I have been working Cinny at Dressage ever since I got him, mainly for foundation but now I am falling in love with it. Lately we have been hitting a few snags, some of them my fault, some his stubbornness, and yet we have been trying to slowly muddle through. I've gone to Dressage clinics with him, and a few NH clinics with a local horseperson whom I trust, and yet... we are still stuck.
Yesterday I did something completely out of the box on a whim. I went to a clinic held by a local reining/cutting trainer that came to our stable. He has a soft touch and isn't one of those "spur em till their bloody" type trainers, in fact he is very anti-spur and anti "hard force" and more of the "this is what a horse thinks, and this is what a horse has to do before he can move this way or that."
Anyway, by the end of the 3 hours Cin and I had come farther than we have the past 6 months! The main thing I learned was how to tune in to how to get Cin to pay attention. The day's clinic was about controlling the shoulders, flanks, and then both simultaneously and he worked with us each one on one so that he could adapt to the learning style of horse and rider, which was a big help because he taught me how to tune in to when Cinny is ready for something new and when it's the wrong moment to throw "new" at him. Well, now Cin is almost a pro at moving however I want him to! We had turns on the fore before, now we just about have turns on the hind and I'm sure in a month we will have them with the hind perfectly stationary.
The best thing is, I can control his shoulders more in my geometry which means we have the balance and hind in propulsion we have been lacking. We not only are pulling off our 15m circles at the canter comfortably and well balanced, but we are now able to pull off a few 10m in the canter with Cinny soft and supple as butter!!!
So, moral of the story, try out some different styles, clinics, whatever you have available to you. Think outside the box because something wonderful may happen for you and your horse. After all, who would have thought that a Reining/Cutting trainer could improve a horses Dressage movements?