View Full Version : Working on my timing, suggestions?

Sep. 29, 2011, 01:10 PM
I am working on collected canter/walk/canter transitions. I can get them, but not consistently and I know it is my fault, not his. It is my timing. I practice and practice but still, my timing is inconsistent. Sometimes I give too much rein aid in my half halt, sometimes too much leg in my half halt. Any suggestions on exercises to improve my timing? I am working my butt off... I really want to get this timing down so I can begin changes sometime in the next decade. :lol:

Sep. 29, 2011, 01:15 PM
I do the most ridiculous things to help me feel timing. One came from a Mary Wanless book (my trainer worked with her extensively when Mary was first coming to the States...out in California). As I canter, I say (mostly in my head...sometimes out loud...eeek! crazy lady!) CANada, CANada, CANada. Making sure the last "da" is on the last beat of the canter (the leading foreleg). "CAN" is then on the first beat of canter...the outside hind. I want that outside hind as my support system in the collection that comes before my walk transition. So...my transition sounds like this in my head....

CANada, CANada, CANada, Ca-walk...that gives me the feel of that outside hind, and in that last stride, when it hits the ground, the other feet should separate out into their walk rhythm.

Dear me...reading back over this makes me sound like a loon! :eek: But, I'm still going to be brave and post it! :D

Sep. 29, 2011, 01:30 PM
Oh but I like it!!! I am going to try that tonight.

Keep them coming, I like to have and arsenal to battle my ineptitude. :lol:

Sep. 29, 2011, 02:36 PM
I count the strides : 1 - 2 - 3 and walk. Similar to when I learned to get my distances good in jumping.

Also, be prepare and (try) to decide in advance when and where your transition will be. Unless your horse clearly anticipate the cue, then you try not to decide to much in advance because your horse will know! :D

And breath. I'm uncoordinated when I stop breathing (because everyone knows that the breathing function stops when the thinking machine works hard!)

Sep. 29, 2011, 02:41 PM
Great suggestion Oberon (and Mary, etc.). I really like this idea and I'm going to put it in my toolbox. Thank you!

Bugs -- Maybe I'm missing something, but the way you describe it, it sounds as if keeping your aids consistent is a bigger problem than your timing. I'm sure you know this, but if your aids are inconsistent, your horse will be confused by that as much as timing that's off.

Are you rushing your aids (and therefore exaggerating them) because you feel you're late in your timing? If so, you have two things to work on.

Have you tried the exercise of simply saying "now" every time the leg of choice is on the ground, and having someone watch you to tell you if your timing is off?

I know how hard you work on your riding, and how dedicated you are from reading your posts through the years, so it might work for you to tell yourself and remind yourself to keep your aids consistent regardless of whether your timing is early or late.

Sep. 29, 2011, 05:02 PM
It is both timing and consistent aids. My trainer says that my rein aid is not quick enough and my leg aid is not strong enough, so he will dive instead of hold his balance and walk, I also need better timing for WHEN to ask as well. I know I can do it because we do get it but I have to be able to get it consistently before I allow myself to move on to harder work.

Sep. 29, 2011, 09:49 PM
If he is diving, you are quite likely falling forward into the walk. Try looking up more as you ask for the walk transition. I would also suggest you focus on your canter seat, and see if you have a little flop of your seat at the end of each canter stride. That generally is part of the collapse forward into the transition.

Sep. 29, 2011, 11:13 PM
OK, I just had a lesson, what was happening (let me see if I can explain it correctly) was that I was not giving a prep half half before the transition but instead, I was holding the half halt. (I know, that does not make sense) The effect is that he would brace against me. Also, I did not have him quick enough behind so that, when I half halt, his bum is under him so again, he'd fall. So we worked on transitions with me getting him quicker behind and my half halts with a more of a take and give type and more off of my seat, rather than take take take transition. So, when I got that part right, bingo, there was my transition. She says my aids need to be quicker as well. So, a week of transitions (as if I do not do that all of the time anyway, but this time, we are working on ME) and working on getting him quicker behind and my aids "quicker" and lots of lateral work is my homework.

Dressage is humbling... don't care what anyone says. Perhaps that is why I am addicted. :lol: