July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

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StraightForward
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July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jul 01, 2017 2:27 pm

I don't know where June went, but it's July 1 suddenly; time for a new thread.

I've had Anna Banana for 2.5 months now, and our work is starting to shift into gear after dealing with weather, muscle imbalance issues and an abscessed jaw. She is four and still pretty weak and green, so my goal for July is ride 3x a week getting her steadier in the bridle and working on rhythm and bend, do ground work 1x, get her off the property at least twice, and get my legs re-accustomed to riding in a jumping saddle :shock: Will reassess at the beginning of August.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Sue B » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:43 pm

SF, you forgot to mention Pickle's progress. She is looking so grown up now and did so well with her rider up. What a beautiful girl. :mrgreen:

I'm going to keep my goals modest again because the county fair begins at the end of the month, and as a 4H leader and mom, I will be crazy busy. I did get a ride in last evening, and so I'm going to include it in July even though, technically, it belongs in June. Rudy had a little bit of a melter when I asked him to go back to work after a nice walk break, but once we got past that, I got some very nice trot work, including mediums. I am just beginning to realize how much strength he's going to have to have in order to move up the levels. Riding him is beyond fun though--I would say it's like having an amazing dance partner but I suck at dancing so... I guess my goal for him will be to get at least one video made so I can see if this is all in my imagination. Meanwhile, Tio is also progressing, now to the point that when my mom's cat suddenly comes streaking through the arena behind us, or my new loony dog suddenly appears out of the alfalfa, he merely scoots a few strides instead of buck-and-bolt. My goal for him is to get him off property to see how he reacts and to get the canter more consistent. It would be nice to have video of him as well.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Rosie B » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:57 pm

My goals for July/August:

- As always, ride at least 3x a week
- Ride one test a week to make sure I'm training HIM and not the other way around ;)
- Continue to work the transitions, with the goal of having ROUND walk/canters by the end of August. Starting to show quite a bit of improvement here already since April so this should be doable.
- Continue to develop and play with the SI with the goal of having it mostly confirmed by the end of August. Big improvement here too since April.
- Continue to develop the quality of the connection so that everything else feels easy. I am not sure how else to describe this, but it's definitely key for us to make improvements everywhere else. When I've done my job here, he feels fluid, powerful, and responsive, and the movements themselves are so much easier. I guess for us this means being vigilant about how he FEELS and making whatever adjustment is needed at the moment to improve the FEEL. Whether it's abandoning the transition or the LY or the SI or whatever to ride FORWARD for a few strides, or taking his nose OUT for a moment to help him let go of tension in his neck, or adding a few steps of LY on a circle to improve the bend.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Jul 03, 2017 4:03 pm

I (kind of) sat out the last progress thread. I'm all in this time.

I went to a schooling show as ground support for my sister and her clients last weekend, which was a nice kick-in-the-pants for getting motivated to get back out there. It's been nearly 2 years since the last time I showed-- where does the time go??

Anyway, here's my goals for me:
- As always, lose weight. But be serious this time. Gulf Coast heat + humidity + fat = SO UNCOMFORTABLE OH MY GOSH. Would like to be 10lb down by Aug 31.
- 15000+ steps/day 6 days/week.
- Hold side plank for 1 min each side by end of August.

For Kiwi:
- Sign up for 8/12 schooling show. Have to decide on level (2nd? 3rd? maybe even 4th?) by end of July.
- Ride 5x/week. Bonus points for 6. Include trail rides when possible.
- Touch flying changes once per ride (if not trail riding).
- Ride through 3rd 3 by end of July, 4th 3 by end August.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby StraightForward » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:53 am

Sue B wrote:SF, you forgot to mention Pickle's progress. She is looking so grown up now and did so well with her rider up. What a beautiful girl. :mrgreen:


Thanks Sue, but all I can do to help that along is write checks. :lol:

Well, we are halfway to our off-property goal. Today I took her up to a place that allows haul-ins. One lady was just finishing up when I got there, so I had the whole place to myself, which was good because I was able to turn her loose in both the huge indoor and huge outdoor arenas to check things out and burn off some spare energy, and bad because I knew there was no one there to peel me off the ground. Nonetheless, she was introduced to arena mirrors and the mules they raise there with a minimum of drama. We had a nice ride W/T in the big outdoor arena and she didn't put a foot wrong even though she was a bit tense. Trying to arrange a trail ride with a friend in the near future as well.

The forecast here is for 100 degree days for the foreseeable future, so I'll be dragging myself out of bed extra early on Tuesdays and Thursdays to ride before work.
Last edited by StraightForward on Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby greenholmeshandy » Wed Jul 05, 2017 11:02 pm

Goals for me are to mix it up a bit so doing a variety of things with pony to keep her fresh and to do some goal setting instead of my nebulous I'm doing dressage and get rid of the canter fixation.. Did an obstacle training day which consisted of 1 1/2 hrs training over fixed x country fences and water obstacles at a stunning venue on the edge of the Yorkshire eagles, all jumps played out on grass tracks mowed into hay fields with some serious hill work. I'm a real wuss so initial jumping consisted of trotting to fence, my heart sinking and shady delicately stepping over 2 foot high logs, she is only 13.3 h. Finally plucked up courage and ended up doing a series of small jumps. Shandy loved it. After tea break rode round the whole ten miles course mainly omitting jumps but had a blast as we were galloping alongside other folk. Both of us have a spring in our step. Doing another one at the month end.

Fab training session Tuesday evening, now understand how to control shoulders, keep on a contact, stay straight and have impulsion. Lots of lateral supplying work .It's so odd, now these things are developing I kind of forget that for two or more years we spent most the time falling in or out. Pony has now found beginnings of medium trot, sits more in a slow trot and nice canter as well.

Lesson for the month is to squeeze once, get reaction, if none squeeze again, if nothing tap with stick. Don't do a sharp kick as she scuttled onto forehand, as soon as she goes forward reward by legs off and stay off until needed again, maintain contact but allow forward. It took me years to stop kick kick kicking, now we are getting rid of tap tap tapping!

Sunday I have another preliminary test, this is a quest competition, run by British dressage but less strict so sort of a half way house between unaffiliated and affiliated. It's a short arena test and outdoors and my aim is to remember the test without a commander and concentrate on riding the pony like I do in a lesson with contact and forwardness. Fingers crossed..

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Flight » Thu Jul 06, 2017 2:14 am

I've only got 3 weeks left until I have my knee fixed, so no real goals for me and I feel my motivation to ride slacking off. We did start some passage at one of my lessons so I might just keep playing with that and see if we can get some good steps before I finish riding. The big horse - maybe just aim for a bit of a steadier/consistent connection.
I've spoken to a few people who have had the same surgery and it's definitely not 8 weeks off, more like 12 and up to 5 months off!!! So I'm not looking forward to that. I'm thinking about joining a gym and see if I can get buff arms or something ... :D

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby khall » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:00 am

Greenholmes wow those are some huge improvements! Good for you and pony:)

Flight I am sorry the knee surgery is looming and recovery so long. Can I ask what specific surgery you are having? I had torn my meniscus 2013 and had it scoped, cleaned out but was not off the horse that long. I did wear a brace for about a year due to instability, now it is pretty good even though I do get some soreness sometimes especially if I am on hard floors for long periods. 4 hour tour of the Vatican on marble floors was not good.

Perspiration is right! Good grief it is hot and humid here. Dew points in the 70's mean we have air we can wear. Not good for man nor beast so I am not too ambitious on my goals. Mostly in hand work unless we catch a break at some point. The horses just cannot cool off in this weather if asked to work hard and I know it is hard on me as well. Rip with what little work I have done is going well, filly is on hold with the hot weather and Gaila has been lunged a bit. Had a bit of a swollen hock, no lameness but took it easy. With the humidity and all the rain we have been having horses are easily showing signs of cellulitis and dew poisoning (which can lead to cellulitis) so fighting to keep all healthy here. Have even worked the old girl too a bit in hand. She has some new students to show the ropes to, so wanted to see where she was and good as gold as usual!

Stay cool all!!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby mari » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:21 am

Love these threads. I don't have hardcore goals, my only real one is to baby my neck along so I can continue to be active.

Every ride is the ride-of-a-thousand-transitions for us at the moment. I thought we were doing a lot before, but nope! It is really helping Odie to be lighter in the bridle, something which has eluded us for years.

I've been doing a lot of t/w/t transitions, with the aim of having just one or two walk steps. Yesterday my instructor told me to switch it up. Walk a few steps, playing with the body using SI/renvers/travers, and then trot just two or three steps, back to active walk. It was difficult in the beginning, but we ended up getting such good steps! Not half steps, just small active trot steps, and quick soft reactions for the downward.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Borrowed Freedom » Thu Jul 06, 2017 9:51 am

Started recently introducing madam to SI/travers under saddle. She has done it inhand with my previous instructor but only recently introduced properly under saddle. SI she clicked fairly quickly where she needs to step and in our first lesson of doing it, I even got SI in the canter. Travers is another story, partly because she wants to offer more than needed. So we had brat tantrums at a point, but once she clicked she didn't have to step as far as what she thought she offered it without issues.

My own issue with lateral work is I have a tendency to want to block the forward movement. My instructor actually said at a point "Your seat looks fine but you keep on blocking the forward movement". He said most likely that bad habit came from my previous horse being a forwarding horse, so I developed the bad habit of blocking forward movement in lateral moves.

Yesterday in my lesson I got told that I will be riding in 4 weeks times at a dressage ride and go at Kyalami. Will be our second outing under saddle. My instructor wanted me to do Novice (1st level) and I wanted to do Prelim (training), so we compromised and I'll do one prelim test and one novice test :lol: Now I just need to figure out the website and how to enter as a recreational rider

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Thu Jul 06, 2017 1:39 pm

Alright, where to begin!! I don't have specific goals right now other than to take full advantage of an amazing opportunity and to learn as much as I humanly can from it.

Work has been a bit slow for me - in my real life, I'm a senior art director in an advertising agency and every summer, before school starts up, clients disappear and we get a reprieve from the chaos. So, I've been cashing in on my huge bank of PTO days and going down to help Andrea on her farm as often as I can without getting fired lol. I figured that she'd just have me doing chores etc, but, she is letting me ride her group of horses! Obviously I don't get on anyone who is in training with her, but she has a few personal sales horses, and a few horses in training to become schoolmasters, as well as Gala. So, that means that when I'm down there, I'm riding 5-6 horses a day from very green to Gala (her GP horse). The deal is that other than Gala, I only get to ride each horse one time, then the next day she rides, so that she can feel what I've produced in terms of feel - good or bad. That also keeps my target very high so that I keep feeling them at their best. I'm sore as hell, going from a desk to 5 horses in one day is not the best thing in the world, but I'm LOVING every. single. second of it.

So far, in just a 2 weeks, I've come to some realizations because across the board, I can pick out that I produce the same feel in all the horses across the board (good or bad), and then I can tear that apart. Everything, including my technique for riding circles has been in a glaring spotlight and as a result, my rides on Gala have been particularly good recently. I'm hoping that I can keep this up for as long as I can with work because this is invaluable.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jul 06, 2017 3:43 pm

I decided to skip the July show and aim for August, i have one day to change my mind, but the rescue of the donk and horse somewhat drained my finances.

Kimba: really smooth out first level work and solidify second level to a competitive level
Deneb: Maybe get to a training show before the end of August, but mostly ride her to a competitive level at home, using first level as an evaluation scale.

Acacia: starting to get very lateral in canter work, so develop true canter, strengthen walk and trot.

I am including a client horse in my goals here because i really want to bring them on. Faramir, get him and his rider really solid in the connection through all the requirements of first level.

I find i use a lot of lateral work to develop my horses, but that does not mean that the are doing them at show quality, so i am using the showing levels to evaluate the consistent progress of my horses, for the remainder of the year.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Thu Jul 06, 2017 4:11 pm

Chisamba, I think you're doing fantastic work with your horses and students. I hope that Deneb continues to show progress with the hormones!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jul 06, 2017 5:28 pm

Dresseur wrote:Chisamba, I think you're doing fantastic work with your horses and students. I hope that Deneb continues to show progress with the hormones!


Thank you Dresseur. I love that you are having the opportunity to ride many horses with overview. I made my most dramatic progress when i was lucky enough to have a situation similar to the one you are currently enjoying!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Flight » Fri Jul 07, 2017 3:01 am

Khall - I'm having an ACL reconstruction. Unfortunately my knee isn't stable enough for work and I'm going to end up trashing it more. So from what I gather, the time off is for letting the graft (taken from my hamstring) heal over, they drill through your bones and attach the graft and the bone has to heal over etc. My sister said she rode an 80km endurance ride 8 weeks after hers, but said she really should have given it another 4 weeks before riding.

Very cool that you are getting to ride your instructor's horses Dresseur! How is Miro?

Just had a great lesson with the little horse, I'm going to have to put together a before and after vid, of just this year. His canter is so much better, I still struggle with enough impulsion at times ,but I can feel his back coming up under my bum and he just rounds himself. I used to be (and can still be) so handsy in an effort to get him "round", but now I'm getting that it takes time and the right training for it to be offered like that.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby mari » Fri Jul 07, 2017 7:47 am

Borrowed Freedom - are you a fellow South African?
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Borrowed Freedom » Fri Jul 07, 2017 10:13 am

Yes I am mari, have been out of the competition scene for a bit when I retired my old man and am now prepping my mare for competitions. I'm actually based in Pretoria

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Fri Jul 07, 2017 12:42 pm

Flight, it's a huge learning experience for me, I'm so excited! Miro is doing well, I expect to slowly starting bringing him back into work soon - I haven't been in a rush since I'm riding at Andrea's so often. I hope that you heal well after your surgery!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Sue B » Fri Jul 07, 2017 9:55 pm

Exciting times for you, Dresseur! So much to learn from those horses and your trainer. Jingling that Miro has fully recovered.

Jingling for you and your surgery Flight! I hope you are back in the saddle sooner than you expect.

BF and mari, so nice to hear from the S. African contingent. My SIL is South African as well.

So, yeah, it is HOT here too, like mid to upper 90's instead of 100+ that Boise is experiencing. Nonetheless, I am riding both horses at (almost) every opportunity. I rode Rudy without stirrups yesterday because I was having a hard time getting my legs to drape properly even though he was nicely forward and responsive. Dropping the stirrups worked like a charm and I was able to get some really nice trot work with absolutely no change in tempo regardless of whether we were doing lateral work or building mediums. The only issue was dropping a bit onto the forehand in the t-h at the end of our session. Much to his highness' annoyance, I had to prolong the work just a bit to make sure he finished out halting correctly. Tio was a bit fussy, probably because he is not fond of heat or bugs; both of which we were not lacking. Since he wasn't particularly happy, I decided to skip cavelletti and low jumps and satisfied myself with just getting round circles and adequate transitions. He may have started out grumpy, but by the end, he was also quite forward and pleasant to ride. I think I drank a quart of water in-between and after riding. :P

I should add that, a couple of days ago Rudy did the most beautiful 1/4 pir in the canter onto the diagonal and if I hadn't been such a weenie, I suspect he would have thrown in a lovely fc too.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:22 pm

Today was jump day. Acacia with a student and Kimba with me. We did x rails, canter poles and then 2'6 small course. Kimba over jumps til she settles down. However she was definitely more rideable, not as strong as she used to get after the fence.

Deneb suffered a catastrophic kick injury. We xrayed and found no bone damage thank goodness, but she is on a walk schedule. Poor girl.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Sun Jul 09, 2017 12:11 pm

You just can't catch a break with Deneb!! Glad the X-rays were clear, hope she recovers soon!!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Rosie B » Sun Jul 09, 2017 6:50 pm

Dresseur what a fabulous opportunity!!! Can you tell us a bit more about the horses you've been getting to ride so we can live vicariously a little bit?? :mrgreen:

Chisamba - sorry to hear about Deneb. I hope she recovers quickly. Your jumping day sounds like an absolute blast.

Flight - I am eagerly awaiting your before and after video from this year. And best of luck with the surgery, and wishing you a very speedy recovery.

Sue B - Rudy sounds like he is becoming an absolute pleasure to ride. I hope you can get some video of both your boys soon - it's been a long time since we've seen them.

Borrowed Freedom - I can't wait to hear about your outing. Do you have any pics you could share of your girl? I don't think I've seen her.

Bliss is doing well. Nothing major to report but we continue to make progress on the transitions. It's been really hot and buggy here. Today I didn't have time for a proper schooling session so I rode him bareback up and down the driveway at walk and trot. I just had on shorts and a tank (and helmet of course), and it was lovely to feel the soft springiness in his back so clearly under my seat. I think he enjoyed it too because he was so relaxed and so soft and snorting. He is SUCH a great horse. <3 <3 <3

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby mari » Mon Jul 10, 2017 7:38 am

Borrowed Freedom wrote:Yes I am mari, have been out of the competition scene for a bit when I retired my old man and am now prepping my mare for competitions. I'm actually based in Pretoria


Awesome! Our yard is in Glenferness. Not many South Africans on here, nice to meet you :D
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Mon Jul 10, 2017 2:28 pm

I can try to go over who I'm riding, I'm keeping notes, but it's mostly on things I'm feeling and stuff I'm putting together as I'm working them. I'm definitely under no illusions that I'm helping to train anyone - they're all training me!

So, Tito: he is an ex PSG horse, around 14 or 15 years old. I say ex because he was out of work for a long time and is now being brought back as either a schoolmaster or a sales horse. He's a lot of fun. Most of what is being done is conditioning work. Nothing fancy until he regains strength. He's a lot of fun... a bit of a hothead but very, very safe feeling. Which sounds at odds with each other, but I don't know how else to describe it. He's just fun. So, what I find very interesting with him is that he has a very correct feeling in terms of responses, but because the suppleness and musculature isn't there yet, it's a brittle feeling. But, each time I'm on him, he feels better and better.

R is a larger gelding, when he first came into training, he was downright dangerous. He has some odd markings and scars that seem to indicate some sort of abuse or lack of self preservation. He has been in training for the better part of 2 years and is now a very solid citizen. He is a client horse, but is being used for lessons with advanced students as well. I really, really enjoy riding him. He does all the lateral work, and the biggest thing for him is that he must allow the rider to touch him and work him. If he goes too many days with someone riding too preciously, you can feel a tension start bubbling up. What I find fascinating with him is that when I'm feeling textures in his back - when I first get on, he's very smooth in the back. What I didn't realize is that at first, I was loosing that smoothness - which in hindsight, meant that I was losing throughness and he was starting to get too still and posey. Now, I am able to regain the smoothness if I loose it. He is also the one that happily pointed out that I was doing circles all wrong. I couldn't figure out why he never seemed to soften from the circles - he would follow the inside rein when I indicated it, but he kept falling out of them. Cue the realization that I wasn't doing enough with my outside leg to drive the circle around. No wonder even Gala would motorcycle in the circles a bit. I need to make sure the horse isn't just following the inside rein, but allow much more on the outside and make sure the outside hind keeps driving the circle around. Cue the realization that I was creating 2 short sides on Miro by not allowing enough on the outside. Cue hitting my head against the wall. sigh....

Caz, he came with Tito, much lower level, and out of work for a while. His conformation is fairly atrocious. Very high in the neck, dropped in the chest - very, very long back that borders on a sway back. He is longed first then ridden lightly. The first day that I rode him, I found him to be balky. Turns out, I was using too much thigh on him and shutting him down. The circle lesson from R was huge on him. It really gets him even and swinging. If you don't have that, in the canter, he tries to switch leads every few steps as he jams his back up. So, circles, serpentines, changes of directions, making sure that he is bending as evenly as he can. Leg yields and very light shoulder fore bordering on shoulder in. He just feels very different from anything I've been on, but the main thing is that again, she gets him very even and smooth feeling in the back. I lose it on him.

Louie - one of her sales horses, a 5 year old... very, very unfortunate build to his neck. But despite that, a lovely, lovely mover. I've only been on him 3 times. The first 2 rides I had on him were good. Then I rode too quietly and he got very behind me and started flinging his head. So, I promptly got pulled from him. oops :/ Andrea assures me that it's not because I suck that badly, but, she's not willing to let that slide either. Standards are high!

Rio - he's a friend of mine's horse, so I have permission to ride him now and again to feel things. I have to say, one of the few that I actively dislike riding. The way I sit on him feels like my center of gravity is way, way up high. Other than that, he's relatively normal in his work.

Gala, of course every one knows her at this point. What I'm finding is that with each horse I'm on... I feel something at the basic level that I can attribute to an issue I'm having at a higher level. For instance. In the canter, I still want to soften my shoulders a bit - so, I can't hold her on my back which means that the contact is heavier than it should be. I was leaving every corner in shoulder in because I was just pulling her around with the inside rein. DUH. *cue more head banging off walls. My bilateral hh were not working because I persist in over bending her neck. DUH * cue even MORE banging head off the wall. Funny how things get much better when you stop over bending the horse. sigh.... I feel like I'm forgetting things, but we've even started to isolate a bit of an asymmetry in my hip and that I'm letting go in my core when doing changes, which means that I try to get the change by swinging her neck back and forth - which doesn't work. at all. ever. sigh.

The other one that I got an opportunity to sit on is a client horse, she is also a friend of mine, and he's starting to work on working pirouettes. Andrea wanted me to feel what he does, which is a very exaggerated version of what Gala does to me. He slows down and the hind stops working, which makes him hop up and down rather than sweep around. The second I felt it - a light bulb went off. So I was very, very thankful to sit on him for those few minutes.

Ted is a schoolmaster - and he's interesting. He was trained to pose a long time ago and he was quite uncomfortable when he first came into training. He also ka-chunked the bit off his mouth and dropped the contact all the time. I had sat on him at varying points in his training and it is amazing the difference. His whole body has changed, and now he has a light, lively contact that doesn't feel stiff or brittle and he is very comfortable.

Herbie belongs to a student of A's and she's out of riding due to a pregnancy. Herbie is in training, but also teaches lessons as a way to offset training fees. She is a 21- 22?) year old 4th level horse, who is knocking on the door of PSG. Her owner did an amazing job with her, but had to ride more carefully at a critical point in the horse's training - the changes. So, as a result, Herbie has some interesting habits there... which include blasting through the changes and being late behind. So, watching Andrea re-school that, and having had the opportunity to feel what is going on in her back as she does those things, is very interesting. I've only been on her once.

I think that covers it... They have each showed me things that I consistently do across the board both good and bad. And my feel for things is refining as I feel different sensations across different conformations, personalities, and levels of training and how as they continue to be worked by Andrea, how similarities start to show up in terms of how they feel in the bridle and in their backs.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby cb06 » Mon Jul 10, 2017 9:48 pm

Nice updates. Good to see the interesting paths to progress and mixing things up with the work (sorry about Deneb Chisamba :( hope it is an uneventful and short layup).
I have been working too much and riding too little. But...goals.
I'm changing up my schedule to try and get morning rides in more frequently.
..and I signed-up for a show the end of July, and will probably do another the end of August.
My goal is to not die of heat stroke. :P

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Dresseur » Tue Jul 11, 2017 2:14 am

And! For something fun- 2 of my friends and I signed up for a vaulting clinic on the 21st! This could be a disaster lol

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Jul 11, 2017 12:01 pm

Chisamba-- Hope Deneb heals quickly. I hate the two steps forward/one step back training/health tango. Hope all resolves soon.

Yesterday was the holiest of all holy days. That's right-- it was Introduce the Double Bridle Day.

Initially, Kiwi was not enthused:
Image

But after she went on a nice long trail ride with her new 11-hand best friend (and white-padding-bridle buddy), she decided it was an OK thing, after all.

Image

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:39 pm

Dang, Chisamba! Welcome to the handwalking club.

Not much progress and quite a lot of perspiration here. Laddie didn't lunge as perfectly as we would like at the trot before the last stem cell treatment. I suspect he may have given himself a tweak, though everyone swears blind they haven't seen him do anything untoward. However, he is walking soundly with no toe drag now, so that is what we will be doing for the next 3 weeks until the next, and last, treatment. And probably for some time after that...

It's just time and patience, I keep telling myself. Horses.

It's been wicked hot even up in the mountains, and what with all the other weirdness going on in my life, Walker and I haven't done a whole lot. (Among other things, a big group of steers broke out of the ranch over the next canyon and have been roaming free on our mountain. Seeing the reaction my horses had when they came crashing through my back pasture, I really didn't fancy meeting them on a quiet trail somewhere...)

I'm off to a conference in the hell hole that is Vegas for the next few days, but when I come back, we are going to get down to it and get him looking more like a horse and less like a cow.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Rosie B » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:32 pm

Dresseur - Thank-you SO much for writing that all out!!! I found reading those enormously interesting and useful. Your lightbulb about the outside leg during circles gave us the best canter work we've ever had last night - 10m circles were suddenly soft and easy when I put my outside leg on!! Your description of Caz sounds a lot like Bliss.

ponichiwa - The look on Kiwi's face is rather priceless!! Congratulations on this milestone!

Good luck with the treatments and the hand walking Mountaineer!

cb06 - Good luck at the show! Hopefully you can get some pics to share. Your boy is so handsome. :)

I had another bareback ride on Bliss on Monday, and am planning another one today. Even on just the 2nd ride, it was much easier to stay centered. I think it's a fun change for both of us. He seems to enjoy it as much as I do. :)

And... a few pics for fun. :) I really need to figure out how to ride bareback without rounding my shoulders though.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jul 13, 2017 12:56 am

Love the updates and photos. Sorry for the hand walking gang but crossing fingers for all. I am perspiring with you here in Tennessee. Riding in 90+F this week at home was tolerable in that I just came back from a getaway to Savannah Georgia--which is a good 5 degrees hotter and much steamier. Rosie, I need to ride Emi bareback again while it is so hot! She is rounder now (in a good way) and probably more comfortable than she used to be.

My goals are inspired by the latest JJ Tate clinic I audited. Somehow, her translation of larger wisdom (the overall classical approach to developing the horse's ability to carry) with Jeremy Sternberg's kindly "just go through it--it will get better" is a combo that I really like in my mind with training.

Goals for the rest of the summer:

-Try riding Emi with spurs. I think I need them for the specificity of the aid for the FC from right to left. (No, I don't normally ride with spurs.)

-Be absolutely vigilant about Emi's right hind (and alignment in general), which is always ready to escape weight loading (it is weaker than the left). I realized after the clinic that I monitor and manage that hind in halt, trot, reinback, half steps and piaffe, and right lead canter. But I was NOT managing it in left lead canter. Making that connection led us to a whole other level of left lead canter. Woohoo!

-Using the above tools, get back to the regular flying changes work (try to solve the right to left challenge). I am healthy and strong, and she is fit.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby mari » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:36 am

Rosie - Awesome pics! I also tend to round my shoulders bareback, I think it's because I have to tilt my pelvis a lot more than I need to when in a saddle.
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:37 am

So my focus has been on consistency in the connection. I think when Kimba gets heavier in the connection it shows me when she needs better balance. So u can pause, establish balance before proceeding. Be it simple canter, or lateral movements.

So I have been paying attention with the goal to improving transitional strength

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Rosie B » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:37 pm

mari - that is exactly why I am rounding my shoulders. I have to tilt my pelvis A LOT... I wonder though if I can still sit up and open in spite of the pelvic tilt. Something to work on I guess.

Here's a short video of the bareback ride:
https://youtu.be/pVacLuoCITA

So far from perfect... and yet so fun. :)

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jul 13, 2017 3:42 pm

i do not think one should tilt ones pelvis more to ride bare back then one does to ride in a saddle? I guess i spent so much of my life riding bareback as a kid, but I do not feel like there is a significant change in pelvis position, my legs tend to get very relaxed bare back, but i think my back, shoulders and hips stay the same. I think.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby musical comedy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:16 pm

Chisamba wrote:I think when Kimba gets heavier in the connection it shows me when she needs better balance. So u can pause, establish balance before proceeding.
That's something I am addressing now tht should have been addressed long ago. Seems like such a no brainer. It wasn't until I read Piedmont's Jeremy notes that my lightbulb when on. Trying to generate more energy from behind once the front has dropped doesn't work, at least not for me.

Chisamba wrote:i do not think one should tilt ones pelvis more to ride bare back then one does to ride in a saddle?
Well, I have no idea about how to ride bareback. I do not see how this helps the horse one little bit. If it is a fun thing for a rider, then I guess go for it. Imo, it doesn't allow the best distribution of weight and it results in sitting too heavy. With the exception of demos on x-international-GP horses, I have not seen any BNT's advocating incorporating bareback in the horse's routine.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby demi » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:46 pm

Bareback riding can be about partnership. It 's close contact. And don't dressage riders want the closest possible contact? That is why monoflap saddles,etc. The rider can really feel the back without a saddle. Plus, the rider can't rely on a saddle for stability so has to develop even better balance, feeling, and reflex. Its also fun, and when the rider is having genuine fun, the horse can feel it and respond. Bliss and Rosie always look happy, but their bareback pictures look especially light and free. Maybe the result of the bareback riding?

I can't ride bareback anymore because I'm too stiff and ny reflexes are too slow. But I clearly remember doing it when I was young. I wish I still could.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:10 pm

Sometimes dressage people forget it's supposed to be fun....don't they?

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby musical comedy » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:16 pm

demi wrote:Bareback riding can be about partnership. It 's close contact. And don't dressage riders want the closest possible contact? That is why monoflap saddles,etc. The rider can really feel the back without a saddle. Plus, the rider can't rely on a saddle for stability so has to develop even better balance, feeling, and reflex. Its also fun, and when the rider is having genuine fun, the horse can feel it and respond. Bliss and Rosie always look happy, but their bareback pictures look especially light and free. Maybe the result of the bareback riding?

I can't ride bareback anymore because I'm too stiff and ny reflexes are too slow. But I clearly remember doing it when I was young. I wish I still could.
Well I disaagree, but as usual I'm in the minority. All this happy fun stuff will keep you at 2nd level and below. If that's what you want, so be it. No, I do not think dressage is 'fun'. In fact, I rather dislike that term for dressage a lot. It is a serious, very expensive sport to me. If I wanted to bop around and have 'fun' hacking, then I'd buy some 4 figure nag and not bother with working on training.
but their bareback pictures look especially light and free

They look strung out and the horse looks weak, immature, and unmuscled, likely from this type of riding.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Rosie B » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:34 pm

That was the third time I've ridden him bareback. I was just trying not to slip and to keep a steady contact.

Have I schooled him in this sort of frame and balance in the past? Yes, for a period of a few months when I was getting help from a non dressage person. But in general I don't school like this anymore. I aim for a steady, elastic, and athletic connection, and what's shown in this video is not there yet.

This pic is from the same ride... just for interest's sake. I know I look like crap here, but I don't think anyone would say he looks weak and unmuscled.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Chisamba » Thu Jul 13, 2017 5:58 pm

I like cross training, as it were, i do jumping hacking, and a number of not quite dressage things, so i am okay with bareback riding, especially a slip of a girl like Rosie B. If it hurts the horses back, then don't do it, but if your horse is comfortable with you on its bare back, no harm no foul. However, I still do not think that my posture changes significantly bare back, lol. I think i posted a photo of myself riding bareback once but i cannot find it, i was going to look to see my posture, that is why i looked.

Yes, dressage is a sport. Sport can be enjoyed on a relaxed level for fun, and it can be done at a more intense level. I think people can and should happily do what they prefer. I have heard of very top dressage riders advocating doing things other than riding in the ring, if not in particular , bare back riding. I do think its good for rider balance.
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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby AmityBee » Thu Jul 13, 2017 7:43 pm

I was without a saddle for close to 18 months and obviously rode bareback during that time. It hasn't done me or the horse any harm. I had the horses back checked a few times during that period.

However, I only rode 1-3/week, and I never rode without any padding. I usually used a sheepskin pad with a 3cm foam inlay. What I disliked most was that I couldn't alternate between working collected and sending my horse forward, like I would like to with a saddle. Still, I think for me and the pony the time was priceless. Balance, bonding, seat, feel. Small things. But now that I finally have a saddle again (custom made) these things come together and we are in a much better place than before. No harm done.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jul 13, 2017 8:20 pm

I usually only ride bareback when it is very hot or very cold! My laziness at tacking is at play there...I do think it is fun, but it really depends on your horse's build as to whether it is reasonably comfortable for them--or for the rider!

I am challenged to stay out of a chair seat when I ride bareback, and I know that I keep my mare's gaits a bit smaller for my own security. I do feel like bareback riding is a chance to make the aids of the sitbones extra clear to the horse.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby khall » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:22 pm

I've always enjoyed riding bareback when I had the horse to do so. I too have had saddle issues and spent a good bit of time riding bareback on my mare Gallie when she was younger, still will ride her bareback now just for fun and to school her a bit. I could do everything bareback that I could do US from CC to HP to medium trot/canter. My position does suffer a bit with more of a chair seat, I don't think I round my shoulders though.

Some horses, like Rip, I will never get on bareback! He is too round too tall and too unpredictable. I do ride his sister Gaila bareback for fun. She is round too but easier gaits to sit.

I cannot imagine not thinking of riding as fun. I would not do it if I did not enjoy it as much as I do.

Sweltering here, not getting much done except playing with puppies. Just too fricking hot and humid:(

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Flight » Thu Jul 13, 2017 10:59 pm

I find bareback riding puts you in a chair seat because it feels like there's a spot for your legs/thighs to go that is more forward than usual. I did read this somewhere too, and that it wasn't necessarily a good way to practice your position. I'll see if I can find it. However, I think it's a great way to practice balance! And if you are crooked you'll soon find out!! Nice photos, you both always look elegant.
Musical Comedy, I agree that dressage is serious and as I'm now above 2nd level I'm finding that too, but as the horse gets easier to ride, I think it's even more enjoyable.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jul 13, 2017 11:47 pm

I think that riding/training is both fun + fascinating and serious/focussed + requires discipline. Although I truly have fun every time I am with my horse--she really is an animal companion/friend to me--I realize that I am both pretty serious in general and very dedicated to working towards improvement in us both. There is also nothing like being at a serious eventing barn (where people come back with XC highs and smiles) to remind me how much fun equestrian sports are---and to also show me just how serious dressage training towards the upper levels is==which is beyond the goals/interests of most event riders at my barn. I will say that I have seen time and time again people who are newer to dressage be shocked at the amount of work and knowledge it takes to go beyond the easy ribbons of a good mover at 1st level (to 2nd, 3rd and upper levels).

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby AmityBee » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:20 am

Flight wrote:I find bareback riding puts you in a chair seat because it feels like there's a spot for your legs/thighs to go that is more forward than usual.


I agree, riding bareback isn't going to improve your dressage position. But finding your ballance and seat bareback and brining that feel back into the dressage saddle is. :)

Unless you ride a fence post of a horse, you will have issues extending your hips to the extent that will allow you to "drape" your thighs around your horses barrel. I ride an oil barrel of a horse, of course he will put me in a chair seat when I ride bareback. Anatomically there are no other options.

A saddle will raise the rider up enough to allow for a bit of "waist" to drape your thighs over. Also, a very popular spot for a saddle to pinch on a wider horse, just below the stirrup bar...

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby demi » Fri Jul 14, 2017 2:05 pm

khall wrote:...Sweltering here, not getting much done except playing with puppies. Just too fricking hot and humid:(


I hear you about the sweltering. Last night at 10 o'clock it was still 91 degrees here. It cools down to the high 70's but not till 3-4 am. That doesn't give the horses enough time to cool off to a comfortable level before the temp starts going back up to the high 90's. They certainly don't rest well in this heat. It can be counterproductive to try and train an unrested horse. Rocky is a bit crabby. She lays her ears back if she thinks I might pressure her. Emma, isn't crabby but she is fussy. Her skin itches and wants to rub her face on me. I could, of course, put them to work anyway, but I really feel that even ground work right now wouldn't do them any good, and would probably just teach them that working is not enjoyable.

This isn't really a dressage training post, but I guess, depending on how one views training, it could be, if you know what I mean...

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:16 pm

I ride in my jump saddle 1-2x a week and I have found hill work and low jumps/trot poles to be quite a good tool for increasing strength in my horse-- dressage ring work can only go so far.

I ride with eventers, so I have a bit of a different take now, it's FUN, LOL, and I am getting better work now that I am doing different things. My horse LOVES this too, and he is more fresh and eager to be ridden then when I did dressage 4x a week.

And I'm getting to be less of a wuss!!!! riding with braver people.

Allison Springer has no trouble pulling out a good test, so really once can do many things successfully.

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Jul 14, 2017 5:17 pm

and gasp, I do NH in a ROPE halter, kill me now...... that isn't serious dressage....guess I'n not that serious!??!?!

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Re: July/August Perspiration and Progress Thread

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:01 pm

Jeez. Getting hot outside and inside, I guess.

I do agree with MC on this one. Dressage to me isn't fun. It's a lot of things-- challenging, rewarding, interesting, invigorating-- but it's not a stress-free laugh and a half, which is how I interpret fun.

Add on that the fact that my ride times are limited by my work schedule, and the majority of my rides end up in the ring working on something. That doesn't make my choice right and everyone else wrong, or vice versa, but it is what's working for me.


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