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Road to the Cornhusker Classic Schooling Show

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        05-23-2012, 09:02 PM
      #51
    Trained
    Whoops, everyone has bad rides mate!!! The thing that seperates the decent riders from the rest of the pack though, is that those who WILL succeed do not blame everyone else around them, but instead look at their tests, look over the test video, work out what's going wrong, go home and work on it.

    As others have explained, dressage is marked on individual movements. So even if you get a 0 on one movement - say a 20m canter circle and your horse just trots faster and does some kind of funky looking square shape, they are still perfectly able to get a 10 on the next movement if they do it perfectly.
    Its great that Cinny went around the arena without bucking or giving any 'naughtiness' like the other horses, but a quiet, 'ok' test isn't what wins dressage. If you look at horses like Valegro and Totilas, they are very VERY hot headed horses. There's plenty of shots and videos floating around the internet of Valegro on his back legs in a full vertical rear.

    As I think Allison and Maura have already covered, you need to read the course directives and description on each movement. Anybody can pull the horse around to the markers and do the movements with the horse in an inconsistent contact and on the forehand. Its the basic work that is the hard bit.
         
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        05-23-2012, 10:16 PM
      #52
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    Whoops, everyone has bad rides mate!!! The thing that seperates the decent riders from the rest of the pack though, is that those who WILL succeed do not blame everyone else around them, but instead look at their tests, look over the test video, work out what's going wrong, go home and work on it.

    As others have explained, dressage is marked on individual movements. So even if you get a 0 on one movement - say a 20m canter circle and your horse just trots faster and does some kind of funky looking square shape, they are still perfectly able to get a 10 on the next movement if they do it perfectly.
    Its great that Cinny went around the arena without bucking or giving any 'naughtiness' like the other horses, but a quiet, 'ok' test isn't what wins dressage. If you look at horses like Valegro and Totilas, they are very VERY hot headed horses. There's plenty of shots and videos floating around the internet of Valegro on his back legs in a full vertical rear.

    As I think Allison and Maura have already covered, you need to read the course directives and description on each movement. Anybody can pull the horse around to the markers and do the movements with the horse in an inconsistent contact and on the forehand. Its the basic work that is the hard bit.

    I think I am understanding a lot better now. Naughty on 1 thing but good on others, still good overall score. Quite but not quite right, points off for each thing... So even a horse that is hot still does very well. I actually see Cin as more the "hot" type just not on the bit or in control yet but he is oh so sensitive.

    My lack of connection is my fear of giving him connection since he already has issues from the past in regards to his bit, ingrained in his head. I need to find more balance with that...and we have been very very slowly. Like I said in a previous thread, I am now getting blisters because of more contact. That doesn't mean he has what he should have, but it's a start. If I have him at a halt in the arena and gently pick up the reins more and more to get contact, he will resist for about 5 seconds and then drop his head into the bridle and chew. Only 4 months ago if I did the same thing his head would have shot up so hard I'd be scared of my nose getting busted. At home at a walk I can get the head down/chewy connection but not with other gaits. It's progress though.

    I also have to be very very careful with leg pressure... basically just barely tickle him with the stirrup, anything more and he will lunge forward as if I have just smacked him on the butt HARD with a whip. I NEVER allow anyone on him with spurs, and only OutOfTheBlue has been allowed to use his snaffle, anyone else who rides uses my rope halter/hackamore. Steering him is 95% seat, same with halt.

    I know writing those out has probably bored you. But writing them just now has made me realize just how fare I have gotten with Cman....Wow.
         
        05-23-2012, 10:27 PM
      #53
    Trained
    Have you tried a mullen mouth snaffle on him? That might help reduce the movement in his mouth and encourage him to take a little contact on it?

    He certainly has come a long way, and sometimes its hard to take a step back and go 'wow... my horse has actually improved in leaps and bounds', when you are expecting it to work at something quite difficult.
         
        05-23-2012, 10:35 PM
      #54
    Green Broke
    I haven't but I have thought about it. His current Happy Mouth "peanut" snaffle is by far his favorite of all that he has ever had. I even have to fight him to get the darn thing back out of his mouth after our ride! He also stopped flipping his head up with rein pressure within days of trying it. I almost did backflips when I double checked the USEF list of approved bits (to see if a different one was legal) and found his favorite is on the list! I'm almost afraid to try something else. The nice part is when he nickers as soon as he sees his bridle come out of the tack locker!!
    Kayty likes this.
         
        05-24-2012, 11:51 AM
      #55
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
    Like I said in a previous thread, I am now getting blisters because of more contact.
    This is part of the problem.
    Constructive contact, like you need, should have little or no pressure on your hands like that. He should feel light as a feather in your hands most of the time. Blisters are a sign of a horse that is HEAVY on the forehand and using YOU to hold him up. You need to lift him up and then use your leg to bring him forward into the bridle.
    Kayty likes this.
         
        05-24-2012, 12:47 PM
      #56
    Green Broke
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Allison Finch    
    This is part of the problem.
    Constructive contact, like you need, should have little or no pressure on your hands like that. He should feel light as a feather in your hands most of the time. Blisters are a sign of a horse that is HEAVY on the forehand and using YOU to hold him up. You need to lift him up and then use your leg to bring him forward into the bridle.
    So far leg doesn't really bring him into the bridle, it makes him leap forward.. I have to be very very careful to not do more than a muscle twitch because he is so sensitive to it, we are still finding our leg pressure balance. This is one of my "near future" goals. I'm tired of him shooting out from under me if I do more than barely tickle him. A couple of weeks ago I was watching a conrad shoemaker video and I noticed that a lot of his riders periodically move their hands up the horses neck releasing contact for 1 stride and then gently regain contact. I don't really know what the actual purpose of this is, but I find it's really great when Cin gets too heavy to gently do this and he does get a little lighter after. I just assumed that his now getting heavier was a sign that he is more accepting of bit pressures.
         
        05-24-2012, 02:02 PM
      #57
    Super Moderator
    I have no where near the experience of the others, but I'll throw in a thought here, if you don't mind. A horse that is overly sensitive to the leg might lose this if the leg is put on MORE. Of course, you don't want him to become insensitive to the leg but if you keep the leg off for fear of his reaction, then it kind of reinforces that reaction, or at least never moves him past it to calm acceptence. Perhaps you could try riding with more leg on him all the time. Or, put the leg on and if he shoots forward, just let him but don't panic and take the leg off. When at a walk, let your legs move around and brush up against his sides and things, kind of sloppily, to make leg contact no big deal.

    This is just one small idea and by no means any big dressage "tip".
    maura likes this.
         
        05-24-2012, 08:07 PM
      #58
    Trained
    Tiny, I was about to post exactly the same thing before I saw your post!

    It's all good and well to have a horse that is highly reactive to the aids. HOWEVER, the reactions need to be controlled. OTTB's can be like this, touch them and they leap forward, and the rider then assumes that the horse is off the leg. It is not off the leg, it is running away from the leg.
    It is the same issue you've been having with the bit. With Cinny being scared of contact, he throws his head up or sucks back to avoid it. Leaping off the leg is a sign that he's avoiding the pressure.
    Think of your leg as a pair of spurs or a whip. If the horse leapt away with you touched them with the spur, would you back right off and avoid touching them, or would you start to desensitize to that aid?
    A horse needs to accept the aid, and react accordingly, without resistance. Leaping away is a form of resistance.

    I would be riding MILLIONS of transitions on this horse. Put the leg on, and gently leave it on until he settles down, then ride a downward, a few strides later another upwards, leave the leg lightly on until settled and so on. Until he comes to realise that he doesn't need to leap away from the leg to avoid it.

    Giving the hands up the neck is simply testing the contact, or rewarding the horse, depending on the context of the ride.
    You can't test a contact if there is no contact there to start with.
    Allison Finch likes this.
         

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