Okay, how's Excel looking?

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Okay, how's Excel looking?

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    04-05-2013, 08:28 PM
Okay, how's Excel looking?

I'm slowly bringing Excel back into work after having most of January off. I just filled out our entry for a horse trial on May 11/12, our first event of the season. I'm planning on doing Starter (2', BN test A for dressage) to get his feet wet and not overdo it this early on in the year, though we schooled 3' in the arena and Training level XC jumps last summer/fall.

My position was, to put it mildly, dreadful today. I was riding very defensively because of some idiot that decided it would be a good idea to tear through private property (not his own) on a four-wheeler. Excel was somewhat on edge after that, to say the least! Anyway, let me know what you think of his flatwork. The video is really shaky and all over the place, so I took screenshots.

For reference, here's few critique threads from last year if you're really interested:
Cross Country critique! BN and Novice
Jumping critique from today

Boo Walker likes this.
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    04-05-2013, 09:56 PM
YOu are a dandy rider, and you know it! (or, you should). I'd be thrilled to ride half as well as you can ride on a bad day.
Jake and Dai likes this.
    04-05-2013, 10:03 PM
Thank you, Tiny! How does Excel look, though?
    04-05-2013, 10:13 PM
He is so nicely muscled up you could pass him off as a warmblood!
Basically ; AWESOME!
Top line and haunches look so nicely shapted. He is worrying a little about the contact, but you are doing a good job of encouraging him to trust your hand and carry it forward, not get tied up in knots and to trot out with a swinging back.
    04-05-2013, 10:40 PM
That's good to hear, thanks! My new farrier is working miracles on him . No soundness issues, thankfully. I've had several clinicians and instructors tell me I have "too soft" of hands, so one of my main focuses lately is to take up a firmer contact to give him something to stretch into.

We had a clinic last Friday, and I swear, he was like a drugged pony. It's the first time he's been in an indoor since October, and he Just. Hates. It. He gets so bored, so behind the leg, and has zero impulsion in the indoor. The clinician saw these photos and the video on Facebook and couldn't believe it was the same horse she saw last week!

We do still have some problems when he gets "stuck" where he tries to break into a canter, so he half-canters-half-trots to avoid work. I've tried posting through it, half halting, leg yielding through it, and just closing my hands and resisting with my seat, but nothing seems to work. Suggestions?
    04-06-2013, 01:53 PM
It looks like these are all video stills - the video will tell us more, instead of a whack of stills :)
    04-06-2013, 01:56 PM
Yep, they're stills. Unfortunately, my sister was more concerned with getting footage of the dogs than the horse, and the result is a very shaky video, lol!
    04-06-2013, 02:18 PM
Originally Posted by equiniphile    
We do still have some problems when he gets "stuck" where he tries to break into a canter, so he half-canters-half-trots to avoid work. I've tried posting through it, half halting, leg yielding through it, and just closing my hands and resisting with my seat, but nothing seems to work. Suggestions?

So, even through all that he "tropes" along. Like cantering in front and trotting with the rear legs? Mac does that. He reallly prefers to canter (lope, in his case).

Well, I wonder what would happen if you pushed him up into a big canter and cantered him harder than he wants to, then reasked for the trot?
    04-06-2013, 02:26 PM
^ Yes. It doesn't happen out in the fields as much as in the indoor (where he had very little impulsion), but it's still there occasionally. Rather than trot, he gives me a very slow rocking horse canter in the front while his hind end is still trotting. This happened most often yesterday when he was tracking towards the camera (towards the four-wheeler) and lost his impulsion.

I'll definitely try pushing him forwards into a bigger canter when he does that, but it seems to be what he wants, so I'm not sure if it will make a difference. I'm going to work on editing that video from yesterday by taking out most of the shakiness and pooch footage so you can see what I'm talking about.
    04-06-2013, 02:46 PM
From your description, is this wonky gait thing him sucking back or is it him wanting to charge forward?

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