Goals and Progress March April 2017

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Gwen
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Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Gwen » Thu Mar 02, 2017 1:35 pm

It's March!! Finally!! Hope people don't mind that I started the new two month thread...

So ready for spring, going to Iceland (to ride horses!) next week so just two more days of "real" riding, and hopefully spring will be officially here when I get back.

Callie will be ridden by my trainer next week so I'm hoping all the undoing I've managed to accomplish on the changes will be rectified. :roll: My lesson Monday this week was a mess, but in my defense my 5yo daughter was having (short, uncomplicated, but anesthesia requiring) surgery the next day. My trainer had to tell me to relax my NECK. :lol:

Yesterday I was just trying to undo Callie's defensive behavior after the disaster of Monday - when I asked for forward I had to consciously loosen my body and praise excessively for any forward try. That helped a lot, but it did end up being difficult to keep her together and not strung out, because I was giving too much. I got some relaxed walk/canter transitions (Monday they were canter/jig transitions :roll: ) and called it a day. Hoping to build on that today, with the (flexible, we'll see what horse I have) goal of asking for more togetherness, collection and lightness.

My main struggle right now is with the right bend, and getting the bend and the right rein off the neck from the body and not so much from my hand - it's so TEMPTING to go to an indirect rein to get the neck/shoulder where I want it, instead of letting the positioning come from behind. Left is easy, right is so hard, especially in renvers and halfpass.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Chisamba » Thu Mar 02, 2017 7:08 pm

Well, i got to sleep last night, so here is my positive self, back for goals and updates. First off, Gwen, thank you for starting the thread! I think its is incredibly common to "cheat" to get flexion to the stiff side using more rein instead of the correct position from behind. ( dont ask me how i know ;) )

So, for me, I have all three of my own horses at the barn, right now, on top of my training horses, so I find myself not reaching my riding goals with them:

Acacia, Ride at least three times a week, continue to develop trust to result in a more consistent rhythm and connection.

Deneb: Ride four times a week, More consistent shoulder in, especially, and begin walk canter transitions:

Kimba: Ride four times a week: Transitions within the gait, simple change of lead through walk, walk piro, and work toward showing, ie, being able to perform the required moves at the letter, NOT< when i am ready .

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Flight
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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Flight » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:14 pm

I've got a fair bit on this month. Working equitation competition tomorrow, dressage on Sunday. Horse trials the next weekend, then I'm riding at a competition that has hacking, ODE, dressage and sporting!
Gwen, it would be hard to concentrate with your daughter's procedure on your mind! I too have to keep reminding myself to stop using too much hand for bend.

Had a good lesson yesterday which interestingly addressed some stuff that a few people noted from my tests from last month. Getting more activity in the canter, getting more clearer riding from back to front etc.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Gwen » Sat Mar 04, 2017 12:59 am

Made some progress today on my understanding of the change aids. I had understood that I needed, in changing from right to left, for example, to first get the horse straight and to shift the balance a bit off the current "outside", before asking for the change. However, in order to get Callie off the outside, I was moving my outside leg forward to the girth, as though I were asking for leg yield, rather than leaving it in a clear "canter right lead" position. So when I went to "switch" my legs for the change, it wasn't as clear of a switch for Callie because my outside leg is already at the girth and had been asking her to move over, but is now asking her to change! Very confusing.

So I worked on straightening her with my outside leg while leaving it behind the girth, and then - when she was straight - swapped leg position and BAM - clean easy no drama change! I know that I am going to need to make the aid more subtle down the line, since I don't want my legs swinging back and forth if we ever get to tempi changes, but for now we both need CLARITY more than anything else. Well, clarity and straightness!

This led to canter change serpentine with relatively few mistakes. At one point she was nearly impossible to get off my right/outside leg cantering left, so we switched to some canter leg yield off the wall (keeping my leg behind the girth in "canter left" position). At first she was quite stuck and wanted to stop dead, but once she unlocked and flowed comfortably off the rail, we went back to left-right changes and they were MUCH better.

I also learned that keeping my legs in the "canter left lead" position is physically painful. My left leg wants to drift back away from the girth, my right leg wants to come forward to the girth, and keeping them from doing that actually causes cramping! More stretches, more pilates. I can't expect symmetry from Callie if I'm not there myself.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Gwen » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:40 am

Flight, tell us how the working equitation goes! I'd love to do something like that, looks like so much fun!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Mar 05, 2017 7:53 pm

I'm learning how to use my inside hip/thigh to full the outside rein/symmetry.

TOH from video-wow! real turning :) its been a long time coming.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Mar 05, 2017 8:20 pm

I have a one word goal for this period... Straightness.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Dresseur » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:37 pm

Ditto. Straightness. On Gala we figured out that I am twisting my left hip back a bit, which is causing straightness issues and miscommunication in the changes. On M, his straightness and continuing to quicken up his hind legs.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Flight » Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:09 pm

The working equitation comp was a lot of fun! My horse can be a bit spooky and we've done a few clinics, but being in an indoor etc I wasn't sure how he'd go. The first phase, the ease of handling, he wasn't sure about the bridge, but once he was over he was right. We did the speed phase, but all I did was practice a bit more canter, rather than try and go really fast and scare him and in this phase, it technically doesn't matter how 'ugly' it is, it's just on time.
Here's some vid of that phase:
https://youtu.be/0pwYZJu8wew

The next day we had a dressage comp, and he must have been tired or uninterested or both. He was so flat and lazy in the first test, I just had nothing! I tried to hype him up for the second test and it worked a bit, but I ended up over riding him in the test and he fluffed his changes, even his good side. I watched the vid after and was so annoyed at myself. Again, I find it hard when I"m chasing him to be more active (or just move!) and not push him out of balance. So, I think in the future, only one day of competition for him!
Here's a pic anyway :)
Image[/URL]

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Imperini » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:34 am

How neat Flight, he looked like he took it all very well. Thanks for sharing!

I had some super rides right after our move I think due to new environment energy but I think we're back to the regular lazy level now so continuing the theme from the last couple of months, more for less. I will be focusing mostly on my position and relaxation because I think I've figured out that some of what I'm thinking is laziness is actually coming from my tension. So again very basic, forward and relaxed, but also adding in some lateral work because I think she's getting bored with circles and loops and would appreciate something a bit more challenging. I also want to mention despite the laziness I'm just so happy with this horse :D

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Chisamba » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:47 am

I might not be very good at keeping goals. I went to fetch Deneb to ride today and she looked like this, so I left her to enjoy the sun.

Flight, I am impressed with your ride,. Lots of changes, although some were a bit " exuberant," lol.

Imperini,. Have you tried short bursts of high activity to develop the habit of activity to an aid, rather than gradual consistent push? I had a very laid back Percheron x mare and other than really working on fitness out following friends on trails,. I found asking for short bursts of high activity a few times during a schooling session, helped develop the habit of forward.
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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:23 pm

Love the continued updates and goal thread.

My main focus is to help us stay focused on what we are doing--in each moment--and not get excited by all of the options. Gwen, your descriptions were especially helpful to me. My mare is such a sensitive soul--I can really ambush her if I don't stay calm + stay focused on quality and straightness. That said, the counter canter is getting quite good these days (can we say 15m and 10 m CC circles). I would not be ashamed to show our current "medium trot" at second although more improvement would be good. The changes are...inconsistent. I think that is mostly me being confusing. So my overall goal is to be clear, consistent and calm! I am also going to explore getting some help from the upper level event trainer at my new barn when she returns.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Josette » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:24 pm

Chisamba - sweet pic and I wouldn't disturb her either.

Flight - loved that video you posted - what fun!!

I was recently working on trot/canter transitions to get my guy to relax and not overly get excited/ high. We've had some nice canter work on large circles and then onto large oval (will eventually go entire ring in RELAXED mode). The GO button has never been an issue. Lots of figures and transitions between gaits. In the past this got him excited and strong so I hope I am mentally rewiring him.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Sue B » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:27 pm

So, it WILL stop snowing eventually, right?

My friend gave up and moved her eventing horse to a reiner's place that has an indoor. I think I'm jealous. lol Maybe when I get the trailer freed from the mud, ice and snow, I'll join her. Oh well, this too shall pass. :P

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Mar 07, 2017 8:23 pm

Sue B, I surely hope so...

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby quinta » Tue Mar 07, 2017 9:13 pm

Flight - that looked like so much fun!! I can see my red mare liking that sort of work, and that it would help build confidence. (Goes off to look for working equitation clinics near Ottawa...).

I am in the beginnings of moving hell, so my goals are just keeping Autumn well-groomed with occasional reminders about being a riding horse. :)

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Mar 08, 2017 3:56 pm

Flight, I want to add my thanks for sending the WE video. You were a good team and used the event well! I would really enjoy that kind of activity and I think Emi is a fine match for it---she is very "task" oriented!! LOL

I meant to add that another challenge Emi and I are undertaking is having her help both a dear friend get back to riding and learn a little dressage (she had to put her mare down last year) and my dear husband find his seat again (he is taking lessons elsewhere but could use some time on a forward-going horse as he progresses). So I am trying to adjust some of my expectations for Emi as I am asking her to deal with other riders. She is quite a good teacher, though, as my friend noted that as soon as sits better/opens her seat Emi is immediately responsive and gives BIG. I do love my little grey mare :-)

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:22 pm

She's lovely, Piedmont. And so clean. And you have green stuff. I'm jealous.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:29 pm

Global warming in Tennessee = grass and baths

We do have a slight chance of snow in the forecast, but that seems highly unlikely in the lower elevations...

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:56 pm

Just think, you could have this instead...

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Flight » Thu Mar 09, 2017 1:51 am

Woweee Mountaineer!!!!!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby HafDressage » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:04 am

Flight wrote:The working equitation comp was a lot of fun! My horse can be a bit spooky and we've done a few clinics, but being in an indoor etc I wasn't sure how he'd go. The first phase, the ease of handling, he wasn't sure about the bridge, but once he was over he was right. We did the speed phase, but all I did was practice a bit more canter, rather than try and go really fast and scare him and in this phase, it technically doesn't matter how 'ugly' it is, it's just on time.
Here's some vid of that phase:
https://youtu.be/0pwYZJu8wew

The next day we had a dressage comp, and he must have been tired or uninterested or both. He was so flat and lazy in the first test, I just had nothing! I tried to hype him up for the second test and it worked a bit, but I ended up over riding him in the test and he fluffed his changes, even his good side. I watched the vid after and was so annoyed at myself. Again, I find it hard when I"m chasing him to be more active (or just move!) and not push him out of balance. So, I think in the future, only one day of competition for him!
Here's a pic anyway :)
Image[/URL]


Your video looks awesome! Also, that's interesting about the dressage show. As I watched the video, I thought wow, this looks super fun and awesome, but I immediately wondered whether it would gel well with dressage showing. On the one hand, I think it would be super fresh and interesting for the horse's brain. On the other hand, I wonder if after getting to be freer and allowed to do things a little more "do what is needed to get the job done" would have an impact when you then switched back to dressage. I have a feeling for my boy he would be like no thanks to regular dressage afterwards, but you will have to report back if you do more intermixing of the two sports. Very cool.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Flight » Thu Mar 09, 2017 6:10 am

Hafdressage, they also have to do a dressage test and an 'ease of handling' round, which is more dressage like. Where your transitions, circles size/shape, tempo, frame, acceptance of the contact etc, just like dressage is judged. So, the trick is not frying your horse in the speed round so that they will still be calm and listening enough for the EOH round.
I suspect my boy will know if he's at a WE comp or a straight dressage comp though!!

Here's our EOH round, much more sedate :
https://youtu.be/GuQTsm2986M

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Chisamba » Thu Mar 09, 2017 4:23 pm

I had nice rides on Kimba this week despite my aching hip. A couple of photos of trot and canter. In the canter i was testing for self carriage, in the trot i was simply working on adjust-ability.

trot: attempting to keep the hind end active in more collected work, I notice that we are losing the poll and getting a bit btv.

Image

lengthening the frame but working on staying uphill: I quite like this response:

Image

Then in the canter: full release i need to maintain a more upright posture

Image

and returning to contact.

Image

I have been working on simple changes and counter canter with her, as a potential lead in to flying changes.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Abby Kogler » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:22 pm

Flight!!!

Thank you so much for posting that video! I am anxious to do this, really enjoyed watching this. You ride so well and I love your horse.

My goals? Bleah >;-> Still in a post surgery boot, my foot surgery/tendon repair has not gone as well as we hoped; I am able to do some horse care at least, and have been trimming and clipping and doing body work a little, but cant get a riding boot on and its too painful to ride in yet. Ah well!

Not posting much but enjoying every one elses posts.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby svvdressage » Thu Mar 09, 2017 10:35 pm

Hi all. I always read these but never post...so here goes. I have had my guy since July and it's been a bit of a struggle. A little background. Z came to me as a flunky from a BNT barn. He had developed a habit of rearing, spinning left and trying to leave the arena. He had some time off when his owner died and then spent the last year with my trainer. He was up for sale and wasn't selling. So I got him. He came off the trailer (2 day drive) with a banged up head and broken halter....don't know what happened. When I got him home all he would do for the first month is rear. I had him adjusted and it helped tremendously. Between July and January he had stone bruises, abscesses, soft tissue injury with his stifle. He has been back under saddle for the last 2 months. When going back to work we struggled. Basically he had my number. Any time I would touch the right rein he would threaten to rear, so I avoided it. But about 3 weeks ago I put my big girl panties on an took the right rein back, and all of a sudden he is a perfect gentleman. I could kick myself for letting him train me. I mostly work alone, with my trainer coming once a month during the summer. So my March - April goal is to continue down this road. Being able to add more difficult work with out loosing him. My trainer is here this weekend and will give us more homework. He really struggles mentally with the changes. So I hope to touch on them a bit.
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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Mar 10, 2017 2:46 am

SVV, he looks like a worthwhile challenge. Please keep us updated!

Flight, so interesting to watch! Thank you!

Laddie was lame last night. An odd one. All was OK, but a bit sluggish, then he simply wouldn't pick up his right lead canter. When I got off and went over him I found a warm swelling on the back of his gaskin that was very sore to the touch. I buted him, rubbed some surpass on it, and when I went to put his blanket on I noticed that the spot coincided exactly with where that honking great plastic clip is on the tail cord of his Rambo blanket... I think he must have sat on it hard, either rolling or flopping down for a nap, as that is his favored landing hip.

So I changed out the fancy tail cord for a length of baling twine. This morning, the swelling was down and it wasn't sore to the touch, and he was cheerful, so I think that's what it must have been. Fingers crossed. It's exactly on one of the "stress points" shown in Jack Meagher's book on muscle injuries, so a very sensitive spot. Ouch!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Chisamba » Fri Mar 10, 2017 11:37 am

Mountaineer, good on you for your observation.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby StraightForward » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:18 pm

Nice work SVV, it sounds like you're rising to the challenge to turn that guy around!

I don't have much to add. After Pickle's accident, I took her out to a different western trainer in mid-December. Prior to that I did about a month of TRT method ground work with her and it was clear that she was pretty traumatized. I've been away and finally got to go see her yesterday. Well, we had such a hellacious winter that they are really just getting underway with her training. The trainer has been putting his younger under studies on her, and some days she's wonderful, and some days she's a bitch on wheels, apparently. One day she bucked a girl off at the mounting block, and then never came around that session. Next day she's W/T/C beautifully around the arena. I trimmed her feet and then brought her in the indoor and worked with her a bit, and she was fairly nervous and watchful. Didn't help that she's in heat, but still. Oh, and she spooked while I was trimming and knocked me on my back. So, she will be out there for at least three more months. So we will see. If she doesn't get more consistent and give up bucking as an answer to stress, I'm going to have to sell her and start over. :(
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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Sue B » Fri Mar 10, 2017 3:53 pm

Hey SF, if anyone can help her it will be them. Maybe Pickles just has a bad case of spring fever; it has been such a crappy winter.

SVV, happy to see you join us. Interesting challenge you have ahead of you.

Aby, jingles for more rapid healing.

Great pictures Chisamba.

I am sick (again) but determined to at least SIT on my horses this weekend in between (or during) rain showers. I am growing weary of the weather.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:34 am

Hmm. Laddie still lame. Time to call the vet. I don't feel good about this.

So, as the sun was shining and the snow melting, I she'd a new horse-worth of hair off Walker and took him for a little walk up the hill. He felt sound as a dollar and thrilled to be out and about.

Just as well. He may have to come out of retirement and step up to the plate for a bit...

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Mar 13, 2017 11:22 am

Ugh on the Laddie update. I was so hopeful that it was a trivial discomfort due to the hard butt strap (my mare objected to that design, too, and actually removed it after a day---and she had a tender lump on her butt muscle).

SVV, nice to hear/see your update. Would be great to hear what you consider after your training weekend about approaches to changes.

While Emi did her pony duty this week as my DH's lunge horse, she has also offered some of the best trot half pass yet (canter HP is easier for us both). It is a bit of balance to sort out how much to "wake her up" for a given different rider. My DH was appropriately sobered by how quick her responses were compared to his lesson mare. But then he liked playing with the buttons for sideways and the seat for whoa. Go figure.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Sue B » Mon Mar 13, 2017 2:22 pm

I FINALLY GOT TO RIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So Saturday I rode both horses :D :D :D and it was wonderful. I could go straight into a sitting trot on my uber springy, uber short-backed Rudy, which means he had no tension in back or base of neck. Naturally, I did not sit the trot very long, but wow, was he fun to ride. I managed to keep it all simple and light as it has been like 3 mos since I last rode, and we did lots of wandering around out of the arena (seeings how 1/2 of it is still drifted). Tio, the "baby" who is now coming 6, was brimming with Spring Fever and couldn't resist bucking every time we headed into trot. I settled for one complete circle in trot without bucking and then hopped off. I planned to ride Sunday and be more productive then, but fate intervened and I spent the day with MIL in the ER. Turns out she's fine, but at 86, better safe than sorry. :P

Moutaineer, jingles for Lad; I hope you get an answer soon and it's an easy fix.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby khall » Mon Mar 13, 2017 5:38 pm

Mountaineer, I hope Laddie's lameness is short and easily diagnosed and dealt with.

SF dang, I hope the trainers can figure your girl out and end up in a positive note with her.

So glad most are having a good time with their horses, svvdressage wow good progress there!!

Chisamba pretty pictures there!

First of all clinic report from March 3-5 with Jillian Kreinbring. Wonderful wonderful clinic!! If you have a chance to ride with her, do you won't regret it! She brings all of her teachers into her teaching, from Manola, to Peggy Cummings, to LTJ, to Mark and Stephanie (can't remember her last name but she rode with NO for 10 yrs). Loved my lessons, even when Rip was being Rip and yee hawing it up on the lunge line, with Jillian going OMG does he do that with you on him!? Let's say Rip can elevate when he wants to! Jill has a great eye, very particular on how the horse is going, great exercises in hand, on line and US. Also had the best compliment from Jill on Rip saying he is a very honest horse:) I had to laugh because that is just from persevering and me putting my big girl panties on and saying ok we will get to the other side with my rowdy boy. And the absolute best part is that my horse medically was fine to work!!! No issues with the NPCS at all!!!

So now I can keep on keeping on with the big guy and hopefully can get back to work on progressing where we had been. Good stuff taken from the clinic to work on from mediums to half steps to WIH and on line, lots to apply and share here at home.

Playing some still with my filly, she is one fun little girl and want to add in some LTJ ground work with her as per Jill suggested.

Also working with Gaila and having success. Hoping to keep up the work seriously now and keep progressing with her.

I am going to add in LTJ ground stuff with all of my horses for a change up. Some good things to apply there.

Happy riding all and stay safe any who are in the big storm's path.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Mar 14, 2017 1:47 pm

You know how some projects/years/whatever start with a bang? My March has started with something more like a splat, sploosh, or squelch. Between rain (so much mud) and work travel, I think I've ridden all of twice this month.

Goals this month are more of the same.
Me:
- Lose weight. Seriously. Do it.
- Extend plank time to 3 min by end of April (currently at 1min and dying).

Us:
- Get back in riding shape
- Develop more throughness in canter, transfer to trot when ready. At the end of this stretch I want to be able to execute extended canter (or pirouette canter) transitions at any point from any canter. Ambitious, but will help with the flying changes and halfpass.
- See above, but for extended trot/extremely collected trot.

It's Kiwi's birthday today, and it's sunny and will be in the mid/high 60s F, so it's going to be a good day.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Imperini » Tue Mar 14, 2017 2:21 pm

Chisamba, I have tried to avoid a constant push because it doesn't work, she just tunes me out and shuffles around pretending to be a western pleasure horse. Instead I had been working at going with with just a very small aid and if she doesn't listen then she better get her butt in gear because she needs to go now, and in theory that should probably work but my timing needs work and I'm not strong enough to enforce it without sacrificing my position some which causes its own issues. In any case I do feel am improving and she is improving so we're a work in progress.

Mountaineer, I hope Laddie feels better soon!

khall, so glad to hear that Rip is feeling well and sounds like you had a good clinic too.

I have had some good progress. To start with I ended up switching bits, she came to me with the bit her previous owner rode her in which was a double jointed snaffle with the curved mouth pieces, and for some reason it started to rub the side of her face where it curved around. Not sure why the only thing that changed is that the new arena gets rather dusty (it's a quite fine footing so it doesn't seem dusty but everything is coated if it's not covered) so I'm not sure if the dust caused a little extra friction or what. She gets rubs super easily (girth, blanket, halter.. air lol) so I think that's going to be something I'll have to be really careful about. In any case I switched her to a plain loose ring snaffle and I was worried that she was going to be fussy but she's actually going really really well in it so I'm going to stick with it. I think it's too soon to tell for sure but I may have had an epiphany about half halts as well as using my seat, which is super exciting. I was saying to my DH it's weird because I started riding 20 yrs ago, then took a 5ish year break and started up again a little over two years ago but I feel like since I started riding again I'm finally actually learning to ride this time. Still a long long way to go, but making little changes here and there with big impact and I can really feel it, balance wise and with how Pallie is going.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Sue B » Tue Mar 14, 2017 3:02 pm

So now I've ridden twice! :D

Naturally, Rudy (the supposedly trained horse) was a complete idjit and Tio (the "baby") was an angel. Figures.
Rudy went ballistic riding back to the house because he could see my mother walking her dog off in the distance (and because it was a good excuse to act like an idiot) and I wound up jumping off and leading him home. I, without glasses, couldn't see what was making him freak out and it didn't even dawn on me until last night what it was! Anyways, once we got back to the arena he was his usual well-behaved self albeit a little tense. I spent the time working him round and low with a million transitions and frequent changes of bend until all was swingy and smooth and then we went went back down the road for a relaxing stroll.

Because of his tomfoolery under saddle on Saturday, I lunged Tio in sidereins before riding this time. No bucking or drama this time, although he did often test whether or not he had to go forward when asked. We seemed to reach an understanding and he produced a lovely trot by the end both directions with decent changes of bend. As a reward, he got to navigate the cavelletti and the snow drifts still in the arena.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Kyra's Mom » Thu Mar 16, 2017 12:44 am

It is good to catch up on everyone. Most are so busy. Jingles to those that are lame that it is nothing serious.

My surgery to remove my tailbone and my extra tail was postponed until late April. My schedule is done in 8 week blocks and since the original surgery was supposed to be at the very end of the last schedule with my time off the first 4 weeks of the next schedule, moving it to the end of March (the first, next available date) meant my boss would have to cover 4 more weeks of that schedule...I was supposed to return to work April 4th :roll: . Dr's office seems to think I can just snap my fingers and make work go away. Sorry, no.

So, in the meantime, I hauled my saddle back out to the barn and rode today :!: It isn't terribly comfortable but if I keep my sessions fairly short and don't ride on consecutive days, I can manage some rides. Oh and I wear my FITS breeches that I put shims in the butt :lol: . I bought some Thinline shims and cut them to fit my pants. I held my breath to cut $180 pants but it is on the inside and doesn't fray and holds the little shims well. It does help.

She worked quite well. I don't really have much in the way of goals for only 6 weeks...just some exercise for both of us. I certainly believe that dressage at least allows her to use herself in a healthy way. Yesterday, I put her in long reins. She was so funny. I guess she forgot how to do those...she was sure I was asking her for some fancy piaffe/passage tour. No, I just want a working walk. She gets so anxious and she tends to throw out everything she knows in a very short time. I call it Flamenco dressage. After about 45 seconds, she realized that I was not really asking for those moves...she sighed, lowered her head and she worked well. Slogging through the deep snow all winter seems to have her reasonably fit despite no work. Straightforward can ride her while Pickle continues her boot camp.

Once I have my surgery, I will be out of the saddle for quite some time...the recovery can be 12-18 months to get as good as you are going to get. So, we will see how it goes. In the meantime, I am going to take advantage of some nice spring weather. So nice after the snowmaggedon we had this winter.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:03 am

It is nice to not be cold all the time, isn't it, Susan! The snow melt is EPIC, however--with attendant mud.

Well, poor Laddie is not showing much improvement, so the vet will be out on Saturday. I think he's pulled/damaged a big butt muscle and is a hurting unit, poor guy. Previcox and Voltaren don't seem to be doing a lot to help.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby khall » Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:18 pm

Ah man, mountaineer, I am sorry to hear that about Laddie. Hope the diagnosis is not as bad as you fear.

Glad you guys are warming up though, good grief I don't know how you all stand all that winter weather! Those pics you shared mountaineer of your horse coming through the gate were mind boggling to this southern woman!! I can imagine all of the mud now, ick.

We have had a last winter blast in our not much of a winter until now. Dang cold for us and wind on top made me dress like the michelin man and not be a happy camper. I hate that cold wind!

So not much riding going on here and had to postpone the vet visit until next week. My truck is in the shop and it still is not fixed. Big job of emission stuff that had to be replaced and now strut. So next week for Rip to the vet, anxious for the scope and to get a better understanding of future treatments etc.

Jingles for Laddie and good riding all!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Kyra's Mom » Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:49 pm

Yes--Mountaineer, epic snowmelt. We had about 15 inches at it's deepest (I know really not anything but highly unusual for us). It stuck around for 6 weeks (normal around here is snow on the ground maybe 3-5 days). Once it warmed up, within 3-5 days, it was gone...GONE.
Amazingly though, we passed from frozen to just mildly muddy. Really weird but most welcome. We had a lot of wind in that period and I think that at least dryed out the top. I wasn't looking forward to do chores in book sucking mud.

Jingles for Laddie. I hope it is just a blip and he is right soon.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Gwen » Fri Mar 17, 2017 7:47 pm

Jingles for good weather and soundness for all!

New goals:
- Try to maintain looseness I learned from riding Icelandic horses last week - something about the way they ride helped me truly get a tension free hip and draped leg - desperately hoping I maintain that for a while!

- connection connection connection - going back and checking basics multiple times in a ride, do I have a true connection with the outside rein? Is she straight? Can I maintain this consistently within and between gaits? Can I get this feel outside of a lesson? I want to have better mastery over this by show season.

- try to get even half the feel of forward out of my mare that I had from the Icelandics!!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:07 pm

Well, it's a stifle injury. Best case a bad sprain, 6 weeks or so off.

Vet didn't have his US machine this morning, but will be back on Tuesday to ultrasound the meniscus, so keep your fingers firmly crossed that is clear and he's just given everything else a major yank around. God knows what he did, probably rolled and stuck his leg through the fence or something equally bizarre.

On a good note, his x-rays were just lovely. Perfect hocks, perfect stifles.

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby khall » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:34 pm

Damn Mountaineer! I hope it is not too serious and Laddie can come back sound and happy. Will vet be back out with US for full diagnosis? Jingling still for Laddie!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Srhorselady » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:35 pm

Stifle injuries seem to be the current injury going around! Nasty. You are the third person I know who has gotten that diagnosis in the last couple of months. Unfortunately the stifle is hard to get clear ultra sounds even when hauled in to the hospital to use a more powerful machine. Last acquaintance just broke down and had MRI and is now doing stem cell. We all have fingers crossed. She just bought this horse in Dec, 10 year old imported warmblood showing 4th level and Prix St George, altho she is about a 1st level rider. I'll add you to the group with jingles and fingers crossed! Horses can be so delicate!

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Flight » Sat Mar 18, 2017 11:46 pm

Mountaineer, really hoping your horse is ok. I hate it when they are off injured and you just have to wait and see how they go. Glad all the xrays are ok!
Enjoying reading the updates (apart from injuries!) and hope everyone's weather improves for more riding.

I took my big horse to a horse trials. He did really well, he is so much more relaxed about being out and I thought he might be a bit spooky in the dressage test because the arena was next to some roadworks. While no one was working, there was still excavators and equipment close by, he did try and lift his head up to have a closer peek at it all in the free walk, but that was really all.
In the cross country he coped with all the jumps, but it was the changes in terrain that had him worried, and he seemed very surprised that I wanted him to keep on cantering and try going a little faster :) I did very nearly fall off near the beginning, he shied at some sand on the ground and I felt my bum next to the saddle and somehow clawed my way back on. Even some spectators said "hang on, hang on!!".
He was good in the showjumping, we are still very new and hopeless at it though, and if I do the slightest bit wrong he just takes out all the rails. For instance if he gets too close, he just takes out the rails, if I get too forward he knocks it with his front legs, if I get left behind, he knocks with his hindlegs. It really makes me try and get it totally right.

Had a couple of good lessons with my little horse. It's funny, I hear all about riding the hindlegs, over the back, half halts but until I really start feeling it happen, I haven't really "got" it. It seems to be improving on little levels each time. I think I know it, and then we get a little bit more, and I'm like "oh wow". I do get frustrated with myself for being a slow learner.

Pics!
Image
Image
Image

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Gwen » Sun Mar 19, 2017 5:33 pm

Nice pics Flight! And I know what you mean, those moments of "This, THIS is it!" Followed months later by oh no wait, *this*, this is more it." :lol:

Had a better ride today - in canter I just worked for on and back, on and back, without changing rein length, suppleness or bend. She's started anticipating changes and/or working pirouettes so when I was asking for more collected canter i was getting tight and hopping, instead of forward energy. So I tried to remember to look up and pretend every time we were doing a relaxed, but controlled canter down a country lane, nothing more. :lol:

After getting that on a circle, we went to the long sides, same deal. That was initially my only goal, but once j got it I got greedy and asked for canter HP, to counter canter, to a change. :shock: And got it, both ways! :shock: :shock: I don't know if I'm more surprised that we got it, or that I could feel that we got it. :lol:

Also did trot lateral work to break it up in the middle, which she finds easy now so it was a nice break.

So, unsurprisingly, starting with a single focus on simple basics got us a lot farther than aiming for the top from the beginning. :roll:

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Mar 19, 2017 6:40 pm

My vet is a wizard with ultrasounds, so I'm hopeful he will be able to get clear image.

Just, jingles for them to be both clear, and clear.

Walker spooked, stepped on my foot and then knocked me down in the driveway yesterday and I landed square on my knee, so I think I know how Laddie is feeling at the moment.

Other than that, I had a pretty positive ride on the old spotted idiot. We are riding out on the dirt roads just getting back into the swing of being ridden and learning not to be feral. He feels really sound at the trot, but I'm not ready to experiment at the canter yet as he has that unexploded bomb feeling to him at the trot and I don't need to get bucked off. As soon as my ring is dry enough he can go on the lunge and get that out of his system before I risk life and limb! It is like trotting a sewing machine after Laddie, though, and boy, is he a wide load.

And OMG, the hair...

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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby StraightForward » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:39 pm

Jingles for Laddie, and for your knee, too Moutaineer!

Nice pics, Flight! I know I've said it before, but I just love that big guy of yours.

I actually rode yesterday! Susan's mare was a star considering she's been off most of the winter and hasn't seen my face since early December. We both need to build some fitness though. My core is pretty much jelly. Just kept the ride simple and easy, but she was reaching down into contact and had lovely rhythm and responsiveness, and didn't get too distracted by a horse being turned out next the the arena while we were working.
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Re: Goals and Progress March April 2017

Postby cb06 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:43 pm

I was excited to be able to ride some through most of the winter, but the past couple weeks were an exception. Like a lot of you, the conditions were great for polar bears, not so good for riding. I did get to a lesson though.
My goal is to get to a show in April (preferably licensed) and get through a couple third level tests without puking (the bar is high. :lol:).

We have been practicing this particular shoulder-in-to-renvers move as I tend to collapse and was just not coordinating my body/seat well. Now, if I could just get control of my flying elbows and keep my core tight....(sigh, videoing rides is so enlightening :oops: :roll:) ...and I need to work on getting his canter 'short and snappy'. :P

https://youtu.be/ZJQcYYdT-WY


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