Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

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Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby StraightForward » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:18 am

Pretty sure the word fall isn't going to figure into anyone's goals, unless the word "don't" comes first :lol:

Since lots of use have done our wrap on the last two months, it's time to start thinking about the next two. I'll have three horses in circulation this time around:

1) Annabelle -
Jump once a week - planning to enter the winter jumping shows here - November will be cross-rails, maybe we'll work up to the 2' division, or maybe not.
Lengthenings and LYs each ride, keep working on the forward and suppleness
Square halts and staying on the bit more consistently
Start developing counter canter and W/C
Go to at least one event each month (first will probably be an open schooling show this Saturday)

2) Kyra - I'll probably ride her through mid-October
Practice the training and first level tests for my own sake
Keep developing connection to the right rein
Develop more consistent bend, especially to the right
Keep playing with the lateral work, working up to HP

3) Tesla - No pressure, just baby stuff. Maybe take her on short trailer rides a couple times. Wear tack and blankies. Improve manners with feet and allow touching all over.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Rosie B » Fri Aug 31, 2018 12:54 am

My goals are as follows:
- ride a minimum of 3x a week
- continue to improve adjustability in the SI and Travers
- Consolidate trot and canter half pass
- Have our 2nd level debut in 2 weeks (hopefully with no horsie sinusitis or human pneumonia or other unfortunate events or illnesses)
- Start changes

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby exvet » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:48 am

My goal is to ride two horses, each, 4 times a week.
Get Junior to his first recognized show as a schooling exercise. It should be pretty hectic (it's the regionals) so we'll see if he really does have a level head.
I hope to improve Junior's strength and stamina. I plan to ride in another Heather Blitz clinic.
Get mustang out on the trails more now that it will be cooling off some and maybe start doing some western dressage with him. The canter needs to get a bit stronger though for that to happen.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Tsavo » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:18 am

My horse will get his third eyelid removed on Tuesday and was shod with rollers today. After he recovers, I will rehab him and see what we have. He will have been out of work over a month so he will need a ramp up. I am curious to see if the rollers help but as god is not my witness, he will never be barefoot upfront again. That should cover through October at least.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Nikiwink » Fri Aug 31, 2018 4:59 am

I can join as i have a new addition to work with :)

A while ago i wrote about a cute buckskin qhxtb that i was given by a friend. Unfortunately as he progressed under saddle i felt something wasn't right so we headed to the vet. End result is that as a 6yo he is now a pretty paddock ornament due to some fairly major hock changes.

So put a feeler out and another friend has offered me one of hers for as long as i want to try him and at a pre set price that i can pay off if next year if decide i want to keep him. Hes not the kind of horse id look at normally but i love his eye and i like a challenge and he is that.

So this is Cy (short for Cyclone but my toddler calls him Cy-bear lol). Hes a blood bay near 8yo 15.3h appy x qh. Green broke (as in a few days only of ridden work in a round yard) but very good ground manners (assuming you can catch him lol). He is very ear shy but will tolerate a lot for carrots so far. Trusting us humans seems to be his biggest worry and since i don't have a schedule or time frame i suspect he will get used to being a pet more than a farm/herd horse soon enough.

He's nice and solid, has a neck that goes for ever, built down hill but can use his back end well to load and spin lol and has also the best hooves ive seen in a long time. Hasn't had them touched in 18mths or so but you would swear they were trimmed yesterday.

So he still has to actually pass a vet check but nothing is worrying me so far there so unless something unexpected shows up in the xrays (ie maybe ear related?) he'll be staying awhile.

So here is Cy in all his hairy glory lol

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby DJR » Fri Aug 31, 2018 1:15 pm

I’m going to have to adjust my goals as I just haven’t been able to ride as much as I’d have liked due to work & single-mom pressures. So, I’m going to keep my goals much less lofty in the hopes I can meet a few of them.

For all ridden horses: ride each twice weekly.

Jet (13 yr old Friesian/Perch Third Level gelding):
-we’ve shown twice only this year, and at each show he had at least one score of 62% or higher which means I’m half way to getting my Silver Medal for Third Level on him (Dressage Canada). So, I plan to show him again in early September and pray that I get two more qualifying scores at that show, then I will have earned that medal! If not, I may try to get to one more show at the end of September.
-continue carriage driving which he LOVES to do, aiming for a schooling CDE show (Combined Driving Event = driven dressage, marathon, and cones) in early October

Panache (7 yr old Argentinian WBx gelding, schooling Second Level:
-ride him more consistently
-when I do ride him, he’s so nicely responsive and trying now so I want to build on that

Finn (4 yr old Hano/Shire gelding):
-he had 3 mo of carriage training from April-June, and as of today will have completed 2 mo of under-saddle training
-I’m taking him to a referral vet centre today to have him reviewed - I’ve ridden him twice now at walk-trot, and he’s incredibly stiff and resistant on the right rein and changes his whole way of going in that direction. I’m worried it’s his back so want to try to figure out why he’s so stiff & resistant. His trainer and I have already addressed his teeth (done in Feb, repeated last month with some touch-ups) and the trainer’s vet thought he was weak in his L hip. That alone doesn’t explain what I’m feeling under saddle.
-after the vet appt today, I’m bringing him home either to continue his training here (either under saddle, driven, or both), or to give him some rest depending on the vet’s findings/recommendations

My daughter’s ponies (Sawyer, 8 yr old 14.1h QH; Sera, 20 yr old 13.2 Welsh):
-her interest in riding has blossomed again as of July after a long several-month streak of pulling away from riding
-she is excited & eager to progress now, and is working hard during her lessons with definite improvements
-MY goal: SUPPORT, ENCOURAGE, and leave ALL instruction to her coach (not me!!!)

Eowyn (3 mo old Hano/Shire filly foal:
-keep working with her on the ground - she’s lovely but HUGE so I don’t want her getting “too big for her britches” mentally
-I LOVE this filly!!!
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby musical comedy » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:08 pm

DJR wrote:Panache (7 yr old Argentinian WBx gelding, schooling Second Level:
Are you still planning on selling him? I'm wondering if he would be a prospect for Scruffy? Just a thought.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Tuddy » Fri Aug 31, 2018 2:09 pm

I have been invited to attend another clinic this fall, but I don't know the clinician that well, so I am going to audit. But.... the trainer I had Yonka at this spring is hosting another fall clinic so we may load up and go.

As for other goals, just being with my horses. Winter is coming and I need to get the barn ready for that and find some straw bales to buy. Hoping for a few more fall rides too.

Continue with my health goals - keep hitting the gym, keep moving and adjusting my diet where it needs to.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Ponichiwa » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:41 am

Nikiwink wrote:I can join as i have a new addition to work with :)


Congrats, and what a hunk of a horse. I never would have guessed his breeding based on the photos. Best of luck with him!

I, of course, am in on this thread. Goals for me:
- Continue tracking daily calories. This has been the only way I've ever lost weight.
- 15k steps/d
- Work out on days I don't ride

Goals for Kiwi:
- Straightness in the changes. They're on the aids, reliable, and not terribly dramatic, but L to R has a tendency to fall to the R (her stronger direction anyway). I see lots of changes on a circle in our future.
- 1/3 pirouette triangle exercise 1x/week until it's easy
- Half-steps 1x/week (until not dramatic)

Speaking of new horses, I've got an addition to my barn (which, if you've been in the Young Horse Forum, or Obs Lounge, or even other threads on the Training side, you'll already have seen): Queso! He's a 5yo QH recently ex-stallion, who I just got started under saddle last week. Very cool brain in this little dude.

Image

He's recuperating from having been gelded last week, but here's what we're going to be working on once he's feeling up to it:
- Solo rides around the arena (we're currently still in the riding-with-ground-support phase)
- Cantering under saddle
- Longeing with sidereins
- Being adorable

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby DJR » Sat Sep 01, 2018 2:49 am

musical comedy wrote:
DJR wrote:Panache (7 yr old Argentinian WBx gelding, schooling Second Level:
Are you still planning on selling him? I'm wondering if he would be a prospect for Scruffy? Just a thought.


Given his reactivity this past spring when I moved him to the indoor, scruffy didn’t think he’d be a good fit. He’s back to his normal self since April but he can pull some noob behavior sometimes (nothing dangerous) so I do understand.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby PaulaO » Sat Sep 01, 2018 12:46 pm

My goal is to master the Intro tests (working on B today) and start canter work in prep for C. I am not interested in showing, but the test lay out a nice framework for systematic training.

I think Queso has achieved his goal of being adorable. :D

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:00 pm

I like Cy! In that second to last picture, he's giving you the "Appy look!" I look forward to following his progress.

Queso could bring out the ten year old girl in any of us, I think :)

Rosie, I hope you are feeling much better. It takes a while to get back to normal after pneumonia, be kind to yourself!

So goals for the next two months:

1. Not utterly disgrace ourselves at RMDS Championships in 3 weeks.
2. Chip away at the flying change and improving the bend and reach in the half pass.
3. As always, connection, collection, position
4. take some time out to do other things...

I think that's enough.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby PaulaO » Sat Sep 01, 2018 6:33 pm

Humbled today by my total lack of ability to do a 20 meter circle. I cannot visualize where to go to circle at E or B. I have a new short term goal.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby StraightForward » Sat Sep 01, 2018 7:34 pm

Oh, I can see the pics of Cy now. He is a neat looking guy - I hope he works out for you!

Paula - it is humbling, isn't it? Cones help a lot to build the muscle memory and keep us honest about the figures. I bought a set of like 20 of them from Amazon for like $15. Very worthwhile investment and they don't take much space.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby PaulaO » Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:26 pm

My instructor set up cones and even called when to start the circle! She broke it down quarter by quarter, told me the number of strides, and I still could not get it. After I put Miss A. away I walked it on foot and could get it. Miss A. was not a cooperative partner today. She was in a red headed mood.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Chisamba » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:37 pm

This is probably a side bar, but i had a friend who had the hardest time developing a connection on her horse, she also had a very difficult time with circles. I literally had to buy fourty cones, twenty pairs, and measure a 20 m circle and put it out there and she could barely stay between the pairs, but after crashing out, knocking some over, etc, she finally was able to trot several 20m circles in succession, i asked her if she noticed anything, she laughed and said, yes, im staying in the lines, i said, no anything else? she said what. I said your horse is on the bit and you are in a perfect connection. She was blown away.

accuracy on the 20m circle is for a reason, some how over 600 or so years, they have worked out that the 20m circle, for almost all horses, when correctly ridden, develops the contact you need to develop balance.

I therefore heartily congratulate anyone who is serious about the goal of learning to ride a good 20m circle.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Chisamba » Sun Sep 02, 2018 1:39 pm

I am not sure what my goals are for this two month period. I had wanted to show once, but i think i changed my mind. I want to simply ride Kimba and Titanium four or five times a week, enjoy riding them, and continue to develop them.

I think i would like to conisder flying changes on Kimba,

I would like to introduce slight lateral work on Titan.

I would like to not gain any of the weight I lost and continue to improve my health

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Dresseur » Sun Sep 02, 2018 2:08 pm

I'm excited to follow everyone's goals over the next two months! For those of you with new projects - how exciting! For those of you still recuperating (horses and humans) good luck and hang in there!

I'm finally out of work hell, and I celebrated by taking M for 2 days down to Andrea's to check in on us. Coming out of that, we have clearly undefined goals :lol:

So, change work is beginning in earnest. Meaning - I am to start practicing canter on the spot to get his hind legs jumping quickly together, and I need to be able to put that anywhere before we start asking for a change. He wants to be a bit slow behind, so getting him a little "incorrect" is going to be important to teach him the technique of a correct change. If I were to ask out of a bigger canter, his hip would have too great of a distance to travel and he'd just switch up front. Been there, done that in the earlier cc work.

Half passes - the left is brilliant - but that makes sense because he's got a bit of a left hook. The right, I have the entrance and the middle, and then he fades - so I'm to start the hp r, then go forward and finish in haunches in to make sure he keeps the haunches up. We'll consider the hp's solid when I can turn the hp into whatever I want - si, hi, or straighten.

Working piris - also coming along, and building a huge amount of strength. Again, the left is easy - that hook in him... so I have to control it and keep it smooth. The right, haunches, haunches, haunches. What I'm doing now is hi down the long wall, then a few steps of working piri - to prep for the demi volte and to keep the first step honest - he likes to throw his shoulders in - so I have to "hold" the shoulders out. The goal is to get him to be able to do hi down quarter line and then do the first few steps of demi volte without the wall for support.

And for me, I'm re-tooling my canter. Will post in that thread as it's very specific, but we're really breaking down what I'm doing and why it differs so much than the trot.

But, here are some recent screenshots that show how much better his overall canter technique has gotten.
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This is haunches in on the circle.
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IMG_5379.PNG (131.29 KiB) Viewed 1205 times

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby demi » Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:12 pm

Chisamba wrote:This is probably a side bar, but i had a friend who had the hardest time developing a connection on her horse, she also had a very difficult time with circles. I literally had to buy fourty cones, twenty pairs, and measure a 20 m circle and put it out there and she could barely stay between the pairs, but after crashing out, knocking some over, etc, she finally was able to trot several 20m circles in succession, i asked her if she noticed anything, she laughed and said, yes, im staying in the lines, i said, no anything else? she said what. I said your horse is on the bit and you are in a perfect connection. She was blown away.

accuracy on the 20m circle is for a reason, some how over 600 or so years, they have worked out that the 20m circle, for almost all horses, when correctly ridden, develops the contact you need to develop balance.

I therefore heartily congratulate anyone who is serious about the goal of learning to ride a good 20m circle.


Side bar or not, that’s a very good and helpful post!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Flight » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:33 pm

I'm about to enter 8 weeks of busyness (is that a word?) at work, so I'll get less riding in.

I really can't do these canter pirouettes with Ding. It doesn't help that I can't get regular instruction at the moment.
I think I have to break it down more to have a really good collected canter, canter travers and travers on a circle. We can do that, but I'm guessing the quality isn't good enough. So, I might video these 3 movements now, and hopefully at the end of 8 weeks they will be better.

Just to add: Chisamba, I've had a few instructors tell me it's important to be accurate with 20m circles but I don't think anyone has told me why. I like that story, it makes me understand why now!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby demi » Sun Sep 02, 2018 11:54 pm

I think what is so “neat” about the 20m circle, or any circle, really, is that if you have the horse positioned correctly, and going steadily into the contact, and going at a very steady rhythm, the circle ends up close to perfect. Ok. I am drinking wine. But really, it is so neat to think about. You put the horse on the correct arc and let the circle happen. I’ve played a lot with this off and on, and it is fascinating. For me, it is easier at trot or canter, than walk. Since I can only walk for a while, I wonder if I can get it to work at walk without making Rocky mad. I fuss around trying to make it perfect, and Rocky hates my fussiness. She just wants to get on with things. Like if I take too long to open a gate, she will put herself in what she thinks is the right position and fling the gate open with her nose... Chisamba’s approach with 40 cones might be helpful for me. I could use rocks since we have lots of them...

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Tsavo » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:51 am

Chisamba wrote:This is probably a side bar, but i had a friend who had the hardest time developing a connection on her horse, she also had a very difficult time with circles. I literally had to buy fourty cones, twenty pairs, and measure a 20 m circle and put it out there and she could barely stay between the pairs, but after crashing out, knocking some over, etc, she finally was able to trot several 20m circles in succession, i asked her if she noticed anything, she laughed and said, yes, im staying in the lines, i said, no anything else? she said what. I said your horse is on the bit and you are in a perfect connection. She was blown away.

accuracy on the 20m circle is for a reason, some how over 600 or so years, they have worked out that the 20m circle, for almost all horses, when correctly ridden, develops the contact you need to develop balance.

I therefore heartily congratulate anyone who is serious about the goal of learning to ride a good 20m circle.


That's empirically true. I think it forces the rider to learn inside leg to outside rein and is laying the groundwork for SF / in position which is a way to carry the idea of a (smaller) circle with you where ever you are.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Chisamba » Mon Sep 03, 2018 2:38 am

Niliwink, your horse is a hunk!!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby khall » Mon Sep 03, 2018 3:39 am

Niki LOVE Cy's build! What a nice top line/neck he has:)

Goals for Sept/Oct show 2nd at schooling show (I hate recognized shows, have not done one in years, too expensive) October Cedar comes back: FCs are in the plan (I hope)

Still hot and now dry/no rain and we need it for the hay field.

Happy riding all!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Nikiwink » Mon Sep 03, 2018 5:42 am

Thanks for the nice comments about Cy....i needed to hear it today. I've only had him a week but its going to be a very long road till i'm in the saddle i think. Given id just got the last one going its hit home i wont be riding anytime soon. His world has turned upside down so very early days given his training i wasnt quite expecting this.

He has some clear opinions on people and i think in the wrong hands with too much pressure he'll explode easily, which is why my friend said he scared the guys silly. He's had some good ground training but i suspect a lot has been forced on him and so he has very little trust in humans. He has a constant air about him that he doesnt want to be there and is waiting for me to flip a switch on him.

I find it so rewarding when they change but its so dishearting to have to do it again but now i've also got him i don't want to give up on him. The saving grace is that another friend has said several times she will take him on if we dont work out and she is much more patient than me.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Sep 03, 2018 12:46 pm

Circles are hard! Its hard to be able to control the horse's shoulder and get proper bend. Its one movement that underlies everything else.

And I did canter HP. That is all. It was awesome

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby kande50 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:20 pm

demi wrote:I think what is so “neat” about the 20m circle, or any circle, really, is that if you have the horse positioned correctly, and going steadily into the contact, and going at a very steady rhythm, the circle ends up close to perfect. Ok. I am drinking wine. But really, it is so neat to think about. You put the horse on the correct arc and let the circle happen.


That's the way I feel about 20 meter circles too, which means that if the circle isn't round then we've lost position, contact, rhythm, or something we needed to make a good circle.

I’ve played a lot with this off and on, and it is fascinating. For me, it is easier at trot or canter, than walk.


I think this may tie in with the discussion we were having about contact at the walk, and maybe the way to look at it is that if one can make an accurate 20 meter circle with the same number of steps in each quarter, then the contact they're using is effective enough?

Since I can only walk for a while, I wonder if I can get it to work at walk without making Rocky mad. I fuss around trying to make it perfect, and Rocky hates my fussiness. She just wants to get on with things. Like if I take too long to open a gate, she will put herself in what she thinks is the right position and fling the gate open with her nose... Chisamba’s approach with 40 cones might be helpful for me. I could use rocks since we have lots of them...


A friend of mine took her impatient WB up on the hill behind her house and walked him up beside trees and bushes and made him stop and wait while she pruned branches. If I'm remembering correctly, after a summer of that he was not only more maneuverable, but a heckuva lot more patient.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby demi » Mon Sep 03, 2018 9:58 pm

kande50 wrote:.....A friend of mine took her impatient WB up on the hill behind her house and walked him up beside trees and bushes and made him stop and wait while she pruned branches. If I'm remembering correctly, after a summer of that he was not only more maneuverable, but a heckuva lot more patient...


That’s a good way to improve patience! I’ve tied Rocky to the fence while I do chores and have done other things to increase her patience. I’ve worked a lot on her patience especially since I started taking lessons with her. But what I was talking about in the post, was a little different, and I probably wasn’t clear in my post. Right now in her training, I think she was justified in being impatient while I tried to make perfect circles at the walk. I was asking her to carry herself in a specific frame at the walk (see the most recent pic) AND at the same time keep an exact arc in her body. If I let her lengthen the frame to work on the circle, I lose the connection. Its just where we are right now... It goes back to the discussion of “how much can you ask?”. Yesterday I had planned to do arena work again on Tuesday(tomorrow) but after thinking about it, I am not going to push the arena while she is on walk only. I WANT more!! I just got the soloshot and I want to video, but I am trying to keep in mind that I am lucky just to be able to walk on trails and in the pasture. All good things in all good time....

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:25 am

(Confession: I have pruned trails from horseback, too! On the current horse, I've done less pruning (some) but more mushroom hunting :-D )

I think I am still in the mode of improving me to improve my horse during this goal period. I would like to do a soloshot session one day out in the xc field, so that I capture that space and beauty. Autumn is a good time for that around here! I just have to haul the equipment out on a mile or so on a trail ride to do that, so it seems reasonable to me. ;)

I've been having a lot of great rides lately where I realize if I use good technique, many things are easy. I think my rides can be even better if I consistently attend to details where I am especially weak. Given that, I am hesitate to get super specific about goals, but I am getting pickier in my rides if that makes any sense. I do have a fair bit of work travel this season, so we'll see how things go. I will get help from my working student during this period.

Some favorite exercises these days include:
-slaloming at walk, trot and canter. They can be deep (10 m) or very shallow slaloms. I love this for reminders about shoulder mobility, but it is also huge for overall thoroughness for us.
-Half-pass in canter or trot to centerline, to 10 m 1/2 circle medium down the long side and back again. Repetition yields rewards!

On the theme of patience building, today we were support horse for a greener horse hacking to the xc field, worked a little in the fields, then watched a xc jump lesson, then worked some more and did a long hack through the woods home. And *then* the very good mare provided a "first ride back" opportunity for a working student who is just cleared to ride after recovery from surgery. I am grateful to have a very good, sound and trustworthy horse!

Happy Autumn, all!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby exvet » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:06 am

Some favorite exercises these days include:
-slaloming at walk, trot and canter. They can be deep (10 m) or very shallow slaloms. I love this for reminders about shoulder mobility, but it is also huge for overall thoroughness for us.


Ditto but on the very baby scale for my 4 year old. It has definitely helped his balance and suppleness as well as opened up his mind as to what he can really do with this body.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby StraightForward » Tue Sep 04, 2018 3:25 am

In light of the 20m circle discussion, I set out cones today and did most of Annabelle's ride on the 20m circle. After reading a few things on half-halt last night, I decided that I need to get her more emphatically forward/IFOTL, so we did transitions on the 20m, and several canter circles until she sort of blended in to the line of travel and started going with the flow. At one point I literally laughed because it was like an obstacle course getting her through the cones and not hitting the cavaletti blocks I put in the corners to delineate between our corner and our 20m circle line. She really needs a LOT of leg support right now to stay on the circle in canter. Trot is pretty good, and I felt like our bend was better than usual.

In other news, the rumored October schooling show as just announced officially, and will be on the 13th, so planning to sign up for that for more TL experience. Tonight I practiced T1 and T3 on Kyra. We actually tried them yesterday, and to my surprise it was a disaster, but tonight was way better. Ironically, biggest challenges riding TL with Kyra are the T/C/T transitions.

ETA: Minor epiphany. I've been feeling pretty decent about my position, but would like to be a little more stretched up the front. At times I've also felt that my lower back is a little too curved, but I have tried and been unsuccessful and tucking my tailbone in without getting rigid. Today I thought about lifting my sternum and keeping my chest more up/open, and while I need video to confirm, it *felt* like my lower back got a little straighter. Of course these are connected :oops: but I always get tunnel vision on one or the other.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Rosie B » Tue Sep 04, 2018 11:45 am

On the topic of 20m circles (and circles of other sizes), in my mind it's pretty simple why riding them accurately is so important.

Riding a circle perfectly accurately both requires and enables straightness, which is one of those foundational things. In order to ride a 20m circle perfectly you need rhythm, relaxation, contact, and straightness (the first 4 steps of the pyramid).

Bliss continues to do well. Just trying to make small improvements in some of the 2nd level work... I've signed up for a show at 2nd the weekend of the 14th/15th. I've signed up for all three 2nd level tests. We'll see how that goes.

Here he is the other night, looking fine. :)
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby kande50 » Tue Sep 04, 2018 12:06 pm

piedmontfields wrote:(Confession: I have pruned trails from horseback, too! On the current horse, I've done less pruning (some) but more mushroom hunting :-D )


The mushrooms are popping everywhere out there. Last weekend it was the Boletes, among others, but the Boletes were huge! I was too unmotivated to get off and collect some, and then forgot to go back, but will try again next year!

I am grateful to have a very good, sound and trustworthy horse!


Me too! We've had so many challenging horses for so long that I'd forgotten what a Steady Eddie is like, but the one we bought last year is turning out to be just that. And unlike our Halflinger, who is a pretty good trail horse, he's not barn sour. My mule isn't barn sour either, but he spins and bolts, so the one we bought last year is the winner when it comes to trail riding.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Sue B » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:05 pm

I can't remember if I wrote down any goals so:

Rudy
1) Get those darn fc's
2) Build better mediums all 3 gaits
3) Play more with passage and piaffe
4) Work more on schooling canter, making sure he actually sits as we collect, and then forward into medium
5) Take time to play out and about at least once a week

Tio
1) Get the canter in the arena more balanced/forward
2) Build at least 1 set of jump standards
3) Play out in the hay field
4) Attend a clinic with the kid

With those out of the way, I can report that I have ridden both boys every day this Sept.
I took Rudy out for an adventure on Saturday, down the various farm roads, through cut fields and alongside ditches filled with water. He always enjoys these wanderings, and I often allow him to pick the route and gait. This time, as we were walking along a ditch road, I dropped my whip and had to dismount to retrieve it. He very politely sidled up to an embankment so I could clamber back on--sweet boy. The other 2 days I did arena work, ending my Sunday ride with some piaffe on the road. (I like to use the pavement so I can hear the footfalls more clearly.) While there was no "suspension", he very clearly shifted diagonal pairs, stayed straight, lifted the base of his neck and back, and remained almost on the spot! I am very happy. The third day my sis took a bit of vid of me riding him and I am doing the happy dance. Usually I'm disappointed that he feels better than he looks, but not this time. :D Hopefully, she can figure out how to share the vids after she gets home.

My happy report for Tio is that I can now safely and sanely hand gallop him in the hay field next door. :D :D :D Sure, the video looks like we're barely moving but...Anyway, this "galloping" out in the field is helping him to find his balance and confidence in the arena. I should have a First Lvl horse next spring. (And a low level "eventer")

Thank you everyone for sharing your reports, they help me to decide where to focus my efforts.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Rosie B » Wed Sep 05, 2018 11:50 am

Sue B - I am praying that your sister can figure out how to post the video!! It has been WAY too long since we've seen Rudy. :)

I am inordinately pleased with Bliss at the moment. He seems to have FINALLY figured out that halts should be square. When I don't screw up the transition into the halt, the halts are now beautifully square. And it only took 5 years for him to figure out out!!!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby demi » Wed Sep 05, 2018 1:19 pm

I just plan to ride Rocky at a walk for 20 minutes 5 days a week while her suspensory tear heals. I will be out of town one week this month and another week next month but that’s ok since I can’t do much with her anyway.

I am going to take a lesson on one of my trainers horses this Saturday. I am happy that she is able to fit me it before the region 9 championships because she is very busy until then. I hope this will help me not to lose all of the riding fitness I had gained in the last few months, both physical and psychological.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby greenholmeshandy » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:33 pm

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STARTED MY ONE THREAD AND THEN REALISED I SHOULD HAVE USED THIS ONE DOH!

I have been quiet on here following a blinding revelation...I don't enjoy doing competitive dressage and have no idea what I was doing it at all! This might seem negative but its not, its the most positive line of thought I have had in ages!

I attended a Fell Pony training camp in the heartland of Fell Ponies, Cumbria in July. We did trec schooling, general schooling (for dressage and shows) and jumping. I have not done trec for two years with Shandy Pony. Her little ears when she saw the trec obstacles set out - these are like western trail obstacles, so there was an s bend, narrow corridor, rein back and a mock ditch. She did the S bend herself I just sat there, it was the first thing over 4 years ago now that she ever did right with me and my goodness was she happy to do it again. I don't jump, Shandy hasn't been trained to jump, I told the instructor at the start when asked that my goals were to stay on top and not die! By the end of day 1 we were jumping a course of jumps and had established walk to left canter. We also had a great time in the schooling sessions.

The last day had a choice of clear round jumping or dressage comp. As soon as I done my dressage gear I had the familiar feeling of being sick and shaking and made a right mess of the test, all through nerves. It brought it home to me that much as a I love schooling the dressage arena isn't really for me.

So we are reverting back to trec and warmed up with a nice flat pleasure ride over 11 kilometres as practice and I was very pleased with Shandy's behaviour. Courtesy of all the schooling she actually listens to me now, though I did have to dismount and lead her when we got though a very scary farm yard with lots of flapping mesh only to meet a hidden stealth pig - disclosed when it went "oink', other than than much better than my last "pleasure ride' five years ago when Shandy was so stressed she knocked my husband over at the start.

I did my first trec in two years last weekend. This comprised of a 11 km orienteering route, with trec you have to go into a map room, copy the route onto your map without using tracing paper - all by eye. Then you orienteer around it and there are various checkpoints along the way but you don't know where they are so cannot cheat and take short cuts. it was a lovely area all rolling hills and I managed to navigate round with only a few minor bloopers. unfortunately I was very ill that night with what has turned out to be the onset of a virus and almost packed up and went home.

I am glad I didnt as the second day was control of the paces - not great as I was somewhat spaced out, then the trec version of a cross country course which was 16 obstacles laid out along about 2 km Course with 11 minutes to get round. By now I felt really ill but Shandy was a little star, she pricked her ears up and cantered from obstacle to obstacle keeping an eye out for marker flags and judges, all I had to do was tell her what to do at each obstacle.
The obstacles included a path crossing (in and out fence), large log higher than Shandy's knees which we cantered up to at speed, then slowed to a trot and then Shandy at a walk daintly stepped over it (!), narrow corridor, down into a stream and jump out, big crossing, rein back and various lead obstacles. I managed to miss one out so was eliminated from this phase but the beauty of trec is you can opt out of obstacles, get eliminated from a phase but still complete as placings are all based on total points accumulated in each phase.

I was very proud of my pony as she really concentrated on doing her job and helping me out and I found orienteering over strange country much less stressful than navigating a dressage arena! I will still be doing dressage schooling as it was noticeable to me and others that we are much more efficient now at trec obstacles as I can shorten her paces, control her shoulders etc.

Plan is to do winter indoor trecs (obstacle and control of paces), maybe some mini clear round jumping and some horse agility (dog agility but with a horse!).
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Josette » Wed Sep 05, 2018 5:44 pm

greenholmeshady - if I had access to those views and trails that you posted - you would not find me riding in a ring either! Years ago, I did many hunter and trail paces and totally enjoyed them over ring riding. For me the dressage schooling helps me be a better rider and helps make my horse more balanced and obedient. So I feel both inside ring and outside trail riding complement each other to be well rounded as a riders and obedient horse. I've always felt it was mentally refreshing to take a break from ring work. So, hands down I'd rather be out on those trails!! You are not alone in these feelings. :)

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:16 pm

I sort of hate dressage too....LOL
I board with eventers so we have outdoor space. Its awesome. I also jump (a bit)
11km!?!?! that is a long way! good for you! Beautiful pics

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Sep 05, 2018 6:45 pm

GHH, your photos look like where I live*! (and also similar to where my horse lives) Congrats to you and Shandy on the wonderful adventures. I have a friend who does the US equivalent of trec and loves it. She does do dressage training for good basics but is never far from obstacles or working in the great outdoors. Seems like a great approach!

BTW, I am constantly asked why I don't show my horse (just about everyone in my barn shows). The answer for me is that I prefer to spend my time training, conditioning and enjoying learning with my horse. If we had shows at our facility, I could be talked into it, but to me it just isn't worth the time sink of showing for the return. I'd rather have a great lesson or gallop in the fields.

*This is a place for sale near our property--you can get a good sense of the terrain from the photos: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/4509 ... lpage=true

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby khall » Wed Sep 05, 2018 8:17 pm

piedmont I know E Tn well. Mark lived there (Mosheim), my dad is a UT grad and we lived in Johnson City and Newport before moving to Ga. Hilly there! We used to go down to the Blue Ridge Pkwy to get apple cider from a road side stand. Would often see black bear on the side of the road. Mark and his wife loved it there. Moonshine!!

GHH lovely! When we visited the UK we got to ride out on the moors. That was a blast.

Today was one of those days, woke up to water pipe busted under the house, had to call the plumber take care of the animals and then get my 80 yr old Dad to a doctor appointment by 10, back here long enough to check in with DH (who came back to meet the plumber) and out for mammogram that I have neglected to get for 3 yrs. My parents live 6 mi from the farm, they both are getting fragile and my sister and I have spent the last year trying to get a diagnosis on Dad, early Alzheimer's or beginning of dementia of some sort. We can't let him drive anymore and he is not happy about it. He's on 24/7 O2 for COPD, blood thinner for PEs (warfin) and he keeps losing weight. Not eating well except for candy. DS moved out first of Aug to go to college and my parents are requiring more and more care. Stubborn cusses too. So no riding again today, may work in hand a bit. Sigh

Hoping the rest of the week will be better! Hoping the rest of you are having cooler weather now.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby DJR » Wed Sep 05, 2018 9:27 pm

piedmontfields, that property looks gorgeous. I've often thought of moving to the States, and specifically to TN. Maybe some day I will. For now I'm staying in Canada given the current politics.

khall - I relate to the house woes. I'm in the midst of replacing the SECOND well's submersible pump after the main well's pump fried earlier in August. And today I found out that my furnace blower is fried (it's only 3 yrs old!) so we have no A/C and are in the midst of a huge heat wave. Ugh.

Meanwhile, I've been riding after dark to get some cooler air for big, black Jet (and I). We're working on choreography for our debut freestyle at this weekend's dressage show (Third Level). I think we've almost got it, but I keep thinking of different ideas. At least the music editing is done so now it's just playing around with nuances, and planning "what if I'm ahead of/behind the music" at various points. There's a lot to doing a freestyle, as I'm discovering!

My 4 yr old is still at the trainer's place. He's very resistant going to the right, but even a bit going to the left although the left rein is always smoother. He's very stiff to the right, too. Because of that, I'm having a veterinary work-up done on him to see if there is a physical reason. His tight circling both directions was a bit concerning - nothing obvious, but subtle concerns especially to the right - so we have an EPM test pending. The rest of his blood work, drawn both pre- and post-exercise - has been entirely normal which is reassuring. My hope is this turns out to be a training/strength/maturity issue but we'll see. It may also relate to PSSM given his half-Shire heritage so we're working with his diet, too. Teeth were ruled out long ago, and feet, too. I hope it's nothing bad and that we can just improve his training/condition and get past this.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby khall » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:01 pm

DJR I hope we don't face that soon. We have 2 wells also, acidic water which is not kind to fittings or any metal that is in the water pipes (which is what happened yesterday). We have a filter system but this was before the filter and of course the well pump (ours is submerge too) is also before the filter system. Upkeep on farms is NOT cheap!

We are hot and dry, not too much going on here. Just playing a bit in hand. My filly almost looked like she had a locked stifle in her stall today. May take her next vet trip with Rip and have the vet do a look see of her soundness wise. May be she is just growing and those stifles need tightening.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Sep 06, 2018 10:38 pm

Khall... That's a ton on your plate!!! Take time for yourself!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Sep 07, 2018 1:11 am

Well, that's one thing off my goals list... Decided not to go to championships. Too far, too expensive, too much happening here, and we are making some training breakthroughs that I'd rather not interrupt (and really, I'm over 2nd level, to be honest, and not ready to take 3rd out in public yet.)

Phew. Fortunately, my show buddy is of the same opinion so I haven't been a flake.


Excellent lesson this afternoon. The focus was on adjustability. Lots to digest, work on and ponder before next time. She's happy with what she's seeing, so we are going along the right path. It's going to be an exciting winter of training!

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Chisamba » Fri Sep 07, 2018 10:44 am

I loved in TN for about 10 years, but more west. Still loved it best if all the places I lived in the USA

Mountaineer, sounds like a good decision.

Greenhomeshandy. We ride because we love it, it doesnt makes sense not to do what you love and what your horse loves.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Dresseur » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:22 pm

Greenhomes - I agree 100% with what Chisamba said, we ride because we love it. If being out in the wide open is you and your horse's happy place, you don't need to justify it to anyone!

I'm slogging through more crap I created on Miro, or rather let slide because I didn't recognize it. I think I had mentioned that we played with holding his shoulders back in the R walk piri and the R canter working piri. Well, it hit me over the head like a ton of bricks, that I have to do that in ALL my right bending work. He moves his haunches off my left leg just fine, he just then moves the shoulders to the R so that he can continue to track with his haunches cocked a bit to the left. I figured this out when I was walking down the long side and asked for a touch of renvers. He moved his haunches off my leg toward the wall, and then the very next step, slid the shoulder over so that we were now more or less straight down the wall. Lightbulb. :idea:

Next time, I made sure to hold the shoulder over with my outside rein. And he very grudgingly gave me a very nice renvers - something that has eluded us. So, I continue to go on my way, and then realize that my haunches in - what I thought was resistance to my right rein, was him sliding the shoulder off the wall which took out the bend that I thought that I had. Another :idea: . Then in the hp, I held the shoulder over, and after a discussion or two, we had a right hp that matches the left. Then, at the very end of my ride - I realized that I'm a real dummy, because he does it in circle r too. :idea: :idea: :oops: . So, my circles are a bit bigger, because I have to keep shifting the shoulders back out... but he's stood up and giving me a lovely straight feel and lovely bend.

Leave it to horses to make you feel like an absolute idiot. I'm now making sure that he's doing a bit more towards 4 track SI left, so that when we switch to renver, I have a better chance at controlling his shoulders which gives a lovely bend and feel. I've been explaining everything to him in the walk, which is helping to keep any fussiness down to a minimum.

I'm not sure how my canter tweaks are coming. I punched a 1/2 hole in my stirrups to give a bit of feel and weight down through my leg. But I'm a little concerned that it's actually feeding into my habit. That being said, there's a whole lot that feels really good right now, so I'm thinking that I'm making some headway.

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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby Tsavo » Sat Sep 08, 2018 5:44 pm

Nice report, Dresseur.

Dressage, for me, has produced more situations with me thinking I am an idiot than everything else in my life combined. The people who say dressage is straight-forward or obvious sound high. LOL

My horse was cleared for work today after his surgery. Yesterday in the pasture he was sound at trot. Today he had a significant limp on the left front for some reason. This is way more than the limp I retire him over so I am not sure what is going on or if it can be the ringbone given the magnitude. We will see. Maybe an abscess or hot nail abscess.

It has been over a month I think since he has been in work. Horses and humans start to lose muscle at 10-14 days. His back has lost muscle and we are back to the saddle not fitting. He can raise it so I am going to try to fit him up without getting the saddle fitted to this condition. i will try some more inserts in the Mattes until he gets that muscle back.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby DJR » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:17 pm

I’m writing this from the show site after a very successful first day.

My daughter started the day with her four Walk-Trot tests. It was very crisp & cool (for the first time in 3 months) so her pony, Sawyer, was more fresh than she’s ever had to deal with. Early in the warm-up, he even gave a fairly decent crow-hop which is unusual for him. You can imagine how that energy might turn off a timid kid, but she embraced the challenge and did SO well. Sawyer was distracted & called during the first test, but then settled into his work. That kiddo came away with three 65% marks and a 67%! And, more importantly, she road SO well, very organized, thoughtful, and, as she said, “I rode the way I’ve been taught to ride!” Love her.

Then at midday I debuted my freestyle. It was my first ever, and I did all of it (i.e., choreography, choosing & editing the music, etc.). It was a Third Level freestyle, and it went really well! The timing worked great for all the transitions & changes in music. I missed a flying change, and he needs more energy & more sit, but I knew that already (it’s very difficult for him given his size & breeding). We ended up with a 62% and even got a 7 for one of the flying changes. Very pleased!

Tomorrow I ride him in Third-2 and Third-3, then home. I’m so glad it’s finally cooled off to make it much more comfortable to show.
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Re: Don't call it fall: September/October Autumn Goals

Postby khall » Sat Sep 08, 2018 7:29 pm

Dresseur, paying attention to the shoulders and what they are doing is so much of my riding/work in hand and on line! Rip was one to be on his left shoulder, so left HI and renvere were much harder, what helped with him was to think of his shoulders moving away from the bend a 1/2 step. So in HI L, took his shoulders half step R. That allowed him to stand up and engage the outside hind properly. I work with two other horses who want to keep their weight in their R shoulder, CSI to counter turn on haunches is one of the big exercises, then eventually SI to renvere to mobilize the shoulders, change flexion, change bend. Rip is so good in hand now I can do HI draw either direction and then slide in and do HI other direction so he is mobilizing the hips. Cedar had me doing TOF in renvere, turning into the bend. The etwikken (sp) is also I feel good at addressing this issue. But IMO the counter TOH is the best.

THe one mare I have been helping has made tremendous strides in the year with concentrating on CSI and renvere. To the point now even on the lunge line she is even in her shoulders and really starting to carry herself. We can ask for a bit of SI on the line or drift her out if she falls out of balance, so much nicer! The other horse is not as advanced but is such a nice mover. When he gets right he just flows.

I learned all of this from Mark first and Cedar is continuing the work. Why they teach so much lateral work on bending lines.

Great show report DJR! Tell your daughter good job riding the pony!


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