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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here Are Some Vids Of Me And Oscar:)
Critique Them As Hard As You Want!
Il Start Off With The Oldest To Newest Vid:)

Thank YOuu:)
THeres Loads Of Vids There But They Do Get Better As you Go Along:)










 

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During the video "Oscar's lovely Canter", it looks as though you are trying to get him 'on the bit' - however your hands have turned downwards (thumbs pointing each other) and come back towards your knees which seems to have tensed your upper body and you are coming forward at the hips. During the canter I have learned to 'polish the saddle' with your bum, in this video your body is going against this action and creating a stiff position. - A common mistake, I still do this sometimes and am constantly trying to remind myself *hand position, polish the saddle*
 

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To me chasing your horse around the arena into jumps seems quite dangerous, in some cases he is extremely off balance, unsure and looks frightened. Although I do not know much about 'free jumping' and it looks as though there is no other way to push him over the jumps, it just doesn't look plesant.
 

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The only thing I noticed was that your legs/feet are too far in front of you sometimes, especially cantering in the first video. If you can keep them under you more, you'll look great.

Also, try to keep your elbows bent.. you do a good job, but sometimes your arms get a little too straight.

Cute horse :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
During the video "Oscar's lovely Canter", it looks as though you are trying to get him 'on the bit' - however your hands have turned downwards (thumbs pointing each other) and come back towards your knees which seems to have tensed your upper body and you are coming forward at the hips. During the canter I have learned to 'polish the saddle' with your bum, in this video your body is going against this action and creating a stiff position. - A common mistake, I still do this sometimes and am constantly trying to remind myself *hand position, polish the saddle*
ok. Thanks For Pointing that Out To Me! Yeah My Position Does Look Really Bad In That Video!
THanks For The Comment:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The only thing I noticed was that your legs/feet are too far in front of you sometimes, especially cantering in the first video. If you can keep them under you more, you'll look great.

Also, try to keep your elbows bent.. you do a good job, but sometimes your arms get a little too straight.

Cute horse :)
Yeah In The First Video My Legs Swinging And Everything Because Found Out The Saddle Was To Far Forward On His Shoulders So It Was Unlevel On Him.

Yeah That's My Worst Problem! Im Constantly Being Told That! Im Really Trying At The Min To Get Outta That Habit!
Thanks For The Critique:D
 

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Pulling your horse's head down does not make him collected.

This is why the underside of his neck is more developed then the top (upside down neck). This is why his canter is strung out and the only time he has impulsion is when he's in the extended canter. Changing the position of the head and neck, either with your hands or with gadgets--which you also had on him--does not make a horse collected.

'But my trainer says'--Think for yourself. How does changing the angle of a horse's head and neck make him take more weight on his hind legs? Or lift his back? Or step further underneath himself?

It doesn't.

This is why your horse is so unbalanced--he is too busy fighting your hands. He is not 'on the bit' or 'in an outline', he is fighting to poke his head up the entire time. Why?

Sit in your desk at home, and put your chin on your chest. Now imagine someone was forcing you to put it there (And that is what you are doing by holding the reins low and putting him into drawreins/sidereins/etc.). Now keep it there for five minutes, ten minutes, etc.

Don't you want to put your head up too? Doesn't it hurt?

Horses are the same way. When you force their muscles to hold a position that they are not in the right shape to hold, it hurts. So not only are you making him tense and destroying any chance at collection, his neck and head are crying out for relief.

I have a horse like this myself (...it's always the chestnut ones that are the difficult ones!). I've done all the things you're doing now. All of his 'pretty trot' and 'beautiful canter'--if you change the way you are riding him, this horse will turn into something you can't even imagine. He has potential--but at the moment, you're going about the wrong ways to bring it out of him. You're stifling his ability rather then helping it form.

I've done it. It's hard to change. But if you can do it for your horse, you'll be amazed at what he can do--and how he'll take care of you. He dumped you over the one jump because he thought to himself, 'you know what, putting this much effort into this jump is just not worth it.' If you start riding him where you take into consideration that he needs to stretch, that you don't have to pull on his face, riding won't be a chore to him. He won't fight you or be 'stubborn' or 'stupid' or have 'bad days'. He'll think, 'you know what, it IS worth the effort because she asked!'

He has it in him. But do you?

The first thing you need to do is let go of his face. He needs to learn what soft hands are; he needs to learn what 'correct contact' is. Correct contact is when the horse WANTS to take the slack out of the reins. This is a video of my chestnut crazy horse, that I had been told by world trainers, multiple times, to take to the slaughter house because the only thing he was good for was running 90 miles an hour and bolting with riders:

http://vimeo.com/4236051

(the embed did not work!)

You see how he wants to follow with his head as I put the reins forward? He likes contact--he is the one taking all of the slack out of the reins. He doesn't fight with me. You see how slow his legs move, but how we're still covering ground? This is what relaxation does to their legs, they push and they take weight but they don't rush. This was a horse that had a 'giraffe neck' that I've actually had a root canal done because he smacked me in the face with it whilst we were jumping--look what happened when I stopped pulling on the reins and demanding he carry an outline.

I don't ever pull on his head--because collection has nothing to do with a bit of metal in their mouth. If I put something in your mouth and pull on it, does it make you do things with your legs (except kick me, hehe?)? Horses are NO different.

The first thing you need to do is work on long and low with your guy. He'll calm down, he'll learn how to accept the bit as long as your hands are soft, and he'll learn how to release his back and swing. I have a post in a blog written about long and low and how to do it and what it should look like, but I won't post it unless you would like to read. I've already written a lot and you might disregard it all, I have no idea.

You're horse has a lot of potential--do it for him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pulling your horse's head down does not make him collected.

This is why the underside of his neck is more developed then the top (upside down neck). This is why his canter is strung out and the only time he has impulsion is when he's in the extended canter. Changing the position of the head and neck, either with your hands or with gadgets--which you also had on him--does not make a horse collected.

'But my trainer says'--Think for yourself. How does changing the angle of a horse's head and neck make him take more weight on his hind legs? Or lift his back? Or step further underneath himself?

It doesn't.

This is why your horse is so unbalanced--he is too busy fighting your hands. He is not 'on the bit' or 'in an outline', he is fighting to poke his head up the entire time. Why?

Sit in your desk at home, and put your chin on your chest. Now imagine someone was forcing you to put it there (And that is what you are doing by holding the reins low and putting him into drawreins/sidereins/etc.). Now keep it there for five minutes, ten minutes, etc.

Don't you want to put your head up too? Doesn't it hurt?

Horses are the same way. When you force their muscles to hold a position that they are not in the right shape to hold, it hurts. So not only are you making him tense and destroying any chance at collection, his neck and head are crying out for relief.

I have a horse like this myself (...it's always the chestnut ones that are the difficult ones!). I've done all the things you're doing now. All of his 'pretty trot' and 'beautiful canter'--if you change the way you are riding him, this horse will turn into something you can't even imagine. He has potential--but at the moment, you're going about the wrong ways to bring it out of him. You're stifling his ability rather then helping it form.

I've done it. It's hard to change. But if you can do it for your horse, you'll be amazed at what he can do--and how he'll take care of you. He dumped you over the one jump because he thought to himself, 'you know what, putting this much effort into this jump is just not worth it.' If you start riding him where you take into consideration that he needs to stretch, that you don't have to pull on his face, riding won't be a chore to him. He won't fight you or be 'stubborn' or 'stupid' or have 'bad days'. He'll think, 'you know what, it IS worth the effort because she asked!'

He has it in him. But do you?

The first thing you need to do is let go of his face. He needs to learn what soft hands are; he needs to learn what 'correct contact' is. Correct contact is when the horse WANTS to take the slack out of the reins. This is a video of my chestnut crazy horse, that I had been told by world trainers, multiple times, to take to the slaughter house because the only thing he was good for was running 90 miles an hour and bolting with riders:

Clyde Stretching on Vimeo

(the embed did not work!)

You see how he wants to follow with his head as I put the reins forward? He likes contact--he is the one taking all of the slack out of the reins. He doesn't fight with me. You see how slow his legs move, but how we're still covering ground? This is what relaxation does to their legs, they push and they take weight but they don't rush. This was a horse that had a 'giraffe neck' that I've actually had a root canal done because he smacked me in the face with it whilst we were jumping--look what happened when I stopped pulling on the reins and demanding he carry an outline.

I don't ever pull on his head--because collection has nothing to do with a bit of metal in their mouth. If I put something in your mouth and pull on it, does it make you do things with your legs (except kick me, hehe?)? Horses are NO different.

The first thing you need to do is work on long and low with your guy. He'll calm down, he'll learn how to accept the bit as long as your hands are soft, and he'll learn how to release his back and swing. I have a post in a blog written about long and low and how to do it and what it should look like, but I won't post it unless you would like to read. I've already written a lot and you might disregard it all, I have no idea.

You're horse has a lot of potential--do it for him.
Ok. THeres Some Of The Stuff There I Don't Agree With And Then THere's Bits That I Get. The Only Reason I Attempt To Ask For An Outline Is Because My Instructor Told Me And Thats How She Told Me To Ask (Hands Low And Sponge The Reins) So I Dont Know Much Better.
I Find The Way He Goes Know Is Soooo Much Better Than The Way He Used To Go.

The Reason Hes Upside Down Neck Is (According To My Instructor) Is Because He Wasn't Working In An Outline. He Used To Constantly Go Around With His Head So Far In The Air.

In His Paces He Is Using his Hind End. Hes Over Tracking By A Hoof And A Half!
In His Canter Im Trying An Exercise (My New Instructor Showd me) Walk To Canter On A Small Enough Circle Makes Him Step His Inside Leg Under A Lot More.

I Dont Use Side Reins Or Any Other Gadgets. I Tried Draw Reins Before But I Had Them On For 10 Mins Before I Took Them Off And Didnt Go Near Them Again.

He Dumped Me At That Jump Because He Was Disunited In His Back Legs.

I Do Let Him Strech A Hell Of A Lot When I Ride Him. After Each Exercise I Do I Let Him Half A Good Stretch Were He Comes Forward And Lowers His Head And Lengthens His Stride And Starts Chewing His Mouth. He Gets A Long Stretch Before I Start Doing Anything On Him. Few Laps Around The Arena On A Long Rein Then Trot On A Long Rein Then Circles And Transistions On Long Rein.

There Are Lots Of Stuff I Do With Oscar That Aren't Shown In Videos.

I Would Be Very interested Reading Your Blog.

Thanks For Your Comment And I Look Forward To Reading Your Blog:D
 

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MsyfieldK, Beautiful post! I agree with everything you said

To the OP- You are very stiff in your arms and upperbody. Your elbows aren't even slightly bent and you have have locked your elbows. You cannot have soft hands with locked elbows. You need to bring your hands in front of the saddle pad, not by your knees, and bend those elbows! At the moment, he's not giving to the bit, he's forced on the bit by your locked elbows. Sponging implies a softeness to the hands, nothing should be done but a gentle squeezing of the reins. You are pulling, not sponging.

As a result, he is tense through his jaw and neck and his back is hollowed. He is a gorgeous horse with unlimited potential, but he would greatly benefit from you riding with a softened hand and elbow and a much less stiff body. You are moving against him, not with him. Think push into an "outline" not pull him, sponge, or use your hands at all to force him into a false outline. A frame is pretty but serves no purpose.

That said, I can see the bond you two have and with some work you too will excel
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
MsyfieldK, Beautiful post! I agree with everything you said

To the OP- You are very stiff in your arms and upperbody. Your elbows aren't even slightly bent and you have have locked your elbows. You cannot have soft hands with locked elbows. You need to bring your hands in front of the saddle pad, not by your knees, and bend those elbows! At the moment, he's not giving to the bit, he's forced on the bit by your locked elbows. Sponging implies a softeness to the hands, nothing should be done but a gentle squeezing of the reins. You are pulling, not sponging.

As a result, he is tense through his jaw and neck and his back is hollowed. He is a gorgeous horse with unlimited potential, but he would greatly benefit from you riding with a softened hand and elbow and a much less stiff body. You are moving against him, not with him. Think push into an "outline" not pull him, sponge, or use your hands at all to force him into a false outline.
A frame is pretty but serves no purpose.
That said, I can see the bond you two have and with some work you too will excel

ok. im really trying with the elbows. any exercises or anything like that to help with the elbows as looking at the videos they are really bad!

ok il work on that too.
Thats what i thought (underlined. bold and italic) A frame is pretty but serves no purpose. but my old instructor told me that the horse had to work in an outline and it built top line.

after seeing so many posts about the outline im deffiently not going 2 bother with it anymore especialy seeing as it doesnt do much! any tips on how to get top line?

aw thanks a lot for that last comment! our bonds getting stronger every day! today as soon as i called him at the gate of the field he came flying down to meet me half way and then i ran to the gate and he trotted after me! thought it was dead cute!

Thanks for your comment!
 

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The reason he has an upside down neck, possibly before, could have been a high neck carriage. Like my horse, he is genetically disposed to look like that. However, with work, it should improve, not get worse--and your horse is very obviously pulling against your hands.

A thing about muscles--this is how people look at your horse and can tell what you're doing, whether youre on camera or not. Genetics have a lot to do with how your horse looks, but steady work can change just about anything. My TB looked like yours--very angular--when I was putting him through incorrect work and false headsets:



But with steady correct work, long and low, and beginning lateral work, I got this:



Muscles tell us how we are doing, no matter WHAT we think we're feeling when we ride.

Over tracking does not equal collection. Look at some of the worst-moving western pleasure horses with cripple lopes--they over track at the canter. (Disclaimer: I ride WP, but there are still some poorly trained horses out there! We've all seen em ;) ). Watch how far your horse moves his leg BACKWARDS--if the hip is turned out instead of tucked in, the horse's hocks will move past the tail. Collection is when the legs come under, and STAY under, and lift through the back. Your horse's back is much too tense to allow this as of yet.

Small circles and slow speeds do not make collection. Small circles are for well-collected horses because they are hard--if you ask a horse to work on a small circle without proper collection, he will not do it correctly, or fight terribly because of it.

He dumped you at the jump because he was much, much too close to it. He even goes to jump it and then decides against it.

Stretching is not just for warm ups and cool downs; they are for rewards and breaks. When the muscle is contracted (think a high head set), it needs to lengthen and stretch every so often to get out the lactate acid build up. What is a lot of stretching to you, may not be enough for Oscar--let HIM decide. Remember, horses are not stubborn or lazy or meanspirited--instead they are confused, sore, or unable to do what we ask. If you begin training him with that mindset, you won't ever have to fight with him. We're training athletes, not teaching dogs to sit. ;)

Here is my post on Long and Low, and I hope you find some use of it. Would also love to see pictures of you guys and hear if it helps him at all!
 

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You are using your upper body a little too much when jumping. If you look at roughly 2:15 in the jumping madness video where you're jumping along with another rider, look at the first rider on the light color horse. Her lower leg stays still and her upper body moves just enough to stay with the horse's jump. I believe that's you going second. See your lower leg is less stable and you make a bigger movement with your upper body over the fence? Even over the ground poles, you're exaggerating your upper body movement when it really shouldn't appear to be moving at all. A stronger lower leg would go a long way toward improving it. In the cantering video, your leg is also swinging around quite a bit. You're also in a chair seat. I'm wondering if maybe that saddle is throwing you off balance a bit. Maybe some work without stirrups would be in order to get your legs back under you. I didn't get through all the videos yet, but you guys look like a nice pair.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The reason he has an upside down neck, possibly before, could have been a high neck carriage. Like my horse, he is genetically disposed to look like that. However, with work, it should improve, not get worse--and your horse is very obviously pulling against your hands.

A thing about muscles--this is how people look at your horse and can tell what you're doing, whether youre on camera or not. Genetics have a lot to do with how your horse looks, but steady work can change just about anything. My TB looked like yours--very angular--when I was putting him through incorrect work and false headsets:



But with steady correct work, long and low, and beginning lateral work, I got this:



Muscles tell us how we are doing, no matter WHAT we think we're feeling when we ride.

Over tracking does not equal collection. Look at some of the worst-moving western pleasure horses with cripple lopes--they over track at the canter. (Disclaimer: I ride WP, but there are still some poorly trained horses out there! We've all seen em ;) ). Watch how far your horse moves his leg BACKWARDS--if the hip is turned out instead of tucked in, the horse's hocks will move past the tail. Collection is when the legs come under, and STAY under, and lift through the back. Your horse's back is much too tense to allow this as of yet.

Small circles and slow speeds do not make collection. Small circles are for well-collected horses because they are hard--if you ask a horse to work on a small circle without proper collection, he will not do it correctly, or fight terribly because of it.

He dumped you at the jump because he was much, much too close to it. He even goes to jump it and then decides against it.

Stretching is not just for warm ups and cool downs; they are for rewards and breaks. When the muscle is contracted (think a high head set), it needs to lengthen and stretch every so often to get out the lactate acid build up. What is a lot of stretching to you, may not be enough for Oscar--let HIM decide. Remember, horses are not stubborn or lazy or meanspirited--instead they are confused, sore, or unable to do what we ask. If you begin training him with that mindset, you won't ever have to fight with him. We're training athletes, not teaching dogs to sit. ;)

Here is my post on Long and Low, and I hope you find some use of it. Would also love to see pictures of you guys and hear if it helps him at all!

Wow! Thanks Soo Much For YOur Help! Today I Rode Oscar And I Just Concentrated On Keeping My Hands Up And In Front Of Me And My Elbows Bent With A Bit Of Flex And The Difference Was Unreal! I Did The Thing You Did In Your Video When You Give With Your Hands And The Horse Goes Down To The Bit And Oscar Totally Stretched! He Didnt Slow Down And Take Bigger steps Coz He Was Very Hyper Today But There Was Deffintly An Improvement:) Thanks Soo Much:D Il Make Another Video Soon And Post It:)
Thanks To Everyone Who Posted A Comment:)
 
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