Road to the Cornhusker Classic Schooling Show - Page 5 - The Horse Forum
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post #41 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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OH, Sorry Maura...

Scores (I'll just number the movements instead of rewriting them all)

1 - 6.0
2 - 5.5
3 - 5.5
4 - 5.5
5 - 5.5 (coefficient is 2)
6 - 6.0
7 - 4.5
8 - 6.0
9 - 6.0 (coeffiecient 2)
10 - 5.0
11 - 5.5
12 - 6.0
13 - 4.5
14 - 5.5 (ce 2)
15 - 6.0
16 - 5.0

Gaits - 6.0
Impulsion - 5.5
Submission - 5.5
Riders Position - 6.0
Riders use of aids - 5.5
Harmony - 6.0

further remarks
Horse was better than test 1 but still needs to develop strength over topline.

Total points 155
percent 55.35
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post #42 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 10:38 AM Thread Starter
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So here is another question. Maybe I am CRAZY or something. I keep forgetting that Cin has only technically been under saddle for 2 years. Am I crazy to think he should be moving into the bit better, round over topline etc and giving up thinking he just CAN'T and never will? How long (as in time under saddle) does it take for most horses to develop the correct contact, impulsion, topline, etc to carry out at least 6.5's in most movements and collectives at training level? Should Cinny already be there, or should I give him a year or more to reach that ability?
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post #43 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 11:05 AM
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Here are some general observations, based on what I know about you and your progress from looking at a lot of your videos and reading a lot of your posts. Bear in mind that I didn’t see the videos of THIS show, and that these are general comments.

Cinny does not accept contact with the bit. Period. Last video I saw, he moved from above the bit to behind the bit, without ever pausing in between to reach forward into the contact. He acts almost as if he’s afraid of the contact, which may be a relic of his old, bad western training. It’s as if you’re offering him a firm handshake (dressage contact) and he’s afraid to take your hand because you have a joy buzzer in it.

The purpose of Training Level, stated right there at the top of the test form, is "To confirm that the horse is supple and moves freely...accepting contact with the bit."

You may recall that some months ago, when you proposed moving up to Training Level, I advised against it. This is why.

Now, he may have improved considerably since the last video I saw of him. But I don’t see the point of taking a horse out at Training Level until they’re really working consistently on the aids at home for an entire test. At a schooling show, a judge might disregard a horse coming above the bit during canter departures or other transitions, but only if they recover in a stride or two, and only if the rest of the foundation appears correct.

A 56% is not a bad test score by any means; it almost exactly what I would have anticipated.. It means mostly 6s on the movements. The comments on the test that you copied seem to indicate that Cinny has improved slightly, but that he’s still not accepting the contact. (Lacks connection, not round, above the bit, fussy on the bit, etc.) It is not possible to break 60 at Training Level without the horse consistently moving forward into the contact. To break 70 at Training Level, they have to really demonstrate using their hind end and moving through the back and be very correct in all the movements. If you blow a movement, you better have great gaits or moments of brilliance to make up for it.

I have no idea what the person saw who lead you to believe a score in the 60s or 70s was possible, it was certainly radically different than anything I’ve seen. And ultimately, she didn’t do any favors by setting you up for disappointment.

Far from the judges not liking you, I think you got a little credit for being on a cute, appealing horse and being impeccably turned out.

Finally, I think it will take some work with a really, talented and tactful professional to get Cinny working correctly on the aids. You have to decide if that’s worthwhile for you. Letting Cinny be a good looking, pleasure, trail or local show horse is a perfectly reasonable option.

ETA: It's not about topline. It's about accepting the bit; and the previous bad training you will have to overcome to get him there.

Last edited by maura; 05-23-2012 at 11:14 AM.
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post #44 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 11:24 AM Thread Starter
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That's the funny thing, for the past few weeks at home, he has been on the bit so I guess I got really frustrated with him for reverting. I didn't think we would get 70's... I was thinking 62 ish. But that is if he performed the way he did the night before the show. My trainer's jaw dropped to the ground when she saw him at the show as he was NOT the horse he has been... I think we all set ourselves up.

I think what got to DH was that across from Cinny was an OTTB that my previous trainer is working with, being ridden by a rider of the same level I am. (This trainer won't go to my new barn and I have no trailer which is why she isn't my trainer currently). Anyway They were all bragging how she just won a race in April and now here she is pulling 70's out of her butt in training level dressage when they have only worked her at it a few months. It kind of made me feel like me and my horse are utter failures.
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post #45 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny View Post
It kind of made me feel like me and my horse are utter failures.

Reaches out and slaps Cinny

There you go again comparing to someone else..

Look, I have been stuck in intro with G Man for over a year, because I can't get him consistent in his outline, he can do it, he will do it, but we aren't consistent, and I agree with the whole pyramid view of dressage, until you are solid at one level you can't move up, the higher you go the less people and horses there are at that level, because it is hard, and just gets harder.

This is why you just can't EVER compare yourself to another pair, because it isn't fair on anyone.

If Cinny was good at home and less than stellar at the show, hello welcome to the world a lot of us live in, it happens, so you get to as many training shows as you can until you get over it.
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post #46 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 01:30 PM
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Which makes you feel better?

Knowing your nice horse has a significant training barrier because of his previous training? (I would rather work with 5 OTTBs who leaned and braced before 1 horse that had been taught to be afraid of the bit.)

Or blaming bad judging, favoritism or breed bias?

I am more than a little concerned that you *named* the dressage judge you were unhappy with on a public forum. That may be a really effective way of ensuring that there's very real bias in the future.
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post #47 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 01:33 PM Thread Starter
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OUch I deserved that, and I agree. Bad form on my part.
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post #48 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 01:38 PM
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Our trainers view is until you are consistently scoring in the 70s at a schooling show at intro you should not move to training. Dressage is about teaching and consistency, and it takes patience hon, trust me, Red is teaching me this.
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post #49 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 02:41 PM
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You know, it is a fact of life that dressage may come more naturally for some horses than others. I think it is a wonderful challenge, however, to take a horse who has training issues and bring them around. I find it very satisfying. I especially like taking a horse that many would think is "non traditional" and whoop butt with them.

Cinny had some issues from previous training....right? Well, consider it your challenge and have fun with it. I suspect your current barrier is finding that connection between your leg and your hand. How much leg to drive your horse much hand to catch that forward energy and constructively channel it. This is the basis of dressage. It is NOT tough is the balance between leg/seat/hands.

DON'T give up. DON'T measure yourself against others. Measure yourself against how you improved on past performances.

Welcome to the "My horse is great at home and a maniac at a show" syndrome!!! At home, you are both under little actual pressure and totally comfortable with your familiar surroundings. At a show, you are likely nervous and stressed. It will make you stiffer and less flexible in your riding. It will really communicate your nervousness to your horse. Your horse will think..."dang, if she is nervous, there must be something really dangerous going on...I'm scared!" At home, practice MAKING yourself relax, so you don't start sending these scary messages to your horse. Practice will help. Get Robo to remind you to "pretend" you are totally relaxed at shows. It really will help.
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post #50 of 58 Old 05-23-2012, 07:49 PM
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Great information from a very obscure, top secret source -

(Nah, just kidding, it's from the USEF dressage site, and, it's, you know, the rule book -

c. If a problem appears once it may be treated lightly by the judge; if it appears successively he
will score it more harshly each time, i.e., nodding, stumbling, shying, etc.
d. Grinding of the teeth and wringing of the tail are signs of tenseness or resistance on the part
of the horse and should be considered in the marks for each movement where they appear, as
well as in the Collective Marks. Horses which get their tongues over the bit or perform with an
open mouth shall be marked down.
e. The levels of dressage are offered as a means of evaluating a horse that is changing. The
purpose of each test is printed on the cover and the horse shall be considered in light of the degree of training it should have achieved to be shown at that level.

Oh, and in another note, the both hands on the reins, nod, salute, is legal for *disabled* riders or para-equestrians. So that's the confusion about that. Also in the rule book!
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