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ACP
Jun. 8, 2011, 05:36 PM
My sister showed our gelding, an Arab/QH cross, at a Arabian show in USEF/USDF dressage classes this past weekend, twice in Training 2 and twice in Training 3. The Judge was Sandy Chohany.

On the first day of dressage, he got:

TL 2 - 63.571% - a third place
Scores were 8, 7, 7, 6, 6 (12), 7, 5 (10), 6, 5 (10), 6, 7, 8, 6, 7 (14), 7, 6.
Collective marks were 7, 6 (12), 6 (12), 6, 7, 7.
Stretch trot circle = 5 (10); free walk = 5 (10).

TL 3 - 66.400% - a second place
Scores were 6, 7, 6 (12), 8, 7, 7, 6 (12), 7, 7 (14), 8, 7, 6 (12), 6.
Collective marks were 7, 7 (14), 6 (12), 7, 6, 7.
Free walk = 6 (12); stretch trot circle = 6 (12).

On the second day of dressage, he got:

TL 2 - 68.929% - a first place
Scores were 8, 7, 7, 7, 8 (16), 7, 5 (10), 6, 6 (12), 7, 8, 7, 6, 8 (16), 7, 8.
Collective marks were 8, 7 (14), 6 (12), 7, 6, 7.
Stretch trot circle = 5 (10); free walk = 6 (12) .

TL 3 - 67.600 - a first place (even with a -2 for a wrong turn)
Scores were 8, 8, 7 (14), 8, 7, 7, 6 (12), 7, 6 (12), 8, 7, 5 (10), 7.
Collective marks were 8, 7 (14), 7 (14), 7, 6, 7.
Free walk = 6 (12); stretch circle = 5 (10).

Her remarks were "Poll must go below withers", "Poll won't go down", "Frame stretches out but poll won't go below withers", "Frame stretches out, but won't go down", "Teach this lovely horse to stretch down", "Poll must go below withers", "Poll must go below withers", "Lower the poll, the higher the number", and "Neck goes out but poll will not go below withers".

So.... I am pretty sure we need to work on stretching DOWN. LOL!

Any suggestions on exercises that will help him?

jcotton
Jun. 8, 2011, 10:16 PM
The stretchy circle work is what she indicated is your weak point.
But that doesn't you mean you lkive on 20 meters. you work the stretchy work in the whole entire arena, across diagonals,.....in the pasture, trails,..anywhere you ask.
You are developing his entire topline with this one exercise. 10 minutes in your warmup, and 10 minutes in your cool down daily. Sandi is my trainer and this is what I had to do with my welsh cob (who has a short and powerful neck) & doesn't really think the stretchy circle stuff applies to him.

flasher
Jun. 9, 2011, 10:20 AM
Looking forward to these suggestions myself. My purebred Arab mare gets great scores on the freewalk but doesn't want to stretch down on the stretchy circle. Out, sure but not down.

ACP
Jun. 9, 2011, 12:59 PM
The stretchy circle work is what she indicated is your weak point.
But that doesn't you mean you lkive on 20 meters. you work the stretchy work in the whole entire arena, across diagonals,.....in the pasture, trails,..anywhere you ask.
You are developing his entire topline with this one exercise. 10 minutes in your warmup, and 10 minutes in your cool down daily. Sandi is my trainer and this is what I had to do with my welsh cob (who has a short and powerful neck) & doesn't really think the stretchy circle stuff applies to him.

Until now, I've only had one horse that wouldn't stretch. All the others would follow the bit down, one could wiggle the pinkie fingers a bit and keep giving rein at the same time, and the horse would stretch out and down. This horse just doesn't stretch down.

I need suggestions for things to do to get him to stretch down.

cuatx55
Jun. 9, 2011, 01:06 PM
Half halt before you release the reins, my arab does a lovely stretch but I have to really get her connected.

Try stretching at W-T-C for a few strides, its suppose to be a test of a good connection.

The horse should always be thinking forward down and out every stride, no matter where the head is. the feeling on the reins should stay the same no matter how long the reins are.

Sometimes arabs stretch BTV its a strength thing. Just do as much as they can comfortably go with out encouraging this bad habit----if the horse is ridden well they should go OUT given enough practice. Also, for a horse that gets deep ride a tiny shoulder fore during the stretch.

too much stretch too soon just pushes the horse on the forehand, so be careful.

oldernewbie
Jun. 9, 2011, 03:50 PM
Funny, my Arab has a great stretchy trot but isn't nearly as consistent at the walk. I could ride him all day in the stretchy trot - I often use it to relax him when we've been working on other things or if he gets confused. Kind of a reset button.

At the walk? Must not be challenging enough - he'll often start out well and then go all looky on me. Lately I've been encouraging him to step out more at the walk - even using the whip now and then. It seems to help.

jcotton
Jun. 9, 2011, 03:53 PM
Be determined and in the beginning they can not hold the stretch for entire circle, be happy with a few strides and rebalance.
My welsh cob was hard to get him down and out, he was happy with down behind the vert.
The hind end has to be active too, so that the horse is not pulling himself along on his forehand. It is a fine balance.

ACP
Jun. 9, 2011, 06:29 PM
My sister worked him in long lines today, rather than riding, and kept asking him to go down, over and over. She said she thought maybe he might have made a tiny bit of progress.

jcotton
Jun. 10, 2011, 09:21 AM
You could try working him in vienna sidereins on the lunge as well to develope the trust to stretch down and out, without the weight of the rider.
And as stated before, be happy with a little and ask for more gradually.
Also ask for the stretch in walk and canter, too.