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madisonfriday 04-12-2010 08:41 AM

Hero's progression - flat work/some jumping
So we had our first lesson with the instructor at our new barn it went really well - she really boost my confidence in Hero and thinks his trot reallly isnt as bad as I always amused. I obviously need work its been so long since - I have yet to have lessons with my horse lol! Hopefully I can afford 1 or 2x a month.

She wants me to work on trotting him around without messing with his head and let him work his back himself for a few weeks. OH and guess who does automatic lead changes!! I was so excited he just randomly picked it up - last year he couldnt even get is right lead!

Here is our ride from our beautiful weekend!

His trot is looking better however I need to look UP!

Canter - not sure what I am looking at
Our messy jumping - might work on grids next time

And then he started to get excited!

Thanks for looking!

MIEventer 04-12-2010 09:06 AM

He sure is handsom! I like that you have keepers on your bridle while using the full cheek.

What I suggest is looking for a Dressage Instructor to ride with once a week, and a Jumping coach to work with another day of the week *if you have the money that is, I know it is tight*

If you can't do both, I would look to a Dressage Coach first - not because you're going to do dressage, but because dressage is the fundamentals and the building blocks to all riding, and by working on dressage you improve both you and your horses foundation, to be that much better when you venture to jumping.

Your position needs improving, and you cannot improve your horse, if you are out. When you are out, your horse is as well - remember, they are carrying us and rely on our balance to be balanced.

Remember, jumping is dressage with speed bumps.

The Training Scale should be your first priority right now for both you and your horse. Firstly working on relaxation.

The Art of Classical Riding--The Training Scale

Question, is there a reason why you are using the flash on your boy?

Dressage is going to help you both build a strong foundation first, then when you get that, you can move forward and onward to hunters, jumpers, etc, etc, etc.

Cinnys Whinny 04-12-2010 09:37 AM

I was wondering about the Flash too, from the pics he doesn't seem to need it, but I could be wrong, pictures don't always tell the whole story ha ha.

I agree with MIEventer on the dressage, or maybe when you have lessons you can ask for some other exercises to do in between lessons to help strengthen your own balance and seat. My trainer was really good at that and understood my financial situation (I was dead broke at the time). Otherwise maybe discipline yourself to do a lot of basic flat work....if you have someone to video you once a week or so doing your basics you will then see for yourself what you are doing and sometimes that helps when you can't always have a trainer to do it. You look experienced enough to know what you should be doing and will be able to tell if you need your heels down more of if he's dropping a shoulder or where he is getting sloppy.

As for your pics, in the first one you look a little "forward" are you turning and trying to get him to bend because you are leaning a little on once side as if you are asking for a bend but I don't see him bending so not sure. Otherwise I would say Look up and to where you are headed, look up and to where you are headed, look up and to where you are headed. I know i'm redundant but I believe that is part of keeping you and your horse safe.....if you are looking to where you will be in the next few seconds you will see that bunny rabbit before your horse spooks at it, you will see that hole before your horse trips in it, and maybe you will notice that thing in the sand of the arena that shouldn't be there before your horse steps on it and ends up with an injury.

Good luck :)

madisonfriday 04-12-2010 09:57 AM

thanks girls I know I need work on my positioning lol she told me I need to fix my hip angle and work on looking up

I think in the first pic I just got on and was gathering my reins,

I cant really afford an instructor and the one that owns the barn specializes in jumping, but she does have some dressage background.
Its just hard with someone not being there every time telling me how to place my seat lol - I'll have to have my husband take photos when I'm in a lesson.

The flash piece is there because Hero has a habit of evading the bit he keeps his mouth open alot.

Sphi 04-13-2010 06:47 AM

You guys look like a great team! He looks really nice at the canterónice frame and all. :)

The main thing I'd say is that your leg needs to be a bit more secure over those jumps. It looks right now like you're standing in your stirrups and your leg is swinging back. Try to think about keeping your lower leg solid right where it is, and just releasing with your hands and a small tilt in your upper body, only coming out of the saddle a little bit. You want your position to be secure over the jumps so that if anything happens, you stay on your horse and aren't flopping around!

Also, thumbs on top at the trot! Otherwise you're lookin good!

madisonfriday 04-13-2010 02:39 PM

Thanks i have a habit of jumping the jump for my horse lol
I'll put my stirrups up a hole and see if that helps, he gets quick with jumping so I don't do it that often.

NittanyEquestrian 04-13-2010 03:09 PM

I agree with going back to the basics. I remember an earlier thread of yours and he definitely looks improved. Although he is still a little sucked back and tucking his head and mincing his steps intead of being big and bold with his stride. I would talk to your instructor and tell her you want to go back to basics and do dressage and flat work and really get both of you going correctly. Sometimes instructors get caught up in what they think the rider wants especially if you aren't in a steady lesson program. Have her do a bunch of flat work exercises with you to work on when she's not there. Getting your hubby to take pictures and video as much as possible is also a great tool. Work without stirrups when you're schooling on your own even if it is only at the walk. Work A LOT in two point. Get good at maintaining your balance at all three gaits, get good at being able to push him forward with your legs in two point to extend his gait, etc. Work him on a loose rein getting him to stretch his head and neck out and swing through his back. Get him into a nice big working trot and just let him get his legs out there. He needs to get an established working trot before you start to ask him to frame or collect. Kudos though you're doing a great job so far!

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