More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

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demi
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:02 am

I try to keep up with everyone’s progress here even tho I don’t always comment. Sometimes things are slow on the board but other times there are so many posts (some longish) that it takes me so much time to read and try to understand, that I don’t have enough time to make a thoughtful comment.

I love the pictures. Every single one. Even the ones of horse’s ears, or pasture shots, trail rides, hill work, or conformation shots, or mother-daughter-pony selfies (loved it!), whatever. It helps me get a feel for each horse and rider, and that way, I can get a better feeling for the progress report posts. Of course, I especially appreciate the dressage work photos and vids. And we do have some very nice horses and riders that contribute.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:19 am

Rocky was completely off work for 19 days with my injury. Fortunately, we have nice big pastures so she has been on all day turnout. On Tuesday I was able to start lunging her. She has a lesson on Monday so I will at least get in 5-6 lunge sessions before the trainer rides her. Hopefully, my injury won’t have made much difference in Rocky’s progress.

I went to a physiotherapist Tuesday and will go twice a week for 6 weeks, plus doing prescribed exercises at home 2X a day. He doesn’t think the problem is in my spine, thank goodness, but I probably did more than just strain the piriformis. He thinks the bigger problem is my hip flexors. I had no idea I was having hip flexor problems but I googled it and found out that I have probably had weak hip flexors for the last 8-10 years. So now it’s a matter of first just recovering from the injury, and then building strength in those muscles. I think there is good possibility that after the PT and exercise program, I’ll feel much more solid in the saddle than I have for several years.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:58 am

Well, like Dresseur I appreciate lightbulb moments and everyday tasks. Because training is a slow process, commiseration and encouragement are both appreciated! (without saccharine drippings, but please with a touch of kindness). I so wish I had more time and horses to spend on this learning, but you all help me learn beyond my experiences and situation.

I'm just back from being out of town. It is always interesting how my mare feels after the working student rides her (I so appreciate her doing this, as Em is prone to boo boos which could be worse without attention and likes having something work with her rather than days off). Again, I had to spend some time being very mean to get her to react to my leg. Then, it was a very peaceable and forward going ride in 90+F heat! Although I didn't think it was a great ride, it was nice to hear someone say, wow, she looks good and is really motoring in trot. I also got my saddle fit re-checked/flocked after several months of riding, so I think that will be helpful.

p.s. I love that picture of Kimba, Chiasamba!

p.p.s. Cedar's results are impressive. Frankly, I would not necessarily have expected that.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby mari » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:23 am

I love the pictures/videos and updates. This is what this thread is for, for me. Getting inspiration from like-minded people, your everyday little issues, big issues, random horse care updates, breakthroughs, whatever. If there are specific training tangents, we can start a more detailed thread on that, which is also nice.

I had a dressage lesson yesterday, and a jumping one this morning. We're becoming more familiar with the dressage arena again. Geometry and straightness are much improved in just a few rides. I've ridden all trot work sitting, trying to see how my neck will hold up. And it's going okay :)

It's amazing how the different warm-ups for jumping vs. dressage affect the rest of the ride. Dressage is a solo lesson. We spend the first few minutes in dominatrix mode, a million transitions, really sharp backup with the whip if he's even a little delayed in responding. The rest of the ride is then much easier and I have to work less hard.

Jumping is a group lesson though, and we do typical showjumper warm-up. So a lot of trotting, followed by a lot of cantering. While we do quite a bit of lateral work sometimes, we do none of the repetition of transitions that Odie actually needs. So throughout the course of the lesson I have a much stronger horse (because he likes jumping), but not a very reactive horse.

His "duh" boy brain really needs that sharpness and intensity at the beginning of the ride. If he has even a few seconds of being allowed to go into cruise control, he switches off.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:14 pm

demi wrote:I think there is good possibility that after the PT and exercise program, I’ll feel much more solid in the saddle than I have for several years.


Firstly I hope you continue to feel better and better, it's no fun being in pain. I just wanted to comment on this bit because holy cow I am experiencing this now. Because of the gradual building of my physio exercises and the awareness of the muscles that are being worked with each exercise I'm now not only stronger but more aware of my body while I'm in the saddle than I've ever been before. It's quite amazing to me and it probably shouldn't be because it makes sense but that's often how simple things that make sense go when I finally understand them. Anyway the main point is I've gained far more from this than just preserving and managing my hips.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Ryeissa » Fri Jun 15, 2018 8:31 pm

To each their own, these threads are what you need them to be- moral support, goal updates, or daily journals.
I am someone who writes notes after every ride, however, here I don't post personal stuff (I would if it was closed/un-public). I don't mean to hide anything, it's just the online world is not very safe....

So, all that said, I jumped Riot, and I got over my mental hurdle about it, and I was convincing enough not to look like total beginner! So that is my big update for this round, I have made a lot of progress overall, particularly zeroing on the lack of marching in the TOH as we prep for third level. It's trickl to ride the proper % of hand and leg on a sensitive horse, but we are getting there. We are now "graduating" to full turns!

I always get annoyed when I have this romantic fantasy about summer being so fantastic, then the weather sucks just as bad as winter (and where I live it's BAD WINTER). Hot, stormy, etc. Having a mental pep talk about setting myself realistic thought patters :) I must allow a certain % of time for these things. I aim for a certain # rides per month, however, in these cases I move to thinking of total mins worked per week- Ie- if one ride was short I try to add some time other days, as it makes sense.

Also have a good range of events this summer- HJ schooling shows, clinics (HJ and dressage), as well as dressage shows. We don't have as many USDF shows here so I have to mix and match, plus it's fun. Why not?

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Hot4Spots » Fri Jun 15, 2018 10:46 pm

It's June 15th, and we are still walking, walking, walking. We get to trot the equivalent of four long sides of a dressage arena (in our case, 4 times up the driveway) every other day. Sigh. However.....my farrier died. Nice guy, reliable, a little strange (aren't they all?) but good with the horses, a Civil War reenactor, maintained his 30 year old horse. So I contacted a guy I used to use who is a very good farrier, but "went on walkabout" as far as shoeing my horse and many others - he was having family problems, and that's when/how I ended up with the gentleman who died recently. So new/old shoer comes out and shoes my horse per his current shoeing (w. egg bar on the injured leg), but says to barn trainer, that he didn't think that was the optimum shoeing to help the horse heal and he would talk to me about a change. He says that when he has shod horses with hind suspensory injuries, he has usually done it not with an egg bar, but with a shoe that is more toe weighted. He suggested that I take my horse to a veterinarian who "has had very good luck" treating such injuries and who is also a farrier. That vet is about 90 miles away, but whatever. While my vet is local, she is affiliated with a clinic 80 miles away, so.... I've contacted the vet he recommended and am waiting to hear back about appointment availability, etc. ('cause I'll have to take time off work and we have two people out right now).

Now I'm just wondering, and perhaps some of you can weigh in - I don't want to alienate my local vet. She's good. I like her. She's reliable and prompt on appointments. At our last appointment, she said she was considering a cortisone injection for him, but hesitated because she thought it might make him feel TOO good and he'd play up and perhaps injure it further..so we discussed, perhaps, fluphenazine or resperine if we went ahead with the cortisone. Anyway, what is the most diplomatic way to deal with this? Perhaps just call the main clinic, and say, seeking another opinion on TREATMENT (we know what the diagnosis is), and just ask them to send this other vet the records/ultrasounds? Or should I talk to the individual vet directly and tell her what I want? Aaargh. After going on three years, I just feel the need to do SOMETHING different, but again, I don't want to step on any toes. Thoughts? (Also, vet/farrier my farrier suggested is Martin Gardner (Northern California). Anyone have any input there? I see other vets using him as a reference, in that they interned with him, which seems on the positive side, and my farrier says he's seen quite a few success stories.)

Just to end with, as my BFF on the east coast says, I am my horse's advocate, and if local vet gets huffy about it, then whatever, I need to do what I need to do. But any suggestions about the best way to handle this would be appreciated.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby heddylamar » Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:03 pm

I rode Maia today, after battling a mystery lameness since May 3. I had the sports medicine vet out 17 days ago, figured out that, yes, I was correct, she jacked up her back and hind legs when she messed up her knee. She was inflamed enough that I hauled her to the hospital for joint injections. The shots worked great on her hocks, but she was seriously uncomfortable in her back. The vet concluded it was a reaction to the magnesium in the SI injections, so bute and antibiotics for a few days. She's mostly sound now -- just a bit off in the R hind -- and the vet wants me to give her a few days of light work to see if it improves.

Let's just say this horse has cost me more in lifetime accumulated vet bills than her grandma and mom combined :roll:

Anyway, today's ride consisted of "go forward, not sideways" and "no, up is not a gait" with a bit of "no, bolting is never the answer" :lol: She felt fine under saddle :D

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Sat Jun 16, 2018 12:15 am

Image

Image

Rocky on the lunge this morning. Before and after hooking up the sidereins. I think the sidereins are too long, but because she had almost 3 weeks with no work, I didnt want to put her back too quickly. Tomorrow I'll shorten them.

It's difficult to lunge and video at the same time but I'm glad I did it so I can see where she's at.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby DJR » Sat Jun 16, 2018 3:08 am

I had such a busy work week that I did precious little riding. I managed to ride this evening, though.

First I rode Sawyer, the large pony QH gelding that I'm tuning up for my daughter. His feet were trimmed today and I found him ouchy on the gravel driveway but fine on the grass and in the sand ring. He's a very inverted boy, but he shows moments where he lifts his back and reaches ... and then, wow, he has a nice trot that peaks out for a stride or two. I'm going to ride him tomorrow with my beloved coach as she's here for the weekend and will see what tidbits she will have to help me with him.

Then, after dusk, I rode Mr. Jet, who also was trimmed & reshod today (fronts only). His feet were out of balance and so I had a discussion with my farrier, showed him the x-rays, and asked him to gradually bring Jet's feet a bit more upright (think Friesian instead of Saddlebred!). Just today's trim made a big difference under saddle. I also had him adjusted by the chiropractor two days ago and I think that helped, too. He felt really nice, and even gave me a surprising medium trot that I wasn't ready for!

I ran out of steam for Panache so he'll wait until tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the new filly is a week old today and absolutely a joy. I fall in love with her more every single day. I really hit the jackpot with this combination of Hano & Shire!
formerly known as "Deanna" on UDBB -- and prior to that, as "DJD".

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:09 am

Hot4Spots, I'd think any half decent vet would at this point understand your need to have another set of eyes on him. I think I'd approach it as "I know it's unlikely to be a miracle cure but at this point, I've got nothing to lose by having someone else look at him, and maybe he will have an approach we haven't considered."

If she has a huff, there's not a lot you can do.

Best of luck, anyway.

I'm showing tomorrow afternoon. I must be nuts. It's about a million degrees here and the winds have been howling for days, which makes both of us squirrely. But, we are as ready as we can be, and we've had some really good rides recently. We appear to have finally cracked the medium trot, which may not sound like much of an achievement to some of you, but has for some reason completely eluded me until about a month ago... I need to go set out my show clothes and go to bed!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jun 16, 2018 4:26 am

Hot4Spots wrote:Just to end with, as my BFF on the east coast says, I am my horse's advocate, and if local vet gets huffy about it, then whatever, I need to do what I need to do. But any suggestions about the best way to handle this would be appreciated.


I think medical professionals, including vets, should be used to patients seeking second and third opinions, and not be offended. In this case, I would just say that your new farrier works with this particular vet and recommended he see your boy before he changes up the shoeing strategy.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:18 am

I wouldn't be comfortable having a vet who didn't like it if I got 2nd and 3rd opinions, because I'd feel like they were more concerned about their own ego than my horse's health.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Imperini » Sat Jun 16, 2018 1:23 pm

Hot4Spots I think it's a great that you're seeking another opinion and as mentioned medical professionals should be okay with that because their concern should be for your horse's welfare. Since it is the suggestion of your new farrier who wants to make changes I think StraightForward has a good approach and since it sounds like you've worked with this vet for a long time regarding this issue I might make the effort to speak with her rather than just the clinic.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jun 17, 2018 11:37 pm

Three weeks until our first show (not counting intro at a tiny league show last fall). I wanted to do T3, but it’s not offered with the opportunity classes, and I’m not a big fan of T2, so we’ll probably just do Intro B as a warmup, and then T1.

Annabelle fielt absolutely super yesterday. I’m getting a bit of the feeling that I can ride her hind legs under and power up a bit. She is also staying much more steady in the contact. I wish I’d had the SoloShot set up, but a very beginner lesson was going on and I didn’t want to be intrusive or make him self conscious. Today it was raining and I was sharing the small indoor with a lesson, so we were pretty much stuck on a 20m circle. However, I got the rail for a few minutes and got some nice SI at the trot. We also attempted some W/C transitions and got pretty close a couple times. Need to start schooling that at least 1X a week to add power. Trot lengthenings are a little elusive, so some extra power would come in handy. I think she was a little tired today from yesterday’s big effort though, and less inclined to move very forward in the confines of the indoor. I’m now on the Denver Metro and won’t bbe Home until late Friday night so she’ll have five days off, and one day to prep for our lesson next. Sunday.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby heddylamar » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:20 pm

Yesterday's ride was a significant improvement over Friday's :) Maia started off doing her ironsides impression, graduated to curling ... then happily gave me
lengthenings, and typical not so happy collection :lol: We're still working on gracefully re-collecting. Between heat and a month+ off for her, I kept the ride short.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby DJR » Mon Jun 18, 2018 1:50 pm

I had another dressage clinic weekend with my beloved FEI instructor. As usual, lots of good stuff to work on. Yesterday, with Jet, she introduced counting exercises in anticipation of canter zig-zags in the future. It was eye-opening! We did 8-count LY from the wall to quarter-line (or thereabouts) and back. First just the lines with changes of bend, then adding LY to it. Holy moley, it happens fast! And we were just trotting it.

Overall, I'm feeling "unable", though. I keep wanting to get to my goal (riding a GP on a horse I've trained). I can see it and feel it and imagine it. But so much keeps getting in the way. Nevermind the fact that I'm busy with a full-time professional career, a hobby farm, and I'm a single parent with no relatives anywhere close to give me respite. I struggle to keep Jet in shape, and to get myself in shape. I just joined a "6 wk challenge" fitness program to hopefully kick-start me back into a healthier way of managing. I keep trying. Then days or a week go by and I haven't ridden for all sorts of reasons.

Having typed this out, I can hear the sage advice now. Things like "lessen your load" (how? what gives?), "you've accomplished a lot" (yes I have, sort of), etc.

Maybe it's just a slump. I dunno. I'll keep soldiering on.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Mon Jun 18, 2018 4:12 pm

I have to go back and read everyone else's posts, but for now, I wanted to get this all out before I forget!

As I mentioned in my last post, I was taking Miro down to Andrea's. For some reason, I was inordinately nervous about this outing as Miro has not been off the property since I moved him, and he was not really back in work when I moved him - so I had no idea how he would react to a new ring and new place other than that I know he settles immediately as long as there is hay in front of his face.

In any case, I had no need to be nervous. He walked in like he owned the ring, as if he had been training there all his life. Didn't look at a thing. He had a bit of sparkle - like a dude walking into a new place and flexing his muscles - so there was a bit of positive tension about him that just made him light up and feel better than I've ever felt him. Also, he let me drive - it's almost as though he withdrew a tiny bit and said I'm cool as long as you got this - which will be great for showing lol.

The big changes:
We changed the bit. I'm curious as to what happens when we get out of the honey moon period because he felt amazing. He was started and trained up to now in a normal thickness, single joint snaffle. But, what I was increasingly aware of was a stiffness in the way that he was holding himself, he wasn't heavy or anything - I just had a sense that he wasn't totally letting go. So, we tried a normal thickness french link - not the bean. Immediately, I felt that was the feel that I was looking for - soft in the neck and out to the bridle - his whole neck felt longer and for a dude with a huge, almost stallionish neck, that is a big deal!

We pushed the bend. He's doing the lateral movement, but while I would get the displacement, the bend was not great. I'm not asking for a 3rd/4th level bend, but I do want him to give a bit more than what he was giving. Some of this was my technique, I was letting him hang out a bit rather than taking the quick hh and letting go. Some of it was him - it's easy for him to disconnect and just slide body parts around. So, we asked for more and he grudgingly gave it. I'm going to be on him like a hawk about slowing down - because that's what he wanted to do when I asked for him to give a bit more, but we let that go for right now to give him time to adjust. By the end of my day 2 ride, we had a respectable half pass in both directions (center line to the wall - using every bit of that to make it over ( in other words, forward first, then sideways)).

We tried the counter canter full loop. I have not schooled that since his injury last year. And at that time, he was still hit or miss... half the time he would swap up front. Again, my technique was to blame, as well as his natural tendencies - but mostly me. A year of me figuring out how to ride the counter canter lead to a counter canter loop in each direction that was solid as a rock, as though he's been schooling them this whole time.

I'm absolutely thrilled with him. He felt solid, he felt strong, and while he had a bit of a 'tude on the 2nd day, he did everything that I asked of him and didn't get sulky. I have some video, I just have to see if it's usable. My friend said she kept forgetting to keep him in the view finder because he was being so fancy :lol:

Ok. the vids. And I'm showing the bad and the good in here. And please, no comments on the other rider in the ring.
The trot and hp work, this is baby baby hp: https://youtu.be/9ZL5tVCjlk8

Walk/Canter - he was a bit wrangly at one section in this canter https://youtu.be/QzbLlifsoCc

counter canter and then ending on some trot. I love the canter at the end of the diagonal - that's where I want him all the time. You can see a few times where I chuck the rein at him to encourage him out. The end trot he was tired, so I kept it very short. https://youtu.be/584CaqRsUG0

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Last edited by Dresseur on Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:36 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:12 pm

H4S, I am a veterinarian, and I have no problem with referrring to others when need be. The only time i get a little "huffy" is if the client doesn't discuss it with me first. Be up front with your vet so she can gather the information the other veterinarian may need; keep her in the loop so that she can help locally when you need also.

Yesterday, after church, I ran out and sprayed in and around my arena to kill the weeds before the rain came, and so I did not get to ride. Every time I'd sneak out to saddle up another thunderstorm appeared and I'm scared of lightening. I did ride Thursday thru Saturday though during which time it went from 90* down to highs in the upper 60's/low 70's and rain. Definitely NOT complaining. :lol: Both horses were good to ride. Tio worked on h-w-t-w-h transitions and ly off the 1/4 line as well as down the long side. Also worked a little on t-c-t. When things were going well, we played in the hay field, practicing going up and down a gentle grade in a balanced fashion in the walk and trot. Rudy worked on, as always, staying long in the neck and staying in front of my leg. Recently (can't remember for sure but I think it was Saturday a week ago), he spooked at something during a beautiful working trot, slammed on the brakes and whirled 90*. While I did not lose my seat, he did it so fast that I wrenched my back pretty good at L1/L2 such that I had to make him stop for a bit while I regained the feeling in my legs. Soon as I got feeling back, I really put him to work with a number of rapid fire transitions and such. He actually responded really well to my fit of pique, which goes to show I am probably still too lax in my training on a daily basis.

This past Saturday, both he and Tio were little snots, with Rudy being down right obnoxious. After a few whirls, 1 bolt and a couple runs backward, I got off the little guy and had a ctj moment with him on the ground. If you coulda heard me, you would've thought I was abusing the poor animal, but in reality, I only yell and do not get physical. That way I can let off some of the steam that has built up while still, theoretically, being effective in his training. The minute his expression changes from punk stallion to innocent baby, I change as well, from crazed idiot to sweet trainer and start with the real work in hand. My Rudy is is like the little girl with the curl in the middle of her forehead..."when she was goood, she was very, very good, but when she was bad she was horrid." :lol: At any rate, I did hop back on and just worked him through 1st level, making sure his responses were prompt and correct, then we took a relaxing trip down the road. Tio, otoh, was just spooky at first, without all the drama Rudy expressed, and he quickly settled into working. Don't know why my two horses were such ding bats that day--could it have been my friend came by with a very noisy goat while I was tacking up? Maybe it was the thunderstorms building in the west, or maybe it was me.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby heddylamar » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:37 pm

Sue B wrote:I got off the little guy and had a ctj moment with him on the ground.


I do this with Maia and she gets all apologetic "oh no lady! I'll be good now!" And she sucks up for head rubs.

It works, and no horses or humans are harmed :D

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Jun 18, 2018 5:53 pm

So we went to a show on Saturday! Our first "real" show in 18 months. We did 2nd level 1 & 3.

We were pretty tense. The weather was cooler and really windy, the arena is surrounded by blowing trees, a bank with bobbing heads behind it (a Ragnar relay race going by in the road,) pens full of horses all down one side, and, apparently, a judge's stand FULL of gremlins that he needed to protect me from... We powered down centerline to a good halt at X with me feeling pretty good about the whole thing. The he spotted the creatures in the box and backed up sharply for a 5. We wobbled our way to X, spooked violently, and things got a bit chaotic, which caused me to forget which test I was doing, with subsequent bobbles and an error of course, and a few more goodly spooks... However, we made it through with a 61 and change, which I thought was generous under the circumstances, but apparently the good bits were pretty good and we had a point spread of 8s to 4s How in the hell do you get a 4 for a rein back at C with a double co-efficient, no less? Here, let me show you.. :)

So next time out, we had a really good look at the judges box, all the people in it, the banner on the front, the horses down the side, etc, etc, before we started. He was still tense and giving it all the hairy eyeball, which, combined with my own stupid show nerves, didn't do anything to improve the quality of our ride, but we made it round without anything dangerous happening, and ended up with a 62--yet again a broad point spread.

Examining both test sheets and reading the comments, the poor scores are tension related or dumb stuff like too much or too little angle in the SI/ travers (depending on which test--I obviously overcorrected!) We had no "needs more impulsion" comments, which was a goal for the day (but I think may be where some of his tension is coming from and we need to work through that.) And the only geometry comment (another goal for the day) we had was because I realized we were doing the wrong thing and had to do a major course correction :) My nerves caused some less than stellar riding on my part--poor fellow doesn't respond well when I get to rigid butt and shoulder clenching. We need to get out more :)

All in all, I'm actually pretty happy with how the day went.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Tue Jun 19, 2018 1:42 am

I added pics and vid in my Miro update, but this post is for the project mare! She at the point where she is now being worked for a few sets in the round pen. A few minutes of trot each direction and 2, maybe 3 canter transitions. She appears to have a huge capacity for learning, I'm incredibly excited about where she finishes out. She's being longed off the cavesson, but is wearing a bridle at this point, as well as a saddle. Her movement is much, much nicer than we had hoped for. As she gains mass and muscle, she is really changing. Her eye is kind and she's never panicked, even when unsure about something, so while sensitive, she seems to be incredibly sensible and she thinks through things.
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Tue Jun 19, 2018 12:53 pm

To get back to everyone else - and I apologize if I miss anyone!

DJR, I wonder at where you find all the energy sometimes! You have a lot on your plate professionally and personally and I admire all that you accomplish! I can commiserate with the slump - I think that no matter how passionate we are, we all go through it from time to time. In those times, I usually stay in that space until something comes along to break me out of it... a new feeling, a new movement or exercise. But in those times, I have to force myself to get to the barn and then I hate myself for feeling like that. But usually, if I just keep making myself go, it gets better again. And to make myself go, I give myself small, incremental goals that sometimes have nothing to do with riding - maybe it's mane pulling or grazing or something that puts less pressure on myself. When I'm there, I usually find myself riding. In any case, you have obligations that can't be lessoned...so, no major advice... just. I get it.

Mountaineer, congratulations! That's so exciting and it sounds like you managed to reach some of your goals despite the nerves and tension. It will keep getting better!

Hot4Spots, a 2nd opinion is fine and in this case, expected IMO. Other posters gave excellent advice in how to maintain the relationship with your vet as you proceed - good luck!

StraightForward, Demi, Heddy and all the others who are in the soup and working on the day to day things, keep the updates coming!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Tue Jun 19, 2018 2:49 pm

Progress is good on this board, and it’s obvious that even though the bad stuff happens, things have a way of turning around to the good again....if we hang in there.

Dresseur, Miro is looking great. The mare, too! I can see why you are getting excited about her. She can really step under herself with that hind leg! Thanks for the eye candy.

Mountaineer, thanks for the show report. I was worried about you on Friday night just thinking about the heat ( about a million degrees! That’s hotter than Texas) and the howling winds, but you came through!

Hot4Spots, I hope you get a good second opinion. Maybe getting the new (old) farrier is a blessing. I am not riding from an injury, but I think in the long run, it’s a blessing, if it helps me to figure out more about my own body.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Tue Jun 19, 2018 3:34 pm

Moutaineer wrote:We need to get out more :)


I think that's one of the major sinkholes into which so many resources disappear on the path leading to the upper levels. There's the cost of the horse, maintaining him, and all the lessons, but another major expense (time and money) is about getting out to enough shows so that both horse and rider can demonstrate something close to what they can do at home.

Boarding at a busy barn helps, as does trailering out to different places for lessons and clinics, but at least with some horses it does seem that it's almost impossible to expose them often enough.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Tue Jun 19, 2018 5:46 pm

Demi, and today, I sitting here in jeans and a sweater, feeling like I don't have enough clothes on... life in the mountains!

Thanks for sharing your video, Dresseur--it's very interesting to watch your progress. He's just a rubber ball, isn't he?

Yep, Kande, I think you are correct. But, I think it's probably me that is more of an issue than he is. I think part of it is that he is just such a fancy looking horse that I feel people have greater expectations of us than we can fulfil, which is a bit stress-making in a public arena, whereas with Walker, everything was a win, and cute points abounded... I know, in the abstract, I shouldn't care about what other people think, but of course I do!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby DJR » Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:29 pm

Dresseur wrote:DJR, I wonder at where you find all the energy sometimes! You have a lot on your plate professionally and personally and I admire all that you accomplish! I can commiserate with the slump - I think that no matter how passionate we are, we all go through it from time to time. In those times, I usually stay in that space until something comes along to break me out of it... a new feeling, a new movement or exercise. But in those times, I have to force myself to get to the barn and then I hate myself for feeling like that. But usually, if I just keep making myself go, it gets better again. And to make myself go, I give myself small, incremental goals that sometimes have nothing to do with riding - maybe it's mane pulling or grazing or something that puts less pressure on myself. When I'm there, I usually find myself riding. In any case, you have obligations that can't be lessoned...so, no major advice... just. I get it.


That helps more than you might realize. Thank you!
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Wed Jun 20, 2018 2:42 am

Gosh, DJR. I love riding. But there are still times I have to force myself to just get on.

I compromise. I jump on bareback and hack. I tell myself that ten minutes of walk is okay for today. At times once I'm on my normal routine asserts. At times I walk and get off.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby kande50 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:53 am

Moutaineer wrote: I know, in the abstract, I shouldn't care about what other people think, but of course I do!


What's ironic about it is that by the time we truly do get over caring what others think, we're too old and tired to want to go to shows, anymore. :-)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Josette » Wed Jun 20, 2018 12:02 pm

DJR - Dresseur said it best. Enjoy your daughter and your horses while you pursue your riding goals. You really do have an awesome energy level. :)

I love my pony and riding him - even during those times when he was the most challenging. We have made huge progress and have really bonded which is a very high priority for me. My riding goals are to improve my equitation and progress with his training. Riding itself for me is a combination of physical and psychological therapy. As an older rider I take longer to warm up especially if I have days off. So I force myself (weather permitting) to ride - even if I only ride my trails. I feel very focused when I ride and find it very relaxing - unless we have a spooky ride. :roll: I simply want to ride as much as we both are still able.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Wed Jun 20, 2018 3:36 pm

DJR, I probably shouldn't tell you this, but I'm gonna anyways! :P My ds is almost 16 now, started high school last fall, active in all sorts of stuff. For some crazy reason, I thought that when he reached teen years I would have more time to ride, some how forgetting that with middle school and high school there comes a gazillion more extra-curricular activities that I have to drive him to and from. Now I totally love our windshield time (great conversations) and I thoroughly enjoyed attending all his and his school's events, BUT it really cut into my time with the ponies. Knowing this was a time with my son I can never revisit made it easy, however, to pet the horses and promise them that "next year I would ride more." I write this, in part, because he just got his driver's license thus independence--makes me sad and happy at the same time. :D Hang in there!

On the riding front, I did ride last night and, even though the boys were quite full of themselves, they were also very well behaved. Every time I ride, Tio gets stronger and more responsive. Unfortunately, my farrier broke his finger very badly so I either have to find someone else or wait to get him shod, and so no jumping yet. Rudy was fired up last night such that, once he realized he couldn't fake the si, he engaged his hind end, softened his back and gave me some very nice rubber band work without ducking, or curling. He is so much fun when he's on it. Maybe when I get back from Nebraska, another kid thing, I'll take the time to video. Anyway, we head out early Saturday morning and will be gone a week or so, then I have a clinic over the 4th. Wish us luck!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby heddylamar » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:54 am

In one of these threads someone commented about a "following seat" -- thank you!! That stuck with me, and seems to be a far more effective mantra than "shoulders back."

Walk, canter, and sitting trot are good, but when posting trot, I anticipate and am perpetually ahead of the horse. I kept telling myself to "follow" today, and I started to sit back :)

Anyway, Maia was a handful again today. We had a CTJ conversation over the mounting block, then a repeat of the curl-don't curl (solved by lateral work), improved lengthening, followed by a rather abrupt collection :lol: , and a disastrous attempt at cantering :D Yikes. Legs every which way!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby khall » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:03 pm

My update is more medical than training wise, though touches on training. Hauled Rip and Gaila to the vet yesterday for his scope and a look see at how he was moving after last time and putting him on adequan. Dr. Dan was very happy with both his scope and how Rip is moving. He is showing much better articulation behind than in April. So either the adequan is really helping him or his new training regime is helping or a bit of both. Regardless my jaw just about hit the ground as I watched him jog out I was very surprised. So yeah! I know his trot is feeling better, stronger now to get the canter back a bit been concentrating on the trot and lateral work in it that canter has suffered a bit. It's hot as hades here right now so having to work judicially.

Gaila has had trouble with abscesses this spring. One last shoe cycle and one this shoe cycle that did not want to clear up. She is still tender to hoof testers on the LF from the abscess so she is on the disabled list for 2 weeks. I swear she knew I was going to send her off to the cowboy!

My filly still delights me to no end. I put the wavy bags on her the other day to lunge and she is just so good. My good friend who had boarded with me until we lost her sweet gelding last year to broken leg came out to watch. My filly and he were good buddies so my friend has a soft spot for Joplin. She was just mesmerized by her movement and how easy she is to work with.

Dresseur glad Miro was a good boy! He is looking good. DJR I think we all are in awe with all you have on your plate. You've done a great job with Jet, don't sell yourself short. SueB understand the kids are only with us for a short time, horses will be there when the kids are gone. Our DS leaves for college in August, my DH and I will be empty nesters. We leave 6-30 for what might be our last family vacations.

Stay cool all and happy riding.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:09 pm

Mountaineer, yes, he is in fact a rubber ball :lol: That is why training him has been a bit of a challenge. I gave him 2 days off to fart around after he worked so hard and when we went back to work, he thought that we would be resuming our regularly scheduled program of, "I don't really need to bend." So, the first ride was a bit of damage control. When I asked him to give me the amount of bend we had found over the weekend, he thought that it would be a really good idea instead to not give me any haunches in or move off my leg at all going right. He thought that it was incredibly unfair that I had something to say about that. I broke it back down into little steps and had some nice moments by the end of the ride. The second ride back he was back to being on board and we had the bend I wanted, and were able to do nice baby hp and in the canter, do a counter canter loop in each direction in the smallish indoor. Then, because it was dusty, I took him outside for his end trot set. It was also raining and I figured that would be character building since shows don't stop for rain :lol: In any case, I'm incredibly pleased with the shape I have and how he's using himself.
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Another update that I've been remiss in giving...some of you may remember me talking about Charm, my student's OTTB that had proved to be a huge handful. We had gotten a diagnosis of kissing spines and treated last summer and then worked him very carefully on the longe over the winter. We retook rads as we noticed him moving more and more comfortably and the spinal processes are actually pulling back apart due to the muscling! In any case, we've had to approach him with zero tolerance for pushy behavior, we've built him up on the longe, and started riding him (with someone holding the longe) in the very early spring. My student has done a lionshare of the longing and as soon as I felt that he wasn't going to do anything profoundly stupid, I started having her in the saddle as I longed them. Those pony rides have progressed to short stints off the longe, and now to whole rides off the longe with nary a peep out of the Charm-boy. She had her first solo ride (meaning me not being there and watching everything like a hawk) and he was fantastic. I'm cautiously optimistic at this point that he will turn into a solid citizen! I'm sharing this with her permission. I can't convey how huge this this because he was one that I was worried about getting on due to the behavior he was exhibiting.
https://youtu.be/KU8jfvCtY80

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby greenholmeshandy » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:23 pm

As spring follows winter a post from Dresseur is inevitably followed by one by me...My update is that we have semi defected from dressage to show classes, I have been competing in Mountain and Moorland ridden and in hand classes. I have found that Shandy is much more forward and therefore much rounder in a ring full of other horses. My son who is 13 and therefore as wise as Solomon believes it as she is happier and feels safer in a big group. I am still dabbling with dressage but have been suffering really badly from nerves, so much so that I decided not to turn up for the last competition that I entered. I went to a show, did the inland and ridden classed and then decided to stop on the way home at the dressage show and I was far less nervous as too tired to worry! Pony looked a bit surprised when I dropped the ramp at the dressage venue to see that we hadn't arrived home but dealt with it with aplomb. We came out with nearly exactly the same score as the last few dressage comps - 63%, each time I do something daft, last time I was so busy arguing with pony about left lead that we actually cantered on top of the white boards (flat plastic ones), this time I had a reader I coldlnt hear so was so busy shouting "what?" that I forgot to pick up canter...So I am learning that showing is easier and fun, dressage is less stress if I don't take it so seriously. The real issue now is I desperately need to lose some weight and get fitter as I cannot keep going in canter etc as get too tired to easily. other lesson is that Shandy probably is pony of a life time as she didn't bat an eye lid leaving home at 8.30 in the morning, traveling for an hour, doing showing, traveling for another hour and doing dressage then back home and out with her buddy.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:30 pm

Greenholmes, what a lovely picture! I love the coat with his color, and I'm glad to hear you are having fun. As one who suffers a great deal of show nerves, I can commiserate. I think it's hard to not take it seriously when everyone is SO SERIOUS! :lol:

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:51 pm

GH, She looks great and you just made me nostalgic... when I still lived in England I had a nice show cob. I really enjoyed showing her at riding club events, much less pressure, even when we had to do an individual show! I miss those classes here. And I think a lot of us here get you on the show nerves thing. BUT, I think the dressage training can only help to create a winning show horse.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:53 pm

Dresseur, Charm looks very good!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Flight » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:41 am

So many great photos and vids to see! Miro's looking amazing as always, and it's so good to see/read your journey with him and get the detail behind it.
Mountaineer, great that you got to go to a show! Any pics? Entertaining read and sounds like you survived and did a great job :)
Greenholmes, lovely pic! Yes dressage can be so serious, that's why I secretly prefer the eventing scene :)

So, I did a couple of sessions with a 'buggy' whip and it did help a lot. We didn't miraculously become Charlotte and Valegro, unfortunately, but he just got the hint to be a bit more active and was able to do the transitions better. It's a balance between getting the energy without getting too much tension and losing the rhythm etc.

I'll have to do some vid of canter piri's. They are really hard for us, he is improving but I think it's going to take some time for him to be strong enough. Added to that, I haven't ridden them before either, so I'm only going on what I think is feeling right.

https://youtu.be/ke7FJgxNfoE

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Sue B » Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:36 pm

Flight, I am so impressed with Ding and how he has progressed these last few years. You must be very pleased with him and yourself. Wonderful.

GH, I am happy for you that you are finding ways to feel more connected to your beautiful pony. She is indeed a horse of a lifetime and you are so very lucky to have found her. Kudos for hanging in there and finding the fun in riding.

Moutaineer, glad you made it to the show and that it wasn't disastrous. :lol: Sometimes it is so hard to ignore that awful voice in your head that tells you people are judging you negatively. I try really hard to remind myself that i am just not important enough for folks to give a fig about me or my pony and that the vast majority of folks are just happy to see their fellow riders out there enjoying their horses.

Nothing really to report on my ponies except that i let one of my employees ride Tio last night in hopes that she'll ride him while I'm gone. Tio was perfectly obnoxious but very sweet at the same time. She would ask him to move, he would crane his head around and plant his feet. :lol: Eventually, the two of them sorted things out and he trotted around the arena very relaxed and swinging. She is what I would call, an advanced beginner, so it was nice to see him not take advantage in a way that could cause her harm. He also allowed her to occasionally balance on the reins or flop around out of synch without getting upset. If she did puppy paws and locked her elbows, he'd start flipping his head to remind her to have following arms, and if she nagged with her legs, he'd go slower and slower until either she or he stopped. :lol: After awhile, I hopped on Rudy and did rude things like trot and canter right at them or pass too close, or one time I even made Rudy bump into them from behind, and Tio was foot perfect. He is going to be a wonderful play/show horse--I have GOT to get him out there!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby musical comedy » Fri Jun 22, 2018 5:17 pm

Flight wrote:https://youtu.be/ke7FJgxNfoE
So impressive!! I know so many of us would get this only in our dreams.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Rosie B » Fri Jun 22, 2018 6:50 pm

Flight - well done. How old is Ding now? 9? You've done a tremendous job. I can't wait to see your continued progression. Thanks for sharing. :)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:15 pm

Ding looks fabulous! And you look great, too, flight. I love that Ding looks so freely forward even in the highest of collection. If he looks this good now, I can just imagine how good he’ll look as he reaches his full strength.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:20 pm

GHS, thanks for sharing the pic of Shandy. It’s really quite lovely, and even more so because you’ve shared the journey with this board, and I know how much of yourself you’ve put into her.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:29 pm

And once again, I am impressed with Miro. In spite of the lay off, he continues to look stronger and in better self carriage with every picture. I like how he steps under himself. I might get flamed for making the next comment, as I am only a bunny, but Miro’s way of carrying himself has a lot to do with how you’ve trained him. I see a similar quality of self-carriage in pictures of Andrea’s horses. When the rider/trainer has good self-carriage, it shows in the horse.
Last edited by demi on Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby demi » Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:42 pm

I am lunging Rocky in side reins 4 X a week, for about 20 minutes. She looks good as far as how she is moving and how her body is developing. She is getting steadier in the bridle, and her rhythm is also steadier. I’ve started to do trot lengthenings on the lunge and she is understanding what I want. Just 3-4 strides and then back to working trot. After reading about RosieB’s recent experience with lunging, I felt encouraged about my own lunging. It’s nice to see what’s going on, and I am able to make corrections and give praise more easily when I can see (as opposed to relying on my uneducated sense of feel) what she is doing. I hope to be back riding in a week or so, but I am thinking about keeping the lunging going once a week or so because it is working so well.

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:15 pm

So many awesome updates.

Flight, I'll just say that I remember when you were sharing Ding's "exhuberant" changes. Now look at you!!! So exciting :D
Mountaineer, getting 8s is quite the achievement! I suspect your future is filled with some awesome show performances.
GHH, I love that you did a drive-by show and moreover are finding great ways to enjoy your beautiful pony.
Demi, I really like the look of Rocky (from your lunge photo). I hope you are comfortably back in the saddle, soon.
Dresseur, you have a lot going on! I love the look of your young mare. How is her temperament? I think Miro is really evolving---and my god his shape is not easy (compared to WB shape). Well done. The TB project looks very happy, too.
DJR, I know getting more things done in a day than 98% of people is probably not enough to you. But there truly are cycles to life and timing. Your horses are still doing so well and it is lovely that you can share that joy with your daughter.
Khall, glad your herd is mostly well (sneaky Gaila! Hope the abscess is soon resolved).
Heddy, I like following the redhead updates! I am doing some revision of posting trot techniques these days, too...

As we approach the end of the month, I'd like to report that I actually learned something by auditing the S. Von Dietz clinic. I need to open my hip angle even more and support my seat even more (at least sometimes)! I had the best trot work *ever* from Emi (sitting and posting) last night, thanks to some changes inspired by the clinic. I really explored where I put support in my seat (including being extremely light in the sitbones during the warm-up). Em seems to really like me to be even more on my thighs than usual with just a touch of upper calf. If I do that, she just gives her back and goes! I think because I spent years correcting my fork seat (I used to be a very nervous rider), I forgot how to lighten up!

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Dresseur » Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:36 pm

Demi, I hope you don't get flamed for that comment! I'm very happy with the comparison lol!! And yes, left to his own devices, he would go very differently, it's been a challenge. Almost more so than with a stiffer horse.

Flight, Ding looks super, you're doing a fantastic job and I'm loving watching you guys progress from afar.

Piedmont, I read through your clinic notes and just haven't had time to respond in full - but there are a few things that made a lot of sense and some things that I'd like to try just to see what it feels like. In terms of the mare's temperament... stellar so far. Very easy to work with, learns easily, doesn't panic. She's got some baggage from the previous training - ropes flung at her etc for desensitization, so she's a touch on the sensitive side, but that is getting better and better. We think she's going to be fun to keep around for a bit because she's one that looks like she'll just get better and better with time and training. (I mean they all do, but she looks like she has a natural aptitude for the job we're asking her to do.)

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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:13 pm

Flight, Ding sure has progressed, you must be so happy with your progression with him. I sure hope i can show a video of Kimba progressing similarly over the next couple of years! well done

Greenholmeshandy, some horses really do prefer working in a crowd. and i agree your coat is a lovely color

Mountaineer congratulations on your show experience. Well done on managing your show nerves.

Khall, so glad that Rip is doing well, be it both the treatment and the new work, its great to hear.

Demi and Rosie B, i am one who agrees that longing well is a very useful tool.

Piedmontfields, i also enjoyed your notes from the clinic. some of the exercises sound interesting.

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Chisamba
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Re: More Leg! More Leg! - May and June Goals

Postby Chisamba » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:16 pm

Kimba and I are working on simply being more expressive in her gaits, and being able to transition through different stride lengths without changing tempo. Also suppleness, which is i suppose a life long thing. In actual exercises we are improving your walk pirouette, working on better X in our half pass in trot, and have finally improved our counter canter enough for me to consider working on flying changes. i think perhaps it may be time to introduce a few half steps approaching piaffe. I think it would be a good exercise for her ( self deprecation intended here) to quicken her hind end. ;)

I cannot really afford to show this year, but we went to a schooling show to try out second level. It was not horrid although the 20 counter canter half circles were not great, and she got a bit sassy in the one simple change at B. I tend to have a mental block about second level so i was okay with just managing to keep it all together.

I am trying Deneb in a bitless bridle. as a young horse she had some dental issues, and they were resolved, and her last set of x rays were normal, but i wondered if some of her recent aggression had to do with that jaw and tooth and decided to try a hackamore. I am beginning to feel as though nothing works long term on this mare and perhaps she is just a horse who will never be happy


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