Jumper doing dressage
So maybe some of you remember me posting a similar post before?
But anyways, I have a show jumping horse, who is 13 years old, and before I got him (a year ago) he has only done show jumping all his life.
He's got both good jumping and dressage blood in him, but jumping was his strong side.
However, to help me with jumping, and because I don't do jumping as intensely as his previous owners (they would jump approximately 3 times a week, and if not, it wouldn't be serious dressage riding but "jumping-dressage" type of riding), I have been working on the dressage a lot !
He is very very stiff on his left side. Always has been, and it's been much much much worse..! It's waaaay better now. Some people tell me he's very stiff, but to me, he's like an elastic to pull on compared to before..!
But of course still stiff.
Anyways, this is the video from February 2010 (in this video, he is already much better than when I got him, but I'm not comparing to when I got him now, I'm going to compare from this video):
Topper: Dressur 20-02-2010 - HesteGalleri.dk
..And this is now:
You can critique rider (me) too if you wish, I don't mind - in fact, I'd like that! But I'd be most happy if you could focus on the horse...
Remember, this is a jumping horse with very little dressage experience.. So I'd like to hear what you think and if he has some potential :)
I think he looks fantastic! Hes adorable (-:
This is what i see, yet i know little about dressage. Your horse's head seems unsteady through most of the video and you keep pulling on his head a lot. Allow him to relax a little with his head.
Also, i see that his circles are sometimes choppy and/or not flowy and smooth like. I would suggest really pushing with your inside leg, almost like you are hugging your horse with your legs.
Personally i think he has potential to be a good dressage horse. Just needs work. (i couldnt see the first video btw)
Now for you, it seems like your posting through you stirrups, not your leg. I would suggest putting your stirrups up one hole and really push your heel down while gripping with your knees and thys (sp?). Also, try and steady your hands. They seem like they are moving often and you are just playing with your horse's face. Dont just set your horse's head with your hands, but with your legs as well.
I think you two make a great pair and could do well in dressage with a little more work. Good luck! BTW, your horse is just simply gorgeous. Love him (:
I might be wrong but it looks like your pulling on his head a little. Then again, I know nothing about Dressage (-:
Hands are still too rough and you need to allow the aids to come through before deciding that you are going to intervene and just pull the horse into a halt. So what if a couple extra steps occur. Also if the head gots up it means you are not effective in your seat aids in maintaining the horse's body position.
The biggest fault I can see in your position is that you neither do a full up in your posting nor actually do a full sit into the saddle and as a result there is no connection of your seat to the horse and you try to compensate by too much manipulation with the hands/reins.
ok so what I see is that all you are doing is pulling on his head and getting a false headset. He is to far behind the verticle, if he is correctly put on the bit his head will be a vertical line like "l" instead of sucking his head into his chest. you need to push him out and let him take the reins out instead of just pulling and forcing him into a false headset. you and him do look great together tho and he seems to have a talen for dressage. I would recommend getting a dressage instructor to help you, and if you have one i would get a different one. hope i helped :)
Firstly, thanks everyone! :D There's some things I read which I didn't realize before, and do now, and will improve on :) And of course thank you for the comments too ;D
The reason the pulling in the head, is firstly he himself sometimes plays with the bit - and the reason for that, I know, is because I am also pulling on the reins. It's like I said, he's very stiff, so I have to bend him in, bend him outwards all the time, and sometimes he wont, and sometimes he does, but then his shoulders don't follow. Especially on the left side :/ I try using my legs and thighs, but no, my legs are not strong.. xD At least they are not strong enough for him - you really need legs to ride this guy! But yea, I try..
If I sit completely still with the reins and dont move my fingers, he will simply take the left rein, and turn his head to the right! So when going around a corner to the left, he will push his left shoulder inwards and bend to the right..! Without me disturbing him in the mouth, and using my whole left leg to put that shoulder back in!
He's really hard to ride.. It looks easier than it is. But also, I had a new bit on him which is a little stronger, so I didn't dare make bigger movements with the reins, to bend him, as I would usually do instead of irritating small ones - I was a little scared to do too much since I'm not used to riding with a harder bit.
As to the choppy circles - yes, I know.. xD But we're working on it. It's because I'm supporting him on the outside rein, and then he starts leaning into it, thus pushing his outside shoulder out, instead of keeping it in. And the way I keep it in, is to support even more on the outside rein and turn him inwards using the outside rein and outside leg - But then the circles dont become smooth as he kind of "chops" inwards.. o.O
I've done a lot of work where I dont use the reins a lot, and have them loose, just to calm him down and make him relaxed - So he's not always too happy when I suddenly have shorter reins on him and where he has to actually work.
But currently, my biggest project with him is keeping him relaxed, having those shoulders where they should be, and having his head down - no matter if his neck/head are positioned right, I dont care, as long as he doesn't take it up. That will come later, with time. :)
mollybolly: Yes I do have a trainer, and he's very good - my horse would not look like this if it wasn't for him, he'd be constantly stressed, running away from me, with his head up to the sky and mouth as hard as stone :/
ok but being behind the vertical like i saw in most of the video is worse then his head being up in the air because hes not using his body correctly and its all false. I'm just saying from what I see in the video
There is NEVER a good reason to "disturbing the horse in the mouth". That just shows that you haven't an understanding of how dressage works. As I said part ( a good big part) of your problem is in your seat and although he appears to be engaged enough he is holding back and you can't feel it. You can't fix his problems with rough hands but by driving more forward so he is STRAIGHT and not evading with one hind leg to the point that the shoulders/head/neck is out of wack. Do more lateral work to straighten him out.
I understand what you mean, but you can't ride a horse without using reins either - at least not this horse. I have tried other methods, and by bending him through the reins (and using leg) has worked best in making him more elastic and light on the bit, instead of just either having his head completely up and having no contact, and having him pull me down (or to the left).
He has to be able to bend to both sides through the neck and body, and that wont come just through leg. He has to follow my hand and accept. I'm not trying so much to straighten him out, as to keep his shoulders in place.
I'm sorry, perhaps I'm just not completely understanding you, because it's not like I'm pulling him in the mouth the whole time, and thus forcing him to go down! Trust me, if he didn't want to go down, he wouldn't. But there are moments, where I bend him, where he takes his head up because he is stiff and it's unpleasant for him, but he's going to have to bend if that stiffness is ever going to go away. I just have to wait patiently and squeeze until he has accepted it again. And I do drive him forward when I feel he slowing down, to get those back legs under him. But when he starts taking the bit, and I really mean it, he pretty such takes hold of it and pulls, I have to move my fingers and wrists so get him loose again, otherwise he will just have a hard mouth, and there would not be any elastic contact.
Also, I have trouble getting him to put weight on the right rein, as I have said before. And this is something i have a big problem with, because if I try having equal contact on the reins, he will just pull on the left one and make the right one completely loose. And if I support the right one, he will just take the left one even more, and turn his head to the right.
Ah it's really hard to explain this :/ Perhaps I'll film my next dressage lesson, so you can see what I do with my trainer.
As for the seat, how would you suggest I improve that? I understand what you mean, and therefore would really like to hear your suggestion :)
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