Cinny's On-going journey AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE/CRITIQUES - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-27-2010, 09:14 PM Thread Starter
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OMG I just had a MAJOR EPIPHANY in regards to Cinny. All this time I have kept trying to figure out what feels so wrong about him. I keep thinking it's because he's green and I don't feel confident on him and using that as an excuse, but that's not it at all!

All the horses I have ridden in the last few months I have been perfectly confident on, and I never noticed why until Now. I was reading a comment that MIEventer made in a thread asking for critique where she was telling the person she needs to sit over the horses center of gravity...and that's when it hit me like a brick in the face.

What everyone has been trying to tell me and I just haven't "got" it. I mean I understood it, I just didn't "get" it until that moment. The reason I feel so "off" on Cinny, why we can't canter, why I don't feel secure on his back.......he is REALLY off balance. I mean, when I think about it, I can't figure where the heck his center of gravity even is. I never feel in balance with him. If I did, I would feel fine and secure even if he grabbed the bit and took off with me....but I don't. I feel like if he canters 2 strides I'm going to go's the whole center of gravity.

So now I REALLY get what I need to do. I mean REALLY GET IT. Cinny will NEVER have a constant place for his center of gravity until he learns to balance himself. until then, his center of gravity is going to be all over the place. I don't know why I just didn't "get" it before...what is wrong with me?????

I am really really excited now. I feel like I have been majorly preventing us from moving forward with what I want to do because I was so darn ignorant of this. And you guys kept trying to hammer it into my thick scull...thank you all for your patience, especially Maura!!!
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-30-2010, 06:41 PM
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You make me laugh, Cinny.

The journey from green to made is....

wait for it....

*the horse restablishing its balance under the rider's weight.*

I think it would be really helpful for you to take lessons on, or just ride, made horses periodically while you're bringing Cinny along.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-04-2010, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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UPDATE July 4, 2010

Originally Posted by maura View Post
You make me laugh, Cinny.

The journey from green to made is....

wait for it....

*the horse restablishing its balance under the rider's weight.*

I think it would be really helpful for you to take lessons on, or just ride, made horses periodically while you're bringing Cinny along.

I don't start until after the 15th..she has an overload of summer lessons with everyone out of school. I kind of like that because I don't think she'd be so busy if she wasn't any good. There is a dressage clinic with Sarah and Clayton Martin coming up in a couple of weeks also. Our BO is having Clayton actually ride the green horse Dolly, that she just purchased last week to evaluate what she needs to do (Dolly is really flighty and makes Cin look like an old pro). She said she will ask if he also has time to hop on Cin as well. It's 150 for the hour but I think it will be well worth it. I hope he can work it in, it would be great to see how he is with someone like him get on Cin and figure him out. I'm kind of excited but trying not to count my chickens, you know??

Yesterday I FINALLY got my side reins in for lunging. I put them on the longest setting and the first 5 minutes at a walk he fought them so bad that I thought he was going to flip himself over. He relaxed and started to stretch out into them and then ignored them as they were so loose they didn't really give him contact unless he stretched out. At the trot he tossed his head a bit for 1 minute and then was fine. Canter he was a train wreck crow hopping, tossing his head, flagging his tail, snorting. He'd pull his nose straight out, get mad then put his head back over and over. But only for about 5 minutes then he suddenly pulled his hind end a little more under him, rounded out and gave me the most delightful looking canter I've ever seen him do. I let him go a few times around then stopped him, took of the side reins and walked him out. Over all a pretty good day.

Yesterday I also discovered, he LOVES to be vacuumed. We have a vacuum in our grooming stall and so I switched it on to see what he would do. He ignored it. So I took the hose and started to vacuum him and he kept wiggly his lips but stood still, no freaking at all. I also cleaned his sheath for the first time, he enjoyed that too and pretty close to fell asleep. I found a plastic straw wrapper stuck up there which may have been the source of a lot of his discomfort, I could only IMAGINE what that must have felt like. It was stuck in with the goop so who knows how long it was there.

I think he's doing really well. I watch the BO's new horse, Dolly and I feel so blessed. Cin has NEVER behaved the way she does.

I posted this up in the critique section because for some reason I don't get as many replies in this thread as I do there and I wanted to get some more critisim bashed into my head, but here is our most recent ride (July 2). I see a lot of improvement, and a lot of work still yet to be done. I'm not sure about the saddle, I keep thinking if I had a more correct seat it would be fine. It doesn't hurt HIM as much as the other one did so we will see. It's just a "for now" working saddle anyway. I'm saving up for a nice dressage I also want to see where I go with loosing weight before I fork over a few grand.

So that's pretty much it for now.

Last edited by Cinnys Whinny; 07-05-2010 at 12:42 AM.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-24-2010, 09:51 PM
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How about trying to reward home when he does it right the first time then stop the session? Also try mixing it up. Do you do anything else besides arena work (indoor or out)?


Last edited by Cinnys Whinny; 07-24-2010 at 11:00 PM.
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-21-2010, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Red face

August 21, 2010

It's been a while since I checked in. Due to the baby having some health issues and being in the hospital, Cinny hasn't gotten out much. The times I did take him out, he did pretty well. I decided to half lease or free lease him to and intermediate/advanced rider so that he can still work. I had two really GREAT prospects. One was someone who was on the UNL equestrian team, talked like she knew what she was doing. I told her what was going on with Cinny, his history and she said he sounded like a great project horse and had a few suggestions of what to do with him. But then she came down for a trial and...well, not going to work with her. She couldn't even get him to do more than plod along like a plow horse on the lunge line and when she got on him the first thing she did to my HORROR was to grab up the reins so tight that all poor Cinny could do was hollow out his back and crow hop around. He eventually was able to get some leverage, even on the Fulmer, and bolted with her. She was in his face the whole time.

The second person has written me a very detailed plan of what she thinks will work with Cinny including a few weeks of ground work including ground driving and extensive lateral work (yay). She also gave me detail of what she has done in the past and some references. She works full time so will only be working him at night so if I want an afternoon fun hack or something it wont' really interfere. We just haven't been able to actually get together for a try out.

Another good note My trainer let me borrow h er Aurigan Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Loose Ring Snaffle. it was interesting and I can really see him eventually settling down into it. At first he almost behaved as if I put in a copper wire twist on him though, he is really sensitive to this bit and has quick response of my aids compared with his Fulmer and at the same time acted more comfortable.

But sadly, I believe I still have MAJOR saddle fit issues. I tried some other pads today but he seems to get sore and sensitive in the withers after our ride. I am just beside myself, I can't afford a saddle right now..and I'm starting to think the poor horse is just better off if I let him sit in the dry lot with his friends until I get the baby and saddle issues resolved..... Things just aren't going our way.
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-21-2010, 08:04 PM
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Hang in there! I can relate to baby and saddle fit issues! It sounds like a free/partial lease would be a great way to help keep him in work. Keep us posted!
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-22-2010, 02:28 PM
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Green as Grass

I noticed from the video that he moves his head aroung like my Fox Trotter did when I first got her. He has problems maintaining a good frame, but I think this comes with time and with balanced riding. You can do it! He's just trying to figure it all out.
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post #18 of 28 Old 09-09-2010, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Red face Moving Forward.....with big steps, not little choppy ones

Thursday, September 9

Today I FINALLY got my Sprenger Ultra WH. What a BIG difference it made. I also had a lesson and it was the most amazing lesson!! I'm so proud of my Cinny. Today he finally "connected the dots" so to speak. I'm hesitant to give the bit sole credit, but I think it really helped. We are starting to have nice 20 meter circles in posting trot...and I mean a nice, consistent, relaxed posting trot. We also succeeded in finally getting him into the bridle. He really paid attention to me, and my trainer noticed to. She even joked and asked where Cinny went and who's horse I was that great of a lesson.

I feel like all the doors that were closed before have just opened right up...will get video soon, busy helping my stable with this weekend's show.

Next Saturday (the 18th) is my ride in our clinic with Sarah Martin.
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post #19 of 28 Old 09-10-2010, 12:40 AM
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the adventures of Cinny and company!

Cinny lady,

I have read every word you wrote and have so much to tell you! Your journey is really fascinating to observe and you will be so glad that you are documenting all this , especially those early videos. They will be fodder for humor someday. And pride as you see how the both of you progress.

Ok, when I watched the first video I was actually worried for you. If that horse had propped (suddenly stopped) or done a sudden dodge to one side, you would most certainly have gone off. Your seat was very insecure. Sorry. you were leaning way forward, popping out of the saddle, gripping with your knees, shoulders not square, and all that was a part of the total equation. Now, I also read about Cinny himself being out of balance, and I can see and understand that as also being a big part of the equation. However, You must improve you seat in order to help him. Sorry, but there is NO shortcut. So, lessons , lounge lessons on a schoolhorse will be invaluable. Your general openminded attitude and searching spirit are reallly admirable. They are the foundation, along with the boundless empathy you have for this creature. Now, you must build on it with the physical repition of learning to ride, better.
Now, to be more specific, after watching the video of one month later there is one specific and helpful critisim I can make. you have your feet well out in front of you in a bit of a "chair" seat and when you post, instead of carrying your own weight up and down from your own feet/stirrups, knees/thighs , you are kind of bouncing off his back. Well, not really bouncing, but you are requiring him to fully lift you. Since you are not lined up over your ankles, it is impossible for you to lift yourself in the post lightly. It means you are perpetually a tiny bit behind his motion and it forces him to work harder and quells his forward energy. (I know, vague horsey talk. Sorry)
So, one thing that will help will be a good dressage saddle that puts you in a good position lined up over your hips and ankles. Another thought I had, a chair seat is often a result of a saddle that is anged too far up in front/ down in back . I mean the horse might be very uphill . Or, the saddle is too far forward. OR, it is so narrow around the whithers are that it is propped up too high in front instead of lying along the whither/shoulder area nicely. In any case, it makes the center of the saddle, it's center of gravitey, too far back. Causes you to have your upper body too far forward and consequently, you are forced to have you lower leg forward also to offset the upper body.
Look at the saddle on him and see it the lowest point of the seat is in the middle, or if the saddle seems to be "climbing" his whither. If it is, use a small wedge (like a Cashel foam wedge) to lift the rear of the saddle .
This m;ight help.
What ever you do, when you are in the saddle, you need your hips over your ankles (shoulders over the whole shebang but you seemed to be reasonabley upright) in such a way that if your horse magically disappeared from under you, you would land standing on your little footsies and not your buttsies.

As for the sick baby, I feel for you mommy. Been there, done that.
Never forget that a horse, lovely as he is, is an animal and a child is your child. Never apologize for keeping one's priorities straight.

I really think you have a wonderful questing heart and It's a delight to read your posts.

Cheers, darlin'
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post #20 of 28 Old 09-10-2010, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you so much tinyliny. Looking back, I think I did forget to document something that happened a few weeks ago, that might make you shake your head and say....oh, that's going to be so much better.

That saddle I bought "just for now" not only wasn't putting me in a correct position, it wasn't fitting Cin right either and unfortunately gave him some sore shoulder blades. This has been rectified. Both saddles have been donated to a local horse rescue/youth ranch that was very happy to get them. Cinny got time off to relax and feel better and the search for a saddle began. I watched videos here on horse forum about saddle fit (Schleese), rolled up my sleeves and dug right in. After a few tries and finding nothing that fit Cin's super short back, a lady at my stable who has just decided to go "Western Pleasure" told me she is selling all her dressage tack, and her Kieffer Wien DL just might fit. Long story a little shorter, it fits ALMOST perfect...fits him, but about half an inch short for me. My trainer looked at us with it and said she thinks that's the closest thing to perfect without going custom. I paired it up with a nice half pad and that was the first part of our Happy Horse equation. The second was the Sprenger WH. Oh, and I got the Kiefffer for a steal at 350.

Every day I look at Cinny in amazement. How he puts up with me and my mistakes, I will never know. And how my horses in the past put up with me...well..most of the time, is pretty amazing as well. I have been blessed.
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