Your thoughts? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-04-2013, 01:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2011
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Your thoughts?

I made a thread in the dressage subforum hoping for comments from our dressage gurus, but the section seems to have quieted down.

Anyway! I welcome all constructive criticism. I know I need to get more energy from him (working on it!) and I need to maintain a steadier contact.

Feel free to look at my other thread if you'd like to look at a longer video from last week, this is a shorter one from saturday.

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post #2 of 7 Old 02-04-2013, 06:13 AM
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Posture looks ok, and contact also seems fine.
However, the horse need to go more forwards, that is called sleeping trot. Up it a notch and it will be much better ( harder to sit though too :P)
Your sitting trot is quite nice, but you need to work on your legs, trying to keep the toes a bit more paralel to the horse, heels more down, and putting leg on the horse doesnt mean using the heel ( which I assume you know) but in the video it looked like that every now and then you use your heels to get him to do something.
Rising trot looked ok, apart from the same leg thing, it moves too much. Leg doesnt have to move unless necessary - which it shouldnt be all the time, as the horse is supposed to keep a rythm itself after the first command, not need a nudge of going forwards every 2 steps..
So basically, you need to work on controling your legs, heels down will help, train the horse to keep a stronger rythm with more energy and going more forwards, and then you can also start trying to put your hands a bit higher up and closer together, more like higher class dressage riders do :P
Hope anything here helps :)
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post #3 of 7 Old 02-04-2013, 03:51 PM
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I agree with all that cherrij has written!

What will help you with your lower leg is if you place your hand under your thigh from the back and pull the flesh to the back. This puts your thigh flat on the saddle and your toe will be pointing forward.

Up the tempo, ask him to bend to the inside and outside down the long side whilst keeping his body straight will help to keep him on the bit.

Good luck to you, a very nice horse.
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post #4 of 7 Old 02-04-2013, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
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I didn't want to write my huge wall again but indeed using my ankles instead of my upper calf is a habit I'm currently working on. It's much better looking then it used to! But I'm working on it and I tend to forget when working on something else (I was working on canter mainly in the above video so my trot was bleh. But I figure asking critique of the more crappy parts of my rides is gonna get me more advice than cutting it to only the good parts!)

Had a lesson today. I don't know why I ride so much better when not on my own! Super active trot (bouncier for sure, but in comparison, even his 'bouncy' trot is comfy) and reaching forward and under. XP Just gotta bring that same feeling out of lesson...!
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post #5 of 7 Old 02-05-2013, 01:27 AM
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You sit well on a horse - I am envious of your pelvis, it just moves! It took me years to get a somewhat presentable sit trot and I'm still working on it!!
To be picky, you are sitting slightly behind the motion - try to bring your shoulders over your hips, think about riding your chest towards his ears.

That tempo is a touch slow, but the rhythm is very good, he is soft, swinging and very relaxed. I would much rather see that than a horse being run off it’s feet and full of tension. He is certainly ready though, to be ridden more forward. Try to activate the hind legs a little without losing that rhythm and suppleness. It will strengthen his back a lot more and you will be able to start shifting his weight further onto his haunches.

Your sitting trot is actually better than your rising trot. In rising, you are pinching with your knees and rocking forwards onto your crotch, which is taking your lower leg off and making it swing slightly. Try to let your weight flow down the back of the calves and into your heels, while rising forward and down rather than up and down. Think about riding your crotch towards your hands.
As a result of your slight unbalance while rising, your horse has become inconsistent in the contact, and has started to tip onto the forehand.

I would also try resting your knuckles just in front of the wither, and riding towards your hands. You don't need your hands up around your ears like you see in a few 'top' riders. The only time I raise my hands, is when my horse is starting to run through the reins and is not responding to my back. Then I will lift one rein and 'check check' to say "Hey you, listen up!" and as soon as I get a response, my hands go down to the wither again.

Overall, nice horse, nice rider - now it's time to make things a bit more exciting ;)

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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post #6 of 7 Old 02-07-2013, 04:12 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you! It helps that his trot is lovely to sit to, hahaha.

But yep, I've always had trouble with posting. It's a bit better than before, but I think I had a breakthrough last time on just that: sinking my heels right in the moment I rise. We'll see if it sticks! But yeah, when I first starting training with my current coach, she suggested sticking with sitting only, since I barely had steering then, and only recently have I finally started to work on me.

The day before yesterday and on the lunge today I got him really active so we'll see how it goes. But I think I really get the feeling now so hopefully by my next vid, you'll see a difference!

My concern in this though: I have a feeling if I take my whip away, he'll quickly start to ignore my leg again. What can I do so that he listens to my leg and not need the whip to sit there to remind him I mean it, even if not being used??
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post #7 of 7 Old 02-07-2013, 04:16 AM
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I always ride with a whip at this stage of training, even if you don't use it, it is better to have it just in case, than need it and not have it, then go backwards in your training.
ALWAYS use your leg first, and use your whip as a back up only if you don't get a reaction to the leg.
With enough work and persistence, he will learn that he needs to react to the leg.

Not until you are competing FEI at CDI and other championship events, do you need to compete without a whip.

~Horse & Hound Artistry~.

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