Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

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Moutaineer
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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Moutaineer » Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:22 pm

It's funny how often I read these updates and nod my head that yes, this is what's happening to me, too. In this case, it's Dresseur and Chisamba ringing that bell!

I think Kimba and Laddie have been on the phone to each other.

He's been an exceptionally heavy and rather miserable and unhappy ride for the past couple of weeks. He's a generous soul on the whole and with the benefit of hindsight, I think I've been trying too hard and it's been sucking the fun out of it for both of us. It's also been stinking hot and unpleasant, so having bailed on the show last weekend I gave us a few days off to regroup (and I needed to get some other real life stuff sorted out, too.)

Last night it was cooler, and he came out fresh and happy, light in the hand, balanced and using his hind end. The angels sang, and I rode for 25 minutes, and got off while I was ahead...

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby khall » Fri Jul 13, 2018 5:39 pm

Well I had a go at the T C SF transitions. Rip was like you want me to do WHAT? Like Flights it was a bit all over the place initially but by the last two each side he was so much smoother and holding his line. What I found difficult was asking for the C transition while in SF seat position (a bit of a learning curve there) and it was harder to get the T transition from my seat because again I was in SF position and not my usual seat position. For T from C I square my seat, kind of hard to do that from SF! But we both figured it out and it ended up riding nicely. The spurs are helping me tremendously with Rip making him so much easier to ride plus he just came out to work today which I appreciated very much.

I know, no pics and no video, I just cannot afford to fork out $750 for a soloshot and my barn help has quit so now I am out riding by myself all the time. Ah well, had an absolutely lovely ride and then had to tend to a sick foster dog.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby heddylamar » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:31 pm

I spent half of today's ride wondering why my horse was intermittently lame AND trying to leap out from underneath me, and there I was with no oh-shit-strap. Yeah. Silly mare. She was anticipating the canter from the moment my butt hit the saddle. Once I figured her out, we worked well.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:03 am

I did the first thing that I can credibly call a hill day today since last August. W/T/C. And just because he felt good I experimented with laterals... SI up and travers down in walk. He had no issue with this. Because of that I am going to add lateral work on the flat in trot and canter now.

I am probably going much slower than an experienced rehab trainer. But I am not going to risk him not wanting to work with me by over-facing him. I will probably be riding legs away for a while more just to be safe.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:04 am

20180713_195823.jpg
This is how Titan wants to go if he is not upside down
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He wants to curl if I can get him to yield at all

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I would like him to be more out.
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He has all kinds of stiffness and self protective responses. He is gaining weight and getting sassy.

Kimba and I have had better days. :(

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:28 am

Chisamba wrote:He wants to curl if I can get him to yield at all
He has all kinds of stiffness and self protective responses. He is gaining weight and getting sassy.
I don't think the curling is a problem at this point. I don't worry about that issue. This is a big change for this horse, and I'd be happy with what you are getting. He looks to have a bit of a thin throat latch poll conformation which predisposes to being extra soft to the contact.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Sat Jul 14, 2018 12:41 am

musical comedy wrote:
Chisamba wrote:He wants to curl if I can get him to yield at all
He has all kinds of stiffness and self protective responses. He is gaining weight and getting sassy.
I don't think the curling is a problem at this point. I don't worry about that issue. This is a big change for this horse, and I'd be happy with what you are getting. He looks to have a bit of a thin throat latch poll conformation which predisposes to being extra soft to the contact.


I agree, I am content that he will soften at all. When we started he would yank the rein if I took any contact. I am still longing twice a week. Light hack once a week and behaviour modification once or twice.

It is a big change for him.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Kirby's Keeper » Sat Jul 14, 2018 1:19 am

Chisamba, considering what his previous job was and the short time you have had him, I think he is looking great. My mantra with a couple of students lately is "Ride the body and the neck and head will sort themselves out." By balancing and straightening his body in his correct tempo he will stop holding his top line and go to the bit. I think he is very handsome :-)
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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:47 am

Chisamba, I think Titan looks good in the pics. To nitpick, yes he is a little curled but in such a short time, I would be happy with that, especially if his go- to posture is upside down.

I rode today and Kyra had her radar in search mode. She still isn't over her BFF moving (it has been 4 months :roll: ) so she was looking for her as soon as she set hoof on the track. She was lonely and calling. It is just funny as all get out. She tries to stifle it as she knows I would rather she not do that under saddle so it starts out this squeaky, squeal thing that finally ends in a funny little whinny. I have deemed it a squiwhinny :lol: . The first time I asked her to halt she was like trying to keep a wet noodle straight. When I tried to just get her to stop and stand, OH...you must want me to back up...will warp 2 do? NO...just stop and stand. So the first part of our ride was just to sort out the work ethic. It was there, we just had to have our please wait for me to ask you to do something discussion, AGAIN. I am sure we will have it over and over until she is over the Rainbow bridge. She is a very alpha mare when she wants to be.

Once that was sorted out I got some lovely rein backs...when asked for and our lateral work, we did shoulder-in--to volte--to haunches in. Her alignment feels quite good and she kept the tempo and forward with very little leg. Leg was only really needed to keep positioning so I was quite pleased with them. She feels more centered and even in the reins in the new bridle although it might be the exercises we have been doing. Since it is all at walk, I do short little spurts of collected or lateral work then let her into a free walk on a long rein. She has a nice pure walk so I am trying really hard not to muck it up.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Sue B » Sat Jul 14, 2018 3:39 pm

Susan: I'm glad I'm not the only one who's horse over thinks the halt! :lol: The other day rudy gave me some lovely reining-style (but at a walk) spins intertwined with backing up all because I asked him to stand still and then do 1 step of tof. I finally had to hop off and show him from the ground. He was like, "Really? That's all you want?" Goofball.

Dresseur, I hope you find your way out of your slump soon. Maybe chalk it up to summer heat doldrums.

Chisamba, that's what Rudy does. As his training advances, I try my best to keep my hands quiet and address his head carriage with seat and legs. Obviously, I'm not that good at it, but I am slowly making progress. It is very rewarding when a horse like that finally just takes your hand gently and confidently.

Heddy, jingles that your mare is not lame and quits her shenanigans.

Moutaineer, I can't wait for this heat to break too.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:05 am

20180715_010155.jpg
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Today was lovely. Hot but a pleasant breeze. Only about 90 F. Kimba and Titanium went nicely.

Wierd photo attached because I like it.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Borrowed Freedom » Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:56 pm

:oops: I know I haven't posted in ages but things have been so busy recently between work, riding and dancing.
So Delilah is officially starting to offer flying changes when asked, my trainer has had us playing around with starting to get her to do flying changes for a while now but generally up until now she would change her front legs then after cantering about half of the arena then change her back legs. In a previous lesson, she started changing front and back legs together but would throw a buck in (Delilah's favourite thing to do when uncertain is buck). Earlier this week she offered a proper flying change from right to left and I'm not sure which of us were more surprised. Wednesday she got worked on by the chiro so in my lesson yesterday instead of jumping as originally planned we worked on her changes in the big arena. I've actually also decided for the next few weeks we are working in one of the two jumping arenas as she tends to associate them with galloping so tends to start out explosive, and I want her to realise that fly leaping is not the way to get a gallop. Luckily she tends to only do one leap and then settles when she realises all that leap does is get drilled in walking in a relaxed frame without leaning :P

I definitely need some new pictures of her working, her trot is becoming stunning and her canter is also progressing well. We started asking her to stretch in the canter a few weeks ago and she really got the idea of stretching down without leaning or running off in the canter

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jul 15, 2018 6:55 pm

That is a neat photo Chisamba - Kind of ghostly.

I had a really lovely ride on Annabelle yesterday. The day before we did a lot of canter work, so I decided to go off by ourselves in the indoor and do some lateral work. Never even got to a canter, but she was feeling really lovely and soft in the bridle, and we got some nice LY and SF/SI. She is pretty good at hitting a 3-track shoulder in though it's lacking the collection and weight shift that we'll need to work on over the next couple years to show it at 2nd.

My Lauffer reins also arrived from the UK yesterday, so today was a lunging day trying them out. I forgot to bring the spare bit/headstall since her bridle doesn't lend itself well to being used with a cavesson, so I used the side rings to attach the reins and we got some nice work. I can see the wheels turning on how to pull herself together to get a better T/C transition within the confines of the SRs (which are not tight). I already had a set of Vienna reins that attach between the front legs but A) Annabelle will sometimes drop and curl and then leap in the air in a way that made me worried that she could catch a foot or knee in the slackened reins and B) I think the side attachments encourage a better overall outline.

So now that we are kitted out, I'm planning on lunging and doing in-hand work 2x a week.

Next Saturday we're doing a small schooling show - I've signed up for T1 and T3. It should be a lower-pressure environment and will be good for me to get out and ride more tests.
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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Mon Jul 16, 2018 6:57 am

I had another ride today so a good day :D . She was still distracted and looking for BFF but our discussion about work ethic was not as long as the last ride. Once we got a couple laps of walk, I put her to work and worked walk-halt-walk in position to join in the fun everyone else is having. I did leg-yield..head to the fence first just to get the gist of the exercise without having to worry about bend and letting the fence assist me to keep from pulling on her face. She felt like she was stopping nice and square and was able to move off promptly. Then we went to SI and walk-halt-walk in SI. She did quite well although her strike off after the halt was a little harder for her...basically just a little 'stuck' but once in motion was able to carry on the SI. I did do them on the rail for a little assist. I also did a couple SI--renver lines which went well.

Her rein backs were very nice and marching. I tried some half steps and that wasn't working today. She had added tension in looking for BFF and she just got stuck and started stamping ants...that is what my last instructor called it. With her Iberian heritage, I prefer to call it flamenco dressage :lol: . So with that, we scrapped half steps and went back to the lateral work. That had a much better effect in turning her negative tension back to positive. I would ask her for a walk-halt-walk in position and when asked her to straighten and fed out the reins, she promptly went down and out in a nice relaxed free walk.

Straightforward may be able to give her a few rides while I am off for surgery which would be nice to keep the good work going.

Chisamba...neat picture. I have a couple of Kyra that were 'normal' pictures and the photographer photoshopped them with an antique background. Kyra looks like she is materializing out of a mist. I had to get a couple of those and get them framed.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Dresseur » Mon Jul 16, 2018 1:15 pm

Chisamba, I quite like Titan. He looks like a fun guy.
Borrowed Freedom, nice update! Changes are always exciting and a huge milestone in a horse's training.
Kyra's Mom, I hope you heal quickly from your surgery. It's very cool that you can have StraightForward give a few rides so that all progress is not lost!
StraightForward, to up the ante on your lateral work, you can try a little forward and back in the SI and do transitions from trot/walk or trot/halt in the SI.

I feel like I'm over my slump. I had some really nice rides at Andrea's this weekend, including one on one of the horses that was featured in Paul's book, Nature, Nurture and Horses. I've had the pleasure of now riding 2 of those horses - which is fun because I have seen all four of them as foals and have been able to follow 3 of the 4. In any case, I'm looking forward to following along as the feel changes in this horse - it will be very educational for me.

Miro is trucking along, lateral work feels really good and appropriate in terms of balance and bend etc. HIs left lead canter feels amazing, and he's understanding what I'm asking in terms of small collections. We even did a bit of our first very large working piri and he felt like he'd been doing it for months. The right lead canter is lagging -it wants to be pingy and a bit ratchety. In terms of the look - the right canter looks better on the longe, but to ride it is a different story. So, I'm working through getting those to match a bit more. He's doing the lateral work, but the mini-collections on that side don't have a smooth feel. That being said, when I do haunches in with him or SI or that part of a working piri, everything smooths out. Which I think has to do with what happens with the left rein in those movements... meaning, he lets go a bit. When he gets stuck in his canter-in-a-teacup on the right, and I send it out, he wants to leap, so I'm anticipating some antics when we do get to the changes - particularly the right to left change strikes me as having a great change of being a flying leap. So, yay!

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby khall » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:07 pm

So I tried an exercise today that Cedar recommended to me to prep for changes, trot, canter, trot, CC, quarter line around the arena. Sometimes true canter on short side, sometimes CC on short side. Just depended on when I did the transitions. Next will be to do more lateral work in the canter in addition to the SF T, C transitions I was doing the other day. HI in canter and HP in canter, get him moving more laterally in the canter. Cedar says it is easier for a horse to change from true to CC, I had not heard that before. Would make them stay better balanced.

He gave me a couple of off steps today, never felt that before but I believe he hit himself in counter SI behind. I am not using back wraps now. I got off and looked at him both directions and could not see anything. Got back on and did not feel it again. Hoping nothing is brewing. My filly showed up yesterday off with pounding digital pulse LR. Farrier could not find abscess, so wrapped with poultice and she looked sound today. We are wet again after having some dry hard ground. Farrier is seeing a good bit of abscesses this year. Gaila popped one RR but was never lame.

So some jingles that my horses come sound and stay sound. Dang feet and abscesses, never had issues like this before with these horses, sigh.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:05 pm

It was very hot here again today and Kimba took a couple of off strides too. I got off and longed her a little to see and then gave her the rest of the day off. I too am worried she us brewing and abscess and its jystvten days to the clinic.

I did some longing on my new trainees, Karma and Titanium. I've decided again, that it's easier to ride than it is to longe well. I spiral in to put the horse more into the outside rein and slightly more balanced, and then spiral out to stretch long and out and over the topline.

Kimba knows this well but these two, its going to be a longer road, shall we say.

Love reading the updates even though I did not comment individually on each.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Sue B » Mon Jul 16, 2018 11:11 pm

Still working on Rudy standing still when asked too. It involves slow-motion spins, sideways walking, a little running backwards.....Through it all I try really hard to not react (unless he is in danger of tipping over), ready to say "yes" the moment he plants all 4 feet. It's the gnats that are causing these fits; he knows that so long as he keeps moving they won't cloud around him, and so if he sees or feels 1 gnat he begins to spool up. I worked on this issue in the middle of the day, when it was 95*, no gnats and few biting flies. I waited until I was done schooling him and we were just walking down the road. Twenty minutes later, success! I think I know why some of these international-level horses are not made to fully halt on the center line. Nonetheless, I think that a well-trained mid-level dressage horse should be able to stand quietly whenever and where-ever its rider wants. So my poor little sports car of a dressage horse is having to re-learn this simple task.

Tio, otoh, finally got shoes put on. Shoer wound up having to do all 4 feet though because his right hind was getting in trouble too. He was like 90% sound that day and the next, and Sunday was 100% sound. He is one happy critter now. Shoer promised to come back in about 6 weeks. I did not, however, go to the schooling show I had planned on entering because it's rather rocky around that arena. I didn't want to risk another bruise!

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Kyra's Mom » Tue Jul 17, 2018 4:41 am

Well, I waited until it was 90F to head to the barn...yes, that is good strategy :roll: . Nevertheless, I decided today would be a liberty day. By that time, the RP has some shade. I had her do 5-6 laps then call her in and we stood in the shade for a couple minutes then back out and do some more. She started out kind of squirrelly which was surprising in the heat but she settled and I got some very nice work. She did some nice stretch at the trot and canter work was good for the most part aside from a couple scoots from a weird noise that was coming from the canal. It was just the water breaking over a fence wire that went across the canal and it was creating turbulence. She thought something was coming for her until she decided it wasn't. I ended up getting several nice trot-->halt-->backup-->canter transitions. She actually started really stepping under in the canter transitions and not using her neck as much as she can with 'no strings attached'.

She was warm when we finished and I eyed that big canal and the owner's horses were out of that pasture so I took her over there and cooled her off...well, she cooled herself off. Canal is about 10 feet wide and probably 4 ft deep in the middle. First time in, she was hesitant but plowed her face in the water, walked 3 steps and jumped out. Second time, she went a little farther out, did about 4 steps and jumped out. The third time, she headed for the middle and about pulled me in with her :shock: . I was able to check her with the lead rope so she came back nearer the bank and started pawing the water...then she laid down. She was near the bank on her right side and just kept pawing with her left front. She seems to be fairly water tolerant for a desert horse :lol: .

Anyway...a relaxing work and a nice cool off on a hot day. This weekend will probably be it for me for awhile. I will know more on what activity will be allowed at the 6 week mark. I am hoping he will allow me to get back on at the walk but I am not going to push it. I will follow orders ;) .

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Tue Jul 17, 2018 1:14 pm

Am I understanding folks to be suggesting that abscesses tend to occur more in warm months? That is completely not the case with my horse. The first one was in a Calgary winter. The last one was in a North Carolina winter. The other ones I don't remember when.

I am grateful for the last one although it was a doozy... at the toe of a hind and three-legged lame. But we pulled both hinds while it healed and noticed when he came back into work that he moved the same without shoes. This is an odd turn of events because he probably still has quite a NPA on the right and is likely no better than zero on the left still. Whereas he had gluteal pain a decade ago from this and had to wear wedge pads to not have that pain, now he must have stretched the internal structures finally because he has not had gluteal or back pain since pulling the hinds. It makes me wonder if I could have pulled them years earlier.

Although I would not take a club horse again even for free (unless it was an FEI draft cross mare of course), I think I could manage the condition better now. Nobody is born knowing this crap.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby khall » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:44 am

Tsavo I am not suggesting that. Horses can get abscesses at any time. My farrier is just seeing more right now due to our weather pattern we have been in. Wet wet for spring, then it dried out and the ground got hard and now it is raining again. I know my horses have had more abscesses this year than I have ever had. Gaila has had 3 this year, my filly looks like she had one LR and Rip had an increased digital pulse RR the other day when he gave me a couple of off steps. Will see if he shows up and my filly shows up with one when my farrier comes back and trims them. It has been years since I have had a horse with an abscess.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:25 am

I think I generally see more abscesses in the spring when it's very muddy but more bruising in the hot dry weather.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby piedmontfields » Fri Jul 20, 2018 12:59 am

Well, my quick update is that I am still making changes in my position/body-use while riding routine. And Emi loves these changes and is even easier to ride. I am so grateful for the feedback she provides.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Dresseur » Fri Jul 20, 2018 4:27 pm

I have a lesson tonight to see if I'm still on the right path. He seems to be understanding what I'm asking for in the collections and I feel the weight shifting slightly as he gets stronger.

I had not been happy with the feel in the bridle, particularly starting out. It wasn't bad, just I felt like he could be a bit more nestled into my hand and I was some irregularity in the bridle that I was attributing to needing him to be a bit more through for the level he's working at. So, yesterday, I was feeling lazy and he had 2 days of work, and was out all day so I figured I'd hop on him without longing. (I've been longing before every ride to warm him up and get his motor going - he has a tendency to get a little tight and cold-backed feeling sometimes.)

When I started on the left rein and asked him for the first circle, I felt a hiccup - but I distinctly felt him drop his back a little and slow as I touched the rein. So, I rode the warm up in a very energetic rising trot and paid very close attention to any slowing. He started to nestle more and more into my hand and get steadier overall. I did the canter work next and he was beautiful in the bridle and flowing very freely forward, as well as stretching FDO any time I asked. I ended on my lateral work, which felt incredibly secure, soft and quiet, and very up in the shoulder and firm though the back in a good way.

So, my going theory is that in the longing, he was slowing slightly if I touched the line, so even though his back was warmed up, he wasn't totally connected, and I think I'm going to have a better shot at connecting him faster if I do my warmups like yesterday, and leave the longing to the first day back after a day or two off work. I'm going to repeat the experiment tonight to see if I get similar results.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Ponichiwa » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:36 pm

Lots of progress in this thread, and Dresseur-- glad to see you're recovering from your slump. I'm familiar with the feeling; I think I oscillate into and out of slumps on a week-to-week or month-to-month basis.

Updates for me and Kiwi are very similar to others in this thread:
1) It's hot. So hot.
2) We're doing lots of transitions in shoulder-fore or shoulder-in. This has uncovered that a good, honest connection is still very hard to maintain; doubly so when I ask for harder (e.g. more collected) work.
3) Foot issues. Kiwi threw a front shoe on Monday during a trail ride that somehow landed a good 20' away. Rain/baking sun/rain and all the rinsing I do before/after rides does a number on their feet and makes it pretty hard to keep shoes on.

August will be more of the same, but likely hotter. I'm not ready.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby khall » Fri Jul 20, 2018 6:52 pm

Had a nice but simple ride on Rip yesterday. Last couple of days he has come out and felt a bit tired, so I took it easy. Long straight lines simple transitions out in the field with just a little bit of lateral work. Plus it is hot and humid. Pretty unbearable. Even if the temps are in the 80's there is such a high humidity that the feel like temps are still mid to high 90's.

I have found a trainer to send Gaila to, she leaves first part of August. This is a trainer who specializes in WD which is where I think Gaila will excel. While she is an Old, she does not have huge gaits and her trot is so smooth to ride plus she looks fabulous in Western tack. So not only will the trainer get her going for me, but will also help me get her sold. Though I do have someone interested in her already if she can get more settled in the canter work. So hopefully it will all work out.

Worked my filly today, first time since the lameness incident. She one funny step and I could not figure out why and then all was ok. WTC both sides and I did some real in hand work with reins on the caveson. SF/SI and counter SI. She is pretty easy to play with on ground. Love my filly:)

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby demi » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:15 am

I've been reading and enjoying the updates.

So far I am on schedule for my goal this month to just get back in the saddle and enjoy my horse. I am more aware of my body than I have been in the last 5-10 years. With physiotherapy, I've become aware of my "hip core". I think I used it naturally when I was young, and never even thought about it. Now that I am aware of it, I am regaining the confidence in my seat that I had lost with age. I am more secure letting her trot out big, and am adding canter back into our routine.

I usually ride Rocky on the trails in a western endurance type saddle, because I feel more secure in it. Recently though, I have started riding in the pasture with my dressage saddle and it is so nice to ride in a dressage seat outside of the box. I am thoroughly enjoying my rides, both out of the arena and in.

It has been hot hot hot. 103 today and up to 107 expected next week. Still, riding early in the morning is pleasant. I haven't been longeing for the last two weeks simply because I need the saddle time. I'll probably longe her for 5 minutes next week before our arena ride.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:17 am

So Titanium is gaining fat and muscle and showing his opinion more. Poor hack horses and camp horses can be "starved into submission" so its expected. The interesting thing if course, is his confirmation, and how best to work to encourage relaxation, but work. I use my sons photographic evidence as eyes on the ground and longing to help.

In my opinion the frame where he is lower and behind the vertical shows the most relaxation and connection to the back. Pushing him up and out may be the long term ideal, but now, it results in tension and disconnect at base of the neck. Jmho
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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby musical comedy » Sat Jul 21, 2018 12:00 pm

Chisamba wrote:In my opinion the frame where he is lower and behind the vertical shows the most relaxation and connection to the back. Pushing him up and out may be the long term ideal, but now, it results in tension and disconnect at base of the neck. Jmho
Absolutely. Poor guy's back has likely been pounded while him being inverted. He needs to be ridden for a while like Jeremy is riding in that recent video. Of course he might show some resistance to the new work, but you know that.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:15 pm

Given his history I would have expected him to be more defensive of his back than he appears so I think whatever you are doing is helping him.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby kande50 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:29 pm

demi wrote:
I usually ride Rocky on the trails in a western endurance type saddle, because I feel more secure in it. Recently though, I have started riding in the pasture with my dressage saddle and it is so nice to ride in a dressage seat outside of the box. I am thoroughly enjoying my rides, both out of the arena and in.


I ride everyone in a dressage saddle with a deep seat and thigh blocks now. Tried to ride my mule in a western saddle with a mule tree, but finally gave up on that and just shimmed up the pad so the dressage saddle would fit him better and started riding him in that. I feel like I'm just as secure in it because I never think to grab the horn anyway, so that doesn't help me. And the swells on a western saddle are so far forward that they're not much help, while the thigh blocks on the dressage saddle are right there.

Hard to say, but I actually may be more secure in the dressage saddle, and certainly am a lot more comfortable.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:20 pm

Annabelle and I went to a small schooling show this morning. She was still tense, but lots better. For some reason they were running the tests in reverse order, so we rode T3 first and it was no surprise that the stretchy circle had no stretch in it, and there were some other rough patches. T1 went a little better and I even remembered to ride from time to time. We ended up with a 58.9% and a 63.5% respectively, good for a second and first place. Remarks were mostly lack of bend (she was counterbending to look at things going on outside the arena) and to prepare more for transitions. Tricky since she's more forward than at home, so for instance when I would prepare for a T/C transition, she'd pop into canter before I really gave the ask.

After that I went and visited Susan and Kyra, and got the refresher on where all the tack is, so I'll probably start riding Kyra this Tuesday.

Looking forward to lessons on Sunday and Monday.
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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Flight » Mon Jul 23, 2018 1:42 am

Thats good she was better at this show SF, it's unnerving when they are tense, and it's nice to have an improvement.

Chisamba, he does look more relaxed in the recent pics with that posture, I'd keep doing what you're doing! Looks to be working.

Still working on the canter piris. Well, more working on the canter and things that will hopefully help them.

It's been really cold here (for us anyway, down to -7C) and in this place I've moved to the pipes and pumps are freezing. I was in the shower the other morning, opened my eyes and brown water was cascading over me! I moved so fast out of there! I thought we'd run out of water (we are also in drought) but it turned out the ice in the pump had 'sandblasted' the insides of the pipes and all the muck came through. So, now I'm busy trying to insulate and house the pumps properly.

I think I"m a wannabee Ingrid! Here's some vid from a xc comp on the weekend. Ding is back to enjoying this and he didn't hesitate going into the water, I was almost left behind expecting a little pause (especially as it was full of ice!) but no, he was great! Was a lot of fun:

https://youtu.be/X_qzFraLKgU

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Moutaineer » Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:48 am

Sizzling hot show this weekend.

Friday was a bloodbath, with one judge with a bee in her bonnet about one particular thing, and a very ascerbic pen, making a lot of very unhappy riders--and not just us smurfs, but also those who usually score consistently well in regional and national competition. Not a good day. It's not often that the organizer of a show comes up to you and apologizes about the judge The poor woman was walking around handing out fliers with a list of her judges for next year's shows. As this was supposed to be a confidence building show for me it was a bit of a fail... Yes, I got a blue ribbon, and a red ribbon, but the scores--bleh, weird and illogical. I guess everyone else's were even more bleh.

Fortunately yesterday was better for me, though many had scratched and gone home. I rode in front of the other judge and pulled off a respectable almost-64 for 2.3., and I can see from the score sheets and the video some obvious places where I can pick up more points if I actually ride better... we blew one of the simple changes completely, which is frustrating as they have been good at home, but he got tense and strung out--we tend to feed off each other's tension and I had plenty of it.

And we are obviously not "getting" the travers. When I watch them on the video they look actually too steep to me (from the back, cameraman at A) but we are getting "not much shown," so we have to revisit those quite intensely. I'm assuming what we are not showing is enough bend, so it should be fairly fixable--and I think it's a hard movement to judge from C, so one probably has to exaggerate it somewhat.

Good grief it was hot, though. I'm really glad I'd only signed up for one test, as I wasn't sure I was going to make it to the last halt and salute!

So now onwards and upwards! A clinic with Mette Rosencrantz in two weeks, then another bloody show the following weekend :) I'm going to crack 65 at second this season if it kills me :)

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Xanthoria » Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:09 pm

Baby Bronto and I have been trying to push on despite me being out of town for 2 weeks. Progress made:

1. He turned 6! No mas excusas! :D
2. Bought a membership to and went to school at local horse park. Alone. In 92 degree weather. Nobody died or went to jail but it was close. Next time: bring a friend.
3. Went to schooling show #2 yesterday. Again: alone. When will I learn? Got a 1st and 2nd thanks to my fellow competitors being even worse than me :lol:
4. Worked our way up to four 2' bounces - he's ready for more gridwork and seems to like it. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Plans:
Trailering behavior is getting worse: need a pal. Need to trailer weekly.
Canter has gone to pot: disunited as often as not. Prepare better. Work on fitness.
Keep working on rein back. Keep working on walk to halt. Impulsion is the key to both.
TOF - this is coming along but requires me to ask much less and reward much more.
We got an 8 for our stretchy trot circle but it shoulda been a 6: I need to understand this better.
NO MORE BLOWING OFF MY LEG ON CIRCLES! :evil:
Make use of horse park membership and good footing for fitness!
Book another jumping lesson.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby demi » Mon Jul 23, 2018 8:08 pm

Great update Xanthoria! My horse Rocky, was not good at trailering but since I started taking lessons every other week(20 minutes each way), she has improved greatly. I could have trailered another horse with her but I didnt want to have to deal with another horse. Anyway, she now loads without problem and hauls well. Baby Bronto no doubt will figure it out, especially since you seem to handle all his training in a thorough, systematic manner.

Flight, I really enjoyed you and Ding going x-country! What a pair you are!

Chisamba, thanks for the pics of the new horse. He will be enjoyable to watch as he progresses.

Mountaineer, thanks for the show report. Showing is NOT always easy but I guess one has to go through the ups and downs if it is ever to become enjoyable...

It is 109 degrees with a heat index of 113 at the moment! We have the indoor set at 80. we’ve had 3 short power outages in the last hour. Our town has exploded in population over the last few years and I wonder if we’ll be able to handle it if this heat lasts much longer.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby heddylamar » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:28 pm

Urk, demi. That heat! Ours finally broke, and now we're getting drenched. It's okay, everything needs it after 4+ weeks of scorching temperatures and no rain, but I really wish it could have waited until I'm out of town for 2 weeks. We only have an outdoor, so it's interfering with my riding!

I got out for a walking only ride on Maia in between thunderstorms yesterday. She was an entertaining handful. With the arena on top of a hill the drainage is great, but 9" of rain in 2 days left the whole thing a soggy mess. We did about 20 minutes of walk only in-hand and under saddle work in the arena, then ventured out to the gravel road. Puddles are no problem, running water in divots on the gravel road is no problem. But I completely forgot about the culvert under the road that was filled with fast-moving storm runoff, and the audacity of trees to drip water on Maia? :roll: :lol:

We walked calmly a halting step at a time toward the culvert until Maia reached the conclusion she was going no further. There was no real resistance — no running backwards, dancing, etc — she just planted herself and refused to take another step. So we executed a neat TOH and backed 4 steps closer with absolutely no hesitation, turned around, stood for a moment, then Maia marched right over the culvert when I asked :D :lol: Not the smartest moment for Maia! I never got away with anything like that with Anzia — she's super suspicious — but Maia didn't even hesitate. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Congratulations, everyone, on surviving the shows!

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby heddylamar » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:32 pm

Flight wrote:I think I"m a wannabee Ingrid! Here's some vid from a xc comp on the weekend. Ding is back to enjoying this and he didn't hesitate going into the water, I was almost left behind expecting a little pause (especially as it was full of ice!) but no, he was great! Was a lot of fun:

https://youtu.be/X_qzFraLKgU


There's nothing wrong with riding defensively! Imagine how cold that icy water could have been if Ding had decided *you* could go into the water without him! You guys look good :D

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby musical comedy » Mon Jul 23, 2018 9:42 pm

demi wrote:It is 109 degrees with a heat index of 113 at the moment! We have the indoor set at 80. we’ve had 3 short power outages in the last hour. Our town has exploded in population over the last few years and I wonder if we’ll be able to handle it if this heat lasts much longer.
What is the humidity? Reading this makes me ashamed to be complaining about our weather. It is a sauna here. Rain rain rain.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Dresseur » Tue Jul 24, 2018 1:33 pm

We are in an absolute sauna. Luckily, it's not crazy hot, but we have what equates to an atmospheric river above us, just dumping rain. We're expecting an additional 2-6 inches over the next two days. I've moved Miro into a stall that has a run so that he can choose when to go stand in the rain.

So far, no antics from cutting out the longing. He feels great, and I'm loving the feel of having him warm up energetically in a bit of a modified long and low. I had a really, really interesting lesson last Friday. I was waiting to talk about it until my follow up lesson which was supposed to be today, but, due to widespread flooding, we had to cancel.

Andrea agreed that she liked the trot warmup. He was more connected and more through than with what I was getting in the longing. We're on the fence about whether to do the canter work right after the trot warmup or to do warmup and then trot work and then the canter work. That will be a moving target. Right now, canter is first.

What I found to be so interesting is that we really tore the canter apart. Andrea did not like the canter collections that I was showing her. She felt that they were a bit too tight and held back rather than rocked up. She asked me if I could feel the shoulders coming up and I said, yes, I felt that I could. But I couldn't distinguish the shoulders coming up in a bad way vs a good way unless all hell was breaking loose. So, we started to break things down in a way that we hadn't before. So, these are my notes from right after the lesson.
--
Hands are not needed to bring collection back horse needs to learn to follow the back that means when I from upper back I hold the horse in the collection while my hip tells the horse to bring hind legs further under body (academically, I know this. I thought I was doing this)

I need to learn to separate back aids so that I can use my upper back independently of lower back and my hips should not not tighten hips on saddle

To drive a horse out (like in a lengthening) my abdominals should be tight as in a door press, but my hips and low back should be loose. My upper back needs to "hold the horse" So the hind legs come under further because of what my hips and core are saying, but the horse tips the balance back more over the hind legs because of what my upper back is saying.

To feel the isolation of my upper back, placing my hand on my chest while cantering instantly put my upper back in proper position and I was able to isolate that feel. When I did that down the long side, Miro instantly rocked back but kept the fluidity of the canter going.

To get the feel of collection, haunches in down the long side, then carry the haunches in across the top of the arena in a 20 meter circle. Drive the canter around that and feel the canter shift balance. That's the feel that I'm after.

I need M to stay a bit loose in the canter - not sloppy, but his back can't tighten either. I was getting a tight back - more like the canter we'll want to teach him changes out of. For collection, the back should be firm, but have a loose quality to it.
--
So, those were my notes. I will say that in the haunches in around the circle, I could clearly feel him shift the balance and there was no hand involved. When I took that down the long side, and really paid attention to my upper back, he came right back to me, zero hand involved, and the stride stayed loose and flowing. So, my mind is blown a bit and I've got some work to do. This explains some of the issues that I have in the pirouettes and changes.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:20 pm

Kande, my dressage saddle is over 15 years old and doesn’t have big enough thigh blocks to help keep me in place. It isn’t a very deep seat either. My trail saddle has a suede seat and rough fenders and seat jockeys so it keeps me in place for the occasional spook.

MC, I didn’t check the humidity yesterday but am guessing it wasn’t too high or the heat index would have been much higher. It’s going to be cooler today. Only 101.

Dresseur, your reports are so interesting. Of course, I am no where near your level, but I can appreciate your writing on an academic level. Being able to separate the back aids in the way you describe, is very subtle, but I intuitively know how very important it is. I’ve been watching Jeremy Steinberg’s progress on Dona Agustina (on his youtube channel) and it is clear that as the mare has progressed, she is responding to more and more sophisticated aids. This is why I think one cannot spend too much time and effort on seat and position! If the seat and position are not quiet and sophisticated, the horse will have a hard time distinguishing between the subtle differences in, for example, what the rider is saying with his upper back verses his lower.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby demi » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:40 pm

After watching JS’s progress with Augie (I’ve watched the first 7 vids of her), I spent a couple of hours yesterday, organizing my own vids and pics of Rocky. I have a lot more vids than I realized. Most of them are just since the discussions of videoing ourselves started on this board, around January this year. I am happy with how much I am able to learn from looking at the vids and comparing them over just the last 6 months. I am motivated (again!) to keep the habit of videoing on a regular basis. Even just once a month will be valuable in improving my work with Rocky.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Dresseur » Tue Jul 24, 2018 3:55 pm

Yes, and actually, Jeremy is a good one to watch in terms of being in a similar system. Since we've broken ties with PB, I'm not sure if Jeremey is still working with him, but JS was working quite closely with Paul Belasik and follows a similar system to Paul and Andrea.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Chisamba » Wed Jul 25, 2018 3:40 am

My best description of the weather is soupy. Downpour after downpour. My horses are sweating in their walk warmup. Lol.

I am feeling a bit stressed with the upcoming clinic looming. I washed my mirrors today. I didn't realize how dirty they were, til I cleaned them. I had a much much steadier ride on Titanium today, he seems to be developing a confidence in the hand on the rein. He is changing shape so quickly with putting on weight and muscle, I had to try a third saddle today. That is within 5 weeks. Luckily I have several tree sizes on hand.

Kimba was such a good girl today, she was totally willing to try everything I asked.

Now if I just had a self cleaning house!

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 11:55 am

Interesting notes. I think I have had some of the same issues...

Dresseur wrote:What I found to be so interesting is that we really tore the canter apart. Andrea did not like the canter collections that I was showing her. She felt that they were a bit too tight and held back rather than rocked up. She asked me if I could feel the shoulders coming up and I said, yes, I felt that I could. But I couldn't distinguish the shoulders coming up in a bad way vs a good way unless all hell was breaking loose. So, we started to break things down in a way that we hadn't before. So, these are my notes from right after the lesson.


I think of this as the Pepe LePew canter. It is the right size but the wrong balance because it is missing the rocking back.

Hands are not needed to bring collection back horse needs to learn to follow the back that means when I from upper back I hold the horse in the collection while my hip tells the horse to bring hind legs further under body (academically, I know this. I thought I was doing this)


Yes but I got trapped in the hands not needed because my horse wasn't telescoping in the collection. No hands but very wrong. It has to be the horse arcs out to the hand simultaneously with engaging the hinds.

To drive a horse out (like in a lengthening) my abdominals should be tight as in a door press, but my hips and low back should be loose. My upper back needs to "hold the horse" So the hind legs come under further because of what my hips and core are saying, but the horse tips the balance back more over the hind legs because of what my upper back is saying.


That is a very good way to put it. If I keep my butt loose then my horse can "hear" my upper back but the collection comes from the lower back "flick" maneuver which also changes the balance back. It is like the rider changes their orbital of their seat and the horse then changes his leg orbital motion from an oval on its side to an oval standing up. That's my image.

To feel the isolation of my upper back, placing my hand on my chest while cantering instantly put my upper back in proper position and I was able to isolate that feel. When I did that down the long side, Miro instantly rocked back but kept the fluidity of the canter going.


Hand on chest or one-handed has the same effect with my horse. In my opinion I think it works to loosen the butt muscles somehow which produces the desired effect. The first time I rode one-handed my horse went into this giant canter down the long side. It was eye-opening and educational. Having a non-clenched butt in collection is counterintuitive and I need to work on it.

For collection, the back should be firm, but have a loose quality to it.


Yes same with the rider's butt in my opinion. :)

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Wed Jul 25, 2018 12:49 pm

I just read a tip about how to help with suppleness at the poll and evenness in the bridle... changing flexion to counterflexion in canter. Back and forth slowly. I have done this at trot and it is very helpful. And I have done this at canter when preparing for FCs within counterbending the canter.

All this counter-whatever is so obviously beneficial in my opinion. It is one of the most effective tools for straightness and consciousness of horse position in my opinion. It makes any unevenness obvious.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Sue B » Wed Jul 25, 2018 5:42 pm

Moutaineer, sorry the judge was a grouch on Friday--I hope your next show is more positive.

Dresseur, interesting stuff about the canter. I know if I even think of using the reins on Rudy to come back in the canter he instantly drops the withers and shortens his neck. Same is true for transitions out of the canter too. I'm "allowed" to hh with the outside rein ahead of the transitions, but otherwise it has to be all from the seat.

The heat is beginning to wear on me as well, because I have to choose to either ride when it is blithering hot or wait until it cools down some and deal with clouds of gnats! Kind of a Sophie's choice in my mind. Last night I split the difference but only rode Tio, as he isn't as bothered by the gnats as Rudy is. Oh well, in a few months I'll be whining about the cold instead. :lol:

Speaking of Tio, he is loving his shoes and saddle which makes him so much fun to ride. Last night I took him for a longer ride down the rode before the arena work, and like Xan's Baby Bronto, he was excited to see all the new sites but was also very well behaved. It was adorable the way he picked his way down the steep, wash-boarded section of the road, shied at the stop sign by the RR tracks and then tried to jump the tracks. What a happy little tank he is. :D In the arena, we continue to work on consistent contact in trot, primarily, and balanced canter. The canter is getting better every time now; I can even sit it instead of being in a forward seat. ;) I also got a pretty decent stretchy trot mid-way through his workout.

I was having some "issues" with Rudy recently that mostly seem to stem from my inability to sit correctly all of a sudden. I think I've gotten through it though--at least our last 2 workouts have been more productive and I feel like I am sitting up better and using my seat better. The other evening Rudy gave me an amazing medium canter--the lift and power was something I've never felt on him before--and then the return to collection felt almost seamless, with know popping up with the croup. This little horse has everything he needs to be a fun upper level horse--all he needs now is a rider. :oops: In order not to beat myself up too much, I try really hard to stay focused on the good things that happen in our rides and how my body was positioned when that good stuff happened. I CAN do this, right?

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Ryeissa » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:13 pm

want a better canter?

Take up jumping.

that is my lesson from July. All things going well with the little Riot. We might start changes this winter! oh boy! :)
He remains the best horse, always fun to ride and willing to do anything.

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby piedmontfields » Wed Jul 25, 2018 6:16 pm

Dresseur, your notes are so helpful. "I need M to stay a bit loose in the canter - not sloppy, but his back can't tighten either. I was getting a tight back - more like the canter we'll want to teach him changes out of. For collection, the back should be firm, but have a loose quality to it." This rings especially true to me! I was thinking about this last night as the canter work was going really well and we were able to go in and out of the loose/firm back (more collected), even looser back (more extended), and tighter back (which we still need to do a good change---perhaps that will change one day??). I put one hand on my sternum a lot because I know it helps my alignment, but your explanation provides me with more insight on why that is.

Sue, I sure believe you CAN do it, as you are staying the course and enjoy your talented boys so much. That's a lot of positive development with Tio---I think that saddle was worth it. So interesting how Rudy is your seat teacher (it is humbling, ask me how I know).

Tsavo, if you clench your butt on Emi, she will halt (yes, she has almost dropped a few people who butt clenched during a canter and were not expecting a quick halt). As someone who always needs to let go more in my lower body (hips and butt especially), this has been humbling but oh so helpful!

Mountaineer, you've had such a busy summer. You and Laddie can do it! (but please don't pass out in the heat). Demi, I'm so glad you're feeling well and more able than ever. Exciting times!

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Re: Are we ready for the July August goals thread?

Postby Tsavo » Thu Jul 26, 2018 3:15 pm

This morning I put my leg back on in trot and got a trot that I needed to HH back. I think I am taking the rehab too slowly. I am going to get a trainer on him to assess him. I need some pro feedback on how much work he can do. I ride five mornings a week but only for 30 to 40 minutes with ample walking.


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