Dressage Training Exercises/Floating Trot
Hello! Chevy and I have been doing dressage for a year and a half now. Chevy is a 10 year old QH cross who is 15 hands.
We haven't done volte or piaffes yet! :D We have been doing Green as Grass tests 1-2 working on tests 3-4. I like to perfect the tests before I move on.
As of now, we had to stop lessons with my dressage trainer because money was getting tight. I do 20 and 10 meter circles with shoulder in's and outs and half passes and stuff along those lines. I am also working on side passing over a pole to help with our form and stuff. We do walk, trot, canter both ways.
When I trot, I do 3 trots in one. Normal trot, extended trot, collected trot, extended, normal, and I just switch from different trotting styles. I am running out of new things for me and chevy to do. We are both getting bored doing the same exercises for and hour or two straight.
I went down to Equine Affair this year and I saw how those horses looked like they were floating when they trotted. How do you get a horse to trot so effortlessly, as if they were walking on clouds?
If you have any good and easy to do dressage exercises it would be much appreciated! :)
Some of it is breed related - Arabians if allowed to move naturally will 'float' - I hate to see them forced into doing that high knee action thing and you will get some breeds that will honestly never do it because they aren't designed that way
Assuming your horse has got the ability in him you need to have the horse really well muscled to get the level of impulsion and elevation needed so work on that first
Easy and dressage exercises is like comparing apples and oranges. Dressage is hard work, not a bunch of cool circus tricks.
Your post says clearly to me that you do not have much experience. Right now, Id caution a guess that you need to work on understanding how to create an uphill, 'correct' basic gait. Suspension in the trot will come as a result of good training, good riding and a lot of gymnastic work.
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Oof, I personally found the above post a little abrasive and presumptive, but I won't make waves.
There is a book called http://www.amazon.com/101-Dressage-Exercises-Horse-Rider/dp/1580175953 that I am going through with my gelding-- lots of seemingly simple maneuvers (easy in that they don't require any kind of equipment) that are really quite challenging when you get down to the nitty-gritty! I think it might be a good idea for you and your horse. :)
I tend to agree about the "floaty" trot being somewhat breed-related, in that for some horses, the movement is natural. If your horse doesn't naturally have that kind of suspension in his movement, it requires quite a bit of gymnastic training!
Best of luck!
ETA... if the book link doesn't work, just google "101 Dressage Exercises." :) It's a great workbook!
I recently attended an equine health seminar that discussed a lot of dressage training like long and low and getting the weight on the hindend. Not sure if this is the same thing but when the horses started lifting and working from the back their gaits all seemed to collect more and they moved a lot more freely. What they advised for encouraging the horse to lift up was to start working your horse over ground poles (sometimes at various heights) working your horse on hills, and doing more shoulder ins like you two are already doing. Not sure if this answers your question or helps any, but I thought it couldn't hurt to share. :) Good luck!
You might find something useful in Ingrid Klimke's series of videos on Youtube
The quote focuses on where I feel you've gone astray: dressage isn't just about doing exercises over and over. The exercises have a purpose. One does not usually work on them for so long, either, except in clinics, or in lessons--2 hours would be too much.
My advice is, first, to research the PURPOSE of each exercise you do. There are plenty of books around, and you can't go wrong with "Horse and Rider" by A. Podhajsky.
The next place of study would be the test sheets. Study the directives,which will help you learn WHY the movement is included. Once you start aiming for the "perfect score" you'll find even the simplest-sounding exercise can be quite complicated.
And of course, I hope you can still be able to take a lesson now and then. Otherwise, see if you can watch some. (That's what I do a LOT.:-))
Don't be afraid to audit clinics either. Take notes! It's usually cheaper than a lesson but you can still learn a lot.
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