2019 and Jan/Feb goals

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heddylamar
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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby heddylamar » Thu Jan 31, 2019 4:20 am

New goal: don't freeze while riding :shock:

We don't have an indoor, and the arena's at the top of the hill above the barn's roofline and the trees, so this cold + wind thing really blows. It's not double digit negative temps here, just low teens/single digits today, so still rideable, but, WOW, that's unpleasant.

OTOH, a short, quick ride, and my mare was UP and promptly stepped off my leg onto both leads :lol:

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Jan 31, 2019 5:56 am

Clipping Laddie apparently allows him to feel my legs again :) We had a very forward and positive session. Sneaking in another lesson tomorrow...

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Thu Jan 31, 2019 11:51 pm

-50F windchill.
Send help. And carrots.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Chisamba » Fri Feb 01, 2019 12:47 pm

At a certain temp, surviving is more important than riding. Making sure everyone has food water and exercise, dealing with frozen hoses, taps, pipes steamers, cleaning stalls where the urine comes up in blocks, etc.

I am not a fan of cold and ir wont hurt my feelings if this is my last winter in the Northeast.

Be well everyone

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 1:11 pm

Hope everyone in the polar vortex is coming out the other end okay! It was "cold" here (lows in teens F) which I know is nothing for many of you. I will get 4 outdoor rides + 1 lunge in this week. Maybe the mid-south is not so bad for living?! :lol:

I have been working on quicker reaction times and consistent forward energy with Em. Took off my spurs (which I am irregular about, but had been wearing) and carry a whip only for reinforcement (using it as little as possible). I'm getting her to leap forward off my leg. Basically, my goal is to be able to "grab" her/nearly startle her with my leg anytime I need her to wake up and go. When she is self-powered and sufficiently forward, my leg is very quiet and light---the way she likes it. We are doing a lot of hand gallop laps in the middle of work :lol: I can tell we are getting there when we have powerful departs (not fake collected departs) into a good canter from halt and walk. This is all very remedial stuff I know, but we need it. I think this will all be easier when it is warmer (she is tighter in cold and so am I), but I'm glad we're getting into it now.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Tuddy » Fri Feb 01, 2019 4:33 pm

Ryeissa wrote:-50F windchill.
Send help. And carrots.


Oh gawd, sorry to hear! We are currently on a break in the weather ... for now, cold snap coming back on Monday.

STAY WARM!

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:19 pm

Really feeling for those out in ridiculous levels of cold. It has been cold for us here, but nothing compared to what those in the midwest/northeast are dealing with.

I've been in a real slump with MM and am feeling rather discouraged about riding in general. This past summer/fall, I made a lot of changes on the way I train and ride her. It resulted in me having a horse who felt powerful and consistently in front of my leg. It felt like we'd really turned a new leaf. But the last month or so has been a real backslide. She's been very behind the leg, I can't seem to successfully get her through or forward or supple. My aids have started feeling like sloppy mush and the frustrating rides have just piled on. I don't feel capable or qualified to progress her training. And I'm struggling too much on getting basic responses to feel like I can improve my own riding. To add to the confusion, lessons lately have been good because MM has such tremendous respect for instructor and his voice that she gets great forward just from him standing there and speaking. She responds to him before i get a chance to even use my own aids. It's frustrating both to see how good/easy she can be when she's forward and responsive and also frustrating that he can't help us through the problem because when he's there, the problem is gone. Meanwhile between lessons i've had some of the worst rides i can remember having on her the last several weeks and nothing seems to be working.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 5:55 pm

Blob, at least you have a "magical" trainer who can turn on your mare and get you the right feeling! I am grappling with some of this, too, but have less support. Does your trainer understand what you're getting out of the lesson vs in a lesson?

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:09 pm

Thanks Tuddy- getting better re:weather. I used to have a heated indoor and its been a real struggle.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:23 pm

Rye, I don't know much about your situation, so take these remarks with all the salt you need. From my experience and observation of others, there can be a real difference in the trainer you need to learn say, how to put various horses on the bit and ride them in a 1st level balance, and the trainer you need to advance a specific horse and rider as far as they can go.

I have a friend who went route of buying fancy horses and showing quickly up the levels. I think she got her bronze very quickly her first year of showing dressage. There was a lot of clinic hopping too. It did not work for her. After a number of years (maybe 7?), she committed to a very good FEI/GP experienced trainer and is now s l o w l y but SURELY brining along several horses to the FEI levels. She sometimes feels embarrassed that she is not "further along" but she is also developing a very deep and solid understanding of classical training and the development of the horse. And she feels good about the process.

We all have to make our own journeys!

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 6:35 pm

piedmontfields wrote:Blob, at least you have a "magical" trainer who can turn on your mare and get you the right feeling! I am grappling with some of this, too, but have less support. Does your trainer understand what you're getting out of the lesson vs in a lesson?


Yes, I'm grateful for him, but it can also be annoying! Why doesn't she jump to attention at the sight of me! It is nice to know that the horse is in there, I just can't seem to unlock it.

I've told him that I"m struggling between and we've talked about it. He's also definitely aware that she responds to his voice well. But he doesn't realize how extreme the difference is because he hasn't seen her.

I think the most frustrating part is that after all the steady steps forward we took during summer and fall, we've now slid back to being worse than where we started.

Your post about getting quicker reaction and more forward with Em definitely resonated. Hopefully the two of you will get that power canter depart soon!

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:03 pm

Blob, we really do seem to be doing the same investigations. I am trying to stay positive by noting that if we crack this, so many things will be much easier. I think we have skated by looking "pleasant" for too long!

I got some ideas recently from a trainer who has been quite successful with a tight-backed Andalusian. She noted that he would shut down to strong physical aids and to the whip---and that "threats" (verbal, waving the whip) had a much bigger effect on him. Emi is kind of like that too. I do think she has learned that a growled "GO" means GO! I also use the legs entirely off technique as a sign to her that if she doesn't GO, she will get a big leg. So when all is in order, she powers up when I take the leg OFF (and if she doesn't, we rinse repeat). I am definitely being a meany-from the first step of our ride to get this whole point across. I'm finding it just takes dedication and attention--and a willingness to boot your horse in front of people! :-D lol

Do you think your trainer is doing much differently physically (ex. longer or stronger legs) or is it in the voice? Is there anything there to imitate?

p.s. Meant to add that last night someone was shooting (targets) about a half mile from the arena. I admit to timing my corrective leg aids (for a more forward canter) with the gun shots....Woke the little mare right up!

p.p.s. I would not recommend this as a general tactic...

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Fri Feb 01, 2019 7:23 pm

piedmontfields wrote:Blob, we really do seem to be doing the same investigations. I am trying to stay positive by noting that if we crack this, so many things will be much easier. I think we have skated by looking "pleasant" for too long!

I got some ideas recently from a trainer who has been quite successful with a tight-backed Andalusian. She noted that he would shut down to strong physical aids and to the whip---and that "threats" (verbal, waving the whip) had a much bigger effect on him. Emi is kind of like that too. I do think she has learned that a growled "GO" means GO! I also use the legs entirely off technique as a sign to her that if she doesn't GO, she will get a big leg. So when all is in order, she powers up when I take the leg OFF (and if she doesn't, we rinse repeat). I am definitely being a meany-from the first step of our ride to get this whole point across. I'm finding it just takes dedication and attention--and a willingness to boot your horse in front of people! :-D lol

Do you think your trainer is doing much differently physically (ex. longer or stronger legs) or is it in the voice? Is there anything there to imitate?

p.s. Meant to add that last night someone was shooting (targets) about a half mile from the arena. I admit to timing my corrective leg aids (for a more forward canter) with the gun shots....Woke the little mare right up!

p.p.s. I would not recommend this as a general tactic...



A lot of this definitely rings true! MM is definitely more reactive to me swishing the whip than to actually using the whip on her.

It is hard to maintain the strictness from stride one through the end. She is smart and she knows if I don't fully mean it. And the dedication of being willing to boot your horse in front of people is also a hard one for me. Like Em, MM goes around very pleasantly, so no one can tell i've asked her to do somethign and she's just happily blowing me off. So if I get after her, it just looks like i've gone wild for no good reason.

With my trainer, it's a LOT of things. He's obviously a better rider than me (that's why i pay him!). But he's also 6ft tall (I am 5ft) and he's physically much stronger than I am (I am not especially strong). But I understand that she is more responsive when he rides her. The thing that has become difficult is that during lessons he'll say "ok, now ask for more" and hearing that she'll GO before I can do anything. Unfortunately he can't NOT talk to me during the lesson. But she has come to associate his voice with hard work and I think she totally believes he's the type who MEANS it, so she goes, she goes, she goes.

I could start using my voice more (she lunges very well off voice commands), but I'm afraid fo becoming dependent and going into the show ring and fizzling out.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:01 pm

Blob, please know that in another land, I am also a person "going wild" after my very pleasant mare blows off an aid. I'm trying to think of this process as being about "improving clarity" rather than "strictness." Wish me luck. I have obviously been teaching her that she does not need to leap to my leg (or at least, not as much as I would now like her to do!).

The size difference between your trainer and you is a big deal I suspect. It's kind of irrelevant if he is using physicality to get the forward because it won't be quite the same for you based on your size. My horse is actually not that demanding to ride physically--but I have totally seen very strong riders of various sizes hop on and put her through her paces very easily. Its both encouraging and frustrating to see that. They have better timing and a "sharpness" to their corrections. Plus, I think she is just smart at figuring out what is necessary--or not!

One last thought: I have been trapped in the arena much of the last two months due to incredibly soggy weather. I think I have gotten by in the past by waking Em up with works out in the field--and then bringing some of that field energy back into the ring. With day after day in the arena this winter, I've just had it and want to make a serious change in our reactivity standards.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:06 pm

piedmontfields wrote:Rye, I don't know much about your situation, so take these remarks with all the salt you need. From my experience and observation of others, there can be a real difference in the trainer you need to learn say, how to put various horses on the bit and ride them in a 1st level balance, and the trainer you need to advance a specific horse and rider as far as they can go.


yeah, I have been lucky that I have regular help and my own trailer now, and I took a clinic with a GP person who was great.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:45 am

piedmontfields wrote:Blob, please know that in another land, I am also a person "going wild" after my very pleasant mare blows off an aid. I'm trying to think of this process as being about "improving clarity" rather than "strictness." Wish me luck. I have obviously been teaching her that she does not need to leap to my leg (or at least, not as much as I would now like her to do!).

The size difference between your trainer and you is a big deal I suspect. It's kind of irrelevant if he is using physicality to get the forward because it won't be quite the same for you based on your size. My horse is actually not that demanding to ride physically--but I have totally seen very strong riders of various sizes hop on and put her through her paces very easily. Its both encouraging and frustrating to see that. They have better timing and a "sharpness" to their corrections. Plus, I think she is just smart at figuring out what is necessary--or not!

One last thought: I have been trapped in the arena much of the last two months due to incredibly soggy weather. I think I have gotten by in the past by waking Em up with works out in the field--and then bringing some of that field energy back into the ring. With day after day in the arena this winter, I've just had it and want to make a serious change in our reactivity standards.



I'm very glad to have a fellow wild woman on a pleasant horse!

Yes, definitely looking forward to getting out of the arena when weather changes. That really does make a difference.

My trainer has only sat on MM once... so while he definitely has a physical advantage, it's definitely not something she's gotten used to.

I can't wait to usher in clarity and forward and say goodbye to all this slow dragging

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Chisamba » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:13 pm

Blob, you have a trainer so maybe this is really superfluous but I have train two effort averse horses. The thing I try so hard to teach their riders is not to nag. So ask with the pressure you would like to use to get a good response. If the response is not forthcoming ask with enough pressure to gain a good response then sit quiet, as soon as the horse lags , light aid and then whatever it takes to make the horse zoom then ride the zoom into a kind and pleasing contact but keep zooming.

Also zoom on the short side and then turn your toes forward and cruise on the long side. Most people zoom down the long side and lose power in the turns.

The main takeaway is dont add leg til you have sufficient, add leg till you have a firecracker you need to calm.

Threat if that works better, but sometimes you have to know how to chase a cow.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Sat Feb 02, 2019 1:39 pm

Thanks, Chisamba. Additional thoughts and valuable reminders are always welcome and useful. Since summer I've been focused on riding leg off and not getting into the nagging that had become a real problem for me. This made a huge difference and I felt like I had a new horse. But now, that new horse is gone. No amount of sharpness is resulting in increased sensitivity. Or if there is some difference made it doesn't carry over to the next ride. I'm feeling so discouraged because the thing that SHOULD work, seems to be unable to come together.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Feb 02, 2019 2:25 pm

Chisamba wrote:Also zoom on the short side and then turn your toes forward and cruise on the long side. ..
The main takeaway is dont add leg til you have sufficient, add leg till you have a firecracker you need to calm.
Threat if that works better, but sometimes you have to know how to chase a cow.


Love all of these reminders! Thank you.

Also, I don't quite think my horse is "effort averse"---it is like I have to crack her body open with good work to get her loose and moving freely. Once she is loose, she will literally work hard for hours with a lot of focus (she is a horse with "a lot of bottom"---I guess that is what you get with war horse x bullfighting horse).

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Sun Feb 03, 2019 1:41 am

I should probably start a separate thread for those of us grappling with this issue. But we had a great forward ride today including some fun hand galloping in the fields. Probably helped that it was 60 F, but I liked that the mare was taking the little reminders (like me removing leg and expecting her to GO) seriously.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sun Feb 03, 2019 2:22 am

I think it's an issue many of us face. My horse is generally pretty forward, but he can be a bit sticky and "make me" at the start of a ride particularly in the walk lateral work. He also has to realize that I mean it, but now he's starting to get to "yes ma'am!" fairly quickly.

Today in my lesson we worked on "bright without rushing" in all gaits--developing more suspension and making ourselves more time to do things. Fun to see in the trot.

In the canter, this is all working towards developing the correct canter and correct mindset for a nice uphill flying change rather than a rush and splat. We were working on and interesting exercise about bend and straightness and steadiness:

True canter to counter canter across the diagonal ("nooo, we aren't taking control and rushing into a change!") counter canter around the short side, then in the middle of the long side starting a 20 meter circle, but just past the centerline changing the bend while maintaining the CC and yielding from the inside to the outside, keeping that up all around to the quarterline 7/8ths around the circle from where you started, making a balanced down transition to the trot and leg yielding to the rail. the trick is to keep the canter very rhythmic, change the bend appropriately, and be very straight when you make the down transition.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby demi » Mon Feb 04, 2019 3:43 am

I just spent close to an hour writing a detailed post on my lessons for the month of January and when I went to preview it, I lost the whole thing! I’ve been training with my trainer for a year and three months now and in January the lessons started getting really interesting and very satisfying. In the lost post I explained exactly what she had me doing to start lateral work over a 4 week period till we were doing renvers to shoulder in on the quartlines at walk and trot.

Well, anyway, we are doing some nice second level work including walk-canter-walk transitions. Also doing the trot stretchy circle. I love working with this trainer. At first it was just getting my confidence back at the canter, and now she is giving me really really detailed instruction on lateral work and trainsitions. I am so happy to have found someone who can actually tell me exactly how to do this stuff. Her instructions aren’t easy in that she has me doing 4-5 different things all at once and it taxes my body AND brain. But man, when I can keep it all together, the horse feels like heaven! And another nice thing is that this trainer is relentless which takes incredible patience because she’s has to repeat a detailed sequence a million times. I think she trains riders the same way she trains her horses, not leaving out important steps, but getting things correct, right from the start.

I am still taking lessons on the school horse as the weather has been too bad on my lesson days to haul Rocky. I am getting in 4-5 rides a week at home on Rock, and it will be fun to finally take lessons on her again. One of the big things my trainer is teaching me is how exactly to balance the horse to the outside rein. It’s a lot more complex than just saying “inside leg to outside rein”!! Both Rocky and the lesson horse are contracted on the left side (I think like exvet says Jr. is) so when going to the left, I have to slightly flex their heads to the right. She has me doing several other things at the same time (I carefully explained it in the lost post :( ). And it’s quite different when going to the right.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Flight » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:21 pm

Just had some really good lessons at a clinic with Norsey. Didn't get anywhere near flying changes, Dresseur!
Really working just on his way of going. Activating his core, helping him come up through his chest/sternum and getting a softer/rounder outline and trying to get him to open up through the gullet. She helped me with how to use the curb to get this roundness and release. She said trying to do it with a snaffle at this stage, will close him up. He tends to stay flat in the base of his neck and then close his gullet.
My timing needed to be better, and to trust nothing bad would happen when I touched a spur to his belly, asking him to engage. I think with him being such a big horse, and he is quite sensitive, I might be a bit worried about asking more from him and don't release enough, but I really don't need to be. He doesn't run off.
Still need a more open gullet, and not look like I'm trying soooo hard! But on the right track hopefully -

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Tue Feb 05, 2019 2:54 am

Flight wrote: helping him come up through his chest/sternum and getting a softer/rounder outline and trying to get him to open up through the gullet. She helped me with how to use the curb to get this roundness and release. She said trying to do it with a snaffle at this stage, will close him up. He tends to stay flat in the base of his neck and then close his gullet.



He looks great in the picture! Glad the clinic was useful--that's always a great feeling, to come home with new ideas and a new feeling. I'd love to hear more about the part I quoted above when you get a chance, sounds interesting and potentially useful for others! My mare also can get flat in the base of her neck and not come up through the chest/sternum as much as she can.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Flight » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:02 am

Hi Blob, I'll try and explain it here. So you start with good alignment of the horse, so he's straight, not crooked anywhere (no twisting poll, neck aligned with spine etc). Ask for the tummy to engage by a touch/tap of leg/spur or whip, whatever is needed (but never a hold or a squeeze - that causes bracing back at you) as the hindleg is coming through. You want the reaction to be a contraction of the belly muscles and a lift up through the sternum, not a push down through the shoulders or push out through the hand. That's the tricky bit.
For me on Norsey, I'd physically lift my hands up with a squeeze under of my last fingers to bring the curb on and it's only for a moment, a step- not even a stride. Then release in the next moment and even 'shake out' the reins to encourage the opening up of the gullet. In that pic above, I should even allow more. All about trying to teach self carriage.

I'll add some other pics in trot.
So how we tend to go with a good example of being dropped down through the chest (causing that flat base of the neck).
NorseyBBs1.jpg
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And asking for that lift. He even looks a bit worried about it, because it's a bit hard for him (and I've probably poked him a bit hard with my spur)
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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Sue B » Tue Feb 05, 2019 4:55 pm

Great pictures, Flight. As the rider of a 'ducker", i can say it's well worth the time it takes to build the strength for true self-carriage. Norsie is progressing beautifully.

It's snowing today...beautiful out. Much better than the rain all day Saturday and the sideways corn snow/sleet Sunday. I did wimp out Saturday but rode Sunday. Every time I walked out the door to ride, it started raining/sleeting/snowing and quit as soon as I'd give up and go back inside, and so I finally just went for it. By the time I got Rudy saddled, there was only a light drizzle but 25-30mph wind. I worked him in the arena first as he was a tad "spicy" and once he brought his back up consistently in the trot, I agreed to head down the road. Naturally, soon as we hit the road, the rain got harder and by the time we were 3/4 of a mile away, the rain started stinging us with little ice balls (remember the wind.) By the time we got home, it was a driving sleet with hail and Rudy was NOT pleased. He literally side-passed up to the gate and then over to the hitching area, keeping his face out of the now painful precipitation. Since tying him would have required his facing into the wind, I untacked him without halter or tying and hurried up and threw on his parka. It was only then that he gave me a gentle face rub of forgiveness. Naturally, the whole thing blew over shortly after I put everything away and got back to the house. :lol: Ds went skiing that same day and said it was mostly white-out conditions. can't say that I'm making much of any progress this winter, but I think we are maintaining at least. Poor Tio keeps getting the short end of the stick though--all he gt was brushed.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby greenholmeshandy » Tue Feb 05, 2019 10:55 pm

Good to see all the updates and lovely photos, flight your horse is lovely. Less good to hear you are selling Your stallion ex vet.

My season has ground to a halt. After a surprise success at a Dressage show (video greater with a wave of indifference here) I had a showing clinic and indoor trec lined up. However I developed a mystery lump on my shoulder that spread and hurt so much I spent a week not riding as felt vile, weekend in bed, sent to hospital by my gp and then an op to remove said lump. It was an infection of some kind but boy did I feel poorly. V fortunate though compared to many I met waiting for their ops. So haven’t ridden for a month other than a quick half hour hack and a half hour schooling session. I had to sleep all afternoon to recover after each ride!

Had lots of time to contemplate life,navel etc. So have decided against a second horse for now to frantically clear mortgage as it was a bit scarey to have to pursued doctor to sign me fit for work earlier than he wanted as I would have had to go on half pay.

Decided against doing summer Trecs again due to journey time,wasn’t sure I really like it but changed my mind when entries for one in a stunning area opened on Friday and my entry went in Saturday and am now down to do a Trec camp end of April. I think it’s mine and ponys thing really.

Biggest positive change is I decided to buy a big tent to camp in at venues instead of my small trailer. husband and son who is now nearly 16 according to him or 14 as I more correctly call it both want to come camping at events with me. Suddenly Trecs and long distance venues that were a bit far as a solo driver on our busy UK roads are open to me.

Could even consider a bit more dressage but tbh I think I have finally accepted that I’m not progressing in it due to no fault on ponys part. It’s simply that I am a terrible rider at this sport as far too technical and precise for me but fine on riding trec and distance.
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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:48 pm

oh no feel better - :( keep your chin up

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Feb 06, 2019 1:49 pm

I'm still not riding much due to horrid weather and winter storms. (I live 40 mins away from my barn and I have to commute to work in a different direction).

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby exvet » Wed Feb 06, 2019 6:34 pm

Wishing everyone better weather and health (to horses and mankind). We've had quite a bit of rain and this morning was cold by desert standards. I just body clipped Junior and so I was expecting the lesson at 8 am to be a bit explosive. Well thankfully it wasn't. He was tight due to the cold to begin with but as we did our warm up he really signed up for the program. I've been reading the threads on needing more reactivity to the leg. Last year at this time that is exactly what I had to focus on and then the pendulum swung in exactly the opposite direction. One thing that helped me to get him hot off the leg was a lot of trot and canter sets on the trail. He's naturally forward thinking on the trail, prefers to be first, likes to take things head on; so, it was easier to help with some 'natural incentive' but then and especially with the canter he was too reactive and I've been spending the last 3 months trying to really get him to not over react but to prepare his body properly (as my instructor puts it). Today I had some really nice canter departs where I could go from trot walk trot to sitting trot to outside leg back to ask with the inside leg for the canter strike off and maintain the appropriate momentum and not get stiff in the jaw,neck. I ran through the test that I'll be showing this Sunday at a local recognized show and it wasn't to shabby. I got some good pointers to try to maximize my score but without sacrificing any quality to the end game. So that will be my homework, seeing if I can produce 'that' at the show. LOL but then 'that' is always the challenge.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Feb 08, 2019 5:23 am

Today's lesson was an exercise in not getting killed... It's been quite the week here weather-wise with a multi-day blizzard, and so I haven't been able to ride since Saturday. The horses have been in or if they have been turned out are just standing by the gate up over their knees in snow waiting to come back in again, snow is cascading off the arena roof and they are blasting avalanches in the mountains--which is cool, but really loud. And it is really frickin' cold and windy here still.

After a couple of pretty vigorous spook/bolt/buck incidents, which I managed to de-escalate before they got completely out of control, trainer thought it might be a good idea if I got off and lunged. I'm not one to allow much playing on the line, but I didn't have much choice today. He's really quite athletic and he needed to move!

After he'd got it mostly out of his system, we actually had quite a productive half hour once I got him focused on me under saddle, but crap, I'm getting too old to deal with that nonsense and I feel like I spent the morning in the tumble dryer. It's a 2 ibuprofen night for me.

On the plus side, he's been off Previcox for a week and was showing off exactly how sound he is.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Feb 08, 2019 12:54 pm

Phew, Moutaineer! I can feel the post-adrenaline-survival rush in your story. Well handled and glad Laddie shows as very sound! We had super high winds for us yesterday (~40 mph) plus 75 F temps. I avoided the woods and flying objects. Today is back to more normal winter weather (highs ~ 40 F).

Exvet, those are some really excellent developments!

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:57 pm

Exvet, good luck this weekend! If you get any pictures, please share them, love seeing jr in action!

Mountaineer, so glad to hear Laddie is looking sound. Also, there is no shame in adding lunging into your regular rotation before rides, esp. in this colder weather. If some time on the lunge helps get him focused, into 'work' mode, and generally less exuberant I think that's a win for both you. Not just because it's safer, but because the riding is more productive.

MM and I are still in a funk. I'm just not making any progress right now on getting her back to being responsive. I definitely need to mix things up and im waiting on weather to cooperate enough to get us out of the ring and on to trails or at least the pastures. I'm also going to try bringing in some gymnastics and gridwork, but lately she's been lackluster about jumping also and has been dragging legs and knocking poles. Or maybe I need to set up a jump chute and raise the fences up (I've lost my desire to jump anything higher than 2 feet).

RP has been doing well--slow, steady progress. We've started increasing the length of our rides and the kind of work we do. His bending lines and changes of bend have improved a lot. We still need work keeping him relaxed and through and steady through transitions--up and down. He's very obedient about them, but sometimes tense and sometimes it's simply a strength issue of not being able to maintain the quality of connection. One thing I've noticed as he's gotten more educated about a half halt is that he really lifts the base of his neck during the HH, which is good. BUT he also tightens and shortens it. I can get him to keep his base softer, but only if i really lower his neck (lower than I'd like it). I probably need to focus our hh on circle lines to help soften without the short tension.

RP and I will hopefully have our first lesson with my instructor on sunday. I'm looking forward to getting his thoughts. It'll also be his first time really seeing RP under saddle, so I'm hopefully he'll like the little pony. It'll be a tiring day for me since i'll be doing lessons on both, but also a good way to spend a sunday morning!

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Sue B » Fri Feb 08, 2019 4:44 pm

I wish we had your snow Moutaineer. My Rudy has been a bit of a pistol lately too so I feel for you. I do not hesitate to lunge when he's too fiery even though he has "never" bucked with me on board. Those spooks and twirls can sometimes do more damage than getting tossed.

We've been having those wind chill sub-zero days y'all in the East/Midwest had and now the weather guessers claim it's gonna start snowing. Only 12 Wind chill -10) at my house right now so I'm skeptical. Of course, my son has a jazz festival tomorrow 100 miles away so I'll be driving in the alleged snow and probable winds just to go listen. Whoopee!

Ponies look fine, Tio is staying sound. I keep promising to ride. Hehe

Blob, I used to board Rudy in the winter at a place with an indoor so I could train through the winter. Being in the indoor though seemed to suck every bit of ambition from poor Rudy's psyche, even though we'd do things like quadrilles and such. I gave up, quit finding indoors to ride in.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:34 am

You are most welcome to come and shovel it, Sue B! I'm just not looking forward to it all melting. My little barn will be underwater.

Laddie was a reformed character today. Mustered one half-hearted bounce into the canter on one lead on the lunge. I think he was tired after yesterday's performance.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Dresseur » Sat Feb 09, 2019 1:39 pm

Hope everyone dealing with weather sees some respite soon! The conditions have not been easy for most!
I have a Miro update, the vet came out yesterday to check for soundness and Miro was still off. It is getting incrementally better, but the vet says he expected this to be better at this point. So, he had some time to spend, and he happened to have the lameness locator with him, so we popped it on Miro because the lameness is really hard to pinpoint LF or LH since it's subtle. We now have a baseline on him. The locator showed that both LF and LH were showing irregularities and the locator's predictive function indicated that the trouble is coming from the LH. (Which we knew, but because he had an issue on that LF before, we needed to rule it out again.) So, Tuesday, my vet is going to come again and we're going to start blocking the left hind to make sure that no other structures are involved, aside from the hip. On one hand, I'm heart broken, because we're going onto our 3rd month of stall rest, on the other hand, I'm hoping that we can start to pinpoint things a bit. The vet also agreed that we needed to start Miro on a thyroid supplement to protect him against metabolic issues because his weight has ballooned, so I can worry a bit less about that now. Stay tuned for Tuesday's upcoming saga :(

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Chisamba » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:27 pm

I sure hope Miro comes right!

We had a few lovely spring days but it's back to frozen now. Titan is back to work barefoot. I pulled his shoes, he has an old hoof injury and I am just experimenting to see if it can be maintained barefoot. If not we will put fronts on again.

Kimba and I are enjoying ourselves but haven't made significant progress toward single flying change. I think she is proving to be the most difficult challenge I have had in this area so its teaching me a lot too.

Happy riding all, spring is ahead, time to pour over show schedules

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Feb 09, 2019 2:46 pm

I'm sorry that is the case Dressur.
Its still cold and we are getting snow. I'm doing the best that I can. Its been three weeks of this

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Flight » Sat Feb 09, 2019 9:39 pm

Dresseur, sorry to hear that about Miro, I was hoping to hear he'd come good by now. Fingers crossed you can find out a bit more what's going on.
We've had a bit of a cool change so the last couple of days have been lovely. I'm away at work for a week now, so the ponies can have a mini-holiday.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby demi » Sun Feb 10, 2019 11:06 pm

I cringe every time we get a report on Miro, and can only imagine how Dresseur feels. Just remember he is young and youth is a good thing when it comes to healing. Plus, the partnership has already shown to be two quick studies, so once you get started again, you'll be able to make up the lost time with relative ease. You have a board full of supporters!

The weather here is very uncooperative. I am managing to ride a lot more than I did last winter and having lessons on a school horse in an indoor arena helps to fill in. Last weeks lesson was really nice. We worked on transitions between gaits. Lots of them. Trainer said we get better every week. I love the lessons where she is on a horse at the same time and we get to talk during walk breaks and cooling out after the lesson. It's a nice time to ask questions in a relaxed way.

Rocky was NQR last week. I couldn't find any reason, and no lameness was visible, but she was walking slowly and hesitant to trot and canter. I didn't push and then the weather got bad so I had to rest her anyway. Trainer said it sounded like a difficult cycle. We have a new macho gelding on the place. Emma is totally smitten, but Rocky seemed to be ignoring him. Anyway, She said give her bute and if not better in a week take her to the vet.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby exvet » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:15 am

I'm almost ashamed to say it but we had a beautiful day today for the show. I won my first class with a 69 and change (training level TOC - training level test 3) and took a third in the second class (training level test 3) under a different judge. The posted score for that class was 64 and change but I should have checked before I left the show ground because my score was actually a 65.9. Oh well, live and learn. I also decided to ride open which here they pin the classes based on junior/AA/open. I was so proud of Junior. He had never shown at this venue and I didn't go school there before the show. We arrived this morning, unloaded and went right to work without batting an eye. Here are a couple of teaser pictures my riding instructor took. My daughter came and took more pictures which I hope to be able to share later this week. We have a lot of areas we need to finesse but he stepped up to the plate, no complaints.

Image

Image

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby mari » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:39 am

Lovely photos Exvet! Congrats on your results.

I'm entered for a show on the weekend. Had a lesson on Saturday, Odie gave a huge buck/kick in anticipation of a flying change, and my already delicate neck is now in a neck brace again. I'm just so completely over this, and I want to abandon everyone and everything and go hide in my mom's house.
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby exvet » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:20 pm

Thank you mari. Good luck on your show. Sorry to hear about the frustrations with the FCs and especially your neck. I've definitely had my trials with FCs and tempis with my various beasts. I'm keeping fingers crossed that when the time comes it will be less of an issue for Junior. If all the talk is correct, he's built far better for the discipline so it shouldn't be as much of a big deal or struggle for him; but, only time will tell. Hope you mend quickly.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Ryeissa » Mon Feb 11, 2019 1:33 pm

Congrats exvet

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby blob » Mon Feb 11, 2019 5:56 pm

Dressuer, so sorry to hear about your boy. But also sounds like you'll be soon making good progress to find out what exactly is going on. Please keep us updated. I know how frustrating this process can be.

Mari, good luck and so sorry about your neck. I very much relate to the feeling of being over it and wanting to abandon everything. I'm very much feeling the same way.

Exvet, Junior looks great! Sounds like a very successful show for the two of you. Looking forward to seeing more pictures!

MM and I continue to be in an awful funk. Had a lesson with our instructor yesterday and he could clearly see what a bad place we're both in. I can't seem to strike the right balance of demanding that she's responsive without asking for too much, too soon. It's making me feel like a bad rider, and worse a bad/unfair horse trainer. I'm really starting to worry about the damage that's being done to our relationship. The lesson was ok, but at no point did we really get to a good place. My plan right now is to try to have a day or two of productive/easy/relationship building work even if it's on the ground and not under saddle. And then give her a week off. After that hopefully we can get ourselves back on track.

RP and I had our first lesson yesterday. It went well, mostly my trainer wanted to see him go and see where our progress was. We worked on getting more impulsion, particularly in the trot. It was a good reminder for me that now that our tempo and contact are fairly consistent, it's time to bring in more impulsion to get more cadence and a more consistent contact. It was also nice to feel how the bigger trot led to better canter transitions. RP was a real trooper and tried very hard. He doesn't have a ton of strength yet, so we didn't go to long and gave him lots of breaks, but he was ready and eager to pick up where we left off after breaks, so that was great to see. Some pictures from our lesson:
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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:25 pm

Hi, everyone. Haven't commented in a while, tho I've dropped in occasionally to keep up with everyone. So....since December my guy has been at my old trainer's barn, 22 miles from where I used to keep him (add on another 9 miles each way to home.) A bit of a drag in terms of truck/gas consumption, plus commute traffic is so horrendous that I have only been riding him 3 days a week - usually Wednesday and the weekends - weather permitting. Unfortunately, this means, some days, having to ACE him for the safety of both of us because of the walk only exercise regime.

Now for the good news! A barn less than 5 minutes from my old barn of 30 years, a barn where there has been minimal turnover, has an opening. It's a pretty quiet place (good!) with a lighted covered arena. He will have a 15 x 18 stall (an old foaling stall) with a 15 x 40 paddock. There is no turnout, but since he can only have limited turnout anyway, the stall/paddock being large should be sufficient. The only negatives are it is more expensive than either my old barn or my trainer's place, but the difference isn't a lot and certainly more than compensated for by the fact that I won't be using as much gas. The other negative is, come good weather, I was going to seriously work on convincing him that he CAN be a trail horse. Trail access from this barn is approx. 1/2 mile away, along a paved road. Fortunately, it seems to be a fairly quiet road, so this may work, but it's not as easy access as from my old barn, or my trainer's barn which has access directly across the street with a horse/hiker specific bridle path.

Now I'm struggling to find someone to move him. I sold my old, needed too much repair trailer to someone who likes "projects," so I have a truck but no trailer. When I moved him in December it cost $100+ (to take him 22 miles, but, to be fair, I was paying for hauler's time, too), but that does stretch the budget, so hoping I can rely on friends. The phone calls start tonight. :D

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby Imperini » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:16 pm

Sorry to hear Miro's still not quite recovered yet Dresseur.

Congrats exvet on the successful show, Junior is looking lovely.

blob I feel your pain! I feel like although you're a bit more advanced than P and I are at this point our struggles are pretty similar.

Hot4Spots I'm sure it will be a huge relief to have your boy closer. Having been a a really nice barn that was very far away last year I can personally say as long as the care is good I'd rather have a little less fancy, fewer amenities, or whatever and not have to spend so much time just getting there and back.

As for Pal and I, we are doing ok. I managed to get her into a slightly larger stall/run and she has a neighbor that adores her and she pretends not to like him but she's much more settled having a friendly neighbor. We've had some funky weather with a lot of rain and even had a little bit of snow last night plus I had to go out of town last weekend so she's had some extra time off which may have actually been good for both of us. I'm trying to work much harder on my position and correcting my wandering hands seems to have done wonders for our trot-walk transitions where we used to go from trot to wobbly tortoise we now actually go forward into the walk. It's a really nice feeling. Canter is improving as well I think. We're doing a lot more of it but I'm leaving her alone for more of it. Still need to continue to increase the amount of canter we're doing according to my ride tracking app (it always seems like I've cantered waaaay more than I actually have) but we're getting there. There are certainly things I'm struggling with and some of my rides are disappointing or frustrating but I'm really trying to focus on the good things. Working to schedule a lesson with a new instructor toward the end of the week so I'm pretty excited about that too and am hoping it will be good and can become a regular thing.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby exvet » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:14 am

Thanks everyone. Blob, love the pictures. Looks like a real trier.

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby StraightForward » Tue Feb 12, 2019 4:58 am

I might have the most humble goal of this thread: have Tesla not be a complete %$^$%& twit when I trim her feet. She has gotten really naughty, to the point that when I asked for her LF tonight, she struck at me with her RF. She is trying to cow kick, and generally being a turd. Then she has moments where she decides to cooperate. The moment we move to something other than feet, she is fine. A bit of a stubborn streak, this one has! She is looking butt-high again, and as immature as she looks, I don't think she'll have a rider up until fall, at least. Maybe by then her manners with her feet will be sorted. :roll:

I didn't have Annabelle's radiographs redone when her shoe was reset a couple weeks ago, because I was furloughed from the government shutdown. She seems to be OK, and I'll have it done next time. She is just going stir crazy, and getting a little fat.

I got a call today that Obie was lame. Went out and the poor bugger is like 4/5 on the front. Weight bearing, but just. Previcox and stall rest for him. He probably just played too hard when it got icy; he's done this before, but it's disconcerting seeing him THIS bad.

On top of it, my dog had a couple masses removed last week, then tore out his stitches over the weekend and had to go into the e-vet to get put back together. Luckily, I'm able to do some teleworking right now so I can dog-sit.

So I am also in the kind of all done and over it camp.
The UDBB member known as AQHA Hunter

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Re: 2019 and Jan/Feb goals

Postby mari » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:06 am

Blob - RP is completely adorable!

I'll be in a neck brace for a few days, no riding til the end of next week. So no show. Don't even really know what to say about it. I'm fit and strong and oh-so-very careful and now I'm out again. Struggling to find my grace this time around.
The aim of argument or of discussion should not be victory, but progress. ~ Joseph Joubert


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