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  1. #1
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    Jul. 23, 2009
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    Default how important are transitions?

    In a dressage test, how important is it to have really nice transitions? My horse is a gorgeous mover, but he still tends to brace some during transitions(he's getting better). So I was just wondering how big of a deal it is if your horse doesn't have really nice transitions.



  2. #2
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    IMHO, your whole movement is dependent on your transition. Theres not enough time to establish a good w/t/c whatever after a bad transition.



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by eponacowgirl View Post
    IMHO, your whole movement is dependent on your transition. Theres not enough time to establish a good w/t/c whatever after a bad transition.
    Well then I must be overestimating their badness because normally he settles into a lovely, relaxed w/t/c within a stride after the transition. The downward canter to trot tends to take a few strides though unless I'm really on the ball.

    His badness is normally just head toss and an open mouth during the transition, but as soon as the transition is done, he goes on his merry way.



  4. #4
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    Extremely important. A correct, precise transition means that your (both you and your horse's) rythym, timing and strength (conditioning) are "correct".

    It takes a lot of strength and power to execute a transition precisely, which really can only be done when the horse is correctly on the aids ... not half-way there. Anything else is really subpar, and shows a lack of connection from the hindquarters through the back to the bit.

    His badness is normally just head toss and an open mouth during the transition
    "His badness" is not his fault; it is the fault of poor hands on the part of the rider, which can normally be traced directly to the rider having not developed an Independent Seat.

    Which also indicates that the rider is not using their core muscles properly ... so you won't have a good half-halt, and it usually means the horse is being ridden front to back instead of back to front.



  5. #5
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    Default

    In the Training tests at least (haven't seen prelim in a while), the transitions get a seprate score, so while in theory transitions are important, they are also important if you want a good score in a test. Gaits get you one score, but there are several transitions per test.



  6. #6
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    BN A test - 7 out of 15 scores are for transitions.

    Novice A test 7 out of 16 scores

    Training A test 10 out of 16 scores.


    So yes, they are very important, they are the basics of good training (most important), and thus a good score, if that's what you're after.



  7. #7
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    Hugely important. Any movement including a transition probably drops two points if the transitions are that bad, no matter how pretty your trot or canter is the judge is not going to ignore your horse's lack of basic foundation skills for dressage. So if you're doing Novice.... add seven points to your final dressage score. Not to mention the impact it will have on your collective marks (submission etc.) OUCH. Kiss that ribbon goodbye.

    Jennifer



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    "His badness" is not his fault; it is the fault of poor hands on the part of the rider, which can normally be traced directly to the rider having not developed an Independent Seat.

    Which also indicates that the rider is not using their core muscles properly ... so you won't have a good half-halt, and it usually means the horse is being ridden front to back instead of back to front.
    I have only had him for.....5 months I believe, and he's had this problem since I got him. He's actually gotten a lot better, but I have my first show with him in a few weeks, and I was just wondering. I have very good hands, and if I really get him on the aids and keep him bent to the inside, he gets some pretty flawless transitions, but it takes a lot of work and preparation right now.

    He had mouth problems, and the the right side of his jar was sore for some reason, but the dentist(who is very good. he only does teeth) couldn't figure out why. He also had really bad back pain. I got my ass rodeoed of once because of it. I wouldn't be surprised if his old owner is the cause of his problems.



  9. #9
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    Not just in riding tests, but in general so important--riding a test in a small arena on a horse with iffy transitions is just . . . a mess.
    Click here before you buy.



  10. #10
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    Originally posted by forestergirl99:

    I have very good hands, and if I really get him on the aids and keep him bent to the inside, he gets some pretty flawless transitions, but it takes a lot of work and preparation right now.
    This is what you need to focus on, just be sure to give him a walk on the buckle for about five minutes after ten minutes of the focused, concentrated, CORRECT work. Then repeat. Ten minutes of correct precise stuff, five minutes of relaxed loose and long. Adapt this to his conditioning level now and as you progress.


    Originally posted by forestergirl99:

    He had mouth problems, and the the right side of his jar was sore for some reason, but the dentist(who is very good. he only does teeth) couldn't figure out why. He also had really bad back pain. I got my ass rodeoed of once because of it. I wouldn't be surprised if his old owner is the cause of his problems.
    Well, since most people are right handed, it is very possible that his last rider was really making a mess of the situation using their strong side to apply all of the aids incorrectly. Usually when a rider is that poorly developed, their left side is weaker and they do less damage to the left side of the horse.

    It seems many riders today begin training the horse before they have become proficient riders. Bad news for horse. Uneven muscle tension ... sore pony, mess.



  11. #11
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    Dec. 26, 2008
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    I understand how you feel. My guy does the same thing due to back pain and poor conformation.(makes for so much fun :/ though im learning how to keep an impossible horse together) The only transitions that are bad for me are the Trot to Canter just because it takes so much effort for the hind end and suppleness through the back that its hard for him especially his left lead.

    Anyways, check out his back see if your saddle fits etc etc. And as the above post has said... correctness for 10min then reward on the buckle!

    Kristen
    Why walk when you can ride?



  12. #12
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    Default

    A good transition is far and away more important than how well your horse moves.



  13. #13
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    Sep. 6, 2009
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    Default

    The short answer is.... very important. Judges can only mark what they see in front of them on the day and transitions are one of the signposts of correct training/riding. That being said, dressage is a journey and no one expects you to perform a 100% perfect test. The quality of your horse's gaits, while a bonus, has little to do with how ready you are to compete... other things matter more, such as keeping a consistent bend, rhythm, tempo, is the horse relatively on your aids, etc. If these things are in place then poor transitions shouldn't scare you away from attempting a test - just be prepared for lower marks that you'll have to build on as you progress.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by eventr4life View Post
    I understand how you feel. My guy does the same thing due to back pain and poor conformation.(makes for so much fun :/ though im learning how to keep an impossible horse together) The only transitions that are bad for me are the Trot to Canter just because it takes so much effort for the hind end and suppleness through the back that its hard for him especially his left lead.

    Anyways, check out his back see if your saddle fits etc etc. And as the above post has said... correctness for 10min then reward on the buckle!

    Kristen
    He doesn't have back pain anymore thanks to chiropractors, good saddles, and Surpass. hahaha. I actually just found him a saddle, and he is in love with it. His transitions were immediately way better, but they still need some work. He's getting there though!!



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