Trials and Tribulations of the Adult Beginner - Page 17 - The Horse Forum
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post #161 of 270 Old 11-29-2016, 08:07 PM
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Quote:
(Cammey)
I was asking Jill about my idea of using the collected trot to try to exhaust/use up energy in Dragon, and she told me something that stuck with me: ďThat would work on most horses, but you canít exhaust a thoroughbred. They will go until their lungs bleed. I tried that when I first started training them. They can just keep getting more and more worked up. You must be able to wind her down and relax her.Ē
You have a very good instructor. Just reading what you say about her, it sounds like she is someone that keeps learning as she goes, tries to help people understand the "why" of what they are doing, and understands horses. What she says is very true. Arabs are the same way, just with a little different flavor than TBs.

It is also very good that you are trying to understand your horse and what makes her excited, calm, feel reprimanded, etc. These things are very important for riding every horse. You also seem to be understanding that what is a reprimand for Dragon might be calming for another horse. That will help you a lot in your future riding. So many riders believe that what worked for one horse will work for them all. Jogging may calm one horse and amp up another.

I liked what you said about ballet and how individualized it also is whether something causes damage to an athlete or they tolerate it well. For horses, I think a good place to start is thinking about the body type they have. Are they short enough or tall enough for what they are doing? Do they seem to have bulky, sprinter muscles or long, lean endurance ones? You can use a horse for some things they aren't naturally built for, but you have to more carefully condition them and keep in mind the mental aspect and if they can tolerate the activity that way.

Getting your heel down and posting without stirrups require the same thing. Both are related to having your weight flow down your leg through aligned joints. Not trying to be rude to this rider, but if you look at the slow motion aspects of this video you can see that her knee is a hinge and she separates the upper leg and lower leg from each other. This makes her ankle and calf rotate and roll back and forth. She also has her foot behind her center of movement a lot of the time. This is making her less secure.
In this video, from 4:00 to 4:30, the rider shows a different way to use the leg. She is cantering, but this applies to trotting and all riding. Notice how instead of having a hinged section, this rider's leg is connected, with all the muscles up and down the leg working together. The rider's leg will slide up and down the saddle, and sometimes forward and back slightly as the horse moves. But the whole leg is a unit.
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post #162 of 270 Old 11-30-2016, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
You must be QUITE the phenom, Cammey!!! Wow, very few of us get to leg yielding the 10th time we have ever ridden a horse! Most of us were still trying to find trot rhythm! Jill must be quite excited to have you.

Good work!
Thank you!

I really have very little idea what pace this is supposed to be going at and what Ďnormalí is, but admittedly it feels fast. Iím just really trying to put my mind and heart into putting forward my best effort, soaking up everything I can like a sponge, and trying to get everything I can out of every lesson.




Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
You have a very good instructor. Just reading what you say about her, it sounds like she is someone that keeps learning as she goes, tries to help people understand the "why" of what they are doing, and understands horses. What she says is very true. Arabs are the same way, just with a little different flavor than TBs.
Yeah, the longer this is going on the more I am coming to the conclusion that I really like her. I had already decided I liked her results just from looking at her horses and riders fairly early on. But as time goes on Iím also realizing Iím fond of her methods and that itís a really good fit personality and goal wise.

Iím honestly both curious and slightly nervous to learn more about Arabs. A lot of my current views on them are shaped by tales of Amore and Halla. I finished your book, it is so good! It also terrified me in spots and I was quite glad to know that in the Ďendingí you all survived. While I realize those two are probably not representative samples of the breed they do bear a striking resemblance to other stories Iíve heard.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
It is also very good that you are trying to understand your horse and what makes her excited, calm, feel reprimanded, etc. These things are very important for riding every horse. You also seem to be understanding that what is a reprimand for Dragon might be calming for another horse. That will help you a lot in your future riding. So many riders believe that what worked for one horse will work for them all. Jogging may calm one horse and amp up another.
Perhaps itís silly, but the thought of horses not having their own personalities, opinions, and learning styles never really occurred to me. Itís just that from my very first time on a horse the main problem I had to deal with was different from what Iíve been told is typical: I had spent all this time reading/watching how to get horses to move and keep moving and how horses fundamentally want to rest and relax. Basically I kept reading that letting the horse rest by either standing or walking on a loose rein is how you reward the horseÖ Yet my very first problem was trying to get Dragon to stop and not speed up. Keeping her at the walk on a loose rein is hard. Excepting about 1-2 laps after sheís momentarily been winded or when weíre first starting up I actually canít usually just leave the rein loose - because I will need it to apply half-halts or we will end up trotting.

Iím mostly just thrilled I havenít accidentally wound up at the canter and that she hasnít decided that a cavaletti isnít really an imaginary jump she can play with. I have a totally different set of problems (not easier or harder, just different) than what all the sites/videos about beginning riding seem to indicate Iím supposed to have - just based on the personality of the horse Iím on.

If I ignored that I donít think Iíd be able to actually stay on this horse.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
Getting your heel down and posting without stirrups require the same thing. Both are related to having your weight flow down your leg through aligned joints.
Thank you for the videos. I can definitely see what youíre talking about. One of my big challenges is figuring out how much weight to press down through into the stirrups. Really, this is going to be a matter I think of trying different things out and finding my balance. I do see what you mean about avoiding the dreaded Ďknee pinchingí that appears in the first video though.
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post #163 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 01:16 PM
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I've been wondering why a beginner would be given a horse that seems to need so much "riding". Instructors usually start beginners on quiet, willing, very broke "schoolmasters", the point and go type, so cues, balance and nuances can be learned and mistakes can be made without the beginner becoming frustrated or frightened. Has your instructor determined you are a special case and put you on a fast track? I know when my 31 year old stepdaughter wanted to learn to ride, if she had been mounted on Dragon, she wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes, also being a total beginner with no experience at all. She isn't particularly athletic, but she isn't a wimp either.
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post #164 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 01:19 PM
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as for how much weight in the stirrup? I am still working on that one. I am constantly readjusting that. like, say, I get too busy with my leg, putting leg on to a horse that is sucking back, then I realize that my heel has come up and I don't have the weight flowing down, so I adjust.

or, I find that I am riding too much off my stirrup and getting too stiff, so I try to ease more weight onto my thighs.

it's a 'feel and adjust' feedback loop.
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post #165 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 07:18 PM
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I would show the videos posted to your coach. There are issues on both videos. You and your instructor can watch and discuss. To me that is part of the whole lesson.

Many times I would watch and discuss videos with my coach. Was less riding for that pariticular lesson, but well worth it. In other words, do not trust everyone and everything you see on the internet.

Discuss with your coach.
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post #166 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 07:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whinnie View Post
I've been wondering why a beginner would be given a horse that seems to need so much "riding". Instructors usually start beginners on quiet, willing, very broke "schoolmasters", the point and go type, so cues, balance and nuances can be learned and mistakes can be made without the beginner becoming frustrated or frightened. Has your instructor determined you are a special case and put you on a fast track? I know when my 31 year old stepdaughter wanted to learn to ride, if she had been mounted on Dragon, she wouldn't have lasted 5 minutes, also being a total beginner with no experience at all. She isn't particularly athletic, but she isn't a wimp either.
Honestly I can only speculate. As Iíve mentioned previously there literally are no other adult-sized horses that are more beginner-friendly at this stable, and I am the only new-new beginner that this place has had in awhile. Thereís one pony (Cookie) whoís just under 14HH and who I think is genuinely a more traditional beginner pony - though even he is a jumper up to I think 2í3Ē - but at 180lbs I am too big to ride him.

So the options here would be either donít train any new-beginner adults (which seems to be what most places around here do), buy a whole horse for something that rarely comes up (and have one less slot for a horse sheíd really want - I doubt sheíd ever do that), or put people on her quite forward but well trained horse - which is what she did.

Now, this place is unapologetically all about sports-training - H/J and Eventing - and Jill did know my background when I started up and that this was the direction I was looking at getting into. I also have no idea if we would have gone this fast if I hadnít been as comfortable as I have been. But as to the horse Iím riding thereís basically only one option. If I wanted a calmer horse, Iíd need to find a different place to train.

Itís definitely not for everyone. Amanda (climbing partner) is debating if she really wants to jump into this place so we can be with the same trainer or if sheíd rather try to find somewhere a bit calmer to train at. For me though, if my posts donít make it obvious, Iím loving it a lot and have been feeling increasingly fortunate at where I ended up. Iím really not sure if I would have fallen as in love with all of this if I had tried to follow a gentler road. I love the instant feedback on working with a sensitive horse. While Dragon is definitely is forward, sheís also generally pretty patient with me. I love riding her because it really forces my mind into the present - thereís no time to worry about my career, how I need to clean the house, that social event Iím not looking forward to, or anything else. Thereís just being fully mentally engaged with what Iím doing. Itís sublime.

Iím also not sure sheís quite as insanely difficult as people seem to be giving me credit for. Yes, sheís sensitive and I need to make sure she doesnít speed up and I donít yank on her, but with the exception of the one spook itís not like she makes it hard just to stay on. In some ways I think I may actually have a few things easier because I donít have to worry about constantly cueing her forward with my leg. She really does try hard to figure out what I want and give it to me. Itís not like Iím trying to stay on a horse that wants me off her.

Of course, admittedly I also have no real perspective. Iíve ridden two horses, her and that poor sad dude-string trail-horse. One of these days I do want to try out a Ďnormalí beginner horse for comparisonís sake - but I genuinely have no idea where I will find one Iíd be able to ride at this point.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
as for how much weight in the stirrup? I am still working on that one. I am constantly readjusting that. like, say, I get too busy with my leg, putting leg on to a horse that is sucking back, then I realize that my heel has come up and I don't have the weight flowing down, so I adjust.

or, I find that I am riding too much off my stirrup and getting too stiff, so I try to ease more weight onto my thighs.

it's a 'feel and adjust' feedback loop.
Yeah, thatís about what I was suspecting. Honestly it seems like here is where the real work is beginning. Itís in trying to figure out how much pressure to put where, how hard to push/pull/squeeze, the timing on shifting my weight around, etc. etc. etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahfromsc View Post
I would show the videos posted to your coach. There are issues on both videos. You and your instructor can watch and discuss. To me that is part of the whole lesson.

Many times I would watch and discuss videos with my coach. Was less riding for that pariticular lesson, but well worth it. In other words, do not trust everyone and everything you see on the internet.

Discuss with your coach.
Right now Iím more trying different things and asking her what she thinks of me doing each thing - but itís similiar. The thing is that to be honest Iím only about 80% sure how to turn Ďlooks like Xí into Ďfeels like Yí. I could possibly pull up youtube videos, but Iím getting enough input right now that Iím not sure itís the most effective way to address the topic.

One crazy idea I have right now, which I may ask the barn owner about if itís OK to do this, is trying to video myself during my lease-time and then see what the heck I look like compared to various things. Because to be honest I have very little idea what I look like objectively. I mean, probably a mess - but what kind of mess?
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post #167 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 07:52 PM
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Most coaches have no problems with you videotaping your lessons. Hell, even my coach will do the videoing.

Again, just because something is posted here as the gospel, don't always buy into that particular gospel.

Before I moved I was training level three testing at level 1 test 3, and just starting to test level two. And I was nowhere near what you are doing at lesson 10.

Now my horse was green after having the basics started by me, and I had never ridden dressage or had formal lessons before the age of 47, but we were NOWHERE near what you are doing by lesson 10.

So kudos.

Just don't drink all the koolaide given to you.
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post #168 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 07:56 PM
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@Cammey seems to be a quite logical and detailed thinker, weighing all the pros and cons. One of the least likely types to drink kool aide. Even if you get fooled for a minute or two by Nevzorov (my example of a horse extremist - thinks people should not ride horses), the facts and your own experiences soon straighten things out. IMHO.
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post #169 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 08:02 PM
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We have all had episodes of drinking koolaide....horses, family, work, husbands. One doesn't know the test of koolaide until one tastes it's bitter taste.

Ask me how I know that.
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post #170 of 270 Old 12-01-2016, 08:32 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by sarahfromsc View Post
Most coaches have no problems with you videotaping your lessons. Hell, even my coach will do the videoing.

Again, just because something is posted here as the gospel, don't always buy into that particular gospel.

Before I moved I was training level three testing at level 1 test 3, and just starting to test level two. And I was nowhere near what you are doing at lesson 10.

Now my horse was green after having the basics started by me, and I had never ridden dressage or had formal lessons before the age of 47, but we were NOWHERE near what you are doing by lesson 10.

So kudos.

Just don't drink all the koolaide given to you.
The one thing Iíve got going for me is that I canít seem to walk two steps without getting contradictory opinions. This is genuinely appreciated to be honest and is why I actually rather like seeing people debating in here in the comments - multiple points of view.

Ah dressage! I want to pick your brain on it but I have no real idea where to even start.

My real hope here with all the things Iím being exposed to is that it doesnít mean Iím picking up anything half-***ed. I donít feel I am - but again, lack of outside perspective is a killer. I just kind of have to go with looking at my trainerís students and results and trusting Iím going in a good direction. I feel like Iím going in a good direction - but I lack perspective. I figure worst case I will end up circling back around on things again and again - just must avoid developing any bad habits.

I will say though: This would all be a hilariously different story if Dragon wasnít already an expert at the movements. Iím really just trying to figure out how to ask and I get the benefit of knowing if I get it right or not pretty quickly (baring her giving me what I want even if I do it wrongÖ see the last thing I was working on).

Iím continously baffled/impressed by people who manage to learn things on relatively green horses - seriously.



Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
@Cammey seems to be a quite logical and detailed thinker, weighing all the pros and cons. One of the least likely types to drink kool aide. Even if you get fooled for a minute or two by Nevzorov (my example of a horse extremist - thinks people should not ride horses), the facts and your own experiences soon straighten things out. IMHO.
I try, oh I try - but my experiences are so limited right now. This is why for example I love reading stuff of yours so much - itís a window into a different world and a different set of experiences. The tales from you and one of my Denver friends has put a perspective on what Ďbraveí is as an example (as well as the potential consequences for such). Thatís provided a lot of perspective - both in humbling me when I feel like I'm being a bada**, as well as showing me the risks I'd be taking on if I tried to be any more of one.

I really do greatly appreciate hearing differing views on things (yours in particular if you havenít picked up on that). I need them all so I can at least figure out where the controversies are so I know that this is an area that should be questioned. I could certainly try to just make every mistake myself... but I'd rather try to pilfer knowledge from everyone else's experiences .


Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahfromsc View Post
We have all had episodes of drinking koolaide....horses, family, work, husbands. One doesn't know the test of koolaide until one tastes it's bitter taste.

Ask me how I know that.
How do you know that?
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