View Full Version : Quick brag!

May. 1, 2012, 10:39 PM
I know, I know, Intro isn't exciting nor very impressive an accomplishment... for most.

However, my little 5 year old Friesian X NSH has some serious tension issues away from home. And she can display the most athletic spooks I've ever seen (felt, sat, fallen off of, etc). This year, we're focusing on getting some mileage with her at various schooling shows and we had a spectacular break through this weekend that I just wanted to share!

On 4/1, we did Intro A and B, below is the video for Intro A. She basically grabbed the bit and bolted for the entire thing. She felt like a ticking time bomb, and it was NOT fun. Intro B was worse and I haven't uploaded that video because it was so bad. The judge was far too generous and gave her a 53% in Intro A and mid-40's (I don't remember the exact score) in Intro B.

On Sunday, 4/29, we went back to the same show grounds having discussed with my trainer what went wrong and working very hard on getting the mare focused and relaxed. And our work paid off!!!
Intro A - 67%!
Intro B - 73!!!

Our next show is June 3rd and I'm hoping we'll be able to get the same results out of her, only at a completely new place.

So for all those working with the green spook-aholics out there.... the focus and relaxation can be had! And we've renamed my mare to "The Mare of a Thousand Half-Halts"!

May. 1, 2012, 10:41 PM
That is fantastic!

Congrats really!

May. 1, 2012, 10:46 PM
Good job. You get the most improved award!

May. 1, 2012, 10:47 PM
Nice improvement, congratulations! On Intro B, she looked like she took the initial salute with you...her head bowed the same time as you. LOL! Cute.

May. 2, 2012, 06:29 AM
Thanks everyone!

NotGrandPrixYet - I noticed that too when she did it and chuckle every time I watch it.

May. 2, 2012, 11:47 AM
Congrats! Relaxation and harmony are HARD and very undervalued in my opinion! Perhaps it's because I'm searching for them that I feel that way. ;)

May. 2, 2012, 12:52 PM
Thanks! netg - You hit the nail on the head! They are HARD! Especially with the more sensitive, athletic types....

May. 2, 2012, 01:05 PM
Really great job! Friesian and Friesian cross horses are SO hard to ride when they're "up". (unless you're in a cutback....then it's all good. :p)

Nice job with her, she's elegant!

May. 2, 2012, 02:34 PM
Nice work! thanks for sharing

May. 2, 2012, 02:37 PM
In this sport we take all of the 'wins' we can get, no matter what level!

May. 2, 2012, 02:37 PM
It would be neat to see if she bows with you every time, or if this was an anomoly. Some horses are just that sensitive.

May. 2, 2012, 03:52 PM
Oh I love this post! :-) So enjoyed seeing the improvement. She looks so much more relaxed and she's really listening. What kinds of things did you do (besides half halts) to bring about such a positive change? Congratulations on a job well done!

May. 2, 2012, 04:59 PM
Keep up the good work Kristen - she looks like a completely different horse!!! Hope the good vibes just keep on comin'!!!:winkgrin:

May. 2, 2012, 08:01 PM
Thanks Everyone!!

Catbird - We spend a LOT of time really working on getting and keeping her attention. As long as her brain is busy with me, she's less busy with everything around her. Our warm-up consists of shoulder-ins and haunches-in, mostly lateral work that really makes her think. She actually gets so bored with doing lateral work that she tends to settle down. Then, when I took her into the ring to walk around the dressage ring, we did shoulder-ins around the outside of the ring. I also talk to her.... a lot. I finally branched out and (don't tell the judge) talked quietly to her throughout the first test. Lol. I didn't need to in Intro B, but she's used to my voice reassuring her so I tried to use that to my advantage as we're using these shows to get her used to showing and if I get marked down for it, it's not a big deal. And really... the way I keep her attention when we can't do lateral work, is half-halts. Every. Single. Stride. If I have to, if not, I'll let her go a few strides, as soon as the head starts to go up and she starts looking for scary stuff, we go back to frequent half-halts until I have her attention again. We spend a lot of time at home working on getting and keeping her attention for longer and longer stretches. I've gotten good at really feeling her thoughts, in the first video (where she was bolting), she was so tense, she felt like a bomb about to go off. Every time she gets even the slightest bit of tension, I can feel it, so I try to focus as soon as I feel that tension and redirect her attention back onto me.

Well.... that was a wall of text. Lol.

As far as the bowing, I think I noticed that she did it at the end of one of the tests as well, so it may just be a response to her feeling me. She is EXTREMELY sensitive, so it would not surprise me at all if she's responding to the change in my weight.

May. 2, 2012, 09:41 PM
What an awesome improvement. Congratulations!!!
andddd.... welcome to the 70% club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :)