Goals and Progress - December

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Tuddy
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Goals and Progress - December

Postby Tuddy » Fri Dec 02, 2016 1:59 pm

Thought I would start another thread! :D

I only did a one month thread, as I am sure a few of us will be busy with the holiday season and I am thinking that the January thread will include some New Year's Resolutions.

I only have one goal this month and it is to get on the warhorse before I bring him home.

Have a great month!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Kyra's Mom » Fri Dec 02, 2016 9:13 pm

I am FINALLY going to get a couple opinions on getting my spiky tailbone removed this month. I don't know what that will bring regarding riding so in the meantime...I carry on.

I am managing to ride 1-2 days per week. Straightforward is riding her a couple days too. Per her report (we have opposite work schedules :P ) she is doing well and they have made good progress on straightness and connection.
Yesterday I set up poles on the clock. I put a pole at 12-3-6-9 at about a 18 meter circle. I had a blast working many patterns in, around and over the poles.It was a good butt day for me so we were able to w-t-c. This is the first time cantering over the poles, she was able to have a steady stride and take each pole in stride. Left lead in particular, she has had problems with keeping a rhythmic stride and then gets tense and worrried about it when she "misses". I wasn't having to micromanage to get it either. It also gave her better focus despite a sudden,short lived snowstorm and all the pasture horses running around.
She wasn't perfectly 'round' but was definitely in front of the leg and using her body well so I take that as a win.

December---off to a good start.

Susan
Last edited by Kyra's Mom on Sat Dec 03, 2016 6:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Chisamba
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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Chisamba » Sat Dec 03, 2016 1:23 am

Well, my goal is to maintain the training in both my mares despite the extra work i have taken on. I have taken to riding my mares last and so if i am really tired i skip them. Goal for this month is not to do this, ie , not too skip them. I have set up a rotating riding schedule so that they are not always last, and even if i so low pressure fun rides, i do want to keep getting them out.

We are doing more poles , low jumps and gymnastics so that the work indoors does not become souring.

I would like to be videoed riding twice a month to continue analyse and improve myself.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby vkitty » Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:13 am

Walk under saddle 20-30 minutes daily, no arenas. (rehab). This is harder than it sounds due to weather (wind, deep muddy patches) and the typical activity going on during our usual early morning ride time. A few minutes of relaxed, free forward walking feels like gold!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby exvet » Sun Dec 04, 2016 3:01 pm

Well yesterday my daughter and I took the two stallions out on a trail ride off property. We had a few minor glitches which were easily and quickly overcome; so, for a virgin voyage it all went reasonably well. It started with Mr. Stang not wanting to load but the magic carrot took care of that in short order. Then Mr. Stang didn't want to be mounted; but, a mounting block took care of that as well. He took mountain bikers, joggers, dogs on leash and horses jumping in an arena and calling out (horse show near the trails) all in stride - no spooking at all. He loaded up like a champ when it was time to go home. Plans are to rinse and repeat over the next several weeks. Now that I've ridden him enough to get that under our belts AND have put at least 250 or more pounds on his frame, he now gets to have his Christmas present early - I'm calling tomorrow to see if my friend will come out and geld him ASAP. The flies are no more and he's in better health and I've had several weeks to ride him; so, we'll be looking at the next step in our progression to a useful life.

Stinker pony is progressing ever so slowly but still progressing. Building strength while maintaining some semblance of suppleness is really our nemesis. We are looking forward to a lesson in two weeks which we hope will give us a better gauge on our progress. He's such a funny fellow and a typical pony. He's coming 15 this next year but you wouldn't know it.

I think when you get screamed at even when it's not feeding time but it's a demand for attention, it's a good thing. Junior seems to be wanting to have more interaction. I've been ground driving him about once a week with decent results. I think now we're going to really focus more on true long lining and work in hand. I'll be interested in seeing his reaction with regards to attitude as the work gets harder more than anything else. Weather, work, and real life will dictate how much of these things I'm able to accomplish but having the opportunity for hope is always a good thing 8-)

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Josette » Sun Dec 04, 2016 5:01 pm

Mr. Stang is certainly cute and looking good! He sounds very smart too. Some Christmas present! :lol:

Flight - I just saw your CC video on the other post and it was lovely! What a beautiful country side and course. Your guy was so well behaved and looked like you both had a great time. :)

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:27 pm

My December goals are kind of nebulous, because what I'm working on won't necessarily have a linear progression.

For M - steering has returned, but I want to keep making sure that I'm not letting him stiffen on the left rein. He finds the work that he's doing easy, and I want to keep it happy and light, but following his nose is non-negotiable :) I also want to start getting him over some small, and I mean, SMALL cross rails. There is zero agenda or rush on this, I just want to be able to keep the work varied for him. Right now he's walking over cavelleti, and trotting over singles. So, I want him trotting over a few and then going from there.

For my lessons on G - my goal is to be able to consistently be able to count lines of 4's. (3's are not an issue for me). And hopefully, HOPEFULLY, start working on 2's. I was able to do a few the last lesson - and once I got into a rhythm, they weren't bad, BUT, they were not necessarily being controlled by me.

For myself - keep exploring a "softer" position, one that is more nuanced. I need to separate my back from my shoulders at will so that I'm not a solid driving force all of the time - this will help in making sure that I can ride the necks longer. But, when I soften my back, I can't let my shoulders roll forward or start breaking in the waist. So, how to be one piece, but supple, not stiff. This will undoubtably go beyond December :)

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby khall » Mon Dec 05, 2016 6:10 pm

I usually take December off, but I went to a clinic last weekend with Jillian Kreinbring and had a fabulous time! I really enjoyed her teaching style and substance. So excited that I found someone to work with.

The unfortunate problem that has raised its ugly head again is my big guy is snorting and not comfortable in his upper respiratory/throat. Very evident this past weekend, he was quite distracted and bothered by it. So have set up a scope for him again. I had the vet take a look at him just a couple of weeks ago, but did not scope at that time. Have been treating with nasal spray per her recommendation, but it is not helping at this time. Not sure what is going on but want to make sure the pythium has not come back. Despite this issue I was really really happy with the big guy. He is giving me half steps very reliably even on the lunge line! Got some great information from Jill on work in hand and on line to continue with this work with Rip. Though I will probably just leave him to sit until we can figure out what is going on medically.

Gaila his sister needs more work, so will concentrate on her for a bit now and get back going with their dam, Gallie. I also am going to start playing with my youngster Jo the Lusitano. She will be 3 in February and I will get her lunging and understanding some ground work, plus will get her used to tack. I have put Rip's saddle on her (it is a Black Country hoop tree for the big guy) and it fit. Hard to believe this young filly who is a hand shorter than Rip and not even 3 yet can wear such a wide saddle. ugh

Have a great holiday season everyone!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:30 am

Damn, I'm enjoying riding my big black horse at the moment :)

That's my update :) :)

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby KathyS » Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:36 pm

We've been showing Intro B & C this summer, and Breeze has done well scoring in the mid-upper 60s. We rode thru Training 1 the other night, and it went better than I expected. We need to work on cantering thru the corners and coming down to a nice trot. After we canter, her trot gets a little quick. Last night we worked on establishing a nice rhythm at the trot and being able to bend her both directions. Then, we picked up the canter going into the first corner, cantered thru the 2nd corner, 20m circle at B, then canter thru the next two corners and come down to a trot. Re-establish the nice trot for a lap around the ring, then pick up the canter again.

For me, I need to sit more to the right and let go of the left rein. :) We've worked on me trying to remember to step down in the right stirrup more often and sitting to the right side of my saddle even though I feel like I'm sitting way too far to the right. I need to remember to make a correction, and then let go. I need to not try to hold her in position.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Chisamba » Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:56 pm

My horses think that they are smoke breathing dragons at the moment. Cold snap after unseasonably warm weather. Kimba was passaging ( no , I did not ask) with her tail over her back and literally looked like smoke coming out of her nostrils. M ran to get the phone to take a bit of vid, and in the time it took him to get back, she was trotting again, lol.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Imperini » Fri Dec 09, 2016 1:28 pm

I was going to wait a little while to join these threads but I'll join now. My lovely new horse comes with auto changes (they are at least clean unlike a lot of other auto changes I see), so my goal will be to work on some counter canter. I was supposed to have the saddle fitter out yesterday but she came down with what she thinks is the flu so we had to reschedule for the weekend. Hopefully that will end with us having a comfortable saddle then we can really start diving into things. Pal really seems to enjoy working, so I'm pleased with her attitude in the arena so far.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Ryeissa » Sun Dec 11, 2016 1:40 pm

I'm happy for you Imperini

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Flight » Mon Dec 12, 2016 10:19 am

I was hoping to really work on my little horses flying changes this month, but he's been soooo lame. I thought it was an abscess given how it came on suddenly without anything obvious, but nothing has come through so I've got vet appointments booked later in the week. Plus it's gone so hot hot hot and I really dislike riding in the heat, so not much is happening for me this round!

Imperini, your new horse sounds great!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Ponichiwa » Tue Dec 13, 2016 1:27 pm

I'm back in, and I'm back on my pony after some rain and work travel.

Here are my goals:
- As always, salads. Soups are an acceptable substitute if brothy enough. Seriously, I want to lose 5 lb this month and to fit in my dream boots that I haven't ordered yet.
- 15000 steps/day.
- Ride 5x/week.

What I'll be working on with Kiwi:
- Suppleness, especially on the left side. This always disappears after she's had some time off, so we'll just regain that ground we'd lost due to work travel.
- Back to the changes. They are occasionally, uh, creative. I'd like to get us to reliable series of changes (if not tempis) by January.
- Cadence in the trot. The tempo is consistent, the energy is consistent, but without the suppleness (see bullet 1) the cadence is lacking. So once we get more reliably in both reins and pushing off both hind legs, then I'll see if we can add some cadence and expression.

It's going to be a good month.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:54 pm

I have been quieter lately, but I am in!

We had two challenges lately:
1. First hoof abscesses in nearly a year. Cleared fairly quickly and not that surprising between prolonged drought and then sudden heavy rains.
2. We've moved! We are now at an eventing barn with a much more active boarding and competition scene. While it is not my discipline, I think I will like the energy and activity. The hacking is also excellent at this place, which I think she will enjoy. The head trainer is off to Florida shortly, but I think she might be a good resource in the future, as she is skilled with sensitive types and eventing dressage at those high levels requires some tact! Emi is acting at home, so that is a good thing.

Winter is usually more about maintaining than progress for us, but now that I have consistently felt the canter than can do changes and extensions, I would like certain things to become routine. While routine changes are probably off a few months (I still pick the good moments to do them, so that they are correct), I do think routine expression in lateral movements and routine buoyant rubber band exercises are reasonable. I will report back!

Mostly I just want the little mare to settle into and enjoy her new place. I admit to riding her on the day that we moved. Why not? This is life, my dear :-) She was a gem :D

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Dec 16, 2016 5:46 am

Just working away here. For the last month, I have been taking two lessons a week, with me warming up, trainer getting on for 20 minutes and then me getting back on. Our trot work has improved exponentially. We finally have a decent half halt and an extension worthy of the name, his shoulders have freed up, his back is up and he's been a joy to ride.

I've been doing the canter work because trainer is tiny and finds my saddle cripplingly uncomfortable to canter in. The canter work has been coming along very well in my view with the improvement in the trot work. Improved straightness, collection, just about ready to start changes--I can feel them in there.

So last night we thought we'd up the game and we'd put her saddle on, and she'd do the whole ride and do the canter work too. (I can't remotely ride in her saddle, I think its a 15.5... I'd have to have it surgically removed. )

Yikes. So not a success. Talk about giving her the middle finger. I don't know where it came from, if it was the saddle fit, the way she rides, the fact that she's tiny and doesn't have as much weight to throw around as I do or that he was concerned that I was abandoning him, but my sweet boy turned into an obnoxious pretzel. (You know that thing.. you go to pick up a canter and suddenly the haunches are right there next to your inside knee, rather than behind you where they are meant to be... When I first got him, it was his evasion of choice, it really is quite disconcerting but I haven't had it rear it's head in probably a year.)

She's a capable, patient and intuitive rider, so I can't blame her lack of skills. He just said "Nope, not doing it for you, sunshine."

So, I rode him tonight, and he was a good boy. 2 brief pretzel instances, but when reminded that it wasn't acceptable and to put his butt back where it was meant to be, got over it immediately and willingly gave me some very decent, very straight work. Trainer was watching and acknowledged the difference, so it isn't me being anthropomorphic.

So I guess I'm going to have to ride him through consolidating his changes... which will be interesting for both of us...

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby StraightForward » Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:00 pm

Well, Pickle was deposited at the trainer's place on Monday. It was a relief to get her out there safely (~120 mile drive) before this winter weather set in. It's snowing now and highs will be in the teens this weekend, so I'm not riding Susan's mare either. Obie apparently wrenched his left hind fetlock on the ice, so he's getting bute and no turnout. I think my only goal is to go see Pickle once, and maybe get 2-3 rides in on Kyra bit before I leave for DC. Otherwise I'm on a break until spring and need to focus on finishing my ankle rehab and shedding the 10# that's crept on since I sold Maya last year.
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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Dec 16, 2016 9:24 pm

piedmontfields wrote: We've moved! We are now at an eventing barn with a much more active boarding and competition scene. While it is not my discipline, I think I will like the energy and activity. The hacking is also excellent at this place, which I think she will enjoy.


I'm at an eventing barn too and LOVE It overall. I love the cross training and Riot is a good jumper, just deciding how much to do in 2017.

I'm doing a whole lot of NOT MUCH due to the intense snow alternating with cold. However, retail therapy has been helpful and I got some new bridles, blankets, show stuff.

I keep saying i need to do more workouts, too.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby exvet » Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:51 pm

Mr. Stang is now ready to ride again after his gelding last Friday. Was able to get a lesson yesterday, The first in three months. Rode stinker pony and was very pleased with how well he did. Was given some sage advice on developing better Piaffe and it worked. I got the head nod [meaning acceptable] on the full canter pirouettes too..............so happy......................Turned the colt, stinker pony and Mr. Stang out in the arena today for the first time (altogether). It was interesting to watch the dynamics. All is quiet now and it's clear stinker pony will step in whenever he thinks the colt and Mr. Stang are getting too rambunctious LOL. Not sure how much riding I'm going to get over the next couple of weeks, hopefully more than I anticipate.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Sue B » Mon Dec 19, 2016 4:29 pm

It's cold. When it's not in the single digits and/or blowing into the negatives (and I mean farenheit, not celsius) then it's snowing/raining covering the ground in a sheet of ice. I give up. :evil: Both ponies are fine although Rudy wishes it was warm again. Yesterday we had no wind at all and had beautiful sunshine, and so even though the high was 15, it felt warm, Rudy soaked up every bit of sun he could. Tio, otoh, loves this weather, still has no blanket (bad me) and still won't run for shelter even when it's blizzarding! Goofball. The only time he uses the shelter is in the summer when the gnats are bad. :lol:

Hey, sf, did you send Pickle in my direction?

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:48 pm

Yep...it is cold and my riding...or anything else horse related has ground to a halt.

Getting to the barn can be treacherous and takes longer than normal. Between that, work, and my parent's frequent mini-crisis (plural), horse time has been very limited. I have seen her. She is resplendent in her new poppy red blanket. We will just call it our early winter break...which hopefully won't become a early, mid and late winter break :P .

SueB..yes Pickle has made to your neck of the woods. I don't know how things are going but she did make it there in that nice 2-day stretch of sunshine and clear roads early last week.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby StraightForward » Mon Dec 19, 2016 10:35 pm

Kyra's Mom wrote:SueB..yes Pickle has made to your neck of the woods. I don't know how things are going but she did make it there in that nice 2-day stretch of sunshine and clear roads early last week.


Yes, she made it Jerome last Monday. Brad texted me this morning and said she's doing well and they're just doing ground work, getting an idea of where she's at.
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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Dec 20, 2016 12:00 am

Stay warm everyone!

I rode mid-day today and saw 6 horses being worked over the time I was at the barn. That is no big deal to you, but I never used to get that level of activity at my old barn. I like it! And Emi is being very good getting used to everything. We worked a bit hard today as she was very up with the nippy weather. I like that energy!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Flight » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:12 am

I've slacked off. Little horse is out with a ?tendon injury for at least the next 4 weeks, it's hot, I don't have any comps particularly coming up and I've been busy at work. So I'm relatively horsey boring

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:54 am

I got the most perfect, perfect, uphill, straight, clean, no drama, flying change yesterday.

Just working a bit on the collected canter and it felt like the right moment to ask. And apparently I asked the right way.

I think I get it now.

This is probably going to sound dumb, but I discovered that the change very clearly happens after the aids, not at the same time as the aids. It's kind of "duh," but it was a little unexpected, and a lightbulb moment that you have that beat in between the ask and the result, and you need to set it up and let it happen without fiddling about. It's more like jumping a fence than anything else.

More playing with it tomorrow evening.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:14 pm

Awesome update, Mountaineer!

Moutaineer wrote:This is probably going to sound dumb, but I discovered that the change very clearly happens after the aids, not at the same time as the aids. It's kind of "duh," but it was a little unexpected, and a lightbulb moment that you have that beat in between the ask and the result, and you need to set it up and let it happen without fiddling about. It's more like jumping a fence than anything else.


Thank you for writing this out. That is exactly what it feels like to me. And it explains why I am better at changes when I "let them happen" than when I try to "make them happen"!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Sue B » Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:43 pm

This is probably going to sound dumb, but I discovered that the change very clearly happens after the aids, not at the same time as the aids. It's kind of "duh," but it was a little unexpected, and a lightbulb moment that you have that beat in between the ask and the result, and you need to set it up and let it happen without fiddling about. It's more like jumping a fence than anything else.


Head-to-desk, head-to-desk. Why didn't I think of that?!? Thank you Moutaineer.

SF, I am so glad you took her to Brad and Renee's. You will not regret the decision; they are not only very nice people but they are excellent, smart riders. And they will make sure you can ride Pickle before you take her home. :D

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Tue Dec 20, 2016 5:31 pm

Hmm. I would say that when teaching changes, yes, the change often happens after the aids. The way that I am learning to ride them and teach them, the set up is actually part of the aid to change, so that when I change my hip, the horse changes at that exact moment as well - there is no lag in ask and change - this is especially true in the tempis. So, in teaching changes, the collection becomes part of the set up, so it becomes collect (set up), collect(set up), collect(set up), ask and then wait for the horse to sort itself out. As the horse gets more confirmed, it's more important to make sure that the change happens more on your timing. The quality of the canter is hugely important, and the less strides between tempi's, the "tighter" the canter has to be so that you have a bit of a hair trigger for the response to the rider.

More on this later - I have an update. But have to go to a meeting first! (you know... adult type work :roll: )

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:34 pm

Dresseur, your remarks also make sense for the more educated pair. I look forward to your further notes!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Imperini » Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:51 am

I have managed to work a bit on getting some counter canter. The good news is she will pick up the counter canter from the walk, the bad news is she really really wants to change. We will get there though, she is trying but I think I also end up overcompensating a bit trying to prevent the change which then causes her to lose her balance. So I guess the take away so far is I have to get better too, but I do think we'll get it.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Wed Dec 21, 2016 8:10 pm

Dresseur, I would agree that level of subtlety is what one is aiming for, but I am teaching and learning changes at the same time (which is not an ideal situation, but there you go...) so getting a quality, clean change on demand is a good stepping stone while we both learn the timing.

And yes, the quality of the collected canter is absolutely paramount, and one's connection to that canter is vital in getting the timing right.

It's all in the timing. My timing sucks, in general, so I'm pretty happy we've worked this out. He's a far better horse than I am a rider.

However, in other news, you'd be pleased with how our medium and extended trots have finally come together. As my barn mate said last night, "he looks so fancy :)" He's actually using that hind end as an engine and getting his front end out of the way. I have abs on my abs.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Wed Dec 21, 2016 10:37 pm

I'm so glad that you are having breakthroughs and that progress is being made. (Glad for everyone, really!) And yes, like I said, when you are training the changes, it's definitely natural for it to come after the aid. In terms of a rider learning how to really ride changes, as well as train changes, that's a different ball game. For me, I keep forgetting to ride the canter. Or, I try too hard, which tightens my hips up. I have to keep thinking to just ride the canter a stride at a time and then ask. My coach isn't super huge on going crazy over the timing - she says that I'll get into a rhythm and will start to feel the right moment to ask, and I have to say, that's been happening.

So, the big thing that happened the last lesson is that now that we're in winter, I'm finding that Gala is in fact a bit cold backed and tight. The colder it gets, the tighter she gets wound. Not in a bucky manner - more that she pings her croup up and down instead of really undulating her back and letting her hinds come far under. So, the movement becomes more hocky instead of the hocks having action AND allowing the hind to take a full step.
So, I'm learning that I have to ride her croup down. This sounds like a bad thing, but really, that means that I have to loosen her up and keep the activity so that she comes under. However, this direction equated to me to riding too strongly in the canter. This was illustrated ten-fold when I did a pirouette, thought that I better let the stride flow for the counter canter (I have a tendency to get the counter canter very tight) and literally loosened myself and rode a bit sloppily. The whole counter canter changed. The real ramification of this sort of control was made clear later. The canter quality overall had gotten crooked and stilted. What was going on, was that I was driving the hind so far under that she was starting to triangulate in the canter and pushing the balance down on the shoulders, and therefore, into the bridle. So, the first change that I asked for didn’t happen, and neither did the next. I was able to straighten her enough to get a few changes, but not in any particular count and they felt heavy and stilted.

So, my coach and I recalled the change that had occurred earlier in the counter canter. Basically, the changes weren't working, so I tried it a different way... I softened my seat (hip joints really...) and the canter became more regular (something that has also been noted as a failing of mine- keeping a regular rhythm in the beat of the hind legs). I switched my hip, and she changed. 1, 2, 3, 4 CHANGE! - again, easy. 1, 2, 3, 4 CHANGE! I took the next long wall. 1, 2, 3 CHANGE, 1, 2, 3 CHANGE, 1, 2, 3 CHANGE, 1, 2, 3 CHANGE - it took zero effort, they were straight, and they were 100% on my aids. Mind. Blown.

SO, the lesson after - I tried again with the looser hip - and I got 2 lines of 4's and 2 lines of 3's as easily as before. 2's I was either getting 1's or getting a set of 2's then missing the count... my coach is fairly sure that I'm trying to force the change in the two's again... so next time, we're going to try for "sloppy" again to see what happens! Interestingly enough, riding this way, I'm able to make the half-passes steeper than I ever have, and with more flow.

And then, there's this. We took a few screenshots of me playing with piaffe :) I can nitpick, but overall, I'm pretty happy with this! I'm getting some control and can move her around in piaffe and passage - something that I haven't been able to do. She's a bit oddly conformed - which makes some things seem different than how they actually are, but I love how well she is under behind, and that she was very light in the bridle and active behind..
Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 5.32.33 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-12-21 at 5.32.33 PM.png (227.47 KiB) Viewed 8873 times

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Dec 22, 2016 2:23 pm

Dresseur, that is a lovely photo in so many ways! A picture of calm power. Thanks for sharing further notes on your process, too.

I am still grasping just how much canter quality and adjustability matters for changes. When the canter is really straight and rolling, changes are just there---no delay. Lately I am realizing that it is super helpful for me at this point to always think renvers for right canter and shoulder-in for left canter. I don't actually have to do that much, but the thought leads to a straightness hence throughness and voila power + options!

I am really loving our new barn home. The arena is huge, the footing is awesome, and I like seeing other pairs hard at work, too.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:25 pm

piedmontfields wrote:I am really loving our new barn home. The arena is huge, the footing is awesome, and I like seeing other pairs hard at work, too.


It's a huge motivator, isn't it, to have other people around who are serious about their work.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Dec 22, 2016 5:30 pm

Oh, and Dresseur, I'm learning the looser, more open hips thing, too. I apparently have a tendency to turn into a clothespin and that is just death for the quality of the gaits.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Dec 22, 2016 6:43 pm

Moutaineer wrote:
piedmontfields wrote:I am really loving our new barn home. The arena is huge, the footing is awesome, and I like seeing other pairs hard at work, too.


It's a huge motivator, isn't it, to have other people around who are serious about their work.


It truly is! I had been yearning for a change but had put it off. For the last 5+ years, I was riding in a very quiet environment, with few boarders and few active amateurs other than occasional people hauling in for lessons. I was a consistent rider who was comfortable working on my own, but it is a lot of work to maintain motivation in that environment. Last night, not only was I not the only person riding but I wasn't the last person riding either! (under the lights)

The hip thing is a big deal. My mare is the sort for whom I have to think "even more open hip" rather than "more leg" when I want more activity. She really reflects if I don't let go enough for her to swing and move. The clothespin image is great!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Flight » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:21 pm

Great post Dresseur. I'm a little opposite in that I'm a bit underdone with my posture and a bit sloppy, but it can be hard to find that relaxed but toned middle ground.
Love the piaffe photo! Can really see her using her abdominals and back.

I found with the flying changes with my guy that it helped when I was more definite about changing the bend and flexion and I recall Linden telling me that I needed to do this more, but I was worried about not staying straight. I guess that all fine tunes later. I do have some on vid but my riding is a bit dodgy to show publicly!
Mountaineer, yes sometimes my guy will change a good stride after I've asked, but if I've set him up well and he's listening to me, it will be on the aid. But at this stage I'm happy with any change that's clean and not a pigroot!

My big horse, I've started some counter canter - just shallow loops. He's so funny the first time he just lost it, it was almost like he was saying "what are you asking woman!!", so I started with just some counter flexion/bend. Once he understands what it is I'm asking he's fine. He's a quick learner, and it's helping his canter become more balanced.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby HafDressage » Tue Dec 27, 2016 5:44 am

Moutaineer wrote:
This is probably going to sound dumb, but I discovered that the change very clearly happens after the aids, not at the same time as the aids. It's kind of "duh," but it was a little unexpected, and a lightbulb moment that you have that beat in between the ask and the result, and you need to set it up and let it happen without fiddling about. It's more like jumping a fence than anything else.


Dresseur wrote:Hmm. I would say that when teaching changes, yes, the change often happens after the aids. The way that I am learning to ride them and teach them, the set up is actually part of the aid to change, so that when I change my hip, the horse changes at that exact moment as well - there is no lag in ask and change - this is especially true in the tempis. So, in teaching changes, the collection becomes part of the set up, so it becomes collect (set up), collect(set up), collect(set up), ask and then wait for the horse to sort itself out. As the horse gets more confirmed, it's more important to make sure that the change happens more on your timing. The quality of the canter is hugely important, and the less strides between tempi's, the "tighter" the canter has to be so that you have a bit of a hair trigger for the response to the rider.

More on this later - I have an update. But have to go to a meeting first! (you know... adult type work :roll: )


I always enjoy reading these posts and I'm not trying to start an argument, but I would disagree with Dressur about the correct timing of flying change aids. The change happens a half stride after the aid to change. This was something that I was taught to me when I was learning tempi changes by an O judge/GP rider and you can clearly see this whenever you watch people do flying changes. If you watch the first video (and I picked Klimke to avoid arguments), you will see his his outside leg (by the camera) go back as the horse is in the midst and sort of finishing the change in the other direction. So the aid and change are not totally simultaneous. Now, you could argue that the ones feel super duper quick and so it might seem relatively simultaneous, but in reality there the aid is given and then the horse reacts and it's quick, but not at exactly the same time.

If you watch this, as the horse is in the change from right to left the aids are being given to change back the the other direction and there is clear reaction time between the aid and the change. So, not at the exact same time.
The famous one-tempis:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbLXpW5-DG0

Ingrid & Franziskus @ 5:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NihRijeh0SM&t=111s

Valegro @ 5:30
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DcDLLxgWa_Y

So, I just wanted to mention that because I think it was something important that I was taught and it would be nqr to expect a horse to change in exact simultaneity with the aid.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Chisamba » Tue Dec 27, 2016 7:20 am

Agree with the above. Aid given, horse reacts. Especially important when finishing your diagonal you get to fifteen and stop. The horse has a relaxed moment to process and doesn't throw in an extra because its too electric off the aids.

Also in the vast vast majority of cases, aid is the legs, not hip. However i have long argued that you can teach a horse off any aid or cue if you are consistent enough, so I am not arguing the hip.

Even if riders think they are folliwing an instruction exactly, we are not. How we feel to the horse is unique, weight balance and timing are personal attributes, so each riders aids are pretty unique.

However no matter how unique aids are, there is action/reaction and it is not possible for the two to be simultaneous.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Tue Dec 27, 2016 11:04 pm

I would agree that perception of something happening at the time of the aid can be off. However, in the way that I'm being taught to ride the change and teach the change, the movement of the leg is a reciprocal action from the hip. The leg is not giving the aid. Also, the collection is part of the set up and the aid to the change, so at the time of the change- when the hind legs are in the air- the hip pushes the new lead through, and it truly happens with the hip movement, so timing is a big part of it. It's also what holds the counts, or starts or stops the 1s. If it was a not on the aids, you would always get one extra 1 tempi- as like what happens when I let Gala go on auto-pilot and she is no longer on my hip/back.

So often, especially when watching SRS videos, or in the Klimke vid, you cannot tell from the hips up that something is happening because the rider is not twisting and contorting. But, you may see movement in the leg, but as a result of the hip changing, not because the leg is being used to cue the change.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:08 am

All so interesting, people! I have to re-read and process and experiment and follow-up with questions.

My only change-play of late has been out in big hay fields, as the ring is soggy. They are a little wild, but prompt!

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Flight » Wed Dec 28, 2016 12:29 am

I can't comment on tempis, because I've never done them but yes it's clear that the aid looks like it's given as the other change is happening.
But there's no time between the changes.
I think Ingrid is giving the aid at the time she wants the change, it's fractionally before but not too far. I've found I give the aid in that 'down' moment, just before they come up for the new stride. I don't think anyone's spelt it out exactly when to give the aid? Or they probably have but it's more that feeling of when to give it. I did have someone say 'when they mane flies out'.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Wed Dec 28, 2016 1:41 am

Yes, there is only one time that you can give the aids for the change and have them go through, and that is when the hind legs are in the air. If you give it when one or both of the hinds are on the ground, the horse can't physically change lead until the hinds are in flight again, (that would be an example of a change that occurs after the aid is given) and then they can switch their hip, and therefore, the lead. Same goes for the half-half, you can really only effect the canter when the hinds are in flight.

Looks like we should have created a spin-off for changes lol

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby exvet » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:24 pm

Well I'm rather liking the discussion since I've been working on changes for four years with the stinker pony and they still aren't quite 'there'.....I mean they are but not reliably in the sense that I am still challenged to channel the energy into forward, straight, jumping and staying up through the wither each and every time, each and every stride......oh well...........

The good news is that I'm getting some decent riding time in that I didn't expect to be able to pull off and we're getting to get out and trail ride. Mr. Stang is doing very well. He and the studly are quickly becoming the dynamic duo.

https://pix.sfly.com/oNOTXi

https://pix.sfly.com/7TYq0r

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Chisamba » Wed Dec 28, 2016 2:41 pm

Dresseur wrote:Yes, there is only one time that you can give the aids for the change and have them go through, and that is when the hind legs are in the air. If you give it when one or both of the hinds are on the ground, the horse can't physically change lead until the hinds are in flight again, (that would be an example of a change that occurs after the aid is given) and then they can switch their hip, and therefore, the lead. Same goes for the half-half, you can really only effect the canter when the hinds are in flight.

Looks like we should have created a spin-off for changes lol


Again this is simply not true. There us a difference between what we believe to be correct, or what is correct, and what is actually true.

You could teach a horse to respond to inside leg....or outside leg... or touching the shoulder, or hip or any damned thing that you timed correctly, did consistently,

Yes you can apply the aid to change at any one of several moments. Yes perhaps if you are early, the horses response time may be different from if you are " on perfect time" or late.

I would opine that there is a more correct method to get fluid, relaxed, straight changes, but even the requirements of what a " good change" is has altered in my four decades of showing. Good straight and relaxed has been usurped by uphill and electric.

By the way, how do i know you can get tempi changes if your timing is off? I have been able to accomplish them. Nuff said.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Dresseur » Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:41 pm

Chisamba wrote: You could teach a horse to respond to inside leg....or outside leg... or touching the shoulder, or hip or any damned thing that you timed correctly, did consistently


I agree with this. Flying changes are incredibly personal to a horse and rider team, and you can teach them any way that you want to. But even here, you said "timed correctly". What I'm saying is that when the hind legs are grounded, there will be a lag time because the horse cannot physically respond at that moment to the aid for the change - whatever aid you choose that to be.

Chisamba wrote:Yes you can apply the aid to change at any one of several moments. Yes perhaps if you are early, the horses response time may be different from if you are " on perfect time" or late.

Again, I agree with this, you can apply it any time you want to, but as you said, the response time may be different - again, because the horse can really only biomechanically make the switch when it's hips are in the air.

You cannot ask here:
change.jpg
change.jpg (61.74 KiB) Viewed 8622 times

or here:
Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 2.45.03 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 2.45.03 PM.png (98.86 KiB) Viewed 8618 times

and have the horse switch it's hips at that moment, because one or both of the hinds are on the ground. Once the outside hind leg has grounded, the horse has to wait until both hinds come off the ground again to physically make the flying change happen.

So, all I'm saying is that if you ask here (however way you want to ask) (this is actually the moment of the flying change from right to left, you can see the new inside hind coming forward) then the horse can respond as you give the aid and it is more or less on your time:
Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 2.28.03 PM.png
Screen Shot 2016-12-28 at 2.28.03 PM.png (149.26 KiB) Viewed 8622 times



Chisamba wrote:I would opine that there is a more correct method to get fluid, relaxed, straight changes, but even the requirements of what a " good change" is has altered in my four decades of showing. Good straight and relaxed has been usurped by uphill and electric.

Agreed - the changes you see now are so twisted and hollow - with riders twisting and horses twisting and they are full of tension. The ultimate goal in my mind, would be to (not literally of course) be able to roll a ball between the horse's legs because the changes are so straight and so relaxed. I know it's possible, I've seen them be this way.

Chisamba wrote:By the way, how do i know you can get tempi changes if your timing is off? I have been able to accomplish them. Nuff said.
Same. I've been able to accomplish them, but in my case, it was because the horse knows more than I do :lol: :lol: But, they are getting more and more on my time, so I also know that it's possible to do changes and tempis that at least feel as though they are timed by me, and that I can start or stop any where in the count that I want to, or change the count if I want to, mid line, which no lag time.

I'm also saying that I think that it's better to teach the aid from the hip - because if it comes from the leg - you run the risk of getting swinging changes. At this point, the horse should have applied meanings to inside leg or outside leg because the horse should be doing the lateral work where outside leg back could be haunches in, it could be asking for a working piri, or a piri, or as part of half pass aids - so, if you put your outside leg back to ask for the change, instead of asking by switching your hip, why would the horse NOT move it's haunches over and start getting swinging changes. I just think that with where I'm at now, and with going through the contortions that MY body wants to take when asking for changes and what happens to the changes and even the baseline canter quality when I do those contortions, that it seems to me that it's most clear for the horse to ask for the change with the hip, and not with the legs.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby capstone » Thu Dec 29, 2016 4:11 am

I saw a horse at World Dressage Masters in Geneva a few weeks ago, in the musical freestyle, that had the most awful flying changes I have ever seen. Not just bad tempis but the single changes as well. He would dive down hard through his shoulders, throw his head and neck up in the air - basically become completely disunited. There was a huge pause between each tempi change as he sorted his body out to get to the next one.

I was happy to see that he placed last with such obvious, repeated faults. But I wondered how he got there in the first place.

Sorry - not training progress on my part but the previous posts made me think of it.

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Dec 30, 2016 10:19 pm

very interesting discussion!

My dec goals were simple: stretching trot in the middle of winter. Met that goal. i used to have to do a ton of warmup to get Riot over the back, now its "there" even in the cold

Riding 3x week: met that goal

Not worrying and being anxious: met that goal too-BIG DEAL-comes and goes.

Last year at this time i was in a really bad place with my horse spooking/bolting and I'm very pleased I have been making good choices. that was VERY out of character for him, but happy its not reoccurring again.

We have worked on forward and back trot- I don't know if you guys remember but my horse is more of a go forward type who had a LOT of trouble getting the concept of extensions in his little head. He thought that the enthusiasm/response was good (and in a sense he was "going") but not the proper "going", as we know. I learned how to further refine my seat aids and that helped. We are going more seamlessly between the types of walk and trot with no tension creeping in, or jack-knifing.

The other big push for me is having the "same horse" L and R. I am able to sense more minor asymmetries and its' very interesting.

So this is interesting as it does capture the lateral/longitudinal ideas. My horse "knows things" but things like SI were.are weebly wobbly since he is not really straight and connected to right rein. Also the lack of smoothness kills us when I ask for collection and going ahead. I needed more true push over the back.

Sounds like baby stuff, but this has been so important and my horse is really happy in this program. He isn't getting as sore and neither am I. Its truly sustainable dressage

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Re: Goals and Progress - December

Postby greenholmeshandy » Sat Dec 31, 2016 12:14 am

Well, I have not commented on other peoples comments or progress as I don't really feel I am qualified to.

I decided that my December goal was to actually "grow a pair" set some goals with my pony and stick to them so we can both progress. So I downloaded a workbook on goal setting and a 2017 diary from a New Zealand NLP practitioner and dressage rider. 1st goal is to start filling the damn thing in !

Joking apart after my very self pitying post about thinking I was developing and then deciding I wasn't I looked at some old clips and in fact we are progressing. It might be at a snails pace but pony has now got established right and left canter where as two years ago we had no canter, and we have straightness most of the time other than when falling in or out and forwarded ness.

I have a very good young instructor who spends a lot of time explaining what she is asking me to do and why so I can put this into practice when schooling alone or in competitions. This had unexpected rewards such as I ended up leading the livery yard Christmas ride which consisted of me and 8 or 9 kids and 1 other adult. This went fine, though I did feel like Granny insisting all the kids form an orderly line behind me, walk sedately down a green lane when I could feel them all desperate to have cavalry charge, ride on the correct side of the road etc.

My pony went into meltdown at one point and started her "lets shove my bum into the traffic and run off" trick which a few years back ended up with a bolt through on coming traffic. Now courtesy of the lessons I remembered to straighten her up and get her listening to my leg asking her to move her bum back over, not fall through her shoulder and keeping straight.

My riding is still not great but I sit a lot straighter and central, my arm position is getting better but I know I have to work on keeping my hands down as they creep up at times of stress which means pony tends to stick head up when going into canter and I really need to keep my heels still. I was taught to nudge, nudge ,nudge every step as a dialogue with the horse when I learnt to ride a gazzilion years ago so the concept of asking once then leaving alone if the pony responds is really hard to do.

Pony still doesn't go as well for me consistently in the school as she does for instructor, but we are having more and more moments when she does go well and in a nice outline. Instructor has said to ignore the outline as this will come last once we have straightness, forwardness, suppleness and softness, and to keep thinking ride from the backend to the front. We are working on also getting a less flat canter.

We had a scarey moment a week or so ago when I nearly came of as I was proceeding towards the arena fence at canter on a 20 metre circle right back to C and pony decided as we got to the fence line that she was in fact proceeding at gallop left towards A - naughty pony! Instructor hoped on board to try and work out what was happening - diagnosis pony ignoring riders weaker left outside leg so lots of counter flexion work.

This also lead to my realising that I wasn't using the outside leg on circles as I thought that you used inside leg to outside hand and that was it. All this has made me realise that I have read books about dressage for years without actually understanding how the concepts in the books were meant to feel or even what they were intended to achieve. I now have a very vague inkling.

Oh also learnt today that if I give with my left hand once pony is forward and listening that she softens and goes much nicer more consistently, which is interesting as instructor had spotted that I tend to fix and have a stronger contact with the left rein.

Aim for tomorrow, last day of December is to send of entries to 2 x dressage competitions and a one day dressage training session aiming at helping riders learn to cope with warming up with others in the arena in January. The idea of the competitions is just to have a jolly and get pony used to different environments. I know we wont be competitive at this stage and maybe never but it cant hurt us to try and can only help with gaining more experience.

I have uploaded clips from latest lesson and I can see that my blinking heels are still possessed of a will of their own, also I need to keep my hands DOWN in canter and have a less rigid contact. The nice moments come when I am less busy and pony is straight and softer as has flexed around my leg. I did let her drop out of canter right in a very messy way in one clip, the final clip looks to me like a nice trot at the end but maybe a little on the forehand?

One of the reasons I love this pony is that during this schooling session we had several horses turned out on the hill above the arena who decided to do hand stands, rolls etc, plus the farmer in the car park doing something with a very noisey bandsaw, several horses walked past below the arena , the chickens let out next to the arena, oh and a fire engine go up the lane with its siren on. Pony just focused on what she was asked to do, bless her.


https://youtu.be/QhVgLWflp1Y

https://youtu.be/UjS5hlvHBE8

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