More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

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Tuddy
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tuddy » Mon May 14, 2018 2:55 pm

Hot4Spots wrote:When he started high-blowing and sucking waaaaaaay back behind the bit, I did a quick dismount and led him the rest of the way back, high-blowing, bouncing into me, spooking at every little noise (deer in the bushes), etc.


It's like they just "check out", and those type of antics scare the hell out of me. Makes me feel very uncomfortable and chucks my confidence down the drain. I'm glad you survived! :)

I always get told that "he'll get better with more miles", but it's the putting on the miles that is the tough part. I don't know if I have it in me anymore to be that type of rider.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Mon May 14, 2018 4:06 pm

Hot have you tried reserpine? A friend rehabbed a mare with fractured ulna and she used both reserpine and Ace when she put her back under saddle.

Great pictures! From everyone! How white and clean Emi is:) As my hand was black from putting on fly spray on my filly this morning. Bath this week!

Looking forward to a week or more of rain here which we desperately need. Heading to go get the rest of the fertilizer to put out before it rains tomorrow. No riding over the weekend, between Mother's Day, DS baccalaureate and chores around the farm, horses got to sit. Hope to WIH some today at least Rip, Joplin and Gallie. Finally found a cowboy for Gaila, she goes off next week. Will be good for her I hope! Tried Elisa Wallace never heard back, so cowboy it is.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 4:08 pm

I've tried off and on for 10 years to put in "more miles" to no avail - and he's 14 now.

I haven't tried reserpine. We did give him fluphenazine when he was first injured and I was hand walking him. The effect was minimal and only lasted about 3 weeks, but I was going to try it again if vet/I decide to try cortisone injection.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Mon May 14, 2018 4:19 pm

H4Spots, it also sounds like you have a challenging environment for getting him out of the arena (walk down a road???!!!). It's pretty easy to "pretend to trail ride" at the farm I now board at, as the barns/arena are on a hill and surrounded by fields/roads we can hack around. It is easy to work in the arena and do a mini-hack around an orchard or paddock (there is also lots of territory than is far away, but many don't do that alone).

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tuddy » Mon May 14, 2018 4:35 pm

Hot4Spots wrote:I've tried off and on for 10 years to put in "more miles" to no avail - and he's 14 now.



I can relate, Tuddy will be 11 this year, and I got him as a started 3 year old. I honestly don't know what to do anymore with him. :(

As for Yonka, who will be 7 here shortly, I thinking waiting on him to mentally mature was a benefit or else I'd have another Tuddy on my hands.

Ooo! I have an update! I forgot! I purchased a new to me saddle for Yonka, I may have told this story already, so bear with me. Anywho, this saddle was previously purchased custom made for a Canadian with a wide shoulder/barrel wither like Yonka. Lady ended up selling the horse it was intended for, so I bought it. It was barely used and I tried it on Yonka and it fit nice! Anyways, I sent a payment to the lady and asked if it would be alright if I went and grabbed the saddle to start using it, (even though not fully paid for, I know, cheeky aren't I), and she said her new saddle was in transit from the saddle maker, and the minute she gets hers, I can go get mine.

So, cross your fingers, hoping to have my new (to me) saddle by the weekend! :)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 5:12 pm

piedmontfields wrote:H4Spots, it also sounds like you have a challenging environment for getting him out of the arena (walk down a road???!!!). It's pretty easy to "pretend to trail ride" at the farm I now board at, as the barns/arena are on a hill and surrounded by fields/roads we can hack around. It is easy to work in the arena and do a mini-hack around an orchard or paddock (there is also lots of territory than is far away, but many don't do that alone).


I was so spoiled by my previous Appies (3), all of whom were close to bombproof, even the racebred (LOTS of TB) one that was 4 when I got him. We are very close to a state park, but you do have to at least cross two roads to get there, and with my guy's present condition, getting to the Park isn't the object - it's too hilly for him. When you first enter the adjacent open space, the first trail goes straight up a fairly steep hill before it levels off. The option I was trying was to ride down the two lane road in front of the barn while he was (supposedly) fairly tranquilized, and make my way about 1/4 mile to a bridle path through a residential area, down a slight hill into a catch basin that also has a bridle path and is partially enclosed (i.e., "safe" to him) then back through a neighboring stable and back across the road. The total ride about 35 mins. at a walk. My logic was that I would be in the "safer" area - the neighboring stable - if'/when the tranquilizer started wearing off. Well, he blew through the ACE about half-way down the bridle path in the quiet residential area, and I did a fairly quick dismount and led him back - acting like an idiot- through the neighboring stable. We never made it into the catch basin. When I ride around the property where I board, it's pretty small - down the driveway, back up and around the house and haybarn, figure eight around the house and back down the driveway. Vet says I can trot up the driveway maybe four times, every other day. Whoopee!! *(Everyone at the neighboring barn said he LOOKED gorgeous - yeah, snorting, arched neck - looked like a manic stallion. Gah....!!!! "Doesn't look lame," they exclaimed." Yeah adrenaline and all that.)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon May 14, 2018 5:28 pm

Ride #4 in the books. The butt is feeling pretty good. The back...not so much but buggers. Walking isn't doing any damage.

However, my calm cooperative little horse disappeared :evil: . I thought something was up while I tacked up. She was calm but distracted. Ears swiveling around scoping for something. I went over to the track and she immediately starts whinnying the minute she set foot on the track. She now knows her former neighbor and BFF now resides behind the owner's house which the track is in front of. So she whinnies and whinnies getting a bit more tense with each one. I put her to work doing lateral work but needless to say, she wasn't entirely with me. She had one big spook at a couple quail (aka velociraptors) that jumped out of the burn pile next to the track and I verbally reamed her because IF she was paying attention to me, the birds wouldn't have been such a surprise. I was happy to get 3-4 laps each direction with a relatively flat footed walk then went back across the road to the outdoor arena which she continued to whinny :roll: . She was a bit more relaxed over there and I did some diagonals of working walk to free walk. I got some lovely over stride in the free walk. I also tried an exercise from yesteryear (when I was able to ride and take lessons :P ) of half pass to turn on the haunches of 360 degrees back to half pass. She did that very well. She kept stepping through the TOH and her circle was probably only about 2 1/2 feet in diameter. I was pleased that she kept stepping and kept the rhythm quite easily (hence not trying for a pirouette). Right to left she tried to cast her shoulders so we just went back to SI to get straight then started again. I am happy that I am recognizing those things and able to easily correct them.
We did a couple circles of trot with a change of direction but the back was really not happy so that was that. I think she is in heat. The whinnying is the clue. She is lonely when she is heat ;) . I hope that is it and she will settle back down and not scream for BFF constantly so we can ride on the track calmly.

Hot4Spots. So sorry about your guy. I totally know what you mean about trails. Kyra is very similar. The trail is not her forte. I think with experience she would be fine but I fear I have made her into a little arena flower. Riding on the track IS our trail rides. More than enough excitement over there for me. Last time I rode her in the hay field by myself, I got 'planted' so no going out there by ourselves (and that was several years ago :shock: :oops: ). My body is broke and I just don't want that much excitement in my life anymore.

DJR...that looks so fun. I have done stuff like that with Kyra. When I get my back cooperating, I would like to find a clinic like that around here. Kyra loves the pedestal. I don't know if the back stretch feels good or she likes the elevation but she likes it. You have to practically beat her away from it. She sees it and almost runs to it.

Rosie, you and Bliss look lovely as usual.

Mari...boy is he all grown up and doing BIG things.

Happy riding all.
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Imperini
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Mon May 14, 2018 7:55 pm

Aw I'm a little sad I don't get to see Kiwi first every time I open the last page of the thread. Everyone is looking fantastic!

Sorry to hear about the latest news for your boy Hot4Spots, that's so tough but sounds to me like he's really lucky to have you as his person.

Pal is funny about new things, she'll huff and puff and get taller but she doesn't typically *do* anything else since that would be way more effort than she's willing to put in.

I'm having a lesson on Wednesday (wooohooo). Took some video the other day and it made me want to cry :lol: I'm not sure what my legs are doing, for some reason my elbows have gone wonky at the canter, and my reins keep getting too long. My core seems less wobbly though so I take that as something to be pleased with.

Here's our first time back in the dressage ring this year and before her spots start fading from the sun:
Image

ETA:
I think I might have turned this exercising thing into a habit. It sort of feels like non-riding days now when I don't exercise, as in I feel like something is missing. I was grouchy the other day for no apparent reason and I was like "I know how to fix this! I'll exercise!" Then when I was finished with my routine I thought "Done already?" Can't say I've ever felt that way about exercise in my life so if I get nothing else out of the physiotherapy I've gained this. However I think I AM getting something else because while actually riding is still quite painful I'm starting to have more days where I feel pretty normal after riding whereas the remainder of my days after riding used to be fairly painful.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 8:54 pm

Imperini - Nice pic. I was going to ask - is she bay or dun? Looks like bay roan with a blanket that has roaned out a bit, like my old event horse, Thunderblazer, or is she a true leopard? I guess I should take a more recent pic of my guy - "disabled" or not, he LOOKS fantastic, as several people attested to this weekend when they saw his fire-breathing dragon act. LOL (Ya gotta laugh or you'll cry.)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Mon May 14, 2018 9:23 pm

Hot4Spots wrote:Imperini - Nice pic. I was going to ask - is she bay or dun? Looks like bay roan with a blanket that has roaned out a bit, like my old event horse, Thunderblazer, or is she a true leopard?


She's registered dun but I suspect she's actually buckskin, can't actually tell if she has a dorsal stripe or not because there are no spots where it would be. She's not a true leopard and has done quite a bit of roaning. When she was a baby her what I guess you would call a blanket went all the way to the top of her neck while the under side of her neck, her entire head (minus a stripe), and her entire legs were all solid. She looks very freckle-y up close.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 9:34 pm

Ah. Blazer was definitely bay - born with bay forehand and mid-back to croup blanket with peacock spots and regular spots. By the time I bought him at age 9, he had roaned out so he looked like a leopard - very freckly over shoulders and neck. He would have been a "varnish roan" but he had a full blaze that negated that. He was also 16.3 h.h. and as long as a bus. Hated dressage, but loved to jump. His Appy lines traced back to the Foundation lines of Red Eagle and Old Painter. Do you know your girl's blood lines? He was a character and something of a grouch, but point him at a fence and he'd jump it. I once did a six-bar competition on him, but I lost my nerve at 5'3". LOL When he was 21, I gave him to a friend who trail rode him until he passed at age 28.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Mon May 14, 2018 11:10 pm

Hot4Spots she's only actually around 1/4 Appy on her dam's side with the "famous" one there being Bright Eyes Brother who doesn't look like much of a dressage horse to me :lol: I think her dam might have crossed better with a lighter built horse if they were going for sporty which I would think they were in breeding to a WB stallion. Anyway I like her quite a lot even if she's a bit clunky and ever so slightly downhill so that's what matters.

She jumped with her previous owner and even played at some cross country but I'm a giant chicken so the most we do are tiny cross rails once in a while. She wouldn't make much of an eventer though, she'll go over, up or down what you point her at but she'd rather do a leisurely canter to and from whatever that might be.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon May 14, 2018 11:22 pm

Well, if she's Bright Eyes Brother breeding, then I think you can confidently go with buckskin. He was very dominant for that color AND lots of white. My guy is Arab/Appaloosa, and unfortunately, (pace Arab lovers), he certainly has the hotter Arab temperament, not the calmer Appy temperament (IOBVIOUSLY from my story above. LOL)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Tue May 15, 2018 12:26 am

Love seeing Ms Pal again! Looking good imperini . There is a lovely Oldenburg-Appaloosa at my barn. I think she looks like she is covered in sparkles (blue roan)---really striking and pretty.

Susan, Em is always a lot spookier during a cycle. Basically her "mare-dar" is turned on high, so every little sound in the woods becomes very meaningful. Helpfully, she presses her ears together like an Akhel Teke when she is about to blow (gives me plenty of warming). While I think my mare is less of a ballerina than yours, she is very good at sit and 360 spin or backwards canter when required :( :shock:

Today was just a basic spooky day :lol: (at deer hiding from the sun in the woods trail, at tractor implements, at fresh hay bales awaiting pick-up, at the batwing mower, etc.). Despite those obstacles, she did good motoring aerobic sets (t and c) in the XC field. It was hot though! Phew. Mare was refreshed and white after her clean-up; I remained looking like a drowned rat. One of those days where I think "thank god/dess my horse sweats well!".

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Tue May 15, 2018 4:46 am

This afternoon was pleasant after a rainy weekend so after schooling I hit the trails around the farmyard. At our barn there are rising paths around the pastures. Kimba was surprisingly looky, but no major blows. My son set a bag of magnesium chloride at A and that was quite a challenge for most of my beasts who assumed a predator had set up a feeding station.

It provided an opportunity to school and of course Deneb was most watchful.

In Kimba I practiced one hand riding. It's a pretty good test I think. I even tried riding with one hand and videoing with the other which was quite a challenge for my multitasking abilities.

So that's my update.

It's is so fun to see everyone's photos.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Tue May 15, 2018 9:51 am

Tuddy wrote:
Hot4Spots wrote:When he started high-blowing and sucking waaaaaaay back behind the bit, I did a quick dismount and led him the rest of the way back, high-blowing, bouncing into me, spooking at every little noise (deer in the bushes), etc.


It's like they just "check out", and those type of antics scare the hell out of me. Makes me feel very uncomfortable and chucks my confidence down the drain. I'm glad you survived! :)

I always get told that "he'll get better with more miles", but it's the putting on the miles that is the tough part. I don't know if I have it in me anymore to be that type of rider.


I've gotten good results from starting where my horse is reasonably comfortable and then very gradually pushing him out further and further.

It takes a lot of time, but I'm doing what I enjoy the most (figures and circles) while I'm pushing him further out of his comfort zone. Sometimes I just ride around on the driveway until he's calm, and then start going further out until he starts to get goofy and then I just ride around there until he calms down again.

Another advantage to riding on the driveway is that it conditions his feet at the same time that he's learning how to cope with the big scary world out there. :-)

What a difference a few years has made, though. Five years ago I was still taking him to shows, but now I'm willing to put in considerable time and effort just to avoid the level of drama that I used to barely notice.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Tue May 15, 2018 1:35 pm

I taught deneb to touch a cone for a treat. Then before I rode I'd put the treat cone a little further away. I would only let her get to the cone if she was relaxed and strolling. I managed to get her comfortable with hacking solo almost anywhere around the property.

She is better in company.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Tue May 15, 2018 5:50 pm

Chisamba wrote:I taught deneb to touch a cone for a treat. Then before I rode I'd put the treat cone a little further away. I would only let her get to the cone if she was relaxed and strolling. I managed to get her comfortable with hacking solo almost anywhere around the property.


I sometimes think that just seeing the familiar markers that have been connected to treats helps calm them.

I know my Halflinger wasn't too far out of her comfort zone this morning when I took her out, but it was the first time she'd been out in a couple years and even though she had her mini with her she didn't really want to go. Or at least she didn't until I started feeding her treats, and then she got a lot less worried about turning around and a lot more willing to keep going.

It was actually unexpectedly dramatic because a lot of my CT experience has been with my mule and Sting, who apparently, get much further out of their comfort zones. I've found that when they get too far out the treats aren't all that effective for helping them calm down, which is likely because getting back to safety is way more important to them than food.

She is better in company.


I was just thinking about that this morning, and wondering if HFS's horse would be happier with another horse?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Tue May 15, 2018 6:10 pm

kande50 wrote:
Tuddy wrote:
Hot4Spots wrote:0
I've gotten good results from starting where my horse is reasonably comfortable and then very gradually pushing him out further and further.

It takes a lot of time, but I'm doing what I enjoy the most (figures and circles) while I'm pushing him further out of his comfort zone. Sometimes I just ride around on the driveway until he's calm, and then start going further out until he starts to get goofy and then I just ride around there until he calms down again.

Another advantage to riding on the driveway is that it conditions his feet at the same time that he's learning how to cope with the big scary world out there. :-)

What a difference a few years has made, though. Five years ago I was still taking him to shows, but now I'm willing to put in considerable time and effort just to avoid the level of drama that I used to barely notice.


Sadly, I've been trying this off and on for 10 years, with negative results. 1/4 mile out is as far as I've been able to get him (in 10 years!!!!) before he has a meltdown. That was untranq'd. And yet this is a horse that I have shown! He could be tense at shows, and very flinchy about other horses in warmup, but though we had occasional spooks, I managed to show him with moderate success through 2nd level, though his overall tenseness prevented us from doing as well as he was capable of. He definitely has his comfort zones. When he got all "het up" about the horse playing in pasture, the moment I turned onto the part of the driveway that leads up to the BO's residence, he settled down. If he gets really worked up on the driveway or elsewhere on the property (OMG! a deer!!), getting him into the covered arena and doing a lap or two and then back out and he's fine. I just cannot get inside his head on this issue

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Tue May 15, 2018 8:35 pm

Hot4Spots wrote:When he got all "het up" about the horse playing in pasture, the moment I turned onto the part of the driveway that leads up to the BO's residence, he settled down. If he gets really worked up on the driveway or elsewhere on the property (OMG! a deer!!), getting him into the covered arena and doing a lap or two and then back out and he's fine. I just cannot get inside his head on this issue


Sting's the same way, but because I have other horses who are already much calmer than he is on trail I have no motivation to get on him every day and work on expanding his comfort zone. When I do get on every day it doesn't take all that long to get him going, but I'm finding that every day is more riding than I want to do now.

Is your horse any better if you go out with another horse, or isn't that a reasonable option for you?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Tue May 15, 2018 9:31 pm

kande50 wrote:Is your horse any better if you go out with another horse, or isn't that a reasonable option for you?


At present, no one else at our barn trail rides except a couple who only ride on early mornings on the weekends, and always trailer out and ride FAST. Not the types to babysit another horse. But...he's no better even with the company of another horse.

Once, some years ago, I did go out with the one real trail horse at our barn (since retired), and had a lovely, quiet ride. When we got home, he was kind of droopy, but I thought perhaps he was tired. I took his temp, and it was 103. He'd only been quiet because he didn't feel well. I gave him some bute and monitored his other vital signs, and he was fine in 24 hours. But that's the ONLY time he's been quiet for me on a trail ride. :oops:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Wed May 16, 2018 6:21 pm

I had a lesson last night. Miro was a bit put out to be riding so late, but it's character building :lol:

The good news is that he is trucking along and the canter is already much improved. We actually showed a legit lengthening in the canter, not just legs churning! We were in the indoor arena, and he has a tendency to be a bit behind me in there, so that he was able to show that in there was a plus. Overall, he just feels much more correct in the canter.

Andrea got on him and she tooled around a bit, basically said there are some things she wanted to address, but really no big deal. So, instead, she wanted him to feel as good as she could get him so that I could get back on to see if there was a difference in feel. Of course, there was… So, she was laughing at me and recounting the arguments and pleading with Paul (some of which I remember witnessing) to explain exactly how he got the horse to feel that way. I have been echoing similar demands of "tell me how you did it, and what did you to to achieve this", but that unfortunately, you can’t really explain it, because it's a lot of timing and feel involved, and that I'll get there eventually.

So, when I got back on in the trot, I was describing to her what I felt was different (not profoundly different, just… better) It was as if he’s more lifted in shoulders, and I feel like I’m sitting on and riding his HQ not his back if that makes sense.

She did tell me that she made sure that he was yielding laterally (which I do) and then she gets after his hind (which I do) but that there is a timing thing… I have a tendency to hold a half second too long… which curls him. She holds and lets go and the timing is impeccable, so the option that is available to him is to tip the balance back and go up in the shoulders. I watched her very closely, and he didn’t curl at all with her.

She said she uses her back so that it feels like the longe line exercise - where the line is behind your hips and if the horse pulls, you resist with your back and core - so when the horse lets go, you don't fall back... so you take the rein right into the back as the hold - not the hands (which in theory I know, but wasn't executing) Omg. I came around and was experimenting and he suddenly grew taller and boom. And she was like what did you do what did you do!!! that’s exactly it!!!! Of course, I have no idea lol. But, I'll see if I can get close to it. :lol:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tuddy » Wed May 16, 2018 7:35 pm

Well, I had a weekend of lessons booked with Yonka and his trainer but a snotty nose and wood ticks are keeping us home. :(

Yonka got himself a cold while at the trainers, and this weather is not helping it clear up. Vet was out yesterday to do Coggins bloodwork on both Yonka and Tuddy, and prescribed 5 days of antibiotic. If that doesn't clear up the nasal discharge, I go back to get an injectable antibiotic that is $75 a shot and because Yonka is so big, he would need 2 shots. Vibes the uniprim he is on now clears it up!

Because of his compromised immune system, the ticks seem to love his weak blood. :( I pulled 50 off him yesterday. Hoping he doesn't catch Lyme or anything like that. My other 3 horses hardly have any ticks on them.

Boo to bad bugs, both bacterial and four legged.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Thu May 17, 2018 1:31 pm

Sounds like you had a productive lesson Dresseur, though I'm nowhere near the rider you are I can certainly relate to finding something that feels fantastic and then wondering just exactly what it was I did and how I get there again.

Hope Yonka starts feeling better Tuddy!

My lesson yesterday was mostly about getting a prompt reaction to my leg and timing my aids correctly. Of course she came out about as sluggish as she gets I suspect because it was a bit warmer and more humid than it has been so that was a challenge. I definitely need to improve my timing but I also need to improve my feel to get better at that. I find it hard to get my timing right while still thinking about other things, as in if I just focus on the feeling of where her legs are then I can get it but if I then add in all of the other things I have to remember about maintaining my position, keeping her moving, keeping contact, etc then it becomes far more difficult. Of course it's just a matter of practicing until I get it so that's what I'll do. We also worked on moving her shoulders and her hindquarters (promptly!) and after a bit of that I think she finally realized that it was a lot easier to do what I was asking of her if she actually moved instead of shuffled and so I got some really nice work at the end of the lesson. I was very tired :lol:

The other news is I'm going to move her to my coach's barn for a few months. It's farther away than my current barn so I didn't want to have her there in the winter but I can deal with the longer drive when the roads won't potentially be covered in snow or ice.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Thu May 17, 2018 3:41 pm

Yesterday I had the best ride on M. After careful consideration of the work, and the things that he presents me with, I decided to experiment and change up the warmup. So, I usually do a quick longe (he can be a bit cold-backed), then get on, go into my trot work and laterals, then canter work, then end on trot where I ask for a bit more connection/expression. He usually feels a bit downhill and rammy in the first few shoulder ins, then the canter work comes along and then I get my best trot. Andrea felt that she needed the canter for the trot. I also got to thinking, why am I doing lateral work when he's not in a bit better balance or softer. The reason that I was doing it, is that the lateral work helps address the balance and the softness.

So, yesterday, I longed, then did a trot warm up in which I did some large circles and a lot of direction changes to address the lateral flexibility (even on both reins, yielding evenly etc.) the I rolled right into a forward canter where I did circles and some forward and back to get his hind legs cranking. I took a walk break, then picked him up and asked right away for the better connection and he did all of his lateral work in the best balance and best feeling and connection in the bridle that I've ever had. Another walk break and into canter - transitions and a bit more collection being asked for in addition to the SI and lengthening. Again, it all felt very good and very connected. Then just a bit of stretchy trot after the canter. I loved the feel of this, so I'm going to follow this pattern until he gives me a reason not to.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Thu May 17, 2018 7:56 pm

Wow, that is a very positive report and discovery Dresseur! Very exciting stuff. Your deliberate learning and reflection reminds me of what I'm learning from reading "The Talent Code" about effective deliberate practice.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Thu May 17, 2018 10:01 pm

Way cool dressseur! I think sometimes we just have to try different things and see what shakes out.

I did this with Rip and the medium trots, been mulling and doing for a bit trying to figure out best way to show him what I wanted. What has ended up working is going for big trot (just really pushing him) out in the field, especially up my small rises. What I find interesting is not only is this work helping the medium trots but I am also getting more expression and power in the trot in general, really helping the lateral work. To the point I was able to do HP zig zag at the trot fairly easily. So getting their bums in gear can really help them, Rip is very short in the back like Miro, just wondering if this forward helps to release those backs better?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri May 18, 2018 12:14 am

shall wrote: So getting their bums in gear can really help them, Rip is very short in the back like Miro, just wondering if this forward helps to release those backs better?


Sounds like a great ride, khall. I'm a believer for sure in the power of forward energy for the short-backed horse. For Em, the big trot work is like cracking her open like an egg. Everything becomes more possible (and trivial). But I hope to hear from others with broader/deeper perspective.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Fri May 18, 2018 10:16 am

I have the opposite problem. Kimba would spend her life going big and running forward if I let her. I guess her standardbred racing blood is true. To develop show trot I have to slow her tempo and help her find her balance with more carriage so that her stride is less long and has more loft. She's also downhill in build so forward is tricky with balance.

But even Deneb. Built uphill with naturally lovely gaits, feeds shoulder low web she has too much forward.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Sat May 19, 2018 11:53 am

Chisamba, I guess it's like a lot of training things: Do the opposite of what the horse would "naturally" choose in order to develop the horse! I think that is why Emi has been an interesting challenge for me---I'm a lot more familiar with riding horses who will take off and run as a preferred option.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sun May 20, 2018 1:37 am

Laddie has been barefoot since the winter before he hurt himself. He's appeared to be perfectly functionally sound that way. However, he's been developing some vertical cracks that I didn't like the look of--he is a big guy and has large feet that tend to "pancake" and he grows foot at a remarkable rate. so I cracked and put shoes on him all round on Thursday.

Today is the first time I have ridden him since. There was a guilt-inducingly large amount of difference in the way he's moving. Much more throughness, much more loftiness, much easier to sit his trot, really nice lengthenings. He really felt amazing. He's just such a happy guy at the moment.

We worked on some of the things Mette had us working on--to paraphrase, she says that what we are doing is basically correct and we are on the right path, but we need to inject more "music" into it--make it more of a dance and less of a slog.

So, up and elegant in the body, elastic in the contact, focus on rhythm and making it fun and light and beautiful as well of course as always focusing on correct!

We also worked extensively on getting him to bend through his ribcage on a circle, rather than fishtailing out, which he is inclined to do, and we worked a lot on the trot half-pass. I feel much more confident about the correctness of the angle and bend we are getting for that now.

(She did commend us on having the poll at the highest point, as opposed to all the others with their "noses dragging in the frikkin' dirt." This made me very happy as Laddie had a terrific curling problem when I first got him.)

I probably won't post footage, I'm afraid. I don't think she would like it. She's very happy for us to video our rides but I just get the feeling it wouldn't be appropriate to share publicly. I'll get some show footage later in the summer and post that for your critique instead!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Tsavo » Sun May 20, 2018 2:17 am

Dresseur wrote:She said she uses her back so that it feels like the longe line exercise - where the line is behind your hips and if the horse pulls, you resist with your back and core - so when the horse lets go, you don't fall back... so you take the rein right into the back as the hold - not the hands (which in theory I know, but wasn't executing) Omg. I came around and was experimenting and he suddenly grew taller and boom. And she was like what did you do what did you do!!! that’s exactly it!!!! Of course, I have no idea lol. But, I'll see if I can get close to it. :lol:


That sounds like the maneuver I use in counted walk to raise the withers. I think she is raising the withers more so than lowering the haunches.

You can find that any time you want by riding counted walk I bet. To get it, it feels like pulling the withers up with your core but it really is engaging the lower back and making space and asking the horse to raise the sling in my opinion. It is a learned response by the horse from that aid as far as I can tell.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Sun May 20, 2018 3:59 am

Our big recognized dressage show (well, big for here...) is this weekend. I went and watched several rides from 1st-3rd level. Very interesting, with the variety of horses and riding styles. I'm hoping Annabelle and I will be out there at first level next year, and with lots of luck, maybe Pickle will be tagging along at training level.

Managed to have lessons two weekends in a row, which never happens. I'm hoping I have the tools I need now to get the canter put together. That's not to say we couldn't manage a respectable training level test now, but I really want to keep the quality and energy rather than "faking it" to put together an accurate and polite training level ride. Annabelle is continuing to do well in her plain Korsteel eggbutt, to my surprise. Since I'm going out 2x a day to do Pickle's meds, I've been toying with more IH work with both of them, and A managed her first half-step this morning, and is starting to get the concept of compressing her body, which is exciting. I'm planning to get SoloShot video tomorrow with an attempt to recreate today's lesson and see how it all looked. Heading out of town for the week for work, so we'll pick things back up next weekend.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sun May 20, 2018 5:03 am

Not sure I will eek out my 10 rides this month due to non horse issues but the last two have been pretty pleasurable. My calm horse has returned (she went out of heat).
This was the first time I have ridden with only one day in between rides in a couple years. I know that sounds strange but (butt :P ) dealing with the problem I have had, and the fact that I was pretty comfortable today has me very encouraged for the future. The back issue should be fixable. The tailbone issue after all this time and even with the surgery, I wasn't sure about.

Thursday, I had to ride outside in a somewhat sloppy arena so we stuck to straight line work. I did do a little trotting on each side with a transition to walk for the corners. I was getting some nice up's and down's (transitions). My back didn't really appreciate it but so what. After about 15 minutes, I took her down the road about a block and she handled it very nicely.

Today, we just had kind of a walk about. One of the boarders had to put their sweet little pony mule down. She was ancient but perfect for their little girl. The truck came to get her body (right next to the track I ride on) so I stayed away and we went down the road the other way. Again, nice and calm. We went a little farther from base...just stretching that comfort zone by a few yards a day :lol: . Kyra is not a trail horse. I have made her into an arena flower so one of my goals for every ride is to get her out of the arena, even if it is just to walk the driveway around the indoor. We have to start somewhere. After the truck left, we went over to the track and just did some nice forward walking. For our lateral work portion of the program I tried SI-->renver. We were kind of wiggly in that. I haven't done renver in a long time and it was hard to keep her hind legs on the line and only move her shoulders. I was doing it from the center line of the track so no 'rail' to help me. I have been doing SI-->travers so naturally she thinks ahead of me and is sure she knows what I want her to do which is to move her butt over. Slow down sister and wait for me to ask you ;) . Next time, I will use the rail until she gets the idea of not throwing her butt around.

Gorgeous day to be on the back of a horse and glad to be back there :mrgreen: .

Happy riding all.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby heddylamar » Mon May 21, 2018 2:43 pm

Between travel (me), lameness (Maia), asthma/allergies (me), and monsoon season (we needed the rain), the month of May has been a bust for riding.

It finally cleared up late Saturday, so I was at the barn bright and early Sunday to ride.

Ha!

Apparently some time in the past week the neighboring farm with the alpacas added a pig to their menagerie. How do we know about the pig? Well, like all of their other creatures, the pig visited our barn, making a trip right down the middle of the barn aisle. Three of the horses were unimpressed, the other three (including both of my mares ...) were VERY concerned.

Fast forward a few days to Sunday.

Like always, I started with ground work. I expected it to be a long session (lots of time off, young hot head), but I didn't foresee an inability to walk, belly sightings, whites of eyes, snorting, foaming, dripping flop sweat ...

30+ minutes later, and I hadn't climbed on her nonsensical self:

Image

We'll try again Wednesday for some sanity :lol: :roll:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Mon May 21, 2018 3:56 pm

Have no report to make from last week, between T storms and family obligations (our DS graduated high school! very proud mom and dad, honors and honors society from a difficult college prep school and with challenging curriculum he chose to take) got nada done. Rip was seen by my holistic vet Wednesday for a mild tune up, now hoping this week will shake out better. I do take Gaila off to the cowboy this week to go push some cows around. I hope she does not have a come apart! At least for 30 days, maybe a bit longer if needed. I also have ordered a Christ Fur saddle for my filly who has the shortest back. Be good to start her with and just sit on, plus I can ride my older mare Gallie in it. I am also drooling over DP saddles, their baroque line, so pretty!
https://www.dp-saddlery.com/baroque-saddles

I like the baroque skl, the DP schooling saddle and the Doma. Any experience with a leather tree?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue May 22, 2018 8:38 pm

Mid-May check-in: I'm having great rides with Kiwi lately. Sunday was Double Bridle Day and the connection was great. Just super. Extensions? Check. Collection? Check. Lateral work in medium and collected gaits? Check and check.

I'm afraid to jinx it.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Wed May 23, 2018 12:08 am

Lots of great updates (esp. Ponichiwa, Mountaineer; khall, congratulations!).

Heddy, the pig would have undone us a bit (by that I mean cantering backwards or a solid 360 could have occurred). :o

What I really want to know is--am I the only one using *less leg* *less leg* these days! (as opposed to the title of our thread) I am still very committed to being as Charlotte DesJ says "a lazy rider" and expecting my mare to go off a very light aid (or the whip comes down). It has really helped our rides over the last 6 weeks. Today was just hill day. Easy aerobics on a hot, thunderstorm looming kind of evening!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby AmityBee » Wed May 23, 2018 9:18 am

piedmontfields wrote:What I really want to know is--am I the only one using *less leg* *less leg* these days! (as opposed to the title of our thread)


No, you're not ;) Since the pony is *umh* let's say very "energy efficient", less leg is what we are trying to achive, definitely not more. :D

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Wed May 23, 2018 12:18 pm

I just assumed it to mean more efficient leg :)

Kimba and I have taken to working on canter outside of the arena when weather allows. I can pick up either lead from walk or trot outside, so her counter canter hang up seems to related to watch g the rail instead of paying attention to the aids. Perhaps the limits of the arena make her worry about balance too. So we are working on balance in canter to help counter canter.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby DJR » Wed May 23, 2018 12:40 pm

I *think* I've found an effective exercise rider to help out around here. In exchange for light muck duties (cleaning horse shelters, which are done every day or two so never a big job), she will start riding my daughter's QH large pony, Sawyer. My daughter hasn't ridden since early April when she hurt her right wrist (alpaca injury, not horse!). I hopped on Sawyer the other day and again yesterday, and with some consistent schooling I think he'll turn out to be a lovely pony. He's very crooked, and, of course, out of shape, so we'll go slow & steady with him.

Meanwhile, I had a great lesson weekend with my once-monthly FEI trainer this past weekend. We worked on medium canter & half-steps with my big guy, Jet, and with Panache (schooling Second) we worked on a more uphill balance especially in his trot work and in his downward transitions.

Now I have to go to work ... I hate how work gets in the way of horse stuff!!
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Wed May 23, 2018 3:29 pm

Counter canter is so interesting, Chisamba. So much of it is about what's going on between the ears (horse and human) as well as balance and collection and position.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Wed May 23, 2018 4:44 pm

Actually I am keeping my leg more just on, not using it necessarily. My clinic in March with the new trainer I found advised me to keep my leg on Rip when working, especially in the canter. Me being me decided to try it at all times and I really felt a difference in his engagement. So leg is on but not doing anything much=him keeping his hind end more underneath him. I had always ridden with a very light leg due to the thought of horses not so forwardly inclined keep the leg off, hotter horses keep the leg on. The Andi's I rode in Spain the trainer had me keep my leg on, but they were hot jokers:) Rip not so much. It helps him though! What I am finding too (I had a ride yesterday, first in a week) is that Rip has developed another gear in his trot after working all the medium trot stuff for a bit now. He is actually offering the energy and taking me into the mediums so I can allow rather than having to ask. Vrrooom! Developing that power:)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Wed May 23, 2018 6:15 pm

For my cold-hot mare, I would say that I am especially attentive to keeping that light quiet leg/not too much inner leg tone during our warm-up phase. But once we are working, I very much have the leg on with the hip open---but am trying to stay very accountable to whether or not it is working! :lol: :lol:

Basically, I'm on a mission to make my leg aids much clearer, more meaningful, and quieter--throughout our ride. I'm willing to give a 5 or 10 lb leg aid when necessary but not normally!

Mountaineer, my brain used to melt down on counter canter. At some point I just started making it a casual thing that we did in and out of the arena-- and something shifted in my head. The any lead/anywhere/anytime work shifted something in the mare's head. Now like you said it is much more about balance and engagement---and is a very useful routine tool. Looking back, I regret not keeping the changes work mixed in with the CC more. Live and learn.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Thu May 24, 2018 6:30 pm

Much of my focus is still on my leg being meaningful as P is perfectly happy to just pretend she didn't notice my leg. I'm getting better at making sure that if my leg goes on then something happens and even if it's not the answer I was looking for something does have to happen. Since I've started approaching this with the idea that this is her responsibility I believe she's getting more respectful of my leg. It's interesting how that shift in perspective to forward being her responsibility has changed what was for some reason a challenging concept for me to apply. I'm not consciously doing anything different from what I *thought* I was doing in the past but something is different because the work and response is improving. Of course I also have to be aware of what my body is doing so if she's going well and I don't need to say anything that my legs aren't flopping around chattering nonsensically. Some days are better than others for both of us though I definitely feel like we've made improvements since our last lesson and hopefully next time I get a chance to take some video I won't be so disappointed in my riding.

On a slightly more discouraging note we had a three day weekend this past weekend so I rode Monday afternoon and my hips were so painful I ended up stopping after around 20 minutes because I couldn't take it anymore. However at home once I stopped moping I started to obsess because that's what I do (it's probably why I enjoy dressage so much :lol: ) and started looking all over the place for exercises, techniques, stretches, whatever I don't care just help me feel better, and I found some new exercises that I'm carefully adding in to my routine. I also remembered that some time ago I was having a rather bad pain night after riding and in desperation I grabbed an empty water bottle and started mashing it into the top of my leg and the painful areas which miraculously gave me some rather nice relief and caused me to order some foam rollers that I promptly didn't use. So I'm also adding some foam rolling into my routine. Since I've just started this Tuesday and the hip pain tends to be very up and down for me who knows where it will lead but I did have a fantastic ride yesterday. The best part is I managed to not wake up every hour during the night which almost never happens after a riding day no matter what I do so that is pretty encouraging.


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