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View Full Version : Just for FUN: What was your A-HA! moment this year?



HollysHobbies
Oct. 9, 2009, 08:43 AM
I'll start!

1. Dressage is a balance of having really strong core muscles that invisibly absorb all that horse energy and remaining really loose/following the motion with everything else (legs, shoulders, arms, seat), so the horse can work underneath you! This allows you to be independent with your weight, leg, and rein aids as you need them! (aka, you can't grip yourself into the perfect seat :lol:--I tried...I could keep from bouncing, but couldn't do anything else on my massive WB mover!!)

2. You can control your horse's neck height almost exclusively from what you do with your legs and seat! :eek:

It's funny...I would have thought I'd learned these basic things many years ago...what is old is new again... :lol:

3. Rescue OTTBs RULE! Organizations like TRF provide great horses a second chance. What a wonderful place to find a young prospect for very little money and from an organization that WANTS to find you the perfect partner.

4. The right saddle can make a BIG difference.

5. I can and DID get out of First Level. In fact, I'm showing 3rd this November!!!! :D

Boomer
Oct. 9, 2009, 11:37 AM
I'll start!

1. Dressage is a balance of having really strong core muscles that invisibly absorb all that horse energy and remaining really loose/following the motion with everything else (legs, shoulders, arms, seat), so the horse can work underneath you! This allows you to be independent with your weight, leg, and rein aids as you need them! (aka, you can't grip yourself into the perfect seat :lol:--I tried...I could keep from bouncing, but couldn't do anything else on my massive WB mover!!)

4. The right saddle can make a BIG difference.




Wow. Your list is really similar to mine! In a lesson recently I really got a "WOW!" moment when I realized how much more fire my horse has to have in his engine to move up from 1st to 2nd. When he's really "right" I need much more half-halting and a lot less "come on, let's go!" and the work is sooo easy and feels sooo good! But I'm only getting it about 50% of the time.

And how much more fit I need to be to control my movements going into 2nd level.

Oh yes... the right saddle does make a difference for horsey and me!

ctab
Oct. 9, 2009, 11:39 AM
... important my right leg is in the left lead canter.
... to keep my shoulders, elbows and hands perfectly still during the sitting trot.
... much my horses back can drop in front of fence because he is behind my leg. Even if we are moving up to the fence at a good pace.
...many horses I can actually ride in five hours is more than 6.
...a better understanding of bending the horse as opposed to just flexing the neck leading to a more supple horse.
... strong correct contact can be.
...how a correctly ridden horse can just SUCK you into the saddle during the medium sitting trot.
... correct training can really turn a horse around from a dangerous attack animal when ridden into a working machine who is happy to do his job.
...much it means when you know a horse loves me for the things I do for him and not for the things I bring him to eat.
...how wonderful my horse really is.

Shrunk "N" Da Wash
Oct. 9, 2009, 02:08 PM
How much easier things are on made horses.
How easy it is to train a horse with natural ability.

slc2
Oct. 9, 2009, 05:24 PM
How wonderful it is to go from you think you can't to you think you can.

DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho"
Oct. 9, 2009, 06:16 PM
SO many for me this year...but all relating to how even very small "blocks" in your body can so hugely affect your horse.

quietann
Oct. 9, 2009, 07:22 PM
um, dressage is hard?

More seriously, that I'm good enough to "read" my horse when she's being silly, to know when it's because she's just being a goof, and when it's because she's absolutely terrified. The approach to use in each situation is quite different -- but I also learned I have at least some control over keeping her from becoming terrified in the first place.

Relatedly, that seeking out situations that might result in a spook is a good thing.

That a good trainer of *horses* may not be such a good trainer of *riders*.

That pure arena work is good neither for me nor my horse.

Carol O
Oct. 9, 2009, 08:22 PM
Tempo. It is all about tempo.

"He goes faster rather than lengthen...." It's the tempo.

"She gets short and stiff; short in the stride when she raises her head..." Hello! Tempo!

The base of the scale is rhythm. Rhythm is tempo. Read it, heard it for years. Thought I knew it.... Hello lightbulb moment!

JMurray
Oct. 9, 2009, 08:23 PM
wow a bunch of them like...

I don't really need to do this attitude adjustment on my 2 yr old dutch myself..send him to the trainer for 4 weeks of "camp".

If doing half passes makes my 11 yr old uncomfortable, then really...do I need to do third level? He is conformationally challenged anyway so God bless second level for him.

I really like my 5 year old a lot so why am I thinking I need to sell him?

Maybe not what you were looking for OP, but they were major AHA! moments for me this year.

Tif_Ann
Oct. 9, 2009, 09:18 PM
It was a year of lots of "A Ha!" Moments but then again ... when my boy is only three years under saddle and has gone through as much as he has, we have lots of them! But I'll stick to two:

1. How AMAZING he is to ride ... and how easy it is ... when he is fully collected and enjoying himself rather than fighting and evading. :)

2. How far *I've* come and that yes, showing him really matters to me ... from being someone who didn't want anyone to watch her ride and only started taking lessons on the caveat that the instructor not watch me (how stupid, huh?) to someone who was horribly heartbroken at having to call off our first dressage test because his squamous cell carcinoma needed another treatment - to see him so fit and muscled and know how *on* he was after a summer of work and know we couldn't show was devastating. But losing him to carcinoma would be much, much worse, and his health is much more important.

Carol O
Oct. 10, 2009, 01:47 PM
Cherish the people and animals you love. Let them know they are cherished.

Nojacketrequired
Oct. 10, 2009, 02:00 PM
How important it is to establish a clear, correct rhythm, from the first. I've spent more time counting the rhythm on my new horse and discovering that WOW! She goes great when I do that and let the other things fall into place once it is established.

Now, our warm up consists of counting the rhythm, always.

NJR

Mortazavi Farms
Oct. 10, 2009, 11:03 PM
This is a great thread! So many have posted comments I can agree with and understand!

My big A Ha! This year has been finally understanding CONTACT! It's not steady yet, but we're getting there. My trainer doesn't have lesson horses, so I ride mine. My lesson horse is my 3 year old stallion. He's the perfect complement to my trainer. The two are teaching me, as we are teaching him! I've been riding for years and have been trying to improve in my journey in dressage. Can't do much without contact!

mypaintwattie
Oct. 11, 2009, 01:06 AM
My western pleasure paint can in fact do dressage, and can do it well!!!!!

And- A year end championship is always in reach if you reach for the stars!!!!

Pony Fixer
Oct. 11, 2009, 08:56 AM
I have the same "Aha!" moment every 6 months or so:

Oh, THAT'S how you ride a half-halt!

And an oldie but goodie that I constantly re-remember as well:

It's easier if my horse is in front of my leg.

pintopiaffe
Oct. 11, 2009, 11:47 AM
Letting go of ambition can get you further than "trying really hard." Riding each ride for itself, rather than towards an end goal can actually get you closer to the goal, faster.

There is always, always a reason when a horse acts opposite to their normal demeanor. It's usually physical, provided it's not the rider. :sadsmile:

When you get out and DO something, and appreciate the good stuff, there is always someone who will rain on your parade... that doesn't matter. If you learned and had success for YOUR goals, it was successful. Scores don't always equal success.

Mileage is nothing without suppleness and obedience. Last year I began to get a glimmer about the relationship between suppleness and obedience, this year I learned that mileage is somewhat a scam. When you get suppleness and obedience it doesn't matter where you are... indoors/outdoors/first time away from home etc.

Supple one side, supple the other, supple both.

Do what you know works (in-hand work) regardless of the circumstances or location. If you know it works, don't change it!

That horses are kinder and more willing even than I already knew. :sadsmile:

kahjul
Oct. 11, 2009, 05:25 PM
Soundness wise, my girl may not make it as far as I had hoped. AHA-I love her anyways and will be happy if I'm fortunate enough to know her well enough to get her to her max without going too far.
Not all good riders are good trainers...
Mrs. wonderful, quiet, etc., will NOT tolerate a trainer that she feels is too forceful and becomes not so wonderful

Wayside
Oct. 12, 2009, 01:22 AM
SO many for me this year...but all relating to how even very small "blocks" in your body can so hugely affect your horse.

:yes:

This is the type of revelation I'm having this year as well. That my equitation problems and imbalances are not confined to my time in the saddle. I cannot fix them in one or two hours a day in the saddle if I spend the rest of my waking moments moving and holding my body incorrectly.

easyklc
Oct. 12, 2009, 02:31 AM
1. It's OK to admit that the horse you've put a ton of work into isn't the right horse afterall.
2. Getting a new horse who wants to work and learn is a GOOD thing.
3. Missing a year of competition in order to bond with new horse and learn is key.
4. Slow, correct work is the only way to accomplish anything!

grayarabpony
Oct. 12, 2009, 07:21 AM
1) If the horse is forward and straight, everything else will fall into place.

2) FINALLY getting a saddle that fits makes a big difference.

HollysHobbies
Oct. 12, 2009, 08:14 AM
:yes:

This is the type of revelation I'm having this year as well. That my equitation problems and imbalances are not confined to my time in the saddle. I cannot fix them in one or two hours a day in the saddle if I spend the rest of my waking moments moving and holding my body incorrectly.

Good one Wayside! Sit up straight! :)

Wayside
Oct. 12, 2009, 09:55 AM
Good one Wayside! Sit up straight! :)

Thanks! And thanks for the reminder, too! :winkgrin: :lol:

gettingbettereveryday
Oct. 12, 2009, 02:25 PM
Hi, I'm brand-new here but have been lurking for a while. This thread is particularly meaningful for me because this year I have been rehabbing my terrible riding and my tense, nervous, unhappy Arabian horse from five years of bad instruction. Our new instructor/trainer has started us over from scratch. We spent the first two months of our weekly lessons mostly walking and working on my seat and hands and on our collective fear issues.

My four biggest revelations of the year have been:

1) I was letting my right hip fall back/twist in the saddle which caused all kinds of problems for me and my horse (new instructor diagnosed it in about five minutes...why had my old instructors never seen it?!? it makes all the difference!!);

2) I can have more forgiving, following hands which leads to a more forward, forgiving, relaxed and happy horse (surprise! the old yank-crank school of riding really isn't better);

3) You have to learn to work with what you have which for me includes an imperfect riding arena, an imperfect body (bad back and other body issues), and an imperfect horse (i.e. be grateful for what you have or you really can make lemonade out of that dumptruck full of lemons); and

3) I like my horse. I was ready to give up on her and sell her, but we're doing OK. She's never going to be easy, but with regular consistent work, she's a decent partner. Some days I even love her. :-)

It's been a good year so far.

Keep1Belle
Oct. 13, 2009, 10:27 AM
when teaching my young 3yr old horse to turn/steer/etc. My trainer was like" why dont you try opening your knee a bit. voila instant steering around the corner :)

lizathenag
Oct. 13, 2009, 10:39 AM
while galloping down a hill while hunting for the first time in about 15 years on Monday, that learning to ride the medium trot helped me develope a stronger seat!

and how much fun galloping is

ThreeFigs
Oct. 13, 2009, 11:15 AM
Learning that my right leg's tendency to flop about was not the result of inattentiveness on my part, but weakness in the right hip flexor. Prescribed exercises strengthened both my hip flexor and improved my core muscle tone.

Presto! I ride so much better now!

TrotTrotPumpkn
Oct. 13, 2009, 01:54 PM
This is so ridiculously simple I feel sort of silly for not figuring it out on my own.

Give/release with your shoulders not your hands.

I haven't gotten to ride my horse yet, but I think this will be a biggee. I "give" too big.

HollysHobbies
Oct. 13, 2009, 01:58 PM
My trainer rode at that clinic--I've been working on "hands at the mouth" and "give through the shoulders" this week too! I confess, I haven't a-ha-ed with it yet, but I'm tryin! I tend to ride with open hands and I need to close them and give through those shoulders. But so far, there's a lot of static in that line of communication between my head and my shoulders. :)

TrotTrotPumpkn
Oct. 13, 2009, 04:51 PM
My trainer rode at that clinic--I've been working on "hands at the mouth" and "give through the shoulders" this week too! I confess, I haven't a-ha-ed with it yet, but I'm tryin! I tend to ride with open hands and I need to close them and give through those shoulders. But so far, there's a lot of static in that line of communication between my head and my shoulders. :)

Cool! Which rider/horse? Where you there too?

I'm sure there will be more bits of knowledge from the clinic, but I haven't looked over my 30 pages of notes yet.