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View Full Version : My second show...good/bad/ugly...video inside and constructive criticism welcome



right horse at the right time
Oct. 19, 2013, 01:58 AM
My biggest issue is fear. Each day it gets better, and show environments are very exciting for horse, so scarier for me.

This video was from last Sunday - day two of a schooling show. My second show ever. Trainer showed him on day one and got the lowest scores ever on horse. Horse was WOUND UP. He was calmer on Sunday.

There were many exciting things going on - it didn't get windy until we went into the ring, when apparently the wind Gods got wind :) that I would be riding in an actual test. When I didn't immediately panic, they kicked it up a notch a minute or so into the test. No, his tail typically doesn't go horizontally at times. The other person notified was the man with the 747-sized RV parked beside the ring who felt it necessary to bang around with the panels underneath right after we went by so horse could hear but not see what was up, then fire up the jet engines at a great time as well. This can actually be heard over the music. Let's see, what other excuses can I come up with...rainbow flying flags, a baby stroller, the show office and other ring right there behind the videographer...and, holy moly, an appaloosa nearby. Hmm...there seems to be a theme...these are all things commonly found at a show...

Anyway, there are a lot of mistakes in my riding here, but there is one HUGE non-mistake, and that's the fact that I put my big girl panties on and went in there and DID it, which was a really big deal for me. The other big deal is that I tend to not have any "forward," like, EVER, and while the test started out in slow motion, once I realized that round wasn't going to happen, I had the presence of mind to channel Trainer Bird (riding on the shoulder opposite Fear Bird whose muzzle I apparently left at home:eek:), who somehow was able to get a few words in edgewise and told me to go back to the training scale and simply ride forward. So I did. Interestingly, I also channeled ideayoda from a COTH thread about free walk before the show. This can be seen halfway through the free walk, where I suddenly realize that shoving my arms straight down and low isn't what I was supposed to be doing, and I carefully tried to fix it. So, thank you ideayoda, and sorry to call you out, but I wish you had spoken up at F instead of X. :lol:

Please do not allow this to be a reflection on either my trainer or my horse, as 1) I have been taught to ride better than this shows, and sometimes I actually do relax and ride better than this, and 2) horse goes far better with trainer and actually has a beautiful, non-ewe neck position when ridden properly.

I don't think I ever loosened my grip with my thighs, so my seatbones never made contact with my saddle. And apparently I didn't remember that I actually HAVE elbows. Geometry was a bit off at times as well - I actually do know that "I" isn't a touch point of the 20 m circle. I feel very bad for horse - he can be seen trying multiple times to actually lower his head from a horizontal to vertical position while I continue to insist that riding with a braced rein would be more effective. But, sadly, this is his lot in life, and he is well compensated for the most part. He's one step closer to sainthood after this ride.

One funny thing - I had a nightmare about him sticking his tongue out (I posted it here)...he can be seen "talking" during the test. I don't think I've seen him do this before. He just moves his lips as if he's chattering on about all the things I should be doing. No tongue, no open mouth, just his lips. It's probably a bad thing, but I think it looks hysterical. I'd love to write a running commentary about what he's saying to me. I swear I heard him say to me as we were turning the corner to go into the ring, "chill out, Mom, I'm just looking and I'm not going to do anything stupid." That gave me the cajones to go in there and do it.

Overall, I'm very proud of myself for getting in there and just DOING IT. And mostly doing it forward. The other stuff is coming along. I got a score that stunned me, but I will refrain from posting on the "scores that I don't deserve thread." I think the judge was very kind and generous and if facing fear was what was being rewarded then I think the score was very fair.

Oh - and I am the schooling show manager (yes, this total newbie took the position a month ago before our season began when someone had to suddenly resign...scary having me for a show manager, I know, but someone had to do it), so had to warm up, ride, etc., while still trying to run the originally 1 ring, 2 day show but grew to 2 rings, 2 days show. THAT was fun...

As I said on Facebook, if I were any happier they'd have to surgically remove the smile from my face. It's a journey, and we're getting closer. :D:D:D

All that said, I'm always open to constructive criticism and advice. Really. I have a wonderful trainer who has probably said everything there is to be said and shares sainthood with my horse, but sometimes it's heard differently in print, so if you have anything to share, I'll take it to heart.

So here it is...if you care to watch and comment here, please be somewhat kind :).:D This is my hobby, not a career :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPE7cK_zBd4

exvet
Oct. 19, 2013, 02:16 AM
First of all I was expecting awful and never saw it. Secondly are you a fellow parrot head? :D

Your horse is super cute and looked to be a pretty nice pleasant fellow in the test. My daughter's test on Sunday was a bit more challenging than the one she rode on Saturday. It happens. Weather, distractions, etc you just never know. I think you did a pretty decent job and at the risk of sounding weird, there's a lot to like about your seat. Oh and I know the judge and I think she scored you fairly. So kudos to you for getting out there and doing what a lot of others are still thinking about ;)

right horse at the right time
Oct. 19, 2013, 02:39 AM
First of all I was expecting awful and never saw it. Secondly are you a fellow parrot head? :D

Your horse is super cute and looked to be a pretty nice pleasant fellow in the test. My daughter's test on Sunday was a bit more challenging than the one she rode on Saturday. It happens. Weather, distractions, etc you just never know. I think you did a pretty decent job and at the risk of sounding weird, there's a lot to like about your seat. Oh and I know the judge and I think she scored you fairly. So kudos to you for getting out there and doing what a lot of others are still thinking about ;)

Let's talk about what's most important first! Yes, yes I am a fellow parrot head!! In fact, I'm planning on going to the concert next week - do you want to go? I have never seen him indoors before...but since I moved to Arizona I haven't been to a concert so I'm in withdrawal. Let me know if you want to go!

Second, thanks for the kind words about my horse and our ride - he is a very pleasant fellow :). I'm head over heels for that sweet horse.

I didn't see your daughter's rides!! I didn't even realize she was your daughter until I saw you in the show office!

Thanks for the support :). I bought him a trailer so that we can have more experience in new EXCITING places, so maybe one day I will take you up on your previous offer to go for a trail ride alongside experienced horses!!

In all seriousness, let me know about seeing Jimmy. I'm going.

psb
Oct. 19, 2013, 02:47 AM
I am far from an expert, actually a beginner. I like your horse, he looks like a really nice willing guy. Your test looked much better than you described. I especially liked the canter.

exvet
Oct. 19, 2013, 02:53 AM
I would absolutely love to go and you are very nice to ask but as can be expected I have, not work but class. I'm hoping to be able to sit for the boards and am taking prep classes to get ready. The first class is Thursday evening. DARN IT !!!!!!!!

right horse at the right time
Oct. 19, 2013, 03:09 AM
I am far from an expert, actually a beginner. I like your horse, he looks like a really nice willing guy. Your test looked much better than you described. I especially liked the canter.

Thanks!! From one beginner to another, thanks for your kind words! I guess we are always hardest on ourselves and I just want to reach through the computer screen and pull my shoulders down and back, ribcage up, elbows bent, head up, etc. :)

He is definitely a nice, willing guy :). We are both new to dressage (not the ideal combo), but he is an experienced horse at the age of 14, and we have a wonderful trainer, so we are very happy to learn somewhat together. And thanks, I love his canter too! One day I will have a video of him cantering round to post :).


I would absolutely love to go and you are very nice to ask but as can be expected I have, not work but class. I'm hoping to be able to sit for the boards and am taking prep classes to get ready. The first class is Thursday evening. DARN IT !!!!!!!!

DARN! Well, wear your grass skirt and coconut bra to class, and I will think of you during the concert. :D. And good luck with the whole process!

angel
Oct. 19, 2013, 10:16 AM
Oh, kiddo! You were so close to making good things happen. He is in a good tempo, and moving fairly well-balanced. He is also just barely starting to get the idea of how to reach into the bit. You could have actually gotten it from him very easily during this ride. This is a rider/trainer skill rather than a horse skill at this point.

Let's talk about the rider skills that you need to first improve. Your upper body is collapsing forward, and this will prevent your horse from rounding. Your reins are being held at a good length, but because your upper body is falling forward, the rein length has become too long due to your arms falling forward away from your torso. The extra length is from your arms falling away from staying vertically aligned with your torso, not because you need to grip the reins shorter. You need to bend your elbow and keep your upper arms vertically aligned with your torso. Forget where you think you need to keep your hands and get those upper arms correct. Otherwise, the extra weight of your arms in front of you is going to continue to pull your shoulders forward.

Your legs look nice and long...just like all the old pictures. However, the problem is that you need some bend in your knee in order to allow the weight of your torso to fall into your heels. You cannot comfortably rest your feet in the stirrups and keep the weight in your heels as you post with the stirrups this long. It is also part of the reason you are falling forward. Take those stirrups up two notches. Now as you post, think about come up straight out of the saddle....not posting at a forward slant as is happening.

The key to posting straight is to remember that you have shoulders. Your shoulder blades need to stay closer to your spine. As your shoulders come back, it helps expand your chest. The chest expansion helps tone the abdominal muscles, which in turn will help your get your pelvis into alignment. If you ever hope to have a decent sitting trot, and to be able to do the transition from posting trot to sitting trot which you will soon need, you really need to be thinking about getting that torso aligned now.

Let's talk a bit about the posting trot. As you post in a dressage saddle, you do not want to go back and forth between the cantle and the pommel. You want to go up and down over the center of the saddle. To do that, you must first keep your torso vertical to the ground. Then, you must have a little bit more time as your seat goes into the saddle than you spend at the top of the post. We call this "slowing your posting." However, most people do not slow the post correctly. What you need to do as your seat goes into the saddle is do a little push down, as if you were sitting on a cushiony chair and gave a little push in order to better rise from the chair. You need to learn that from the posting trot because in the sitting trot that ability will be needed on every stride, not just every other stride as in the posting trot. For a woman, that means getting your pelvis rounded under you a bit. That period of slight push into the saddle is the time that you can collect the horse more forward into the contact, and as you rise to the post, this is what releases the energy of the motion more forward. The slinging upward to attempt to get the horse moving is actually counterproductive.

This skill of the push is also very, very important in the ability to control your canter from your seat. Your canter seat shows very graffically the misalignment of your pelvis right now. You will see quite a bit of flop as your seat goes into the saddle on each stride. That means as your seat is going into the saddle, you are landing on your crotch. It is happening because your pelvis is not correctly balanced, and because you are falling forward, the body also will begin to grip with the thighs to keep you from falling forward. The thighs are the results, not the cause of your seatbones not being in the saddle.

You had a very good beginning for your free walk...and then, the horse broke momentarily. Even in the walk, your incorrect torso alignment affects the way the horse is moving. That break would have been worse if you were heavier than you are. If I had been doing it, the horse would have actually been stumbling on its forehand...chunk that I am.

For only your second time in the ring, you really should have good feelings about how well your horse did do. He was just busy admiring the scenery.:lol: There is always a certain anxiety for most of us as we show. However, a good portion of that stems from the fact that we really don't quite know what we are doing up there. Good luck as you move forward.

MojitoMare
Oct. 19, 2013, 10:34 AM
OP, you and I have a lot in common. I have been dealing with fear for a long time, too. My new horse has done a lot to build my confidence, but I still have my fearful moments. I just did my first schooling show on my new horse. She was so well behaved! But I know my riding was not up to par and so will NOT be posting my video. I think you are very brave to post yours. I wish I could watch it, but you tube is blocked on our work computers. I just wanted to pass on some wise words my trainer likes to tell me. "Don't be so hard on yourself! And BREATHE!" :)

alicen
Oct. 19, 2013, 07:38 PM
The good thing: he is bending well in the corners.

The elbows -'nuff said. You are spot on about discovering your elbows at X.

I have this feeling, and I have seen it many times, that you are riding on hope - hope that if you get the position right and are still, that everything will come 'round, but the thing is, at the horse's present level of training, you need to be much more active and emphatic with your aids. Discuss half-halts with your trainer. Apply them until you get a result. You will not hurt him, he will not dislike you. Remember: presently,you are the executive. Partnership comes later.

peartree97
Oct. 19, 2013, 07:57 PM
I'm going to leave it to others to discuss your seat and your horse. Other than to say, as you get braver, it will make more sense to make HIM GO FORWARD and not lollygag and look around. For now, I completely understand why this is happening, but just sayin' that that is where you need to go/get to in order for things to come together for you to really start having fun in the show ring. Schooling shows are where you need to be until you are over the stage fright. Keep on going, don't expect much, but look for small things you can improve show to show.

For your second ever show, you did a good job. You just need to do this more so your nerves don't overwhelm what you know you should be doing. The more you do it, the cooler you become. There is Not One FEI Rider Out There who has not had MORE embarrassing moments in the ring, myself included, and sometimes in **really** really embarrassing situations with lots of people watching.

Carol Lavell used to say something about training level, and I think its worth remembering here. Even though you think the world is watching, "the only people watching are your spouse and your coach." NO ONE watches training level (er, actually few people watch anything much below second level) except those with a vested interest in you. . .so think about your audience. Your coach wants you to do well and apply what you've learned; your SO just hopes the test is over soon because he/she thinks its about as exciting as watching cement set; your parents/siblings don't know the difference and could care less, they are there supporting YOU. Sage advice, yes?

Keep on working at home, go to schooling shows and learn that the show ring really isn't the Roman Colosseum. No tigers are coming for you, and pretty much most folks (including the judge) DO understand where you are, right now.

IdahoRider
Oct. 19, 2013, 07:57 PM
...but there is one HUGE non-mistake, and that's the fact that I put my big girl panties on and went in there and DID it, which was a really big deal for me. The other big deal is that I tend to not have any "forward," like, EVER, and while the test started out in slow motion, once I realized that round wasn't going to happen, I had the presence of mind to channel Trainer Bird (riding on the shoulder opposite Fear Bird whose muzzle I apparently left at home:eek:), who somehow was able to get a few words in edgewise and told me to go back to the training scale and simply ride forward.

I LOVE that you recognize what a huge accomplishment getting in there and doing it is! LOVE IT!

And I also struggle with needing to remember that forward comes before everything else. It is amazing how much improvement can be found in remembering that one little thing.
Sheilah

Piaffe11
Oct. 19, 2013, 08:45 PM
RHRT - it says the video has content blocked in Canada :( any way to make it available to us Canucks??

jjgg24
Oct. 20, 2013, 02:32 PM
Wouldn't work for me either and I'm in the USA.

exvet
Oct. 20, 2013, 04:38 PM
Thanks for the support . I bought him a trailer so that we can have more experience in new EXCITING places, so maybe one day I will take you up on your previous offer to go for a trail ride alongside experienced horses!!

OK here's your mission should you choose to accept it ;) Get the miles, grow the confidence (you're well on your way) and then when you're ready give me a call. Here is what my daughter and I did today (cell phone pics so not the best quality but you get the idea)

Spur Cross Ranch just revamped some of their trails. Views were gorgeous as was the weather.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_085932_zpsc04f36a4.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_085932_zpsc04f36a4.jpg.html)

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_092830_zps6dfbe03c.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_092830_zps6dfbe03c.jpg.html)

Here is my daughter on the studly. You see no matter the level they ride or compete at, most can be steady eddies out on the trail. Resolute was none too worried about it all.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_091441_zps64973eae.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_091441_zps64973eae.jpg.html)

And now for the comic relief, this is what the stinker pony thought about it.....got to love a Welsh Cob with a sense of humor :winkgrin:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_102141_zpsa9111e88.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_102141_zpsa9111e88.jpg.html)

Even got to see a few of these land and take off while we were riding around

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_080735_zpsf109fb2d.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_080735_zpsf109fb2d.jpg.html)

So the invitation will remain open for whenever you're ready and cute horse is willing.

Ace
Oct. 20, 2013, 05:08 PM
I'm curious to hear what your trainer has to say about Horse chattering; I, too, thought it was quite funny. Here's hoping it isn't anything bad!

I *love* your self awareness. I think it's huge to be able to recognize corrections you need to make (e.g., changing your arm position during the walk).

Have you been riding for awhile and just now decided to show? You look like you've been riding for some time - or perhaps it's just that you are athletic. In either case, I thought you two did a great job for the first time in the ring. Bravo!

merrygoround
Oct. 22, 2013, 01:05 PM
:D If ever you sell that saddle, someone'll get a really good deal. Except at the canter you never sat in it. :lol: :lol:

Actually your ride was good. Relaxing your thighs would have not only allowed you to sit, it would allow your horse to move more forward. I suspect that it would also bring your shoulders back from your perch. Elbows need to bend at all gaits. The same goes for the stretch trot as for the free walk, don't drop and spread your hands, and no stiff elbows.

After you've done about 20 tests, you should start to relax, and it will all fall in place.

It was tidy, accurate and far from a disaster.

Ride on!!!!

Piaffe11
Oct. 22, 2013, 07:22 PM
For some reason now I can watch it! You looked good considering how many shows the two of you have done together so far :) It can only get better!

I loved that you were self-aware while you were in the test - making changes as you went. My brain always seems to go somewhat blank or focuses on one thing while showing so I'm jealous ;)

Great job!

gabby.gator
Oct. 22, 2013, 07:51 PM
I'm chiming in from H/J land--- just to echo that once you do more shows you'll get better about the nerves, I promise!!

I used to shake from nerves waiting to go in the ring, and once in I honestly thought Every. Single. Person. on the rail was watching ME!! all eleventeen billion of them :lol:

now I'm much better, especially in a flat class with so many other riders to hide behind ha ha!!

I just want to let you know that it does get better, especially when you start to feel more confident in your riding, position, etc. so your confidence will help your position, which helps your riding, and so on and so on.

Keep at it!! good luck!! :)

Manahmanah
Oct. 22, 2013, 08:20 PM
Wish I could watch but its disabled for.mobile. :(

LarkspurCO
Oct. 22, 2013, 11:54 PM
Nothing wrong with that at all. You know what you need to work on, so I'll just say ... Bravo! Stay the course.

right horse at the right time
Oct. 23, 2013, 01:05 AM
I think I might actually win the longest post award with this one but I recently learned now to reply to more than one post :).


Oh, kiddo! You were so close to making good things happen. He is in a good tempo, and moving fairly well-balanced. He is also just barely starting to get the idea of how to reach into the bit. You could have actually gotten it from him very easily during this ride. This is a rider/trainer skill rather than a horse skill at this point.

THANKS! Progress :).

Let's talk about the rider skills that you need to first improve. Your upper body is collapsing forward, and this will prevent your horse from rounding. YES

Your reins are being held at a good length, but because your upper body is falling forward, the rein length has become too long due to your arms falling forward away from your torso. The extra length is from your arms falling away from staying vertically aligned with your torso, not because you need to grip the reins shorter. So keep my hands where they actually ARE on the reins, but pull my elbows back, thus shortening the difference from my body to his mouth but not my distance from my hand to his mouth, right?
You need to bend your elbow and keep your upper arms vertically aligned with your torso. Forget where you think you need to keep your hands and get those upper arms correct. Otherwise, the extra weight of your arms in front of you is going to continue to pull your shoulders forward. YES. I'm going to post a clip from a video from a clinic where it appears my outside shoulder/arm is correct in this position (not quite sure what I was doing with the inside rein, but...:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1EscmcCRls

This is one of the first times that I had horse's nose vertical. It was quite a big deal to me, as you can see :).


Your legs look nice and long...just like all the old pictures. However, the problem is that you need some bend in your knee in order to allow the weight of your torso to fall into your heels. You cannot comfortably rest your feet in the stirrups and keep the weight in your heels as you post with the stirrups this long. It is also part of the reason you are falling forward. Take those stirrups up two notches. AAARRRGGGHHH we already went up two notches! Is it possible that the mere fact that I'm pitched forward and hunched is worsening the problem? We thought we found the sweet spot but I see what you mean. Now as you post, think about come up straight out of the saddle....not posting at a forward slant as is happening. oh yeah, the forward slant is pretty pronounced, not to mention that I got the brilliant idea as I started my test to post HARDER and BIGGER and more FORWARD to make the choppy trot go away. This is a new problem for me, I believe :)

The key to posting straight is to remember that you have shoulders. Your shoulder blades need to stay closer to your spine. As your shoulders come back, it helps expand your chest. The chest expansion helps tone the abdominal muscles, which in turn will help your get your pelvis into alignment. If you ever hope to have a decent sitting trot, and to be able to do the transition from posting trot to sitting trot which you will soon need, you really need to be thinking about getting that torso aligned now. yes, yes, yes, yes, and more yes. I did get a massage the following day as I couldn't even let my shoulders drop naturally, I was so tight.

Let's talk a bit about the posting trot. As you post in a dressage saddle, you do not want to go back and forth between the cantle and the pommel. You want to go up and down over the center of the saddle. To do that, you must first keep your torso vertical to the ground. Then, you must have a little bit more time as your seat goes into the saddle than you spend at the top of the post. We call this "slowing your posting." lol - this is what I was attempting to do as explained above - to make the trot less choppy. At least this is what I told myself. I'm sure my trainer was quite confused as to what I was doing. :)However, most people do not slow the post correctly. What you need to do as your seat goes into the saddle is do a little push down, as if you were sitting on a cushiony chair and gave a little push in order to better rise from the chair. I'm trying to imagine it...but I'm not hurting his back by this push down?You need to learn that from the posting trot because in the sitting trot that ability will be needed on every stride, not just every other stride as in the posting trot. For a woman, that means getting your pelvis rounded under you a bit. That period of slight push into the saddle is the time that you can collect the horse more forward into the contact, and as you rise to the post, this is what releases the energy of the motion more forward. The slinging upward to attempt to get the horse moving is actually counterproductive. As evidenced by Exhibit A, my test :) But joking aside, I see that. More riding from the seat, which is what I want. I can comprehend *but not do* this at the canter, but I'm having difficulty visualizing it at the trot.

This skill of the push is also very, very important in the ability to control your canter from your seat. Your canter seat shows very graffically the misalignment of your pelvis right now. misalignment front to back? or are you seeing something side to side too?You will see quite a bit of flop as your seat goes into the saddle on each stride. this is muuuuuucccchhhh worse in this video - there are times that it does look a little better...but yes I agree 100%. The only good strides I see are a few strides - like 4 maybe - almost at the tail end of the second canter circle. And he has the easiest canter I could ever imagine. That means as your seat is going into the saddle, you are landing on your crotch. which would very well explain my pain and suffering (crotch) that night, the following, and into Tuesday. I was blaming the breeches. It is happening because your pelvis is not correctly balanced, and because you are falling forward, the body also will begin to grip with the thighs to keep you from falling forward. The thighs are the results, not the cause of your seatbones not being in the saddle. aha. hmmmm.

You had a very good beginning for your free walk...and then, the horse broke momentarily. Even in the walk, your incorrect torso alignment affects the way the horse is moving. That break would have been worse if you were heavier than you are. If I had been doing it, the horse would have actually been stumbling on its forehand...chunk that I am. alignment front to back again? I'm not quite sure about when to follow and when to push. Trainer says push to ask, to transition, and when he needs to be pushed, otherwise follow and don't be busy.

For only your second time in the ring, you really should have good feelings about how well your horse did do. THANKS :) I'm proud of us!He was just busy admiring the scenery.:lol: Oh yes, he was!! There is always a certain anxiety for most of us as we show. However, a good portion of that stems from the fact that we really don't quite know what we are doing up there. Good luck as you move forward. THANKS, as always, for going through this ride with me; it's so helpful!! I wish that I could be calmer - I'm working on getting out of my amygdala and into my frontal lobe. Slowly but surely... and as always, THANKS, THANKS, THANKS!!


OP, you and I have a lot in common. I have been dealing with fear for a long time, too. My new horse has done a lot to build my confidence, but I still have my fearful moments. I just did my first schooling show on my new horse. She was so well behaved! But I know my riding was not up to par and so will NOT be posting my video. I think you are very brave to post yours. I wish I could watch it, but you tube is blocked on our work computers. I just wanted to pass on some wise words my trainer likes to tell me. "Don't be so hard on yourself! And BREATHE!" :)

Mojito, my riding was not up to par, either!! It's amazing what sticks with us (fear) and what we can learn to intellectualize...but I've come so far with fear. Trainer tells me all the time, "you wouldn't have done this a year ago, you wouldn't have done this a few months ago, can you imagine if this had happened last month?" So, I know that we are really progressing, and trainer then holds me to a higher standard. I love it...trainer knows exactly how far to push me and how much I can handle and would never ask me to do something I could not do. But I know that sometimes I get the blank frozen stare on my face and trainer needs to switch to psychologist mode. :) The good news is that I am trusting my horse and myself so much more. I see all of these horses standing around, totally chill, and mine's EXTREMELY interested in everything - and I do mean everything - that is going on around him. But he also doesn't do anything bad, especially when I keep his mind busy. Or is it keep MY mind busy... Let's encourage each other through the fear!! BTW, have you read the Fear Bird thread? Meupatdoes sent me an email...and it changed my riding life. I think it's under "stickies" above, or just do a search. I think it's only a few months old. Good for you for doing the schooling show - I know what a big deal it is!! :)


The good thing: he is bending well in the corners.Yay!! I didn't even notice that. :) I don't even know how I'm doing it, but I'll take it!!

The elbows -'nuff said. You are spot on about discovering your elbows at X. Yup.

I have this feeling, and I have seen it many times, that you are riding on hope - hope that if you get the position right and are still, that everything will come 'round, EXACTLY. Hope and also... but the thing is, at the horse's present level of training, you need to be much more active and emphatic with your aids. Discuss half-halts with your trainer. Apply them until you get a result. You will not hurt him, he will not dislike you. Remember: presently,you are the executive. Partnership comes later. OK so this is a big one. I read over and over that I cannot put him into a false frame or that is not true roundness. So you're exactly right. I do feel inside like if I'm not PERFECT, I cannot expect him to be round, so I stop asking. We have gotten there more than a few times, but it takes a long time. Trainer and I have had discussions about this and trainer is upping the ante so to speak and is telling me that if I want to progress and not confuse horse, I need to do this because going around with his head up in the air isn't teaching him the right thing or building the right muscles. I just had SUCH problems with the forward feeling (ETA: I mean that trainer said I need to get the forward first because I could get the false frame slow dragging trot but have a vertical head so we worked on forward first) so big that I was hesitant. There were a few sessions with trainer chasing me and horse around with the longe whip (seriously) that I realized that horse was just moving more powerfully and wasn't doing anything bad. He just felt like a jet engine (I know, I can't imagine what a huge-moving warmblood would feel like!!), so it scared me. But after trainer showed me that I was still safe, and actually SAFER, I've been better. And this is simply after a few of those lessons. Trainer doesn't even need the longe whip anymore; I've been able to get the forward early on. But until now I've done only a few half halts because, as has been said to me, "there's nothing to halt." :) You've also hit the nail on the head about horse not hating me and me being the executive. I do feel guilty when I know I'm not perfect (or even close to it) because I feel like I can't expect him to pull his weight if I can't pull mine. Thoughts? And many, many thanks for taking the time to watch and write here! I appreciate it!!


I'm going to leave it to others to discuss your seat and your horse. Other than to say, as you get braver, it will make more sense to make HIM GO FORWARD and not lollygag and look around. For now, I completely understand why this is happening, but just sayin' that that is where you need to go/get to in order for things to come together for you to really start having fun in the show ring. yes, yes, yes, yes, and yes more! And I do absolutely see it when I see the video. He's totally ignoring me (well, he's not ignoring me, I'm just not telling him anything) in the beginning before we enter the ring. :) And I hear this over and over from trainer - I'm the trainer when I'm on the horse, and if he thinks I'm scared, he's going to be more looky in order to see whatever the danger is that I see. Schooling shows are where you need to be until you are over the stage fright. Keep on going, don't expect much, but look for small things you can improve show to show. Thanks! I think my goal list is slowly making itself for the next show! The show was last Sunday, horse had off on Monday, and I rode Tuesday and Wednesday. Those rides were amazing. I had horse forward, trainer and I worked on roundness, and it was AWESOME. I have never "felt" like I wanted to do a canter pirouette. I wouldn't even know how to do it or what it would feel like. But I instinctively turned my 20 m canter circle into a 12ish meter one (bad, I know), when I've never done that before. Trainer asked me...and I said it just felt right, like I just wanted to be in a tight circle and sit. Trainer said horse was never more balanced (when I was on the 20 m) and that's what I was finally feeling. It felt like we were one. Amazing feeling.

For your second ever show, you did a good job. You just need to do this more so your nerves don't overwhelm what you know you should be doing. YESThe more you do it, the cooler you become. That's my plan... :)There is Not One FEI Rider Out There who has not had MORE embarrassing moments in the ring, myself included, and sometimes in **really** really embarrassing situations with lots of people watching. One of my favorite threads on this entire board is the one about dressage bloopers/oh sh%t show moments...really makes me laugh and feel good about the sport in general, that so many can make fun of themselves!

Carol Lavell used to say something about training level, and I think its worth remembering here. Even though you think the world is watching, "the only people watching are your spouse and your coach." NO ONE watches training level (er, actually few people watch anything much below second level) except those with a vested interest in you. . .so think about your audience. Your coach wants you to do well and apply what you've learned; your SO just hopes the test is over soon because he/she thinks its about as exciting as watching cement set; your parents/siblings don't know the difference and could care less, they are there supporting YOU. Sage advice, yes? EXTREMELY sage advice!! My issue is fear of getting hurt moreso than fear of looking bad (I pretty much know that I don't look so hot, but I also am out there doing it which I think is 95% of success - just showing up :)). But horse is showing me that he's not only an excellent boy on the ground hanging out in the barn, but that he's not going to do anything bad as long as I do my job (barring horrible, unplanned things like jet planes buzzing the show grounds, as happened a few years ago, but we can't always control for those...). So gradually, I'm getting better...

Keep on working at home, go to schooling shows and learn that the show ring really isn't the Roman Colosseum. No tigers are coming for you, and pretty much most folks (including the judge) DO understand where you are, right now. THANKS, so much, for taking the time to write. I really appreciate your expertise and wise counsel. I am trying to get as much exposure for the two of us as I can so that I can worry about the typical show things, such as concentrating on my test, versus being scared of the what ifs. I'm so grateful to have a trainer who is on board with this and is an integral part of our team! Thank you so much for watching and writing!


I LOVE that you recognize what a huge accomplishment getting in there and doing it is! LOVE IT! :) :) :) I have to give myself credit for what I've done, as no one from the Olympic team is calling to tell me, and shockingly, no one even asked for my autograph or a photo! ;)

And I also struggle with needing to remember that forward comes before everything else. It is amazing how much improvement can be found in remembering that one little thing. Isn't it? If I hadn't at least tried that, I think my test would have been much worse, with even more looky looky from the cute horse :) Thanks for writing - and I haven't seen you much on the board! I miss you!
Sheilah


RHRT - it says the video has content blocked in Canada :( any way to make it available to us Canucks??

Lucky (ha!) you, I've taken off the Jimmy Buffett music (was getting into the spirit as he as a concert here soon!), so now you can watch it without hearing about the "fruitcakes dancing out there..." :) I will put the link at the end!


Wouldn't work for me either and I'm in the USA.

I will put the link at the end! I think YouTube isn't happy about me using Jimmy Buffett's music :).


Thanks for the support . I bought him a trailer so that we can have more experience in new EXCITING places, so maybe one day I will take you up on your previous offer to go for a trail ride alongside experienced horses!!

OK here's your mission should you choose to accept it ;) Get the miles, grow the confidence (you're well on your way) and then when you're ready give me a call. Here is what my daughter and I did today (cell phone pics so not the best quality but you get the idea)

Spur Cross Ranch just revamped some of their trails. Views were gorgeous as was the weather.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_085932_zpsc04f36a4.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_085932_zpsc04f36a4.jpg.html)

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_092830_zps6dfbe03c.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_092830_zps6dfbe03c.jpg.html)

Here is my daughter on the studly. You see no matter the level they ride or compete at, most can be steady eddies out on the trail. Resolute was none too worried about it all.

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_091441_zps64973eae.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_091441_zps64973eae.jpg.html)

And now for the comic relief, this is what the stinker pony thought about it.....got to love a Welsh Cob with a sense of humor :winkgrin:

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_102141_zpsa9111e88.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_102141_zpsa9111e88.jpg.html)

Even got to see a few of these land and take off while we were riding around

http://i122.photobucket.com/albums/o253/ldarling_photos/2013/IMG_20131020_080735_zpsf109fb2d.jpg (http://s122.photobucket.com/user/ldarling_photos/media/2013/IMG_20131020_080735_zpsf109fb2d.jpg.html)

So the invitation will remain open for whenever you're ready and cute horse is willing.

Exvet - those pictures are GORGEOUS!!! Right Horse has seen a few balloons land somewhat nearby...and sees them in the sky...so hopefully we would be ok! I can't believe your horses are so calm out there! I know, it's training...maybe I could ride studly (ha!!) and you could ride Right Horse (and I would NOT pay you to mess with your AA status)...what a deal that would be :) :) :).

I will make it a goal to do that eventually - perhaps before Right Horse and I are geriatric :). Thanks, so much, for your support!!


I'm curious to hear what your trainer has to say about Horse chattering; I, too, thought it was quite funny. Here's hoping it isn't anything bad!
I haven't asked specifically but would love to hear what judges on here think!
I *love* your self awareness. I think it's huge to be able to recognize corrections you need to make (e.g., changing your arm position during the walk). Thanks - there are a few but sadly others that never cross my mind :).

Have you been riding for awhile and just now decided to show? You look like you've been riding for some time - or perhaps it's just that you are athletic. In either case, I thought you two did a great job for the first time in the ring. Bravo! Thank you very much for the kind words. It was my second time in the ring, so I can't take a "first time" credit :). My history is somewhat sporadic, with no formal lessons except when I was 6 for a year and for the past year since I moved to the dressage barn. As a kid, you couldn't get me off of the ponies at fairs. Took riding lessons for about a year (?) when I was six...but guess who the big head trainer was? Linda Zang. Yup. I was a lucky girl. Her assistants (I guess they were assistants) were wonderful, and I was totally in love with this horse named Buster Brown. I rode on a few trail rides between 7 and 12, a few horse camps in Germany (Frau Hammer was the best), then somehow my sister and I swindled our parents into a horse that we had honestly saved the money to buy. We had him until I was 16, and he was sold without our knowing. In the middle of the divorce. With Right Horse, I'm probably fixing some childhood hurts on a daily basis subconsciously. I never played with Barbies as a kid, but I played horses a and barns, etc., constantly. And now this horse has every brush, blanket, treat, etc., and I'm nowhere near a shopaholic for myself. It's the smartest thing I've ever done, buying him. Rode a tiny bit in college, took care of the horses at the barn at my big university one semester (1990). Half/quarter leased a horse for a little over a year in about 2003/4. Rode my sister's horse a few times in 2010 when she signed up for a show and then couldn't go, including riding in hunter eq and pleasure in a small local show and winning the eq classes that weren't exactly small. I was quite pleased with myself :). I didn't know what to do when they called my number as the winner, and everyone was laughing at me (nicely) and the sweet girl beside me said, "you won, you have to go walk around the ring." I was clueless. The judges were blind. But nothing from then until June, 2012, when THIS happened (and yes, it's pretty ugly, but I can't watch it without tearing up because it was the start of a beautiful thing and somehow inside I knew it, plus it shows that I've progressed in a year :)):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVBbYS1a-mA
and use this link if the music makes it illegal to watch it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9H50xFH3FU

and that was all she wrote. This was supposed to be my "summer fun" lease horse after a friend wanted a buddy to ride with her...but I fell in love with that sweet boy within two weeks. I knew that I couldn't part with him, and so I didn't. I bought him in September of 2012, and that's when I moved him to a dressage barn with expectations of just having fun, which is what we are doing EVERY DAY. I couldn't be happier, and I'm sure that there are people who are tired of hearing that...but I just can't help it.



:D If ever you sell that saddle, someone'll get a really good deal. Except at the canter you never sat in it. :lol: :lol: I'm just trying to be fiscally responsible and be able to get a good deal for it in the future :D :D. But, sigh, yes, I didn't sit :) Actually, at the VERY end after I saluted, you can see me actually let my breath out, and THEN I made contact! :D

Actually your ride was good. thanks :)Relaxing your thighs would have not only allowed you to sit, it would allow your horse to move more forward. yes! I forgot about this! Less restrictive! I suspect that it would also bring your shoulders back from your perch. that would be quite helpful... Elbows need to bend at all gaits. The same goes for the stretch trot as for the free walk, don't drop and spread your hands, and no stiff elbows. Trainer says the same thing. But horse is not a good stretcher, and doesn't stretch usually within one circle - how do I do it properly? If I do it "right," he doesn't stretch. Trainer's scores get nailed for this as well - horse just starts to stretch when he's getting back to A!!

After you've done about 20 tests, you should start to relax, and it will all fall in place. OK - so if I do two tests per day, then by...next SUMMER!...we will be in better shape!! With incremental progress, I am assuming...that actually doesn't seem like too far away to set a real goal!

It was tidy, accurate and far from a disaster. THANKS for watching, writing, and your encouraging words! I really appreciate it!!

Ride on!!!! THANKS!


For some reason now I can watch it! I'm so sorry... :DYou looked good considering how many shows the two of you have done together so far :) It can only get better! Thanks!! We are working on it!! And posting here means I'm accountable to more than just myself and my trainer and whatever poor schmucks I convince to video me :).

I loved that you were self-aware while you were in the test - making changes as you went. My brain always seems to go somewhat blank or focuses on one thing while showing so I'm jealous ;) Oh, don't be fooled...the self-awareness was Fear Bird and Trainer Bird fighting :). And MY mind was focused solely on the RV which I knew was just going to drive away at any moment, leaving me absolutely terrified...but it didn't happen!! But yes, once I relaxed a bit, I started swatting Fear Bird and tried to let Trainer Bird take over, and I did try to make some changes. I feel like if I had been able to do the test a second time, RIGHT THEN, I would have done better the second time. Or at least I would have been more relaxed!

Great job! THANKS so much!!


I'm chiming in from H/J land--- just to echo that once you do more shows you'll get better about the nerves, I promise!! THANKS!!

I used to shake from nerves waiting to go in the ring, and once in I honestly thought Every. Single. Person. on the rail was watching ME!! all eleventeen billion of them :lol: You mean they're not?? Surely you're mistaken... :D :D :D

now I'm much better, especially in a flat class with so many other riders to hide behind ha ha!! ha!! No one to hide behind in the dressage ring, sadly! I'm glad you're better!

I just want to let you know that it does get better, especially when you start to feel more confident in your riding, position, etc. so your confidence will help your position, which helps your riding, and so on and so on. Thanks so much for watching my Grand Prix-I mean Training Level-test and sharing your experience. I do think that much of my problems are due to my fear...so you're exactly right, the confidence and position will help each other as each gets better. Soooooo that when I finally say I'm not as fearful, I can really hone in on what needs to be FIXED versus simply worrying about the fear taking over. But I go back to the Fear Bird thread and an email from a supportive person here, and I realize that the fear isn't going away, just needs to be put in it's place.

Keep at it!! good luck!! :) THANKS!!!


Wish I could watch but its disabled for.mobile. :(

You might be sorry you asked...but here is the video without the Jimmy Buffett tunes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3x1vHJASMQc

THANKS, everyone. I really appreciate the support on this thread and the specifics. Again, I want to reiterate that I think my trainer is the bomb, and we are progressing so much, but it is also helpful for me to intellectualize everything and ponder for hours, then bring my "best" to my trainer. Your patience with my ohmigod this is the coolest thing in the world attitude is much appreciated :). I know it probably gets old, but not for me yet!!

right horse at the right time
Oct. 23, 2013, 01:06 AM
Nothing wrong with that at all. You know what you need to work on, so I'll just say ... Bravo! Stay the course.

Thanks!!! I appreciate it! :) Looking forward to doing the "working on" part and hopefully having an improved ride to share at some point in the near future :). Thanks!

angel
Oct. 23, 2013, 07:17 AM
I went and looked at the newest video that you posted. What I want you to try to do is stop-action the video at 1:21. I picked this point because for most riders, the clockwise direction is the more difficult because they are trying to correct the horse's balance by doing the mirror image of what they did in the counterclockwise direction. In fact, the clinician was asking you to do that as well....so you were following instructions.

Take a piece of paper and cover up the front of the horse. If you then look at your lower torso/pelvis area you will see that it looks as if you are riding a straight line....not the circle you are actually attempting to ride. This is actually the beginning of the correction when you are going in the direction you were...only you need more straight line look. Your upper body was the culprit as it was bent inward to the circle. But, the horse was already crooked and falling that direction. You needed more weight in your outside stirrup, and by rotating inward such as your upper body was doing, you were taking away that weight you needed to straighten the horse's balance.

Now remembering that arms/wrists/hands are the results of the shoulders, let's talk about that a bit. Look at your right arm. Do you see how it is extended and being held out to the side? It almost looks as if you have also broken at the wrist, but I cannot quite be sure of that. But, when you take your arm more to the side, which widens the distance between your hands, you are actually adding more weight to the inside. Going in this direction, that is the last thing you need.

Yes, I agree that you needed to get contact on the horse's right side so you could regain control of his right shoulder. But, it is about your seat/weight aids changing correctly so that you can affect the horse's body, not just his mouth. The contact in the mouth is the results of his torso balance, not the mouth changing the balance. Extremities are the results, not the cause. That is what makes your torso and his so important within the balance. That is what "seat" is all about.

Now, I do understand that the clinician was teaching a concept of the half-halt that is used in training the horse. I also understand that there are a whole lot of things that should happen within that momentary period of time. But, what I am saying is that more needs to be happening than a simple pulling on the reins. That is only part, and not even the important part of the half-halt. It is your weight aids, so they must be totally correct before you start adding or subtracting weight by trying to augment an aid because the horse is not responding to the weight aids.

At the beginning of the training, aids need to be as "loud" as it takes to actually effect a change in how the horse is moving. If the aid is not having an effect, you are just picking at the horse, and he will learn to just tune you out...as in admiring the scenery.:lol: By the time you go to start showing, you need to be able to give those aids as a whisper and still get an effect. By the way, if you are in the ring, and your whisper still does not work, though it worked at home, make the aid stronger until you have his attention. Never mind sitting there like a rock because the judge is looking at you. If you do not make the correction, he will learn that when he is in the ring, he is home free.

Let me try to describe the half-halt that should have been happening at this moment in time where I have had you stop the action. In this direction, you do need to regain contact with the right side, but without adding weight to that right side. In this, you need to lift the right rein and take it forward momentarily. As that is happening, your upper torso needs to straighten a bit...as if you were going to be riding a straight line for one or two strides, but not actually doing that. You need to get your left shoulder back, and this will actually make the left rein feel quite heavy momentarily. But, by releasing that right rein up and forward, and by adding weight to your left side by taking your upper torso into a more straight line position, the extra weight taken by the horse on his left, will then allow the follow through for him to step up to the lifted and forward right rein, though not quite as completely as you would probably like. Feel the change in how he is stepping and then take back your right rein into a more normal position, and try to sustain the correction. Do not turn your upper body so much to the inside to the degree you feel you should. Repeat that correction the moment you feel you are losing that right rein again. You may have to do this every three/four/five/etc. strides. Do it!!!!!

Remember that you add weight to a stirrup by how deeply you are carrying your shoulder on that side over the hip on that side. It is created by how you rotate your upper body in relationship to your lower body. If you add weight to the inside you are creating greater bending in the horse. In a hollow-right horse, which most are (riders, too), they are always bending too much to the right. So more weight than you think necessary must always be added to the left in order to effect a change. You add weight and aids until you actually feel a change. Then, cruise control only if you can sustain that change you need.

Most of the time within the half-halt as you change your weight aids, an advanced rider can add additional use of the seat, itself, to encourage more change. This is generally not something that is really taught. Most of the time, riders begin to use more whip and more spur. If, and only if, your pelvis is correctly aligned, and if and only if, you have learned to correctly push down into the saddle at the appropriate time at the bottom of the horse's suspension, you can add a little directional movement with your seat in order to encourage one of the horse's diagonals to move more ahead of the other. When the canter seat is correct, we pretty much do this naturally. But, for walk and for trot, it needs to be a learned skill.

The seat feels somewhat as if you are just momentarily pushing down into the saddle a little more deeply and then swooshing one of your hips sort of in a scooping feel toward the diagonal shoulder of the horse. You think of it as encouraging that diagonal to move up and forward to a greater degree. Your seat should not be leaving the saddle within this motion/feel, and you should not actually be moving on the saddle as if you were scrubbing it with your seat. I need to take a break here, so I will bore you with some more later this morning.

angel
Oct. 23, 2013, 04:49 PM
Back again...not quite as quickly as I had hoped. That little push into the saddle will not hurt your horse. In fact, it does just the opposite. If you do not do it, his center of gravity will have already begun to rise with his suspension before your center of gravity has actually reached the low point. So as he is trying to go up, you are still coming down. You begin bracing and falling forward, which adds weight to his forehand. You do know what that does...right?

Anyway in the direction that you were traveling, I do not agree with what the clinician was having you do because of this crookedness issue. However, if you had been going counterclockwise, that is another story. What she was having you do would have been correct in that it would have helped you get more weight on the horse's left side (the inside as you travel counterclockwise.) However, and there are always these if, ands, and perhaps, about training, this particular kind of correct, while it does get weight to the left side, it does not address the fact that the horse's right shoulder is down and back by too great a degree. The only way you can effectively address this, is to do the same correction as before, by taking the right rein up and forward, and still getting more weight into your left stirrup. Your upper body is going to have to rotate toward the left more than you will feel is correct. Remember, you need to do it to the degree that the horse's body actually changes what it is doing.

Setting up a line of cones to weave through, with the horse on a loose rein, is the best way to teach someone just how much the rotation of the upper body needs to be to effect a change. At the beginning of training a horse, never mind trying to train the rider at the same time, this bending process is going to be very exaggerated, unless you like the horse to be knocking over the cones or missing them entirely. But as you learn to regulate your upper body, and as the horse begins to learn the weight aids mean something, again...you will be able to put the aids back to a whisper. When you are first training this, you can use a leading inside rein, but you want to be able to go back to using a limiting outside rein fairly quickly.

One of the best videos on the net in which you can actually see the release of the right rein forward if you watch carefully and know that it is there previously is the demonstration ride done by Reiner Klimke to the "Chariots of Fire" music. Sorry, I do not have that link, but maybe someone reading this knows about which I speak and will post it. As he is riding in a counterclockwise direction, you can see him do this several times. If you do not understand about doing this correction, you would never even notice it.

Now, I have spoken about the little "push" that you need for riding the suspension. There is no suspension to the walk. However, by the time of the collected walk, the horse should be fairly well balanced, and on the bit, and able to begin the collection in trot and in canter. The horse should understand the weight aids, and the directions being given by the rider's balanced seat. So while we do not have collection in the walk, we need to develop what feels in better moving horses as a "spring" to their step. Not quite half-steps, but that is where it leads, and from there to piaffe. The horse needs to voluntarily be lifting its shoulders within the balance, and if you pull back on those reins, the shoulders cannot lift. The lifting of the shoulders must come completely from the rider's seat and weight aids. There is just a hint of the push...the lightest of whisper. When this is correct, and the horse is complete with it, the transition between piaffe and passage, should only come as the rider's weight aids are minutely changed. I am sadly not that good, and will probably never be at this point.

The preparation of going from teaching the horse the finesse of what the rider's changing balance means, begins first with the halt, then to the reinback returning immediately to the walk, and finally to the schaukel, which you sadly almost never see any more. It was taken from the tests years ago, because if was done by so many riders so poorly. But, as certainly as I am typing, a transition needs that precursor movement in place. I can even tell you that a good turn on the forehand...again a movement that is rarely used any more...is a precursor to many things including piaffe.

By the way, you were sitting much, much better in this video of the clinic ride. I thought is was a little under tempo, but better that in balance, than falling because the horse is going faster and you cannot keep up.

The only other thing that bothered me....and this is just me...I am not a fan of flashes. But since you are using one, I would suggest that maybe you should loosen it a notch. I feel that the horse really does need to be able to move its mouth a little, which also helps the horse to swallow. I do want to see just a bit of lipstick, which shows that the horse's mouth is still alive. I do not want the horse to clamp on the bit...just carry the bit. Yes, I know that is a western term, and I am not a western rider. However, there are a few western terms...that being one of them...that I think convey a better idea of what is needed. This might be why the horse is doing the "chattering" that you are hearing. Sorry this has gotten so long.

nhwr
Oct. 23, 2013, 05:52 PM
Looking good.
If you get your head back a bit (think pulling your chin into you jugular notch and lengthening your neck (without tension)), it may help your upper body stabilize. Ask me how I know this :winkgrin:

Good on ya for getting out there.

Manahmanah
Oct. 23, 2013, 06:04 PM
I just watched the video and think you both are just LOVELY!!!! What a splendidly happy horse.

My only suggestions have already been gone over at length already so i will just chime in with how wonderful it is to see such a HAPPY horse going around the ring. What a perfectly nice pair and i can't wait to see more videos of the two of you progressing.

LadyNeon01
Oct. 23, 2013, 06:12 PM
Just watched the video, RHRT. Definitely a difference after the free walk. I also struggled with somewhat of an upside down horse at my last show on Oct 5th. My trainer said my first test was a bit hesitant, so I pushed him more forward in the second test. His head never really came down, but it was a slightly better test.

And I feel ya on the nerves. It was my third show with greenie horse. I've come to the conclusion that I just need to get out more!

Pocket Pony
Oct. 24, 2013, 12:38 AM
I am envious of your lovely long legs!

No comments on your riding, you've had enough feedback on that.

My only comment is on the mental aspect and the distraction of the stuff outside the arena. As long as you are distracted, he will be distracted. If your energy is outside of the arena, so will his be. And as long as you're distracted, riding effectively will be that much harder.

I get a fair amount of practice with a distracted horse because outside of my arena, hidden in the bushes, are deer, coyote, bunny rabbits, and scary kitty cats! My horse can't always see them but he knows they are there. And eventually, they do come bounding out . . . like the other day we had to spin and spook across the arena because of . . . an orange tabby cat! :rolleyes:

To keep myself focused, which actually helps bring him around, is I talk to him and tell him things like "I've got your back" or "the only thing you need to pay attention to is me" or stuff like that - positive affirmations that actually work on me and make me focus, which then makes him focus.

I'm so glad you have a lovely horse that you enjoy so much!

TLKNG1
Oct. 24, 2013, 10:36 AM
My only comment is on the mental aspect and the distraction of the stuff outside the arena. As long as you are distracted, he will be distracted. If your energy is outside of the arena, so will his be. And as long as you're distracted, riding effectively will be that much harder.

I had to respond back to this one :). I have found that I completely zone out the "outside" world as I ride the test. The only "voice(s)" I tend to hear is one or both trainers (one physical the other through a bazillion FB messages and texts :)) and their tips and/or instructions I also tend to talk to myself in my head.."do this, do that, be careful here, more leg he is going to break..." (note I don't ever once tell myself to breathe and relax :)).

RightHorse..I know the feelings of those intial tests :) and in time it DOES get more comfortable..I do know that, yet, whenever I have a break in showing those same initial nerves show up. One thing my previous trainer, who is also now a judge, said that they (a judge) would prefer to see a solid and consistent test than one where there are constant changes in tempo, suppleness etc. Sure, the points go higher when the horse is moving forward, in perfect frame etc but the idea is that the partnership works together..it shouldn't look like the two are fighting for dominance.

You had that solid and consistent test and in that last canter circle especially your horse was doing very well.:)

meupatdoes
Oct. 24, 2013, 02:22 PM
I can finally watch this video and I think you guys look great!


My one piece of advice is to be slightly more aggressive about what you want. You ride with a lovely soft and sympathetic feel but I think you could use a dash more of, "Hey buddy, here's your rein length." Imagine that you are bringing the whole bridle two inches closer to you and his tail two inches more forward.
Insist.
Only let go after you see the bridle move toward you.

For example, your final halt:
You pulled, he halted, but he never actually answered your aid with his topline. You let go and started petting him before he did.
When you apply an aid, FINISH IT. Pull, halt, wait (same pressure on reins), wait (still same pressure on reins), wait (still same pressure on reins), when he softens the slightest bit and the bridle comes an inch closer THEN let go. But not before. I call this "get to the bottom of the halt."

Another image I use with my students when they are bending a horse is the numbers of a clock. A lot of times they put a little pressure on the rein and the horse just hangs out. They think because they are using the rein they are bending...but the horse hasn't actually answered them. So I don't just say 'bend in the corners' but "Put his nose on 11:00. If it's not easy bring him to 10. 9! Ok, now let him go to 10 again. 9:30 and if he's good he can go back to 10...and then see about 11." That is the ride. If you initially ask for "11:00" and you don't get an answer you have to go PAST IT for a step or two to get an answer and then let go and see what you have. If he stays at 11, great! If he is not convinced, repeat.

One of the hardest things to get across is how to not only apply the aids, but also to evaluate the response and enforce it. Often I have to say bigger numbers on the clock than I know I am going to get (I don't generally bend horses to a 90 degree angle but if I say "9!" I tend to get "10:30"). But you must set a goal for your bend (11:00) and then make sure your horse actually gets there. The pressure and release is not "12:00, 11:00, 12:00, 11:00" but rather more like 12:00, 11:00, 10:00, 10:30, 10:00, 10:30, 10:00, 11:00, 11:30, 11:00...." Does that make sense?

Remember you can always soften again after you get an answer.
But bring that bridle two inches closer.
Insist.

2ndyrgal
Oct. 24, 2013, 04:23 PM
Ok, first you have an enormous advantage over lot of us. You have the perfect conformation for a dressage rider. I don't hate you, but, well, it irritates me to be 5'4" none of it legs and as my niece says "Aunt Joycie, you've got a butt and boobs". Now on to the video.

The first thing I noticed was the tail end of your horse's noseband was not in the keeper. Now, what that tells you is, it wasn't that bad. You look like essentially, what you said you are. A beginning dressage rider on a green horse. It wasn't that bad. Really. Nothing catastrophic and you stayed in the arena (my test comments have included "nice jumping form").

Either start riding without stirrups so once you pick them up you won't be reaching for them or shorten them.

You did the hard part, you got out there on a windy day and just rode. Good for you, I know fabulous riders on wonderful horses who don't ever get out there and get an honest evaluation or do anything but ride quietly indoors. Nothing wrong with that, but you did a good job once you started remembering that you had to actually ride.

The poster who said the only people besides the judge watching is your spouse and your trainer are right. Just pretend your at home. "Training" level is just that, an opportunity to continue training your horse (and yourself) in a show/test situation.

Good job, and welcome to the never ending journey that is dressage.