My second dressage lesson (video) I need work. :P
This is the end of my second dressage lesson, I'm no where near a natural but I'm excited nonetheless! My trainer took a video of me so I can see what I need to be doing and how I can improve. Any helpful tips? Feel free to be harsh!!!! as long as you back it up with some helpful tips!!! I'm 20 so I can handle it :lol:
Sorry, I dont know how to embed a video on here :\
is this a second lesson for dressage only or a second lesson for riding at all? that makes a difference in what i'd suggest to you. :wink:
second lesson for dressage :P I've been riding for a few months, still not very long lol :)
well given that you are new to this, i think you're progressing along nicely. think of keeping your elbows back more at your sides and your legs long and wrapping around the horse. by doing this you can help ask your horse to move out more (he, she?) is super lax with those legs but for a beginner rider that may be best. however, imo, if you learn how it feels to have the horse moving out nicely you'll find you can ride it better as well.
keep up the good work!
Thank you so much!! I always have problems keeping my hands quiet and with my arms (as you could hear my instructor repeatedly tell me ;)) and I like how you said to think of your legs wrapping around the horse, thats gives me a nice visual of what I should be doing.
Dressage is NOT about the head. You should be working on aligning the horse's shoulders and hips, movin the horse around your inner leg... The head is the very last thing you should care about at this point.
What your trainer was telling you to do in that video is a huge red flag to me that your trainer doesn't know the core concepts of dressage.
I'm not saying you should switch trainers, or that yours sucks. Yours sounds very positive and supportive of you. But you won't be able to move up the levels of dressage without learning the core concepts, and this lady isnt teaching those to you. I'm making a blanket statement because the trainer had you focus exclusively on the head during the entire video. You need to be focused on Where your weight is, how to use the thighs and legs to create bend, and how to catch and direct the bend so that your horse can learn how to start using it's inside hind to carry itself. All you're doing in the video is getting a headset while the horse goes more on it's forehand.
You look like a naturally talented rider. I'd love to see you with a dressage trainer who can teach you solid basics. I think you could really excel at it with a knowledgeable trainer. I dont want to see you spend years perfecting what your trainer is teaching you, only to find out that you have to re-learn everything. Except by then it'll be harder because you'll have to break bad habits.
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I agree with core.
I can guarentee that your trainer is not a dressage trainer. But don't go switching over this. Before you launch yourelf into dressage, make sure you understand the basics of riding first.
Aim to have a proper seat as well, and you won't keep falling forward and have to shift your weight as much.
To test this, stand up with your legs spread just a bit wider than your shoulders. Let your pelvis "roll" forward. This is what a proper dressage seat should feel like. Practise getting a feel for this so that you can apply it while riding. I would also lengthen your stirrups just a bit.
Make sure you research the 6 classical training steps of dressage, and that your trainer regularily reminds you of them, and makes them a goal of your lesson.
Wow!! Thank you for the feedback guys its very helpful!! The only thing is my trainer is the only one available to me, I get her for free because I work at the barn and she's the only one who is into it. She's won many dressage competitions and I love her to death, so switching isn't really an option until I start getting really good and decide how far I want to go with it. I will also definitely look up the 6 classical training steps of dressage, that sounds helpful.
Core, if you can, can you go more into detail about aligning the hips and shoulder and the inner leg thing? Or find an article that describes it well? I'm a bit confused...
I also find it very funny that you guys said to lengthen my stirrups because those were really long for me actually. I have a really long torso and really short legs, but ill try lengthening them another notch! xD Keep the tips coming!!!
haha - i guess i should have watched the video with the sound on. i missed all of the stuff about the head. :/ sorry about that!
This article talks about straightness (aligning te horse so that he can use his back and hind legs beneath himself): How To Straighten The Horse
Video with Jane Savoie demonstrating shoulder alignment during a circle: Dressage Trainer Jane Savoie Discusses Straightness - YouTube
You can try this one, but mostly it just lists some signs the rider can use to identify that their horse is not straight: Straightness: A Tale of Two Horses - by Thomas Ritter | ClassicalDressage.com
Lateral flexion instead of verticle (headset): Dressage Exercises For Young Horses | HorsePaddock.com
Basically, don't worry about the head right now. You want to work on teaching your horse to bend, and that starts with moving away from your leg. For instance, on that 20 meter circle you were doing, if your horse understands moving away from your leg then you can start leg yielding out on the circle. Then leg yielding in (decreasing the circle size). This helps the horse by increasing his flexibility, teaching him how to step under his body with his inner hind leg more, and helps to align the horse (make him straighter) so that he can start using his back. When he begins to do that, his head naturally begins to come more verticle and his neck arches. The "headset" you see in dressage is a byproduct of engaging the hind end. It doesn't work the other way around. You can't set the head and get engagement. The more you crank their head down the stiffer they get and the more on the forehand they get.
In my opinion, if you want to learn something, then research the heck out of it on your own. After that, find the most qualified person you can to teach you. Settling for mediocre means that the best you will be is mediocre. I'm watching a very talented young friend go through this currently. She loves her trainer dearly, but after a year of dedicated riding she's still stuck on 20m circles and a headset. While her best friend (on a far less talented horse) beats her repeatedly at shows. It's sad to watch...
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