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View Full Version : My 3 yr old ASBx debuts in Dressage...



ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 12:48 PM
My homebred OldenburgxSaddlebred gelding has been to two shows already this year, behaving better than many of the older, more seasoned horses and thoroughly enjoying himself. :D
Our first time out he was a little rattled by the judge's booth and the big white letters, but we still managed an error-free Intro test, for a score of 61%.
Second show, at a much bigger venue (one of the fanciest show venues in Eastern Canada, actually), he was pretty much unfazed by the ring and judges and we scored 66.6% and 66.3% on our 2 Intro tests (for 2nd out of 5 and 3rd out of 4). He was the youngest horse there and impressed everyone with his calm, attentive attitude and the ring stewards got a kick out of his friendly/goofy personality. :p

I've only been breeding for a little while, but so far I'm accomplishing exactly what I want - producing sane, sensible, willing horses who turn themselves inside out to please. Not to mention EASY and COMFY to ride, omg!! He is the third horse (second homebred) I have brought out to a show at the tender age of 3 in the past five years, and all have behaved impeccably.

Videos here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uz901vgV6GI&NR=1
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTOXOVkG9os

Thansk for letting me brag! I'm quite enjoying this Dressage thing, very fun! Everyone is super friendly and supportive, i don't know where this "DQ" business comes from.. maybe that's only at big, rated shows?? :lol:

GallantGesture
Jun. 22, 2011, 01:10 PM
What a good boy!! He is very pretty and SO well behaved for a baby just figuring out the show thing. You should be very proud :)

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 02:30 PM
Thx, Gallant! I am very proud of him, and hope that i'm doing a good job.. i'm only an AA, after all.

Any tips on how to encourage more stretch in the free walk for a horse who loves to carry himself "up" and look around..?? :lol:

WBLover
Jun. 22, 2011, 02:56 PM
GREAT JOB!! What a lovely boy, and he looked like he'd BTDT!

He's all legs, quite elegant. And love the matching sox too!

tidy rabbit
Jun. 22, 2011, 03:19 PM
What a nice young horse! Congratulations!

ArabDiva
Jun. 22, 2011, 03:38 PM
very nice! thank you for sharing. I enjoyed watching your video and he looks really great for a 3 year old!

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 03:51 PM
Aww, thanks guys!! I really appreciate the support!

jcotton
Jun. 22, 2011, 03:55 PM
For encouraging the free walk, lots of trail rides -and walk breaks that focus on the long stretched neck with groundcovering, overstepping strides in your daily work.
Be diligent on getting it, since it is a double co-efficient training level thru second level. And while you're working on that, you might as well start working the stretchy trot circle, too, that will help your topline development.

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 04:39 PM
jcotton - he is the same on trail rides, I can let him out to the buckle and he will happily keep his head up, neck level with or higher than his back, looking around and checking everything out. I have no idea how to teach him that I want him to put his head & neck all the way down, it truly seems like a foreign concept to him..!

What kills me is that he could NOT have been more relaxed - if he had he would've been asleep.. and yet they kept asking for "more relaxation". What if he is truly relaxed without having his head/neck all the way down?? :confused:

netg
Jun. 22, 2011, 04:47 PM
I'd do a lot of change of bend. I say this not having worked with an ASB, but having worked with other naturally high-headed horses. When horses have the natural high head carriage, getting them stretching out and down is actually necessary in order to build up back muscles and improve their movement. Our Friesian-x looks like a totally different horse now that she knows how to stretch down/out. In her case it's about using inside flexion and inside leg to push her inside hind toward her outside shoulder. Holding with the outside leg to not lose that shoulder, of course, and obviously supporting with the outside hand. Think leg yield on the circle, leg yield on a straight line, spiraling in and out. Since I try to avoid as many circles with a young horse, I love to do long trail rides and just slight weight shifts back and forth.

For most high-headed horses I've worked with, reaching down and out involves having to lift the back and really work, rather than dropping on the forehand like many lower-set horses, and is therefore actually more beneficial for them because of what it means they're doing through their body.

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 04:50 PM
Thanks, netg! Will remember that! :yes:

SmartAlex
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:00 PM
jcotton - he is the same on trail rides, I can let him out to the buckle and he will happily keep his head up, neck level with or higher than his back, looking around and checking everything out.

Try some ungroomed trails. When Grey gets out into the woods with branches and mud puddles and other iffy footing, his nose goes right down to about a foot off the ground and stays there. Of course, Greys afraid he's going to fall into a pit of quicksand, but it might work for your guy too.

netg
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:00 PM
Please let us know how it works! With every horse being different, I am curious to know if it applies to your naturally high-headed horse, too. :)

jcotton
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:15 PM
Well said, netg, and a great way to explain it.

pryme_thyme
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:21 PM
Im SO jealous! I have a 3 y/o DWB x whom I hope to take to some schoolies in August.... I am dreading the baby crazies!

How did you get him so calm? Trail rides, trailering to other barns etc?

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:43 PM
Im SO jealous! I have a 3 y/o DWB x whom I hope to take to some schoolies in August.... I am dreading the baby crazies!

How did you get him so calm? Trail rides, trailering to other barns etc?

Funny you should ask that...
There were at least two other young/green horses at the show that I *know* have been taken on organized trail rides/taken to different barns/shown on the line as babies, and yet were still doing "airs above the ground" and giving their riders major headaches.

So, while I could say yes, he showed on the line as a baby and I did a lot of handwalks off property with him as a baby, a big part of it is his breeding - he's just sensible like that. He did look at some things and the walk to the warm-up ring from the trailer area had him doing a great giraffe impression, but all it takes is a pat and a kind word and he immediately relaxes.

I purposely breed this cross to weed out "crazies". I got sick of riding horses that would pull dirty stunts like bolt/buck/drag me, step on me, slam me into walls, etc. when they got scared. I don't do "stupid/flighty" anymore, it's dangerous for my health. :lol: :lol:

He's a looky, alert young man, but super super sensible and ALWAYS aware of me and what i'm asking - no matter how nervous he is. He never, ever tunes me out.
His 2004 half-sister is the same way, and my 2011 filly is already proving to be just as gentle, sensible and intelligent as him, if not even more so. :yes:

What you breed in, you don't have to train in. :cool:

Good luck with your youngin' pryme_thyme!!!

pryme_thyme
Jun. 22, 2011, 05:47 PM
Thank you ASB! I am thinking I will ditch the dog and take the horse for walks :lol:

Very jealous! I notice you are in Ontario too, do you show around the Kingston Area?

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 06:00 PM
I am HUGE believer in handwalking off-property for young horses, over as much varied terrain as possible. :yes:

I show in the Ottawa area, Kingston is a *smidge* too far. :)

Oh, and ps - the above-mentioned 2004 half-sister to my gelding is a Pacific Star baby. Just FYI. :D

WW_Queen
Jun. 22, 2011, 06:17 PM
Nice ride!! Looks like a fun horse to ride. Maybe the judge's remarks were due to the chomping at the bit?

I'm riding these tests on Sunday, and haven't seen anyone ride them before, so a big THANK YOU for posting these videos. :)

A little off topic, but for the rising trot are you expected to be on the correct diagonal the entire time? (Aka, for test B where you change direction at rising trot, do you switch your diagonal at X sort of thing?)

ASBJumper
Jun. 22, 2011, 11:13 PM
No, they specifically mentioned more relaxation and stretch over the topline for the free walk. They want his head/neck stretched further down.

And I don't think they're too nitpicky at schooling shows about exactly when you change your diagonal - right after F, at X, right before H, whatever.. so long as you change it in a timely manner, I think. :D

CHT
Jun. 23, 2011, 01:01 AM
I know someone with a high headset horse that taught her horse a head down command (wide hands) to "fake" the stretch. It got her through training - second, but the horse never did learn to use his back enough to want to stretch and she couldn't get past that point....but not sure if the two issues were related.

WBLover
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:26 AM
ASB, it took my horse a while to get the STREEETTTCCCHHH DOWWWNNNNN thing. He would also just poke his head and neck straight out/level or slightly above the withers when I let the reins go.

I am finally getting some nice free walk and trot circle stretches as the training scale has progressed. He had the rhythm and relaxation fairly early on, but the urge to stretch didn't come until we really started getting straightness and true bend, and more impulsion. I think his muscles just weren't working hard enough for him to WANT to stretch--LOL! But now he really just wants to do it as a result of the work, I really didn't "train" him to do it at all.

It will come!

ASBJumper
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:46 AM
Thanks WBLover, that's really encouraging. :yes: I think i'll just let it develop naturally, and just bring him along correctly with lots of walk breaks and transitions and gentle figures etc.

EqTrainer
Jun. 23, 2011, 10:56 AM
Bend, bend, bend.

I ride quite a few horses with longer, higher set necks and the degree of bend required to get these guys more through their topline and truly reaching over is a little shocking LOL.

alto
Jun. 23, 2011, 11:50 AM
Have you tried training him on the ground that head down = release/reward?

RedMare01
Jun. 23, 2011, 12:11 PM
Long and low was pretty foreign to my ASB mare too (previously SS trained). I found the easiest way to get her to do it was to have her going in a good working trot with good contact (we won't even discuss how long that took to get :lol:) and then let the rein out very slowly, inch by inch, on a 20M circle (or smaller). Let out a bit, collect it back up. Let it out a bit more, collect back. Try to keep the same rhythm and tempo in the trot. Also may help to do it at the end of the ride when they're kind of tired anyway. My mare eventually "got it" and learned to really like the long and low. :yes:

meupatdoes
Jun. 23, 2011, 12:32 PM
I know someone with a high headset horse that taught her horse a head down command (wide hands) to "fake" the stretch. It got her through training - second, but the horse never did learn to use his back enough to want to stretch and she couldn't get past that point....but not sure if the two issues were related.

I would think the two issues were related.

Ideally your contact will be such that there is always a "forward tendency" in your hand and in the horse's jaw. If your hand goes forward a quarter inch, the horse should bring the bit out in front to match.
If your hand goes forward a quarter inch and you just get a little spaghetti loop, the horse is not addressing the contact correctly. Before the stretchy circle has even begun you are up the creek.

The stretchy circle is simply a gradual extension of the quarter inch: a quarter inch and back up, then half an inch and back up, then half an inch for more strides and back up, then a little more, a little longer and back up, etc. The inside leg is doing most of the work here; the hands just go forward to test it.

Simply teaching the horse a "trick cue" to lower his head does not fill the gap. You could also train the horse to lower his head every time you tickle him on the right side of the wither with your ring finger... but that has nothing to do with the character of the contact and does not do either of you a whole lot of good in terms of giving you access to his back.

Ride the horse that is UNDER you, and bring your control UP the neck from there. Quarter inch by quarter inch.

ASBJumper
Jun. 23, 2011, 02:09 PM
Let me be clear - I have no intention of teaching him to put his head down on cue.. :p
I am very much a big believer in developing a youngin' properly and i'm already doing the Hilary Clayton core strengthening exercises and carrot stretches with him after my rides to get him to tuck his tummy and lift his back/stretch through his ribcage. :yes:

I just hope his "Ooooh, waassat??" base personality doesn't pop up every time we're at a new venue and have to do a free walk, LOL! :lol:

I probably shouldn't worry too much about it since he's my Jumper prospect, really, but I *do* believe in correct basics, which is why i'm starting him in Dressage. I think any Jumper should have a Dressage base - so they're correctly muscles, responsive and packaged / in front of the leg.

WBLover
Jun. 23, 2011, 05:39 PM
I just hope his "Ooooh, waassat??" base personality doesn't pop up every time we're at a new venue and have to do a free walk, LOL! :lol:

And that still may happen, even with correct basics installed--LOL! YOUNGSTERS!!

ASBJumper
Jun. 23, 2011, 06:06 PM
LOL, yeah.. true enough.. Oh well! Good thing i'm not doing this for the ribbons! :lol: :winkgrin: :p