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Prinella 10-04-2012 08:08 PM

Getting there ...slowly
I Have never been a dressage rider, Princess was fine with this.
Hunting, XC, SJ were more up her alley. She wants to go fast and jump things.

But I have been slowly working on my dressage and I'm getting there slowly.
The new property is on a slope so for a while it was throwing my balance out working downhill. Finally getting over it.

For years I had issues with getting heels down (Do not neglect your heels for 14 years! Hard habit to break!) and had a fantastic chair seat. Legs are slowly getting back.

For some reason Monday I was leaning forward ALOT. She was being a superstar though!

How's it looking to you guys? There are videos but they're a bit long.

Oh She's in a halter because I've been working really hard on fixing my hands, when I screw up it annoys her less in a halter. have just been working on having her accept the contact and looking for some bend.

Kayty 10-04-2012 08:38 PM

Good work :)

She is very much on the forehand in these photos, and reefing the reins through your hands.
She looks to have a lovely strong, soft back and good bend through her hind legs, there shouldn't be any reason for her to be travelling on the forehand.

You are gripping with your knees, straightening your arms and tipping all of your weight onto her shoulders. Try instead, to think about sitting back, releasing your knee and upper leg, bringing your elbow back to your waist and allowing it to act as a hinge - always with bend in it - in order to 'lift' your horse's forehand. Something as simple as looking down can put a horse on the forehand, so it is really important that you think of riding the forehand up, and pushing the hind quarters down.

I wouldn't be working her so low - I know everyone loves "long and low", but it is a pointless exercise if the horse is on the forehand - it actually takes a lot of strength and balance from the horse to remain in self carriage through long and low work.
You want to think about lengthening her neck out from the withers, with the poll as the highest point. So she can stay in a long, stretching frame, but with the head and neck more elevated she will find it easier to engage her hind legs and lift her wither.

Try some simple leg yield work with her, and lots and changes of rein, transitions and circle sizes. She's a a lovely hindquarter on her - use it! :)

Weezilla 10-04-2012 10:52 PM

Kayty said what I thought, 100%.

Prinella 10-05-2012 03:11 AM

Thanks Kayty.
Oddly enough that's where she wants her head. I wasn't riding her down as far as I know more working on moving hands with her and the bend. She then started giving me that.

I think the knee gripping is me trying to get leg back.

She does have an awesome arse :) 14.2 hh over a 5 ft jump awesome.

So the way I see it
- sit up
- release knees
- arms back with me not up at her ears

I'll Try get more pics up next week. See if we're getting somewhere
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Kayty 10-05-2012 03:29 AM

Yep, my gelding wants his head down there too - because that way he can be on the forehand, not use his hind legs = he thinks life is much easier!
If the horse wants to have it's head on the ground, that is because its muscles in that position are most comfortable. We want to train and gymnasticize our horses, to strengthen the muscles that are not naturally strong. So if the horse wants its head on the ground, we should ride the poll high.
The only horses I ride extended periods of low and/or deep work on, are those with severe resistance issues such as star gazing. Otherwise, poll high with only short periods of long and low for the stronger horses that are not so likely to ditch on the forehand as soon as the head drops below wither height.

Prinella 10-05-2012 09:31 AM

Awesome Thank you!

That makes so much sense!

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