September and October Goals and Progress

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Ryeissa
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Sep 21, 2017 9:28 pm

yes, definitely clinic! :)

need collective show jingles please... I have an event in oct, first one in 3 yrs. Very small. I'm still nervous. thanks
My horse is doing really well, it's more the mental confidence I need, the machanics are good.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:18 pm

Ah Snap! Many jingles Ryeissa for a nerve-free FUN show.

Great pictures Chisamba

Super jealous DJR :mrgreen:

Khall, you can have our cold weather if you wish. I think it's about 45 and raining, blowing.......

Dresseur, congrats on Miro's weight loss

Tuddy, I ride a "wide load" and he is a real joy to me. Oddly, even though I have pretty severe arthritis in both hips, his wideness does not bother me.

It went from roasting hot to cold and wet pretty much in one day. I managed to ride TFSS but rain and wind and soccer games have kept me off the ponies since. Both horses got to go for a bit of a ride down the road on Sunday, which was fun not only for me but for the horses as well. Now that Tio is all grown up, I am seriously considering buying another dressage saddle--one that will fit his huge shoulders better. I think that will help with his "issues", although the fit of the saddle I have now isn't horrible. Ah well, we'll see. At least, unlike Rudy, he will be able to go in an "off the shelf" type saddle, I think he just needs a hoop tree instead of what he has. At any rate, he was twit-free on the road and 99% twit-free in the arena despite the cool breeze that started up as soon as I got on him. We even cantered both directions around the arena past all the scary bushes. Instructor cancelled our "jumping lesson" for this coming Sunday--maybe next week. I still haven't got Rudy up to my coach but I continue to do the work necessary for good flying changes so that will be ready to rockandroll when I have time. I am pretty sure he will be ready for 3rd level next summer. :)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Hot4Spots » Thu Sep 21, 2017 10:33 pm

Sigh. It's been a while. Horse had bad suspensory injury (hind) in late 2015. After a 16 months, we were almost back to full work, and he re-injured (partially). We were up to 20 minutes (not all at once) trot, and were just going to start cantering, and it was back to walk (at least under saddle, not in hand).......Well, here we are at two years in, and we JUST got permission to trot - six long sides of the arena, no corners at the trot. He's still not 100%, and it's been rough, because he's hyper-alert and spooky by nature. Other than "we finally get to trot - a little," the only good news is that, at first with a little ACE and then without, he's reached the point where I can ride him around the property on the gravel and pavement (which is better for his injury) without it being a life-and-limb endangering experience. He's still not much of a trail horse. I haven't felt confident enough of his behavior to even ACE him and take him out on the level parts of the available trails. I know from experience that he can blow right through the tranq if something really sets him off. Sigh. He feels good, but at this point, I can't tell if he's that much better or just going on adrenalin. It was funny, though, the first time I asked him to trot - he was all, "But you've been INSISTING I can only WALK! What? You WANT me to trot? Are you sure?" :lol:

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Rosie B
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:02 am

DJR - who are you trying to kid?? Let us know how the clinic goes ;)

I would love to respond to everyone (and I am reading all the posts as I can) but I'm back at work now full time and with the kids, horses, doggies, and work I don't have much time for posting.

Happy riding to all that are in the saddle, good luck to all those convalescing, and thinking slender thoughts to all those humans and equines in need of them. :)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:07 am

I've gotten 4 rides this week on Rocky so far. Three rides in the arena and one double lounge. Tomorrow I should take her on a trail ride. I am tempted to ride in the arena again because she has been so cooperative but that might be asking too much from her. So we'll do trails.

I found a local trainer that I plan to start working with in the next few weeks. I am really looking forward to it. I am a little nervous, but it is a good kind of nervous.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:29 am

demi wrote:I've gotten 4 rides this week on Rocky so far. Three rides in the arena and one double lounge. Tomorrow I should take her on a trail ride. I am tempted to ride in the arena again because she has been so cooperative but that might be asking too much from her. So we'll do trails.

I found a local trainer that I plan to start working with in the next few weeks. I am really looking forward to it. I am a little nervous, but it is a good kind of nervous.


Good plan. Do the trails. You have time.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chisamba » Sat Sep 23, 2017 1:41 am

Hot4Spots wrote:Sigh. It's been a while. Horse had bad suspensory injury (hind) in late 2015. After a 16 months, we were almost back to full work, and he re-injured (partially). We were up to 20 minutes (not all at once) trot, and were just going to start cantering, and it was back to walk (at least under saddle, not in hand).......Well, here we are at two years in, and we JUST got permission to trot - six long sides of the arena, no corners at the trot. He's still not 100%, and it's been rough, because he's hyper-alert and spooky by nature. Other than "we finally get to trot - a little," the only good news is that, at first with a little ACE and then without, he's reached the point where I can ride him around the property on the gravel and pavement (which is better for his injury) without it being a life-and-limb endangering experience. He's still not much of a trail horse. I haven't felt confident enough of his behavior to even ACE him and take him out on the level parts of the available trails. I know from experience that he can blow right through the tranq if something really sets him off. Sigh. He feels good, but at this point, I can't tell if he's that much better or just going on adrenalin. It was funny, though, the first time I asked him to trot - he was all, "But you've been INSISTING I can only WALK! What? You WANT me to trot? Are you sure?" :lol:


Suspensory rehab can be frustrating

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Sep 23, 2017 4:19 am

Hot4spots, rehab is just so tough. I'm scared to try trotting mine in case I find out hes still broken.

But so far, from a sanity under saddle perspective, I'm really happy with the smartpak tranquility stuff. Something happened while I was riding yesterday which had all the other horses in the ring leaping all over the place, and would have normally caused a major explosion, and he was just "meh."

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:00 pm

Mountaineer - That's great! You must have heaved a sigh of relief.

I just had another look at my goals for this session. I am working well on most of them but have lost sight of riding my corners.

But I have some video proof that I AM incorporating HP into the mix! Lots to work on, but the HPs feel much better than they did last year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zfz4OhA ... e=youtu.be

eta: this is from yesterday morning
Last edited by Rosie B on Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:29 pm

Demi hope the new trainer is really good for you!
Hot4spots thats a long rehab, hoping yours and Mountaineers continue to be well.

Rosie, that's recent vid? I see lots of good HP? :) And he looks really nice and active in that vid. Like you say he normally is at home compared to that time at the lesson?

I had my first lesson back since my knee, I was thinking it will be a bit hopeless but weren't not far off from where we were. He did get me to ride him more rounder, which was just by asking for a bit more flexion/bend, add a bit of leg for impulsion and getting that give feeling through his neck and body. He became so light, it was just little pressures with my fingers to get it. I think being up he was getting too set in the neck.
Here's some vid of us mucking around at home (before lesson). We fell out of the arena a few times before I got them to fit in!
https://youtu.be/rBY7FdWZYwc

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sun Sep 24, 2017 4:26 am

Woohoo, I got to ride today! I kept it to probably 15 minutes. The BO decided to load manure in the dump trailer with his tractor right by the arena gate just as I was ready to get on. Annabelle didn't bat an eye at it, and was quite a star for a greenie who's been off for four weeks. She still remembered how to turn right and was quite light and responsive, though a little sticky in the H/W/H transitions. It was hard to keep the ride short, but I'm hoping for a streak of nice, steady work over the next couple months.

Good to see everyone's videos. I'll hopefully get some tomorrow.
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Ryeissa
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Sep 24, 2017 9:32 pm

Nice work everyone! :)

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cb06
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby cb06 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:25 pm

Got my Bronze...that is all. :D

The cliffnotes from the last goals and progress thread..."JC this is HARD!" and "Why am I so stink'n nervous and anxious at shows?!" :P

Anyway, nerves addressed (sort of, mostly), and it's still hard, but we eecked it out. Now we are going to concentrate on basics and getting better at...well...everything. ;)

(FYI, pics from last show and yes, it was hot as Hades (in Sept?!) and both of us were about to give up the ghost in the ring after a <10 minute 'warm-up').

Image

Image

Image

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:39 pm

What an awesome group! Well done all--whether a bronze , lovely work or remaining at walk for rehab!

I am missing riding in our great weather, but wrist surgery went well and I have a kind working student keeping Emi in work and attention during my layoff. They will be riding in a clinic in a few weeks together, which will be fun.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Mon Sep 25, 2017 3:44 pm

Congratulations, CB!
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:07 pm

Congrats CB!

I'm glad the surgery went well, Piedmont. Sorry you are missing nice weather. We went from summer to winter, just like that. It has been just beastly here this weekend, miserably cold, a lot of snow and sleet and now muddy as all get out. Whilst distinctly "up" because of the cold and no turnout, Laddie managed to hold it together and behave like a gentleman under saddle as I upped his ride time to 30 minutes.

However, the sun is coming out now and it's supposed to be in the 60's be Wednesday.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:19 pm

Well done on the bronze!!!! :D :D

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:21 pm

Flight - there needs to be an APPLAUSE emoticon. Fantastic. You must be thrilled with that. :) It looks effortless.

piedmont - glad to hear your surgery went well. Sorry you are missing the lovely weather. This weekend was like full summer here. It was so hot we even took the kids swimming at the local lake.

CB - Congratulations!

StraightForward and Mountaineer - Yay! Best of luck with your rides. :)

I have some proof we've been working in canter, too, and not just trot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63UQaof0H6w

Lots of room for opportunity here. I realize the transitions weren't that great and that I let him fall on his face in the corner. But it's coming! The w/c transitions are now mostly round and through so that's an achievement in and of itself.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Sep 25, 2017 4:34 pm

Rosie, I remind you of a JJ Tate tip for your canter-walks: Use "reinback legs" as you gather an energetic canter before the walk. It can feel a bit like a "standing canter".The more I got this working with Emi, the more upright and awesome the canter-walk transition. You can also use this technique in your rubber band canter work. Love seeing all your progress!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:03 pm

I should be set to show 2nd level next year, we are facing the end of the season.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:03 pm

Congrats cb- I have always liked your horse! that is a huge milestone!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Mon Sep 25, 2017 5:03 pm

Awesome! Thanks for the tip Piedmont! :)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Sep 25, 2017 6:35 pm

cb06... :mrgreen: Congratulations!

It sounds like everyone that can work a horse is doing so well. Healing jingles for all others (equine and human).

I actually got Kyra worked a couple time last week. Sessions are very short due to elder care time but the weather has done a 180 and is so nice. I have greatly enjoyed clear, crisp air, some rain and temps in the 50's (vs 90's with air you could cut with a knife :P ).

The first day I put her in long reins. For some reason, she thinks long reins = tricks? I have worked her on half steps in long reins but very brief times. I certainly don't ask every time but she has associated long reins with that movement. Oh and the rail. Any time we are within 10 feet of the rail she is sure I want her to leg yield or half pass to the rail and just throws herself sideways. She is such an over achiever and she is certain she knows what I want before I ask for it. This has always been a problem although she seems to be thinking things through a bit better in her middle age. Her brain doesn't seem to whirl off on it's own nearly as badly.

We did some circle work trot and canter and that went quite well. She was relaxed and maintained good connection and alignment. Then, I just wanted to walk her and ask for some figures (away from the magnetic rail)...circles, serpentines and the like. Well, from behind her she looked like a freaking pretzel. Head tipped one way, ribs another and the butt sashaying back and forth :roll: . So, lets drill down and change the plan and have a new focus on just straightness. I started doing a NH exercise called point-to-point. I just picked a focus point somewhere in the distance and asked her to walk...in a straight line...to that point. It is tough without legs on the horse but with minor corrections and patience, she got the idea. She actually seemed relieved. She hasn't been in work so a good straight walk is all I am asking for dear :D .

Saturday, I took her to the round pen for a quick 15 minute liberty session. She was very loose and I even had some stretching in the canter. She prefers to swing the hind leg from the hip rather than bend her hocks and engage as she likes to hold in the back and it was good to see her that loose and 'swingy'. It was mostly to get her moving but she gave me some rather nice work. I pay particular attention to alignment. I do not let her go with her head tipped to the outside and I enjoy the liberty work and think she does too.

I have a work conference out of town this coming weekend. I can get her worked today then hopefully, we can pick it up again next week.

Happy riding all.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:56 am

cb congratulations!! I know you are stoked!

dresseur I know you are so happy to have the opportunity you have had riding Gala, how wonderful you are able to capitalize on this opportunity and get your medals!! I also hope Miro comes right quickly.

Flight, wow! Nice changes there:) You don't look like you have been down for disable list at all.

Rosie, nice job with Bliss. Have you tried canter to trot to HP to help with the energy? For me I would like to see a bit more active hind leg for just that bit extra engagement with Bliss. I like to think quicker with the hind legs. Have you started in half steps with him yet?

Hot4Spots, man I am so sorry for your long haul there. I hope the rehab goes smoothly now.

Well thankfully the humidity has lessened here so I can RIDE and not die of heat stroke! I have been able to work Rip now a few times both riding, lunging and in hand with some nice piaffe. It is time to ask a bit more and I did today. He responded so well!! I can ask for more energy and he is not bulling through the reins (in hand) nor is he getting tense with the increase of intensity. Pretty dang happy with him. Plus I rode him today and had a really nice ride. SueB this might help some with Tio (I too ride a wide chestnut WB g that had similar issues your guy does) Rip gets sticky as in not wanting to go forward when he loses the release to the bridle and braces and or gets crooked. Sending him forward does nothing but getting him to release to the bridle (his tends to be left rein) then the forward just comes.

So what was happening today was right lead was great. I worked on lots of long straight lines and transitions trot canter (will go back to WCW again when we build up a bit of fitness) and long trots working on fitness stuff. But Rip was sticky and resistant to left lead. No trouble in the trot just in the canter. All I had to do was rotate that left wrist and ask for the release to the left rein and he softened and went forward in the canter. So I upped the question a bit. Went from right lead canter on straight line to trot to canter left lead. Again he got sticky and again all I had to do was rotate the left wrist and boom there was the left lead. Not pushing too hard yet with Rip not being too fit yet.

Chisamba, Rip's last scope was just about fully normal. Vet and I are so happy he is on the right road. I don't have to take him back until later next month unless something happens before then. My filly Jo is fine now. Have no idea what that was all about. Shoe is back on so hopefully I can start working her a bit now. She needs to lose the weight! My mare Gaila is acting weird now. I am hoping it is just that the bugs are terrible and that she is not trying to start headshaking. May have to take her up and get her scoped for ulcers. I swear if it is not one thing it is another with horses! Plus my boarder (the only one I have now after we lost Dodger) did something weird last night. I was out with one of my foster dogs and I noticed her standing in the paddock not eating. That is not normal for this horse, she was just turned out. So I watched her and she was not right then she moved off and was dead lame on her right hind. Checked her out when I could get to her. Nothing I could see. Not a mark on her. Called to see what her owner wanted and she said leave her out. Checked her out at 10:30 and she looked a bit better. Came in not too bad this morning. In all day and came out sore as all get out. Now has some strange swelling size of my hand just above the hock on the inside. Also some swelling on up into the low glutes and that side of her udder is swollen. Sore to touch. Better as she moved. I have no idea what is going on.

Always something going on with horses, it is a wonder we all don't drink to excess! I know I feel like it sometimes:)

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:13 am

khall wrote:

....Always something going on with horses, it is a wonder we all don't drink to excess! I know I feel like it sometimes:)


Seriously!! At least we have some great stuff going on here,too.

CB06, congrats on the bronze. I love to look at your horse! He looks very engaged.

And Flight! Great vid of threes! It seems like just yesterday you posted a pic of him kicking way high up with his hind leg(s) for a single change. It has been nice to watch you and your horses progress.

Piedmont....sorry you are out for a while. Heal quickly.

Bliss looks good. He'll be doing changes one day and I am guessing they will be expressive.

Kyra, glad you are working your mare. When you are able to ride again, all the ground work now will translate to under saddle. Trust the technology. (Well, training...) I like that. Trust the training!!

Mountaineer, and I thought in texas we go from summer to winter in one day. You REALLY do. Fingers crossed for Laddie.

Ryeissa, October is just around the corner. Stay cool and calm. You've done your homework, now enjoy. :D

I hope I haven't missed anyone. I read everything but my short term memory is the pits.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:39 am

I rode 5 days last week. Rocky has been so good lately. Today was cool and overcast and I rode early in the morning so she had lots of energy. I could have done the long line/double longeing thing to canter her, but I needed the saddle time. I only let her walk and trot, and she stayed focused the whole time. She broke into canter a couple of times, but I just halfhalted her back to trot and she complied. I get the feeling that she still needs to ONLY canter when its my idea. She is staying balanced and off her forehand with almost no reminders. She has a fine throatlatch and coming behind the vertical was something I had to always work to avoid. Lately, she comes BTV only once in a while. It happens when I half halt her back down to trot after she has broken to canter. But only for a stride or two. I am thinking I just need a more giving quality in my hand during the HH.

I was going to pony Emma on trail last Saturday but she is still rubbing her ears and is generally fussy.

Rocky is doing so well that putting Emma on hold isn't such a bad thing. I will hook the trailer up this week (if it doesn't rain) and load her and feed her in the trailer a few time before I haul her out for a lesson next month. She hauls ok, but won't eat her hay while the trailer is moving, so that tells me she is nervous.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:00 pm

I didn't die in 90F, high humidity. Fuzzy did better than I did....my breakthrough was to take the mediums from shoulder in. No outside rein= no increase in stride. Very interesting.
I also have one of those horses that need to go to a true medium, lengthenings are hard-- always have been no matter how many training sessions---some horses just can't sort out lengthenings since they are still sort of on the forehand. Mediums are easier, they feel mentally comfortable in balance.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby cb06 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 12:08 pm

Thanks everyone!
I've really enjoyed following everyone's journey here also. I want to make a 'tips' notebook to catalog all the great suggestions and training ideas scattered through these threads. I can relate so much to the up and down of everyone's stories.
As a trainer friend recently said about training the dressage horse,
"There is no such thing as a linear path. If it's a linear path then it's not going to the top" (Lauren Sprieser)

I turned 50 this past year (soon to be 51) and I suppose this was my 'what are you waiting for' mid-life crisis in a way. Lol!
I am so thankful to have the horse to do this with, he is a love...safe, sane, easy at the shows, easy to ride, sometimes hard to ride 'well', and has been just the best teacher and partner. I really wish more of his breed (ASB) were exposed to the good dressage training and got a chance in the dressage ring, they are so fun (and competitive!) for AA's like me.
...and I didn't spend a fortune to do this (my saddle cost more than my horse :P ), so I KNOW it can be done. I'm truly the poster child for picking a horse with a good, trainable brain that I enjoy and 3 good gaits and using my pittance to focus on training and lessons. It has, and will continue to be, doing the best I can with what I have and keep plugging along.

We have no big plans this winter. I have to move boarding barns next week (current small, private owner getting out of the business), the new barn has trails and a whole new set of interesting activities (judged obstacle rides!)...oh, and an indoor! (score! :D ) So we are going to enjoy some variety (!) and start working on getting better at all the dressage basics and see where we both are come spring.
Happy riding, healing, and just enjoying the journey!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tuddy » Tue Sep 26, 2017 2:25 pm

Great work everyone!

I see some of you are in a heat wave, while here, it is getting cooler. Close to freezing overnight. I don't think I am ready for winter just yet!

Been doing some more ground work with Yonka, but haven't gotten on since the trail ride. :( . The arena I would like to haul to had Dale Irwin in for a clinic, so the arena was unavailable to us. Hopefully, this weekend! I think I am going to start ground driving him before I get back on, I just need to figure out how to move forward before he uses the backwards thing as an evasive way to get out of work. Canadian Horses are sneaky like that... :lol:

I am doing more groundwork with Tuddy, and have tentatively booked ourselves into a ground work only clinic. It's time to see if he can handle being off the farm without losing his mind, and if the past year's work of just chilling and "rebooting" had any effect.

Have a great day and happy horse time for everyone!!!!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:45 pm

Khall, Tuddy: Pretty much the best way to get Tio "unstuck" is to do in-hand work. The lunge work helps to get forward withing the gait, but it is the in-hand work that puts "forward" into his mind set. I have the most trouble with stickiness/pronging (like his first adventure off farm) when I skip the in-hand step before getting on. Fortunately, he does respond very well to in-hand work even if he is tense or excited--it seems to help him connect to me better.

Congratulations CB, you must still be on cloud 9. Happy to hear you are messing with your mare again Susan. Rosie, Bliss, as usual looks lovely. Excellent work Flight and Dresseur. It sounds like you are on the right track with Emma and Rocky, Demi.

I had planned to ride this weekend, but 4hrs sleep Friday night, long day Friday which included Homecoming football game (ds is in marching band), and then another long day (got up at 6) at District dog show, kinda used up my Saturday, and by Sunday I developed a debilitating migraine and lay in the dark all day. So once again, no riding. :(

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby DJR » Tue Sep 26, 2017 3:53 pm

Huge congrats, CB! Well done!

Tuddy - I sure wish we had cooler weather here - it's SO hot, and no rain for 3 wks so my sand ring is incredibly dusty (not normally an issue!). Blah.

demi - good job on riding 5 days last week. I am aiming for that but often only get 4 days in. Last night I was hoping to ride Jet to expand on what we learned at the 2-day clinic I was at on the weekend, but my daughter decided to pull a temper tantrum that lasted 90 min so I only got to ride for 10 min - rats! Oh well, such is life.

I (stupidly?) entered Jet in his first Third level tests this coming Sunday. Who knows how it will go. At least it will have cooled off by then as my big black horse does NOT do heat/humidity well.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:03 pm

DJR, what's the worst that could happen in your 3rd L debut--tempi changes across the diagonal?! Have fun and report back.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby DJR » Wed Sep 27, 2017 5:04 am

piedmontfields wrote:DJR, what's the worst that could happen in your 3rd L debut--tempi changes across the diagonal?! Have fun and report back.


No, it's not that. It's just that I realize that Jet isn't *quite* ready in some ways. I just want to get my own brain over the "OMG, Third Level!" hump. And I want to see how Jet handles it, too.

I wasn't sure I'd get a chance to ride tonight but thankfully I did. It was after dark before I found the time, though. I'm SO happy I had arena lights installed last fall!

I started with Jet and had a few glimmers of what a more collected canter - with more "sit" - feels like. This is thanks to the 2-day dressage clinic I just had last weekend where I had a couple of lightbulb moments. I realize now how much I've been holding Jet together in the canter, and inadvertently allowing him to "charge forward" rather than respect my half-halt by sitting more (rather than inverting or disconnecting). It's hard to describe in text, but it sure feels good in the saddle for those wee glimmers I felt!

Next was Panache. We worked on a bit more energy from behind, ran through some lateral work (working walk pirouettes, travers, leg yield, shoulder-in), and his leg yield is SO much better than it was even a month ago. Same with all the two-track work. I then did some walk-canter being careful not to use my upper body to cue the canter, and got some nice departures. I was having more trouble with the right lead walk-canter transition, then realized that I was not sitting still (even though I thought I was). So, instead of thinking "baby horse, needs help to do w-c", I replaced it with "second level horse, can do this, just give the aid and sit quietly". It was SO much better then!

So at the end of the ride on Pan, I picked up the right canter lead, did a 15m half-circle back to the rail, asked for a flying change, and he did it! It was one-stride late behind, but who cares. GOOD BOY!!! His first flying change! I gave him a walk break right away and made a big fuss over him, then picked up left lead canter and tried that way. No joy the first time. No joy the 2nd try, but he was thinking. Tried again with a wee bit quicker hind leg and being VERY careful to sit still, asked, CLEAN CHANGE!!! What a clever, clever lad. HUGE fuss and we were done. :mrgreen:
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tuddy » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:15 pm

Sue B wrote:Khall, Tuddy: Pretty much the best way to get Tio "unstuck" is to do in-hand work. The lunge work helps to get forward withing the gait, but it is the in-hand work that puts "forward" into his mind set.


Thanks for this! Will definitely put this in the mental filing cabinet.

The weather warmed up here, now sitting in the 70's again, and the wind is down. Hoping to get some work on the horses in before dark.

Thanks for sharing your adventures everyone, very motivational and inspiring.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:07 pm

Nice report, DJR!

I have been thinking about what you said about holding Jet together in canter and inadvertently letting him "charge forward" rather than respecting your HH by sitting more. I am having a similar (but lower level) situation with Rocky. I am working her in walk trot only right now, and the trot I am using is a rubber banding between shortened and working. She has to work at this and her evasion is to break to canter. When she breaks, I HH back to trot. On Monday, I noted that she was coming BTV with my HH back to trot. I thought I needed a more giving quality in my hands but as of yesterday, I realize that I needed a bit more giving quality in my whole body. VERY difficult for me to achieve at this time (mental baggage from crashes due to TOO much giving quality!). But I think I am getting it sorted out. Yesterday's ride had some genuine collected trot right after the HH 's down to trot after breaking into canter. Maybe she is respecting my HH more with sitting, and maybe I am not holding her together too much in the HH. I am interested to see what today's ride brings.

I need to see what I am feeling. Soloshot 3 still not available. I am hoping that the new trainer, and great mirrors in her arena, will help.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:15 pm

So my saga with the quality changes continues. Counting is not an issue, but after the I-1 debut where I HATED the quality of the changes that I got (from the mistakes in the count to the straightness etc.) While I have ridden Gala since the show, yesterday was my first lesson on her since the show. The trot work was good - we're working on my thinking that more power equals more forward - as opposed to going more up in the air. I tend to power things up and next thing I'm booming along in a very flat, big trot. Half passes are keeping their cadence and I'm happy with how that all feels.

The initial canter work seemed good. We're doing an exercise in the working piris where I can go on my circle, then ride straight a step or two, then back onto a circle so that I'm controlling all aspects of it and Gala is not putting her GP ears on and winding them down onto a dinner plate. Then, we addressed the changes. I thought the first couple were good - but Andrea immediately pumped the brakes. Crooked, crooked, crooked... she is winging her head and neck all around, this horse is known for her absolutely straight changes and you've got her going like she's doing a samba roll. :oops: :oops: So, she basically told me to ride quarter lines, ride on the wall, do serpentines, do different patterns until I feel what the heck it is that I'm doing. The lightbulb finally went off when I rode a line very close to the wall - I could feel her dive right through my right leg and make a beeline for the wall. I touched her back over and changed, the next change, she did it again. Again, I was fixing things in the bridle that I should have been fixing in the body. :oops: :oops: With the mantra of "get off my right leg" we finally got those perfectly straight changes, and shocking... she was light and responsive in the bridle. I have a sneaking suspicion that this body position is in all of the work, and it's going to take a bit to ride her straight because she really has my number and I've been allowing her to go crookedly. But, it's a deeper level of understanding than I had before, and I don't know why I didn't feel it before. :roll:

In other news, Andrea is coming to teach some lessons and to check Miro this Sunday. Fingers crossed, jingles, whatever, that she finds him to be sound. I haven't checked, I'm too scared to be disappointed. sigh.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 1:41 pm

Dresseur, I think I have a similar asymmetry which i have to consciously correct. I have to ride Si similarly w.r.t. my pelvis both ways because of it. It is like a slight twist in my pelvis w.r.t. my torso. I suspect it is due to two emergency open pelvic surgeries in my past and the adhesions pulling things off center.

The biggest deal is discovering it. Once you know about it, it is not so hard to find the slight asymmetrical feel needed to be straight. I bet this will not be a problem for you going forward.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Chancellor » Fri Sep 29, 2017 4:08 pm

Tsavo wrote:Dresseur, I think I have a similar asymmetry which i have to consciously correct. I have to ride Si similarly w.r.t. my pelvis both ways because of it. It is like a slight twist in my pelvis w.r.t. my torso. I suspect it is due to two emergency open pelvic surgeries in my past and the adhesions pulling things off center.

The biggest deal is discovering it. Once you know about it, it is not so hard to find the slight asymmetrical feel needed to be straight. I bet this will not be a problem for you going forward.


Except how do you know you aren't fighting to much to straighten yourself out and are therefore asymmetrical still?

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Fri Sep 29, 2017 5:59 pm

Dresseur do you do much work on the quarter line in changes? Years ago I had an instructor that started me on straight line work. Something we as dressage riders I think can ignore. We did just simple W-T transitions but keeping the horse very straight under me. I like to think of controlling to four corners of the horse. I have to figure out my body's position to be able to do this work. I still use this today and what I was doing riding Rip the other day working on trot canter transitions and I use is WCW transitions. This type of work is what helped me to ride the young Andalusian gelding in Spain because he was very sensitive to the aids and my seat and he was a bit of a worm to ride. Rip's last ride showed me though how getting him to release in that left jaw is what helped to get the straightness and thoroughness so he could do the trot canter transitions on the straight line with ease.

The instructor in Spain was a stickler on body position and the effects there of. She wanted the rider to be very aware of riding accurately and would correct us position wise when we did not. Was good stuff and good reminders.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Fri Sep 29, 2017 6:10 pm

Sometimes you do swing the pendulum the other way in an effort to try to fix something, but then you will find that there are symptoms to alert you to the new asymmetry. It's all about constantly feeling and learning and correcting.

Khall... I do a lot of quarter line work in regular practice. We have gone back and forth with me on quarter line work in the changes. At first, I was too crooked to even get changes on the qline... so we went to the wall and doing serpentines, so that I could at least get the mechanics of the change down (remember, I started with the classic hunter twist and duck for changes so I had ZERO good change mechanics) now the wall is a crutch and I'm back on quarterline.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Fri Sep 29, 2017 7:23 pm

Dresseur wrote:Sometimes you do swing the pendulum the other way in an effort to try to fix something, but then you will find that there are symptoms to alert you to the new asymmetry. It's all about constantly feeling and learning and correcting.


Yes exactly so.

This isn't about fighting. It's about finding. A symmetrical rider has the easiest view into the horse's asymmetries. To the extent the rider is asymmetrical in physical space, that has to be corrected by going to a place that feels asymmetrical but is symmetrical in space and to the horse.

Besides the surgical adhesions, I know from when my personal trainer stretches me out that my right hip is usually tighter than the left. So while I can achieve >180 degrees on both hips now, it remains easier or looser on the left than on the right.

The other way to find asymmetries is just sit like you feel you are symmetrical and see what your horse does. This will reveal the space between feeling symmetrical and actually being symmetrical.

I tell people that dressage is a game of ounces and cms. When an object with the mass of a rider is in motion, balance hinges on ounces and cms (assuming a trained horse).

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:04 am

We trotted. 4 long sides. I don't know who was happier, me or Laddie.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby DJR » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:17 am

Moutaineer wrote:We trotted. 4 long sides. I don't know who was happier, me or Laddie.


Yayyyyy!!!!!
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 30, 2017 2:46 am

Moutaineer, that must feel great after all this time! Hope Laddie was a good lad. :)

I've gotten to ride three times this week, and yesterday did a solid groundwork session as well. Yesterday in the groundwork, she was being pokey and looking almost lame, and I was getting concerned. Then she saw *something* across the street and did the park horse impression thing, attempted to bolt a couple times, and that apparently loosened her up, because we got some lovely trot on the lunge after that. She also walked over cavaletti on the lunge yesterday, and was surprised that I had raised them from the lowest to the medium setting, and almost fell on her face once, but eventually managed three cavaletti somewhat gracefully.

Today I got a little more insistent with her TOF on the ground, and got some nice movements once she got a little livelier with the hind leg. She was being quite a dork about some construction occurring on a neighboring property, and so I ended up lunging longer than expected, but then went right to work under saddle, and we got a few nice lateral steps and good W/T transitions and easy bending lines. I'm thinking I'll keep up this strategy going forward, of about 20 minutes ground work, and then going right to work under saddle, but keeping the riding to 15-20 minutes. So that will be the program for October: 2 dedicated groundwork days, 3 days split ground/saddle.
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Mon Oct 02, 2017 11:39 am

I got in five more rides last week and Rocky is on a roll,

I have been working on smoothing out canter-trot transitions so she keeps the contact without coming BTV. She is getting it. From now until I take my first lesson with the new trainer I plan on just keeping her working trot very steady. Kinda like "English Pleasure" horse with light contact.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Mon Oct 02, 2017 1:29 pm

NEWS!!! Miro is sound!!! He's had about 2 weeks of 5 minute walk sets, and Andrea helped me watch him yesterday and there was not a bobble to be had! I'm over the moon, now starts the very long road to get him back under saddle. Patience is in fact a virtue when dealing with mystery lamenesses, and I can't afford to rush things now.

Also, if any of you remember Charm, the TB that a student of mine bought, we've been chugging along with him and I feel like we've finally turned the corner. He is difficult and I had a sneaking suspicion that something was physically wrong with him. My student did her due diligence and as money allowed, started going over him with a fine tooth comb. We knew he was fine up front, so we started with x-rays of hocks and stifles which turned out to be pristine. So, we moved up to his back and neck and found that he has a very definite case of kissing spines, which was my suspicion. The good news is that the vet has seen evidence that there was already improvement in his condition due to carefully strengthening his back and working in the correct posture (for him) with a correctly fitting saddle. So, when we got the initial diagnosis, we gave him some time off, he had treatment with muscle relaxants and the we slowly put him back into work with a mind to keeping him happy, so, for now, we have him a bit lower than I'd like, but he's comfortable in that posture and he's been lovely to ride, and, when the vet was out to re-xray, she gave us a very good prognosis due to the difference in what she was seeing in the xrays over several months.

When Andrea came to check Miro, she also gave my student and I a look-see with Charm because I have not been able to crack the code as to why Charm was going so well for me, but turning into a beast for my student. It turns out that while the feeling I have when I ride him is that he's in a slowish tempo, he's actually really firing behind - he just rides "slow". So, my student was completely losing the drive of the hind legs and even though the tempo looked to be the same as what I was feeling, he was too slow behind. Because Andrea was able to see me on him and then her on him, she picked it out immediately and wonder upon wonders, my student had a LOVELY ride on him. I was so incredibly happy for her, and she was thrilled because we've been having the "maybe he's not the right horse for you" talks. At this point, I feel as though we can work through this, because he is a nice ride overall.
This is my student, so please not crits on her. You can see on the right rein he wants to get a bit lower instead of staying up and arcing to the bit, I'm able to ride him up, but this was literally her first ride on him in months since he had time off and since I've been the one riding him and trying to make him a solid citizen instead of shutting down and bucking and threatening to rear. :shock:
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Abby Kogler
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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Abby Kogler » Mon Oct 02, 2017 2:15 pm

Dresseur, great news. So happy to read about Miro and also your student's breakthrough on Charm.

I quit reading the riding boards for so long cause it was just depressing and frustrating to read everyones reports when I was having such a hard time with my foot and other life issues. It really feels great to be able to work again and to be part of the world again.

I am still just relearning how to ride after so much time off. The boys and I are equally out of shape and we are all also ..er...mature, so we go slow. I ride for about a half hour and spend the majority of the time at the walk just working on my asymmetry and strength issues. I honestly could not post a month ago. I do a lot of walk in two point which helps. My left leg is still so weak and my right side so dominant but its getting better every ride. Our CDS chapter sponsored a rider workshop with Mary Debono, my favorite Feldy, and her work always helps. Yesterday I rode George bareback and trotted for most of a 45 minute ride and had so much fun and felt great. My goal is always to be able to do anything, any movement, with my legs in any position... like the PARA riders. If they can ride with no legs, with their seats, then I can. My goal is always to be able to ride with no tack. Being able to ride that way makes riding in your tack very easy >;->

Supposedly, although I will believe it when I see it, the Soloshots are coming soon!

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:02 pm

So my horse is now being allowed to trot straight lines - working up to five minutes from Sept. 13 - to vet appointment on Oct. 19. We're at 12 long sides of the arena. The rest of the time I walk outside on the pavement and gravel (vet's instructions). So on Sunday, we're walking down the driveway and horsey lowers his head - there's something interesting he wants to check out. I let the reins stretch, he lowers his head, and instead of stopping and checking out whatever it is, he keeps walking.... and face plants :!: He went all the way down and onto his left side (and I rode him all the way to the ground, then kicked my left foot out of the stirrup and rolled way from him, still holding on to the reins. I was afraid he'd jump up and take off, and I do NOT need him running around like a maniac on his injured leg. He's scraped both knees pretty badly, but after I got back on, I took him back to the arena and trotted him and he seems fine. I washed them with betadine and put that great 'Horsemen's Cream" on them - they look pretty bad, though it does just seem to be scrapes. Then I did the same for my left elbow which looks pretty nasty. A friend who goes to the barn in the morning will check him and put on some more cream. Just hope that's it and there's no major swelling or further injury that wasn't obvious yesterday. Just what I needed. Sigh.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Sue B » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:18 pm

Yay Moutaineer and Lad...Congratulations on trotting under saddle!!!!

Hot4Spots, oh no..what a shock that must have been! He must have zoned out, poor guy. I am glad you two are okay.

I finally rode a couple days, so now, of course, it's snowing this morning. :roll: :lol:

Anyways, I took my own advice, and instead of lunging, I spent the time working Tio in-hand before riding. Holy cow, what a difference it makes in how he goes under saddle. It does require that I really focus on the in-hand work, making sure that when I say "go" he goes and when I say "whoa" he whoas, and when I ask him to give to the bridle he gives. He can be a bit of a bully on the ground (spoiled baby syndrome) and so I have to shut down any attempt he makes at pushing me around (or striking, rearing, kicking) immediately or I would be in trouble me thinks. Luckily, I have been "explaining" good ground manners since he came to me at 2yrs old and wasn't as stout (or tall) as he is now. Even at 6, he still gives me his best pouty face when I tell him "no". :P When I ride afterwards, he is very responsive, not fussy in the bridle and just overall, more enthusiastic about work. I can even give a half-halt and get an actual re-balancing response like a proper TL horse. Go figure.

Rudy just had to work on 1) forward to the bridle (no cheating) and 2) true bend around left leg (again, no cheating.) I had to work on 1) quiet hands, giving elbows and 2) sitting in the middle of the saddle. Once we got our acts together, we played around in canter and did a single flying change. :D :D :D The next day it was back to working on those darn medium gaits and increasing cadence in the lateral work--except for canter hp, where I just focused on tempo and didn't push for more jump yet. I don't think he is strong enough yet to give me more--he will offer it when he is ready. I deal more with too much work ethic than not enough--that wonderful TB mind sometimes over-thinks things. Yesterday, we just went down the road for a bit, "enjoying" the bitterly cold wind.

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Re: September and October Goals and Progress

Postby Abby Kogler » Mon Oct 02, 2017 3:26 pm

Oh Spots! Good grief!~!!


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