Cinny's On-going journey AND REQUESTS FOR ADVICE/CRITIQUES - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 28 Old 09-10-2010, 01:12 AM
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Neato! OHHH NEW TACK (said with the voice of Homer Simpson as he says, "Oooh, forbidden doughnut!)

The Sprenger WH is what? Is that kind of a French Link bit, loose ring? I have that bit and have yet to meet a horse that did not go well in it.
I personally don't like Keifer saddles but it is a very personal thing. Theyare good saddles, just dont' fit me. If it fits the horse and doesn't cause you pain, go for it.

What is a Half Pad?

I think you are on the right path with him. He seems like a rather delicate horse, for whom force will backfire. He will need to be educated to take some contact (and getting a vet to check out his teeth to be sure the headshaking isn't discomfort caused will be wise), but doing it little by little is the way to go. your description of the side rein episode kind of freaked me out. Sounded dangerous, both to him physically and to his trust of you. Honestly, I am not a big fan of lunging period! At least the kind of lunging where the horse is in a fixed frame and made to go around in mindless circles. I would keep it pretty short.
One thing you can do to add interest is to put a couple of cavaletti on the circle. Your horse has to pay attention and every time he has to step over the cavaltetti (like 6 to 8 inches off the ground) he must tighten his abdominal muscles. Most people dont realize this but in order for the horse to lift his back he must tighten his abdominal muscles. When the back lifts, the topline lengthens, not shortens. If the horse is contracting his back muscles (as he would do to defend himself from a painful saddle or a clumsy rider) the back will shorten and drop.
To lengthen the back and strenghten (not stiffen) it, you must build the abdominal muscles and the hind end and keep encourageing the horse to reach forward and downward, especially in the trot.
going up hills, going over cavaletti, these are good for this sort of strengthenig and keep the horse interested and engaged mentally. Even letting him jump some would be engaging. I mean little jumps.

If you have a round pen, go "play" with him in there.
Yikes, there's tons of info on that, but you can just go in there and play with him. He seems harmless.
Gotta go do dishes!
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post #22 of 28 Old 09-12-2010, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Sept 12, 2010

Just an iddy biddy video from today's ride. Improvement, but still a ways to go. I felt like I was leaning back, but it's clear that I am still leaning slightly forward. I like my position better in this saddle though. Also, in my last lesson we really got him into the bridle and picking his feet way UP, but now that I remember, my trainer had me posting bigger this vid I look like I'm barely posting, but it felt like I was standing straight up. Oh, and don't even mention my lower work work work.

by the way, if you pay attention at the end, you can see and hear the two horses tied by the arena gate start to fight lol.

I found out that at the Lancaster Super Fair that happens the beginning of September every year, they have a dressage show. So, my new goal is to at least participate in Intro next year. We have a year to work on it.....

Last edited by Cinnys Whinny; 09-12-2010 at 04:22 PM.
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post #23 of 28 Old 09-18-2010, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
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September 18, 2010

It's the morning before Cinny and I join in on the Sarah Martin clinic at our stable. I have never been to a clinic, audited a clinic, let alone participated in riding in a clinic. I've been a little nervous all week as Cinny and I are still just working on forward motion at the walk, trot, as well as 10, 15 and 20 meter circles. Yesterday he gave me a simply wonderful ride, I was so proud of him. And then Sarah came and heart sank.

We have 3 arena's at our stable and a BIG hunt field. We have our lovely indoor arena where Cinny and I spend about 95% of our work time, the outdoor where Cinny acts like he has been given oats for the past week, and the dressage arena...yes typical dressage arena, no fence...surrounded by nothing but blue sky and fields for miles. We only walk in there, usually during cool downs. We have never WORKED in there because I don't think we are ready to go fenceless in the face of open pasture. The past few clinics have been indoor so I never even gave it a thought. Guess where Sarah is having the clinic...yup, the fenceless dressage arena that I know we aren't ready for yet.

So, I have spent the night preparing, my Kieffer is glowing, my bridle loooks brand new with the white perfectly white. Clean breeches, even bought a new polo. But my chest is in knots. I heard a rumor that it's supposed to storm today. My ride is at 4....I am just praying that in the next 7 hours it rains, and rains hard!!!! I am scared to death to actually WORK in that arena until I have better control of my seat and my horse.

If you don't hear back from me to let you know how great my clinic went, you can assume Cinny is half way to Las Vegas and I had to be plucked from the pasture....
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post #24 of 28 Old 09-18-2010, 11:21 AM
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Sweetie, if this is that big an issue, I would ask someone at the barn to approach the clinician and feel her out about how she'd feel about working in the indoor for you, for all the reasons you mentioned.

This takes the pressure of you, and if the clinician has a problem with it, they can convey it through a third party.

A visiting instructor or clinician WANTS you to be happy and relaxed and to set you up for success.

So just ask, already. Then take a deep breath and relax.
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post #25 of 28 Old 09-23-2010, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Houston, we have CONTACT

September 23, 2010

Well, the clinic went very well. It was foggy so we ended up inside. My fiance' thought we looked nice but in his opinion we didn't accomplish anything that our regular trainer hadn't been working on. Only in my opinion, we accomplished something HUGE.

Sarah Martin is an excellent instructor. Yes we worked on the same things that I work on with my instructor, but I think it's great that we picked up with what I was currently learning, and had it explained from a new view. Oh, and my trainer watched my lesson too, so we are all one big package deal now. Anyway, I DID acquire a few things I was lacking from Sarah's lesson. Strength of mind and Courage, and she took something away too....part of my fear. I am no longer afraid to push Cinny. Now, I know I didn't THINK I was afraid of him before, but...... now that the fear is gone I can look back and say that yes, I was indeed afraid to push him for some reason. And now we can push right into our bridle.

So where did this get us? Well, something very wonderful has happened. I can now ride with direct rein contact...and not just loosey goosey contact either but REAL contact......and the head tossing, grinding teeth, etc.....are almost gone. This is a really big deal for us. What's more, we have bend and are starting to make some really beautiful 10, 15, and 20 meter circles in walk and trot. As Cinny experiments with really pushing and seeking that bridle I can feel him raise and round his back into his movements. I am so elated!

Another thing helping Cin's work ethic....I found someone really awesome to work him. She is helping two of our eventers get their horses in condition for some eventing next month and she has agreed to work on Cinny and help build his topline as well as teach him self control in the canter. I can already see a difference on the lunge line, and when people watch her ride him they have to make a double take because she makes Cinny look like a seasoned horse, not a greenie. There is just one problem, now I can't wait to start working him at canter myself...... looks like I need some of my own self control.
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post #26 of 28 Old 09-25-2010, 03:35 PM Thread Starter
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Red face And the offers keep rolling in.......

Saturday September 25

This week has been full of wonderful rides. Cinny is improving by leaps and bounds! Today it was rainy so the Pony Posse had to do their jumping lessons indoors, but I didn't let it interrupt my ride. I just decided that it would be a good "pony" lesson for Cinny and work on his pony anxiety. He did just great, most of his issues seem to be going away the more he gets to know and trust me. The only sign that he was a little "put off" by the little creatures was his teeth gritting which was excessive in comparison to his normal amount. We road on the rail with ponies cantering up from behind, then they reversed and cantered toward us. I stood him in the center of the arena while they were all cantering around every which way. During jumping I stood him towards the end of the in and out so he could see them flying over jumps at him. He just stood and muscle tenseness at all. I'm so proud of my little man. The pony trainer said she couldn't believe he was the same horse that I rode last weekend with Sarah Martin, he has improved so much in one week.

Also this week I have had 3 offers for him! Yes, people are coming up and asking me if I would sell them Cinny!!!! Apparently he is a favorite of the pony posse girls and they all want to buy him or to show him when I think he's ready to start jumps. Even the trainer told me to see her first when I want him to jump and if I am ever interested in someone showing him. I never ever expected this at all. I do think he needs at least a good solid year of dressage BEFORE doing anything else and I'm going to stick to that plan. Where we go after this year depends on how he does showing intro. I really want to push him as far as his conformation will allow with dressage and then maybe go from there.

I am so happy right now. Everything is falling into place with Cin and me, and we have the most wonderful rides. He is such a much more relaxed horse now.
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post #27 of 28 Old 01-31-2011, 10:28 AM Thread Starter
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Well, it's been a while, there have been so many changes. The biggest one is, we just moved to a new stable. Cinny and I just weren't fitting in at the Equestrian Center. It would seem that you either have to be in the Pony Posse, be a "Pony Posse Mom," have a huge warmblood and ride in the hunt field with the teens or have a seasoned dressage horse to be worthy of anybody actually talking to you in that place, with the exception of course of the guy that cleans your horses stall and feeds him. Unfortunately Cinny and I just weren't any of those.

I know moving to a better place is considered "moving up" and moving to a cheaper place is "going down" or but what is it if you go to a better place that is cheaper? Cinny's new digs include (for only a forth the price of the equestrian center) a 10x20 box stall with a dutch door that leads out to...yes his own 20X20 little dry lot. 3 turn out FIELDS that I want to say are bigger than most arenas. A round pen, an outdoor arena with not only stuff for jumps, but also practicing games. A nice indoor arena complete with dressage lettering. Hot/cold bath (except in winter). Super friendly people. And a trail head that leads into a state nature park :)

The downside, I now have to go select, buy and haul in my own hay (so yes, Cinny even has better quality hay). I have to feed him at night and clean the stall myself (I had to clean his stall in the other place too as the ammonia in it was worse than a cat box that hadn't been cleaned in a month), and I have to set out his morning feed in a bin in front of his stall so the BO can feed him. Yeah, like all of that is a big deal...not.

We are also changing trainers. Not because my old trainer can't go to the new barn, she is more than welcome to, I just don't think she is working for Cinny and Me, and I get the feeling she doesn't WANT to train Cinny and me anymore. The last time I heard from her she told me to email her when I was feeling better and ready to start training again. I emailed her a while ago and the only thing I heard from her was "Cinny's neighbor ate his blanket." Um yeah, real excited to train us. I think I have found a wonderful trainer in the Dressage trainer at the new stable. I now make the 3rd dressage rider at our barn lol. She is very excited and has already planned on which shows she is taking us to and we haven't even trained with her yet. Don't worry, she HAS seen my Cinny vids..including that horrible first one!! She knows what she is getting in to.

As for Cin, he is doing better and better all the time. I still have the opportunity to still go to the Sarah Martin clinics at my old stable, yay and she now is involved with a wonderful website geared toward improving yourself and your horse in any discipline. I love this site so much, I am going to ask permission to post the link. Anyway, for dressage there is a place where it shows all the levels and what is expected in that level and then you can rate your horse on each thing. So Cinny has strong halt, strong 20mm circles, introduced to forehand turns..things like that. And then it helps you with tips on getting the weaker things stronger, etc. Anyway, the reason I bring it up is that through that site I discovered that maybe my old trainer was pushing Cin a bit too much. We barely have introduced intro level stuff to him as well as a bit and the last few lessons she started introducing turning on the forehand and shoulder in at the trot..which of course were somewhat disastrous and we still haven't quiet "gotten them" and now I think Cinny hasn't quite gotten them because we don't have a strong enough foundation with bitting and basics yet.

Thus, we have gone way back to basics. Until I start with the new trainer (this Thursday) I am only going to work on him with intro and training level work and get them SOLID!! All this going back into what he somewhat knows has gotten him to relax...and I rarely get any teeth gritting. Instead...I get drool ha ha. We have also begun canter work. He's good for about 2 20mm circles at a time and then he looses energy so we do a lot of canter-trot-canter-trot transitions both directions. He is also liking to throw in counter canters which I absolutely HATE.

Another thing that will help is I have found someone FINALLY to also get him out and work with him. She has her own horse at my new barn but he's older and she wants to ride other horses for her own experience. She's very good and balanced and I think it will be just what Cinny needs. She rides all disciplines as well.

Anyway, that's the latest Cinny report. I am looking forward to a brighter new year and possibly the inside of a show ring!
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post #28 of 28 Old 01-31-2011, 10:55 AM
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So excited for you Cinny. You are the three little bears of stables...this one is too small...this one is tooo big...this one is *just right*
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