It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

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Dresseur
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:24 am

The start of February finds Miro and I W/T/C and doing leg yields!! He's feeling better and more and more connected. He's growing, again. So we're going slowly. He's also started turnout - but he's also decided that he likes being a stall horse and has started to throw temper tantrums after a 1/2 hour so that gets to go back inside... sigh.

Here are some very recent canter pics.
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musical comedy
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby musical comedy » Fri Feb 02, 2018 1:42 am

piedmontfields wrote:
Ponichiwa wrote: Found a palomino Gelderlander/Hanoverian yearling that I want real bad. Talk me down!


That little description alone makes it hard to talk you down. I think you need to share a photo.

At your age and with your experience, I'd definitely go for it. So long as you have a place to board it so that it gets turn out. That's what Bucky was right? I love palominos!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:50 pm

musical comedy wrote:
piedmontfields wrote:
Ponichiwa wrote: Found a palomino Gelderlander/Hanoverian yearling that I want real bad. Talk me down!


That little description alone makes it hard to talk you down. I think you need to share a photo.

At your age and with your experience, I'd definitely go for it. So long as you have a place to board it so that it gets turn out. That's what Bucky was right? I love palominos!


Yeah this is definitely the problem-- very similar breeding to Bucky (jumping-bred stallion on top, Gelderlander/DHH type mare) plus I've wanted a palomino forever. Couple that with the fact that I'm back near my family and have access to the 75+ acres of pasture so she'd get plenty of turnout with our very amenable herd of horses.

Tempting, is all I'm saying.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby musical comedy » Fri Feb 02, 2018 2:54 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:Yeah this is definitely the problem-- very similar breeding to Bucky (jumping-bred stallion on top, Gelderlander/DHH type mare) plus I've wanted a palomino forever. Couple that with the fact that I'm back near my family and have access to the 75+ acres of pasture so she'd get plenty of turnout with our very amenable herd of horses.
If the purchase price is doable, you can't really lose much baring unforeseen circumstances. It shouldn't cost that much to keep 'her'. Being that it is a her, that's an extra point or two. :D Having two foals in my lifetime, there was nothing so rewarding. They made me so happy.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Josette » Fri Feb 02, 2018 3:26 pm

kande50 wrote:
Ponichiwa wrote:
I also keep an eye on the horses-for-sale sites because I'm a glutton for punishment. Found a palomino Gelderlander/Hanoverian yearling that I want real bad. Talk me down!


Do it. Don't wait. Ride as many horses as you can as often as you can so that you'll never look back and regret playing it too safe.

Now that I'm winding down I'm glad I didn't wait until I was retired to start riding more, because I would have lost out on a lot of riding if I had.



Kande - love your response!! :D :D I too will take it to heart. :)

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Sun Feb 04, 2018 3:40 pm

I learned a very, very important lesson yesterday - as a rider, I need gears. Usually we discuss horses having gears within gaits. But riders need to have different techniques and use themselves differently for different horses. Which in theory, I know... but it wasn't happening in the execution of the rides. The discussion came about because I was getting increasingly frustrated with my rides on poor Cassie - the schoolmaster in training. Andrea insisted that she was a straight-forward ride, about as easy as they come, you just have to keep her forward. For me, Cassie would consistently get more and more behind the leg - she felt quite complicated!! So I got demoted - I am only allowed to to W/T/C on her and a few leg yields until I figure out what the heck I'm doing. (Meanwhile, after that talking to, and after my first ride at 8am, (one that was perfectly lovely) I was wondering if it was too early to cry. That ride I could feel how changed the horse under me was and how Andrea had trained adjustability into a horse that just last week was splatting down the long side in the canter. I just felt all my inadequacies as a rider - because I was merely riding her schooling, and cannot create these changes yet.)

So, last week, I was riding Caz (another schoolmaster). He likes to lean on your leg, and usually, I give a thump with my leg to move him off it. However, for whatever reason, I left my leg on a bit longer and felt him yield to it. I mentioned it to Andrea in passing since I was concerned that I was shouting at him with my leg needlessly and that maybe I should leave my leg on longer and wait for him to yield, rather than going, GET OFF MY LEG RIGHT NOW! In light of that, this week, she asked that I ride Caz (and then Cassie) differently. She said to put my leg on and wait, and don't think about bumping the horses off my leg. Because Caz and Cassie are both "hotter" horses, that tend to ping pong between leg aids and respond to pressure in different ways, so, she had a sneaking suspicion that I was causing Caz to get a bit wound up and was pushing him into my hand by just ping ponging him off my leg aids, and that Cassie was sucking back with me, because she sucks back when pressurized in that way. Smart mare...

So, my ride on Caz was much, much quieter - I had the distinct impression that by leaving my leg slightly on all the time, I wasn't surprising him with my aids. He stayed with me the whole time and I didn't feel him get frustrated, even in movements that are very difficult for him such as working piris at the canter. I then did the same with Cassie. I felt that I was bumping her slightly with every step and that my leg was "wrapped" around her more - but the ride had zero issues with forwardness, and she was happy in her work. And I had ZERO breaks in the canter. I always have at least one. So, lesson learnt.

Afterwards, I asked Andrea about the idea of use your leg aid and then put it away, and she said that some horses need more support. That leg away doesn't mean leg totally off, especially on hotter horses and that the adage of keep your leg on a hot horse, and an leg more off a lazy horse is very true. Also, that I need to learn to modulate my aids and that riding different types of horses requires different techniques. Which I KNOW, I just didn't "know". I thought I was riding them differently from the heavier, more lazy horses, but apparently not differently enough.

The other thing is I've gotten a lot stronger and my position has changed again for the better, especially in the canter. So, what I realized - and what may have also helped the Caz/Cassie situation was that when I use my back and seat aids now, especially in the canter, my level 6 of using my back is now an 8 or 9. Way, WAY too much, and I suspect that I was using my position more as a weapon inadvertently and blasting the poor horses in my hand. I don't need to drive anywhere near as much as when I did when my position wasn't as knit together. I rode the collections and working piris on Caz and the others at that level at a 3 or 4 and was shocked at how readily they all responded. I guess that's what evolving as a rider is all about. I need to find my gears and work on riding each horse distinctly differently. Of course, I am feeling badly about shouting my aids on the more sensitive horses, it's a wonder they put up with me. sigh.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:59 pm

kande50 wrote:
Ponichiwa wrote:
I also keep an eye on the horses-for-sale sites because I'm a glutton for punishment. Found a palomino Gelderlander/Hanoverian yearling that I want real bad. Talk me down!


Do it. Don't wait. Ride as many horses as you can as often as you can so that you'll never look back and regret playing it too safe.

Now that I'm winding down I'm glad I didn't wait until I was retired to start riding more, because I would have lost out on a lot of riding if I had.


Meant to respond to this earlier. I love this advice.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:27 pm

Nice report Dressuer! Thanks for posting.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:19 pm

The leg on thing... I watched Mette Rosencrantz teach a young woman on a very hot DHH at a clinic this weekend. It was a bit of a trainwreck to start with as the horse and rider were just totally on different planets and in determined opposition to each other. Mette insisted that the kid put her legs on and keep them there. The horse was at first rather disconcerted, but once he got used to the feel, he was obviously very soothed by knowing that she was "there" and that he could tell what she was going to do next. It was an interestingly transformative ride.

I wasn't ready to ride with her this weekend, but she is, we hope, coming back in May and I'm on the list. She's just so good at making you focus on what really matters, position, clear aids, clear connection. Simple, but not easy. And she has the best exercises!

Laddie is like "Oh no... she went to a clinic..."

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Chisamba » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:44 pm

Moutaineer wrote:The leg on thing... I watched Mette Rosencrantz teach a young woman on a very hot DHH at a clinic this weekend. It was a bit of a trainwreck to start with as the horse and rider were just totally on different planets and in determined opposition to each other. Mette insisted that the kid put her legs on and keep them there. The horse was at first rather disconcerted, but once he got used to the feel, he was obviously very soothed by knowing that she was "there" and that he could tell what she was going to do next. It was an interestingly transformative ride.

I wasn't ready to ride with her this weekend, but she is, we hope, coming back in May and I'm on the list. She's just so good at making you focus on what really matters, position, clear aids, clear connection. Simple, but not easy. And she has the best exercises!

Laddie is like "Oh no... she went to a clinic..."


i think of the leg like rein contact, after the half halt you do not throw the reins away, nor should you throw your legs away after application. they should drape like a wet washrag against the horse, i also try very hard to use my leg differently for forward, transitions, and lateral. i was taught to do this but i often see people doing a half pass, and asking for a canter with exactly the same aids.

i think horses that are more hot off the leg really need to learn to tolerate it ( just as a horse can learn to be comfortable with the saddle sitting on its back and the girth around its girth. Especially hot horses.

i like to hear things like this confirmed and people having successes.

Poor Laddie, my horses also say, oh heck she went to a clinic :)

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Chisamba » Mon Feb 05, 2018 10:52 pm

Ponichiwa it sounds very tempting

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Tue Feb 06, 2018 1:52 am

Rocky had a good lesson today with the trainer riding. She loaded in the trailer for me like a champ both going and coming home! Trainer said her work is improving each time. I could see the difference from two weeks ago. She says Rocky "sits" easily and pirouettes will be no problem! Last lesson she said Rocky has a real talent for lateral work. I am going to have her ride her for each lesson through the winter. I think it's the best thing for her and I can feel the difference at home after she has ridden her. They work very well together and that is such a blessing!

It looks like taking a lesson every other week is the best routine for now. I think going every week may have been too much for Rocky. She was so much more settled and relaxed today after two weeks between lessons.

Having found the right trainer has done wonders for my motivation. I feel that I can actually get through the winter with progress. I have been working out at home 5 times a week since January 1. I can feel the difference in my strength and noticed the other day that I can now dismount properly instead of sliding off on my belly till my feet touch the ground!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:47 pm

Good topics and updates, all.

I find the leg discussion and insights very interesting. I don't know if this is my bad training (I've realized recently just how much of Emi's training I've done)---but I kind of ride with Jekyl and Hyde legs, depending on where we are in our ride.

I find that I start out our rides with the kind of leg I'd use on a dull horse---combined with occasionally really taking my legs off (and if she doesn't get in front of the leg, she gets a big leg aid--but by this point she recognizes that she has a chance when I take legs completely off to get in gear). Once Emi is warmed up and ready to work, I ride her like a hot horse--with legs on, breathing and vibrating as needed. It is a much more "alive" leg than how I start the ride, but no more big boots are needed once she is warmed up. This is similar to how my legs are when we are riding in exciting circumstances out in the fields and woods. My legs = support, confidence, and readiness to provide input.

Dresseur, your comment on Caz was also helpful. I have been experimenting with *not* leaving the leg quite as "on" in lateral work and it seems helpful. It is more of an ask, then release and allow feeling. Again, this may not be "correct"--and I welcome other thoughts.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby StraightForward » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:59 pm

Moutaineer wrote:The leg on thing... I watched Mette Rosencrantz teach a young woman on a very hot DHH at a clinic this weekend. It was a bit of a trainwreck to start with as the horse and rider were just totally on different planets and in determined opposition to each other. Mette insisted that the kid put her legs on and keep them there. The horse was at first rather disconcerted, but once he got used to the feel, he was obviously very soothed by knowing that she was "there" and that he could tell what she was going to do next. It was an interestingly transformative ride.

I wasn't ready to ride with her this weekend, but she is, we hope, coming back in May and I'm on the list. She's just so good at making you focus on what really matters, position, clear aids, clear connection. Simple, but not easy. And she has the best exercises!

Laddie is like "Oh no... she went to a clinic..."


Hmm, she is going to be here in March, I will put it on my calendar to go audit. Same weekend as another clinic I'm auditing, so I guess I'll have a sore butt by the end of the weekend.

Demi, it sounds like you're making exciting progress with Rocky! I also find the riding progress motivating me to get to the gym.

We are still plugging along with the basics. Annabelle actually does a pretty decent full-pass now. Yesterday I think I figured out the right lead problem we've been having. Trying to keep the jump in the canter while dialing it down to stay in a 20-meter circle, and getting her more IFL and my leg quieter. I'm hoping she'll become more forward as she gets fitter. Hoping to have a lesson this weekend, but haven't heard back from the scheduler yet.
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Xanthoria » Tue Feb 06, 2018 5:28 pm

My little moose has been making slow but steady progress. Goals update:

* Ride at least 4x a week, preferably 5x: one jump session, one trail session, the rest dressage. Depends on arena closures due to rain... I've investigated a covered arena locally and found they allow trailer ins for a fee.
* Stop blocking my horse and stop pushing him - if he's sluggish, tap tap and sit still! This is really coming along great - if I over-ride, I block.
* Follow his head and neck everywhere - that light contact isn't going away, but there is a reward for head up and open! Again he's really responding well - I seem to have been rewarding ducking behind the bit inadvertently, so now we have to fix that. And my mental picture is he needs to "stay with me, but not ahead of me"
* Position-wise, always be allowing. Push his head forward and out, imagining reins are sticks. - this is same as above
* Clicker train better walk/halt transitions - have not worked on this much. How the heck do Western riders get those immediate halts? :lol: He dribbles, leans and lugs from walk to halt, but trot/walk or trot/halt are lovely and light and balanced. I find his walk is really slow - he only perks up and marches for 2-3 strides after I remind him. The transitions won't improve until the walk improves but I can't get the improvement to stick! This is a quandary... I don't want to nag...
* 10 steps backwards in hand every day - check
* Forward and back for us means counting strides between two light poles. More, then fewer. See how many we can get. - it's going to take time to get this. he rushes forwards in the long steps, or almost walks for the short. We're finessing it.
* On the trail, find a long stretch where we can do a big road trot - work on longer, slower strides vs faster ones. Done this a couple times - he is starting to get the idea.
* Get him on the trailer once a week if at all possible - either to eat dinner or go for a short ride. - He's doing great with this!
* Get trailer vents and camera installed. - Got the vents done!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Tuddy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 6:54 pm

demi wrote:Having found the right trainer has done wonders for my motivation. I feel that I can actually get through the winter with progress. I have been working out at home 5 times a week since January 1. I can feel the difference in my strength and noticed the other day that I can now dismount properly instead of sliding off on my belly till my feet touch the ground!


I am finding that this trainer I have working on Yonka and I is going to be a huge part of my journey going forward. The trainer's wife is also going to be a huge support system for myself as well.

It's a good feeling when you find someone that you click with and get a good vibe on.

As for the gym thing - now that I am riding, and WANT TO RIDE, I am more motivated to get back in the gym. I brought my gym bag to work and will be stopping there on the way home.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby greenholmeshandy » Tue Feb 06, 2018 7:51 pm

A belated goal setting update from me, my goals were to remember the blinking test, relax when competing, progress with balance, outline and riding back end before front rather than focusing on neck position, stop obsessing about not getting left canter lead and also to use seat more for dictating pace in trot and canter. All with a view to gaining qualifying scores for the British Dressage Associated Native Pony Championships that take place in November this year, the qualifying period runs 1 December 2017 - September 2018.

This all went a bit pair shaped as I had a disaster day at a venue, pony hadn't had breakfast before I loaded her so she wasn't really in an amenable frame of mind, so no forwardness. I forgot part of the first test then had a reader for the second test. I couldn't get pony to flex or go forward so scores were dire 58.1% and 60% and last in each class. Oh well.

I went to another venue last Sunday which has an outdoor competition arena and again forgot part of my first test as in a happy trance(!), but persuaded a very kind man to read my second test. First test was okay ish after a short warm up but second test was much better as I had double the warm up time so a learning point there. I was very grateful for a sensible pony, a home arena on a windswept hillside and Trec experience making her ignore most things as a few of the other competitors had major spooking issues.

Anyway we came 5th and last in the first test on 61.4% having lost 2 marks for loss of brain, and came 2nd on 64.8% in the second test in a marginally bigger class.

Not wonderful marks but I was pleased as left and right lead canter were both present and correct and we have managed to get scrape through marks in 3 tests and qualify for the Native Champs. The reason I have pushed for this early on with low marks is that hay fever season might mean that pony cant cope if we have good summer weather, so I wanted to have the qualifying scores and then aim to improve without worrying about qualifying if this makes sense. Fortunately the champs are in early winter!

The main thing that now runs through the judges comments is lack of bend, lack of swing through the back and lack of suppleness. We also get occasional comments about balance in canter which is still work in progress.

I have attached a clip of the latest test and welcome comments good or bad so long as they are constructive. I wonder if I am blocking her from relaxing through having too tight a rein? I do need to lose weight as well. I am pleased with how she has muscled up, like a mini baroque horse.
https://youtu.be/-r4fh7VDwso

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Wed Feb 07, 2018 2:44 pm

I am so glad you stuck with your pony! Thanks for posting the vid and my comment is: Yes, she is definitely looking like a mini baroque horse. Quite the little hunk!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:45 pm

I have a soft spot for Fell ponies :) My best friend had a driving pair when I lived in London. They were a blast to drive (and to ride, though very strong and forward!) She looks mighty! Like a little Friesian.

It could be she might appreciate a more following hand--though I know from personal experience that can be mentally tricky when you've got a horse that goes "wahoo!" in the competition arena--Laddie has been inclined to get a little high-powered when he sees the man in the box at the end of the arena, and then I have to avoid getting into a death-grip situation and remember to use my seat and soften my hands (arms, shoulders.) I got completely and rightfully skewered for it at a show by Axel Steiner, which was a pretty effective training tool.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Chisamba » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:05 pm

So i have been working on the second level movements, with lots of prep time and relaxation. This week i pulled out the test and read it. Wow, its boom boom boom, and so many new things required over first level. I will have to make my transitions more spot on and be ready for the next thing

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Flight » Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:25 pm

Dresseur - Miro looks great, looks like he's the same before he had time off - nice! Funny that he wants to stay inside and not out :) Mine are definitely outside horses (but then we dont get snow).
Interesting reading about the leg, I've tried to keep mine off Ding (as he's not forward) but I think a lot of him being behind my leg is losing his attention. So I might have to try keeping them more 'there'.

At the start of the week I found Ding with 4 swollen legs and a bit of a temperature. I'm not sure what caused it, maybe a virus? I have a clinic with some people from Portugal starting tomorrow and he's mostly better, just one leg slightly puffy. Not lame, no more temperatures after the first day (I treated with some bute) and he's definitely back to his cheeky self. Norsey is hopping lame, can't figure out why. He does have a crack in his toe and it's been so hot and dry that it's hard to keep it from cracking more. I've had front shoes put on but hasn't helped this time round. Cannot find where he's tender, so he will have to have a vet visit. So all a bit boring!

Does anyone else do working equitation here? We are doing a protocol day for our next training and I'm going to try the next few levels up. The test is so strange in that there's no letters!! So, it's written like a dressage test, but no letters, so you have to work out where you want to do the movements. I can't get my head around it!!

Bit of vid from before the swollen leg saga. Trying some passage at home. We did start on it last year with my instructor, but he would hollow and leave his hind legs behind and drag his toes through the sand. He's starting to be more connected. I have never trained or ridden passage before so feel free to add comment/criticism!!

https://youtu.be/gW1V6WNZaXw

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Thu Feb 08, 2018 1:11 am

Wow Flight! Ding’s passage is looking good! You have come a long way with him in a short time. It seems like he was just starting flying changes when DDBB started up...so about 2years ago? I reallly enjoy watching his progress. And Norsey’s too.

I sure hope Ding’s swelling gets resolved fast. And it sound like Norseys lameness will be fixed eventually with shoes and a change in season.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Hot4Spots » Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:41 pm

Okay. I am officially depressed, goals and progress derailed. As you may recall, in late 2015 my horse suffered a moderately severe hind suspensory injury. He was almost back to 100% in early 2017, then partially reinjured. We were back to walk only under saddle (at least not hand walking!). We had gradually been doing some trot, but leading up to yesterday's vet check, he felt NQR and I backed off. Yeah. Well. He's sore, definitely slightly off. Vet looked as depressed as I am. He's had two shockwave treatments - one after the original injury, one after the re-injury. He is not a good patient. He can be spooky and silly and he's a lousy trail horse - to the point where I - a former eventer - don't even try. I do walk him around the property, but that's just a few, quiet acres - down the drive way, around the house, etc.

So back to walk only. Vet said she had one patient who did walk only for a year. Well, I probably have a year of walking in already between the injury and partial re-injury and now. Whatever. She said bute or Equioxx for a couple of weeks, then just keep walking and call for a check-up when I think he's ready. I had actually tried to trail ride a couple of times this past summer, but he blew through 1-1/2 ccs of ACE when confronted with a yappy dog behind a fence and an overturned garbage can. We passaged/and piaffed home, until finally I did an emergency dismount and led him back. Too much traffic to try to keep him under control, though usually I would feel more in control on him than leading in this sort of situation. Vet said it would be alright to give him up to 3 ccs (i.e, he won't keel over) and try hacking him at the walk again, since firm ground is better than the softer ground in the arena.

He's coming 14, I've had him since he was 2.5, and he's Arab/Appaloosa - he's likely to be around for a while. He's otherwise a happy, healthy, friendly, quirky (well, he's an Appy!) horse. I love him dearly, but riding him, even though 90% of the time he behaves fine (in the arena and on the property) has become a chore. But I know that it's a duty I must keep at if there is any possibility at all of bringing him back. It's just so frickin' depressing! It's more fun these days to groom and hand graze him than ride, but I ride him his 40 mins. a day at the walk five days a week - three of them in the dark afterwork. At age 72, it's really just getting me down.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:28 pm

Oh, damn, Hot4Spots. I'd hoped for a better update.

I don't know if this is an option for you, and I can certainly see why it might not be, but had a friend who was in the same situation as you. She threw up her hands in the end and put the horse out in a far distant pasture for a year or so while she half leased a horse to ride. He's come back sound now.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:58 pm

What a bummer, Hot4spots! I relate to being an older rider and I am so sorry that you are depressed. Maybe there's a solution as Mountaineers suggests. Are you interested in leasing another horse? Do you keep your horse at home or are you at a boarding stable?

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Hot4Spots » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:21 am

I'm at a boarding stable, and while it's the least expensive in the area for a place that has a covered arena, it ain't cheap (although from the board I've heard some people mention on this board on the east coast, maybe it is cheap!). The only place I would trust for pasture board is 90 minutes away. I did that briefly when my old horse retired and I bought this horse, but financially now, I just don't think I could afford to pay his board up in Lodi, CA (I'm in Concord/Walnut Creek, CA), AND lease another horse. Heck, I couldn't even find a local instructor with school horses when I thought to do that to keep ME in shape during his layup when it was hand walking and then walking under saddle.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Sat Feb 10, 2018 2:17 pm

Well darn. If you lived close to me I’d free lease you Emma. I just can’t manage enough energy to work two horses and Emma is getting the short shrift.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby StraightForward » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:04 pm

Hot4Spots, I'm sorry to hear that your guy is not healing up as well as you'd hoped after all that rehab work you've put in. So frustrating.

Annabelle and I had a good lesson this morning. We hauled to an indoor she'd never been to before, and she was a little tight, but settled in nicely, even though they were loading manure with a Bobcat just outside, and it's suddenly turned cold and windy here. We used the extra energy to advantage and got some nice canter departs. She caught her leads every time both directions, which might be a first. I still need to stop myself from throwing my torso over the inside front when the left lead doesn't happen right away. Fingers crossed we are on the right track and will be able to maintain some consistency, and keep seeing this instructor monthly (she comes in from out of state). With the half-decent canter work we managed in a strange environment today, I'm thinking showing training level isn't too far off.
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Sun Feb 11, 2018 2:44 pm

Hot4Spots, that is incredibly frustrating, I know how you feel, every day that goes by I worry that today will be the day that he takes an off step or something happens in turnout to set us back. The last week, I actually thought that he was off again, he seemed to not be moving as fluidly as before, and he felt awful under saddle. It turned out that he was just really challenging the contact, so was prying up against the bridle and I was feeling every one of those bobbles. When I fixed the contact issue, he felt wonderful again, so crisis averted, but I was in tears thinking about another long rehab process.

In other news, Miro experienced his first "snow sliding off the indoor arena" incident. Let's just say that he's a buck and bolt kind of guy. The good news is that the buck is more of a leap, and it's very straight forward, and the bolting goes maybe 3 steps and then he's back to work - I don't feel him holding onto tension after the scare. That being said, I kept the ride short so as not to tempt fate!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby kande50 » Sun Feb 11, 2018 7:25 pm

demi wrote:Well darn. If you lived close to me I’d free lease you Emma. I just can’t manage enough energy to work two horses and Emma is getting the short shrift.


Maybe your trainer would like to sit on her during your lessons? Rocky would likely be happier trailering with a buddy, and your trainer might be able to use Emma to help keep Rocky calm enough so you'd want to ride her? Not to mention the advantage of having a demo horse handy during the lessons.

Just a thought, because if it was me I'd want to be the one riding in lessons, so would be trying to think up strategies to make that happen.

I do get the problem with working two horses, though. When I had enough energy to do it I didn't have enough time, and now that I've got enough time I don't have enough oomph to get off one and start in on another. :-/

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Feb 11, 2018 8:14 pm

Dresseur, I can recommend the Shockemoele (sp?) silent ears for reducing the effect of the sliding snow!

We're just chipping away at it here. A bit more of this, a bit more of that, asking for more engagement, whilst holding our breath that we don't break again, also. We've started adding counter canter loops back in which has been successful so far. We may start some figure 8's in the next week or so.

Last weekend, Mette was going after people for doing abrupt canter to walk transitions. Something that everyone who is going second level and needs a simple change tends to practice until they are blue in the face and the horse gets to a point where it screeches to a halt as soon as you start to ask for a down transition... I will admit to being guilty of this, though our canter-walk transitions no longer tend to be of the dump on the forehand variety. So I've been mixing in canter trot transitions as well, much to Laddie's confusion :) which has been a useful exercise in staying up and forward through the transition without running.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Flight » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:06 pm

Hot4spots, sorry that your horse is sore, it's so frustrating :( Dresseur glad yours wasn't a rehab hiccup either. Gosh, snow sliding off roofs is something I've never had to think about :D
Greenholmeshandy, I like your update! I always forget my tests too. I get so focused on my riding that the test goes out of my mind. I think you are both looking great.
SF, good progress too.

I had a 3 day clinic with some instructors from Portugal. It was so good! Very much the same things as what my instructor teaches (which is why I felt ok to go) but just a few different technical aspects and pushed me a little bit harder to get things right. I think I need to go over there and ride their horses because the main feel of freer shoulders and more up through the wither is something they were trying me to encourage, but to be honest I wasn't sure how to get it and what the feel was that I was after.
We worked on piaffe and passage (much more collected and asking for more activity behind than the vid I posted the other day!!) half passes and changes, and started pirouettes. All very fair to the horse though, and rewarding the little tries. He made a few changes with my position and I really have to stop using my hands so much.
I got a replacement soloshot and it worked surprising well even with me riding in an undercover arena. So, I have some vid to help me remember what I need to do.

Screen Shot 2018-02-11 at 10.17.02 pm.jpg
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Sun Feb 11, 2018 9:23 pm

That’s awesome, Flight!! And, for the record, that pic looks very up in the withers. That’s something Andrea always talks about, and it is a very cool feeling, so if you have a chance to ride some of theirs, go for it!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:49 pm

That is a very elegant picture, Flight! I agree that the withers look up here.

I'm continuing to work on very basic things, in recognition that I need to actually train the changes.* :? Yeah, I have figured out that I was getting them when "all conditions were right" but they really weren't on the aids and I couldn't deliver a change on a letter. So we have gone back to basics again (dear, patient mare) and I am practicing the FC aids without the canter and mentally in the canter. Soon, we shall join my mind-body with hers in this endeavor---news to follow. In this work, there is a lot of focus on my ability to move miss mare's shoulders, so I welcome further insights from your clinic!

At least the canter (and trot) continue to improve with this project! I am not the world's quickest trainer, that's for sure...

*This winter, I learned that my mare actually had very little beyond fundamental training when I got her. She seemed so easy and ready to do quite a lot that she fooled me! So my old assumption that I was catching up to her training was, in fact, wrong. Again, dumb, dumb human. Forgiving mare.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby khall » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:36 am

Excited and jealous Flight! Love how your instructor teaches (so very similar to Mark) and jealous you got to ride with trainers from Portugal. Can I ask where they were from? Hoping to go there next year to ride, possibly at the Valenca's. http://valencaequestriantours.com

I can get Rip up in the withers better in the canter than I can in the trot US for some reason. I can get him very up in the withers in hand at the trot whether we are doing T H T or T H RB T or W half steps etc. For him it is all about the activity of the hind legs. He has to be quicker behind, more active for that engagement. I can "fluff him up" better in the canter than trot US, will have to think about this some hmm, maybe a light bulb moment here! If he does not have this activity then no way can he have the engagement to engage the sling and lift/elevate in the withers.

Hot4spots I am so sorry for your continuing issues with your guy. It is demoralizing when they will not get better I know.

A bit of a rainy mess right now here. No covered so no riding. At least we are warm!!

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Flight » Mon Feb 12, 2018 9:34 am

khall wrote:Excited and jealous Flight! Love how your instructor teaches (so very similar to Mark) and jealous you got to ride with trainers from Portugal. Can I ask where they were from? Hoping to go there next year to ride, possibly at the Valenca's. http://valencaequestriantours.com


Yes, it was Sofia Valenca (and Goncalo Linhas) from Valenca equestrian tours!! She's really lovely and they worked hard because it was so hot here (38 C on one of the days) and we had quite a few people having lessons.
I really want to go to her place and ride her horses :)

Yes, there was a big emphasis on activity of Ding's hindlegs because he is quite straight behind, so he had me thinking of quicker and more active behind but slower in front. Also with this the allowing of the neck to be rounder (always spoken of as allow and giving - I was like "how to I get it rounder" and he was like just give the rein and it would work) because Ding tends to do the friesian brace of the neck and shoulder.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby khall » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:18 pm

Flight I am hoping to go next year. Someone I know from US is there now, Patrick King a trainer here who rode some with Mark. He is there for a month! We should meet up next year over there! The pictures Patrick has posted of Portugal are just gorgeous.

I do think it is different with the baroque horses as opposed to our not so active horses, like Ding and Rip. Makes it a greater challenge to get that elevation of the front end. I have a bit different issue with Rip, he is low set (or was) in the neck so I had to use the rein in an upward manner to keep him up and open initially with the in hand or US piaffe work. Now not so much. Just the activity and exercise of engagement and he stays lifted.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:38 pm

AND OF COURSE THE BOY WONDER DOES IT AGAIN. Sigh...
I had him out in the indoor after a lovely ride. Snow slides of the roof, he does a gigantic buck/fart, (mind you, this is after he successfully ignored the snow sliding through our ride) manages to trip himself up on the landing, and slides a few feet on his knees while literally eating dirt. I can't win with him.

He appears to be unhurt, and unrepentant for giving me a heart attack. Young horses... they do the darndest things.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:09 pm

Eeek, Dresseur! I hope your heart rate has since dropped to a normal level...

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby heddylamar » Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:29 pm

You need lots of snow sliding off that roof Dresseur, make it a non-event! Riding youngsters is a contact sport some days. I've been very grateful for helmets and crash vests this year!

My girl has all of the airs above the ground athleticism of the previous two generations. Fortunately, I'm quick to drag her nose around.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Tue Feb 13, 2018 2:26 am

Flight, such a nice picture! I was looking at the difference between the latest picture and the one in your avatar and his improvement in self carriage is now so obvious! Nice...

Kande, thanks for your ideas. I think you’re right that Rocky would like a traveling companion, but her trailering has already improved quite a bit by herself. I don’t have the energy to pack up two horses, anyway! If I am going to keep doing this, I am realizing that I need to keep it as simple as possible and stay focused. As far as having the trainer ride, I think it is the best for Rocky’s training right now. She has only ridden her four times but I can already feel a difference when I ride her.

The winter is presenting it’s challenges all around, it seems. Hang in there, all, February is almost half over.

I am keeping up with the program, both my own exercise and Rocky’s. It was 38 F here and that’s a little chilly for me. I wore long underwear and my legs felt like sausages. I had a sinking feeling after I got on, like, “I might as well just give this up” but after I warmed up things started feeling better. Now I am keeping myself going by thinking of how nice it will be in the spring. In the last decade, I’ve all but quit riding in the winter, and starting up in the spring took a month or more to get back into a routine again. This spring will be a piece of cake!

I am self videoing and getting better at it. I have made some improvements just from watching myself. I am rembering to keep my shoulders back and down, and I am distributing my weight better. I realized that my SI and HI were very dependent on the fence, so am doing them on the quarter and centerline. Centerline is harder for me than quarterline so today I set the camera up at A. What and eye opener!! :shock:

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby kande50 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:13 pm

demi wrote:

I realized that my SI and HI were very dependent on the fence, so am doing them on the quarter and centerline. Centerline is harder for me than quarterline so today I set the camera up at A. What and eye opener!! :shock:


It is in some ways, but when you're using a single lens (instead of two eyes) the position of the camera relative to the horse makes a huge difference. So if you're doing shoulder in down the wall and take the video from the corner you'll get an entirely different picture of what's going on than you would if the camera was somewhere on the center line.

It can be so misleading that when I was working on si I set up 3 video cameras at different places in the ring and then compared the footage so that I'd have a better idea of what was actually going on.

The most useful place for the camera was in the rafters, which gave me footage of the top of my horse as I passed under it.

The one in the corner gave an accurate representation of what the back legs were doing (whether they stayed straight on the track), but distorted the bend, while the one on the center line gave an accurate representation of what the front legs were doing, but made it look like his backs were crossing too, when they weren't necessarily.

So I agree that video is an excellent tool, and maybe some observers are better at "correcting" for angle so can interpret video better than I can, but I found that I still needed eyes on the ground in real time to get accurate feedback. But you seem to have exactly that with your trainer, so that should help you a lot.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby kande50 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:15 pm

heddylamar wrote:You need lots of snow sliding off that roof Dresseur, make it a non-event!


And there lies the problem with the snow sliding off the roof.... I've often thought I should just record it and play it over and over again all winter until my horses got used to it. :-)
Last edited by kande50 on Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Dresseur » Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:39 pm

Well, the thing was, it WAS a non-event for riding the second day. He flinched once or twice, but then was totally calm. The accident happened when I turned him out in the arena later, thinking that the snow had stopped sliding. One last bit let loose and he's always looking for an excuse (when not under saddle) and he just got tangled on the way down somehow.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby StraightForward » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:57 pm

Dresseur, glad Mirro is OK after his self-inflicted crash!

Last night the canter departs started coming a lot easier, and we started managing 20-meter circles to the right. To the left we could only get about 3/4 of a circle before things went haywire, but I started turning her a little early and enlarging out to the wall on the long side to that direction, and it seemed to help her start understanding that getting off her inside shoulder would feel more balanced. I'll incorporate that into a more formal exercise when we haul to the big indoor arena this weekend. On the lunge, she is naturally starting to pull herself more together into a frame in canter, so I think she'll learn to do the same under saddle pretty soon. I can see her building muscle, especially in that atrophied left haunch, and she now looks almost even, which is really gratifying.

Little video clip of our humble achievement:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4uX9pm ... e=youtu.be
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby heddylamar » Thu Feb 15, 2018 3:22 am

Maia wasn't on her best behavior today. Every touch of the leg meant canter or leap :roll: But I am very happy with how she responded to the F-16s and F-35s(?), plus a low-flying helicopter overhead -- she didn't spook or flinch once at the aerial accompaniment.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Chisamba » Fri Feb 16, 2018 11:47 pm

It's interesting when starting to seriously school at the next level how you realize you could be so. Much better at the previous level.

Riding to test being much. More explicit than riding for nice.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby demi » Sat Feb 17, 2018 1:05 am

It’s been four months since I started with the new trainer and we are making progress. One of the biggest things that has come out of working with a trainer is that I have had to get business-like. Today I realized how far we’ve come in four months. It was cool and very windy this morning but I needed to ride early if I wanted to fit it in today. I fed at 7 and then got on, right out of the stall at 8:30. Rocky was calm and ready to work. The wind was gusting to 25 mph but it didnt phase her. Plus the local power company is putting in new power line poles and they started digging with jack hammers right after I got on, and Rocky paid no attention to them! She is starting to realize that I have some sort of agenda and she doesn’t mind cooperating with it. I am getting her weekly trail day in and I am sure it helps balance her mind.

We have a lesson on Monday and I am excited about it BUT the forecast is 60% chance of heavy rain on Monday. I am worried about trailering her in the rain. She has made big progress in trailering and I don’t want a setback. The rain could cause her to slip while loading or unloading...I am hoping the forecast is wrong.

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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby StraightForward » Sat Feb 17, 2018 3:27 pm

Demi - I keep some sand handy and sprinkle it on the ramp when it's wet. Helps a lot (not sure if you have a ramp). But if you are still concerned, it probably isn't worth a setback. After Annabelle's sudden inability to back out, we schooled it for three days straight, and now backing out calm and straight seems to really be "set" whereas before, I'd worked on it, but had trouble keeping her straight if there was something she wanted to turn and look at as she backed out. She did slip once rushing, and I think maybe that was really what reinforced to her that I was on to something with this straight and slow approach.

I am going to post some pics of Annabelle in her thread this morning. She is starting to look and feel like a riding horse, and her topline is starting to plump up; I'm excited to see where she'll be in another six months.
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Re: It's thermal underwear time - Jan/Feb goals and progress!

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Feb 17, 2018 6:44 pm

Chisamba wrote:It's interesting when starting to seriously school at the next level how you realize you could be so. Much better at the previous level.

Riding to test being much. More explicit than riding for nice.


And this is one reason I think we will be spending most of this season at second level again, rather than reaching for third in the show ring and being mediocre. We've got time, we can go out and kill it at second :)


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