MUCH better video - please critique dressage test! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 03-11-2011, 07:33 PM Thread Starter
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MUCH better video - please critique dressage test!

Hi - had posted before but video wasn't great. We practiced again today and I took your comments to heart and hope we did better. Would love any and all thoughts. Our very first dressage Intro A schooling show is only a week away. My friend videotaped me (she shows training level right now). I know we cut off a corner before free walk. What am I doing right? Wrong? Need work on? Would love and and all feedback. Also would love thoughts on discipline - he was a H/J in his past....I think he is more geared for H/J vs. dressage but we are giving it a go and dressage is good training :) Thanks!

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post #2 of 5 Old 03-11-2011, 11:03 PM
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I love your horse. He is a beauty!
One thing I picked up is that you seem to be leaning forward at times through out the video.
Hopefully some of the more experience dressage riders can help you out.

Good luck and do well!

There is one principle that should never be abandoned, namely, that the rider must first learn to control himself before he can control his horse. This is the basic, most important principle to be preserved in equitation - Alois Podhajsky
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post #3 of 5 Old 03-12-2011, 12:23 AM
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I posted at length on your other thread of the same name.
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post #4 of 5 Old 03-12-2011, 12:59 AM
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I'll post on this thread, since I have not seen the other one.
First, let me say I really like you two.

To offer some advise, You need to develop a better connection with your horse to better channel his balance and energy. However, until you learn to make your arms more fluid, you will not be able to do this. Your arms are too stiff and allow no absorption of the up and down movement of your rising trot seat. As a result, your hands bob up and down as you do your rising trot. Unlock those elbows and shoulders. As you rise, your elbows should open, allowing your hands to "drop" (not really, it just feels that way. They will actually stay in place) you lower into the saddle, your elbows should close. You see, your hands must be still and stay in the same place relative to the HORSE, not relative to your body...which is going up and down. Watch the video and see how your hands follow your movement, not the horse's.

Only when your hands can remain still, relative to the horse, can you apply the leg and move him into the bridle, catching the energy with an increased contact. Until you can do this and increase the energy level, it will be difficult to lighten him on his forehand.

I teach my students to change their posting diagonal the moment they start their change of rein across the diagonal. I do not want them to change posting diagonals at X. When you do this, you throw an inconsistent seat at them when you most want them to demonstrate their best consistent trot. By changing at the beginning of their trip across the diagonal, you keep the seat much more consistent and actually start the preparation to the new bend at the end of the diagonal. Remember, posting diagonals are a tool to increase the horse's bend. I was taught this early on by my German dressage coach.

Also, when beginning your free walk across the diagonal, wait until you leave the track before you allow the horse to stretch down. By allowing him to lower while turning out of the corner, you allowed him to dive onto his forehand.

I am not too familiar with the walk/trot tests, but I believe they need to be back in the medium walk at the end of the diagonal. You allowed him to coast through the corner still in free walk. Start regaining your contact well before the end of the diagonal (slowly) so that the horse is "back in the bridle" as soon as he regains the track.

You are riding a bit too much on your knees. As a result, your lower leg swings back from the knee, causing your upper body to become unbalanced and tilt forward. Let go with the knees and allow your leg to drape along the horse's sides. You leg wraps around the horse's barrel keeping fairly consistent contact throughout your whole leg.

WOW! This sounds like a lot of things going wrong. Not really! These are all things that one works on in the beginning and they are easy to fix. I really like you two and wish I could get my hands on you. I bet you two would be fun to work with as you both have plenty of inherent talent.
Have fun!!
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post #5 of 5 Old 03-12-2011, 01:21 AM
Join Date: Feb 2011
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Your horse is really cute, and I think he looks great for lower to med. level dressage. You guys look like a good pair, and like he's really willing to go for whatever you want to do - cultivating that attitude into a learning and bonding experience is really the essence of dressage anyway.

That being said, you guys both have lots of work to do... which I'm sure you know anyway. When I switched to dressage from H/J, my coach had me do tons of work with no stirrups to really learn where my leg and seat need to be. I would recommend working every time you ride on doing some no stirrups sitting and posting trot. Yup, posting with no stirrups. Great fun, lol. Posting trot should encourage a horse to go forwards and carry himself nicely while still developing topline muscles - however, it is important that you don't lose your sense of seat. Let your stirrups out a hole or two and practice posting low to the saddle. And good luck :) I'm sure you and your horse will learn much (and therefore do well) together :)
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