Am I doing the right thing?

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Am I doing the right thing?

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    09-08-2012, 02:40 PM
Am I doing the right thing?

Okay, so Indie is my new horse.. who is also a project horse, so I'm trying to do a great job with her. I do have my instructor's help, as well as experience with Major when he was quite green.. but I just want to know if I'm on the right track and if there's things I can add in to make the work more fun for Indie.

Her biggest issue today was staying at a walk while on the loose rein.. she'd try trotting off every few steps. When she did such, I'd simply bring her back and we'd keep walking.. then, once we got a loose-reined circle with no attempts at trotting, I'd ask for a trot and we'd trot a circle or two. Although her rhythm was quite off today.. so I focused more on quick transitions.

Towards the end, she was walking pretty calmly on the loose rein. I could feel her wanting to trot at times so I just half-halted and it seemed to work.

Also, she needs a bit of work on standing still.. both when I'm getting on and if I stop her to adjust something. I've always been taught to back them up when they walk forward. I knew it'd be an issue before I even got on, so I spent some time leading her around the ring and I asked for ten or so nice stops.. increasing the time each time. By the end of the session, she seemed much more patient about standing still while I was in the saddle.

I'm just wondering if there's anything I can do different for next time and if there's anything more fun I could do since I've decided we're going to work on her walk/trot before getting to the canter. I'm thinking of setting up a bunch of ground poles as well, I've been warming her up to the idea of going over them so I think that'd help with her strides and rhythm.

Thanks! :)
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    09-08-2012, 02:52 PM
Keep her busy!
My very first TB needed about 15 laps in a very forward trot to get his mind right.
What you can do when walking is lots of circles, figure eights, volte, try shoulder in, leg yields too. NEVER only straight around. Groundpoles is a good idea too. Lot's of changing hands in different ways.

For standing still back her when she tries to take off, yes. And make it a point, always, to stand for about a minute after mounting.
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    09-08-2012, 03:03 PM
That's mainly what I did, circles and figure eights.. except when going over the ground pole, I made a point to walk her straight to the gate because Major always enjoyed trying to cut off the line when he went over poles. I figured I better get her some good habits while I have the chance. :)

I think she's still a bit antsy for being in a new place, but whenever I tried leg yielding.. she wanted to trot. I think I might just have to do more trotting work with lots of circles, figure eights, etc.. all while keeping her at the same pace. I would love to do more trotting with her, but I want her to be able to maintain a rhythm before I do a bunch of it. Usually if she can do a nice consistent circle, I'll switch to something else for awhile.

These last two rides were basically an "extended" warm up so to speak.. lots of backing up, lots of circles, some trotting, lots of transitions. I think in a month or two, she'll be a completely different horse.. in a completely positive way. :)
    09-08-2012, 03:32 PM
She certainly will.

Try the forward trotting session with her before you do any other things. Might be the best way for her to warm up. You can get the steady rhythm that way since you control the speed. You'll notice when she slows down on her own.
I used to do that only with my TB, the others wanted the walk. I did lots of changing hands, had only light contact, legs and hands, and started serious work when he slowed down a bit. You need to keep the forward!
She goes in a trot instead of the legyield maybe because she gets mixed signals? Don't know, haven't seen you ride .
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    09-08-2012, 03:42 PM
I did leg yields on her when I was originally trying her out, so I can't imagine it being a mixed signal.. if I try to leg yield her, I'll usually just take my other leg off her side. I'm wondering if maybe I should go back to turns on the haunches and forehand.. I haven't tried those with her yet.
    09-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Good idea. Anything that bends and gets her thinking. Plus all these exercises get her into collection.
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    09-08-2012, 03:53 PM
Try the legyield turning out of a corner.
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    09-08-2012, 03:58 PM
Okay, and maybe I could try side passing if I have her facing the wall. I know that she's perfectly capable of it on the ground.. so I might as well give it a try in the saddle. She's really sensitive to aids, I can barely poke her side and she'll move over for me.. so I think it'll be fun/interesting to work on.

She also has that habit of flapping her lips, but halfway through, she stopped.. so she must've been thinking a bit harder.
    09-08-2012, 04:06 PM
Ahaaaahhh...sensitive to the leg. There we have the problem.....that's what I meant with mixed signals. Try do have only light contact and do more with your weight. Think western

Just looked at your pics....if I was your instructor, your stirrups would go down two holes, if not have such nice long legs, besides you want ti di dressage, right
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    09-08-2012, 04:07 PM
Geez...this phone speaks do dressage I meant.
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