Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

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Moutaineer
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:50 am

I'm always fascinated by the rigs at shows around here. They vary from the very plush, pulled by the latest in truck technology, to complete rust buckets that I'd have a hard time putting a horse into, with even more embarrassingly awful trucks than mine, (which is saying something. But it does make me feel better not owning the only ancient truck held together by Duct Tape and prayer...) My Truck is a peeling paint disintegrating disaster, but my trailer is really quite nice, even if it has age out of Juniors.

But, nice horses with good riders come out of the dodgy-looking rigs.

Good job Flight. Ding is a trouper in that weather. Laddie doesn't "DO" rain. Probably largely because it has been a rare phenomenon in his life, being a High Desert horse.

Laddie is doing well, feeling good. No canter yet, but it won't be long, I can feel it in there. At the moment we are working in actually using that hind end and not trotting around using my arms as a 5th leg. We'll get there, he's just not that strong behind and I'm being excruciatingly careful not to make him over-use that stifle. Makes me realize that I am actually a more demanding rider than I thought I was. Is this a good thing or not?

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Ponichiwa » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:40 pm

Firstly, I'd like to acknowledge Moutaineer for the proper spelling of duct tape. It's one of those things that gives me the warm-and-fuzzy feels: you're one of my people!

Moving on to the main event. We're nearly 3 weeks in and the initial scorecard for me and Kiwi is a solid B. On target with the goals of playing with the workable zone (bend, balance, length of neck, etc.) in the canter, and I'm generally getting fewer (although still non-zero) stolen changes. Progress. Additionally the half-steps are less stressful now, and we can turn them on/off as needed. Victory.

Behind target: my own weight loss journey is not going well, and we're about to enter the holiday gauntlet of food and stress-eating. Working on it, but it's a constant struggle.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Nov 20, 2017 5:06 pm

Flight, you all did so well, separation anxiety and icky weather and all. I felt like Ding was very at home in the movements and you were a calm, centered guide for him. I feel like there is lots of improvement evident in this video, even though it was not as easy ride. The horsey call and response with Norsey was hysterical.

Cheers to those continuing to rehab/sort out next steps.

I am working steadily on position and even wearing spurs at the same time! (we often don't use them) It actually helps me be dead certain what my leg is doing.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:41 pm

So far, so good with Miro! Last week we CAREFULLY introduced longing - which is basically jogging along and me walking the hugest circle. He's continued to feel good and be relatively well behaved. This week we increase time by 2 minutes on each side. I continue to worry that any leaping about he does under saddle will become a learned behavior from here on out, but, there's not much I can do about it at this point.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:11 pm

Dresseur I went back and read all your posts about this starting on 1 June. Did you ever get a diagnosis? That's a long haul.

On the leaping.. tough problem. I agree it can become a habit if allowed to go on. I would try carrying a big bag of carrot pieces and just have him focus on that and me the whole time. Feed him as you run next to him in trot also. I would also move him laterally literally most of the time to have him focus on that and not going up.

I wish you and Miro well.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Imperini » Tue Nov 21, 2017 3:47 pm

Good job Flight, I thought your test looked quite nice and with that wind, weather, and anxious separated horses that's no easy feat.

Ponichiwa I hear you on the weight loss thing, it's especially tough this time of the year. I keep reminding myself that even if it doesn't happen *right now* that doesn't mean I can't keep trying and that it can't happen, just have to keep at it.

I was feeling a bit discouraged coming back into work after vacation. We started with a fair bit of walking and ran into an issue where when I would pick up my reins going to the right she would pretzel to the left and dive right. I had apparently completely forgotten how to ride so I did my own pretzel impression and made things worse the first few times it happened. Then I remembered that I shouldn't compromise my position because of what she's doing and, voila, issue [mostly] resolved.

Also had a much needed lesson on Saturday with lots of focus on transitions not only between gaits but within gaits as well. What I'm finding really cool now is how incredibly different she feels when she gives in and goes to work with me versus when she's just going along with the ride. The transitions really seem to work wonders for bringing that out I guess because it really makes her work from behind and focuses her attention on me. Too bad it took me almost a year to catch on to that.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:05 pm

Tsavo, I did not get an official diagnosis - to do so, I would have had to spring for an MRI, and besides being ridiculously expensive, the outcome would have been stall rest anyway. Both vets that I worked with feel strongly that he tweaked his DDFT, which is why ultrasound wasn't picking anything up. I ultrasounded and x-rayed twice, and both times, nothing was showed up. Both vets felt that the cost of an MRI would not be worth it, especially since there was never heat, swelling or a digital pulse, and he was never more than very slightly lame - so the changes of major damage were slim to none. Around the same time this happened, I noticed that the angles on his feet were changing, and I had talked to the farrier twice that he was starting to paddle and that I wasn't happy with his feet. In hindsight, I should have pulled the plug on that farrier sooner.

He also had a pasture mate that would FLY around the paddock, and Miro merrily went with him, except with an ounce of the coordination that the OTTB had. So, he had taken one tumble and given himself a splint, and I'm guessing that the injury that finally sidelined him for so long is a result of him bombing around in a too-small paddock. So, in hindsight, I should have pushed harder to separate the two - I was always uncomfortable with what was going on, but the barn owners wanted horses paired up, and Charlie was the only other without a buddy. (Tragically, Charlie moved barns and went running with his new pasture mate, who then took a tumble and had to be put down as a result (the pasture-mate, not Charlie).

The whole thing would have been resolved MUCH sooner had the barn manager not taken it upon herself to walk him around and let him carry on while he was on stall rest. So, this has been a saga that, in my mind, could have been avoided.


Sidenote, the leaping is under saddle. He's not carrying on in hand at all.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:07 am

We cantered :)

The moment felt right. I asked, he answered. It was heavenly, in both directions. Calm, balanced, collected. Just a couple of big circles in each direction. The down transitions were super amazing, too.

Oh, joy and happiness!!!

Then I got home a found Walker standing in the driveway. He was very pleased to see me so he must have been out for a while. No obvious signs (in the dark) as to where the escape occurred. I will have to go tracking footprints in the morning.

So, yes, I am sitting here with a large glass of wine.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:22 am

Hurrah for cantering Moutaineer!

Picked up Annabelle's new-used saddle from the saddler today. She totally reflocked it and moved a billet. The old flocking was all balled up; glad I had it fully redone. Will go out and take it for a spin tomorrow afternoon.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Thu Nov 23, 2017 10:50 pm

The boy was not convinced that sweating off his Thanksgiving hay was a necessary thing, or even a civilized thing to ask :lol: :lol:
Luckily for me, he was quite civilized, and even in our pony jog, I can feel him getting stronger and more sure of himself. Happy Thanksgiving from Miro and I! (side note, just look at those dapples!!! <3)
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Politely begging for sugar :lol:
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Fri Nov 24, 2017 12:26 am

Wow Dresseur, what a beauty! Stunning boy. :-)

Is he roan plus grey?

Happy Thanksgiving to you and Miro!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Fri Nov 24, 2017 1:44 am

Thank you! He does have quite a bit of brown to him, especially in summer. You can see it on his muzzle too. But as far as I know, he’s a true gray, just very, very slow to turn white. This winter is the first time the dapples have appeared.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Nov 25, 2017 3:02 pm

happy thanksgiving! Riot is doing great!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:27 am

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you in the US!

Since my lessons with Cindy I've been focusing on getting him and keeping him IN FRONT OF THE LEG. I've just been doing big figures and tons of transitions. I videotaped today, but it was so windy the wind turned my camera so that it was recording the fenceline for most of my ride. I noticed at the very end, fixed the camera, and then trotted a couple 20m circles to see if my feel is correct and that there's been an improvement.

Even though he dropped slightly behind the leg for those last circles (thinking he was done no doubt), I still think they show improvement from a month ago. :) I think he's a bit more active behind and a little more solid in the connection. Let me know if you guys agree or not.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgKNoTNmIrc

And sigh... I need to get my right hand under control. It evidently has a life of its own.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Nov 26, 2017 3:16 pm

Yes, big improvement Rosie! Especially if these are the "I thought we were done" circles :lol:

I continue to alternate between one handed and two handed riding to improve the steadiness of my hands. A detail I've been obsessed about lately is assuring that we lose no power in our transitions (ex. trot-canter-trot-canter). It was easy for me to do this one handed, but I tended to create a block/bobble to the power flow with both hands.

A related exercise that I'm getting very into is large (400 meter track) loops of # steps trot to # steps canter, to # steps trot, to other lead # steps canter. Really gets Emi straight and very hot off the leg into the new lead while keeping her between my aids. I'm doing this as part our of return to more systematic changes work.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Nov 26, 2017 4:26 pm

I agree, much more harmony between back and front rosie! nice job

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:10 pm

Thanks Rye. :)

Piedmont - that sounds like a fantastic exercise.

Flight - I watched your test video. He looks nicely active! :)

Dresseur - Miro is soooo cute. How tall is he now?

StraightForward - how's the reflocked saddle working?

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:07 am

We are having great weather here and I have been able to get in my 5 days a week with the exception of last week which was only 2 rides. But they were good rides. One lesson and one trail ride.

My trainer rode Rocky for the first time last week and I was very happy with the results. Rocky hasn’t had any other rider but me since she was broke as a 3 yr old (she’s 10 now) so it was the first time I have seen her go. Ive never even seen myself on her in a video, so I think my mouth was wide open the whole time! All three of us are getting to know each other by now since we’ve had 6 lessons, and I had a feeling they were going to be a good match. Trainer really likes Rocky’s engine and sensitivity, while Rocky really responded to trainers light but firm and clear communication. I couldn’t believe the lateral work! I mentioned that she was crossing above the knees and trainer stopped with a big smile on her face and said she’s got a real talent for lateral work!

I had to miss my lesson today and will miss next week too, (family commitments) but am so looking forward to the next lesson on Dec 11. The weekend before my next lesson, trainer has Betsy Steiner coming for a 3 day clinic so I will audit for 1 or 2 days.

Rosie, I definitely saw more connection in your vid. And he looked in front of the leg.

Piedmont, I couldn’t figure out your exercise. Is the 400m track an oval? And by “loops” do you mean one revolution of the track?

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:56 am

Rosie B wrote:StraightForward - how's the reflocked saddle working?


A big improvement! It's nice to know that there is a saddler here who does great work. I just got an amazing deal on a Black Country Quantum and will have her flock that one in the spring. She moved the point billet back to take pressure off the shoulders, and I added a Total Saddle Fit Stretchtec girth too and it seems to be a good arrangement so far.

Your latest video looks great!

We had a good ride on Saturday, but I'm afraid I overdid it a little as she seemed rather tired yesterday. Just a quick spin in the new saddle then some in-hand and DIY bodywork and she got the day off today. The home arena is getting pretty waterlogged, so pretty soon riding too much won't be an option as we'll have to haul to another arena and my job thing kind of interferes with making it out during the hours the arena is open.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:24 pm

demi wrote: Rocky hasn’t had any other rider but me since she was broke as a 3 yr old (she’s 10 now) so it was the first time I have seen her go. Ive never even seen myself on her in a video, so I think my mouth was wide open the whole time! ...
Piedmont, I couldn’t figure out your exercise. Is the 400m track an oval? And by “loops” do you mean one revolution of the track?


How cool is that, Demi! I'm so happy for you and Rocky that you have found a good match in a trainer and are enjoying each other so much.

For the 400 m track, it is basically a big oval out in an open field. So the long sides are very long and it is very easy to request any lead at any time many different times. Sometimes I do the rounded ends in true canter, sometimes in counter canter, and sometimes I change it in the middle! I'm after a good reaction and straightness through the transitions. And occasionally I'll throw in some medium trots or canters to jazz things up!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby greenholmeshandy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 12:07 am

I deleted my previous post as was feeling quite down however I took pony to another affiliated British Dressage competition and much to my astonishment I won one Preliminary class and placed second in the other one we entered. We also now have the three scores above 62% needed to enter the British Dressage area finals in a qualifying period that runs from October 2017 to early summer 2018 gained at two competitions so perhaps I am not that rubbish after all. My aims had been: remember test, enjoy it, have pony round and forward and ideally get the correct lead left canter.

I had a reader I borrowed of a fellow competitor who unfortunately had not realised that she had the two tests stuck together (it was outdoors, very cold and very wet) so read the second half of the wrong test when she turned the sheet over, so I was very pleased that I had memorised the test and simply ignored her and carried on! This was a massive confidence boost and made me realise that is far better to know the test inside out.

A friend has suggested getting the correct lead by me looking over my right shoulder as I asked for the left canter lead and it does seem to work I assume by redistributing weight but possibly also be my focusing on that rather than the lead so asking more softly.

Pony cantered on the correct leg and we no longer have comments about nose poking or contact. The judge actually put that we were a pleasure to judge! This is my first red rosette after having what seemed like permanent seconditist so I am thrilled (red = first in the UK, blue = second).

Plans for this month are to work on balance in canter so it starts to match up to her trot work, working on suppleness and introduce more lateral work to help with the suppleness.

its quite weird that I am now automatically doing things like correcting tempo, keeping pony straight, stopping her falling in, out etc and correcting without thinking about it where a a year ago it was all a real mystery.

Good little pony

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Nov 29, 2017 3:11 am

Not just good little pony, GHH! Congratulations to the both of you. It sounds like you are making steady and tremendous progress, which is what it is all about.

I run through my tests in my head before I go to sleep at night... usually means I know the first half of the test REALLY well :)

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Wed Nov 29, 2017 2:03 pm

I always love your updates, GHH. Having the reader read the wrong test would have really sent me for a loop. It sounds like you have such a great relationship with your little mare, and you're making great progress! :)
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby greenholmeshandy » Wed Nov 29, 2017 7:42 pm

Aww thank you I have spent so long thinking rubbish rider pony not the right one so I now use the word astonished an awful lot! The reader giving the wrong test movements was a massive confidence boost for me.

The competition before I had no reader and actually got lost on an Intro test ( I wrote about this then deleted it). much to my astonishment I actually came 4th out of I think 10 despite - 6 for course errors. The judge had to get out of her box to point the way and ended up asking some one from the audience to read. I went to pieces and had a reader for the next test and was so upset by the end I drove home with my sheet but not the results. Again astonishment we were 2nd out of 12 in our group and 4th out of 27th in all the riders doing the same test.

My instructor is fantastic she really keeps me going, but pony is a really pilot of idiot human to be honest!!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Wed Nov 29, 2017 11:43 pm

Loved the report GHH!! It is nice to see how far you’ve come with your pony. We know you have had to work for what you’ve got and that makes it all the more satisfying.

Now then, we really could use some pictures!!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Thu Nov 30, 2017 10:45 am

Moutaineer wrote:
I run through my tests in my head before I go to sleep at night... usually means I know the first half of the test REALLY well :)


Not everyone agrees that this is a better way to do it, but I learn my tests in sections starting at the end and working toward the beginning, so I'm always working toward the parts that I know better.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Borrowed Freedom » Sat Dec 02, 2017 4:48 pm

Ok so took Delilah to both her first ridden show and her first Novice (First level) show. She behaved brilliantly, was super calm in the warm up and only was a little spooky at the beginning of the first test with the judges gazebo when trotting up centerline. Judge loved her though, only 'negative' comment is that she needs to shift her weight more back and her walk needed to march more. She won both classes with 68.85 in Novice 1 and 69.73 in Novice 2. Her lengthening in the trot wasn't as good as it could have been but that was more me riding her cautiously with the lengthened trot than anything else

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 9:19 pm

Nice, BF, you must be thrilled!

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Dec 02, 2017 10:05 pm

So, I'm a little excited. This could get a little long winded, but bear with me.

Ever since I've had him, Laddie has been hard to keep straight. His go to evasion was to cant his hind end in when asked to canter left-you could push it out again, but you had to work to keep him straight, particularly with the onset of collected work and the mediums, and it was causing us problems with the flying changes. He's a great big, rangy warmblood so not that unusual a thing.

(And some of you may remember that, to cut an extremely long story short, he ended up with me because he "couldn't canter at all on his left lead, was neurological and dangerous, and it was all tied back to the fact that he had arthritic changes in the neck." Which was just not what we saw or felt as we brought him back into work--the left lead was not his best lead, (but we are all a bit one sided, let's face it, and he would always pick it up first time if asked correctly,) and he had the straightness issue, which isn't exactly uncommon--but nothing more than that. I should add that the neck thing is apparently a complete red herring--yes, something shows up on x-rays, but he has complete range of motion and aces all the neuro tests. So we decided to ignore it.)

Fast forward through mystery stifle injury, diagnosed as an ACL tear, stem cell therapy, 9 months of rehab so far, to this last week, where we have started canter work.

I noticed it the first time we cantered round the whole arena in both directions. I didn't say anything because I wanted to make sure it wasn't a fluke. But, my trainer was watching us yesterday, and she noticed it.

He's straight as a freaking arrow. And with that, super adjustable and totally balanced, and the transitions... Oh my... The down transitions are just Wow. It's like riding a totally different horse.

He's also picking up muscle on his top line and his hind end faster than I expected, or than he has done before in my time with him. He's actually starting to look pretty buff rather than rangy.

And he's not nearly as fussy or open mouthed in the connection.

(If you think Chi is a thing, it's as if all his blockages have been removed and his energy is flowing freely through the circle of aids.)

Soooo... I'm wondering if the stifle thing could have been something that's been bothering him at a sub-clinical level for a while. Like in a human where the ACL can fray and make you weak on that knee before it's actually painful.

The optimist's view is "yippee, we've fixed it. We need to be careful and take it real slow to maintain the fix as he comes back into full work." (My view, my trainers view :))

The pessimist's view is "Oh dear there's a long term underlying problem that has improved with time off and once you get him back in full work he'll break again." (My husband, of course...)

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Sat Dec 02, 2017 11:28 pm

Wow congrats on solving that. What a puzzle.

I am going to remember the vignette about the neck issue. That is valuable and people should read/heed it.

The fact that you are able to straighten him leads me to believe you have turned the corner. Really good work. :-)

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby StraightForward » Sun Dec 03, 2017 6:10 pm

Moutaineer, that's really interesting! I hope the improvement "sticks" and he keeps on improving.

Borrowed Freedom, congrats on the great scores!

A couple videos from yesterday. I'm still adjusting to the new saddle; I have to poke my knee a little over the block to avoid going into a chair seat. I might look into getting the blocks modified in the spring if it's working out otherwise. Annabelle is pretty stiff in the hind legs, but seems to respond really well to these trot loops. This was the first time I tried smaller trot circles since her pelvis went out about a month ago. She was struggling a little, but starting to soften and show some improvement. I was also working on my seat position in the turns by thinking of keeping the outside leg back, but still keeping the outside hip traveling more around the inside hip. It seemed to help the flow of the circles and keeps me from tipping my pelvis too much in the turns. I'm handling her a little with kid gloves since she's had a string of injuries and chiro issues, so I'm not asking for much forward or connection just yet for fear of overdoing it.

https://youtu.be/f2uGMmDfB3g

https://youtu.be/WLxUfBipBOE
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Mon Dec 04, 2017 3:24 pm

Love the updates! Lots of really nice progress happening around the world :-D

I think the effects of straightness are huge. While Emi is no where near GP straight, each step we take in that direction helps her be more powerful. And yes, that improves the engagement/quality in all gaits and in all transitions.

I've gotten the ground poles back out for flying change work. She demonstrated that she can perform them clean with good jump in both directions over a pole. I think we just need to log some time doing this so I develop consistency and hence so does she. Trot half passes are also improving. They are shifting from being merely obedient to actually having a bit of reach and cadence. Kind of shocking!

Yesterday we had a nice gallop in the fields. She is so slow! But still proud of herself for trying to turn on the afterburners. :lol: It has been in the 60s, which is weirdly warm, but winter appears to be coming next week.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Hot4Spots » Wed Dec 06, 2017 12:05 am

Well, here we go, ever onward. Vet saw horse yesterday. Another "slight" improvement. (He actually feels pretty good to me under saddle, but I may be compensating w. regard to any unevenness.) So...we're at roughly five minutes trotting - four laps at working trot, two laps at lengthened trot, with lots of walk in between, or in lieu of lengthened trot, four times up (slight hill) the graveled driveway at a working and/or slow trot (depending upon his mood - don't want him going airborne!!) Now we are to slowly work up to 12 minutes trotting over the next 8 weeks, in 2.5 minute increments. That's within the course of a total 35-45 minute ride - lots of walk, in other words. Oh joy!! Sigh. She was going to say until we were up to 20 minutes trot, but then decided she didn't want him to go more than 8 weeks without a check (lest I not notice an issue, I suppose). Whatever. Contributing to the vet's kids' college fund..... My beastie totally charmed her new assistant, even when he did his sillies when she was trying to trot him in a straight line. My little (1,300 lb.) wiggleworm, head shaking, threatening to nip - he just wants to play. We finally had to put him on the lunge to judge the level of his improvement/soundness. And that's with a couple of cc's of ACE so he won't totally blow and possible hurt himself. I think It's because it's not ME - I can run beside him on a loose lead and he's pretty quiet, but if someone else tries to trot him in hand, he gets silly. Oddly - and this has been consistent all along - he is SOUNDER with the injured leg on the inside of the circle. :?

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Rosie B
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Rosie B » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:20 pm

Mountaineer - that sounds very positive!!!

Bliss and I are keeping on keeping on. We've ridden in some nasty weather and it's just going to get worse. He is such a trooper though. Last week we rode in the dark and the rain with howling winds and he didn't put a foot wrong or even bat an eyelid really.

Since the Cindy Ishoy clinic I've been focused on getting him and KEEPING him in front of the leg. I think he's improved quite a bit over the last month. Here are some pics from the last week, and a video from yesterday. Do you guys see the improvement I'm feeling?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIMnHme ... e=youtu.be
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:53 pm

Mountaineer, that's SUPER news!!
Hot4Spots - I hope things continue to improve
GreenHolmes - also a super update! Keep trusting that you and your pony are on the right track and try not to get so down on yourself! There is a lot to be very proud of in your updates.
Rosie, you and Bliss look fabulous! Remember when I commented that I thought he could stand to come up that last little bit? Your Dec 10 pics show that IMO, he looks soft, up and in front of your leg! If it were me, I'd start pushing the canter a bit more - he's doing the right thing behind, but in the canter is where I still think that the activity looks a bit slow. I have been taught to ask for a bit more activity right before the downward transition so that you are almost boosting the canter up, then setting it down - that makes the upwards smoother as well. I"m sure that you were being a bit conservative with the snow, so, it's just something to keep in mind. The trot looks much better in terms of overall balance, outline and activity! I bet it feels pretty good to ride, too!!

As for me, I finally got Miro out of my old barn. It took a while to find a place that had an indoor and would be low-drama, and have the facilities to help facilitate rehab. But, even with the resulting drama from actually moving, I'm SO glad that I did, and I wish that I could have sooner. He is so much happier with windows and activity around him, the barn is bright and while quiet, has enough going on to keep him mentally stimulated. His actual rehab is going very well! He's up to 10 mins longing each side and 10 mins riding each side. I'm expecting that in the next week or so, I can ask for a canter transition - probably under saddle, I trust him there more than on the longe. He's had some blow ups on the longe (short-lived, but enough of a blow up that I feel safe to say that had the injury still been in an iffy zone, he would have come un-sound as a result.)
He only gets the big window open when supervised - I don't trust him to not jump out - but he loves it and is so happy!
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He's settled in the new indoor - which is not as large... but is bright and has lovely kickboards and bank of windows that, while not the same as a mirror, are reflective enough to be able to see yourself!
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Andrea was able to make it out last week (after the above pics were taken), and she watched him go and declared him to be free of bobbles - HUGE relief, because I panic at every grab of the bridle or hitch thinking that he's off. She told me that at this point, I need to get him more open, that while she knows why I'm keeping him so packaged, she didn't see anything to make her think that he was in danger of being a loon, and quite honestly, I haven't felt him be explosive for a while now. Because he's so cresty, he looks like he's completely curled up - and he is...he's hiding from the contact. So, while he is short in the neck, I'm not holding him there - I have nothing in the reins... so my job is to get him longer post-haste and get him to draw the rein out. She also wants the training to stay ahead of his fitness level so that we can iron out the mistakes that I made previously. So, long story short, he's getting picked up and sent out unless I feel like I'm in mortal danger. :lol: :lol: I've also learned A TON from riding Andrea's horses, so already, I'm feeling things and responding to things differently and more instinctually than I have ever before. Yay me, poor Miro 8-)

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Wed Dec 13, 2017 4:39 pm

I’m happy to hear about the progress others are making. Even the rehabbing horses seem to be coming along.

As usual, I enjoyed the pics of Bliss and Miro!

I just got online now to figure out where I am with Rocky. We are behind schedule. We had a trailer loading issue on November 13 and I strained my shoulder, badly enough that it still hurts a month later...after 10 days of being unable to sleep due to pain, I went to the Dr and he gave me some “miracle” steroids. I felt like superwoman and ended up way overdoing it and hurt even worse after the 6 day course of steriods. I did 12 hours of driving for various family commitments over the six days of steriods and holding my arm in the driving position wreaked havoc on my shoulder. Then I got a UTI, and I think had the flu at the same time. I still managed to get 1.)in a few good trail rides, 2.) get in a few good arena rides, 3.) audited a couple of days of a Betsy Steiner clinic and 3) got in some good trailer loading sessions. (The clinic was at my trainer’s and she rode 3 horses all three days. Her GP horse, her PSG horse, and a 3/4 level mare that is from her breeding program. All were just lovely and very enjoyable to watch.)

I guess the rest of the month is going to be rehab for me, including normal chores and some nice gentle riding. I’m still on antibiotics, but my shoulder is much better. I’m not quite up to trailering (arm position) but it sort of doesn’t matter because my lesson day is on Monday, and both Christmas and New Years fall on Monday this time so those days are out anyway. I am aiming to be back to my lessons by January 8th. The weather may be an issue in January but at the least I hope to be able to haul her over and let my trainer ride her.

One other thing, the Soloshot3...I am leaning toward a Pixio mainly because of it’s apparently better zooming capacity. Also, reading the problems others are having with it makes me think it my be more of a tech hassle than I am up too.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Wed Dec 13, 2017 5:29 pm

Also wanted to add that I could feel a big difference in my first arena ride after the trainer rode Rocky on Nov. 13. She was more in front of the leg, she was more up in front, and the connection was more solid. These differences were very distinct. Part of why I like this trainer so much is her riding style. It is what I aim for in my own riding, and consequently is well matched for how I’ve trained Rocky so far. I am looking forward to lots of sessions where the trainer gets on.

In the past, I’ve had a few very experienced trainers ride my horses in lessons and have not been able to benefit by getting back on the horse myself. I think, because these trainer’s styles were nothing like my own. In two cases the trainers were strong men, one a beautiful rider, the other not so beautiful. In the third case the trainer was a woman, a nice looking rider, but had a very militant attitude. I can now appreciate that these are important considerations in finding a suitable trainer.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Dec 13, 2017 11:52 pm

I'm so bummed you injured your shoulder Demi! Wishing you patience for recovery. I agree that it is awesome to have a trainer who rides like you want to (and can lol) work on your horse. I have been lucky to have this a lot over the years and it has always helped my feel and timing.

I just got back from a week's holiday. A working student exercised my horse while I was away. She said she was very well behaved, including hacking amidst deer!--But then you all know that. We spent a few minutes in today's warm up addressing "I want you this straight and this forward off my leg". It didn't take long and we then had a good loosening ride and hack. I'm so happy to be at this well-managed barn. This is our 1 year anniversary.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Flight » Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:56 am

I'm just catching up with everyone's posts, and sorry if I don't mention everyone, but I do enjoy reading what's been going on.

My knee is pretty much completely better after the ACL reconstruction surgery, it's been 4.5 months or so now. I've been back at work full time for a month, riding, running, swimming now the pool is open. So quite busy. I've lost 11kg, another 3 or so to go and I'll get to my goal weight.I'm going to have to buy new breeches in the after Chrissy sales! It's just starting to get quite hot here now, so trying to ride nice and early on my days off.

It's taken a while to get the horses back to where we were before I had my knee fixed, I slip into bad habits quite quickly. My last lesson a couple of days ago had me shortening up my reins. They felt sooooo short, but when I watch the video they looked normal and it certainly helped getting a better connection throughout. I didn't realise how long and big the canter I was doing, no wonder Ding found it hard to do transitions and changes.
Here's a pic off the Soloshot3 today, trying to remember "shorter reins but light hands".

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Mountaineer, great news! And keeping fingers crossed it continues that way for you.
Straightforward, nice vids and nice riding. The cones are something I should try to help me with accuracy and not be complacent with how I do figures.
RosieB, Snow!!! So pretty!!! I can't imagine schooling in it.. so weird! Yes, he looks much more active and easily so. Really nice :)
Dresseur - yay for riding Miro again :) He's so cute, and he looks great in that pic, like he hasn't had time off!! And the barn does look nice too.
Demi sorry about your shoulder. Yes the soloshot3 is a headache! It's so annoying because when it works it is so good, but then mine has all these little issues that makes me want to drive over it. I can't say whether you're better off with Pixio - possibly you could be.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby khall » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:17 am

I'm glad all the rehabs are going well and some lovely work going on around here!

SF nice steady work with your girl, she is cute and looks fun to ride.
Rosie, yes much improvement in the trot with Bliss, much quicker with the hind legs. I agree totally with Dresseur about the canter, keep those hind legs quicker/active for even more improvement. I cannot imagine having to school in that snow though! What a good boy he is:)
Mountaineer interesting on the straightness with Laddie. It makes you wonder how many times our horses work with low level stuff going on that causes training issues.
demi ouch on the shoulder! Glad it is getting better, hoping you will be 100% soon.
Dresseur yeah for Miro back in work! Totally and completely understand about riding for safety!! BTDT more than once on Rip, wind gets him woo wee.
GHH congratulations on your tests! I think we have all been in your shoes with reader calling wrong test, getting lost in the test:) I find I ride better when I memorize mine instead of having to listen for the caller. Sometimes I have a caller just for backup.

Well Rip is still scoping clean. I jumped on him when he started showing issues again with medication and he is fine now. Made it to the clinic with Jillian and had some nice rides even if the big guy was the afternoon entertainment a couple of times! He is always full of beans the first day at a new facility and HAS to be lunged for my safety. He can show some serious moves that have everyone in awe:) Jill asked me if I could work him in hand when he is like that, she was afraid he was going to hurt himself. Not a good idea! Too full of himself to get into him that close. At this point it is just him, he has jumping blood in him so he has some serious leaps in there. Heck his dam is 22 and still has leaps! Got some good in hand work out of him once he came around. He is quite educated these days. He felt great US except for the tripping due to bad footing:( I also got to ride under lights for the first time ever with him and he was really good. Had some great canter work doing some SF for more engagement to straight and allow. Some good work with Jill but I just miss Mark so much. The lessons with Mark were just phenomenal, where he taught I applied and Rip did. Sigh

Jill is coming back in February but I will not be able to make that clinic. My sister and I are dealing with our aging parents and will have to move them out of their house this winter and more than likely put our dad in memory care. Our mom will be able to move in with my sister so she can keep their dog. It's been rough and so sad to see our dad failing mentally, he was always so smart and quick minded (EE with high level cilvil service job) and now he cannot figure out how to work a TV. It is really impacting our mother, it has been difficult for her to come to grips that the man he is now is not the man he was. Right now we have sitters coming in over night since neither my sister nor I can be there every night. The week before the Jill clinic dad was in the hospital for various issues (addressing the dementia and small bowel obstruction) we had 2 sleepless nights that week. It's rough when I still have animals to care for here. We have so much to address and mom is having trouble making decisions so my sister and I will have to make them for her. Thankfully we have power of attorney over both.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Dec 14, 2017 4:54 am

Khall, I'm so sorry about your dad. Sounds like he is very like my father was--it is hard to see someone who was so brilliant becoming so frail, and it was extremely hard for my stepmother to come to terms with the fact that she couldn't take care of him at home--and I'm sure I will be the same about my own husband when the time comes.

Vet for Laddie tomorrow, something of a sign-off recheck, fingers crossed for a green light to start work on lateral work and some collection, and he's getting his teeth floated. (Once that's done, we are going to start introducing him to the double--might as well, while we are still noodling around not expecting much.) He's going really well, especially the canter work. Sitting the trot is still a bit painful all round. We don't do a lot, but I feel a little bit here and there helps strengthen the back muscles.

Flight, you look great. Congratulations on the weight loss. I'm in that stupid state that I should lose 10lbs and am finding it incredibly difficult.

Happy to read of everyone's progress--this time of year is really just heads down and chipping away at it, trying not to freeze to death.

Demi, take care of that shoulder.

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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Dresseur » Sat Dec 16, 2017 1:27 pm

Khall, that's tough. Dementia is heart-wrenching, I'm glad you have power of attorney, that makes things easier (not emotionally of course), but to be able to help make those tough decisions is crucial.

Flight, I'm glad your knee is healed! The connection looks good in that pic - I hate the feeling of things not looking like they feel, but, I suppose that's part of the "fun" of all of this! LOL

I'm so, so happy to be on my boy. He really is the perfect match for me, and I'm trusting him more and more to not be silly. So, even though we're doing very little under saddle, I've been able to make some changes that I'm very happy with, and he feels fantastic. The bad news is that he's playing A LOT on the longe, so my heart is always in my throat and I'm always half convinced he's going to hurt himself - but so far, nothing. I wish he wouldn't have his ears back for pics, but he's always listening to me with his ears flicked back (I talk to him a lot) so, I suppose I'm ok with it :lol: :lol: The alternative is when they are pricked ahead - which looks cute, but means big trouble for me :lol: :lol:
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The boy will be getting a blanket clip this weekend. The barn and indoor are relatively warm, so even though he's not doing a ton, he's sweating a lot.

My rides down at Andrea's are still going well, I'm learning a ton about what to feel when and how to address issues. Right now, I'm riding a friesan, who is very comfortable and actually has a canter - but that neck!!! That thing is snakey as all get out and is in my face faster than I can blink an eye. I'm learning a lot about putting enough power from the hind in so that I can "ride the neck down", and the huge importance of making sure the horse moves off the leg so that they are not holding in the body. I'm also riding one of her young horses that she's training for sale later, and he is also one that can fling his neck up in a second and has a bit of a tricky build there. I'm getting pretty good in the trot about getting the feel of delivering power up, and feeling that telescoping reach, but for some reason, I wasn't equating that with the feel that I should have before the canter transition. So, after getting myself into trouble for a few rides, I begged for eyes on. It was enlightening - the first thing that she keyed on was that I wasn't asking in the moment that I had him reaching out. That simple thing lead to some great transitions and a different feel in the bridle during the transitions.

Caz, the schoolmaster, is really teaching me about when they fake it in the lateral work, and again, how that translates to the feel. If I'm doing weird stuff with my hands, it means the horse isn't really yielding in the lateral work. I'm getting quicker at identifying and fixing the fake out sooner, which is leading to some great rides. There's another that I'm riding that is stiff as a board, but straight-forward otherwise. Feeling him week to week is amazing because I can feel how Andrea is changing him through out the week.

And then of course Cassie, Andrea's horse that is in training to be a schoolmaster. She's an 8-9 year old Andy/TB mare that was a trail horse, and who hasn't done anything other than that. I've been sitting on her since the start of her training and feeling her evolve is amazing. In 5 months, she's gone from not going forward (not mean, but just asking to stop at every step), and incredibly jarring and uncomfortable since her back was stiff as a board, to forward and sit-able. I can start to feel her back moving in the work, where before she was like riding a 2x4. She's doing all of the lateral work now, and the feel is just 180 degree difference. So, I have to keep up as the training progresses. I got in trouble one day because I was running her off her feet - when actually she didn't need to be sent forward so much any more. Andrea is thinking that if she stays sound (she was given away, so no PPE done), she could be a nice FEI horse. There are moments of absolute brilliance in there.


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