Goals and progress, October and November

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cb06
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby cb06 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 5:14 pm

I love reading these progress reports and have wanted to join in but have had little of note to post.
I rarely post in general, but a mini recap, bought inexpensive backyard 'off-breed' project horse, got him to a good trainer for part-time work (I still rode/lessons on him on weekends), horse did well and progressed successfully over a couple year through 4th level with trainer riding (USDF Breed Champion), my riding was not to that level (training/first). Then life happened, relationship ended, moved/downsized, belts tightened, horse went to cheaper digs and riding progress put on back burner. Fast forward after a couple yrs. putzing around doing the best with limited lesson/riding/resources, finally put together a few lessons this year, and convinced myself to just get in the ring and see where we were...which took a lot of convincing. I am nervous at shows, forget how to ride/ride like a robot, 2x4, and generally suck at it, but figured if I was ever going to get better at it, I needed to do it more, so signed up for a schooling show.
I'm happy to report, we have a lot of work to do, but were not completely incompetent. :D
First try at Third 1 and Third 3, 62.1% and 64.5%

We need to work on impulsion and thrust, staying through and connected, showing difference in medium/collected gaits. He can do all of that, "I" need to ride better, get fitter, expect and ask for 'more'...more energy, more bend, more angle, more forward....more. But, I'm happy, I feel like we eecked out the other side and made a little progress.
Pics....they are from video, so a little blurry, but he also just put on a winter coat to survive the next Ice Age. :roll:
Warm-up
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Trot lengthen(ish)
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Shoulder In
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Canter (praying to the flying change gods)
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Change (not on the aids, but clean)
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We lived :shock:
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Nov 13, 2016 7:02 pm

That is a pretty exciting update, CB! Thanks for sharing your journey. It can be unexpectedly rewarding, can't it!

And please tell us about your lovey horse. I want to guess SBx?

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby cb06 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:18 pm

Thanks Piedmont! Yes, definitely unexpected. I just wanted to get around the ring without throwing-up or posting when I was suppose to be sitting the trot (the bar was low).

He is actually a full, registered American Saddlebred, 16.1h and stout. Dressage work definitely changes muscling and topline though, and he has been mistaken for a WB or WB cross at shows a few times. He has turned into a 'schoolmaster' of sorts for me and I am always grateful for his tolerance of my mistakes and inconsistencies.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Chisamba » Sun Nov 13, 2016 8:21 pm

cb06 wrote:Thanks Piedmont! Yes, definitely unexpected. I just wanted to get around the ring without throwing-up or posting when I was suppose to be sitting the trot (the bar was low).

He is actually a full, registered American Saddlebred, 16.1h and stout. Dressage work definitely changes muscling and topline though, and he has been mistaken for a WB or WB cross at shows a few times. He has turned into a 'schoolmaster' of sorts for me and I am always grateful for his tolerance of my mistakes and inconsistencies.


DId your trainer post about him under this name before? He seems familiar but with a different rider? congratulations on getting out there, and well done on working on your showing skills.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby cb06 » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:01 pm

Chisamba wrote:
cb06 wrote:Thanks Piedmont! Yes, definitely unexpected. I just wanted to get around the ring without throwing-up or posting when I was suppose to be sitting the trot (the bar was low).

He is actually a full, registered American Saddlebred, 16.1h and stout. Dressage work definitely changes muscling and topline though, and he has been mistaken for a WB or WB cross at shows a few times. He has turned into a 'schoolmaster' of sorts for me and I am always grateful for his tolerance of my mistakes and inconsistencies.


DId your trainer post about him under this name before? He seems familiar but with a different rider? congratulations on getting out there, and well done on working on your showing skills.



No, trainer has never posted, I posted about about horse several years ago while trainer was showing him. So, now different (main) rider, same owner/poster.
Thanks, I need to keep practicing the 'mental' part of riding, it is just as much a part of it as the physical part.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby StraightForward » Sun Nov 13, 2016 9:48 pm

Nice work CB, your horse sounds like a treasure. :)

Pickle is back to ground work and being allowed in turnout now that the stitches have done as much as they're able to. I think a couple in the middle pulled out, so there is some separation of the cut, but not bad. I think I'm going to keep it wrapped with honey once the stitches come out in a couple days. Today I was getting ready to put a fresh wrap on and she put her head down and started licking her wound like a dog. Leave it to me to find the weirdest horse. :roll:

She's had body work twice, and is in pretty good shape, and thankfully seems to be moving totally sound! She did stop and start bucking the first time she cantered past the place in the arena where her accident started. She got over it after a couple times around, but it's clear that she has some baggage in her head now.

I paid for the Tristan Tucker/TRT Method online course, so we started that today. Despite the lateral work we did this summer, she is still pretty stiff and this is really pushing her to loosen up and bend honestly through her body. I think this will help her feel more relaxed and balanced.

Also had a lesson on Susan's mare Kyra on Friday. The instructor was thinking about setting us up for flying changes when Kyra spied the barn kat (killer tiger) and decided to throw in a nice change on her own. In the end though, we have some basics to work on with getting her off my left leg and onto my right rein (when I'm not busy throwing it away), and more consistently forward and through. I'm not too worried about learning changes since it will be a few years before we're ready to put them on Pickle (and she's proven that changes pose no challenge for her anyway).
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby khall » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:44 am

CB I remember your gelding! I loved him then and that is great 3rd level scores! Yeah! He reminded me so much of a ASB x that I rode years ago. I like a good ASB.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:37 am

Lovely CB! Well done!

We are working on my seat. Specifically the sitting trot. I have to learn how to sit his big, boingy trot rather than dumbing it down as I have been doing. I'm getting there. My core is getting quite the workout, but we are also focusing on my breathing, which is very interesting and carries over into both the walk and canter work. Particularly, downwards transitions and simple changes.

And, it would appear that we are 2nd level AA reserve champions for our GMO. Beaten worthily by my buddy on Silverbridge's old horse :)

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby exvet » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:15 pm

I too remember your horse cb06 and can totally relate to the 'life happens' bump in the road. Welcome back to the scene and what a way to make a re-entry. Congrats!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Dresseur » Mon Nov 14, 2016 1:54 pm

So, the show is over, Miro is taking a much deserved break, which means that the goals for the remainder of November (and December and January and on and on is to work on me). My coach is handing me her horse's reins for concentrated lessons on all things I-1 and above. We've dabbled here and there as time and circumstances have allowed, but now we're doing a deep dive.

What I love and appreciate the most is the focus on quality before quantity. She does not allow any drilling of the movements. The second the gait or my position falls apart, we go back to the quality and then try again. What I find incredibly interesting is that through this method, things that seemed impossible a few months ago are now happening (not easily, mind you, but they are possible!) For instance - changes. At first I could barely keep her straight and there was no way to manage the power, so I could do one... maybe two - definitely no counting. As we worked on single changes for the tests - we worked on quality - straightness, balance, what is the RIGHT canter to change out of etc - and yesterday I clocked off 2 lines of 3's and 2 lines of 4's that were all on my hip and were straight and balanced. The pirouette was the same deal, we're doing 1/2 pirouettes with the focus on the balance and how to increase activity behind without the horse blasting through me and without me hanging on the reins. A few months ago, forget it - yesterday, through work on bringing the canter out and back, I was able to collect into the piri, perform the movement, and come smoothly out.

I suspect that her horse threw me a bone yesterday and that I'm in for a few months of frustration and "why can't I get my body to cooperate!!!??" moments. :lol:

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby khall » Mon Nov 14, 2016 2:19 pm

Dresseur:) yes riding those schoolmasters can be humbling!! Sounds like so much fun though. I can understand about asking for power without having them blast through you, what are you doing to combat this? Been working a bit of this with my gelding Rip, asking for jump, engagement and power without going through my aids and me not having to "contain" him, he carries himself. I have found softening the reins just a bit and say carry yourself but stay active has led to some fantastic work.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Dresseur » Mon Nov 14, 2016 6:11 pm

Khall, that sounds like what I'm doing as well. The big thing is that I cannot hold on the reins, which for me can be hard - because when I work hard, I tend to crunch up and bring my hands back to my body. So, I have to think hh, let go (or give or soften or whatever term works best). But more importantly, I have to hold the reins into my back - so firm shoulders and firm core, so that they can "hold" the horse in collection rather than pulling back. If I let go there, then the balance is lost. So, if I can keep the balance, by keeping my position, I don't have to go to my hands at all - and, with the way that THIS horse is trained - the more active and under I get the hinds, the lighter she gets.

Basically, if I have horse in my hand, I'm doing it wrong. So, I have to be a bit more on top of things with my seat and leg aids to keep the activity. This horse is one that can come under like no other, but she does it a bit falsely - she will start leaning over her shoulders if you don't keep the hind leg activity active. So, that's another learning curve - what does active behind feel like vs when she gets slow behind. The threshold feels razor thin at this point.

The other thing that's interesting about learning to ride her is that she's a bit tricky in the neck - she wants to get short and high, so you constantly have to ride her in a way that encourages her to telescope the neck out. I know that this is a no-brainer for many people on this board, but, knowing it, and doing it while doing super collected work is hard... it's so easy to take back too much and get that neck too short. So, at this point, I'd say my theory knowledge is way ahead of my feel - and my coach has to keep reminding me that it's ok to make the mistake so that I learn what it feels like when it's right and when it's wrong.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby khall » Tue Nov 15, 2016 12:44 am

Dreseur I hear you on holding your position! So key to be able to rode them active and up. My guy too can get short in the neck but he rolls up in the front and down on his shoulders. So big thing with him is the activity behind, not easy with him because he wants to slower behind, a bit lazy. That helps keep the head and neck up and out, the softening of rein too allows the head/poll to come up. He does not get heavy so that really is not a problem. I have to remind myself "fluff him up" and shoulders back sit on my big guy.

Great ride today was able to get renvere in CC, wow talk about engaging the horse! Looking forward to asking for more lateral work in the canter.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby PaulaO » Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:17 pm

Sunday I did a mini-course of 3 sets of 2 trot poles. Very fun, and Miss A. is learning half halts and I'm remembering how to keep her from speeding up at she gets near home. Saturday we did 25 halt/walk transitions under saddle and while handwalking. For 15 years she only knew "pull on mouth to stop." I realized that there is a lot of necessary retraining!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Flight » Tue Nov 15, 2016 11:10 pm

I did a working equitation day with some friends, and it's a lot harder than I expected! Those horses that can maintain a canter well, with flying changes through some of those obstacles must be so strong and balanced. It's not really about just completing the obstacles (apart from the speed phase) but how the horse does it, balanced, easy, accurate etc. My guy was trying hard to do them in canter (with simple changes) but no where near strong enough, I knew he was trying hard though!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby StraightForward » Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:52 pm

Flight wrote:I did a working equitation day with some friends, and it's a lot harder than I expected! Those horses that can maintain a canter well, with flying changes through some of those obstacles must be so strong and balanced. It's not really about just completing the obstacles (apart from the speed phase) but how the horse does it, balanced, easy, accurate etc. My guy was trying hard to do them in canter (with simple changes) but no where near strong enough, I knew he was trying hard though!


That sounds like a blast. It seems like it could be great training too; it seems sometimes like the movements come more easily/naturally when they're just part of accomplishing something, instead of the end goal.

Pickle is getting her stitches out today. We've done a couple days of the basic TRT stuff and she is almost having a lightbulb moment about softening up her body. No bucking on the lunge in the "evil spot" yesterday, and her canter overall is much slower and more balanced than even a couple months ago, so at least she got some benefit from her 30 days even though it ended badly. Might get on this weekend if I can time do so when people are around.
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Kyra's Mom » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:04 pm

SF..I am off this weekend if you want someone around ;) .

I am working on getting Kyra more engaged. My time in the saddle is limited due to my tailbone issue...hauling to the hills would be primo but I am not hauling and spending $20 in gas for a 30 minute ride. So, I thought I would try to include some jumping into our lunging occasionally. Nothing high..18 inches or so. Enough to get her to rock back and use her tush a little more. I will need to pull out my book on cavaletti to get some grid ideas. I have run into a problem though. On the left rein, she gets over jazzed. Like she knows what I want but she is going to do it as fast as she possibly can. Of course, that is not very productive. She has such a quick mind so trying to get her to slow it down can be a challenge. We have to start simple to get the mental part right.

Today, I set up a single low jump in between two ground poles. She actually cantered through the 3 ground poles in a relaxed manner so then I set up the jump. On the right rein she was totally relaxed and did the little gymnastic in a lovely manner. To the left, she didn't get quite as wound up as usual but was more inclined to throw her head up and whizz through. What I found that worked was to just do an extra walk circle after she jumped. With her, you just have to re-establish relaxation to allow her brain to decompress and figure out that racing through is not the desired outcome. Our final pass to the left was lovely and relaxed and she actually showing some nice bascule as opposed to looking like a deer on crack :lol: .

These over achiever types...despite that, she is a love :mrgreen: .

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Chisamba » Sun Nov 20, 2016 4:32 am

Kimba and I and about ten friends spent the day at the beach.
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Flight » Sun Nov 20, 2016 9:58 am

Gorgeous photo Chisamba!!!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Chisamba » Sun Nov 20, 2016 1:28 pm

I am not a BNT, i sometimes think of myself as a SNT, but one of the things I am proud of, is helping others achieve dreams and the friendships that horse riding has cemented in my life

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:17 pm

Chisamba... :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: ,

Riding on the beach is on my bucket list.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:15 pm

Lovely pictures, Chisamba! And yes, that is truly something to be proud of.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:22 pm

My trainer's trainer, who is something of a big cheese in the dressage world around here, came up and gave us all a clinic yesterday, which was very helpful... she made me ride without stirrups, which hasn't been on my agenda for a very long time! No-one died, and it was an interesting positional exercise that I will repeat.

Laddie is sound, but I honestly don't think he moves as well without shoes. Still, we will persevere as winter is almost upon us--it should be well and truly upon us, but not so much, yet. Warm and windy out today, very odd weather.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Flight » Mon Nov 21, 2016 9:55 am

We've been working on flying changes and specifically our L to R which has always been a pigroot/handstand. My instructor rode and was able to feel what was happening and then tell me more clearly what I needed to do.
Anyway, a few days of hit and miss changes and today the very first one we did was clean and 'normal'. I stopped and got off and now I'm hoping it means he's understanding what I want him to do!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Kyra's Mom » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:32 am

Mountaineer...what about getting a pair of hoof boots for the winter for his work sessions?

My mare is a bi*** for shoeing. She acts like each strike of the hammer goes straight to her brain...sigh. She would be fine BF with nice footing (hard Iberain foot) but we have rocks all over. My boarding barn is over lava rock. Very few people around here put in a proper arena with a base so the rocks just keep coming. For my piece of mind, I boot her for work. At least fronts and I try to use all 4. It really isn't that labor intensive. I use Renegades which are very easy to install and remove. In this particular arena, she definitely moves more confidently with boots. It has allowed her to progress, for me to avoid paying $$$ for shoes and tranquilizer and I feel like she has good protection for the work surface we are stuck with. It might get you through the winter without putting him on ice skates (shoes).

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Chisamba » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:35 am

Was reading on the renegade hoof boots site, says hoofs have to be trimmed with a mustang roll all the way to the heel. What is a " mustang roll"

Edited to add, i googled it. Just another of the self mystification natural trimmer agrandization terminology

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby kande50 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:08 am

Kyra's Mom wrote:Mountaineer...what about getting a pair of hoof boots for the winter for his work sessions?


I put ice calks in the boots and use them to trail ride all winter, too.

What I like about boots is that I only need to put them on when it's icy, so the rest of the time my horses can go barefoot, which avoids the hoof changes that shoeing causes and allows them to develop what I think is a much healthier hoof.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby StraightForward » Tue Nov 22, 2016 2:17 pm

Chisamba wrote:Was reading on the renegade hoof boots site, says hoofs have to be trimmed with a mustang roll all the way to the heel. What is a " mustang roll"

Edited to add, i googled it. Just another of the self mystification natural trimmer agrandization terminology


Kyra doesn't have a roll to speak of on her feet, they are just rasped as they should be to prevent chipping, and the Renegades work just fine. Even with a "mustang roll", it should grow out enough in six weeks to prep the feet for shoeing if desired.
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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:48 pm

I was out of town all last week thanks to work, but had 0 problems with bringing Kiwi back to work over the weekend. Yesterday we even had a long trail ride on a loose rein, complete with slow horses so she couldn't go her natural walk pace, and she was a peach.

Related news: Her breeder has a 4yo with similar breeding for sale (relatively, I guess) cheap. I want her real bad. I'm in trouble.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:21 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:I was out of town all last week thanks to work, but had 0 problems with bringing Kiwi back to work over the weekend. Yesterday we even had a long trail ride on a loose rein, complete with slow horses so she couldn't go her natural walk pace, and she was a peach.

Related news: Her breeder has a 4yo with similar breeding for sale (relatively, I guess) cheap. I want her real bad. I'm in trouble.



DO IT.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Nov 22, 2016 8:41 pm

StraightForward wrote:
Chisamba wrote:Was reading on the renegade hoof boots site, says hoofs have to be trimmed with a mustang roll all the way to the heel. What is a " mustang roll"

Edited to add, i googled it. Just another of the self mystification natural trimmer agrandization terminology


Kyra doesn't have a roll to speak of on her feet, they are just rasped as they should be to prevent chipping, and the Renegades work just fine. Even with a "mustang roll", it should grow out enough in six weeks to prep the feet for shoeing if desired.


I use a "barefoot trimmer" on Emi. His trims are different from what I would get from most non-barefoot specialists, but the "roll" is really just a proper barefoot finish, and it does grow out in 5 weeks. The main reason I like this trimmer is that he leaves plenty of sole on the hoof. He is also quite meticulous about balance. My old farrier would trim Emi in 10 minutes. This guy takes 40, but she is A LOT happier on varied terrain and her foot keeps improving. Call it "mystery" if you want. It's working for us.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:08 pm

I think we have to go through a full trim cycle before I make any decisions--farrier was very conservative this first trim out of shoes, as he should have been, and we did discuss that there would be a transition period. He isn't sore at all, just not as balanced as I would like.

Well, when I say he isn't sore, that would be his feet. He spooked violently at something (fairly justifiable) when being led out to turnout yesterday, slipped over and skinned both fetlocks on his left side scrambling to get up. Fortunately that appears to be the worst of the damage as far as I can tell so far. But I feel a bit sick about how bad it could have been.

Horses already...

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Chisamba » Wed Nov 23, 2016 1:05 am

There are good and bad farriers. Piedmont fields
Ive seen some pretty bad farriers, both barefoot and shoers.

But patterning every foot to a cadaver hoof of a mustang would be bad, in my opinion.

Correctly finishing a trim, good. No special name needed

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby kande50 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:42 am

piedmontfields wrote:I use a "barefoot trimmer" on Emi. His trims are different from what I would get from most non-barefoot specialists, but the "roll" is really just a proper barefoot finish


The extent of the roll is very different from trimmer to trimmer. I put no roll on at all because it's a waste of time, because mine are all on gravel so they'll roll their own edges within a week or two, and do a much better job of it than I can.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby kande50 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:50 am

Moutaineer wrote:He spooked violently at something (fairly justifiable) when being led out to turnout yesterday, slipped over and skinned both fetlocks on his left side scrambling to get up. Fortunately that appears to be the worst of the damage as far as I can tell so far. But I feel a bit sick about how bad it could have been.



And mine had a spell in turnout yesterday for no good reason other than that he's an idiot, and slid into the gate with a crash. I saw it happen, and he slammed his front legs right into the bottom rung of the metal gate and then spun away and kept running. There doesn't appear to be any damage and he's not lame, but it's a wonder. I'm actually amazed that he's survived his first 12 years without self destructing, because he comes in a close second to the least sensible one we have, and she ran through a fence as a yearling and damaged herself badly enough that she's permanently lame.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby capstone » Sun Nov 27, 2016 5:52 am

I concluded my November at home with some enjoyable and productive rides on Cartier.

Fairly long walk warm-up, just a bit of trot and then tons of canter! Shoulder in, travers, halfpass (attempts), a single flying change. Working bend in his body, bend in my body, connection, stamina, you name it.

At the end of our ride today. Just look at him, not me - he's so adorable.
IMG_9141.JPG
IMG_9141.JPG (117.58 KiB) Viewed 9250 times

I head back to Europe tomorrow. Quick stop in Paris for a meeting, then on to Switzerland for normal work for 10 days with a quick weekend getaway to Vienna in the middle.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Sue B » Mon Nov 28, 2016 4:15 pm

So I finally got a few days of riding in over Thanksgiving. Now, of course, it is snowing and blowing again. :evil:

Tio got ridden 3 times, each riding time better than the time before, but I am once again seriously thinking about sending him away for a bit, if only so he could be ridden out in the countryside more. Meh, probably won't do it...then again...He is so beautiful on the lunge because he's really starting to engage and lift, but I do not think we are there under saddle yet. I always get impatient at this stage, more so this time because my ride time has been so limited. Ah well, time will tell I suppose.

Rudy only got ridden twice because on Monday he was all banged up on his left side. There were big bruises on his ribcage and left hip as though someone had kicked the snot out of him. I can't imagine Tio doing that because when push comes to shove, Rudy is always top dog. I suppose one of the neighbor horses could've done it through the fence--I have Centaur fencing so it is possible for through the fence fighting to occur without injury to either party. Anyhow, he was fine by Thursday and so I took him on a nice walk and did more of a warm-up ride in the arena. Saturday, I was sorely tempted to work on flying changes but worked mediums to collected in all 3 gaits instead. Threw in a few lovely half-passes on the side as well. ;)

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:43 pm

Laddie is none the worse for his little splat, I am happy to say. I've been working diligently on my seat and position.

I've decided to work with my trainer twice a week for the next month or so and let her get on first and then me take over, so I can get a bit more of a feel of what should be going on--particularly with getting the half halts to come through so I can get him to sit more and bring his poll up for the mediums and extensions. So far, even in a couple of sessions, the lightbulb is coming on and staying on (albeit dimly) even when I'm riding alone in between lessons.

Laddie is immensely proud of himself after one of these sessions. He loves to dance--he just needs to learn he can't lead all the time :)

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Nov 28, 2016 10:46 pm

And, Capstone, yes, he is pretty adorable, especially in his matchy-matchy!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby cb06 » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:03 pm

Nice discussion (and pics!)
Khall and Dresseur really hit on some of the stuff I am going to work on over the winter. The progression of training and things you learn when you start trying to get the movements at the higher levels is interesting. I have to work on getting a 'different' canter. What I had was fine for First, but now it needs to be more up, active, forward to get the changes where they need to be. We need more hills to develop some power in the canter. Cross rails and small jumps might help too?...but I'm just not a good jump rider...Willie loves it though :oops: More transitions, and most importantly, he has to get much quicker off my leg and more naturally forward without me reminding. Having ridden Saddlebreds for many years in saddleseat, I feel like I now have the only Saddlebred on the planet that is not naturally forward. :roll:

For me, I have GOT to get more fit. The 'holding your position' is really becoming key now to riding the up and forward and it takes a ton of core strength. :shock: This was the first time I had to sit and ride through 2 test less than 40 minutes apart at a show....and though I've been sitting trot at home, it was not the same. Between the nerves and the sitting/core workout, I was BEAT at the end of the last ride!
...must get fitter.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby exvet » Tue Nov 29, 2016 1:44 pm

Well I'm hoping to get pictures this weekend of Mr. Stang. He's put on weight and is developing muscle over his top line, loins and croup. He's starting to get the concept of bending, yielding to the leg and acceptance of the bit. Saturday we're tentatively planning on taking both stallions off the property for a trail ride. I've been extremely pleased with his progress. I worked the stinker pony in hand on Sunday (under saddle we've been working on polishing our transitions) and he's developing some bounce and correct cadence in the passage.....so much fun to see. I really need to get back into better shape. I was running relay races and half marathons last winter/spring and then life got too busy. My goal is to get back into an exercise routine that I can balance with work and riding. We'll see if I manage to carve out and add that extra hour to each day LOL.......which shouldn't be too hard right? Of course I forgot to mention that in addition to my three jobs aaaannnddd consulting on a new business venture I've also accepted a position to be on the Board of one of the shelters I used to work for so........................

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Dresseur » Tue Nov 29, 2016 3:12 pm

I'm in a very interesting place right now in terms of my education as a rider and as a trainer. In regards to training - Mr. Miro has forgotten how to steer, or rather, I let some things creep in that I didn't recognize as being harbingers to a bit of an issue and now I'm working through the fall out. Basically, as I stopped longing him, he lost a bit of the good connection, and gumby boy returned :lol: No big deal, but next time I wean him off the line, I'll be more vigilant about the gumbiness creeping back in.

On the flip side - my education as a rider, I had mentioned that I'm riding my coach's GP horse. Basically, it's like letting someone with a learner's permit behind the wheel of a Ferrari. However, what that has netted is a deeper understanding of how to use my back. I was riding "too hard", with my back and shoulders fully connected and engaged, which in turn, locked my hips up a bit. As we worked through piaffe (where the position feels a bit sloppy - it's much more relaxed in the back, but the shoulders have to be back and firm across the chest) and then into a passage transition (where the back knits together and drives a bit forward), I found that I could not get either movement until I separated my back from my shoulders - suddenly, the piaffe to passage and actually back to piaffe was very, very doable without the horse hollowing and the horse got lighter and lighter (as it should in those movements!)

That led to breakthroughs in the canter movements as well, where I could let my seat swing and use my back as needed for extra oomph. I also found that this led to increased dexterity in my legs. I had been schooling some 1/2 pirouettes and I always had issues with Gala becoming heavier in the hand - a direct clue that I wasn't doing it right. I experimented with softening my back (but keeping the shoulders firm) and voila, a soft pirouette and suddenly I could do the full GP piri with her staying soft through out. Changes are also changed because of this - and I got to try my first couple 2's!!!! The horse needs to have different canter's for different tempi's and a different texture to the back for the different tempi's. For instance, 3's and 4's are more casual and the canter a bit bigger, while the 2's have to have a "tighter" canter and the horse's back is a bit more "tight", while 1's are are very, very connected and "tight". All of this has been a revelation for me! I'm so, so excited to keep building on this. My coach said that my position is in my muscle memory enough that now I'm continuing to separate and use parts independently and becoming supple within the position. It's just amazing how the onion keeps revealing layers!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Imperini » Tue Nov 29, 2016 4:44 pm

cb06 wrote:Having ridden Saddlebreds for many years in saddleseat, I feel like I now have the only Saddlebred on the planet that is not naturally forward. :roll:


Ha! I had (an amazing) Saddlebred mare during my late teenage years and she was just the laziest girl, so I bet there are a few more out there.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Nov 29, 2016 10:46 pm

Well, crisis averted. Whew!

Saddle was starting to be an issue-- had it re-fluffed and chiro, my riot is back to his happy self. He hasn't changed as a result of the cold/less tunout and I was very concerned after last year didn't go well. This winter is off to a great start.

I'm a bit annoyed at the mold due to the wet weather, but dressage is going well. I just don't like it getting dark at 4:30...

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Nov 30, 2016 4:44 pm

It's the end of the month, and here's our progress report:

- Averaged 4.5 rides/week throughout the month while I was not traveling for work. Success.
- Went to the gym infrequently. On the list for next month.
- Chose salads also infrequently. On the list for next month.

Kiwi is now back at 2nd/3rd ish level fitness, and is knocking on the door of showable 3rd level work. The changes still have a high probability of being, uh, interesting, but they are clean and they are big. All lateral work is consistent in all three gaits. I'm so impressed with the progress we made these two months. Additionally I've been touching the canter pirouettes about once a week (walk pirouettes more often), and have seen some significant improvements to the canter. December looks to be a good month for us because I don't have to go to work after 12/15 (not that I'm counting down or anything).

I talked to Kiwi's breeder and have turned down the option on buying another pony, but she hasn't sold yet. I'm waffling hard. I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. But I kind of want another horse.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:13 pm

Ponichiwa wrote:I talked to Kiwi's breeder and have turned down the option on buying another pony, but she hasn't sold yet. I'm waffling hard. I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. But I kind of want another horse.


you always need another pony....

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Flight » Fri Dec 02, 2016 5:41 am

Good to read people's updates.
Dresseur, interesting reading as I am doing more half steps/piaffe and 'school trot' with my guy and since I'm only learning how to do them I'm having to figure out what to do with my position.

I achieved my goals for the 2 months, I took the big young horse to his first horse trials, where we came 5th in the 45cm. All i was hoping for was to stay on and for him not to lose his shit! He was excellent in the cross country, I trotted a fair bit so we got time penalties but he was happier cantering and didn't feel like he was going to stop or run out at all.
Ridervideo was there (which was great for a relatively small competition) so I was able to get video! Which was very cool :)

https://vimeopro.com/ridervideo/ridervi ... /193301555

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:49 pm

wow, really nice XC~! I see a lot of it and you can tell the dressage is helping! nice work.

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby Sue B » Fri Dec 02, 2016 3:25 pm

Great video Flight!

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Re: Goals and progress, October and November

Postby StraightForward » Fri Dec 02, 2016 4:45 pm

I love that boy of yours Flight! That looks like a blast.

Pickle is scheduled to head to the trainer's at the middle of the month. I've been doing the TRT work with her, and it's helping her handle her impulses, but her brain is kind of broken right now when it comes to things on her body. :( SueB knows the trainer she'll be going to. They can pony her, take her outdoors, work cattle off her and all that stuff, but they have several warmbloods and Friesians in the program, so they're not just familiar with cow ponies. Fingers all crossed that I have a useful riding horse come springtime.

I've had some lovely rides on Susan's mare. Getting lots more connection, suppleness and attentiveness from her, and I can feel my position improving as well. The other day I got on and wondered if someone else had been in my saddle (impossible) because my stirrups felt way too short. They were on the same hole as ever, so I dropped them a notch and they're perfect again, so I'll take that as a good sign.
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