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Cinnys Whinny 09-12-2010 04:37 PM

After Some Dressage Lessons - The Latest Cinny Vid
I thought I would show off some of my work with Cin. If you want to know where we started you can check out my threads and

Again, I do pretty well with brutal honesty, but I think we are progressing well. In this video I see...

1 - I need to post "bigger" if that's what you would call it. I know in my last lesson, my trainer had me posting way bigger and Cinny really picked up his feet and moved out as well as went into the bridle nicely.

2 - Still giving some mixed signals there

3 - I need to quiet my hands way more and not restrain with them as much, I'm still in his mouth too much.

4 - Lower leg needs to stop flopping (does anybody have industrial strength velcro? just kidding).

5 - Even though I still feel like I am leaning back, I was still leaning a bit too forward, especially in the trot. I need to get a bit straighter so he doesn't confuse my asking him to move off my leg with run as fast as you can.

1 - I don't see much wrong with Cinny that isn't my own fault...he is dong the best he can with what he's got, ya gotta love him!

Cinny does seem much more comfy in that Kieffer with the Sprenger loose ring. Looking back at the other videos he was ringing his tail pretty bad and I don't see him doing anything with it now except holding it nicely.

Is there anything I missed? What do you see? Thanks for your help everyone!

kitten_Val 09-12-2010 04:48 PM

I'm not in any way an expert, but she looks like she's trying to get away from the contact and somewhat pulling on you. I may be wrong though.

I'd really recommend to post it in Dressage section - you may get very helpful critique/suggestions from some very experienced dressage folks (who rarely come to this section of the forum).

speedy da fish 09-12-2010 04:58 PM

Apart from what you have said the first thing i noticed was your hands. they are very far apart and a bit too far down. I know it feels weird and like you lose the contact, but once you and Cinny get used to having your hands together and elevated you will find he will keep a more consistent outline and he will be softer to your hands.

sarahver 09-12-2010 05:03 PM

Hey there! Nice to see an update, Cinny is such a beauty, you are a lucky owner.

Here is what I see:
- Cinny needs to move forwards more. If you look carefully in the video, notice where his back hoof is landing - a good two hoofprints behind the hoofprint left by his front feet. What would be ideal is that he steps into the hoofprint left by each respective front hoof or at least close.
-Cinny seems a little restless, evident as some head throwing and leaning his head on one side. I would attribute this to the fact that he is doing sort of a 'half trot' rather than a fuller, more swinging trot and working properly. I would like to see you push him up and allow him to reach for that bit which will settle all the head movement.

Other than that, shoulders back, toes forward and good luck!!

Cinnys Whinny 09-12-2010 05:04 PM

Speedy - Actually, it does feel very odd to me. I am actually used to having my hands much closer together and by his withers. For now, my trainer wants me to ride him this way. I am not sure if this is typical for dressage but she did say that she wants Cinny to feel like he has more room. I couldn't get him onto the bit at all my old way, but this new way he is starting to "look for contact."

sarahver - I agree with you. It's funny, in my lessons we can get him to move that way but a few days later we somehow loose it. That's one of the reasons for the vid, I want to see what I'm doing wrong. I know he can do it, he has done it, and somehow I'm keeping him from continuing. I am going to see if someone can vid my next lesson so I can see what the difference is.

I think this may be on my list of things to ask this Saturday when I ride in a clinic with Sarah Martin. Or maybe it should be a main thing as it's pretty important.

kitten_Val 09-12-2010 05:45 PM


Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny (Post 746962)
Speedy - Actually, it does feel very odd to me. I am actually used to having my hands much closer together and by his withers. For now, my trainer wants me to ride him this way. I am not sure if this is typical for dressage but she did say that she wants Cinny to feel like he has more room. I couldn't get him onto the bit at all my old way, but this new way he is starting to "look for contact."

My dressage trainer (and she's very good and very respected in area) makes me ride same way. She said I'll keep them close when my horse will be better trained. In fact I found my both horses to be more responsive when I ride that way.

Cinnys Whinny 09-12-2010 09:02 PM


Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 746985)
My dressage trainer (and she's very good and very respected in area) makes me ride same way. She said I'll keep them close when my horse will be better trained. In fact I found my both horses to be more responsive when I ride that way.

Oh good, I was starting to think maybe I need to change trainers or something already lol. But no, when I'm in my lessons and she is telling me what to do, Cinny moves out so wonderfully it almost makes me want to cry. The first time he did it she said she didn't even know he had a trot like that in him and has even changed her opinion of what he can do. So, alas....I know it's me going wrong and outside of my lessons I can't figure it out. I think I desperately need someone to video my next lesson.

MacabreMikolaj 09-12-2010 09:15 PM

Muuuuuuuch better from before! He's still fretting, but he's sorting through his OWN demons now as opposed to trying to escape the discomfort. It does concern me how worried he is over the contact and bit - I'm sorry, I'm afraid I don't know his back story, is there a reason for it? I'm not seeing a horse that's worrying over what YOU'RE doing, he's just worried period.

Definitely a "bigger" post - my Dressage coach calls it "bungee butt". :lol: Every rising stride that you want impulsion from, should feel like you have bungee cords attached from your butt to the saddle that you have to "pull" against. Once you master that sensation, you'll realize it's because you're posting from your thighs and not your feet. It's BRUTAL but it definitely works. This will also encourage a bigger and more open trot from Cinny and drive him forward with your impulsion as opposed to your legs and allowing him to suck back behind the impulsion.

For a horse like Cinny, you definitely want low wide hands - this is how most young horses are started, and the hands in the typical close together format is the "finished" product. I think in critiquing you, people need to understand that the work is not just you, it's Cinny as well, and "showring" equitation simply isn't going to work all the time when you're schooling a young or difficult horse. Low wide hands create a bigger and softer area that results in less evasion. You have to TEACH him what a contact means, what softness means, what suppleness means before you can hope to ask him like a trained horse and have him respond.

I'm extremely impressed with the progress you've both made, and have no doubts you'll be going for gold by next summer!

Cinnys Whinny 09-12-2010 09:37 PM

Thank you MacabreMikolaj and yes, now that I am reading your post I am realizing, in my lessons I really FEEEEEEEL the burn so bad, and when I'm not in lessons I don't. I am going to remember your "bungee" cord that really helps. All I do in between lessons is practice the lessons because I really want to show my trainer that I do pay attention and implement what she says so I really want to get the end result of last lesson down perfect for my next. I know, not always an achievable goal, but one I try to get anyway.

There isn't much history with this horse and bitting except that, until last May (he was 7 years) he never really HAD a bit in his mouth except for whatever was shoved in his mouth to "break" him at 2 (he went to a typical reining 30 day, which really means he was ridden probably 1 day lol), and the stock curb that came with the western headset his previous owner tried to ride him in last summer...which proved to not work at all (she sold him to me as UNTRAINED).

I started with a loose ring sweet iron and moved to a plain full cheek when I needed a little more influence to bend his head and turn. He learned to get leverage on that so we went with a Fulmer (like a full cheek but with loose rings) to remedy that. I have just now put him into a Herm Sprenger WH Ultra Loose Ring Snaffle Bit (Dover Saddlery | Herm Sprenger WH Ultra Loose Ring Snaffle Bit .) and he has really quite improved. I know it is not yet USEF approved but my trainer and I think it's a great stepping stone. I used her Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Loose Ring Snaffle Bit (Dover Saddlery | Herm Sprenger Dynamic RS Loose Ring Snaffle Bit .) and it was good, but he just wasn't quite "there" with it, if you know what I mean. Today was only the 2nd time I used the WH.

tinyliny 09-12-2010 10:30 PM

Yep, there's improvement goin' on!
Hi Cinny's mom,

The video shows definite improvement and it's nice that you can both see and feel this yourself. The saddle looks to improve his comfort. Would be nice to see a closeup shot of it on his back, with him standing on level ground and squared up.
I agree that holding your hands open and low is a well known training technique to encourage the horse to reach forward and downward, into your hands/bit. The thing is that you have to work on "following" him down when he goes down. Don't just let him reach downward and then he hits the end of the bit and bounces back up. you have to maintain a soft, CONSTANT contact that will go forward with him as he reaches. It's tricky because once he's down there, you will have to continue posting and keeping a steady contact with his mouth for as long as he is down there. In a short time he will choose to come back up and you have to follow him back up. The neat thing about having your hands in this sort of low, and out to the side position is that you can shorten and lengthen your reins somewhat without actually sliding them along the rein. When you have your hands wide, the reins are effectively shortened (think of a triangle). This will be for when he raises his head and you must quickly shorten your rein in order to not loose the contact. If he puts his head up you follow and you might "tickle" the rein with your inside hand wherein he might react by reaching downward, you will have to bring your hands close together to effectively create longer reins to follow that downward reach. And agaign and again.
Actually, you are doing not a bad job there. I think you are catching on really fast and in awhile it will come easier.
Anothe rider talked about posting bigger. I agree. You need to encourage every bit of energy out of his trot and lifting more up./forward will encourage him.

What I see happening is that you are still just the tiniest bit "behind" his motion because your legs are still out in front of you in a bit of a chair seat, thus you are kind of "sucking" yourself up , instead of "lifting" yourself more straigtht upward off your ankle and thigh. Again, if Cinny disappeared from under you , you would be too far behind you own center of gravity to land standing and keep your balance.
You have to get those legs back under you a bit more. I might shorten my stirrups just ONE and really think about your heel seeking down/back toward Cinny's back feet. Think of his energy flowing through your lower abdomen into your hands. Let him come through you.

You might like to get yourself a pair of half chaps to protect your tender calves from the stirrup leather biting you in the trot. Also gives extra grip.

Once in awhile ask Cinny to trot vigorously forward on a loose, and I mean you hold the reins on the buckle, loose rein. You want to refresh his "forward". Too much focus on the bit and contact on the front end shuts down the rear end. Also, it feels good to the horse and establishes trust between you. Just drop the rein, hold the buckle and ask him to trot out. you can always just go briskly along the rail, since where he goes isn't as important as just giving him a break and moving him out again.

One last thing. You can do a ton of work with a horse merely at the walk. You just walk, encourage the stretching, do the loose rein, do turns , turns. stops. small circles what ever comes to mind and when you get something from him that feels GOOD. STOPPPPPP. pet him, end the session.

The last place your horse is emotionally at the end of a work session is the most important of all the moments you had with him. If you got something good from him, take it and let that be enough for the day. One can't necesaarily do that every day, like when you have paid for an hour lesson or what, but when you can, Cinny will find training more rewarding.

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