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HER
Mar. 4, 2010, 12:16 PM
I know that this was talked about once before but Sally O'Conner's blog raised some new questions for me.
http://useventing.com/blog/?p=7711
I understand the difference between the stretchy circle and the "giving of the reins" that they are asking for in the Prelim A test. And I understand self carriage. I guess my main question is how do you get them to stretch at the trot of they truly are in self carriage? My trainer and I have been working hard at getting my horse to carry himself at the trot and canter, especially for jumping, so that I am able to relax and let him carry us to the fence. So when I'm doing things right, when I give with the reins nothing changes. If that is the case, how do I get him to stretch?
And do you let the reins slip through your fingers some, or do you just ease your hands forward. How far? Any tips for making it smooth? How do you regather your reins?
Do you start at X or 2.5 meters before X?
Thanks!
Helen

JumpingBug
Mar. 4, 2010, 11:06 PM
Because the horse should seek the contact and you should be able to push hands forward and have the feeling of the horse following without losing contact, stretching forward.

My take on it is they want to see if your holding the horse in a frame or from falling on his/her nose. ODLY enough seen the scoring on the movement all over the map as I guess in some ways like always many judges have their opinion on what they want to see.

HER
Mar. 5, 2010, 09:46 AM
I got to speak to my trainer about it last night too. She suggested more seat and leg to help him understand to seek the contact. I think you are right about them looking for a true frame rather than a horse held into one. I was wondering what comments the judges had been making if some people had ridden this test already. Here in the frozen north we still have a month to wait! (sunny yesterday though!)

caevent
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:04 AM
I've got to say, I completely understand the ideals of the movement, BUT it just seems awfully quick for the horse to be changing their frame back and forth that quickly (over just 5 meters). In second and third level dressage, they ask the rider to release the reins at the canter, but the horse is expected to stay in self carriage so there is much more flow to the movement. Telling my horse "Okay now reach forward.....never mind come back up now!" seems a little.....strange. :(

FLeckenAwesome
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:17 AM
I scribed for TWO (hee hee...crazy scheduling due to weather) prelim A tests and the judge and I discussed it a little bit. She said she was hoping for more direction on how to score that too even! Her opinion was that the horse should stretch out a bit and come back easily. Nothing as drastic as the stretchy trot, but seek the contact and then go back smoothly! I wish I had video, cause the horse I watched (who's test was lovely enough I did actually get to watch some) did it well. I'm thinking she scored an 8, but the horse kept the rhythm and balance and just stretched forward some. Then came back. I'm not sure how the rider did it, but it almost just looked like she fed the reins out and then brought them back and her horse followed them out. I'm guessing similar to the beginning of a stretchy trot without maybe so much push from the leg and seat so that the horse doesn't really go for it and then get asked to immediately come back. I agree... kinda confusing.

Anyways... good luck guys! I want to start playing with that test cause it looks like fun :) Ha!! til I ride it in competition I'm sure ;)

GotSpots
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:20 AM
While on the question of this test - can anyone who has ridden the leg yields weigh in? Unless I'm misreading the test, it looks like you come out of the corner (tracking right, bent right) and then have to switch your bend and leg yield to the center line, and then track left and repeat the other direction. Seems like it wouldn't flow to ask the horse to change the bend that quickly out of the turn - but perhaps I'm confusing the movement?

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:14 AM
Dang, I have the printout of the test (somewhere in my messy house) and was going to check on GotSpot's question, but can't find the darn thing! (Maybe someone else has a copy in front of them and can weigh in, because I too am curious about the leg yield.)

I've entered HRH in a schooling dressage show (at Morven) on March 13th (gulp), and am riding Prelim Test A, twice. (Prelim Test B has that counter canter all the way around the short side :eek:, and I have attempted that a couple of times while schooling, but Ms Anticipatory knows that "we are supposed to transition to trot" before the corner, OR--if you keep me cantering, I am supposed to SWAP, thank you!", so we will need more work on that one before we are ready for Prime Time. I suspect most people will be a little underprepared for the first few run throughs of the new dressage tests, considering the winter we've had...)

Thanks to everyone who has posted about the "giving and taking the reins over X" thing, since that is a little confusing. I don't know about the rest of you, but in my horse's case, there is a (ahem) tendency to "auto lengthen across the diagonal" since that's what she's used to doing...Even when I attempt to transition down to walk (or halt) halfway across the diagonal in schooling, there is still a good bit of resistance to my halt halts, since of course "SHE knows best." ;) So I guess in our case it will be "turn down the diagonal, attempt to keep her in working trot as she blows me off and does a lengthening--give the reins over X, enabling her to get even DEEPER and fall on her face in the lenghtening" (while I half halt ineffectually), and then "splat" in the opposite corner as I attempt to apply the brakes without getting in her face.

At least we will amuse the dressage judge! :D

HER
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:23 AM
GS-I thought that too. Actually I can't get this test to flow well at all. I have been practicing the parts of the B test more though because that's the first one I show. I think the counter canter is awkward in the A test too. Do you make straight lines to the quarter line and back or kindof a sweeping turn?

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:42 AM
I'm kinda wishing they would put out another demo DVD on Riding the Tests (as they did when the last tests came out), since that would certainly provide some clarification! I have 3 students riding Beginner Novice test A at a CT this weekend--that one is pretty wonky too!

HER
Mar. 5, 2010, 11:51 AM
Dr D- I feel the auto lengthen problem too! I haven't even tried to mess with the other levels tests but I need to-I've got friends riding them in May. BN A just looks wacky to me-go this way, no go this way, no turn left etc.

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:18 PM
Dr D- I feel the auto lengthen problem too! I haven't even tried to mess with the other levels tests but I need to-I've got friends riding them in May. BN A just looks wacky to me-go this way, no go this way, no turn left etc.

Yes, we've been discussing this; a good way to teach your green horse how NOT to remain straight going down centerline! :p

Mary in Area 1
Mar. 5, 2010, 12:33 PM
For anyone in the New England area who would like to see these tests demonstrated and critiqued by an eventing FEI "I" judge: We are hosting a clinic on March 27th that focusses on these new 2010 dressage tests. Riders will be riding the tests and Jane Hamlin will be critiquing and discussing how they should be ridden and how the judges are taught to score the movements.

This will take place at Pirouette Farm in Norwich, VT on March 27th from 1-5 pm. Directions and more info at www.pirouettefarm.com

asterix
Mar. 5, 2010, 10:02 PM
But, Dr. D, how nice that HRH is up and running and giving your her opinion!!!
:D:D

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 6, 2010, 12:37 PM
But, Dr. D, how nice that HRH is up and running and giving your her opinion!!!
:D:D

Yes, thanks!! :D This is just the beginning of "bringing her back to competition fitness", but it's very exciting to finally get her off the property after 8 months.

(And yes, why wouldn't she offer her "input"? After all, SHE knows best, LOL...)

I would say she is *almost* 100%, in some ways, better than ever, actually--though her right lead canter needs to be more "through". She feels great; our wintertime dressage and suppling work and groundwork has paid off, even though I was only able to ride her on the road at a walk for awhile after in the snow(s)--before they plowed a path from our barn to the small indoor, which is a half mile walk, uphill, though two gates and a pasture. (YOU can relate to this hassle!) TOMORROW (gulp) she will be doing her first dressage test (Training Test A) and a couple schooling rounds (at Novice)--all HC--at a CT at FPP. Wish us luck!

Needless to say, it should be "interesting"...(I have several students riding in this CT, too--and I suspect that *everyone* will be rusty--I anticipate lots of fractious horses and nervous riders! ;))

Now, back to the OT...what do *you* think of Prelim Test A?

yellowbritches
Mar. 6, 2010, 01:03 PM
GS, I rode the test in January at Morven and that leg yield work actually really rides well (even on Vernon who was having a very cranky day). I actually like it because I think coming out of the corner and changing the bend, etc keeps a thinking horse paying attention. They really have to listen to you and pay attention. It rode better at the show then it did at home...but that could be more due to the fact that the way we set up our makeshift dressage ring in the sand ring ends up using one of our portables as that corner after the left turn at C. Every time I turned at C, Vernon would lock on to the jump and go "Yay! Jumping now!!!" :lol: Takes a lot of effort on my part to say "NO, not jumping now." :lol:

asterix
Mar. 6, 2010, 02:47 PM
Great update, dr. d!
I had looked at the test just last week and planned to test drive it on the Big Man...but we have had SUCH bad luck :(
First he got kicked in the hq in Sept...it took several months and a trip to VEI (and some very long needles) to resolve.
By Feb 1 he felt wonderful again, but hadn't done much sustained work or any jumping since Sept.
Plenty of time!!!
Then...
the blizzard...
didn't ride for a week...
then...
he threw two front shoes, on separate occasions of course...
then...
I decided that while he felt good, he could benefit from chiro.

That was Wed.
Thursday he could barely walk. Seriously.
Fri and today he was walking fine but feels completely lame at the trot.
I am buting and giving it until Monday before I lose it.

So, am studiously ignoring the prelim tests as they will only upset me, and focusing on the Training tests for the baby horse.

Sigh.

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 6, 2010, 08:56 PM
Great update, dr. d!
I had looked at the test just last week and planned to test drive it on the Big Man...but we have had SUCH bad luck :(
First he got kicked in the hq in Sept...it took several months and a trip to VEI (and some very long needles) to resolve.
By Feb 1 he felt wonderful again, but hadn't done much sustained work or any jumping since Sept.
Plenty of time!!!
Then...
the blizzard...
didn't ride for a week...
then...
he threw two front shoes, on separate occasions of course...
then...
I decided that while he felt good, he could benefit from chiro.

That was Wed.
Thursday he could barely walk. Seriously.
Fri and today he was walking fine but feels completely lame at the trot.
I am buting and giving it until Monday before I lose it.

So, am studiously ignoring the prelim tests as they will only upset me, and focusing on the Training tests for the baby horse.

Sigh.

Oh, NO!! :no:

DAMN! That SUCKS, what rotten luck, and after all that you (and he) have already been through...Sigh is right. Geez, darn horses and their physical vulnerabilities. I hope against hope that this is NOT serious!

As they say, that'll teach us to make plans :(

Hang in there, and please keep us posted (I know you prefer not to solicit jingles, but I would love it if you would PM me with an update.) We are all invested in his career, and want to see him come back to his full and glorious competitive prime. He was something to see, and so clearly loved his job!

Don't lose hope, since there are SO many things that are wrong with horses that "wind up being nothing". (Thank God!) And then you have "the baby"! And when exactly are you going to "promote" him?? Poor horse. Here he is carrying all these competitive expectations, and yet still not being accorded the respect he deserves, since he is officially "still green" (at Training), and also carries that dubious distinction of being labeled "the husband horse." Wink, wink...;)

Soooo, once you get him to Prelim, are you going to finally stop referring to him as "the baby"? :D

I will let you know how it goes tomorrow (am exhausted from all the prep work--I had forgotten how that felt! And I am just going HC! But of course had to have a clean horse and clean tack, and etc., etc. However, I am SO not complaining!)

Keep the faith, and I will jingle for the Big Guy.

asterix
Mar. 6, 2010, 10:17 PM
Thanks, my dear. It means a lot. It's just hard enough to keep them sound when you make GOOD decisions, you know??

Clean does seem like a tall order right now, and I am interested in how those tests ride, just feeling a bit :( right now.

The baby will get a new tagline when he goes prelim...how about when he does the T3d, which is his goal this year??

Both horses have been doing double duty as lesson ponies for mr. asterix in his new adventure in group lessons at Waredaca (can I just say, paying someone else very competent to teach him is the best money I ever spent???).

The baby is pretty phlegmatic about the whole thing, as I would expect (although he gets up to no good on his own -- during the blizzard a fellow boarder posted a Youtube video of him twanging the wire fence with his MOUTH since his normal "sling my front shoe off" musical routine had been thwarted by 3 feet of snow :eek:)...but Piko... OMG... I am in the ring....with....what appear to be....school horses!!!!....maybe even a PONY....doing some kind of...coordinated circle maneuver...this, it be WRONG....did they not get the memo....I am Important and Fancy....


It was pretty funny, actually.

GatoGordo
Mar. 7, 2010, 01:13 AM
I don't know, as the younger sibling in my family I will *always* be the baby. I think R will get promoted only when P is a crabby old retiree (um, excuse me people, I'm supposed to be living it up and you haven't fed me yet today) and there's a NEW "baby". :D

yellowbritches
Mar. 7, 2010, 05:45 AM
I still refer to Vernon as the "little man" or the "wee man." He is neither nor does he behave as either. He truly is a giant ass with an ego that barely fits through the barn door, but he'll always be my little man (and he really isn't THAT little, considering what I have ridden in the past).

Dr. Doolittle
Mar. 8, 2010, 10:38 AM
Thanks, my dear. It means a lot. It's just hard enough to keep them sound when you make GOOD decisions, you know??

Clean does seem like a tall order right now, and I am interested in how those tests ride, just feeling a bit :( right now.

The baby will get a new tagline when he goes prelim...how about when he does the T3d, which is his goal this year??

Both horses have been doing double duty as lesson ponies for mr. asterix in his new adventure in group lessons at Waredaca (can I just say, paying someone else very competent to teach him is the best money I ever spent???).

The baby is pretty phlegmatic about the whole thing, as I would expect (although he gets up to no good on his own -- during the blizzard a fellow boarder posted a Youtube video of him twanging the wire fence with his MOUTH since his normal "sling my front shoe off" musical routine had been thwarted by 3 feet of snow :eek:)...but Piko... OMG... I am in the ring....with....what appear to be....school horses!!!!....maybe even a PONY....doing some kind of...coordinated circle maneuver...this, it be WRONG....did they not get the memo....I am Important and Fancy....


It was pretty funny, actually.

This visual is priceless! :lol: Both of your horses are characters in their own unique ways (but then again, aren't they all?), and kudos to them for filling in as lesson horses. Albeit, in Piko's case, with a certain amount of consternation. (I suspect that *you* could teach Mr. asterix perfectly well yourself, but there is the "husband/wife teacher/pupil thing" to consider. Any time one has to instruct a family member, there are always complications. My husband and daughter are taking my Puppy class with our new puppy, so they are compelled to listen to my professional advice...It's mostly okay, but I think it would probably be better if a "third party" were their trainer! When they move on to the Intermediate class, the *other* trainer will be teaching them! :winkgrin:)

So how IS Piko?? Any updates?

Our first outing went surprisingly well yesterday (had GREAT weather; what a treat!), and Her Majesty actually got complimentary comments on her SUBMISSION in her Training A test! :confused: :lol: She needed to be more "forward" (so that will be what I will need to work on between now and next week's Prelim A debut), but I plan to get her out of the ring tomorrow (before the next stretch of wet weather rolls in) and do a little gallop with a group hacking out--there are a few spots with okay footing (after you pick you way at a walk through the inevitable boggy areas), and I'm hoping it will help get her "untracked" a bit. She did well in her two schooling jumping rounds, too--a little spooky and "up" (in Frying Pan's indoor, who isn't??), but she jumped really well (only Novice height, but still), so I was very heartened by the experience.

Hang in there, please don't lose it (yet!) and keep us posted!!