Simple to Moderate Dressage Exercises.
Okay, so I have been teaching my horse some Dressage stuff like Half Passes and Collection and Extension, but lately she has been behaving so nicely and she has been doing everything to well. I need some exercises that will challenge her and we will have something to work on for a while and we aren't bored. Thanks for anything. It can be anything except for high level stuff like pirouettes and very hard movements. Thank you!
Half pass is a high level movement... are you thinking of leg yields instead?
Really, most of the 'movements' are higher level. The first few levels are all about getting the horse moving forward freely and in a relaxed manner. It's also the start of suppleness and being consistently on the bit. Without all that as a foundation, you can still perform the specific movements like leg yield, lengthening in trot/canter, etc. but it's won't be done well/correctly.
If you want to trick train the movements, find a trick trainer to help you.
If you want to perform correct Dressage movements, be prepared to work hard for many, MANY years. You must first develop the horses rhythm, suppleness, straightness, balance, strength, contact and engagement before even being able to ride collection, let alone asking for the movements. The movements in Dressage are not the end goal. The end goal, is to develop the horse to the point that it is so balanced and on the aids that it will be able to perform these movements with ease.
Definitely not something you can trick train within a couple of sessions.
I suspect you do not carry a huge amount of knowledge regarding Dressage and its training - if you seriously want to learn, the BEST thing you can do is to find a qualified and proven Dressage coach. Many people fall off the Dressage bandwagon in the early stages when they realise they won't be riding any 'pretty movements' in their first lesson. It is a sport that requires 100% focus, feel, control and rider discipline to achieve any sort of results.
I suspect your 'collection and extensions' are more so a slowed pace, and a sped up pace. Half pass is an advanced movement, not introduced in competition Dressage until medium/advanced levels (4th level in US?), due to the degree of strength, balance and understanding of the aids this movement requires.
You are best to start off with simple off the leg exercises such as leg yield and turn on the forehand, progressing to shoulder in and travers, which will in turn build towards renvers, half pass and pirouettes.
Okay no I'm thinking of leg yielding..Oopsies I feel like and idiot! But she is very good at leg yielding! And my next step can be half passes! She does good turns on the forehand and haunches as well as side passes. Wow considering she couldn't even walk without bucking three years ago she is like, a pro...To me :) I will try to teach her half passes...Any other suggestions!
Do you know what exactly a half pass is?
Without knowing how you ride and how your horse works, there's very little that can be suggested as to exercises for you. There is no point in trying to teach and explain movements over the internet, if you and your horse are not able to ride them.
Why don't you try downloading the various level's tests and try riding through them. That's the easiest way to find out where your training holes are.
Yes, I know what a half pass is. But I just mixed it up with a leg yield because when my coach taught them she said they were half passes and she used to show upper level dressage, but I only have two lessons with her before she moved her horses to her own land. So I just kind of winged it from the second lesson when we started the movements. So maybe she started teaching us half passes and then with lack of instruction I turned them into leg yields because I had never done them before? I don't really know, but thanks for the suggestions :)
Half passes and leg yields are not interchangeable, they are not similar movements besides they are both sideways. Leg yield is not a lateral movement, HP is.
You teach a turn on the forehand, then a leg yield, then a shoulder fore, then a shoulder in, then a travers, then a renvers, then a half pass in most normal progressions. One also does not simply "do a half pass" as well. That is a great way to ruin a pair of perfectly good hocks on a perfectly good horse.
If you want to go "have fun" with your horse and "wing it", I highly suggest Parelli.
Dressage is an Olympic sport for a reason and is not to be picked up and put down like a Time magazine. If you really want to do dressage then you will be the one in the arena meticulously doing transition after transition after transition for years on end before you are satisfied that the horse can proceed correctly from a walk to a trot until either of you picks up a new bad habit, in which case the process is repeated. Dressage is not doing fancy movements. It is systematically developing the horse into somewhat of a ballerina. Ballerinas do not spend their entire days doing pirouettes and leaping through the air, they do Pliers, lots of Pliers. Dressage riders do not spend their days pirouetting and piaffing either. We do transitions and transitions and transitions within transitions.
I hope you do carefully consider your choices in the next while. Carelessly doing tricks on any horse with no regard to the strength of the body (or lackthereof) is the best way to make a lame horse.
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