seat and the horse's head. The hands follow the withers, and aren't used for speed control. Once you can just sit on the horse and do nothing but follow, then your timing of the aids will be far more precise and you can do more with fewer aids.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-25-2013, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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I appreciate the critique and explaination! I sometimes feel like I am maxing out on what I can teach him, but am glad we now have homework. Not having a trainer, it is hard to get such good feedback, so I am thankful for your input. I know we could progress much quicker if we were in training (which I was hoping would be the case when I bought him), so I will have to figure something out to fix that problem.

We will start working on this tomorrow, and get new videos once I feel some more progress!

I agree with the fact of him reacting because of my reactions. We hit a bump in the road a while back (closer to when I first got him) when he bolted at the canter into a gallop and I couldn't get him to stop. It shook me up a bit, but now we are at the point of me not being concerned with him not stopping (as he has brakes now), but can get jumpy when I see "triggers". I sometimes tense at triggers he doesn't even get bothered by. Regardless, we have come a long way in trust building and I trust him now far more than ever before. We now (for the last few months) only work in open arenas (open dressage court and open jump field) and deep down I am very proud he is so level-headed to do so.
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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277 views and 1 critique calls for a BUMP.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 12:20 PM
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I think your riding is absolutely beautiful! Your back is straight, but it is a little stiff (like you said). Even though you could put your heels down a little more, your legs stick to the saddle and don't move around at all. Your transitions are good. Just keep practicing them. One thing you should do is move your hands to the horses head and neck movement. You seem to pull a little when he starts moving his face around and when he bends his neck..(I hope that made sense) :) Nice job!
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-27-2013, 12:43 PM
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You seem to be doing great! With the bolting, the comment on not pulling back is a good one. I just watched an OTTB with this problem, and a trainer was saying the same thing. You might also think about moving into smaller circles if you sense the triggers.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-28-2013, 02:15 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AltaHillsLover View Post
I think your riding is absolutely beautiful! Your back is straight, but it is a little stiff (like you said). Even though you could put your heels down a little more, your legs stick to the saddle and don't move around at all. Your transitions are good. Just keep practicing them. One thing you should do is move your hands to the horses head and neck movement. You seem to pull a little when he starts moving his face around and when he bends his neck..(I hope that made sense) :) Nice job!
Thank you!
I am glad my legs seem to be so sticky despite my bad heels! I keep trying to work on them, but obviously haven't gotten too far with that though! ;)
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