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Amlalriiee 02-20-2011 07:13 PM

Critique video of Mac and I Please!

I know the video quality is not good, and I know the editing is choppy and messed up ( I had to chop out because the screen was blank for 40 second intervals at times due to the camera only looking at one side of the arena.) Do the best you can and be as harsh as you'd like! Hopefully I'll be able to post more videos on here sometime...maybe even with a saddle eventually?

I think the song is fitting...don't you? In this video it looks like we're both a tad bit psycho...I don't think my head was in the game, and she knew it!

Just to clarify--I want critique on my horse and I, not on the actual video :)

pawzaddict 02-20-2011 08:35 PM

I just want to say what a beautiful horse and scenery!

Amlalriiee 02-20-2011 09:33 PM


tinyliny 02-20-2011 11:48 PM


It IS hard to make much of a really discerning critique 'cause it's hard to see (too far away) and getting dark. So, when you post the better video I will enjoy watching it.
What I did see:

YOu ride bareback VERY well! I didn't even notice it was bareback. You dealt very well with her sudden misteps and changes of direction due to the poor footing. Which brings me to say that askgin her to canter and such when she seems to periodicall struggle for her footing might not be such a good ides.
I see her going around with her head up , bent to the outside and falling to the inside and then going into canter to recover her balance but ending up unable to sustain it. The circles looked like a lot of battling with her and a lot of unbalanced horse, and to be honest, if you did a lot of this, you would actually be training this into the horse.
The WALK, however, was really good. Your horse steps under very nicely and is energetic and rythmic and you move along easily. i would stay where you and she are connected and do a ton of work at the walk keeping her with you;
back up, sidepass or leg yield, shoulder in , turn on the fore/back hand.
These would be best to do while the snow makes the arena slick.

Thank you for letting me critique.

Amlalriiee 02-21-2011 11:34 AM

Thanks for the compliment on riding bareback!!! I've always been scared to do so and wouldn't do anything but walk, but I made myself do it this year and its really helped build my trust and confidence with her!

Okay...if I clarify can you help me work some of these out?? I know she is extremely unbalanced and I don't know how to help her. She rushes quite a bit, and I have a tough time keeping her from taking off if she's at the trot or higher---it has improved a lot but I think I've exhausted my training ability. I do the sharp circles to slow her down (and one rein stops if she takes off) ...but maybe that's not what I should be doing. For a while, I had stopped her and backed up everytime she broke that a better way? I try to keep my inside shoulder up to help with her balance, and for some reason I thought circles would help her...maybe only if they are bigger ones though. I'm not going to make any excuses, but neither of us had our best day that day some of the rushing and craziness trying to slow her roll was due to my head being elsewhere and her being a very sensitive mare. Not all of it, this is what always happens, but this is a more extreme version than usual. The cabin fever version. :-P

I will keep in mind that cantering may not be a good idea until the footing is better. I think one direction I asked for it, the other direction she did it and I pulled her back. I don't recall, but that's what it looks like on the video. ONE more question....does it look like she's fighting the bit, or just lifting her head in obstinance?? I can't decide...I am having the vet check her teeth when he comes out next but I've been calling for a month and he hasn't answered :(

Anyway, thank you very much! Next time I go out my plan is to walk, keeping her mind busy with stopping, backing, circling, etc...I'm not sure if I can sidepass or leg yield on her because I don't even know if she knows it! ..And I'm not good enough to know how to teach it if she doesn't know...but I'll try. eh...I'll probably trot a little because I can't resist....but no cantering :) I MIGHT be able to get a video.

tinyliny 02-21-2011 03:25 PM

Yeah, she does through her head up, hollow out and dash forward. This is something a lot of arabs do. she is half arab?
I think when you area having a session where your mind isn't in it, and she isn't either, then you need to change and do something else. Remember that whatever you end the session on is what kind of stays and ruminates in the horse's mind. So, if things are going badly , don't do more of the same. Change to something that works well, and end the session with a few successful moves and a calm manner.

You will have to eliminate all physcical reasons for her head tossing. i.e. teeth problems, incorrect bit size/type/placement, saddle fit or back trouble, would be the most common.
If there is nothing there, then you work on gettting her to accept the bit and move forward with her hind end and not try to run out from under the rider.
That kind of running forward like she does, hollow and looking elsewhere is an evasion movement. Usually it's discomfort, but can then become a habit. Thing is, it throughs the rider off and that makes it worse for the hrose. In many cases the rider gets unbalanced, panics and pulls the horse to a stop so the horse gets out of work. Your balance is good, so you don't need to panic stop her. But I understand that you are doing ORS to get your off the track and to start over again in asking for a TROT. That is one way of doing it. If you do that in a good arena after awhile does she start to hold the gait longer?

Another way to work on things, and again you need good footing, is to trot her out, if she breaks gait, let her canter and in fact push her harder. Canter her until she asks to stop but you push her on. Then you let her stop after a bit more. Then she may be more willing to stay in a trot. Then you can work on creating a better connection to her bit, so that you can "string " her energy like one would string a bow; leg on to engage the rear, connected to the bit to contain the front and thus the legs step under and the back comes up.

I just read an interesting article in this months' Dressage Today and the writer talked about connecting the horse to the bit. She said "hold the reins the way you want the horse to hold the bit". That made so much sens to me. I want the horse to have a steady and palpable contact to the bit so that I am able to follow his head/neck with my hand. So I need to have a "steady and palpable" contact on both reins. Sorry, I just wanted to share that . Cool thought!

I look forward to seeing another video when you get it done.
I need to do same for me. I cant imagine all the advice I would get! Scary to contemplate.

Amlalriiee 02-21-2011 05:16 PM

She is half arab, so that very well could be a part of it. You are so right about ending the session on a good note. What you can't see is right before I got off her I did some walk, halt, reverse transitions and she did very well with those. However, I probably should have stopped with the trot/canter work much sooner since it wasn't working for us that day.

I know for certain that on the trail when I ORS for breaking gait she does hold the gait much better. I think it works for her in the arena a little, but not as well. I am yet to try the second method with her (pushing her past where she asks to stop) simply because she's completed 60 mile endurance rides and I think it'll take a LONG time for her to ask to stop. I could be wrong on that, I'm not sure. Something I do on the trail when she gets panicky is to talk to her a lot in a calm, slow manner.

We can eliminate current saddle fit for sure :-P although, I do know the previous owner had a wintec with the "medium" gullet for her, however I measured her as an extra wide and that's what I used on her up until November when I switched to bareback pad. Could past fit issues be a problem still? I need to have her teeth looked at and am afraid that's the most likely issue. I don't know much about her history and can't find any record of them being done. I have checked her back for soreness myself and there doesn't seem to be any.

Anyway...thank you a million times for your helps to get another perspective in since I am by no means a "trainer" and can't always identify what the problem is or how to work on it. I'll keep your comments in mind and try to get some good, solid work done on her. That all makes sense to me and reminds me not to be so sloppy with my reins! Do you think borrowing a hackamore until I can get ahold of my vet would help at all or just confuse her?? Again, thank you...that was a huge help!

Amlalriiee 02-22-2011 06:16 PM

I'm going to try to make the most out of me being stuck in the arena this time of year. I know I won't be in it much this summer-therefore won't get video as often. I tried again today with the video, didn't get the aim quite right, but much closer. I tried to keep her to a walk and just do a lot of stopping, backing, circling, and changing direction. She did really well-especially considering I used her rope halter! Unfortunately my camera battery died before I got too far...any better though??

tinyliny 03-07-2011 02:17 AM

I repeat, you ride very, very well bareback. I have to guess that Mac's occasional flip of the head up and trot off has nothign to do with anything you are doing, right? You aren't accidentally putting leg on, I don't think so because I saw your leg remain loose and draping throughout all her movements; good and bad (I would have been clinging like a leach)
So what IS going on when she does that? Is it a change in bit contact? Is there something outside of the arena that is calling her mind? What makes her throw up her head and want to go fizzy.?

As far as the quality of the movement overall, MUCH better in this workout. I think you actually made this day have a positive effect, ; training IN good stuff, not bad stuff. At times she walked really well, and you were good at derailing her from fizzyness but then going calmly and immediately back to what the plan was; walk nicely, please.
She seems better able to bend to the left than the right (as is typical). when you were cirlclcing to the right, she turned her corners really boardy, falling in on the inside shoulder, bent to the outside. Could you feel that? especialy the turns that were on the side nearest the camera. Somthing there is drawing her mind. The gate home to good hay/grain?

I would not ride her all the way into that sticky corner. when you are turning to the right (in a corner), try to prepare her a bit more with a tip of her nose to the inside , raise your inside rein higher than the outside and put a tiny bit more onto YOUR outside seatbone. You kind of get off her inside shoulder and "pick it up" with your inside rien and shift her onto her outside shoulder.
Even better, if you can put a tiny bit of inside leg on and encourage her to step under herself with her right rear leg, then do. But if it makes her just go fizzy, then use NO leg at all, just the shift of weight and the lifting rein. You will be putting some bend in her to help her bend around the corner instead of swinging to the right, like a gate on hinges.
Once she is not too worried about running out on you, when you get to a corner, pause her, rock her back onto her hind legs (as if you are going to back up, but don't go that far. Begin the cue and when you feel her rock back ) then take your inside rein out to the side, (swing outward from your elbow) and "lead" her to step over with her inside front leg. It's like a mini one step turn on the haunches. Just for yuks and giggles.

Sorry for typing quality. Me tired now. Nighty night.

Amlalriiee 03-07-2011 05:41 PM

I'm pleased as punch that you think I ride well bareback, I was too scared to do it until this year. hahha...I do cheat and use that bareback pad, though.

I'm really still trying to figure out the head flip myself...I THINK that it's frustration on her part. I notice it most when she's; 1. in the arena, 2. wanting to go faster on the trail, or 3. wanting to go home and I'm not letting her.
I was worried about her teeth, but in this walking video she's actually in a rope halter, whereas in the other video she did have her bit in. Still COULD be her teeth, but this makes it seem less so. I'm getting them checked when the vet comes out for spring shots, which shouldn't be too long now. Any ideas on the head flip would be GREATLY appreciated, I'm hoping it's nothing to do with me, but it could be...Not leg, though. Her attention does get drawn away when her pasture buddies call for her, and occasionally when vehicles go by or if the wind is heavy in the trees. Unfortunately, I don't remember if any of that was going on this particular day or have such a good eye, though, that corner where the camera is is the corner toward her pasture where the buddies are calling for her :)

She is MUCH more flexible to the left, I've been working really hard to get her to bend right...her previous owner didn't use an arena ever and had never used her bent to the right simply because Mackenzie would rather bend left. I CAN feel her fall into those corners and try to kind of "pick her up" with my inside leg. She does get a bit sensitive with leg pressure, but I can use a little without losing her. Thank you so much for that explanation on circling! I'm sitting here shifting my weight and lifting my "rein" on the couch. hahaha....that makes perfect sense, but I never would have thought it on my own.

THANKS for looking at this again! You really have a good eye. If you were nearby I'd hire you to give me joke. Just so you know your critiques will not go to waste, I have a word document that I copy and paste forum advice onto. One section of it is advice that was given to me, the other is advice that is to others but that I feel applies to me or that I want to try :) This really helps me to look back at that and to pick certain parts to focus on each time I ride.

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