Reversing the damages of my youth!!
Ok i just got back my very first pony who i broke myself aged 14 because i thought i knew best(you can see where this is going already!!)
Sooo i rode her today just to see what issues we have! With my instucter gone until September this is left totally to me and no one really reliable on the ground!
No im not saying all these problems are her they could also be me which is likely!! Id like a hand to improve both of us but concentrating on exercises for her becuse i can feel her and correct her with out my eyse on the ground but its harder to correct me.
Firstly- She doesnt go straight like we wobble constantly its like there is not a straight bone in her body even on hacks she is all over the trail.
Secondly- When training her i thought halt meant pull back on your reins and force them to stand still(the naievety of youth is great yet still haunting me!!) Well no when i ask her to halt she sticks her head out and sideways and crosses her jaw to avoid the bit, she also shifts her rear to stand sideways. Wearing a grackle flash etc is not an option on her as she is a "mouthy horse" anyway.
Third- SHe likes to work long and low but i rather her to work up into the bit and be more powerful from behind. Does it really matter if she works in a lower outline if she has power?
Fourth- once i ask for canter she instantly starts to speed up and moves out of the contact. Her back begins to hollow also( THis is due to me enjoying top score and galloping with friends when i was younger) When i try to correct her now she does this trot movement in front and canter behind not exactly what you want.
Also is four days schooling, one day pole work or jumping and one either hacking or fast work be an ok kind of schedule or should i be doing more schooling?
If anyone has any idea how to make even slight improvements to her it would be great.
In a way you're going to have to go back and retrain most of your horse. I'm no expert in dressage but I can give you a few basic tips.
1.) Straight lines. All this will take is some time & consistency. Go at a walk first. Pick a point on the opposite side of the arena, which in the beginning doesn't have to be a mile away. Make sure you're looking at the point at all times when you ride towards it. When the horse is walking straight, leave her alone. When she veers to the side, simply line her back up to your point. She'll be sloppy at first yes, but then she'll realize she can be left alone if she stays on track. You can also do this out on the trail or whatever with a tree.
2.) The halt issue. Maybe you can start on the ground with this one. Teach her the voice command "whoa" through lunging or even leading. When you go to halt in the saddle, melt into it, say "whoa" and if she still hasn't stopped, you can pull but only slight pressure at first. However, the ideal stop or slow down would be with the seat.
3.) The outline issue. I have ideas on this but I'm not a pro so I won't try to help you. Lol.
4.) Cantering. I'm not sure what you mean by the trot in front, canter in back thing? Maybe you should lunge her under saddle at a canter. Other than that maybe you should collect her back up and do lots of canter work. If it's from her past you just have to outweigh that with the present.
I've never really had to "fix" horses, I've always just started them the right way lol. Oh, the joys of youth.
As for the schedule, I would do lots of arena work. The key here is just getting back to the basics. Precision, NOT speed. Just walk/trot/canter CORRECTLY and do some flexion, bending, and backing to get her soft and responsive. You may want to get out of the saddle and do some ground work if the problems are really deep.
Thank you ELiz.
Iv been working alot on her since i posted that. I took off my stirrups for a few weeks now im goinmg barback to allow my seat to have more influence it is working slowly!!
The halt is still a big deal but she is starting to come down using just my seat but keeping her head in the air i can forgive that though until she gets the general seat idea!!
With her canter its more like i want to run stop slowing me down and then trying to make us both happy!! Its VERY hard to seat to this beat. However i have not worked or done any arena canter in about two weeks just doing trot and walk at the moment and im seeing SLIGHT improvements in her way of going.
She is definitely becomiong more supple through her poll and back when bareback i can feel the swing and elasticity oif it which is great!1
She is also really powering through from behind in walk still woking on our trot bit for some reason asking in trot prevokes a different reaction then asking in walk!!
Its going to take a long time with many questions asked but we will get there!!
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