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

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:43 pm

Dresseur wrote:Well, this is happening! I'm being VERY careful, and I trust the little shit as far as I can throw him, which is not far, now that he's not so little. :lol: :lol:


I'm glad to see you riding! I get it, I do.... :lol:

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

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:44 am

The Devil surely makes work for idle hooves, eh, Dresseur? Laddie is getting that interesting combination of fitter and bored. And the weather is getting colder. Just so much... fun...

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

Postby DJR » Sun Nov 12, 2017 12:52 am

I'm having a LOT of difficulty finding motivation to ride now that it's cold enough to freeze water. And dark by 5 pm. Yuck. Hate it!

I haven't ridden in two weeks. That by itself depresses me!
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Borrowed Freedom » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:25 am

Ok so Delilah is working amazingly, really need to post pictures of her. Her trot and canter work is really coming along amazingly. Have tentatively set the 3rd of December as a date for her first show (things just keep on happening that we can't enter shows we want to enter). We are going to be doing Novice 1+2 (1st level), in my previous lesson I took Novice 1 and Prelim 4 (training level) for us to ride through. My trainer had us first go through the novice test and his reaction was to tear up the prelim test, so I guess no prelim for us :?

We've actually basically sorted out the tantrums, one lesson my trainer had me using spurs and the difference :shock: , we only use the spurs if she slams on brakes and throws a tantrum. So now she's basically only pulling maybe one tantrum once in a while, probably just to check what will happen.

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

Postby kande50 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 10:51 am

DJR wrote:I'm having a LOT of difficulty finding motivation to ride now that it's cold enough to freeze water. And dark by 5 pm. Yuck. Hate it!


Same here. The time change coupled with the sudden drop in temps pretty much did me in.

I'm still trail riding my mule, but if this frame of mind persists I think Sting may be getting the winter off, which is kind of ironic given how much I enjoy riding him when I am able to overcome inertia to get out there and get going.

I never know what will happen next though, so it's always possible that this is just temporary and I'll get a burst of energy and get started again. But if not, a break may be refreshing, and there's always spring to look forward to.

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

Postby Rosie B » Sun Nov 12, 2017 1:01 pm

It's cold here too. It's been hovering around -5 to -10 with wind chill. On Monday it was 19 degrees. (from 66F down to 15F for you Americans!)

Yesterday's ride in the clinic was good, but I didn't feel like I really had him through like I can get him at home. That seems to be a thing at this arena - I'm not sure if it's because of the indoor? But he doesn't feel as active in there. He seems to be improving each time I go to that facility, so that's good. Hopefully today's ride will be more like he is at home.

Here's some footage from yesterday. This is unedited so there are definitely some parts here that make me cringe a bit. I also know he needs to be way more forward. C&C welcome.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lmTh6J ... e=youtu.be

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Nov 12, 2017 2:19 pm

Rosie B wrote:It's cold here too. It's been hovering around -5 to -10 with wind chill. On Monday it was 19 degrees. (from 66F down to 15F for you Americans!)

Yesterday's ride in the clinic was good, but I didn't feel like I really had him through like I can get him at home. That seems to be a thing at this arena - I'm not sure if it's because of the indoor? But he doesn't feel as active in there. He seems to be improving each time I go to that facility, so that's good. Hopefully today's ride will be more like he is at home.

Here's some footage from yesterday. This is unedited so there are definitely some parts here that make me cringe a bit. I also know he needs to be way more forward. C&C welcome.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lmTh6J ... e=youtu.be


He just looks a bit stiff in his hips to me, if it was my horse, I would stretch him more before I started sitting. His pelvis is rotating the wrong way.

His hips don't look mucled as much as the rest of him does, he looks weak behind. Just my opinion, of course.
Last edited by Ryeissa on Sun Nov 12, 2017 9:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Postby demi » Sun Nov 12, 2017 6:53 pm

Rosie B wrote:Here's some footage from yesterday. This is unedited so there are definitely some parts here that make me cringe a bit. I also know he needs to be way more forward. C&C welcome.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lmTh6J ... e=youtu.be


Thanks for posting the vid. I've watched it twice already and will watch it again. The trainer is so very clear and quick enough with direction that I can see the horse responding and I started to understand where she is taking you. For me, the instruction on which rein to use and when, is critical, because I don't usually know quickly enough myself when to use a particular rein. And timing is so important.

I didn't see anything that was "cringeworthy", and I wouldn't even worry about not being forward enough at this point. I think you are just balancing a lot of things all at once to get him on the aids, and forward is just having to take a back seat for the moment. Can you ride with this trainer more often? She is helping you refine how you put him on the aids. I find it very exciting! Maybe because I have found a very effective trainer at last, and I really appreciate it.

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

Postby Rosie B » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:38 pm

Thanks for the feedback guys.

Rye - that's an interesting observation. I had planned on getting him adjusted before the clinic, but I had to head to a conference for work for 3 days at the beginning of the week (on short notice) and I couldn't make it happen. I read what you posted about him being tight in the hips which results in tension in the neck that no amount of pushing will resolve - you must have removed that bit. Yesterday it was very cold and I suspect some of the tension may have been due to the temperature. But today we pushed a lot harder and it did resolve the tension and in the end he was going really well.

Demi - I am very glad you are finding it helpful. I often think that seeing someone working through some issues is more helpful than watching things going perfectly all the time. It was a good lesson but today's was even better. I wish I could ride with her more often. She only comes twice a year though. She is Canadian dressage royalty. She was on the bronze medal winning team in '92, and overall has represented Canada at 6 olympic games. So she's pretty great. :)

Today we stuck to the very basics. Quick responses off the legs, pushing FORWARD from behind. He felt AMAZING at the end of the lesson - super powerful and connected and yet still easy to sit. We felt like we were flying. I have video, I just need to do some editing then will post. Stay tuned. :)

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

Postby Flight » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:47 am

Nothing cringeworthy there Rosie B! Sometimes when they are in an enclosed arena they can back off a little. My horse does in my instructors (outdoor) arena because it's fenced and mine isn't. But he looks balanced and swinging nicely in that vid, I thought.

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

Postby greenholmeshandy » Mon Nov 13, 2017 1:56 pm

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

Postby Dresseur » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:57 pm

Rosie, I agree, nothing cringeworthy, and your position is looking pretty darn good!

He reminds me SO much of a horse Andrea had me riding - exact same movement, and he wanted to be slow and hovery, so my take on this is colored by that. But to me he looks like was definitely backed off in the arena and therefore under-powered. The bit of unsteadiness/bumps in the bridle are a direct result of that. I heard the instructor ask for more activity behind in the beginning and she was dead on with that. Personally, I would have been doing some pretty snappy transitions and asking for mini-lengthenings to test responses because I feel that the circles and lateral work at that stage allowed him to bleed some more energy off. You guys are a fantastic team and there is lots to be proud of.

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

Postby khall » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:12 pm

Well crap. Rip has had a relapse of NCS. Our last two rides were difficult no where near what we were doing just the week before and I noticed him snorting while eating. So he is back on pred and upped the throats spray to daily. May need twice daily spray. Also moved him to a different pasture. Hard when your farm is hurting your horse.

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

Postby demi » Mon Nov 13, 2017 3:30 pm

Dresseur wrote:Rosie,
...I heard the instructor ask for more activity behind in the beginning and she was dead on with that. Personally, I would have been doing some pretty snappy transitions and asking for mini-lengthenings to test responses because I feel that the circles and lateral work at that stage allowed him to bleed some more energy off...


I was thinking that the trainer was working on refining the straightness. Maybe just because the video clip was very much like my whole lessons. Rocky has a sensitive gas pedal though (almost too sensitive :shock:), so the issue of forward is different. I am happily surprised that the tiny rein-use adjustments that my trainer has me doing, is so helpful in getting her “forwardness”, focused and controllable. I am just thinking that the straightness has a direct affect on forward. i.e. a horse that needs to be more forward can do so more easily, the staighter he is. And conversely, The energy of a rushing horse can be directed more easily the straighter she is.

I know we just saw a short clip of the whole lesson, but I noticed at one point the instructor commented “that’s a nice trot!” (Or something like that). So I replayed that part enough so I could see what she was talking about. I was guessing the trot improved because of the staaightness work.

So...I’m just thinking aloud here.

I’m off to a lesson, now! Yay!

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

Postby Dresseur » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:29 pm

Yes, this is spot on "I am just thinking that the straightness has a direct affect on forward. i.e. a horse that needs to be more forward can do so more easily, the straighter he is. And conversely, The energy of a rushing horse can be directed more easily the straighter she is."

The more horses that I'm riding - from green beans, to hover-ers to upper level, with all conformations, I'm learning that you need to have honest drive from behind in order to address the straightness, but if you don't have the horse relatively straight, you can't channel or affect the drive. The horse that reminds me of Bliss had the same sweepy trot. Now I can't say for sure how Bliss actually rides, but this horse was uncomfortable as all get out unless he was up to the bridle. So the rider would keep him underpowered and sweepy which was much more comfortable, but the horse felt in two parts and half halts would not go through. The horse was also confirmed late in the changes. On the surface, the canter seemed lovely, but I watched several months of training and watched Andrea asking for more forward and snappier responses. She did a TON of transitions, if the horse grabbed at the bridle, she would circle to get the body yielding so that she would stay out of his face. The canter was very forward and she constantly tested a bit of forward and back to keep the hind legs the same tempo whether it was collected or medium/extended canter. Not only did the horse get more and more comfortable to ride, but the mechanics of the hind end got better and better, and the changes are 100% clean again, unless he sprawls back out again. I rode the horse for a few minutes once when he first came for a baseline, and then rode the horse a few times before he went home - the difference was remarkable.

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

Postby Sue B » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:13 pm

Life has once again interfered with riding BUT...

I treated myself to auditing the 2nd session of the L program section A with Axel Steiner. This portion covered how the particular movements of each test (TL thru 2nd) should be ridden and the criteria which govern each test and each movement. I can't say that I really learned anything new, but I did really enjoy listening to such an excellent review. It felt good to be able to answer all questions about theory and the why's and wherefores of dressage training (mentally of course, auditors are not allowed to speak) correctly and then tie that together with judging the actual tests ridden for us. Interesting to me, was that Axel said that there is no proscription demanding that the head be lowered during the free walk, only that the horse be moving freely throughout the whole topline. Funny, often that's not how it is judged in real life. He did do an excellent review on the TOH, like what is a major fault and what is a modifier and how to get good points on that move. The demonstration horses (and riders) were wonderful because they were horses/riders you see every day in regular rated shows--some spectacular, most average. Appropriate to my horse, were the horses who did not have great lengthenings or mediums (depending on level). Even if your horse is not a star in that area, showing clear transitions in and out of that movement will get you at least a 6 from majority of judges. In tests where transitions are judged separately, you may even get a 7 for transitions while getting a 6 for the medium. Anyways, it was a fun weekend and I am inspired to get back to showing next year.

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

Postby Rosie B » Mon Nov 13, 2017 7:38 pm

Dresseur you were right on. This is exactly what we did in the lesson yesterday - lots of quick transitions. It was really eye opening how much quicker he needs to be off the leg. He does tend to hover. It was a very interesting lesson yesterday because the theme was much the same as my lesson in September, but I found the combination of quick transitions AND a little bit of kicking MUCH more effective than just kicking kicking kicking.

Demi - that part where she said the trot was nice in the video from Saturday was pretty much the only part of that video where he was a little quicker behind.

Here are two largely unedited videos from yesterday. I only removed the walk breaks so you can see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me know what you all think. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdhvIvbiVzc
https://youtu.be/B2g7XAWfQb4

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

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:07 pm

khall wrote:Well crap. Rip has had a relapse of NCS. Our last two rides were difficult no where near what we were doing just the week before and I noticed him snorting while eating. So he is back on pred and upped the throats spray to daily. May need twice daily spray. Also moved him to a different pasture. Hard when your farm is hurting your horse.



I'm sorry khall! sending lots of jingles

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

Postby cb06 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:56 pm

Really useful and timely discussion on improving the canter and hind-leg quickness, and how responsiveness and straightness plays in.
I liked the exercises in your videos Rosie. Its not good, bad and ugly, it is just the reality of progressing in training, improving strength and responsiveness. Great job!
One of our next steps is to continue working on similar quick, responsive t/c transitions, but on a straight line and trying to stay straight and through in all the up and down transitions. It is hard stuff. The up transition is easier for us, but the down he still wants to hollow and come off the aids more often than not. We've been working on some of the strengthening exercises, lots of transitions, hills, etc.
It's a work in progress.
The goal is to get a line of changes every 3/4 strides eventually...

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

Postby Tsavo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:21 pm

Rosie B, I just looked at the first video so far. I like your position and that clinician very much.

My only comment is that work was decent and would have been very easy to do if Bliss was forward. I think if you can consistently get him to be forward as his default, there is no limit for you both.

There is a piece in a recent DT on this and a picture of Dujardin/Valegro. The internal trigger I have installed in my riding is I have to feel that my horse is doing 99.9% of the work. If he isn't then it means he isn't forward.

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

Postby demi » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:39 pm

Rosie B wrote:Here are two largely unedited videos from yesterday. I only removed the walk breaks so you can see the good, the bad, and the ugly. Let me know what you all think. :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdhvIvbiVzc
https://youtu.be/B2g7XAWfQb4
Wow Rosie. Great stuff in your clinic with Cindy Ishoy. And I agree with CB06,
cb06 wrote:Really useful and timely discussion on improving the canter and hind-leg quickness, and how responsiveness and straightness plays in.
I liked the exercises in your videos Rosie. Its not good, bad and ugly, it is just the reality of progressing in training, improving strength and responsiveness. Great job!
...


I could see what you were talking about
Rosie B wrote:Dresseur you were right on. This is exactly what we did in the lesson yesterday - lots of quick transitions. It was really eye opening how much quicker he needs to be off the leg. He does tend to hover. It was a very interesting lesson yesterday because the theme was much the same as my lesson in September, but I found the combination of quick transitions AND a little bit of kicking MUCH more effective than just kicking kicking kicking.


because I watched your lesson in September carefully. I need to watch the latest vids several more times, because my eye is not developed enough to pick up much of what she is correcting. I know that it will improve my own riding if I spend the time to stop and rewind the vid everytime she makes a correction so that I can try to see what she is seeing right before she gives an instruction...honestly, there is a LOT going on here, and things are happening VERY quickly.

Thanks so much for sharing this high quality instruction.

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

Postby Tsavo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:45 pm

Okay I watched the other videos. Really love that clinician... who is she?

She was throwing a lot at you and you were keeping up. This means you can focus. That is huge. So you just have to focus on focusing in my opinion. As soon as you take no prisoners on forward, everything will be easier I think.

Going right seems harder for Bliss. That was the same thing that duJardin's protege was gigged on in a clinic. She just focused more on getting the same quality going right as going left but it was still harder for the horse so don't beat yourself up over this. I think it is just a slightly weaker RH which apparently is common.

About the reins getting longer, I think of trying to keep my horse in one piece. That doesn't mean holding him. It means shaping him by setting boundaries. When you gave up the outside rein going right, there were no appropriate boundaries so you lost some straightness and SF becomes hard if not impossible. Riding in position, especially to the right, might help ingrain this. I don't know how else you are going to straighten him in that direction.

I really think your issues are more mental (focus) than physical. That's potentially very good. :-)

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

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:49 pm

cb06 wrote:I liked the exercises in your videos Rosie. Its not good, bad and ugly, it is just the reality of progressing in training, improving strength and responsiveness. Great job!


I completely agree. Great teaching and what a treat to clinic with Ishoy! Rosie, your work also reminds me that even with a very talented horse (like Bliss) and talented rider (you), one still needs address all of these basics. Humbling, but also inspiring to see that.

My news of the week is that I am riding even though it is cold and damp (my body does not like that weather and my fingers are fat). 4 days last week, on track for 5 this week. By really doing our work in the canter during the first half of our rides, we have gotten the trot to some much more cadenced efforts than I thought we had in us. At this point, I'm kind of thinking that we have to learn/develop everything in canter before we can get the same quality in trot!

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

Postby demi » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:50 pm

I had a good lesson on Rocky yesterday and I amazed that I found such a good trainer! Yesterday was lesson #5 and both Rocky and I have relaxed enough that I was able to start getting some glimpses in the mirrors. Unfortunately all I could see was my big butt :oops: On the bright side, I am so motivated with this new training that my interest in food has dropped way off.

I would love to spend the time in the arena today after having a good lesson myself and then watching Rosie's clinic vids. But I am going on a trail ride instead. I can become TOO focused on dressage, so the trial riding is important to keep me balanced. And Rocky appreciates me much more when I am balanced!

I have been reading the FB groups on the soloshot3 and Pixio and am leaning toward the Pixio. I would like to be able to vid my lessons which are indoors, and also, I think the Pixio zooms in much closer and I want to be able to see my hands.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:30 pm

demi wrote:I would love to spend the time in the arena today after having a good lesson myself and then watching Rosie's clinic vids. But I am going on a trail ride instead. I can become TOO focused on dressage, so the trial riding is important to keep me balanced. And Rocky appreciates me much more when I am balanced!


Demi, I can be like this, too. I often make myself "schedule" hack days and hill days to assure that I mix it up. I almost always do hills after a rough day of work because it is all that my mind can handle! :lol: Last night we did our hills amidst a herd of 7 deer. They mostly kept out of our way and occasionally provided something to chase.

Lately I have also been making plans to do warm up hacks with another rider at my barn and then work independently in the xc field (me on dressage, her dressage or jumping). It is nice for the mares to have company in their different work!

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

Postby Linden16 » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm

piedmontfields wrote:
Demi, I can be like this, too. I often make myself "schedule" hack days and hill days to assure that I mix it up. I almost always do hills after a rough day of work because it is all that my mind can handle! :lol: Last night we did our hills amidst a herd of 7 deer. They mostly kept out of our way and occasionally provided something to chase.


OMG I would die. DEER? My horses would exit stage left immediately, judging on how they reacted to a loose llamma last month. :shock: :o :roll:

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

Postby Dresseur » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:08 pm

:shock: :shock: A loose llama?!!! OMG I would die!!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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

Postby Gwen » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:40 pm

Congratulations on such a great clinic Rosie! Thank you for sharing!

All of you with the deer and the llamas, so much respect... deer are better for us but actually working in a herd of them sound about as likely as getting in a good session on the moon.

Callie is cantering this week, so far so good. She was so cute today, I decided to go basic basic basic and was concentrating only on instantly rewarding a transition from walk to trot that was uphill with jump/push, then I would immediately give the reins and let her stop. She LOVED this game, and quickly became hotter off the leg and more forward thinking than any amount of cajoling or insisting had gotten me in the past, with a dripping foamy happy mouth and expression, so definitely going to play with this more. After some reps I was able to ask for a similar game within the trot, and she got it immediately. I’m once again reminded that she needs a much, much more rapid delivery of positive reinforcement than I think she does.

I can see this developing into a good warmup down the line, creating a backlog of good will, as it were, in the beginning of the ride to feed more willingness as the work gets harder.

The main question in my mind is, do I start with the walk trot transition? Or do I let her body warm up in some sustained trot work first where I mostly leave her alone other than straight and steering until her muscles and joints get warm? On the one hand I want to set the tone of reward/willingness from the very beginning, but I think the transitions can be more physically demanding than continuous trot with big circles and changes of direction. I’m probably overthinking this.

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

Postby DJR » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:03 pm

I've managed to get back in the saddle this week with three rides in so far on both horses.

I wish we could hack more often, but now with it being pitch black by 5:30 there just isn't time during the week. Only if we have time on the weekend can we hack.

Our issue re: spooking is not deer, nor llama, but the rotten BARN CAT. Since we ride after dark during the week (in the lit outdoor arena), the horses sometimes fixate on "things in the trees/hedge". It's almost always the brown tabby cat who blends in then suddenly reappears somewhere else, usually at the run. Stoopid cat!!

Regarding llama, I own 1 of those plus several alpacas so that goes a long way to preventing "weird animal spookiness"! LOL

Meanwhile, from a training perspective, the latest thing is trying to achieve relaxation in my two steeds. With the colder temps and riding after dark, I'm finding it quite difficult to inspire relaxation & stretch them out. I aim to do some stretching work at the beginning & end of my rides, but I'm now finding I have to get them into work sooner because they are so uppity. It'll just take time, I think, to get them adjusted to this time of year.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby Tsavo » Thu Nov 16, 2017 10:52 pm

I rode my horse for the first time since the last week in August. It was as if we had just ridden the day before in terms of his taking that in. And I felt like I didn't have that time out of the saddle which shocked me.

He got an injection 2 weeks ago into the coffin joint on the LF. The instructions were to rest him for 2 weeks and then I can ride at walk for 2 weeks and then we reassess. So I will ride him at walk on the 5 non-gym days for the next two weeks.

The rubber shoes are fabulous! Just love them. He seems to bounce off the ground and the mincing on pebbles is of course gone. Although I ordered the rolled toe, the toe was not rolled. Apparently you are supposed to file that into them. My farrier didn't want to do that yet and wanted to see if he would roll them himself. It hasn't happened yet but maybe it will now that I am riding him. Although the lack of a roll causes him to trip a little occasionally in the pasture, he didn't trip at all on our ride so I guess I don't care about the issue so much.

He looks okay trotting in the pasture on most days but not all days. My best guess is that from here on out we are looking at intermittent lameness from the low ringbone and if so, I am retiring him and getting a little sister for him.

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

Postby Sue B » Fri Nov 17, 2017 12:03 am

Gwen, after a good solid walk where he must go forward even when stepping over a raised cavelletti, I go into a deeper, slower trot emphasizing swing over anything else. Once I feel his back come up under me, then we go into the walk/trot transitions. Rudy does not like to trot cavelletti, so I developed the game of walking over cavelletti, single ones at least 12 ft apart and/or at 90 degrees to one another. He used to hesitate as he stepped over him, but now after months of doing this, he walks right over 12" raised cavelletti without a change in the walk at all. This has translated into remaining forward in the trot as well. Btw, I keep the reins fairly long, with contact all the way through. Rudy is a TB kinda built like an Andy, with huge withers, a high set ewe neck, a beautiful fine throatlatch, and an ultra-short back. It's a bit of a trick to keep him properly through and forward to say the least. He is confirmed 2nd level, schooling 3rd. The deeper, swinging trot we do, is done in a bit of a shoulder fore btw, with a shorter rein but very forward, quiet hands.

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

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Nov 17, 2017 2:04 am

I'm dealing with a similar horse "body" to Sue's Rudy. And I use similar techniques. But you know, Rosie's video reminded me that when I get to trot-walk-trot transitions in my warm-up, I demand them super quick and up hill (so it is really collected/high in the wither walk). Emi's warm up is very Jekyll and Hyde: I give her time, but there is a point that I DEMAND and release/let go and flow. And then repeat. Basically I am very nice for 10 minutes then kind of mean for 10 minutes, then very quiet for 30 minutes while she works hard and through. That process is a mental exercise, for sure! Given that she gives mare hugs at the beginning and the end makes me think that it does work.

DJR, I am very glad you got some rides in. My work is demanding but way less than yours--but ever so, riding is a huge release for me. And yes, winter warm-up and reactivity is different!

Tsavo, I wish the best for your Pete which I know you'll give him. Love that you are plotting on a mare again :-) You are in a great area for tryouts and shopping.

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

Postby Flight » Fri Nov 17, 2017 3:17 am

Thanks for sharing your vids Rosie, especially as my little horse is not inclined to be forward and it's always a struggle.

I've got a competition on tomorrow and I'm taking both horses. I've had a couple of practice goes taking them both out together on the float. The little horse has some separation anxiety issues, but the big horse got over it quite quickly. So 4 tests to remember and get through. I may not do it again :lol:

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

Postby Gwen » Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:32 pm

So here’s a question - Canter has never been Callie’s favorite gait, and we had to work to get comfortable with it. This is our first week cantering, and I’m finding that she will get into what seems to be a comfortable, rolling, soft backed canter, but only if I let her put her head low... like REALLY low. She wants it between her knees, it feels like!

Today I asked her to canter with her head/neck up in a more normal place, in an attempt to have her up off her forehand more, and the canter was uncomfortable, labored, felt almost four beat at times, her back was stiff and she broke a lot.

Would you guys ride a horse like this where she is comfortable, on the theory that we are rebuilding conditioning and muscle and we can get more correct posture when she’s stronger and has more stamina? Or would you encourage her to start out off the forehand and up, on the theory that she should build strength in the eventual desired places and in the desired posture?

I’m not describing this well, I think. Basically, she doesn’t want to carry weight behind when she canters, and I’m wondering when I should ask her to do it anyway.

Our walk/trot and within trot transitions were SUPER. Another side effect of the over the top praise/positive reinforcement has been that she is really, REALLY paying attention, especially to my seat. I was having trouble in the past with her not listening to my seat for half halts and tempo, but I had the feeling today that my seat bones were plugged into her hind legs, and could take bigger or smaller steps with them at any moment. It was really cool.

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

Postby Tsavo » Fri Nov 17, 2017 11:55 pm

piedmontfields wrote:I'm dealing with a similar horse "body" to Sue's Rudy. And I use similar techniques. But you know, Rosie's video reminded me that when I get to trot-walk-trot transitions in my warm-up, I demand them super quick and up hill (so it is really collected/high in the wither walk). Emi's warm up is very Jekyll and Hyde: I give her time, but there is a point that I DEMAND and release/let go and flow. And then repeat. Basically I am very nice for 10 minutes then kind of mean for 10 minutes, then very quiet for 30 minutes while she works hard and through. That process is a mental exercise, for sure! Given that she gives mare hugs at the beginning and the end makes me think that it does work.

DJR, I am very glad you got some rides in. My work is demanding but way less than yours--but ever so, riding is a huge release for me. And yes, winter warm-up and reactivity is different!

Tsavo, I wish the best for your Pete which I know you'll give him. Love that you are plotting on a mare again :-) You are in a great area for tryouts and shopping.


I held out for a mare last time and failed at it when I bought my gelding. He was the right choice and has been wonderful and I love him and he is my boy and I have no regrets. Although i am bonded to him, I would say I have not bonded with him as much as I bonded with my mare. I am really going to try to hold out for a mare for my last horse.

I will make a decision within the month at retirement. I given it 90% that my horse will be retired by then. I think it will take me 6 months to a year to find my mare. She is out there. I just have to find her. :-)

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

Postby Tsavo » Sat Nov 18, 2017 12:00 am

Gwen wrote:Would you guys ride a horse like this where she is comfortable, on the theory that we are rebuilding conditioning and muscle and we can get more correct posture when she’s stronger and has more stamina? Or would you encourage her to start out off the forehand and up, on the theory that she should build strength in the eventual desired places and in the desired posture?

I’m not describing this well, I think. Basically, she doesn’t want to carry weight behind when she canters, and I’m wondering when I should ask her to do it anyway.


It is my understanding that horses should be at least attempted to be ridden off the forehand and at least level all the time least you risk avoidable lameness. While I have definitely heard that, I can't say I have seen any evidence for it.

Have you checked your horse for gluteal pain? I think that might explain some of the things you are dealing with. That can be caused by long toes and insufficent breakover on the hinds. This has been studied.

Does your horse fall out at the stifle?

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

Postby demi » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:18 am

Gwen wrote:So here’s a question - Canter has never been Callie’s favorite gait, and we had to work to get comfortable with it. This is our first week cantering, and I’m finding that she will get into what seems to be a comfortable, rolling, soft backed canter, but only if I let her put her head low... like REALLY low. She wants it between her knees, it feels like!

Is her neck low and with her nose pointed forward, or is it low and behind the vertical?

Today I asked her to canter with her head/neck up in a more normal place, in an attempt to have her up off her forehand more, and the canter was uncomfortable, labored, felt almost four beat at times, her back was stiff and she broke a lot.

Would you guys ride a horse like this where she is comfortable, on the theory that we are rebuilding conditioning and muscle and we can get more correct posture when she’s stronger and has more stamina? Or would you encourage her to start out off the forehand and up, on the theory that she should build strength in the eventual desired places and in the desired posture?

I’m not describing this well, I think. Basically, she doesn’t want to carry weight behind when she canters, and I’m wondering when I should ask her to do it anyway. ...


If she is not BTV, and if you feel safe with her head low (I don’t feel safe with my mare’s head low anymore), my feeling is to canter her where she is comfortable, so that you can rebuild the condition and muscle, and then, at the end of the ride, ask her up and off the forehand for just a little tiny bit. Then give her lots of praise and reassurance. My thought is that because she is uncomfortable in the up and off the forehand frame, it would just add to her insecurities if you try to ride her up and off the forehand too much.

This is interesting to me because i am dealing with canter on my mare, although with somewhat different issues.

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

Postby demi » Sat Nov 18, 2017 4:49 am

I’ve got 4 rides this week and tomorrow will be my 5th. I have been thinking about what to do tomorrow and to help me decide, I reviewed my posts so far for the Nov/Dec thread.

So, my main goal was RELAXATION. I am so tempted to go back into the arena tomorrow but instead I will put on her trail tack and do hill work. She Relaxes much more, out of the arena. Our hills are very gradual inclines so the work is fairly easy for her.

In the arena, we have been working on stuff from our lessons: quarter TOH, leg yields, and w-t transitions. I’ve only had two arena days since my last lesson, but we’ve improved in all of the above. Hopefully she’ll (we’ll) be relaxed enough at our lesson on Monday to show the improvement.

We have been doing lots of sitting trot in the lessons, and only cantering when she takes it of her own initiative, and then I bring her right back to trot (discussed in an earlier post). At home, however, I am working on canter and this week we are up to 2 20m circles. That’s and improvement from last week’s 1 1/2. The canter we are doing is very up and collected, so it takes a lot of effort on her part. She is getting stronger. I am hoping to be able to canter in our lesson on Monday, but I will only try it if she is relaxed.

Thanks Piedmont for sharing your trail/hill work strategy!

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:23 pm

Gwen-
Being on the forehand isn't the problem.... the tension and fussiness is the greater issue, esp on a horse who is rehabbing like Callie. I think being off the forehand is best, yes, but that isn't your first priority. Sometimes horses put the head excessively low when the back hurts.

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

Postby StraightForward » Sat Nov 18, 2017 3:50 pm

Thanks everyone for sharing your pics and videos!

Gwen, I agree with letting her canter in a lower position as long as there is a connection and she's not going BTV. She can build topline in that position and come up incrementally as the hind legs come under. Especially with your suspicion of neck issues, bringing her up and sacrificing the relaxation in the back is not going to be helpful. It's not beneficial to let them go like that forever, but it's a necessary progression. Maybe when she is feeling good, ask her to come up a little bit for a couple strides at a time, then back to her comfort zone and see how she responds to the small asks.

Things have been a little challenging here with Annabelle being really out in her SI, lack of daylight after work, and rain mucking up the arena, but we are soldiering on as best we can. When she went out of alignment, her usual bodyworker was out of town, so I found a different person who does more chiro adjustment rather than massage type stuff, and she identified some issues that hadn't been addressed before, and put her more or less back together. She is still not quite perfect, but can canter both directions, trots sound on the lunge, and can trot evenly under saddle as well when I can get her aligned just right. For now we're limited to trotting big circles and shallow bending lines, but have plenty to work in at walk, including lateral work. Yesterday we hauled to the indoor, which has mirrors on the long side with a couple beams dividing them. We practiced straightness by trying to walk towards the beam without drifting into each mirror, which was surprisingly difficult at walk, but pretty good at trot. On non-riding days, we're doing lateral work and lots of stretching from the ground. I revisited the TRT Method video series I subscribed to last winter with an eye towards using the exercises for suppling, rather than relaxation. There are now bonus videos on teaching bowing and Spanish walk, so I've been toying a little with the SW, but A is not very enthused about picking up her feet; I had to start out using a rope to lift her leg for her to get the idea. She'll now pick it up and move it forward, but we haven't achieved any lift yet, but even if it just teaches her to better shift her weight and free up each front leg a bit, that will be helpful. I bought her a used Black Country saddle that was rather lumpy in the panels, so I took it and her over to a local saddler who determined that she was quite asymmetrical through her back and pointed out that she would need a shim on the left side for a while. I'll get that saddle back at the end of the month, but in the meantime have been shimming and riding in an old spare, and the shim has really made a big difference in feeling like I have a horse under me, and suddenly the old saddle seems much more comfortable. Go figure.

Pickle is coming along as well, but proving she is aptly nicknamed. I brought my dressage saddle out a couple weeks ago and the trainer was going to begin transitioning her from the western saddle. I'm taking a work detail that will have me very busy and traveling a fair bit over the next four months, so I'll probably just leave her out there through the winter and see how I'm feeling about her in the spring.
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Re: Get out your winter boots - November/December Goals and Progress

Postby kande50 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 7:50 pm

Gwen wrote:So here’s a question - Canter has never been Callie’s favorite gait, and we had to work to get comfortable with it. This is our first week cantering, and I’m finding that she will get into what seems to be a comfortable, rolling, soft backed canter, but only if I let her put her head low... like REALLY low. She wants it between her knees, it feels like!


I may be mixing you up with someone else, but didn't you say that she had neck arthritis, or some other soundness issue?

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

Postby Gwen » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:16 pm

She has mild arthritic changes between C6 and C7. She was never unsound in a clear way, it was more of a change in attitude that both my trainer and I noticed, and it took a while to track down so she had quite a lot of time off. I’m building up her fitness at the moment, and am treating the arthritis pretty aggressively. She’s getting Legend injections at the moment, and I will probably inject the joint when she gets back to 1st level work. So far she seems more comfortable than she was before.

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

Postby kande50 » Sat Nov 18, 2017 9:34 pm

Gwen wrote:She has mild arthritic changes between C6 and C7. She was never unsound in a clear way, it was more of a change in attitude that both my trainer and I noticed, and it took a while to track down so she had quite a lot of time off. I’m building up her fitness at the moment, and am treating the arthritis pretty aggressively. She’s getting Legend injections at the moment, and I will probably inject the joint when she gets back to 1st level work. So far she seems more comfortable than she was before.


I think if it was me I'd try to listen to what she may be trying to tell you, simply because I'd rather err on the side of believing that my horse is in considerable pain when it's actually mild, than the other way around.

The reason I think that is because horses, as prey animals, do their best to mask pain, so when they can't then I think it's prudent to assume that they're probably in a lot more pain than they seem to be (if we're assessing their pain based upon how a human would behave if they were in the same amount of pain).

So my opinion is that if she wants to carry her neck lower you might be doing her a big favor to let her.

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

Postby Abby Kogler » Sun Nov 19, 2017 3:13 pm

Gwen wrote:So here’s a question - Canter has never been Callie’s favorite gait, and we had to work to get comfortable with it. This is our first week cantering, and I’m finding that she will get into what seems to be a comfortable, rolling, soft backed canter, but only if I let her put her head low... like REALLY low. She wants it between her knees, it feels like!

Today I asked her to canter with her head/neck up in a more normal place, in an attempt to have her up off her forehand more, and the canter was uncomfortable, labored, felt almost four beat at times, her back was stiff and she broke a lot.

Would you guys ride a horse like this where she is comfortable, on the theory that we are rebuilding conditioning and muscle and we can get more correct posture when she’s stronger and has more stamina? Or would you encourage her to start out off the forehand and up, on the theory that she should build strength in the eventual desired places and in the desired posture?

.


I would not canter for a while. Work on her posture and strengthen her in ways that do not hurt. Then when she is stronger, try canter again. I would maybe canter briefly once a week in a position she finds comfortable. I would work on getting off the forehand at the walk with endless transitions and backing and then in to trot. I would do Hillary Claytons core strengthening exercises. Give it some time and then try again.

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

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:18 pm

Gwen wrote:She has mild arthritic changes between C6 and C7. She was never unsound in a clear way, it was more of a change in attitude that both my trainer and I noticed, and it took a while to track down so she had quite a lot of time off. I’m building up her fitness at the moment, and am treating the arthritis pretty aggressively. She’s getting Legend injections at the moment, and I will probably inject the joint when she gets back to 1st level work. So far she seems more comfortable than she was before.


I would add in adequan too.

Remembering this I would not be cantering for awhile, I agree with Abby. As I said, this can be a sign of pain, when they carry the head weirdly low, unless this was something they have always done.

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

Postby Flight » Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:15 pm

Well taking 2 horses to the competition was a bit hectic! Somehow the separation anxiety was 100x worse than our practice goes. Ding dug a trough at the float and promptly filled it with his water bucket, making a mud bath, the neighs echoing across the grounds and we become "those people with those horses"!!! :? :oops:
Norsey was calmer but selectively neighed during Ding's tests to create some interesting moves :lol:
One bonus was that I had plenty of go in Ding and didn't have to push him at all. It was very foreign riding anxious horses to be honest! Ding's entry comment was "tense and looky", I was like wow I've never had that comment before! I had some sympathy for my eventer friends with their OTTBs and dressage. I wasn't overly bothered by it all, it made the day quite different for me to be honest. I had to have a different game plan and ride differently.
Here's vid of Ding's test - if you have the volume up you can hear the horse yelling exchange :lol:

https://youtu.be/652-BFmlXfg

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

Postby demi » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:28 am

Great job, Flight!! The wind was blowing nonstop, and then the rain! And then Norsey calling from the trailer was the kicker! I am inspired by your perseverance. One of the changes was a bit hoppy! But right after another change, Norsey called, and Ding answered. It was like he was saying “yes the change was good!”.

Thanks for posting. I loved it.

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

Postby demi » Mon Nov 20, 2017 12:37 am

Oh, and the comment “those people with those horses” made me laugh because I remember many,many years ago going to a clinic with Kalman deJurenac in Napa wine country. My friend was hauling our two OTTB’s in her rickety old trailer pulled by her dad’s old Buick “98”. The trailer was so heavy the Buick was almost bouncing on the front tires. We pulled in to the luxurious facility and unloaded my TB. But then the divider got stuck and in order to get the other horse out, we had to hammer the divider(very loudly!) with a lug wrench. We were trying hard to ignore the stares and muttering of the other participants, but we were trying even harder not to laugh....we were definitely “those people!!!

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

Postby Flight » Mon Nov 20, 2017 1:50 am

LOL great story Demi :lol: :lol: :lol:
And around the dressage world it always feels much worse, I try and slink around and go unnoticed but a 17.2 hh Norsey horse neighing his head off is hard to miss.

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

Postby StraightForward » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:17 am

demi wrote:Oh, and the comment “those people with those horses” made me laugh because I remember many,many years ago going to a clinic with Kalman deJurenac in Napa wine country. My friend was hauling our two OTTB’s in her rickety old trailer pulled by her dad’s old Buick “98”. The trailer was so heavy the Buick was almost bouncing on the front tires. We pulled in to the luxurious facility and unloaded my TB. But then the divider got stuck and in order to get the other horse out, we had to hammer the divider(very loudly!) with a lug wrench. We were trying hard to ignore the stares and muttering of the other participants, but we were trying even harder not to laugh....we were definitely “those people!!!


:lol: I knew that feeling when I took my paint mare to an APHA breed show. My only ride was a fellow boarder's ancient F-150 towing a rickety 2H that had apparently been painted with aquamarine house paint. The stares when we rolled in :lol: Mare behaved herself until right before the halter class, then a buckle on my silver halter gave way and I stood there holding a halter and no horse. We got her collected without a fuss, but then she proceeded to scream her head off throughout the actual class. Now I would laugh it off, but at the time I was so humiliated I threw her in her stall without bothering to scratch our next class and went home and cried. Did I mention she'd been a perfect saint at the schooling shows I'd taken her to before this big show? Horses keep us humble. :D
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