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View Full Version : Before & After - Updated with NEW lesson video 1/9/11



SquishTheBunny
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:01 PM
I posted a few weeks ago about switching into dressage with my OTTB, I was having beginner frusterations and it developed into quite a long thread! Well, Im happy to say that I am still with it. Actually, pretty addicted. Unfortnatley my finances dont allow me to do more than 1 lesson per week, but I think in our 6 lessons me and my horse have improved significantly from the before.

Our reason for switching to dressage was a.) because I want to learn to ride better. b) to help me rebalance my horse, who wants to be a bulldozer.

Although we still have a LOOONG way to go (meaning please dont critique too hard because I have a lot of things to work on but am open to any helpful comments), I am seeing some improvement! I still need to work a lot on myself (getting the "feel" doesnt come really natural to me) but I am really pleased with how my horse is coming along. I never posted our original video before, because I was too embarrased!! But now, Im glad I have it because it gives me a great reference!

(you may want to turn sound down for videos)

Before Video (ewww, no comments please!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw1FSv2_ig8

After 6 dressage lessons (note, this is not in a lesson where coach always has ways of making me ride better!):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHqSTJgXJUo Trot Right
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fU218Y_GJY Canter Right
Trot/Canter Left (our weaker way)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOXYcJNkf8



Posted new video 1/9/11, in a lesson. Think the tempo is better :) Will post another in 6 weeks time :) See Page 2 for videolink.

kinnip
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:35 PM
Looks like some pretty substantial improvement. Nice horse.

nhwr
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:39 PM
Good work and your horse is very cute!

aWp
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:47 PM
You guys look great! Have fun!

Cruiser12
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:50 PM
good job!
Keep up the good work, your shoulders are much better, you could sit a little straighter still but you've come a long way. Your horse looks great too!

AnEnglishRider
Jan. 2, 2011, 09:56 PM
You guys look great!

Beentheredonethat
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:01 PM
I don't know what you're embarrassed about. Your "bad" video looks pretty nice, and your good one looks great. That is a NICE OTTB. I didn't read that before I saw the before video, and I thought he was some expensive warmblood. For someone who claims to have no feel, I can see that you do. You're a lot better than you think you are.

netg
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:21 PM
Welcome to the "I want to quit these @$#^ing hunter habits" club!

I agree that he's very cute, and that you are far better than you make yourself out to be! You need to work on the same basics all of us do when making the switch to dressage - keep working on sitting back (which it feels like, even when you're still tipped forward), work on lifting the hands off his withers, and work on a following hand/keeping contact.

From the difference between the videos, you appear to already be working on those things. The other thing I would work on is using your outside rein more in your turns - especially with the horse there, he wants to throw out his shoulder to veer that direction.

You're clearly doing good work, and it seems your instruction is exactly what you need for improving, so I don't have much more advice to give, besides believe in yourself more! You wouldn't make this much progress over 6 lessons without good riding in between, too.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:28 PM
Welcome to the "I want to quit these @$#^ing hunter habits" club!

I agree that he's very cute, and that you are far better than you make yourself out to be! You need to work on the same basics all of us do when making the switch to dressage - keep working on sitting back (which it feels like, even when you're still tipped forward), work on lifting the hands off his withers, and work on a following hand/keeping contact.

From the difference between the videos, you appear to already be working on those things. The other thing I would work on is using your outside rein more in your turns - especially with the horse there, he wants to throw out his shoulder to veer that direction.

You're clearly doing good work, and it seems your instruction is exactly what you need for improving, so I don't have much more advice to give, besides believe in yourself more! You wouldn't make this much progress over 6 lessons without good riding in between, too.

Funny you should say that because those are exactly our focus points at the moment. Getting him OFF that inside right rein, onto the left rein is difficult (my bad creation!) but we are aware of it and working on it. Im much more focused inthe lesson where I have someone reminding me practically every other stride ;)

I need to soften my elbows, and follow - but with him, a low hand (I tend to want to pick them up to high, and pull on his reins), so for the time being we are focusng on a lowish hand with a soft open elbow....freakin' easier said than done.

And yep...its a looong road ahead, I have a lot of issues I have to work on before I can expect my horse to advanceany further.

I cant wait for my next lesson!! Im getting so addicted to this!!

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 2, 2011, 10:39 PM
I don't know what you're embarrassed about. Your "bad" video looks pretty nice, and your good one looks great. That is a NICE OTTB. I didn't read that before I saw the before video, and I thought he was some expensive warmblood. For someone who claims to have no feel, I can see that you do. You're a lot better than you think you are.


Awww THANK YOU! I love him to bits. He certainly is a pretty poor example of an OTTB, he's not hot at all, very bombproof and beginner friendly. He's a bit of a lemon though :) He's only 16hh on a tall day, and on the long and lean side but I think we are a pretty good match for each other. And yes thank you, Im trying really hard to work on the feel so Im happy it at least looks like its coming along!!!

mickeydoodle
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:11 PM
Not a lot of difference in the videos. Nice horse, good potential.

Concentrate on increasing the length of the stride, but not the tempo. Increase the bend through the body, not just the neck. Increasing his working through the body, and thus the back will really get the best out of a nice horse.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 2, 2011, 11:29 PM
Not a lot of difference in the videos. Nice horse, good potential.

Concentrate on increasing the length of the stride, but not the tempo. Increase the bend through the body, not just the neck. Increasing his working through the body, and thus the back will really get the best out of a nice horse.

Thanks for your honest opinion. I guess I was just feeling the improvement. Either way, Im happy with the direction we are headed. For your comments, yes I agree we need all those and those are what we are working on. It doesnt come overnight...at least not for me!

goeslikestink
Jan. 3, 2011, 04:52 AM
look here http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=178116
read all of page one and all links on page one as they are all helpful to you

read page one on how to alter your stirrups correctly this will help with your position and balance

as you tend to tilt forwards and miss a beat when trotting shows up more on the seoncd video for missing a beat
tilting is in both, you say your horse bull dozers so sit back and into the saddle will slow the horse up, you have to active legs so onstantly banging on the horses sides so your asking him to go forwards but with your hands your asking him to stop hence the tilt, as your supporting your body weight through his head end so come back of his head and use your seat more

try working your your hrose in trot without your stirrups pull them up ove the pomel leftover right, this will help with your balance and make you sit more into him, and also will help you learn to ride with an independant seat
so you wont bob on his back and miss a beat when trotting
ask your trianer if nessacary to put you on the lunge and owrk on your position which will help you with your balance on your horse

hes honest and kind horse so isnt going to do anything nutty just he trying his heart out for you with confusing signals as you not giving him a direct signal of command

Perfect Pony
Jan. 3, 2011, 11:55 AM
Is that your dressage saddle? It does not look like it fits you correctly (the seat looks too small and your leg too far forward on the flap). You look to me to be struggling with this unnecessarily.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 3, 2011, 12:45 PM
Yes thats my saddle, no its not to small. I am still getting used to riding in a dressage saddle, which is why my legs are forward (working on not jamming heels down and bringing leg forward). And I am not yet "comfortable" with dressage tack after spending 12 years in a CC saddle, its just a totally different feeling so no my position isnt even close to perfect. I trust my coach, and she thinks this one fits me much better than the others I tried. I feel way more secure in this saddle as opposed to the the ones that were .5" bigger.

Again, I get it....like I said there is a LOT of improvement to come, Ive ridden in this tack a total of 7 times. Im listening to my coach as far as tack choices and lessons (no offense to anyone here, but everyone has their own opinion and I really just need to stick to one while I am learning), but thought since I felt some improvement it would look like there was from the first video. Guess not. Oh well, still got lots of lessons ahead of us.

paintlady
Jan. 3, 2011, 12:50 PM
SquishTheBunny - Your horse is just lovely! I think you're certainly sitting much better between the first and second videos.

I know how hard it is to break those hunter habits. I just started doing dressage a few years ago - after 20+ years of doing H/J - on a horse totally not built/trained for dressage.

I posted a video here a couple of weeks ago. People on COTH can be extremely critical and harsh. If it makes you feel any better - they're being waaaay nicer to you and your horse than they were to me.

Keep up the good work! Dressage is certainly a challenge, but (speaking for myself) a lot of fun and great training for both horse and rider.

netg
Jan. 3, 2011, 10:15 PM
but thought since I felt some improvement it would look like there was from the first video. Guess not. Oh well, still got lots of lessons ahead of us.

Eh, it was one opinion, and I didn't think it was shared too harshly. I disagreed with it, too - I could tell you were working on and improving in the specific things I mentioned. Don't get too upset about anything. And keep having fun with your cute horse!

rprincess73
Jan. 4, 2011, 11:10 AM
I think the two of you look great. Cooper is a pretty one - LOVE his face:)

I am a former H/J rider...(about 8 years)...then took off a few...started again...took off a few more years and then last July - kicked into Dressage. WELCOME to the club:)

From your first video to the canter one - I see a large improvement already. You are sitting straighter - even Cooper is getting out of the "hunter" frame and is starting to pick his head up better. Looks like the two of you are working together well. Yes - it's a long road...but you two seem to be on the right track. Another poster said it...and while I loathe no stirrup work...it really DOES work for getting your butt in the saddle and working your seat/core and legs. It also allows you to get out of that "hunter" seat.

Your saddle...I believe it looks fine. Realize...that within 6 months to a year - not only are YOU going to change (i.e. muscle memory will be different, core muscles will be more in tune, leg muscles will work and build differently), but your horse is going to build different muscle as well. Saddle fit for a dressage rider and horse can and will change through the levels.

Good luck...and welcome to the crazy dressage world:)

EqTrainer
Jan. 4, 2011, 12:06 PM
Hey Squishy, things are looking good! I will comment more later, in between lessons now grabbing a bite to eat :)

Calhoun
Jan. 4, 2011, 01:42 PM
Not a lot of difference in the videos..

Totally disagree! The horse started out looking like a candidate for the Quarter Horse Congress and only 6 lessons later he is much more up and open. To the OP . . . just think what you'll look like in a year. Good luck on your dressage journey :)

Perfect Pony
Jan. 4, 2011, 03:02 PM
You may think that your saddle fits you fine, but IMO you are riding with your stirrups 1-2 holes too long. You have almost no angle at you knee at all, but your leg is nearly over the front of the flap at times. You also looked pushed up too close to the front of your pommel. Your stirrup is so long without angle that you look like you are just bouncing instead of posting. I would like to see a little slower and more deliberate posting to try to slow the horses rhythm while still getting more forward. That is all I was trying to say with the saddle comment.

TSWJB
Jan. 4, 2011, 03:05 PM
Totally disagree! The horse started out looking like a candidate for the Quarter Horse Congress and only 6 lessons later he is much more up and open. To the OP . . . just think what you'll look like in a year. Good luck on your dressage journey :)


i agree! i think your horse is really cute and you are doing a good job quickly!

RooMB4
Jan. 4, 2011, 04:43 PM
I agree with the comment on tempo...he has a lovely, swinging forward stride, but at times, he looks quick. Post a tad slower and try to bring the tempo down and the stride length up. Great work overall though, you've definitely made progress.

On a side note, I think he's a perfect example of an OTTB. So many people think they are crazy and hot and only know how to run in a straight line. What a great ambassador for the breed!

CelticRiverDance
Jan. 4, 2011, 08:32 PM
Awww THANK YOU! I love him to bits. He certainly is a pretty poor example of an OTTB, he's not hot at all, very bombproof and beginner friendly. He's a bit of a lemon though :) He's only 16hh on a tall day, and on the long and lean side but I think we are a pretty good match for each other. And yes thank you, Im trying really hard to work on the feel so Im happy it at least looks like its coming along!!!

I want one. What a nice horse. Good luck and enjoy. You both look great.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 4, 2011, 11:37 PM
Thanks all!!

I completely agree about the tempo at times, he gets a little quick as I try to "encourage" forward (to allow more self carriage), but because I am no longer allowing myself to just haul back on his reins...we do have quick moments that take much longer to get him back. Trying to train body to post slower, half halt, and use a balancing leg, not always a forward leg....but,clearly, by body doesnt quite do what my brain is telling it :) Im going to get coach on him again, as I think her clear signals help him understand. Obviously I make lots of mistakes as I learn, so I think its a good idea for him to get some solid intruction and hopefully make it a little easier for me to get it with him as well.

And thanks for all the comments about my horse, he really is one in a million. he's a lemon, not so great conformation and really has no solid training, but the biggest heart ever.

I'll post some more video after another 6 lessons or so.... :)

purplnurpl
Jan. 5, 2011, 09:58 AM
he is cute!!

I actually prefer the trot in the first video.
It's soft and supple with rhythm.
relaxing to watch.

the second trot video he is rushed, over bent, and his out way of moving behind shows up more with the faster tempo.

but that's just me.

katie+tru
Jan. 5, 2011, 12:18 PM
Not a lot of difference in the videos.


I disagree as well. My first thought of the first video was "Oh, well that's definitely some sort of English pleasure or flat Eq stuff going on there..."

My initial thought on the second video was "There's his head! And his stride!"

I see a very obvious improvement in his forward movement and that fact that his head is in a more natural, efficient position.

Haters gon' hate, but don't worry. Dressage is not a quick change. Prepare for atleast a couple years of hard work to get somewhere really awesome. It's totally worth it. :)

WBLover
Jan. 6, 2011, 10:14 AM
I think you are really starting to put things together, and I agree on the other pointers you have received.

I just wanted to say that you have a very NICE TB, very active hind legs, and once his balance starts coming back to his haunches you are going to have a very fancy guy on your hands! Lucky you to have found dressage and want to pursue it, I think it will suit him!

ACMEeventing
Jan. 6, 2011, 09:19 PM
Squishy, I remember when you posted your initial thread and I'm so happy for you, you look great! I can't believe only 6 lessons in and so much progress.

Kudos to you for sharing your journey, it's scary to post video online. You are obviously being given good instruction which you are obviously trying very hard to take to heart.

Keep it up and please keep us posted on your progress. :yes:

Jennifer

event1
Jan. 7, 2011, 05:52 PM
I think your horse is very cute and he looks like one that I got off the track-trained and resold. Anyway...although there is some improvement in the second video (glad to see you changhed bits) I still think that you are just "following" his lead with your posting. He needs to be lighter on the front end and shift more of his weight onto his hind end, and have more self carriage. In order to do this-you need to start teaching him/working on yourself, some true half halts. Half halts that are not just slowing him down but at the same time, lifting his front end onto his hind end. To start to achieve this, you need to slow your posting down and ride him like "you are taking him" not he is taking you. You need to regulate the tempo by your posting and put him into "your seat". Then you can start to ask him for slower, longer steps that are much more balanced. Alng the way-he is bound to be trying to pop his shoulders/haunches out which can be fixed with your leg with some help of the supporting rein on that side. Keeping him straight becomes important as it helps him find his balance. Once you have mastered that at the trot, the same goes with the canter. You really do not need a strong bit to accomplish this as the bit can not fix the balance of the horse.
I would also start working on lifting him off of the inside leg to the outside hand. This is best done right after you ask for the half halt....half halt, inside leg on, press to outside hand (lifting the horse off of the inside of his body-with your seat not allowing him to speed up instead) and again-being there to support with the outside leg and hand so he doesn't then buldge out the outside either (and take your leg off on the wall of the indoor! LOL) Eventually, you will be able to ride him with just your seat which will make the half halts easier/more effective, which will in turn help keep him in more of tempo with longer strides and eventually off of his forehand. You will be amazed how much you can change if you just start teaching him to be ridden off of your seat, with your hands and leg as a backup. I hope I explained it so you can understand it at least a little...good luck-he is really cute!

KrazyTBMare
Jan. 7, 2011, 07:46 PM
I think your horse is very cute and he looks like one that I got off the track-trained and resold. Anyway...although there is some improvement in the second video (glad to see you changhed bits) I still think that you are just "following" his lead with your posting. He needs to be lighter on the front end and shift more of his weight onto his hind end, and have more self carriage. In order to do this-you need to start teaching him/working on yourself, some true half halts. Half halts that are not just slowing him down but at the same time, lifting his front end onto his hind end. To start to achieve this, you need to slow your posting down and ride him like "you are taking him" not he is taking you. You need to regulate the tempo by your posting and put him into "your seat". Then you can start to ask him for slower, longer steps that are much more balanced. Alng the way-he is bound to be trying to pop his shoulders/haunches out which can be fixed with your leg with some help of the supporting rein on that side. Keeping him straight becomes important as it helps him find his balance. Once you have mastered that at the trot, the same goes with the canter. You really do not need a strong bit to accomplish this as the bit can not fix the balance of the horse.
I would also start working on lifting him off of the inside leg to the outside hand. This is best done right after you ask for the half halt....half halt, inside leg on, press to outside hand (lifting the horse off of the inside of his body-with your seat not allowing him to speed up instead) and again-being there to support with the outside leg and hand so he doesn't then buldge out the outside either (and take your leg off on the wall of the indoor! LOL) Eventually, you will be able to ride him with just your seat which will make the half halts easier/more effective, which will in turn help keep him in more of tempo with longer strides and eventually off of his forehand. You will be amazed how much you can change if you just start teaching him to be ridden off of your seat, with your hands and leg as a backup. I hope I explained it so you can understand it at least a little...good luck-he is really cute!

:yes:

I totally agree with this. He reminds me of my mare when we first started dressage. Yes dressage is about forward and impulsion but its a direction not a speed. He is more up in the 2nd video but hes being pushed out of balance by being over tempo. You both are completely changing the rules for yourselves - completely different way of moving, different muscles, different everything. You both need to slow things down and allow yourselves to master using your seat and half halts before asking for more and more.

I love his face and very flashy coloring. Just wait until you have been taking lessons for 6 months - you are just going to be thrilled as you already have improvements in just your 6th lesson.

Perfect Pony
Jan. 7, 2011, 08:38 PM
I think your horse is very cute and he looks like one that I got off the track-trained and resold. Anyway...although there is some improvement in the second video (glad to see you changhed bits) I still think that you are just "following" his lead with your posting. He needs to be lighter on the front end and shift more of his weight onto his hind end, and have more self carriage. In order to do this-you need to start teaching him/working on yourself, some true half halts. Half halts that are not just slowing him down but at the same time, lifting his front end onto his hind end. To start to achieve this, you need to slow your posting down and ride him like "you are taking him" not he is taking you. You need to regulate the tempo by your posting and put him into "your seat". Then you can start to ask him for slower, longer steps that are much more balanced. Alng the way-he is bound to be trying to pop his shoulders/haunches out which can be fixed with your leg with some help of the supporting rein on that side. Keeping him straight becomes important as it helps him find his balance. Once you have mastered that at the trot, the same goes with the canter. You really do not need a strong bit to accomplish this as the bit can not fix the balance of the horse.
I would also start working on lifting him off of the inside leg to the outside hand. This is best done right after you ask for the half halt....half halt, inside leg on, press to outside hand (lifting the horse off of the inside of his body-with your seat not allowing him to speed up instead) and again-being there to support with the outside leg and hand so he doesn't then buldge out the outside either (and take your leg off on the wall of the indoor! LOL) Eventually, you will be able to ride him with just your seat which will make the half halts easier/more effective, which will in turn help keep him in more of tempo with longer strides and eventually off of his forehand. You will be amazed how much you can change if you just start teaching him to be ridden off of your seat, with your hands and leg as a backup. I hope I explained it so you can understand it at least a little...good luck-he is really cute!

Exactly. But the problem as I see it is it does not look to me the OP can effectively do this in that saddle. If your stirrups are way too long, and you are pushed up against the pommel, it's very hard to post and use your leg effectively.

I think this is why some people think the horse actually looks better in the first video (and I agree to a certain extent). The rider has a much more effective and balanced seat and leg position with which to post correctly.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 7, 2011, 10:56 PM
Exactly. But the problem as I see it is it does not look to me the OP can effectively do this in that saddle. If your stirrups are way too long, and you are pushed up against the pommel, it's very hard to post and use your leg effectively.

I think this is why some people think the horse actually looks better in the first video (and I agree to a certain extent). The rider has a much more effective and balanced seat and leg position with which to post correctly.


I shortened my stirrups today in my lesson, felt much better. Iwas riding alone that day, and my coach suggested shortening the stirrups today. I had a much more secure feeling and didnt feel like I was just bouncing around.

Yep, I know the tempo is much faster, horse and rider are still LEARNING here :) When I apply leg to get him more uphill, he does speed up a little. Neither myself OR my horse quite get the "balance" leg...we are new to this. I really wasnt looking for a critique on how amazing we are, because in all honesty we are absolute beginners - the two of us. I was mainly focusing on his self carriage, as that has been the biggest problem. We are working on ALL the things you have all mentioned and while Im sure 99% of you could do it way better than me, cut a beginner some slack...we ARE working on it all and it IS going to take time. I am listning to the advice of my wonderful coach, and hoping to squeek in 2 lessons per week to advance a little further.

The horse has never been a dangerous horse at all, he has a heart of gold, however the reason for our switch to dressage is because we had some major training problems (a lot of them I helped create, but some residual from the track).

He roots the reins out of your hands during transitions
He gets lower and lower and faster and faster
He doesnt turn right
He had NO self carriage, needed me to hold him up.

With only a few lessons, I can now get a downward transition without him pulling the reins out of my hands, while he can still be quick (because he doesnt understand my halfhalts all the time), he isnt dragging me down tothe ground. He now turns right better - and we are working on improving it even more. He has more self carriage, especially at the canter.

So yes, he is over tempo in the video, today in the lesson we werent (forward, but not speedy). Step by step, and I think in another 6 weeks there will be even more improvement.

Again...I appreciate all the "help", but I follow the advice of the coach on the ground with me. While most of what you are all saying is exactly what she is saying, she knows how me and my horse were from the beginning. He's not one you can push and make him into a star overnight...and unfortunatley neither am I :) Seriously...I still can barely remember to post on the right diagonal sometimes!!!

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 7, 2011, 11:07 PM
Here is another video from the same riding session, this is a trot/canter to the left. Its a better angle to watch from: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mX0RMrS3ltM&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Again, I know tempo is too fast, especially at the trot. I am trying to balance getting him up, but keeping his trot slower....not easy, really gives me a lot of respect for you dressage riders! At the end of the video our tempo is slower (as Im giving more halfthalts to prepare for walk)

After the canter, it takes me about 3 circles to get him back to walk...Im trying not to pull on the reins, just a gentle hold. Before I started dressage, it took a pelham and a "heave" to get him back to a walk from the canter....and then he head would be on the ground. So, although its taking me a long time to get the transition I am trying to do it the proper way. As coach says, doesnt matter how long it takes as long as we do it right. Eventually it will come faster especially as we both learn the halfhalt.

Unfortunatley I dont have any old video of him cantering, but if you watch befor and after the jumps...you can see what I mean about the pulling doooown in the canter http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOXYcJNkf8 Again...no nasty comments please as I am workin on fixing this :)

*Trinity*
Jan. 8, 2011, 12:25 AM
You have a lovely horse - I, too, was surprised to read he was an TB (read that after watching the videos). What an incredible improvement you've made! You should be very proud. While I agree with some of the comments people have made, don't put too much weight in what people are trying to tell you over an internet BB. You obviously have a good coach, stick with what she's having you work on!

katarine
Jan. 8, 2011, 11:38 AM
Squish, you can't control the responses you get. Just take what's valuable and throw out the rest. It's like going to the mailbox, some things of value, some bills, maybe a party invitation....and a whole lotta junkmail. You don't fuss at your mailbox, do ya ? LOL Same logic applies here :)

That particular lightbulb went off for me when I met a gal I knew online to be an incredible source of dressage master class type stuff. I was pretty intimidated to meet her and ride in front of her. Until I saw HER on her horse. Oh my. Monkey on a football, she couldn't ride her way out of a paper bag. Now I am not specifically disparaging any posters here, in fact none stood out in my mind one way or another. Alls I'm saying is your real life instructor and respected fellow rider's opinions are where your energy and interest should be: on any bb there'll be a little bit o good, and a ho lotta junk :)

I think he's way cute and it's nice to see a happy pair working together.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 9, 2011, 05:57 PM
OK, got my friend to videotape my lesson, I think the tempo is better? This is just 2 lessons since the last post, but I will generally do a 6 week comparison. Just wanted to post this to show that we arent always way above tempo. Not saying its great, but a little better ;)

Trot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8x0wPgoZIM
Canter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRhI8ZEoies

ideayoda
Jan. 9, 2011, 06:40 PM
So, the question is what you want to accomplish, for what discipline? The horse is over tempo in trot, which will tend bury him onto the forehand. He is a cute jumper, but again if he is too low/over tempo he will push himself over the fence rather than have an even bascule. Slow down (pulsing the aids) and keep your chest pointing over his ears rather than at his neck.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 9, 2011, 08:40 PM
So, the question is what you want to accomplish, for what discipline? The horse is over tempo in trot, which will tend bury him onto the forehand. He is a cute jumper, but again if he is too low/over tempo he will push himself over the fence rather than have an even bascule. Slow down (pulsing the aids) and keep your chest pointing over his ears rather than at his neck.

We are aiming for training level dressage (equivalent to the level one up from walk/trot in the states). In the last video I posted, is he really that over tempo still? My coach is having me ride him like that to engage his hind end. He will gladly western jog (and looks darn cute in western tack!). However, when he goes "slower" he looses any drive from behind. Coach is trying to help horse engage hind end, and let me feel the push (listen to the video). So, we go forward for 5 strides then halfhalt back to relax the trot but (ideally) keep the motion coming from behind. Sure, its quicker than your trained dressage horse...but we are trying to teach the feeling. If he goes slower, we loose the push from the hind end. Im sure you could do it...but I cant yet. And we arent jumping anymore for the time being.

nhwr
Jan. 9, 2011, 08:58 PM
More good work and progress.
Your trainer's comments are constructive.

Keep it up (or let me have him ;) )

Perfect Pony
Jan. 9, 2011, 09:19 PM
OK, got my friend to videotape my lesson, I think the tempo is better? This is just 2 lessons since the last post, but I will generally do a 6 week comparison. Just wanted to post this to show that we arent always way above tempo. Not saying its great, but a little better ;)

Trot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8x0wPgoZIM
Canter: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRhI8ZEoies

SO much better! Especially the trot work. He looks more relaxed and happy. Good job.

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 9, 2011, 09:57 PM
YAY!! Im SO happy that my horse has found his niche...even though its just basic level, I have had so many H/J coaches tell me not to even bother with him, that he's a lost cause. I LOVE riding him now, dressage is so addicting (even more than hunter!!) and I feel a high every time I get something right!! Im even learning not to be so hard on myself or my horse when we dont get it right.

I had a breakthrough today with our left shoulder bulge issue...and I was on cloud 9!!

I love riding this guy so much now, the poor hunters are sitting in their stalls getting fat...meh....they dont mind :)

Perfect Pony
Jan. 9, 2011, 10:03 PM
I feel a high every time I get something right!! Im even learning not to be so hard on myself or my horse when we dont get it right.

Congratulations. Celebrating the little victories while not being too hard on yourself or your horse is a very important thing to learn. Time, consistency and patience are your friends.

I recommend this book to everyone for some really great wisdom, helpful riding tips, and gorgeous pictures. I read it to help me get motivated as well as put it all in perspective.
http://www.amazon.com/Classical-Schooling-Horse-Mind-Techniques/dp/1570763747

I also highly recommend reading Debbie McDonald's book "Riding Through". Especially for those switching from H/J riding to dressage
http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-McDonald-Riding-Through-Medalists/dp/1929164351/

KrazyTBMare
Jan. 9, 2011, 11:43 PM
What a wonderful difference. *This* is what you should keep in your mind, every ride, esp when not in a lesson. Your trainer sounds very encouraging and knowledgable and supportive.

I think once you are able to open your hips and really sit on your seat and relax your knee, you will really be able to "feel" a half halt and it will come together even more. That was the hardest part for me coming from the jumpers.

I think he makes a lovely dressage horse and you both are well on your way. Congrats!

netg
Jan. 10, 2011, 01:35 AM
I still think he's cute and you're making good progress with a trainer who is clearly helping you a lot!

Has she introduced the idea of shoulder fore to you two yet? Pretty much every time he goes by he appears to have his front legs on a track outside of the one his hind legs are on. This is a cheat horses often do to keep from having to carry their weight on their inside hind, and it may be a lack of strength causing it right now even if you're thinking shoulder fore.

Also, I have to ask... is that snow in the indoor, or frost which has collected due to the cold?! I was complaining about temperatures not too far above freezing here lately, and your video just made me grateful I chose to move back here after college!

esdressage
Jan. 10, 2011, 12:11 PM
What a cute boy you have! Lots of improvement!!! :D

I like your trainer. Her comments are constructive and well timed. For somebody coming from hunters to dressage, the comment about wanting you to feel your seat bones every stride of the canter is perfect. I'm also a past hunter rider and I'm going to keep that in mind for myself as well, because if I forget to SIT, I end up slowly coming up (that feeling of heading into a round of jumps).

SquishTheBunny
Jan. 10, 2011, 08:14 PM
I still think he's cute and you're making good progress with a trainer who is clearly helping you a lot!

Has she introduced the idea of shoulder fore to you two yet? Pretty much every time he goes by he appears to have his front legs on a track outside of the one his hind legs are on. This is a cheat horses often do to keep from having to carry their weight on their inside hind, and it may be a lack of strength causing it right now even if you're thinking shoulder fore.

Also, I have to ask... is that snow in the indoor, or frost which has collected due to the cold?! I was complaining about temperatures not too far above freezing here lately, and your video just made me grateful I chose to move back here after college!

thanks, yes the coach is WONDERFUL! I am very lucky. She actually JUST introduced the term shouder fore to me during that last lesson. I think we are going to start working on that during the coming weeks.

Yep, thats snow. Its a wonderul huge indoor, but whenits really windy out, snow blows in through the escape hatches in the roof. Its usually above freezing in there, but man...I hate winter.

Calhoun
Jan. 11, 2011, 02:33 PM
For 10 or less lessons, you look fabulous honey-LOL A pat on the back for riding in what looks to be very cold temperatures. The downside of riding in 20 degree weather is it takes your poor horse a long time to warm up (at least mine does).

AnotherRound
Jan. 11, 2011, 02:48 PM
I can't look at youtube at work, but I will when I get home.

I just wanted to say congratulations on the work - I think I have about 10 or 12 lessons under my belt, and come from a hunter/jumper/eq background from the 1970's - since them I rode however I pleased, and only now, age 50, am I learning to ride right. Boy is it hard to unlearn the old h/j habits - I had no idea I did them and even when my trainer discusses in detail what she wants me to do differently, and I understand, and read about it, and can SEE it in the mirrors, I still have a really hard time feeling it, and doing it, really hard, to sit up straight (feels like leaning back like saddleseat or something), hard to keep from bending my wrists, hard to NOT pinch with the knee and ride with an open seatbones and close lower leg; hard to allow my weight to sink into my lower leg, keep my leg from nagging, just so really hard.

That said, people say I am doing better, and it feels wonderful. I am happy that you see the improvment, and feel the improvement, and that is so much of the foundation for riding it well - keep going, hope your horse is hyappy too!