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StormyBlues 01-22-2010 10:44 PM

Misc. Dressage Questions I've Been Meaning To Ask....
 
A) What is the secret to getting a good square halt? I'm working on him stopping without the reins, and listenting to my seat better, but how do I get the halt square?

B) What do you think the ideal length for a rider's leg should be in Dressage? The angle in mine is about 110 degrees maybe?

C) How do you get the "perfect" Medium Walk? As judges, what do you look for?

D) Geof gets nervous going into the ring. I was thinking of going to a couple regular dressage shows this season to try and help him get over those nerves. What do you think?

Thanks! And I'll post more if I think of them!

RedTree 01-23-2010 01:18 AM

i dont know the answers but would love to hear them
but for the last one go for it the more experiance the better :)

Skyhuntress 01-23-2010 12:51 PM

A) What is the secret to getting a good square halt? I'm working on him stopping without the reins, and listenting to my seat better, but how do I get the halt square?
-For a horse to have a square halt, he has to be balanced before the transition, otherwise, he falls on the forehand. We had a clinician that said to think of the halt as putting your car in neutral (so not turning it off), because while you are halting movement, its still a dynamic movement. Eventually, from the halt, the horse should be able to move.A young/green horse will halt with his hocks out a bit behind him; the legs might be even and together, but the back will likely not be engaged. As you progress, and the horse gets more advanced in his training,your halt will get better and better, because the back will be engaged. So how do you get a true square halt? You Practice :P Just like everything else in dressage unfortunately. Lots and lots of transition, (every transition) where you concentrate on really feeling the horse keep his back lifted while still slowing his speed.

B) What do you think the ideal length for a rider's leg should be in Dressage? The angle in mine is about 110 degrees maybe?
This is going to depend on each individual rider, and how their body is built and what's comfortable to them. Personally, I would rather see the riders leg a bit shorter, with them able to keep their heels down a bit, then someone struggling to find their stirrups

C) How do you get the "perfect" Medium Walk? As judges, what do you look for?
Haha, I won't answer this, because my horse has a ****ty walk, and we are working long and had to fix it :P

D) Geof gets nervous going into the ring. I was thinking of going to a couple regular dressage shows this season to try and help him get over those nerves. What do you think?
I think the more experience you can give your horse the better :)

StormyBlues 01-23-2010 04:13 PM

^Thanks! I've been working on TONS of transitions latly! I can feel both of us getting better!

~*~anebel~*~ 01-23-2010 11:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StormyBlues (Post 530089)
A) What is the secret to getting a good square halt? I'm working on him stopping without the reins, and listenting to my seat better, but how do I get the halt square?

B) What do you think the ideal length for a rider's leg should be in Dressage? The angle in mine is about 110 degrees maybe?

C) How do you get the "perfect" Medium Walk? As judges, what do you look for?

D) Geof gets nervous going into the ring. I was thinking of going to a couple regular dressage shows this season to try and help him get over those nerves. What do you think?

Thanks! And I'll post more if I think of them!

A) Skyhuntress is right about this one. Practice practice practice!! Remember also to REWARD when you get a square halt.
B) Again, depends on the rider and their strength, balance, and build. For me because I'm short, strong and generally balanced, I like to have my stirrup long enough so that I'm reaching for it to keep me from looking like a complete midget. My leg still stays quiet though, which is the important thing. You need a solid, quiet leg so you aren't aiding the horse every stride.
C) Unfortunately, a lot of the medium walk quality is based on what kind of walk the horse is born with. There is not a lot that can be done to fix a walk, and the only way you're going to do that is by improving the horse's overall balance and eventually, collection, in other gaits. At the lower levels, if your horse has a bad walk I have always been told not to fiddle with it and just accept your 4s until you have the horse in a better place in his training (ie 3rd-4th level). I am lucky, my horse has a fantastic walk and I can usually count on 8s for my walk movements.
D) Does Geof get nervous, or do you get nervous? Either way the more comfortable you can both be with being in the ring, the better. Show, show, show until you hate it and don't want to do it anymore. Then it becomes routine and you stop placing so much weight on the results and what happens. I basically have to be forced to show lmao. I would much prefer sitting at home and spending my money on lessons and clinics, but that's because I've been showing for 10 years.

Good luck!

StormyBlues 01-26-2010 08:28 PM

Thanks!

Bumping it back up too

Allison Finch 01-26-2010 08:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by StormyBlues (Post 530089)
A) What is the secret to getting a good square halt? I'm working on him stopping without the reins, and listenting to my seat better, but how do I get the halt square?

One of the things many riders ignore is that the halt is a very forward movement. It takes a lot of leg to ask the horse to step forward into the halt. Only then will he avoid leaving a leg trailing behind. LEG! It's a delicate balance between forward and releasing at the halt so he doesn't get figity.

B) What do you think the ideal length for a rider's leg should be in Dressage? The angle in mine is about 110 degrees maybe?

It is whatever it takes to have a delicate but effective leg along the horse's side. Too many people try to go too long too fast and their toes are always down searching for the stirrups. First of all, make sure your seat is resting on both seat bones and the pubic bone. This keeps you from sitting back on your bum. Then, relax your hip joint and allow your legs to flow straight down. Then find the length you are comfortable with and can use properly.

C) How do you get the "perfect" Medium Walk? As judges, what do you look for?

I use alternating leg aids to encourage the horse to stretch out the walk stride. When the right leg is going forward, I nudge the horse with my left leg. This adds energy to the leg PREPARING to go forward (left leg) encouraging a longer stride. I alternate with each stride. As said, the walk is the toughest gait to improve, if the horse has a poor one.

D) Geof gets nervous going into the ring. I was thinking of going to a couple regular dressage shows this season to try and help him get over those nerves. What do you think?

It is most likely that YOU are getting nervous going into the ring and horse horse senses it. Remember, they are prey animals and they can sense when things are getting tense. They figure that if YOU are scared, they had better be worried too. Work on making yourself relax. It can be a pretend game. Pretend you are relaxed, and it helps make you relax for real. Keep your mind calm, and your horse will likely follow you.

Thanks! And I'll post more if I think of them!

I hope some of this helps. The relaxation thing is the most important thing you can learn to become a successful competitor, IMO.

StormyBlues 01-26-2010 09:20 PM

See the thing is,Once I get into warming up and such, I relax compleatly. It's just my nature. On a horse, I'm relaxed. He seems to just get nervous himself going into the ring.....

Thanks! Those answers really helped!

MyBoyPuck 01-26-2010 11:36 PM

Square rider, square halt. That's been my experience. I would say have someone watch you from the ground. I'm guessing your horse has the same trailing leg every time. Somewhere on that same side, I bet you're collapsing a hip or shoulder. My advice is to play with it. Make subtle adjustments to your position as you transition to a halt. Always think of the halt as walking the horse forward into the bridle rather than pulling back on the reins. If your horse is balanced and you are as well, very good chance you're going to get a square halt.

I can't comment on the other stuff.


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