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Correct movement - engaging his back

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    11-19-2012, 08:16 PM
  #51
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
nothing can replace a good trainer.

Your horse is a nice horse and has a lot of potential. Doing these sorts of "dressage" excersizes are good for any horse, even if you never ride dressage. And, they build your riding skill, too.
Thank you, and that is exactly my intention :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
One thing about Arabs is that they are often masters of moving themselves along in energy conserving manners, thus them being great for endurance, I suppose. They can tend to move by pulling more with their shoulders than pushing with the hind end. I don't know if that is a bad thing in endurance or not, but in dressage it is.
My friend has the world's cutest arab. He is very "conservative" of energy (read "lazy") but she has worked on this and made him much more forward. I realize this is not your horse's problem; forwardness. But she did a lot of hillwork , and a lot of acceleration.

Hillwork is pretty obvious as to why it's beneficial for a horse's hind end, (though cantering up hills won't do as much as either trotting or walking up them does. And don't forget going down hills. Going down at a walk, stopping periodically, on the way down , and asking the hrose to back UP the hill three or four steps is also a great way to improve the hind end and the abdomin muscles. Abdomin muscles strenght is paramount in being able to lift the back, afterall, the back is lifted whenthe abs contract, not when the back muscles contract. THAT causes the back to hollow out.)
He does get regular hill work as part of our conditioning routine, so I was happy to hear that will continue to contribute to our work. I'll be sure to add in backing up hills.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Acceleration can mean going faster within a gait, or it can mean changes of gait. Going straight from a halt into a trot, you will kind of jump forward, right? That builds the hind end and will lift the front end , as a speed boat lifts in the water when you accelerate.
YOu do, however, once again, have to have a connection to the bit so that the energy that comes from the acceleration doesn't all just fall out the front but is contained by the contact to the bit, and transformed into "carrying" energy, meaning "vertical" energy that lifts the rider up. THAT is one of the fundamentals of dressage; the transformation of horizontal energy into vertical energy.
I can see I need to focus on making sure I hold his energy in on the front in so he doesn't "fall out" - i'll pay special attention to this!
     
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    11-19-2012, 08:23 PM
  #52
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
it IS a lot to understand, and doing it on your own, with no one to show you must be overwhelming. YOu are a brave soul.
Thank you - I want to be sure I'm doing all I can to make sure he's happy, healthy, and moving correctly with a good rider aboard!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
I mentioned the slowing him down through the walk to the halt becuase you pointed out how he stops so abruptly that you get thrown forward. That's him falling on his front hand. If you weren't holding his head with the reins, he might fall on his own nose..
This the stopping through the walk is to keep him thinking "forward" even though he is coming to a halt. So, insted of him just falling out of the forward push of his hind end, like it suddenly stops propelling him and he just deflates, you want to slow his front end but keep his hind kind of steipping up and under him so that he "steps into the halt" rather than fall into it. Get it? It's a bit like squeezing the accordian a bitfrom one side.

Don't pull his front end backwards towards the squeeze from the back. Rather you kind of firm up your hands and your abs to hold his front back and you push his hind up and under himself to meet the firm front of your hands and core (abs). Squeezing the accordian from one side only.
I'm attaching a screenshot of how this post looked before I posted it so you can see how it looks and should be typed up :)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen Shot 2012-11-19 at 6.18.09 PM.jpg (20.5 KB, 42 views)
     
    11-20-2012, 09:44 PM
  #53
Yearling
I got out to ride today! Alas, I didn't have my camera with me. However, either you're all really good at communicating what to do or doing some crazy ESP thing with my horse. I picked a few things to focus on today, and it went really well! I did exactly what you suggested, and he responded exactly how I'd hoped.

1) I stayed off his back as best I could. I did stay balanced, but I was leaning WAY forward. Oh well, I stayed on, stayed in control, and was able to communicate with him really well. But, my back and thighs are going to be killing me tomorrow! I almost felt like I was in jockey position....

2) I shortened up my stirrups by two holes, which contributed to the leaning forward. Oh well - I'll worry about my "form" when I have a trainer - right now, I'm mostly concerned about his comfort!

3) I tried to ask for "impulsion". He was moving out really well, though not running away with me. Before I got on, I lunged him at a walk and trot, but mostly focused on the walk. I kept him moving, but he was a little confused that I wasn't asking him to trot. He got turned around a couple times when I tried to slow him down, but I think he finally got the idea. Either way, his back hoof was landing about 4-5 inches in front of where his front hoof had been. Same goes for riding. I kept contact on the bit, so he got the idea we weren't changing gait, bur rather taking bigger steps. He did very well at the walk and the trot. His trot was quite peppy today, and really gave me a workout keeping him under me but not sitting down!

4) I kept contact on the bit. His head was about withers-height or lower for almost the entire ride, but we still kept up our "impulsion". He even dropped his head down pretty low, remembering our last ride, while moving out. I kept a "drag" on the reins, so he got a release but was also able to slide the reins through my hands when he stretched his head down. I really don't think he had his nose up and out at all.

I think actually collecting him - I.e. Taking that horizontal energy and making it vertical - may be a little beyond me for now and I'll work on that when I have a trainer. However, if I can get him to relax and move freely, which he seemed to be doing today, I'm happy. I definitely want to be sure he's engaging that hind end, though, and lifting his back. Ultimately lifting his back is what I'm looking for so he doesn't get sore due to that. I'm going to try to ride again tomorrow, and I'll be sure to bring my camera if I do. I'd really like some feedback as to how his movement is now, if there's anything else I should work on in my riding (as in, simple band-aids to make sure he's able to move correctly, and then I'll get better when I have a trainer to show me how), and, most importantly, if he really is hallowing his back and building tension.

One more note - a few months after I got him last winter and started riding him regularly (which he hadn't ever been ridden too regularly), he started foaming up with the bit. As in, instant bubble bath foam-going-everywhere slobber. It wasn't because he liked the bit, but rather because he was so stressed he'd instantly foam up. This is why I moved him into something bitless. However, these last few times that I've ridden him in a bit, he's had a little foam on the bit but not enough to leak outside his mouth. I'm really happy about that - he seems so much happier! Maybe it's because it's been a while, but I really think it's because I'm allowing/helping him to relax and enjoy the ride, too. He was very easy to catch today (he's been a little stand-offish lately), accepted the bit, and was overall very pleasant today. I hope this is a sign that he's benefitting from these exercises!
tinyliny likes this.
     
    11-20-2012, 10:03 PM
  #54
Super Moderator
Wow! That all sounds like a huge lightbulb moment. Arent' they the most awesom feeling? ,makes you want to toot your own horn, and you can do that here.

Once you get that feeling of being able to maintain contact but stretch your horse out and back, and horse knows the contact is flexible and fair, you get some trust happening and the horse kind of enjoys pushing forward.

I wouldn't worry too much about making that energy real vertical yet . YOu just get the forward push and then you start "stringing the bow" ( do you know how to string a bow for archery?) and as you go along, you are stringing the bow tighter. That makes it sound like you are pulling back harder on the front, and that isn't what you want. Rather you are pushing the horse more from behind and containing, but containing at a higher position, which in effect , shortens the string that you have, and thus raises the back more.

Glad you did so well and hope you gave horse a carrot on us!
     
    11-20-2012, 10:17 PM
  #55
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Wow! That all sounds like a huge lightbulb moment. Arent' they the most awesom feeling? ,makes you want to toot your own horn, and you can do that here.

Once you get that feeling of being able to maintain contact but stretch your horse out and back, and horse knows the contact is flexible and fair, you get some trust happening and the horse kind of enjoys pushing forward.

I wouldn't worry too much about making that energy real vertical yet . YOu just get the forward push and then you start "stringing the bow" ( do you know how to string a bow for archery?) and as you go along, you are stringing the bow tighter. That makes it sound like you are pulling back harder on the front, and that isn't what you want. Rather you are pushing the horse more from behind and containing, but containing at a higher position, which in effect , shortens the string that you have, and thus raises the back more.

Glad you did so well and hope you gave horse a carrot on us!
I've strung a bow just for fun, but I'm definitely not "experienced" lol. I do understand then analogy, though. I gave him plenty of peppermint treats, especially since I worked with him on letting me mess with his ears. He really does well with a gentle, loving, and patient but persistent attitude. He has so much to give and is very willing. I can't wait to get this on video so you can all see our progress and give me further pointers!
     
    11-22-2012, 10:03 AM
  #56
Green Broke
Looking forward to video
     
    11-22-2012, 10:51 AM
  #57
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by churumbeque    
looking forward to video
I got a whopping 12 minute video in the rain and wind yesterday, but it'll have to wait until after the Thanksgiving weekend to upload since I'm out of town with family. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
     
    11-25-2012, 11:58 AM
  #58
Green Broke
I found some pictures that might help you learn about being heavy on the forehand. This is my horse at 2 with out any collection and not working correctly. Look at how far back her front leg is extended where is should be furth forward by now. When peoples horses clip the front leg and pull shoes I would bet that the horse is heavy on the forehand and if moving better the issue would be solved and it wouldn't vbe a corrective shoeing issue I will post the improvement one next
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lesson 05 21 10 059.jpg (79.7 KB, 18 views)
     
    11-25-2012, 12:01 PM
  #59
Green Broke
This is the same day after working her a bit and pushing her forward. Look ghow the front leg is off the ground sooner. Also look at the evenous of the length of stride from the front compared to the back legs. They are pretty even. She is 3 in these pictures.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg lesson 05 21 10 067.jpg (87.8 KB, 19 views)
     

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