I'm going crazy without a trainer! (loads of pics)
Well, the barn I picked to take dressage lessons on my horse fell through! Vinnie spent about 10 days there, and I didn't even get one lesson :( So, the search continues! Vinnie is being kept at my parents' house. This field is pretty decent to ride in. The great thing is we've been able to do lots of hill work!
I'm trying to get into the swing of things myslef, I'm going crazy! This is the first time I've gotten to see what I look like in a dressage saddle, oh wow! Its quite pitiful really, I'm disappointed! :( I mostly just look like a jumper with a chair seat!
Oh, excuse the multitude of pictures that all pretty much look the same. My photographer was a 7 y/o. He thought he was melting in the heat! Lol. I do have videos I could post if you all need them, but all these pictures are sort of like a video :p
Oh, and I'm pretty sure my stirrups need to be let down. Its just so odd to me not to rely on stirrups so much. My heel is seen very up in some of these pictures; I could be cueing. I'm also working on my sitting trot and my legs sometimes get a little too loose I think.
Ignore the western headstall. My cob dressage bridle was in the mail :)
So I'd like something to work on, whether it be me or my horse, or both! Tell me what I need to do and how my horse is going. I'm being slow with the connecting, mostly because I'm working on me and just his fitness. Also, he tends to "curl" up if I push him too much.
I just about puked when I saw how chair-legged I am!:
Lol weird combo of hunter/dressage arms:
Sooo hunter its not even funny:
Posting in a dressage saddle is hard!:
Lol pretty good hunter EQ, besides the chair seat!:
I think my heel is up in this pic because I was asking for more work from the hind:
Thanks guys! Kudos if you get through that!
*comfort* I've been there, I only rode "hunter" style, and just recently got into dressage, it was like learning how to ride all over again...lmao. It get's better, keep practicing, oh and yeah about your stirrups, my dressage coach told me length is whatever feels comfortable to your leg. Mind you, that means whatever feels a wee bit long for us XD
Oh and posting trot > dressage saddle = total ebilness! My legs hurt so bad the next day I couldn't walk properly LOL!
Lol looking at these pics, I think I'm going to have to work down with my legs a LOT more. I love how I've had months of an instructor yelling at me to "Elongate arms!" and "Roll forward on pelvis!" and now I have to unlearn all that! Haha
To the posting.. YES! The first time I was like WTF.. I can't even get my butt out without looking like a dying fish! Lol such a weird sensation!
First off-ride with a HELMET. I don't care how steady or slow your horse is. I't just basic safety.
I ride jumpers, so I'm not sure how useful I'm going to be with dressage, but I'll take a whack at it.
Stretch down into your heel and get your leg under you--which I know you noticed. Try riding with longer stirrups and with no stirrups to get the feel of that. Also try going up in jumping position to get your leg to stretch down.
Your hands are decent. You need more connection so he stretches down into your hands, but they're definitely not bad.
You said your horse "curls." I don't know much about dressage but I do know that's a no-no. Your horse needs to be in front of your leg and responsive. When he curls, don't accept that. Kick him forward and gallop him for a few strides so he gets the picture. Then bring him back down to the trot or whatever you were doing before and then see if he's more responsive. He needs to be listening to you.
Hope this helps!
I appreciate the reply! My helmet is actually in the mail. He is one of the few horses I've felt the need to ride with a helmet (even when I don't feel a need I do anyway) he is not steady or slow at all. He's actually quite unpredictable- being the arab that he is! ;)
About my leg. I know I need to lower my stirrups and stetch down. I've been working on my sitting trot, and for some reason I tend to draw my knees up when I do this. I'm not sure if I am getting too tight in the core (I'm trying tight stomach, loose back and just experimenting with that) or much too loose. Any thoughts?
The issue with curling is that I'm trying to prevent it. If I galloped him a few strides after the initial curl, it would just stay the same or get deeper. I believe this stems from his ealier career as a WP horse when absolute softness was the goal. Any pick up on the reins meant "omg tuck my nose or get bumped". So here for me I think prevention is the key. I'm actually not all that worried aobut his head at the moment. He drops it quite naturally when he is properly connected so I'm just rolling with that ;) I agreethat he does need to be more in front of my leg though, maybe its time to pull out my spurs on the dull sides :))
I would try going up in jumping position a little bit, just because that helps get your leg to stretch down. Go up for a few strides then come back down and try to keep your leg where it was when you were up in 2-point. Hold with your entire leg. Longer stirrups really do help too-I used to have the same problem as you, and a few months riding with long stirrups fixed it rather neatly. Also, if you get more connection with your leg, it might help with the curl... I dunno. Just a thought.
I'd be interested to know whether he goes any differently in your new bridle.
Thanks for the tips!
I'm not sure he'll go differently in my dressage bridle.. the only real difference is the cavesson.. The contact and all that is still the same ;)
I don't know enough about correct horse riding to comment sorry, I am so far behind you - I'm in the very early stages of training (?) my new mare as a riding horse (previously racehorse) and am working on simply staying on atm. I enjoyed the pics though, thanks for sharing :).
I noticed three things (a) you're not wearing a helmet (hope it has arrived now and fits) and (b) you have a lovely riding area and (c) horse looks shiny and willing.
It arrives monday. You know what? I'll promise you I won't ride again until then. Then again, I will be out of town until then so I won't be riding anyway :mrgreen:
Thanks for the compliments! I must say I prefer an arena to an open field but it does make for a good photo op. :)
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