Dressage Young Horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 03-12-2015, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Dressage Young Horse

This is myself and Dante. He is a 5yr old quarter horse x arabian and I appreciate people being direct and honest with their opinions. I may not agree but I appreciate more opinions than my own, no one is perfect and we all have more to learn. I see in the turns where he needs a little haunches fore to get the straightness and in the canter haunches fore is helpful too, particularly in the transition. And he tends to get a little behind the vertical, we're working on that too.He does it less and less as he gets stronger so I'm not too upset about it. Canter is still being developed and a lot of 5yr olds still tend to be on the forehand but that's coming along and as he gets stronger and straighter he'll be able to sit more and more. He also has quite nice laterals, we did a little shoulde-in in the videos. Improvement, not perfection is how I look at it. Dressage is a gradual process and no one is perfect.




Long and low


Last edited by DanteDressageNerd; 03-12-2015 at 07:42 PM. Reason: to be more articulate
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post #2 of 18 Old 03-12-2015, 07:57 PM
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Dante is coming along so nicely :) FRIED CHICKEN TURTLE DOVE PICKLE FRIES!!!!!!!!.....................What??? you told me to say whatever I want....................you asked for it................its your fault!!!!!!!!....................................d on't judge! Haterz gunna hate potaters gunna potate XD <3
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<3 MiKKi ~
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post #3 of 18 Old 03-12-2015, 11:40 PM
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you said that you enjoy hearing diverse opinions, and don't mind if they differ, so here goes . . .

to me, it looks like both of you are behind the vertical, and that at times, it looks as if you are in the "waterskier" position that is often seen in folks who ride in the so-called German style. this kind of taking the upper body back behind the vertical means that you are riding the back of the "wave" of his energy. he then counterbalances by leaning forward, and tucking under. it looks like you are balanceing off each other in a bit of a push me/pull you sort of relation.

I know from your intro that you have lots of training in dressage, and I have only a little. so, my perception is based on just what I see happening, not from having ridden a lot of horses in dressage.
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post #4 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 12:57 AM
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I think he is a gorgeous house and it looks like you have a great partnership. You got some really nice extension at the trot.

I agree with tiny on the position and would also like to comment on headset. Do you drill that a lot? I ask because it looks very... artificial. It's like he's thinking "Must... Not... Move... My... Head!" Seems to be tucked under too far. At the canter that headset gave him the appearance of traveling downhill.
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post #5 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
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I'm thankful because it gives me another perspective because I see what I know from my background and not what other people see. The dressage trainer I had was pleased with what she saw. Because for me I like to understand what different people see. So I'm writing this not at any offense because I'm grateful but to explain what I see. I know he tucks behind because that is easier for him, he is built "on the bit" some horses go above the bit, this horse goes behind for similar reason, he goes more behind if I get him more engaged and don't basically throw the reins at him (I lift them up and put them forward for a moment to be like hey dude don't do it). But for me I'm not so worried about him tucking a bit right now because I've seen a lot of young horses do it, not from being pulled there or anyone training them that way but because that is where they want to go and it is easier for them (this is harder to correct than a horse who wants to go above the bit) it takes a while to train them otherwise.

I actually did ride in Germany for a few weeks. But Germans in my experience are very correct, Some are not but some are just beautiful, the best young horse rider I've ever seen was there. Her hands were incredible. But he has a lot of movement and I was taught for medium or eventually extensions to sit a little back to send the energy forward with my hips if I'm having trouble keeping an open hip because it opens the seat and send the horse forward. For example to "collect" I sit a tad forward and lift my hands up and half half the energy generated from his hind legs to get a more "compressed" or collected frame without losing the suppleness of the front end. I'm actually never "pulling or pushing" I never have to really tell him forward, it's more I send the energy up and use his hind legs and balance to put him into the bridle. When I lengthen the reins he still goes for the contact because he is connected from behind, not because I'm holding him there. His balance put him into the bridle, supported with a steady rein connection. For example his natural movement in the long and low is somewhat flat and quarter horse like, where as I'm trying to condition him to carry himself uphill and animated (which is naturally there).

He's 5 and built quite downhill. His butt is 16.2h and his wither is 16h. The canter is a work in progress. His tendency to go downhill is natural, I'm trying to train him so he can carry himself uphill. The strength isn't there. Because he'll have to carry his legs more underneath himself and learn to carry that balance. And a lot of young horses do, Carl Hester in some videos of him riding young horses was saying it is natural for a 5yr old to be on the forehand, that's normal.
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post #6 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry was in a rush earlier when I wrote this and forgot to say thank you. It helps me to see another perspective. And I tend to be very descriptive because that is how I process information.

This is a video on Ariat (Ariat164's horse). I was just walking and trotting him because he had jumped a course. I was sitting because it gives me better control to balance him and connect him to the bridle. Then I posted once I felt I had it.


And the pictures are showing Dante's conformation. I usually don't take conformation shots because there is a stigma against downhill horses because it requires more skill to train a horse to carry themselves uphill and some never can. It basically takes more effort, time and skill.
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File Type: jpg Dante downhill.jpg (33.3 KB, 163 views)
File Type: jpg Dante trial.jpg (68.6 KB, 162 views)
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post #7 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 01:27 PM
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Ok, remember that you asked.

If you were my student, and I wish that you were because I see so many things that could easily be fixed, I would take you back many steps.

The horse is simply not carrying himself. He is expecting you to carry him and he is curling in the bridle. As a result he is pretty heavy on the forehand.

You need to lift his forehand and get his haunches more engaged. He is a horse I would have to get on to see just why he is doing this major ducking (one of my huge pet peeves). Then, I would know better what it will take to help him learn to carry himself.

The reason I say I wish I could get my hands on you two is there I are things I like, here, and I think you guys could improve beyond this roadblock.
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post #8 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 01:34 PM
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what might help him , and this may sound odd, would be to put a western saddle on him and ride him out , on a pretty loose rein, just doing gymkhana type things, and out on trails, with uphill and down, and lots of bending and doing rollbacks and backing up , and turning around in tight corners.

he's a lovely horse and you are well matched to him.
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post #9 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 01:40 PM
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I'd take all contact off his mouth until he learnt to pick himself up from between his front legs and get from being behind the bit - maybe work him bitless for a while to break the habit or old training he's had
I would also forget about sitting trot until your core strength is improved - in posting trot you'll have more power to push him forwards and upwards than you will leaning back 'water skiing'
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post #10 of 18 Old 03-13-2015, 02:42 PM
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Both horses move a bit behind the bit. I think a bunch of transitions like four steps walk then four steps trot and repeat as well as halt to trot to halt transitions might help if you can do similar things at canter that may help but I've found that that sometimes just makes them not want to move out in canter especially if they are unbalanced. I think you've got a nice seat although you are behind the motion a touch and have your arms straight, so fixing those might help him come up a bit. but sitting trot when they are not moving really really well off the hind may be difficult for them (and why you are a touch behind because you are overcompensating) because they need to bring their backs up and carry like a roman arch and it would be easier for them to work in a posting trot and have you off their backs until they develop better toplines. However I totally agree with you that sitting trot is wonderful for being able to get aids across and staying consistent and it appeals to inner laziness so I love it.
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