And..a video. I warn you, its not pretty. Inconsisten Half-Pass...which he only does when I ride him outside , trot across diagonal, Left lead depart [ SOMEONE whose name will not be mentioned wouldn't work forward, or listen ] and canter. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZruIO8apSY
First thing I'd be working on is your own straightness. I know my horse is far more forward when I'm not crooked on him, and your right side is much shorter than your left, from heel up.
I'd next work on getting your hands off his withers. Another one I notice because I have the same problem. Fixing your crookedness/uneven shoulders should help you do this, too. But right now, at the canter, your hands are perfectly still, and he's trying to move his head but it's like "loose reins, bang against the hands, loose reins, bang against the hands" each stride - this is a hunter rider problem, thus my not even realizing I was doing it until a wonderful judge made a comment so I could watch video and see what she meant. I wouldn't be surprised if you're not really aware you're doing that, either. You have to put bend in your elbow and let your arms hang from your shoulders to allow your hands to follow your horse.
I don't have specific horse training advice for you - but I'm guessing fixing those two things will make a WORLD of difference. At least from my own experience, where my "training" my horse is more from fixing my own problems than his learning anything new. Getting out of their way lets our horses do amazing things.
Originally Posted by Silverbridge
If you get anything on your Facebook feed about who is going to the Olympics in 2012 or guessing the outcome of Bush v Gore please start threads about those, too.
Your horse is adorable and quite the saint!! You are very fortunate! I just judged a schooling show that was so much fun, and where there were a lot of talented riders like yourself!
I would recommend going back to the basics to get a solid foundation and build from there. Think of a pyramid: to properly ride 3rd level, you must have all of the components of 2nd level, which is built upon 1st level, which is built upon Training level. You really just need a little fine tuning; you are off to a fabulous start!
As for the working gaits, horse must go forward in a working trot, not in a western pleasure jog, and the working canter must also be forward (but the riders hands must allow forward and not restrict the horse = head bob).
Try lengthening your stirrups a hole or two, so that you can drop your knee underneath you and leg long, and keep foot underneath you.
In looking at the pictures and video, this is what I can see:
1) HP left: lacks lateral bend, and rider must sit straight and in left bend position so that horse can bend around your inside leg. So, inside leg is on and at girth, while outside leg is slightly behind girth in asking for the bend. Riders shoulders should slightly follow the horses shoulders.
2) Canter: Sit in the saddle and follow with hips, as opposed to the slightly perched seat. When the heels are down so much more like hunters, the seat is often easier to purch on. Hands need to follow forward with the horse. Wrists are curled in, broken in, elbows are wide an effort to low horses head. Straighten wrists, thumbs on top, elbows to your sides below your ear. Line from horses mouth, through your hands, and to your elbow is broken; should be straight. Carry your hands and give forward.
3) Trot: Ride the horse forward from behind into elastic, forward giving contact, so that the horse seeks the bit, and does not want to curl. Upper back/shoulders are slightly curled forward, as elbows are forward and away from your sides. Sit up, lift the chest, and put elbows to your sides. Carry the hands. Try not to pinch with the knees.
4) HP right: Horse looks to have better bend this direction, but rider is not sitting in right bend position. You are leaning into your outer/left seat bone, instead of the eenter or slightly right. Horse and rider should be more so looking where they are going. Hands both look to be pulling back (see elbows).
5) Trot Diagonal: Sit up and tall, so you don't collapse or lean forward, which is making your lower leg slide back. Sit up, chest lifted, elbows to your sides (not in front of you), carry hands. Lower leg stays underneath you.
6) Trot: Try carrying the hands in a forward giving connection, instead of pressing down on withers. Bring your elbows to your sides, bend them, sit tall, and keep your chest lifted. Lengthen stirrups, drop the knee down, and keep your leg underneath you. Ride the horses hind legs up, instead of forehand down.
7) Possible SI: The horse might actually be on 3 tracks and bent to the inside, but your legs are not quite right for SI. Inside leg should be on at girth, outside leg support, and ride the shoulders off the track.
Anyway, this is what I noticed at first glance from the pics. I think you have a lot of hidden talent in there, and an excellent partnership in the making!
Thanks for all the comments. Yes, we are still working on the basics, and still have quite some work before we put in the flying changes for third level.
I am not trying to sound defensive at all, but this was just a simple day for him, and I, thus our lack true connection throughout the gaits. I realize that is important as a basis but I don't want a horse that only does dressage.
Thanks for all the tips! I love this horse to death! Imagine this...he has only had around 3 years of consistent riding. Broke at 5, never ridden, Rebroke at 10!
I understand you don't just want him to be a dressage horse, but being straight and forward will help him in whatever he does. If this was just a day where you popped around and didn't work on getting him forward from behind and into some collection- skip the half pass and shoulder-in and stick with exercises that aren't meant to be done in collection.
I'd stick with posting at this point in warm-up/training as well since he isn't raising his back and stepping under. Make him supple and forward in posting trot, then make sure your 'go' works off a light squeeze, and your 'whoa' works of a light aid, then work on forward and back within trot until he carries that activity behind into the smaller trot and the half halt produces some collection. Then sit and go about the day.
Tell us about your horse. What is his history? How long have the two of you been together? He really seems so compliant and obedient!
Try doing the SI, HI, HP rising instead of sitting to free up the horses back and keep him going forward, if you can't sit independently. These movements are often done rising in warm up or in schooling on horses with tight backs.
I am wondering why you are calling this 3rd level? The elements are missing.
Like joidevie implies, skip the "tricks" if you're not sure how to do them (missing the elements needed for these movements). Go back to the basics before jumping ahead. Get the gaits down, your position, the connection, and learn to get the horse on the aids. If you learn this now, it will all come together in the future.
Everyone has givien you lots of good stuff to work on...I just want to sat how fortunate you are to have this LOVELY horse to learn on!! He is WONDERFUL and my idea of a schoolmaster for that level!!! Good luck...keep us posted!!
My BO broke him as a 5 year old with intentions of ONLY walk/trot trail horse for owner.
Owner claimed he was unsafe and to hot to ride, but loved him to death as she foaled him.
Kept him in pasture till he was 10. MAYBE one ride, every couple of years, but only at walk.
Sold him back to barn owner. BO rebroke him at age 11. When I mean re-break, I mean RE-BREAK. It was like working with a 3 year old. After a year of basic training I bought him as still VERY green walk/trot/..some canter.
Within 2 years...I have gotten him this far All by myself! He tends to be a 1 person horse, has lots of trust issues, and has bucked my sister off....I have had so many people watch me and can really tell he only clicks with me!
Anyways, here we are today! Oh and just to state to date, I have NOT EVER fallen off of him
"goesthestink" I was not working on the leg yield in that video...I was working on developing the half-pass...
you cant dot he half pass till you learn the basics and that was a more of a leg yeild than half pass hence the video if you learn to leg yield properly the half pass will be ten times easier to get and to perfrom but none can be done if you dont listen to above posters and get the horse going striaght
and not croaked
This horse leg-yields like a pro, he's got it down front to back. We do leg yields as warm ups. If you would have read my above posts you would have seen that I noted he needs work on his half-passes when I ride him outside. He just about half-passes perfectly inside, but gets discombobulated when we go to the outdoor dressage arena.
Does this look like a leg yield to you? Take in mind this pictures were of the SAME day, the video was just early on in the warm up phase of the half-pass. I am not going to expect him to give me a perfect half-pass the first time I ask him for it. I'm pretty sure this video was taken around 10 minutes into warm up.
I am bumb founded to hear your horses story! I just thought he was a solid citizen who was allowing you to learn on him thinking to myself...this is exactly the kind of horse I need!..You have done well with him. I wouldn't be in such ahurry to move op the levels and possibly risk undoing what appears to be a good begining with him!