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Discussion Starter #1
When in the dressage ring at eventing shows, I try to ride my horse without being nervous and tense since she had raced and done polo. Even though I feel like I improve every show I go to while doing Dressage, I always end up getting the same score every time. They are always 50's. Also during the tests, my horse ends up suppling but I don't seem to get any credit for it. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. Do I just feel like I'm doing better and I'm not? Here are some video links..

YouTube - repeter2's Channel
YouTube - repeter2's Channel

The first one is when it was really muddy and gross so it was hard for her to relax. The second one was better but her transitions were sloppy. Also I have been working on trying to get her left lead since when I got her, her muscles werent built up to get it. Let me know what you think! Thanks!
 

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There is no connection between your hands and the horses mouth. The horse is constantly seeking contact, that isn't there. Contact is GOOD as long as it is able to be soft and able to absorb the horse's movement. The horse needs to move FORWARD into the bridle and into soft, constant contact.

Over fences, you need to relax (even though I'm sure you don't want to). My favorite coach always said " the tenser the horse gets, the softer you ride". I sure wish you were near me. I have real success reschooling horse/rider teams into softer calmer riding. Just make yourself relax....no matter what.
 

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Im not real good at this, but this is what i see.
Obviously the horse isnt relaxed, and that just makes things worse for the rider. How long do you warm him up before the dressage?
Is he always that unsettled?
It looks as though you could drop your stirrups a hole for dressage, your hands tend to move a bit with your rising also.
You really need to relax, and take things slow. You dont give much warning for transitions. Sit trot a few strides and half halt to prepare him.

Thats all i can offer lol, good luck though!
 

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You rush the turn into the diagonal crossing. Your rytham has to be the same throughout the test. When you do your circles, try to get an inside bend just enough so you can see the inside corrner of the horse's eye. I agree with what has been said, you really have to give(from what I see) this horse the prep for the transistions. At home, trot for 20 strides then canter for 20. Get that transisition up or down AT the 20. That will help you learn how much prep time you need. Try to REALLY ride into your corrners, judges really like that. Try to get her to really step out, insted of quick small steps, try a very nice even steps where she is trying(it takes ALOT ALOT of work to get this!) In your medium walk try to not let everything fall apart, make her march. Let her stretch in the free walk, that is what the judge really wants to see. You do need to support the horse with your hand. Drive her up from her haunches with your seat and leg up into your hands. When you ask for the canter, you get into a definsive position. Let your body work with hers and be calm with it. Your circles are a little lumpy. At this level you will get more points for being correct in your geometry, then you get the bonus points for being in a supple headset. What were some of the judges comments on the test?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys! Yeah I really have been trying to work on a more direct contact and trying to push her more forward. I have been trying to relax and what has been helping is if I'm distracted while doing Dressage work. I normally do get more tense at shows, so she normally is a lot better at home which is normal. Since these shows she has gotten better, though, which is good. I will try to post some more videos about her recent flat work. Also I will keep in mind that I should plan ahead for the transitions so that should help. Lately, she has been calmer and more forward once I start riding and before I trot I do a lot of walk warm up thats at least 20 minutes which is used to get her bending, more forward, and into the bridle. And the main comments I have gotten from judges is things like "inaccurate", "resistant", "unbalanced", and "abrupt above the bit".
 

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Inacurate would probably mean that your free walk isn't a free walk. You are staying at a medium walk. Let the reins slide and let her stretch down into the free walk. It's there to show the judge that your horse can relax and stretch. And the shape of your circles. Really work on getting them round and perfect. Acuracy plays for big points.
Resistant is when she is does her thing on the canter transition.
Unbalanced is probably on your circles to right?
She does through her head, which would be her being above the bit
 

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your rhythm is not consistant, and you have very little contact. contact is important! at some point your horse looks "supple" in the neck but is not tracking under himself at all which is the important part. focus less on where his head is and more on where his hindquarters are. you'll get a better score with a giraffe necked horse who is moving properly through his back and supporting himself with his hindquarters than you will with a horse who's head is nicely down but is hollow and strung out. hope this helped! :]
 

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xeventer is COMPLEATLY right. I got a horrible score on a movment because Geof was hollow through the back
 

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thanks stormyblues :]

it's such a shame that people are so focused on a "frame" any more. everyone gets so focused on how the front end looks they forget about what's important. proper head carriage does not come from pulling the horse's head to its chest, proper head carriage is a result of a horse stepping under itself with its hind end and lifting through the back. if the horse's body is working properly then a nice headset will come naturally. now obviously, the front end does need some attention because the horse does need to be supple in its neck, but there are plenty of bending exercises to help with that. long story short, the horse should be ridden from the hind end forward, not vice verse. sorry for the rant!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks everyone :) Yeah she has been better since those shows though because now it seems like she is trying to move more under herself. I will work on those circles because when going to the right she throws her left shoulder out and when going to the left she falls in. My instructor is Jen Ravalico and she is a very good trainer. She has had me improve so much over the last couple months. So the problems aren't because of her since she is helping me fix them but its how my position and balance is. On Fleur, if my balance isn't perfect then thats when she will go hollow and not forward. I will keep doing more bending exercises though and continue to try to work on her hind end.
 

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Also, if you are having issues with her shoulders, that means your leg is getting a little weak on her sides. That could be something to work on too. :D

And I'm right there with you Eventer!!!!!!!
 

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Just really work on it with her
 

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Just WHO is teaching you dressage?
My question too....

Rhythm, Relaxation and Contact are the first three steps on the training scale.
In your test think about consistency and accuracy. Make your circles circles, not misshapen things that bleed into the corners. Make your corners corners - don't cut them off. Make your transitions softer, don't surprise your horse with your aids, count 1-2-3 with your aids. And for the lord's sake SHORTEN YOUR REINS.

I highly suggest riding with someone who can help you to ride more precisely and accurately. The better and more consistently you ride - the more your horse will relax.
 

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Guys, I don't want to make myself sound mean, but I ride with her and the same trainer, and you have to stop telling her who to train with. Jen is an amazing trainer and we have both dramatically improved over the past year. And without sounding like I'm bragging, Jen almost made it to the olympics, but broke her collarbone a couple weeks before, so she couldn't go. So, with all due respect, stop telling her that she has to find a better trainer.
Thanks
 

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The biggest fault I found in eventing is that most eventers are taught dressage by eventers that have a mindset that shouts out "just get through the dressage part so we can get to the fun jumping portion".

The best eventers will take dressage lessons from a real dressage person, cross country from an eventer and jumping from a real jumper. These people win the most often.

When you see a dressage test in eventing that looks like it could beat an only dressage trained horse then I can guarantee that person was taught by a dressage person. This does not take away from what can be learned by an eventer PROVIDED they don't have a "I really hate dressage but we are stuck with it" thinking.

There is just so much more that can be learned from a dressage focused person, just as you will from a jumper only focused person and an eventer (for cross country portion only) focused person.
 

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^^ AGREED !!

also, for stadium you should go out & find a really good HUNTER trainer & take a bunch of lessons from them.....at most events you dont have to be running around like mad to make time in stadium, just ride a good line at a reasonable pace & you will make good time.
 
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