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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
this was my first show and kai's first dressage show. I am exceedingly pleased with how things went. At that time, i had only had kai for 2 months, so this show was just to have fun and to get a bit of experience. I got 4th place in this class, and in my other classes i got 3rd, another 4th, and a 5th.
Im exceedingly happy with these results! I am happy i got a ribbon to take home and both me & kai had loads of fun and we can't wait to go again!
This is the training level class.


What did you guys think? I got the comments from the judges, but i would like some more critique on my riding. PLEASE GO THROUGH WITH A FINE TIP COMB! don't worry about hurting my feelings, please tell me your honest opinion and how you think i could improve. ( although tell me how to improve, not just tell me what im doing wrong, give me some constructive critism! :D)
 

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1. Gloves

2. Hands are just a tad low and breaking the line from elbow to bit. Just bring them up a pinkie's length.

3. Legs- At the walk your heels are parallel to the ground. When you pick up a trot, your heel comes up and at the canter your toes turn out a bit suggesting you are pinching a little with your knees or just have overall tightness in your legs. Maybe bring your stirrups up a hole and really concentrate on sinking the weight into your heels.

4. Transitions - on the left rein, your horse doesn't look quite prepared for the up transitions. I'm thinking if you get the tension out of your legs, your cues will be less cluttered and have a more immediate effect.

That's all from me. Pretty horse and very nice turnout.
 

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Im interested in what the judges said.. I completly agree with MyBoyPuck. Just IMO your heels werent down for most of the ride. Shorten your stirrups a hole to sink you weight down.
 

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Sit back! Your leaning forward the whole time. Even while posting.
bring your hands up, it looks like your resting them on your horses neck which also makes your leaning forward worse.
Take your legs back. And heals down. And it doesn't make a great impression when you use your spurs at almost everytime. It doesn't look very controlled. It just seems like you've gotten used to pull your heals up to poke your horse and now you always do it. Maybe try riding without spurs for a while and learn to use your legs not your heal... And turn your toes in, same problem with the spurs I think.
When you get your seat sorted out your transitions should get better. He seems to fall even more onto his forhand when you make your downward transitions. Sit back look forward prepare him with your seat for the downward transition and use his forward motion for your downward transition. His halt should be square then too.
He seems to be a bit hard on your hands. This should also get better when your seat is sorted out, and your able to ride him forward..
Good luck your horse seems very nice! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I couldn't watch the whole thing because I'm at work, but are you wearing a hoodie?!
yes...I am ( i know, shame on me ) I didn't have a show jacket...and i was feeling slightly self consious so i wore that....=.=" I'm getting a show jacket soon so never again will I wear a hoodie in the show ring!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Im interested in what the judges said.. I completly agree with MyBoyPuck. Just IMO your heels werent down for most of the ride. Shorten your stirrups a hole to sink you weight down.
Some of the judges comments i still haven't been able to decode, but this is what she said...

( enter, hault, proceed in trot) " STR Active GD HLT + DEP
( Track right, 20m circle ) " GD O "
( Working Canter ) " Some RES Tight "
( Free walk ) " N to STR [down arrow] + cover much MR GR"
( working trot) " MR FWD shuffled into trot
(change rein trot) " Did not ST e F "
( Circle 20m ) CNTR Diff O okay "
( wrking trot) " Fell on FHND "
(centerline, halt, salute ) " Flex left on turn. HLT off C-line
 

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answers in bold. hope this helps!

enter, hault, proceed in trot) " STR Active GD HLT + DEP Straight and active, good halt
( Track right, 20m circle ) " GD O " Good Circle
( Working Canter ) " Some RES Tight " Some resistance, tight
( Free walk ) " N to STR [down arrow] + cover much MR GR" Need to straighten up, and cover much more ground.
( working trot) " MR FWD shuffled into trot More forward, your horse shuffled into the trot
(change rein trot) " Did not ST e F "did not go straight to f?
( Circle 20m ) CNTR Diff O okay " center different, circle was ok
( wrking trot) " Fell on FHND " Fell on his forehand
(centerline, halt, salute ) " Flex left on turn. HLT off C-line Flex to the left on the turn, the halt was off centerline.
 

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The first thing I noticed was that your horse looked a touch off.

To be simple about it, shoulders back, hands up, and heels down. You are collapsing, and that will encourage your horse to collapse. Rock back on your seat bones instead of riding on your crotch. These three things will come hand in hand, if you work on one, it will help fix the others, primarily starting on bringing your hands up.

Try not to drive so much with your seat. It looked like you were coaxing your horse to move with every stride with both your seat and your legs. He looked like he was moving very well, I'm not sure if the extra coaxing was necessary. While you are posting the trot, your crotch doesn't need to come up higher than the pommel. Don't think of it as standing up and sitting down, but allowing your horse's movement to "lift" you out of the saddle, and then settle back down. Your thighs should feel a significant burn, because they should "restrict" any excessive "upward" movement. I'm not sure that makes sense. In the simplest of terms, post smaller. =] And in your canter, you are driving a lot with your seat. Sit back on your haunches, and relax into his movement.

To be honest, it was like watching a video of myself. The same test, the same type of horse [big movement, a touch bracey and tense], and the same rider "flaws." It was a little creepy. o_O

You should be very pleased with yourself, it was a great ride. And your horse is beautiful, I'd love a chance to ride him. He just looks like a lot a lot of fun. =D
 

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I really like your horse. He has good rhythm and a nice natural carriage. You seem to be a confident, solid rider, but it looks like you are riding hunt seat on the flat with long stirrups. I assume you are new to dressage or just dabbling around so here's some pointers to get you and horse moving in the right direction.

Position.
The 2 things that will make the biggest difference will be: Learning to ride off the front of your thigh and opening your hips.

The first issue to tackle is how you hang your leg for dressage. The correct way is to ride off the front of the thigh. Your don't grip on with it, it's the way the leg lays. You don't want to either pinch or pivot off your knee or ride off the back of your thigh which is usually caused by tension. A correctly placed thigh will turn your whole leg in and your toes will point forward because you are riding with your thigh turned inward. You may have to physically grab the back of your thigh and pull it away from the saddle to teach you leg to lay correct.

By opening your hips you allow the horse to move up underneath you and follow his back with your seat. At first this will simply be a quiet seat that does not influence, but you will have to put your butt in the saddle to learn this first part! You need to have about 90% of your weight settled and centered in the saddle and 10% in your ankles and stirrup. That includes when you are posting and when you are cantering. Later, you will learn how to influence the horse with your seat more.

Once you get those 2 things down, you can focus on riding with your upper body straight. When you to that, you can bring your elbows back allowing them to bend which will help you keep a softer contact with your horse's mouth.

Horse
I like this horse's frame for a training level test. Although he could be more round, that is not required at this level. He is fairly rhythmic. He could be more accepting of the bit.

He needs some work in the transitions. Often a horse new to dressage will need a bit more warning than an advanced horse. So instead of just stiffening and holding the reins tight and dropping him down a gait, prepare him better. Five strides before the transition close your hand on the outside rein to say hey are you paying attention? Three strides away sit a smidge deeper in your seat and squeeze the outside rein saying ok are you ready? And then deepen your seat, close your thigh, and close your hand on the outside rein. The same goes for upward transitions, although he seems to be having an easier time going up than down.

For now, you should ditch the spurs. Your horse is being inadvertently punished especially in the canter. You don't want him to sour or become dull to the spurs. Carry a whip instead. It's better to ask for forward with a whip and use spurs for lateral aids. You can still work on bending and leg yields with a whip and you will focus more on your leg and gain proper strength in your legs provided you hang 'em right.

On other's comments:

Gloves. Yes! Always.

Heels. You should probably hike your stirrups up a hole or maybe 2 to allow your leg some wiggle room while you get your position sorted out. You don't need to jam them down like in h/j, but you should have some give and "bounce" in your ankles.

Hands. I don't mind them being low, but you need to have a bit more bend in your elbow and relaxed forearms to keep a straight line to the horse's mouth.

Posting too high. Let the horse do the work for you. Again, 10% of your weight in the stirrups. If you need to get your horse more forward, aid with your calves on the down or tap with the whip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Equinesalways >> thank you!!!

I really didn't get what everybody ment when people said " your leg just falls there" -- i always tried just hanging my legs off the sides of the horse and it always ended with me loosing my stirrups -- but i read your post and i tried it out and wow!!! i finally get it! the first time i tried and there was such a difference! well...sort of -- after being all excited in the walk i was like i bet the trot is better too! and after 3 posts my legs died....=.="" anywho....
 
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