September and October Goals and Progress

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Sue B
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Fri Sep 08, 2017 3:14 pm

Ah geez Dresseur, that's so awful!! Massive hugs to you and jingles that you find a safe place for Miro. And yes, Tio had a lot of issues while growing, lucky for him I have no timetable.

Piedmontfields, I should clarify that I am in no way offended by your "tank" remark or anyone else's remarks about Tio. Tio is a tank and he is also very atheletic--as a rider of TB's, I am not used to this combination, but I'm learning!

Good news here...my friend scheduled a jumping lesson for this Sunday, so Tio gets to go on a short (about an hour) road trip and show me how wonderful he can be off property. Wish us luck! Rudy will be mad that I'm leaving him home but since both of us have youngsters to deal with, I think it best to just focus on them this time. Instructor knows that my real goal is to simply be able to ride Tio and not get dumped. :roll: being able to do actual grids and/or jumps would be an awesome bonus. Some day I'll get video of him jumping so y'all can see his real talent.

Smoke cleared out this morning...we can see actual blue sky this morning so maybe I will get a chance to ride both horses today.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:12 pm

Wow Sue B - Tio has matured a lot since the last time you posted video! Thanks for sharing. Posting video is a tricky thing as others have noted. I only post stuff that shows the best of the work that we have... because if you post anything less the crowd (yes, even this one) can tend to focus on the negatives, and you spend more time justifying things than you'd like. I have learned this the hard way. Oftentimes this means I don't post or share video that I have taken. Case in point - the last video I posted here was from Aug 1st I think. I have taken video about half a dozen times since then, but haven't posted it here for a bunch of reasons... it didn't show our best work, he was behind the leg that day, the camera angle didn't give me much good video to work with, we were jumping, the light was failing and/or the video quality was poor, etc.

Anyway, I loved the stretch down that Tio showed over the cavaletti. I can see that he enjoys that sort of thing. Also - one thought. I noticed whenever you change directions and switch your whip, you lose the connection. Can you carry two whips?

I have a lesson tomorrow! I am so excited. It's with a level III dressage coach whom I used to ride with 8-10 times a year with Prussia for years, but I haven't had a lesson with her since getting Bliss. I just hope to get the same quality work there as I get at home. That's my goal.

We had a great ride the other night... in the dark and the pouring rain... I couldn't get the kids to bed until 8:00 and by that time the light was failing fast. So I put on my headlamp and braved the pouring rain. There was also a thunderstorm far off so we had lightening and thunder as well. He was nicely forward. :D He felt so secure in the connection it was lovely. We had some very good lateral work and the walk/canter/walk transitions were super round and through. Yay! We also played with some haunches in at canter on the circle and that went really well. It was so wet though my gloves still haven't dried out. lol. Today will be some light stretching and bending, then tomorrow my lesson. I am hoping for some good video to post tomorrow. :)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Sep 08, 2017 5:23 pm

Idiots abound, Dresseur, unfortunately. I am sorry. Wishing you and Miro a rapid return to normality.

Walker will be coming home this weekend. One reason being that staff does not believe me that yes, he's a very good boy--until he isn't. You have to handle him like you would handle a stallion--fairly, consistently, and with one eye open to nip potential issues in the bud at all times. (I so wish I'd got my hands on this horse before people screwed him up.) So having an 8 year old lead him in from turnout is completely inappropriate, especially when it's directly counter to what I specifically told you at the start about no children handling him. Sigh.

Laddie is so far enjoying his 20 minutes a day of walking under saddle and is behaving like a total gentleman (insert fingers crossed icon here.) Smartpak's Tranquility might have something to do with that, but I'll take it over death by warmblood any day... I have to watch myself because he feels so normal that I can find myself unconsciously starting doing the standard warmup thing and throwing in a little lateral work and bending when we need to be marching along in straight lines.

Sue B, handling and starting big, burly youngsters tactfully is a true art. Good on you. I have neither the patience or the cojones to do it any more. You have come a long way with him, having followed your posts over time!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 08, 2017 10:34 pm

Dresseur that would have had me fuming too. I really hope Miro does not have navicular syndrome, it is one of those things that will often have negative x rays but still result in unsoundness.

In a way it is better to know that he might have actually done something that potentially re injured himself, that gives hope in a way.

I am finally back to riding, although sitting trot is difficult as is lifting the saddle onto the horse. I did some walk and trot work on Kimba then a hack to the apple tree to give her apple treats.

I then rode two of my training horses, mostly walk, with shorts spells of trot and one little canter. It feels wonderful to be back in the saddle with goals and such

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby DJR » Fri Sep 08, 2017 11:09 pm

I agree, Dresseur, how infuriating! And what a pain that you now have to move barns. Ugh, people.

I was thinking that I've been doing a better job of riding Jet regularly, then I looked at the calendar (where I log my rides) and I haven't ridden him since Monday. Now it's Friday. How do 4 days go by like that? I have been riding Panache regularly in anticipation of the championship show in two days. There just aren't enough hours in the day.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Sep 09, 2017 12:46 am

This is an unbelievably time-consuming hobby DJR! And I don't even have my horse at home---and have just one. I think I would need to be retired to keep 2 in proper work.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 09, 2017 3:20 am

Dresseur, I would have been furious. I hope Miro is able to finish healing now that you know what was going on and can put an end to it.

Moutaineer, glad Laddy is being good. I'd be irritated with your situation too - 8 yo kid handling a difficult horse is not cool. I wonder what goes through people's heads. :roll:

RosieB, hope you have a great time at your clinic. You have more fortitude than I, riding in the dark in a thunderstorm!

SueB, sorry you weren't able to make it out tonight, maybe next time.

https://youtu.be/NTPwxjSqN7c

Video of Pickle from today. She is looking super; I'm hoping to be able to get on before winter!
Last edited by StraightForward on Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Anne » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:31 am

SF, Pickle is looking great, she is a strong looking and good moving mare. I love that the support rider is, um, supportive (!) - really watching out for Pickle and her rider, just good to see. Congrats on the progress, and I hope you get on before winter.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:04 am

Anne wrote:SF, Pickle is looking great, she is a strong looking and good moving mare. I love that the support rider is, um, supportive (!) - really watching out for Pickle and her rider, just good to see. Congrats on the progress, and I hope you get on before winter.


Thanks Anne. She is pretty much a brick $#!+House of a horse. The "support" rider is her trainer, and the rider is the apprentice, so she is chasing around and nagging her too :lol: . She has spent several months ponying her off of that sainted gelding to get to this point. She just started riding off the dally about two weeks ago, so I was pretty surprised to see them cantering so well. I've been really lucky to find a trainer capable of fixing this horse after her traumatic accident last year.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Imperini » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:00 pm

How frustrating Dresseur, sorry for the setback.

Looking forward to hearing about your lesson Rosie B :)

Pickle is looking great StraightForward! She's a very pretty girl.

Recently the weather or something has had me feeling wonky and it's affecting my riding. I am just frustrated with everything and usually riding is my relief from that but I started getting frustrated with that too. I've experimenting to find something that works to effectively motivate Pal and I keep coming up empty handed. She can be really fun when she wakes up but we have to go through the plodding start every single ride and then I often end up riding longer than I intended because of how long she took to get with it and once in a while I never succeed in getting her to wake up. That is less and less so I suppose that should count for something. In any case I decided that due to my recent foul moods which have no place in my riding that we're going to have a fairly relaxed month or so in the sense that I want to keep my rides shorter and more varied. Yesterday we cruised around the big grass field where the dressage arena lives and I did not let it lure me into it. Had a short "gallop" (we won't be winning any races :lol: ) then we went to the sand ring and trotted a few very small cross rails and called it a day. It was a lot of fun and for the first time in several rides I got the usual moodiness relief from my horse time and as a bonus she also gave me the biggest most energetic trot I've ever gotten with her out in the field after our Pal version of a gallop.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:49 pm

Imperini wrote:Recently the weather or something has had me feeling wonky and it's affecting my riding. I am just frustrated with everything and usually riding is my relief from that but I started getting frustrated with that too. I've experimenting to find something that works to effectively motivate Pal and I keep coming up empty handed. She can be really fun when she wakes up but we have to go through the plodding start every single ride and then I often end up riding longer than I intended because of how long she took to get with it and once in a while I never succeed in getting her to wake up. That is less and less so I suppose that should count for something.


If your horse gets there but only after a time then that is a training issue. Your horse has trained you. Do you have access to a trainer? A trainer could fix this in one ride. If you put your horse with a trainer for a few weeks of full training, your horse would come out forward as the default. There is no reason that would not be the case if your horse is sound. You have to learn to keep that once you have that.

This investment in a little help would remember why you got into riding I bet. For me, a big block of my learning was getting on after a GP trainer has warmed up my horse. This showed me what I should shoot for. What was possible and correct. When you taste that you get hungry for it the rest of your life.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 2:50 pm

My goal for the fall is to not get killed while my horse is languishing barefoot. At some point I have to get him back in work to even assess if he is still gimping.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sat Sep 09, 2017 4:53 pm

Tsavo wrote:
Imperini wrote:Recently the weather or something has had me feeling wonky and it's affecting my riding. I am just frustrated with everything and usually riding is my relief from that but I started getting frustrated with that too. I've experimenting to find something that works to effectively motivate Pal and I keep coming up empty handed. She can be really fun when she wakes up but we have to go through the plodding start every single ride and then I often end up riding longer than I intended because of how long she took to get with it and once in a while I never succeed in getting her to wake up. That is less and less so I suppose that should count for something.


...If your horse gets there but only after a time then that is a training issue. You horse has trained you. ....


I'd like to say that I see it differently. If you go back to the July/August Goals thread and look at the pictures she posted, the mare is working nicely for her rider. From all of her posts I get the impression that Imperini is thoughtfully and carefully developing a good relationship with her horse. She is systematically working on her riding skills while at the same time being respectful of Pal's temperament. My own experience with mares, is that many of them will become devoted partners for someone that earns their trust and respect. And respect is not always about "you WILL go forward, NOW".

The last part of Imprini's post said that her ride yesterday was, and I quote:

"...a lot of fun and for the first time in several rides I got the usual moodiness relief from my horse time and as a bonus she also gave me the biggest most energetic trot I've ever gotten with her out in the field..."

That is something worth appreciating! Sounds to me like the experimenting she mentioned at the beginning of the post is paying off. These things take time....

And to clarify, I'm not saying that sending the horse to a pro or getting help from a pro is wrong. It's just not the only approach to training issues.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 5:25 pm

demi wrote:And to clarify, I'm not saying that sending the horse to a pro or getting help from a pro is wrong. It's just not the only approach to training issues.


I agree it isn't the only way. I am saying it is the fastest BY FAR. This isn't about the wise admonition not to rush and that you should feel you have time. This is literally about wasting VAST swaths of time. Nobody needs to be concerned about wasting time just because I am.

I didn't know what I didn't know. It was only after seeing my trainer warm my horse up in real time and then getting on that I realized this work needs to improve by a few orders of magnitude in real time. Not weeks. Not months. My horse did it in 15 minutes.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sat Sep 09, 2017 6:41 pm

Straightforward - Pickle is looking super! She is such a lovely horse and a lovely mover. I bet you can't wait to start riding her!

Mountaineer - so nice to hear that Laddie is behaving himself. :)

Dresseur - all I can say is :shock: :shock: :shock: :shock: :evil: Best of luck with the move. I hope you will still get lots of time to work with him while he's at Andrea's.

Imperini - I have been there, done that. I find that cooler and wetter weather really helps get his energy level up, but on hot dry days I take him for a hack around for 20 minutes before going into the arena and that helps liven him up. Jumping helps, as does cavaletti. If he starts to really feel draggy, I give him a break from ring work for a few days and do something different.

Chisamba - I am so glad you're back in the saddle and things are going well. :)

The lesson was interesting. The instructor said he's behind the leg and has never been in front of the leg (she saw him at a show 2 years ago) and that he isn't honestly connected. I didn't get to warm him up properly because her last lesson ran about 20 minutes over so had to content myself with warming him up on a 20m circle to stay out of their way while they finished the lesson. Then from there we went right into more work on a 20m circle. We spent half an hour on the circle to the left doing trot and canter getting him in front of the leg, and then 20 minutes on a circle to the left doing the same thing. I will post a video probably tomorrow. It'll be interesting to see what you all think of it compared to the previous ones I've posted.

And a pic...
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:03 pm

That's some good work you describe, Rosie.

Don't beat yourself up about not recognizing if he fell behind your leg. I consider this one of the biggest stumbling blocks in my learning curve. If I had a trainer warm my horse up every tenth ride I think I would have gotten further faster. The times when I did have that indicated to me that I needed further work just ingraining in my head what true IFOTL is.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 09, 2017 8:09 pm

I was still wigged out about the zooing around going left yesterday that I decided I was going to try it again but with a ten foot lead rope. I started walking on his left on the track and slowly paid out the rope. I had him out nine feet before he thought about turning. There were treats involved.

I watched him closely and I think he has some issue with the LF or his neck when going left. He cannot now flex left at the poll. I need to work on that.. I wish I could remember what side of his heel had the hole. His neck cracks like knuckles and I can move it around riding but not lunging.

I will get shoes or boots on in a few weeks and assess him for that lameness he had.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:02 am

Today was trail day for Rocky and she enjoyed it. I wanted to work in the arena but restrained myself and went for a trail ride instead. Tomorrow we'll try Training Level test 3, after our steady, shortened trot warm up. That will be 5 rides for her this week. I don't know how I'll manage two horses when Emma is ready to ride again. The younger ones that are working full time, raising children, and training one or more horses have my respect!!!

I took some video on the trail today to practice posting vid on the BB. I got some footage with my phone but can't get it on my computer....




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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:05 am

demi - if you have a youtube account you should be able to post video to youtube directly from your phone.

Here's my lesson video. Still digesting this... comments/opinions welcome. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SJn2iKf420&t=128s

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:21 am

Sue B yes I see progress with Tio and thanks for sharing video! It is hard sharing vid because it's still just a snippet of information to people that aren't going to know full stories, but he's looking good :)

Dresseur - sorry that has all happened to Miro!! Now having to find somewhere else to keep him too? That is all a bit rough.

SF - How good is Pickle going! That is very cool to see that, you must be happy :)

Rosie B - interesting video! Bliss is so lovely and yes as I'm discovering when they get behind your leg and offer that cadenced feeling trot they aren't actually using themselves properly. As soon as you introduce harder movements they stall. I always have to revisit getting Ding back in front of the leg but it gets easier once you really address it. If I kicked him now like that we would be galloping around the arena. They have to learn the muscle memory to be forward, plus the strength and it takes a bit of time but it's well worth taking the time to get it. I have to say your position is lovely throughout that video. Much jealous :)

The other day Ding got the hang of Spanish walk under saddle. I was trying to figure out teaching the cues (lifting the rein) and he was like "Oh FFS is this it!!" I have it on vid, I'll have to share. Still need it to be an engaged SW, but now he knows the cue, I'm hoping I can make that happen.
I rode the big horse for the first time yesterday since my knee surgery and he's a lot harder to ride than Ding in that he takes more strength in my position to stay balanced. He was well behaved for 6 weeks off, but a bit energetic for what my knee could cope with. I'll still ride him but maybe just walking for another week or two (who am I kidding, I'm never going to stick to a walk on him :roll: )

Pretty photo:
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Reality of about half the photos :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:52 am

demi wrote:
Tsavo wrote:
...If your horse gets there but only after a time then that is a training issue. You horse has trained you. ....


I'd like to say that I see it differently.


I'm with demi, both because this isn't a blank slate, and because there are never any guarantees that any horse is sound.

For all we know the horse may have been punished (corrected) repeatedly for producing any kind of energy, and depending how it was done she may now be afraid to move. It sounds to me that Imperini is going about it exactly the right way, which is gradually and considerately, and that her approach is working.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Josette » Sun Sep 10, 2017 12:57 pm

Rosie - I love your guy! I've said it before you can send him to my barn any time. Your position is lovely in this video and your guy looks relaxed and tracking up. :) I understand the comments about responding to the leg as I think Chisamba mentioned this topic before. (I remember because many of the discussion apply to issues I struggle with and focus to fix.) Simply get the response and let the horse respond or not and then correct again if necessary. Jane Savoie has some good descriptions about getting leg response and connection. So I ask and when I get the response then go neutral quiet with my legs. However, I don't want to confuse myself or anyone else because I think there is a fine line between over driving a horse forward - then balance is lost and leaning and other problems crop up (been there!!). This was discussed in the other topic posted. So I prefer using serpentines, voltes crossing diaganol etc., to get my guy supple, relaxed, connected and listening to my leg. If he doesn't know where and what I may do next then I can keep his attention. My goal is to send him forward and not keep asking with my legs each stride but start to use my legs more to shape him on bends and direction change. Lots of transitions to wakeup and respond to move forward help too. I hope this make sense and I am not completely off target here. I'm just ammy rider and certainly not experienced like other trainers here.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Josette » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:40 pm

Okay - I just saw your "pony trot" post and hear your frustration. I would be too. Hey - you know how well Bliss works at home for you and that is what matters IMO. Hopefully you got some useful tips at the lesson anyway.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 3:51 pm

Flight wrote:They have to learn the muscle memory to be forward,


Perfect.

It is only when I got the light bulb moment that forward can be viewed as a behavior that I was able to have a strategy about it.

Just as I don't allow my horse to bite me, equally I don't allow my horse to suck back when I ride him. Horses can comply with not sucking back just as easily as they can comply with not biting people.

This is a key difference between forward and impulsion. Impulsion is an actual physical ability (bending the leg joints associated with slowing the gait) that the horse takes years to learn and to build muscle to accomplish. Forward is just a behavior really. This is one of the most valuable lessons I learned auditing a GP trainer for a few years.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:04 pm

Rosie, I just saw your post on the pony trot thread and will respond here. First: your position is lovely and I think you are doing GREAT.

I had wondered if you used the pony trot warm up before the lesson,but given the circumstances of your warmup maybe you did, and it still didnt help. I watched your lesson excerpt last night and didn't respond because, well, I am just an amateur and didnt want to appear preumptuous. I will take the risk and go ahead and respond now anyway, because I watched again today (twice) to see if I still saw what I thought I was seeing last night.

Kind of similar to what Josette said, I think there is a" fine line between over driving the horse forward and balance is lost". I thought Bliss looked a hair too forward. Just a little bit. A tiny bit. But enough so that you and he were out of sync. So slightly out of sync, or balance I guess you could say, that when you kicked him as the inctructor told you to do, it was too late. And the kicks appeared to be adding tension...instead of getting him IFOTL. I was wondereing if you were doing any half halts, and if you were, did you feel them going through. Because personally, I find it very difficult to get halfhalts to go through on a tense horse. And I ride two mares that can easily get very tense. And, in addition to being tense, if the halfhalt doesnt go through, the horse is even less like to respond to the leg, and wont really be IFOTL.

Also, thanks for the info on posting videos. I got a youtube account after you mentioned it, and then, after some help from Literiding, successfully posted in the Obs. Lounge.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:06 pm

Flight, thanks for the pics but you just destroyed the image that I hold of you being a perfect super trainer/ rider :lol:

Just kidding. Glad you are riding again!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:08 pm

I don't know about other horses but kicking doesn't seem productive on my horse. I use squeeze - no correct reaction - whip. He is trained to whip unlike another horse at my barn. I do not think I could ride a horse not trained to whip.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:11 pm

Tsavo wrote:
Flight wrote:They have to learn the muscle memory to be forward,


Perfect.

It is only when I got the light bulb moment that forward can be viewed as a behavior that I was able to have a strategy about it.

Just as I don't allow my horse to bite me, equally I don't allow my horse to suck back when I ride him. Horses can comply with not sucking back just as easily as they can comply with not biting people.

This is a key difference between forward and impulsion. Impulsion is an actual physical ability (bending the leg joints associated with slowing the gait) that the horse takes years to learn and to build muscle to accomplish. Forward is just a behavior really. This is one of the most valuable lessons I learned auditing a GP trainer for a few years.


Yes, yes, yes... but relaxation has to be there first. And, of course, they will go in and out of relaxation depending on the circumstances. One thing I think that CdK has over many younger trainers, is that he will stop when the tension appears, and address that before going on....

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:23 pm

demi wrote:Yes, yes, yes... but relaxation has to be there first. And, of course, they will go in and out of relaxation depending on the circumstances. One thing I think that CdK has over many younger trainers, is that he will stop when the tension appears, and address that before going on....


Yes I completely agree with this. I used to think you have to be a damn good trainer to teach a horse anything while there was no relaxation. I came to learn they are probably not doing that but instead defusing the situation and then getting back to the work just as you say CdK did. Not always but then again they may not have been successful trying to power thru the tension.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:30 pm

I've been thinking about this as well, dressage is hard because we have to work the push forward side and also balance with the "not over the shoulder" aspect. If you don't have each part matching then the horse is not in balance.

I had a good understanding of leg and hand (the ratio) earlier this summer, but I seem to be having more moments of hollowing or deep since we are brining in new things and getting out of the comfort zone.

My experience is a horse in balance is the most relaxed.

For me I always always need the long neck, which is so hard on a wiggly/short necked horse that likes to keep taking his neck back to himself.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:44 pm

Ryeissa wrote:For me I always always need the long neck, which is so hard on a wiggly/short necked horse that likes to keep taking his neck back to himself.


You can try to take the neck out of the equation completely by, say, riding a 3-4 loop serpentine with the neck left. Or right. This makes you ride the body and not be distracted by the neck. It highlights any lack of correct leg or weight.

Or focus on flexion at ha poll by changing it every few strides while making sure the neck doesn't change.

Anything that will convince you that you don't need to ride the neck will help I think.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:53 pm

regarding learned behavior: the same is true for leaning on the bit, hollowing through a transition, or anything, the horse can learn to ignore the leg just as they have learned to ignore the girth and the saddle. the association of ideas that is training is based on the effectiveness and consistency of the ask.

Wrt a horse having to be relaxed to learn, aikona. this is just not true. a tense horse can learn very well. in fact a tense horse may learn quicker than a relaxed one, so i disagree with the notion that the horse has to be relaxed to learn. If a horse gets tense and rears and discovers that the tension in the rein is released when it rears, it has just learned to rear to release the bit. a person may not have intended to teach that particular thing but that is what the horse learned.

While i do dislike the notion there is a reason a lot of top riders talk about needing positive tension. There is a reason why some people spur the horse forward jerkily and then stop it aggressively to " get it on the aids" again, not a notion i like, but one that is successfully used by many trainers who are and have been successful in top competition. ( i am not discussing this from an ethical or what is desirable perspective, i am simply pointing out that many things are learned very well through tensions, especially undesired things)

Now as for how i use my legs. I touch in stride for increased tempo or energy, with both legs. a quick touch, and then if i do not get the correct response ( which is increased energy into contact) I will , like tsavo, use the whip. I touch with the whip, if the horse is still not as responsive as desired, I will give just enough pressure with the whip that the horse decides it prefers not to go there again. if i have a horse that then slows down to lazy immediately, i give enough pressure with the whip that the horse really really does not want to go there again. this may be a touch touch touch touch slightly increasing in force until the horse chooses to stay in the energy level i have asked for. I can recall on percheron cross youngster that took the most significant whack i have ever given to break the habit of suck.

If a horse is very sucked back i tend to spend quite a lot of time on conditioning, i want to be sure the horse is really fit enough to be doing the work i am asking it.

How fit does an upper level dressage horse need to be?

Fit enough to do a fifty mile endurance ride in about five hours.... how the hell do i come to that conclusion? i used to do endurance rides, i had paid for a ride, paid for the transport , etc and my endurance horse pulled a tendon. at the last minute i decided to take my fourth level dressage horse who happened to be an arabian. He did fifty miles in under five hours, having only done the work it takes to be a fourth level dressage horse and pleasure trail riding.

People to not understand the fitness required of balance.

jmho

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sun Sep 10, 2017 5:53 pm

Tsavo wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:For me I always always need the long neck, which is so hard on a wiggly/short necked horse that likes to keep taking his neck back to himself.


You can try to take the neck out of the equation completely by, say, riding a 3-4 loop serpentine with the neck left. Or right. This makes you ride the body and not be distracted by the neck. It highlights any lack of correct leg or weight.

Or focus on flexion at ha poll by changing it every few strides while making sure the neck doesn't change.

Anything that will convince you that you don't need to ride the neck will help I think.


actually, excellent advice

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:31 pm

Tsavo wrote:
Ryeissa wrote:For me I always always need the long neck, which is so hard on a wiggly/short necked horse that likes to keep taking his neck back to himself.


You can try to take the neck out of the equation completely by, say, riding a 3-4 loop serpentine with the neck left. Or right. This makes you ride the body and not be distracted by the neck. It highlights any lack of correct leg or weight.

Or focus on flexion at ha poll by changing it every few strides while making sure the neck doesn't change.

Anything that will convince you that you don't need to ride the neck will help I think.



yes, I already do this, great advice and very helpful to build a nice contact.

My issues are more for longitudinal balance not lateral- this stems form that balance of hand/leg/seat and the ratios of each that I was talking about- also seat aids to sculpt with the seat/laterally

However, lateral promotes longitudinal balance, and vice versa, so all around good things to remember! thanks!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:15 pm

Thank-you guys for all the positive feedback and moral support. :D

Flight - I see your pic and raise you one (I call this the "beware hungry mountain lion" pose) :mrgreen:
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:35 pm

Ha Rosie and your position is still near perfect in the "beware hungry mountain lion" pose :lol: :lol:

I used to kick and rouse a bit on my guy, just made him tense and running. I was taught to gradually increase it by leg then "tak tak tak" with the whip - not hard but repeated and annoying until he went more forward. Lots of forward and back in the trot and canter. Bigger trot (not to overbalance him, just to get a reaction and sustain it for at first half a circle then a whole alongside etc) then normal trot, bigger trot, normal trot. I know Rosie has said Bliss has an upright neck, but I was taught to ride more open at the beginning when trying to get the more forward (if that makes sense). Once the reaction and the memory to be more active was there, then rode more rounder. Bliss is pretty close to being there, my horse was a lot worse and both of us are no where near as talented as you pair.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:56 am

Can I get people's honest impressions on this vid? With the only knowledge that its the 2nd ride back after a 6 week break.
https://youtu.be/I6cf5LgG3Vg

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:23 pm

Flight wrote:Can I get people's honest impressions on this vid? With the only knowledge that its the 2nd ride back after a 6 week break.
https://youtu.be/I6cf5LgG3Vg

If this were a video of me I'd mostly be happy. Things I would take away to work on...
Keep clear walk rhythm before the canter, be careful you don't get pacey or lose your walk beat in prep for transition.

In right canter be careful to limit the bend of neck, in the small moments when he pops his left shoulder his canter rhythm becomes unclear.

His trot balance improved as you prepared for canter. Your goal should be to have that trot more consistently.

I think it's an overall positive video after time off.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:49 pm

Flight, I agree with Chisamba - for that amount of time off, things are looking good. You will have to also work on getting strength in your position back, especially in regards to fighting the tendency to become a bit chair seated. If you need to, don't be afraid to shorten your stirrups a hole to make things easier on yourself as you both get back in the swing of things.

For those of you who asked about Miro and how that happens? Well, the best intentions pave the road to hell or something like that. The barn manager just does not see the difference between walking a few feet to graze, and sustained walking around - she thought she was doing me a favor. The barn owner is trying to keep me, so they are making a lot of concessions right now, but in terms of Miro's rehab, I will be bringing him down to Andrea's to oversee that. I think it will be best for everyone, especially Miro.

In other news, the date is set... I'm doing my first I-1 this Saturday and I'm freaking out. But, the worst that can go wrong is everything so... away we go!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tuddy » Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:20 pm

kande50 wrote: What kind of barn manager either doesn't know what stall rest is, or thinks she knows more than the owner and the vet?


Oh, I know a few of those!

Sorry to hear about your horse Dresseur. Mentally, I would have lost my sh*t, but I know I would have just given the silent look and only spoke in short sentences. My blood would have been boiling though.

Goals for this girl these next couple of months - ground work with both Yonka and Tuddy, and getting the barn ready for winter. Hoping to get some riding in before the cold weather and snow hit.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:59 pm

Flight - I tried your 'tak tak tak' thing today and does it EVER WORK.

Within 5 minutes, he had mostly caught on. Within 10 minutes, every time I closed the leg softly, he would go more forward and I could feel the push. He is now more obedient to the leg... with only a few minutes work. Obviously I will have to keep doing this, but that method seemed to make it easy for him to understand what I wanted and comply. He felt better off the leg today than he ever has before. It was a lovely feeling, because to be totally honest I've never been 100% happy with his response off the leg. And doing this also made me more aware of my legs and not using them unnecessarily so it's a win win. This is going to be the ticket for us. So Thank-You!!!!

Also - I would be very happy with that video if I were you. You had some very nice transitions. The balance in the canter looked quite good to me. He fell a little flat in the leg yield, but as Chisamba said the trot before the canter was better. Also ditto what she said about the walk. He started pulling himself along with his fronts for a couple strides before the transition to canter. But overall, a very pleasant and harmonious picture. :)

Dresseur - can't wait to hear about your first I1!! I am sure you are going to do well. :)

demi - you were absolutely right with your observations. There was less balance in that video (and less harmony) than we usually have. In my rides at home, harmony is one of the metrics of a good ride. How much of the ride was in harmony? How was the quality of the work while in harmony? I will sacrifice harmony at times if I feel it's warranted, but in the lesson I didn't feel like we had it at all. Which is ok... sometimes you need to leave your comfort zone behind to make progress.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:16 pm

Rosie, I'm sure Bliss is much better off your leg at home than he was at the clinic, where he was distracted and a little worried. Think of the clinician as giving another tool for your tool box. In other words, at home my focus (were I you) would be on checking often that I am not nagging with my leg or clucking continuously to keep the energy I think he works best at. Those are little habits that are super easy to create at home and 10x's harder to break. been there, done that, have the t-shirt to prove it. ;) Oops, you posted while I was writing--good job Rosie and I'm glad someone one here had an idea that worked for you.

Flight, good job riding so soon after surgery. I have to agree about the walk, which you appear to have pushed a little over tempo. I have had horses in the past that felt pokey in the walk, but when video'd or observed by good ground help turned out to have plenty of forward and i was in fact asking for too much.

I met my first goal! Friend picked me and Tio up yesterday and we went to a jumping arena about an hour away for her to have a lesson and for me to simply see if I could ride the "T". He did amazingly well in my estimation. Loaded and unloaded fine, allowed me to tie him to the trailer and tack him up, and then behaved as I led him down to the arena past all the horse paddocks. He was a little spicey on the lunge so I had to lunge him a bit longer than I normally would, but he has been worse. Finally, I got on him and tried to walk around the arena. That rather quickly devolved into standing in one spot hopping up and down instead! I got off and worked him in hand both sides/directions until I was sure he had forward in mind and then I hopped back on. This time he walked, trotted and even cantered some with only a few little "bucks" here and there and one or two "no I won't move" fits. I had to remind myself to keep my legs quiet and my seat active--he responds better to that than the other way around. (Kicking, hitting when he's anxious just makes him less apt to move and more likely to rear and/or buck.) Despite his antics he stayed light, was a little rushy in the trot, and showed some lovely canter strides. After a little work-out both directions, I just let him stand with me still aboard, while I watched my friend jump her youngster. I was very pleased overall, instructor and friend, however, were not. :lol:

They think I need to ride him in a western saddle (so I don't get bucked off) and I need to beat him when he pulls his stopping/head diving/crow hopping events. From the onlooker's perspective, they are probably right, but I plan on just keeping to my plan of rewarding correct behavior while either ignoring or discouraging incorrect behavior. It is my belief that all that fussiness was his way of expressing anxiety, and that the best way to deal with that is to show him he can still listen and perform even if he's worried. In other words, he needs to trust me so much that the environment ceases to be a concern. To that end, I am riding him more and more out of the arena but only if he's earned it through good work in the arena. Friend did say that even when he was acting up, he never did have a sour face or the squinty eyes of a horse that's simply trying to get out of work, rather he looked more confused/distracted. I think he worried them because he is such a powerful, short-coupled horse, that if he wanted to, he could launch me into orbit. Oddly enough, I feel very secure on him and had no idea that what I call little crow-hops were in fact actual bucking episodes. Hopefully, next time we go there, (in 2 weeks) he will show what a good kid he really is and we can play in some grids. :D

I should probably add that, 2 years ago those refusal to move fits were MUCH worse and borderline dangerous. I even thought about sending him to the place SF sent Pickle because I know they do a great job of getting horses to move freely forward with confidence. Life got in the way of sending him off and now I think we are almost through this phase of his training. Sounds crazy I know, but I can just feel it!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:52 pm

Sue B wrote:They think I need to ride him in a western saddle (so I don't get bucked off) and I need to beat him when he pulls his stopping/head diving/crow hopping events. From the onlooker's perspective, they are probably right, but I plan on just keeping to my plan of rewarding correct behavior while either ignoring or discouraging incorrect behavior. It is my belief that all that fussiness was his way of expressing anxiety, and that the best way to deal with that is to show him he can still listen and perform even if he's worried. In other words, he needs to trust me so much that the environment ceases to be a concern.


Agree, and I think what the "beat him until he obeys" crowd misses is that using punishment to make horses submit also shuts them down (suppresses behavior). And while most are so used to seeing horses who have been trained that way that they think that's how trained horses behave, there is an alternative (reward what you want, ignore what you don't want), and it's worth what at first seems to require extra time and effort.

IMO, the better we get at rewarding what we want and ignoring what we don't want, the more insights we get into why horses who are working for rewards are so much more interesting than horses who are working to avoid aversives.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:46 pm

Flight- great work! Not fit to comment too much on your work, but I would agree perhaps to shorten the stirrups a bit to see if that helps your stability. Overall very nice, workman-like and steady. I'd be happy with this anytime :)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:29 am

I think I am going to go against the tide here and say drop your stirrups one hole or leave them where they are. You seem to be sitting towards the back of the saddle. If you sit towards the front you will instantly have more leverage with your core. It will be easier to ride as you recover. Maybe dropping a hole will help you sit towards the front more by opening your hip angle more.

By the way that is damn good for 6 weeks off in my opinion.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Imperini » Tue Sep 12, 2017 2:13 pm

Tsavo wrote:If your horse gets there but only after a time then that is a training issue. Your horse has trained you. Do you have access to a trainer? A trainer could fix this in one ride. If you put your horse with a trainer for a few weeks of full training, your horse would come out forward as the default. There is no reason that would not be the case if your horse is sound. You have to learn to keep that once you have that.


Having her in training at some point is not out of the question but my coach's barn is 45 minutes away and I have a crazy long work commute so there's some issues with that which I may or may not be able to work out in the future.

It's not the end of the world if I don't get there as fast a professional would I just need to not let my general frustration run over into my riding. Also I didn't decide she was the horse for me because I thought she was going to be a high powered performance horse who would whisk me away to the upper levels. She's the horse for me because she has a lovely personality, she's funny and smart and best of all she's fairly unlikely to kill me with crazy antics. She makes me think when I ride and interact with her because she won't be forced into anything but she's willing if you're fair. She's teaching me a lot.

From what I know I very much doubt she's ever been punished or discouraged from going forward she's just not inclined to expend extra energy unless she decides that it's in her best interest.

My last couple of rides have been nice. I also did the "tak tak tak" thing in my ride last night. She's .. interesting. She completely ignored it at first so I gave her a pretty good tap (this is where I struggle because I don't want to go too far but I also want to make an impression) and after a couple of those repeating episodes she only required the light touches and then pretty soon just very light leg. She definitely prefers extremely light aids but she also doesn't respond to them at first. It's like she's the dullest most sensitive horse I've ever ridden. We've worked in this general direction before and I think the balance of what makes the touch consequential and then making sure I get to very light aids is difficult for me because she may not be the same every ride as in some rides she might be duller than others at the start.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:40 pm

All response to aids is taught.
Not wrt anyone here but I had a mare come in for training. Owner told me you cannot use the leg to canter. I watched the owner ride for a few. The owner literally held their legs forward in a chair seat to avoid touching the horse. When they brought their leg back to use it the horse kicked out and bolted.

So I asked when you groom is that a sore spot. No.
Does the horse tolerate the saddle. Yes
Does the horse tolerate the girth, yes.
Well then obviously the horse can tolerate leg contact. Put you keg there and leave it there.

My. Method worked and within one lesson the horse was accepting norm leg contact and normal leg aids.

I do not believe in pummeling the horse. My 'kick" is a touch with an elastic lower leg.

It's just easier to type kick than, touch with an elastic ankle using your inner foot as the hind leg lifts.

I just assume that everyone shortens that to kick.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:21 am

Chisamba - I was specifically told if the instructor didn't HEAR it, it wasn't a proper kick.

So it was definitely not your style of "kicking" that I was doing in the clinic.

Imperini - I find I have to ride with a looser leg if I want him to be sensitive to light aids. I also can't hold with the knee at all because that blocks him. Your leg may need to be looser so the horse can distinguish your aid from non-aids.

You once asked how much 'play' we had in our hips/legs when in the proper position in the saddle. I remember reading you said you felt "locked in" by tightness in your body. I don't feel any tightness or physical restriction by my body while riding. The only limits of movement are ones I set consciously or unconsciously. I suspect your tightness may be contributing/causing a bit of a block for your mare.

This is totally random, but I often sleep in a figure 4 with my legs. I.e, right leg will be straight, and the left leg is bent, with my left ankle tucked under my right knee or thigh and my left shin perpendicular to my right leg. I find this super comfortable and it helps my hips stay soft, open, and relaxed. If that position is difficult for you, it might be a good place to start stretching.

It also sounds to me though like you may be having a bit of an issue with the clarity of your aids. Make sure you are not giving her aids unintentionally.
Last edited by Rosie B on Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:35 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Wed Sep 13, 2017 1:24 am

Rosie B wrote:Chisamba - I was specifically told if the instructor didn't HEAR it, it wasn't a proper kick.

So it was definitely not your style of "kicking" that I was doing in the clinic.


well i think once, to reinforce that might be okay, but over and over, it would not be my approach i do not think

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Wed Sep 13, 2017 11:59 pm

Thanks for everyone's comments on my vid. I agree with all of them! Chisamba, I can feel that happening in the canter, that losing the outside shoulder, so I will make sure I keep him straighter. The walk prior the canter also, I was not sure if he would actually canter so yes pushed too much in the walk.

The saddle unfortunately sits me in a chair seat and I fight it the whole time, it's also too small for me. It's a 'high wither' model to fit the horse and so the pommel rises quite steeply under my crotch and I can't stay forward. If I raise my stirrups my bum hangs over the back of the saddle even more so, and if I drop my stirrups it puts the better angle but I'm just too bouncy. It may be time to look for a new saddle for him as he is 6 now and shouldn't change a great deal, but otherwise I'll keep working on trying to prevent that chair seat thing happening.

Rosie B - glad it worked! I like it because it keeps the emotion out of it too. For me to give a big kick, I have to get a bit shitty and annoyed and I don't want that when I ride.

Dresseur - good luck this sat! Hopefully someone video's it for you :) That's very exciting!

Sue B - sounds like good progress? Just curious, whereabouts does he do his stopping or resisting moments in the arena?

Imperini - you may have to escalate the taps until you get a reaction. The other thing to check (might not apply but thought I might mention) because I thought my little horse was dull and a bit stupid, but in fact he's a sticky beak and during the first 10 mins warm up he's busy checking out whats going on around him. It's a bit subtle though, just check out where the ears are, and their eyes. My guy is obedient but covertly his attention isn't with me, especially at the start. I frequently just touch with the whip when his ears or eye is elsewhere and then when they are back on me, I ask for a transition or a figure and he can respond to it.


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