Dressage/General riding critique
Alright guys, the 2 videos below are of me and the horse I am leasing Prodigy. I have only ridden him for a little over a month now, but we have really started to come together. My trainer really likes the way we are working together and we've decided that we are going to be working a bit more towards the Dressage side of riding. He really enjoys it and I have always loved the division. I only ever fiddled around in it, but am now seriously working on moving forward with it.
This is us practicing our Intro Test A and Intro Test B. Obviously just W/T but I think it will give you guys a chance to critique us. I would like to get some opinions about how you think Dressage would work for him. He is "Mr. Gumby" so we are working on him not giving in 'too much' at the bit and rather working on an equal give/take with me and also actually stretching down for the free walk, etc.
I know I have HORRIBLE puppy dog hands. I never notice it while I ride either, and we are seriously working on fixing them lol.
It looks to me like you just need to relax more. Your rising looks to forced. Thats just my opinion though :wink: and you already know about your hands so I won't mention that!
Other than that I think you look good :-)
At this level you will probably get a decent mark.
What is wrong.
Can't use a martingale...so you should not practice in one.
In the walk across the diagonal the horse is not stretching and looks like it is going to die.
Inconsistent contact. As a result the horse is getting "deep" in its head position...almost behind the bit and looks like the forehand is being shortened.
The overall look appears Ok but looks like the horse is not putting out 100% This I blame the rider with the rein contact not being there to be driven into.
Don't fiddle with your seat position when the horse halts...this caused the horse to step back and in the higher levels a serious fault.
What I like.
Horse seems relaxed ( almost too much) and seems to have the basis of some lateral flexion (not usual at this level).
Seems very obedient.
Thank you both for your opinions!
@Spyder, He is not my horse, so that is simply what the trainer put on him. I am starting to lease him so we will be practicing without the martingale soon :) His owner rides him as a hunter so that is just his normal gear. He is quite a bit on the 'putt-putt' side sometimes so the stretching doesn't happen to easily, we have a looong way to go. Like I said I have only ridden him a little over a month and I just started riding twice a week, I am hoping we can continue improving! Yeah, the turning around in the seat was because my trainer was talking to me. It was more of a first time run through so I was asking her questions lol. It is a bit rough right now ;) Thank you for all the insight though!
@snizard, oh yes...it is forced at times. I am the first to admit that. I hadn't ridden in a few years and just started again so I am still getting back into the grove again. He can be a bit disengaged sometimes so I have to 'push' harder and I think that is part of the problem because I end up 'pushing' with my posting and I get too stiff in it. Thank you for seeing that also!
Spyder is spot on, as far as I am concerned. A lot of the problems with your hands come from you kind of curling up around your middle and squeezing too much. YOu can see how this made you fall forward ever so slightly when the horse stopped before you were ready for him.
This is all due to him not having enough push. He is very relaxed and that's good, but he's also sucking back behind the leg and going overly slow, especially at the walk. It went so slow that for a minute there I thought "what's wrong?".
I would work on getting him to really trot out vigorously on a totally loose rein for a bit and then work on taking up the contact, encouraging him to stretch down and forward, then giving him totally zero contact and just "go!". It may be due to being ridden in a martingale that he now is 'gumby" like (as you said" and comes behind the contact.
I would work on getting him honestly forward and working toward contact with his nose well in front of the vertical.
YOU need to kill that habit of puppy paws. Was your instructor yelling "hands!" at you every 15 seconds? If I was her, I would have. (but I am really grumpy today). Your's is pretty bad and makes it IMPOSSIBLE to have smooth , consistent contact. Set yourself the personal goal of ridding yourself of this. ONce and for all.
See if you can get that lovely horse to just GO! and get some flow out of him.
Forget the test sequence for a bit.
And thank you for sharing that video. YOu have a pretty good seat and with time and work , you will do well. really.
Thank you tiniliny! Seriously! I definitley see what you mean. I do have a hard time noticing when I curl up and collapse without seeing it on video. My trainer will point it out to me, but I still can't feel it on my own quite yet. He is slow...very slow lol. I am pretty much the only one riding him right now and that is only twice a week. My lease starts next week so I am hoping that we can work on getting a bit more GO! in us :)
He really does have a tough time stretching...I've been reading through the training forum and plan on trying some of the tricks in there to see if we can't get that better also.
Oh yes, don't you worry she was on me! I totally blank some days and have horribly hands and others I am nowhere near as bad. I think one of the issues is that I feel the 'slack' in my hands when he goes gumby so instead of shortening I have a habit of simply 'curling' into the contact to try to get it back :/
Thank you for your honesty and the advice! I do want to share this video here also that shows him a bit more forward lol. It was before the last one and was when we were just starting to play with contact as you can see in the canter where he was out and then I asked him to come into me. He is a fun horse, and definitely a good challenge to keep us both busy but I would love to take him to a show sometime next year :)
You know those wrist protectors they sell for skateboarders and rollerbladers? They work great for keeping wrists straight. It's a little hard to have a good hold of the reins, but will line up the elbow to bit part instantly.
@MyBoyPuck, thank you! I may have to look into that! I know people have also mentioned holding a crop underneath your thumbs across the horse neck so you can't bend your wrists all funky. A new idea to look into :)
In the video you just posted, the saddle is way too small. This probably isn't helping your forced posting, or your position in general. I understand that it's your trainer's tack, but it will be incredibly difficult for you to progess and move forward in that saddle. Is it possible to use a different one?
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