Lost my talent at a show, please critique!
This is my (barely) 5 year old gelding who I have owned for 2-3 months now. This was his first off-property show, my first off-property show, and his second show in his entire life (at his first show ever, he did materiale and Intro B). So yes, we were both pretty green. about 2 years ago I did Training 2 on a different horse and got 67%, well at this show I did Training 1 and got 53%. Of course this is mostly due to the change of horses and situation, but I would like to know what I am doing here that needs improvement. This is only half of the test, starting at halfway through the free-walk. He was trained with rollkur in his past and so he can be very difficult to get good contact and balance with. He was also spooking at the judges box at the beginning of the test and tried to stay away from it as much as he could (hence why my canter was late and he was gawking at it).
However, we did get the best turnout award, so at least we were pretty! I did not have high expectations, especially with his rollkur past and being green, and my back was in excruciating pain and stiffness from pulling ivy for 3 days and getting bucked off earlier that week. I just want you guys to watch this and give some feedback. We have improved since this show as well, I am really working on that left shoulder.
Just because I feel like critiquing myself xD
I need to lean back, especially in the canter. My lower leg is tight and unmoving but my seat is bouncing around (mostly due to my back, I am getting my back worked on now)
Holding and bracing too much with the reins, didn't give enough. This is probably one of the main reasons he was hollow.
I need to relax my shoulders, back, and elbows more.
Toes need to be parallel, not sticking out.
I need to lift up my left shoulder and tuck in my left hip and rib cage.
I need to work on getting his left shoulder aligned and make sure he doesn't fall out with the hind.
And much much more.
He was just way too hollow. Due to my very small screen I didn't get a great look at you, but even if you were riding brilliantly and the horse was still that hollow you wouldn't be doing well.
He's got a lovely trot though.
He needs to relax alot more.
Your upper body seems a bit unsteady and your hands move a bit. Also you bounce a little at the canter.
Transitions seem a little rushed.
Lovely horse though! Heaps of potential i think
doing a trot circle early September, in the warmup ring at the show (when my nerves and his nerves were not as bad as they were in the ring)
OK, well first I'd like to say that your horse does have a lovely trot, his walk however, does tend towards being lateral. Whether this is trained or natural it is going to be a large hurdle in the training of this horse.
Another thing that I would like to point out is that in training level, working gaits are shown. The gaits you are doing in this test are not working trot/canter, it's some half jog/lope. These tests are to judge the raw talent of the horse, so you need to show his gaits in a clear, forward rhythm. Your transitions are sloppy and your horse is not accepting the bit, or any of the aids for that matter.
That would be what I see that would justify the mark in the test.
As far as for your riding, I really hope that your coach has you on a schoolmaster in a lunge lesson to correct some of your habits, and I also hope that he is in part time training. He looks like he can be quite a bit of horse.
Dressage judges (and anyone on the internet for that matter) don't care about what a crappy week you had. They care about the 5 minutes you are in the ring being scored. Or in this case, the video/pictures etc that you have posted for critique. If you feel you aren't in top form or w/e and don't want people critiquing you honestly, then don't post the vid.
I'm glad to hear that your horse is in training.
I think I remember you posting a video of him a few months ago. I remember you saying the part about him being trained in Rolkur. If this is the same horse, he's definitely made some progress. Yes he has a way to go, but he's not so fussy with his head as before. To further your progress, I would suggest using your seat a little more to influence his trot. When he does start to brace or speed up his gait, just soften your posting slightly until responds by softening. (don't change your rhythm, just soften so your like powerpuff on his back). Softening your posting takes the fight out of the equation and it keeps you out of his already over-sensitive mouth. He should soften in a few strides and then you can resume asking him to go forward correctly.
The other thing I would practice with him is stretchy circles. Use the above technique while asking for a nice big working trot on a circle. Keep softening him in an attempt to allow the circling affect to create the inside leg to outside rein affect. Once he starts chewing on the bit, ie accepting it, let the reins slip a litte in an attempt to make him stretch forward into the contact. If the 20 meter circle doesn't work, try sprialing in and out.
I recently did my first show with my horse's first show too. He didn't spook at the judges booth, but his end halt took at least 30 seconds since he proceeded to dance and jig around in place before finally coming to a halt. We got a 3 for it! You took look very nice together. It has to be difficult to work with a horse who was trained that way.
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