Videos a year apart

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Videos a year apart

This is a discussion on Videos a year apart within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    • 1 Post By MyBoyPuck

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        07-22-2014, 05:07 PM
    Videos a year apart

    So last summer I posted a few videos, got great critique...realized something was wrong with my all that fixed, took more lessons...then started just trail riding LOL! Well today for fun after my trail ride, I rode at a place that had a ring, I decided to set up my camera. Lets see what I've improved on and all the bad habits I've picked up after 7 months of only riding on the trail..The place I board at now doesn't have a ring, so I'm not really interested in taking lessons at the moment, but thought it would be fun to compare last year to this year.

    Dexter's a 7 year old quarter horse, last year we were working more on dressage exercises and hoping to do a show or two. Over the winter we found we both love just trail riding more, so now I'm more focused on trying to do some judged trail rides...just need to find people to go with me. Old video I'm in a dressage I'm in my endurance saddle I just got.

    Summer 2013

    Summer 2014

    What we do now, lol
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        07-22-2014, 06:11 PM
    First, love the weee video. What I see is mostly your contact, or lack thereof. It's easy to see because I am guilty of it too. Your reins are too loose and the result is you're hitting your horse in the mouth every stride. Raise your hands a few inches, let your elbows hang softly by your sides, shorten your reins until you have consistent contact and make a conscious effort to keep your elbows supple so your hands do not move up and down at the trot. Consistent contact/soft elbows will improve things tenfold.
    jaydee likes this.
        07-22-2014, 06:15 PM
    Thanks! I've gotten into a habit of not riding with contact on the trails, like even less then whats in the it felt weird trying to pick it up again. I should try to alternate riding him on loose rein so we can both relax, then riding with contact on trails maybe? I see what you mean about hitting him in the mouth :( I'm lucky he puts up with me. I need to get a good routine for working him on trails better rather then us being lazy wandering around exploring places.
        07-22-2014, 06:19 PM
    I ride loose rein on trails and use contact when we are doing ring work. My horse understands the difference of which is work and which is play. Just keep thinking about relaxing those elbows. You will find a much happier horse on the other end if you give him something to stretch into.
        07-22-2014, 06:28 PM
    Awesome. Today was my first time exploring the trails in that area, was nice to go on some new trails. Maybe I'll try to start going there more often so we can ride in the ring a little too. I don't think I have any goals of showing really but I want to be able to ride him so that we're both comfy! Its not too far, I can actually ride him there..just have to cross a 4 lane hwy :( but its only like a 5 minute trailer ride too and then we get to practice our trailer loading..what fun..
        07-22-2014, 07:43 PM
    Can you see how much more forward your horse is? He is not sucking back, nor is he being pushed or rushed. He has found his rythm becuase you are able to be with him, and not impede him , at all. This is wonderful with a capital WWWWW.
    The first videos were painful to watch, the last two say, this pair are comfortable and I'd love to go riding with them! We'd have a blast.

    You have improved your hand position, but it is still not being utilized to bring as much unity as is possible.

    #1 at the very least, rotate your hands so you are not palms down. Think of bringing your hands and palms together, and almost as if you are holding a gift between them, and think of just "offering " them forward to your horse . I don't mean that they actually go way out over his neck. But that the energy that comes up through your body, from the saddle, you kind of hold in your hand, in stillness, softness, but NOT a weak open hand, and say, "here you are" and roll your palms upward a bit. To compensate for the bad habit of keeping them down, think of offering them upward and together.

    In time, you can work on making the contact be flexible from completely loose to having enough contact for the hrose to find it and respond to it. For now, your horse seems pretty happy on the contact you are offering him now, and for trail riding, you go loose unless you need to pick up the rein for a stop, turn, or some other change.

    Well done, all around! And, your horse is lovely.

    I do occasionally see a tiny hitch in his gait, maybe front right? Not sure. It seems minor, so not sure if it's just rough ground.
        07-22-2014, 08:30 PM
    Yay improvement!!! I've always had so much trouble with my hands. When I was taking lessons my trainer was constantly on me about it. I don't know why but it just feels uncomfortable to me when I try to rotate them up? Not sure if its because of my bad habit I've formed or if it has anything to do with my work/amount of time I spend on the computer (I'm destined to have carpal tunnel being a dog groomer and graphic designer lol!) I'll really try to concentrate on my hands more though.

    On trails I really try to let him find his rhythm, that's partially why I've been riding with loose reins too. He'll always start out quick, then after a few steps get into his grove, I like letting him find his special spot I guess you could say? He doesn't act like a slug, but he's not rushing, so its comfortable. After all that we went through last summer, I restarted him using a lot of the Clinton Anderson techniques. I never really did too much of the riding ones, but I've been trying to practice cruising more now.

    Would you say he has a long neck for his size? Whenever I do try to take up contact, I feel like I still have my reins SO LONG because his neck just seems REALLY long. So then I try taking my reins a little shorter, and end up with my arms straight out in front of me. I'm using 60" reins on him in the new videos, in the old ones I was using 54" (they were a tiny shorter though when measured...they were some cheap pair that came with a cheap bridle that I was using after I broke his nicer pair). I know you don't just aim for a pretty headset, and ride from back to front ect ect, I just always feel like his neck is so long and don't know what to do about it or myself lol.

    I've been battling thrush on his front right, I was just out of town for 5 days so it ended up getting a little worse JUST as I was really getting it so much better :( I did have his boots with pads on but they're old worn down pads so may not of been enough. We've just been having so much rain lately then going out of town I've been having a tough time getting rid of it 100%. So hopefully that's all that's going on.

    He is quite awesome though :) Just wish I could get other people on him more to get him used to that. He gets really tense and nervous about new people. We did our first parade on 4th of July! My mom got a tiny video of us :) Ignore my legs/heels LOL I was like jamming them down so hard. I was still figuring out where I liked my stirrups with my new saddle and had them a hole short there and I think was trying to keep myself wrapped around him...but stirrups were short so heel ended up so far down...I DUNNO IGNORE THAT JUST LOOK AT HOW CUTE HE IS.
        07-22-2014, 08:43 PM
    Learning how to shorten, and lengthen , your reins is a valuable skill for anyone who rides by direct reining. I use , currently, 54 inch one piece leather reins. When I was riding Z I had 60 inchers, for his supersized neck. Either way, on the trails I will be riding on the buckle at time, one handed, then I'll hold the buckle in one hand, and slide my hands down both reins to shorten (and this can be done really fast in an emergency) until the lengthis is good, then put them one in each hand.
    I can shorten one by taking the rein from the right, from right where my hand is, under the thumb or finger of the other hand, slide the now free hand down the rein, close on the rein, and bring it up or back, as needed, and drop that rein when the hrose responds.

    Practice picking up reins, and letting go reins. Never do it abruptly, unless the horse is bolting on you. Think of doing it within the horse's rythm, be it walk or trot.

    Eventually, you can incorporate this more into having him get on the contact, flex his poll a tad to soften, feel him hesitate (half halt), let him go and add a bit of leg to have him step into the softness. And eventually the amount you take up of the contact is hardly anything and you get him to soften and compress /rock back (half halt) and you give him just a tiny bit becuase he's ready to step up and forward with that copressed energy.

    But, work on feeling comfortable with your reins being any length and at your disposal to shorten or lengthen without disturbing your hrose.
        07-22-2014, 08:50 PM
    My last trainer actually really worked with me on how I picked up my reins and sliding them through my hands to shorten and length rather then like scrunching down them? Can't think of best word to describe it. What you describe sounds like what I do too, so good. I've actually thought about adding tape to my reins, maybe different colors for different lengths, to help me practice shortening to the length I want quicker...if that makes sense? So if I want to do a one rein stop, I know I have to quickly shorten to "red" tape! We need more work on that...I always mean to practice it, then see a pretty butterfly! Luckily he isn't a big spooker anymore, I text and "drive" a lot more then I should, rode him right up a hill into a deer basically and he was like whateverrrr.

    Do you think adding tape at different lengths would help me?
        07-22-2014, 09:01 PM
    Maybe. It can show you where eac hand is in relation to the center.

    Where he gives and steps his hind over and stops is where your hands need to be, which could be one place on the rein one day, and another place the next, and the better he gets at that, the less rein it takes, so having a fixed spot is a bit of a crutch until you start developing the feel for him and when he is responding and so you don't apply more pressure than necessary. It's that feel and response that builds lightness.

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