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

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

Postby Rosie B » Wed Dec 20, 2017 10:35 pm

Dresseur Miro is looking great! Thanks for sharing the pics and video.

I took the afternoon off today so that I could do some shopping and also ride in the daylight. I took some video and got this pic, which I'm quite pleased with. I've been experimenting with my position and it's been paying off I think.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:23 pm

Wow Rosie! Position looks super! You look like a pro.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Dec 21, 2017 2:51 pm

Not only does Rosie look like a pro, Bliss looks awesome!

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

Postby Imperini » Fri Dec 22, 2017 4:38 pm

Great picture Rosie, both of you look lovely! Your recent work is definitely paying off.

Hard to believe the month is coming to an end. The forecast says it's going to get bitterly cold here in the next week so I will have to start putting on 10 layers to go to the barn. I didn't clip this year and P still sweats a bit even though it's cold so I've been keeping my rides fairly short recently which is fine because by the time we're done my upper legs and feet are starting to freeze off anyway. I've also been extremely stiff and uncomfortable riding lately which I will blame on the weather. In order to make myself and P, who has to put up with me, a bit more comfortable I've shortened my stirrups a hole so I may look like we're ready to do some jumping but it makes a pretty big difference regarding my comfort so I'll go with it.

Still remembering to do lots and lots of transitions which keeps P on her toes though I was finding I still had to remind her that my leg does mean something at the start of every. single. ride. however this last week she's been very responsive from the start and has received lots of praise for it. Another exercise she seems to do really well with is circling one direction, then changing the direction and circling again. We'll do that often with a 20 meter circle in for one direction and a 10 or 15 meter circle for the next direction as well as varying the trot on the different circles. I think the changing of direction helps loosen her up and the variance of the trot keeps her from trying to go into auto pilot mode. So overall I'm pretty happy with our recent work, I sure do miss the big outdoor arena and long days though.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Dec 23, 2017 1:41 pm

Imperini, it sounds like you are Pal and becoming good working partners.

When I am brain dead from work and need to warm up/tune up Emi, I often return to George Williams' simple exercises on the aids:
https://dressagetoday.com/instruction/g ... ids_103009

For the horse who sometimes "forgets" what leg on means, I will use a light aid, if I don't get good enough response I take both legs off and give a big 10 pounder "pop" with both legs, then ask again very lightly + take both legs off. It's a bit of teaching the horse that if you feel both legs off, a big aid is coming, so get your butt in gear before I give that aid. Eventually, this can be very subtle and turns into legs lighter or slightly off means GO---and it is a reward for many horses (esp. mares) to soften/lighten the leg.

I am not going to claim this is classical, but it can be practical! lol

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

Postby Dresseur » Sun Dec 24, 2017 7:56 pm

A Merry Christmas canter from Miro and I!

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

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:29 pm

Happy Holidays, all! It is turning very cold (high in 30s) for us tomorrow. Today was soggy after 2 inches of rain, so we just hacked.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:38 pm

Gah, you have grass! It's around -20F, brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr
My horse is getting a week off, even with an indoor. Too cold

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

Postby Rosie B » Thu Dec 28, 2017 12:54 am

-35 here with windchill.

Bliss is also getting some time off. It shouldn’t be as cold next week!

And thanks guys - if We looked that good all the time I’d be pretty happy! As it stands I’m still pretty happy we looked that good for a moment. Lol.

Dresseur - Miro looks very advanced there!!!

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

Postby Sue B » Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:48 pm

It has warmed up here, highs close to freezing now, maybe will even be above freezing!

I rode both ponies today. This was Tio's first time being ridden in the snow, and I must say he did quite well. I was a little nervous about riding without lunging but I have been practicing doing that for a few months now so it went fine. As long as I do some focused ground work, he can be ridden without too many antics. Rudy loves snow riding but was disappointed that we worked in the arena instead of going off to play. My son got me a Samsung360 camara for Christmas and this was my first chance to try it out. If it worked, I'll share some video. :mrgreen:

Happy riding to all and best wishes for the new year.

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

Postby Flight » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:33 am

It’s summer hot here and I have to ride early. Ding is sweating just out in the paddock.
Here’s some vid with my solo shot working. I’ve been working on his medium trots so he can do them without me pushing so much and causing him to hollow and then coming back without so much resistance - still working on that :)
https://youtu.be/bvFimzgpY6Y


Dresseur -Miro looks great! He’s also nice and active in his work without it looking like you have to do much to get it.
Rosie B - Your position is great, I need to work harder with mine, so it’s good inspiration.
Sue I haven’t heard of the Samsung360 but look forward to seeing vid, especially in snow. Loving all the snow pics and vids :)

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

Postby demi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:13 pm

Wow! Flight. I can really see an improvement. Your upper body looks super...it is quiet and steady, and controlled. You also look to be sitting deeper and more connected.

I can see the improvement in Ding’s medium, too.

I have a comment on your lower leg....Once, years ago, a very good clinician told me to “quiet” my lower leg. I fixed it as soon as he told me and then he asked how I was able to correct it so quickly. The thing was, all I had to do was think about it. I wasn’t even aware that my legs weren’t still.

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

Postby demi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:13 pm

SueB I wish I had the verve to ride in below and near freezing temps! Not to mention snow! These days, I have a hard time even considering riding below 40 degrees. Where I live we occasionally get freezing temps and even in the 20’s but it only lasts for a few days at the most.

So this thread is almost up and I haven’t met all my goals. I have made progress though, so I am still encouraged. I’ve missed 3 or 4 weeks of lessons because of a shoulder injury but unless the weather is really bad, I’ll be going back for a lesson on Jan. 8. Even if it’s too cold for me to ride, I’ll still go and have my trainer ride Rocky. The only weather that will stop me is freezing rain which will make trailering unsafe.

So trailering....i may start a new thread on the subject.

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

Postby musical comedy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 1:55 pm

demi wrote:I have a comment on your lower leg....Once, years ago, a very good clinician told me to “quiet” my lower leg. I fixed it as soon as he told me and then he asked how I was able to correct it so quickly. The thing was, all I had to do was think about it. I wasn’t even aware that my legs weren’t still.
Flight doesn't need to quiet her lower leg. That's what a supple ankle looks like. Flight is doing super work. Some of you focus way too much on tiny position things that have no bearing on how the horse goes.

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

Postby Tsavo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:06 pm

I agree with MC. That is a very supple, correct ankle.

The spur requirement at FEI is supposed to test control of the lower leg. If you focus on her spur you can see she has complete control of its position w.r.t. the horse. So she passed the spur test which is stupid anyway because toy spurs are legal and so it's really not testing anything if you wear toy spurs. But that doesn't negate that she passes the spur test.

I think Flight would get really high quality mediums if she did a volte in the corner to coil the energy, held SF coming out, and took that down the long side. I think Ding would produce a huge medium.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby demi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:20 pm

musical comedy wrote:
demi wrote:I have a comment on your lower leg....Once, years ago, a very good clinician told me to “quiet” my lower leg. I fixed it as soon as he told me and then he asked how I was able to correct it so quickly. The thing was, all I had to do was think about it. I wasn’t even aware that my legs weren’t still.
Flight doesn't need to quiet her lower leg. That's what a supple ankle looks like. Flight is doing super work. Some of you focus way too much on tiny position things that have no bearing on how the horse goes.



I totally agree, MC, that Flight is doing super work, in fact I used that very word (super) in my comment.

I didnt say she “needed” to quiet her lower leg, I simply made a comment about my own experience. An ankle can be quiet AND supple at the same time. It could very well be that quiet ankles, as you point out, have “no bearing on how the horse goes”. On the other hand, for some, the total picture a dressage horse and rider presents is part of the artistic quality of dresssage. In a still photo, unquiet ankles aren’t always noticeable, but in a vid, the eye is drawn to that noise, especially if the rest of the picture is beautifully quiet.

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

Postby demi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:33 pm

P.S. Flight, I meant absolutely no offense. I love what you are doing with Ding AND Norsey. I appreciate your sharing your vids and experience. I am a very visual person and I thought maybe you were, too. Your riding has gotten “prettier and prettier” since I’ve been watching your progress, and I think you present a lovely, lovely picture. And I do love a pretty picture!
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby musical comedy » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:37 pm

demi wrote:I didnt say she “needed” to quiet her lower leg, I simply made a comment about my own experience. An ankle can be quiet AND supple at the same time. It could very well be that quiet ankles, as you point out, have “no bearing on how the horse goes”. On the other hand, for some, the total picture a dressage horse and rider presents is part of the artistic quality of dresssage. In a still photo, unquiet ankles aren’t always noticeable, but in a vid, the eye is drawn to that noise, especially if the rest of the picture is beautifully quiet.
Almost every comment you make on a photo or video focuses on the rider position and very seldom on the horse. Not everyone's eye is drawn to the 'noise' of unquiet ankles. My ankles are like helicopters due to several reasons, so I take comments about ankles very personally. And guess what, I've gotten plenty of 7's at higher levels because of how I get my horse to perform, not because of how perfectly elegant I look. Maybe if you would focus more on riding than position you might be farther along than you are.

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

Postby demi » Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:42 pm

musical comedy wrote:
demi wrote:I didnt say she “needed” to quiet her lower leg, I simply made a comment about my own experience. An ankle can be quiet AND supple at the same time. It could very well be that quiet ankles, as you point out, have “no bearing on how the horse goes”. On the other hand, for some, the total picture a dressage horse and rider presents is part of the artistic quality of dresssage. In a still photo, unquiet ankles aren’t always noticeable, but in a vid, the eye is drawn to that noise, especially if the rest of the picture is beautifully quiet.
Almost every comment you make on a photo or video focuses on the rider position and very seldom on the horse. Not everyone's eye is drawn to the 'noise' of unquiet ankles. My ankles are like helicopters due to several reasons, so I take comments about ankles very personally. And guess what, I've gotten plenty of 7's at higher levels because of how I get my horse to perform, not because of how perfectly elegant I look. Maybe if you would focus more on riding than position you might be farther along than you are.


:oops: :cry: :oops: :cry:

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

Postby Rosie B » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:48 pm

Flight - Wow. You guys are looking super. HUGE improvement!!!

Where do you feel like your position needs work? It looks pretty darn good to me.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Dec 29, 2017 4:53 pm

Flight, I love how "confirmed" you and Ding look in the work. Great to see!

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

Postby khall » Fri Dec 29, 2017 5:14 pm

MC there is no call to be so snarky. Your comments to demi are unacceptable IMO. I too noticed the moving legs with Flight, so what. Some can see both rider and horse and we all certainly have heard time and again it is about the riders position! We all (I know I do) work on our positions all the time to be better riders for sure. A good solid position helps us to ride better.

Flight lovely work! Do you ever work SI to medium to SI to help with the engagement and the coming back?

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

Postby Sue B » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:44 pm

Rats, I wrote a nice post about how I "get" MC's defensive response, but oh well. Suffice it to say, we all have our hot-buttons (even me :lol: ) nad someimes it comes out in a not-a-nice-way. Don't worry about MC's response Demi, it's obvious that Flight knew what you meant. Flight, you and your horse are wonderful and it is easy to see the great improvement you guys have had these last couple years. I am jealous. :mrgreen:

khall, watch for my post when I upload the link to my 360 video. tell me if you think Tio is stretching enough yet. 8-)

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

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 6:52 pm

musical comedy wrote:Maybe if you would focus more on riding than position you might be farther along than you are.


None of us actually know how "far along" anyone else here actually is, because almost all of it is self reported, and some tend to paint a much prettier picture of what they think they've accomplished than others.

Not that I'm thinking of anyone in particular, but we don't really know how far along anyone is unless we've seen them ride in person, and even then any evaluation depends more on which scale we choose to use than on some universally accepted measurement of progress.

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

Postby Tsavo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:37 pm

Video goes a long way to knowing how far along someone is in my opinion.

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

Postby Tsavo » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:41 pm

Speaking of video, we see someone who had more correct position come in second behind another person who tended to lean back in the 5 yo world championships several years ago. Here only effectveness matters.

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

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 7:54 pm

Tsavo wrote:Video goes a long way to knowing how far along someone is in my opinion.


If the video is of someone doing a test at a show then I think it could be fairly representative, but if it's just short clips it's hard to say. I remember seeing a video of a horse going from piaffe to extended trot, and it was impressive enough that many wondered how many times the horse had done it before it was recorded, and whether someone was standing behind him with a whip. :-)

I think video can be manipulated to be quite misleading, and some feel the need to do that while others don't.

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

Postby Sue B » Fri Dec 29, 2017 8:40 pm

Okay, here is a link to my 360 video taken yesterday. Bash away if you must. I am not pleased with how forward my upper body is BUT I am pleased that Tio is developing some swing in his back, some cadence at the trot and some overstep. His walk has really improved, and you would have seen improvement in the canter if I would've let him canter on, but conditions were not safe enough.

To run the 360 on a tablet, use your finger to follow the horse (moves the screen) and 2 fingers to zoom in and out. If using a mouse, I find it easiest to use the wheel in the upper left hand corner of the screen. When you start the video, you will need to "look" around to find the horse, or wait for us to come into view and then start following.

https://youtu.be/bRApzEbjY8M

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

Postby kande50 » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:22 pm

Sue B wrote:Okay, here is a link to my 360 video taken yesterday.


Good for you for getting out there in the snow to ride. I did that for short time, but then realized that if I was going to ride in the winter I really did need an indoor. Looks like you have a lot more room outside, though.

It's a cool video, and I'm seeing good progress. The leaning forward could be have something to do with your saddle, as it sometimes looks as if you might be sliding back on the seat? Or maybe it's just that he's not yet steady enough to give you a good place to sit, although he does look quite a bit steadier than he was in the last video I saw.

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

Postby Flight » Fri Dec 29, 2017 10:59 pm

Rosie B wrote:Where do you feel like your position needs work? It looks pretty darn good to me.


Thanks! But I think I have a bit of a ducks bum, and hollowing a bit much through my lower back still, and maybe trying to absorb the bounce through my waist too much.
Also, yes my lower legs do wobble more than I'd like on Ding. So Demi, I'm not offended and I am happy for criticism! I would love to look as elegant as possible when I ride too. I'm not sure if it came from having a nagging leg on Ding in the past, because they're not so obvious when I ride Norsey.
MC thanks too for your comments and discussion - but I truly don't mind anyone's comments on my riding who are trying to help me. Certainly with ankles, some people have a very mobile ankle, Watching Steffen Peters, his ankles look very mobile. If I try and stiffen my ankle, the bounce comes back up to my seat.

khall wrote:Flight lovely work! Do you ever work SI to medium to SI to help with the engagement and the coming back?

No, but I will !!! :lol: :lol:
Same with Tsavo's suggestion of the Volte/SF. I will try that too. Thanks :)

Sue B - pretty video!! I love snow (can you tell I never have to live with it :D ) and impressed that you can ride in it. Tio is looking really good.

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

Postby Rosie B » Fri Dec 29, 2017 11:34 pm

I’ve recently come to the conclusion that a natural hollow in my back is necessary. If I don’t have a slight hollow, I can’t keep my structural integrity. I would worry less about the hollow and more about not absorbing through the waist. It doesn’t look like you’re doing that to me, but if you feel you are then you probably are a bit.

Also, don’t think about stiffening your ankles. Think instead about stretching your whole leg a touch longer. This may or may not work for you but could be worth a try. :)

ETA: Sue - Tio is looking forward and quite secure in the connection. Good job!!

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

Postby khall » Sat Dec 30, 2017 12:49 am

Great job Sue!! Believe me I get the naughty pony thing (said the same to dresseur too) and riding defensively:) I have a big can be naughty chestnut WB g too! Tio does look much more forward and across his top line than last clip I saw.

I have to say, hats off the you and Rosie getting out there and riding in such weather/snow! I would be hibernating for the winter.

Not getting too much done here at home, though have some interesting observations I want to share on a new thread. Been busy and overwhelmed between the holidays and my dad.

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

Postby demi » Sat Dec 30, 2017 1:18 am

Yes, hats off to SueB and Rosie, and all who are out riding in the snow! It gives me inspiration...

Sue, I couldn’t get the interactive part to work on my iPad with your vid. I could only see a tiny horse and rider! I’ll try it on my computer later and see if that works. Even with the small view, I could at least see that he was forward and active, and in a nice elastic frame.

Flight, I probably misused the word “pretty”. Actually, elegant is a better description and you are looking quite elegant these days! I only mentioned the ankles because I thought you might not even be aware of it. RosieB mentioned not to think of stiffening your ankles but rather stretching them down a tad more and I agree. I will add that in addition to stretching my leg down a bit, I thought of unifying my whole leg with the rest of my body in order to still my lower leg.

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

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Dec 30, 2017 9:33 pm

Flight, that was nice to watch. You sure are getting it done! And I see you using your ankle as a shock absorber rather than having an unsteady lower leg, FWIW.

We have been diligently working on getting withers up and working over the back for the past couple of weeks, after a productive lesson that got me thinking more about this next stage of rehabbing. Starting to feel a much softer, rounder horse already.

However, everything's come to a screaming halt here this week. I'm so sick I can barely get out of bed. So much for a nice week of riding in decent weather over New Year.

Oh well. Laddie is getting a bit of a break which won't do him any harm. He's turned out in the sunshine every day.

But you can just take me out and put me out of my misery.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:51 pm

Sue B wrote:Okay, here is a link to my 360 video taken yesterday. Bash away if you must. I am not pleased with how forward my upper body is BUT I am pleased that Tio is developing some swing in his back, some cadence at the trot and some overstep.


Recall that I was the idiot who forgot Tio's timeline/experience with the last video you posted, but I have to say there is lots of good stuff in this work. I really like his hind leg and he showed very good focus. Is this really his first time doing work in the snow? Very well done!

You know I live in the south when I get 20 rides in during December! Today was a bit hairy, due to "strange" (according to Emi) horses being brought into the main barn during a cold front (highs in 20s tomorrow and next few days, which is extreme for us). Eventually we got to good basic work: Canter spiral in and out, canter travers to canter shoulder fore, and touching on the "big" (for us) trot between lateral set ups.

Yesterday I was super pleased with her canter work---it was very uphill, soft and quick off the aid out in the fields. Today, it was more work, but we lacked focus and had to struggle to get throughness. Joys of a tight little horse.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:57 pm

kande50 wrote: Not that I'm thinking of anyone in particular, but we don't really know how far along anyone is unless we've seen them ride in person


This comment reminds me of a Danish show jumping trainer I worked with briefly. In make my first lesson appointment he noted "there is no point in talking about what you can do until I see you on a horse!" Fair enough!!

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

Postby demi » Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:51 am

SueB, the 360 works on my Surface Book so I watched it again and was able to see a lot more than the first time I watched it. He definitely shows improvement since the last video. The rhythm is noticeably steadier and so is the connection. What I find most impressive is that he was being so good outside in the snow and freezing temps! I have gotten wimpier with age and Texas warmth, but still, I grew up in Michigan and I remember the horses being REALLY electric and reactive in that kind of weather.

I will say that your position :o looks pretty darn good for the conditions. I find it really hard to relax into a good position when it's very cold, let alone freezing outside. My muscles, tendons and ligaments get stiff in the cold and even after warming up, they never get their full elasticty.

Thanks for sharing.

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

Postby demi » Sun Dec 31, 2017 3:37 am

I checked my goals for this thread and even though I didn't fully meet them, I am still happy with the progress. The biggest failure in my goals was that I slacked way off on riding 5 days a week. I kept it up until just a few weeks ago when the holidays and cold weather set in. I am not too worried about it though because I spent a lot of time working on the trailering issues we are/were having. I was worried that weekly trailering to lessons might be too stressful for her and I would have to quit hauling her if she was going to get ulcers...the good news is that over the last three weeks I just left the trailer hooked up and we had lots of practice sessions. She has relaxed a LOT. Before all the practice, she would never eat in the trailer even tho normally she had a huge appetite. Today she ate all her hay while in transit! I am just doing 10-15 minute trips and I only put about a pound of alfalfa in front of her.

My other two goals were to continue taking lessons and to RELAX at lessons. I am so happy with my trainer that continuing lessons is a piece of cake. Now that Rocky is getting comfortable in the trailer, I think she will be more relaxed at the lessons, and I will, too.

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

Postby StraightForward » Sun Dec 31, 2017 4:01 pm

Sue, Tio has really come along since your last video! I found it difficult to follow you and also pay attention to the details of the ride, but what I could see looked nicely relaxed and forward. :)

I've also scheduled a lesson with a new local trainer for next week. My hope is to take Annabelle over there bi-weekly for the winter, and then put Pickl in part training with him for a few months in the spring to help with transitioning her back into my custody.

Specific goals for Annabelle:
Balanced 20m canter circles both directions with crisp T/C transitions - she currently leans in on her left shoulder quite a bit
Get LY in walk and trot without losing rhythm and connection
Once the W/T transitions are straighter, start H/T transitions
Better connection to the right rein!
Square halts


Well crap, this 2 months did not go as planned. A ended up out in her pelvis so the first lesson never even happened and she had about 10 days off in November. Silver lining being that I tried a new bodyworker who addressed some issues that the other person had missed. We had a couple good weeks from late November to early December, then she colicked and was diagnosed with ulcers. We're on day 12 of GastroGuard right now and I'm rearranging her feeding regimen to hopefully prevent a recurrence. In-hand work is getting better though. We also have lots of snow on the ground, and with the ulcer situation, I haven't really wanted to trailer, but might do so this afternoon. It will be interesting to see how she is post-treatment. She seems less spooky now, though she wasn't bad before, and I just chalked it up to normal 4 year old behavior.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Dec 31, 2017 6:53 pm

musical comedy wrote:
demi wrote:I didnt say she “needed” to quiet her lower leg, I simply made a comment about my own experience. An ankle can be quiet AND supple at the same time. It could very well be that quiet ankles, as you point out, have “no bearing on how the horse goes”. On the other hand, for some, the total picture a dressage horse and rider presents is part of the artistic quality of dresssage. In a still photo, unquiet ankles aren’t always noticeable, but in a vid, the eye is drawn to that noise, especially if the rest of the picture is beautifully quiet.
Almost every comment you make on a photo or video focuses on the rider position and very seldom on the horse. Not everyone's eye is drawn to the 'noise' of unquiet ankles. My ankles are like helicopters due to several reasons, so I take comments about ankles very personally. And guess what, I've gotten plenty of 7's at higher levels because of how I get my horse to perform, not because of how perfectly elegant I look. Maybe if you would focus more on riding than position you might be farther along than you are.


some of us think that the body of the horse can only be as balanced as the rider. I can't comment on your specific position issues and if it affects the horse, since i haven't seen you ride, but yes it will cause some sort of problem. However, we are all on a journey and we can all improve.

Also, it can be very hard to crituque horses we don't know or see in person.- it how their personality and history affect what you can expect and how to tailor the principles to that horse at that time. They often change very quickly week to week so an older video might not be what they look like now.

These comments are why I never share my videos online anymore.

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

Postby DJR » Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:03 pm

I was hoping to keep Jet going at least 2-3 times a week to try to keep & gain some condition, but the vacation and then the weather has other plans.

First we were away the week before & including Christmas, so no riding.

Then we got back to extremely cold temperatures. For example, today upon waking my outdoor thermometer read -30C (-22F), and it's been between -22C and -30C every day except one when it rose to -16C (temporarily). I don't ride when it's colder than -15C both for the horse's sake and for my sake. It's supposed to warm up a bit for two days this week, then we'll be super cold again until next week.

So, I guess it was premature to move Jet & my daughter's pony to the indoor boarding situation since they're just eating & using up boarding dollars. But there's no way I could have known it would get THIS cold so early in the season.

Oh well, at least it gives us some free time. Hopefully I can ride more regularly once it has warmed up (relatively speaking).
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Mon Jan 01, 2018 6:28 pm

DJR wrote:So, I guess it was premature to move Jet & my daughter's pony to the indoor boarding situation since they're just eating & using up boarding dollars. But there's no way I could have known it would get THIS cold so early in the season.

Oh well, at least it gives us some free time. Hopefully I can ride more regularly once it has warmed up (relatively speaking).


I"m enjoying the time off from riding so much that I may never start again, although I suspect that as soon as the temps improve I'll change my mind about that, too.

I am however, giving myself a high five for procrastinating over putting winter shoes on the trail horses, because it turned so cold that we probably would have gotten about 2 rides out of the new shoes before it was time to reset them. And nothing irks me more than to put all that time and effort into winter shoes and not use them. It's why I prefer boots, but I haven't yet figured out how to prevent them from twisting on my mule's fronts, and the dh hates putting them on his horse, so if I shoe my mule I need to shoe his horse, too.

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

Postby Rosie B » Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:24 pm

Well here was my goal list in early November. I didn't meet all my goals due to a slight direction change after the clinic with Cindy Ishoy, but I am really happy with where we are now.

* Continue to ride at least 3 times a week despite the dark and cold. YES! Rode minimum 3x a week with the exception of the week between xmas and new year as we had visitors and temps were minus ridiculous all week.
* Continue to develop quality of gaits, every ride, with lots of transitions within and between gaits. - YES, gaits have improved quite a bit.
* Continue to improve travers, renvers, and HP - NO - I put these on the backburner to address him being truly in front of the leg, but I feel like when I start work on these again they'll be much better just for having a better connection.

* Continue to improve the SI - do forward and back, and start SI entwickeln (See Dressage in Harmony by WAZ) - Also nope.
* Improve/consolidate simple changes so that I can do them anywhere. - Worked quite a bit on these. They're not where I need them yet.
* Counter canter of increasing difficulty - Also worked on this and it's improved a lot, but still not good enough.
* (dare I put this in writing?) Start flying changes. - Nope! See two points above.

In mid December the weather really took a turn toward winter and the footing froze in my arena, so each ride since then I've had to be a bit careful about what I do where. I've been doing a lot of just going large (since that part of my arena is still softish - go figure), with lots of transitions, and circles only where the footing allows it.

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

Postby Sue B » Tue Jan 02, 2018 4:06 pm

I rode both ponies the last day of the year, and it was "interesting" to say the least. Rudy was a fire-breathing dragon when I hopped on, and so when I finally got his topline lifted and under control, I worked on a few half-steps on the road. The end result was a few steps of actual piaffe! I did long stretches of almost medium trot with lots of curvy lines out in the snow in the neighbor's hay field to finally acquire brain and body. When work was over, blanket back on and horse turned loose, off he ran, bucking and snorting. :lol:

Tio did. not. like. the crunchy, snowy footing and threw a major hissy fit over it all. I had to dismount and do more ground work to get his head in the game. Eventually though, he came to realize that forward--no balking, no rushing--equals the most balanced way to deal with funky footing. Every time I go through this, i wonder if he'll ever settle, but I also know that every time I am successful in acquiring his cooperation, the future battles are less vociferous. He is fun to ride even if he is a bit of a stinker. :P

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

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:26 pm

Sounds like everyone made it through the holidays happy and mostly healthy. Here's the final check-in for me and Kiwi:

What I said I'd do:

Ponichiwa wrote:These 8 weeks, I'll work on:
- Riding 4x/week
- Playing with changes in bend/stride length/direction in the canter to expand the no-change zone, as it were.
- Touch half-steps twice a month
- For myself: 15k steps/day. Choose salads. Breathe.


What I actually did:
- Averaged 3x/week (time off due to inclement weather and scraping carpet glue off the floor of my garage)
- Improved the no-change zone but this one will also appear in the next challenge
- Exceeded the half-steps goal; I think I ultimately touched on them 8x over the course of the 2 months. Her reaction to half-steps is getting much less, uh, aggressive. All positive there.
- I'm now averaging 15.5k steps/day but the day-to-day count is all over the place. I also haven't been brave enough to get on the scale to see how my lose-weight journey is going but I suspect it's not all roses. Always more to do there.


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