W/t critique at May 8th Show

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W/t critique at May 8th Show

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    05-20-2011, 07:38 AM
W/t critique at May 8th Show

I know I put Lenox's video up a while ago from the same show; here's Molly. She wasn't focusing as much as in the show the week before, but I'm still happy with her. Not leaning on the reins, finding her own frame, not constantly pushing for a faster pace.

Many of you know I'm a life-long Western rider; I've ridden English for only a year with one informal lesson from Molly's off-track trainer and a couple pointers from my aunt. I know where I'm going to take lessons, and we have a trailer now, so hopefully I can start trailering to lessons with Molly soon.

Any pointers? The arena was extremely slippery and had some huge mud traps; she slipped a few times.

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    05-20-2011, 11:28 AM
Good job, that was a big class. Some thing to work on would be to pushing her into your corner with your leg. She tends to want to bend to the outside and not really want to work in the corners. I would shorten my reins a hair, get her jaw flexed to the inside and keep your leg on at the girth, outside leg on, and back a bit to keep her from bulging outward.
Definetly shorten your reins a hair, just remember if your pulling and your hands are by your leg... your reins are too long.
Your posture and heels were good for the most part, except for a few times your shoulders came forward and heel came up a bit.
I would have liked to have seen you circle a bit more, or cut across thre ring to find a better spot. Its easy in a class that big to get a bunch of horses bunched up together... but then, how will the judge see you?
I could really tell you were working hard by the expression on your face, remember to smile, have fun while you do it, judges loove to see smiles and people enjoying what they are doing.
    05-20-2011, 01:40 PM
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Cute pony and great ride! My biggest complaint will be the fact that you look down, alot. If you need to look for your diagonal do it once and then get those eyes up and don't do it again! If you can keep your eyes up then you'll be able to keep your chin up which will also pull your shoulders back and make a really pretty picture.

Good luck!
    05-20-2011, 04:03 PM
Thank you both!

I have a huggeee tendancy to look down, but it's not for leads or diagonals--I can feel those without looking. I look down all the time, but I never know why....force of habit, I suppose.

I was replicating how she'd been working for me lately with my reins; at the previous show I threw her reins to her in the practice arena and controlled her pace with my seat, and her head fell to where it should be naturally while I gradually picked her up again. She didn't seem to be working the same at this show, though.

Lol, actually she's not a pony...she's 15.3/16hh. I make most horses look small . About the only time I look like I'm riding an actual horse is when I ride Lenox, my big ol' Percheron.

She has slowed down sooo much since I got her. She was an absolute wreck a year ago. Off the track she was beautifully trained in dressage; half passes, flying changes, collection...the whole nine yards. Then she was sold to a maniac who kicked her when she misbehaved. Owner got scared, sold her to another owner who soon got scared and sold her to me. I found her dressage trainer and she helped her back to herself for a month, and I've had her since last April.

ETA: I've always heard to keep to the outside whenever possible, that's interesting you mention being on the inside....I've been told that the rail is best for keeping horses at a slower pace with decreasing the tendancy to rush.
    05-21-2011, 04:28 PM
I agree with the previous comments made about looking up more and trying to use your corners more. To get a better inside bend from her you should be asking for more inside bend with your inside rein and using your inside leg on the girth and outside leg behind the girth.

I also agree that you should not only shorten your reins, but raise your hands slightly. Watch your left hand, I noticed on both reins that your left hand can go a bit crooked, almost like it is turning back in towards your stomach (if that makes sense?).

I see in your latest reply that you have been working on the speed she goes at and at times she has quite a nice rhythm. Along with adjusting your reins you should be able to give a better half halt (remeber still to keep your leg on when you do this) and also just try to slow your rising down a bit in the trot. You can tell you are using your reins to ask her to slow down, but you are still rising at the faster speed she is giving you.

From the info you have given of her past though, you are both doing well, just tweaks more than anyting and being consistent.
    05-21-2011, 04:58 PM
Thanks! She's trained to use completely seat and leg pressure, but I end up falling on reins as crutches to ask for a slower speed. At home I've been giving her a loose rein and trying to completely use my posting speed to slow her trotting, and it's worked very well.

I usually have horrible piano hands also, which are coming along okay.
    05-22-2011, 10:36 AM
Looks pretty good. You do what I do. You lock your shoulders and elbows. See how they seem to go straight every stride or so? Before you go into the ring, shrug your shoulders a few times to loosen them up. Let that tension go and let it drop into your elbows so they hang at your sides like wet towels. Make a conscious effort to keep your elbows supple so you can follow your horse's head more consistently. Your horse is 80% there and gets what you want. Once you provide consistence supple contact (1,000 easier said than done as evidenced by my reins in my lap in my avatar), you'll find your horse willingly follow your hands to the bit and stretching into the contact. Otherwise looks great. Love your horse.
    05-22-2011, 01:49 PM
I'll definitely work on fixing that on trail today, thanks for the tips!

I've never seen another TB in the hunter classes I've been in, but if you pause the video at 1:39, the horse on the left is an OTTB. He placed higher than us in eq class, but next time we'll do better .
    05-22-2011, 02:08 PM
Really? I thought most hunters were TB's. Shows what I know. I don't see why that TB would have placed higher. He was going around like a giraffe. I'm hoping chicken wing girl next to you around that same time didn't place above you either. I think you're looking good. Just a few tweaks and you guys will be eating that place up.
    05-23-2011, 04:02 PM
^That OTTB even needed to have a few adult spotters in the ring because he was spooky....personally, he looks hollow and unresponsive to me, but the judge must've had her reasons.

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