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  1. #1
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Default Comments on video, please?

    I am going to be brave and post a video.
    This is Training Level Test 4 from our year end championship show.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8dTBkEvbdA

    The horse is a 7 year old Saddlebred and we have been working at "competitive" dressage since March. We take private lessons 1-2 times a week.

    The biggest challenges I think that we struggle with are my nerves which cause me to "go fetal", and his natural giraffe neck.

    I am hoping for suggestions that I can bring to my trainer - different viewpoints, if you will.

    Thank you for taking the time to help me!

    PS - Spook at B is part of the Canter Circle at E, right?



  2. #2
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    Mar. 9, 2006
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    Well, as a fellow nerve wracked AA, I can commiserate!! I don't have any great advice, but what I will try to work on are things that will make me feel more secure like my own fitness and practicing the elements of the test enough that I feel like I could do it with my eyes closed. If your horse is a little nervous himself than getting to the show early enough to let him look around and settle in, maybe even riding him twice before your first test, once to settle him and once to prepare for the test? As far as your riding, I am sure you know what you need to do and probably do it well at home, i.e. sit up, shoulders back, half halt, keep horse bent around inside leg and focused on you - ride every step!

    Not sure if any of that helps - If you find somethings that really work for you, let me know!!



  3. #3
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    Dec. 31, 2009
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    What a lovely horse--you guys look good together as a pair! Good recovery when he spooked. Relax your elbows at your side and keep your toes in. When you had moments of relaxation you two looked so nice, so I think your biggest issue is nerves (I hate getting horse show nerves! ) and you already know that. When you have a more relaxed core it will help with his "giraffe neck". Do you have one leg longer than the other? Your stirrups looked uneven a couple of times, maybe it was just the camera angle. All in all I think your horse is great, what a charmer, looks to me like you have potential to go further. Good luck!!



  4. #4
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    Feb. 3, 2010
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    Deep South
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    Default

    As a fellow ASB owner I could't help but smile watching your test. Overall it looked pretty good. The biggest things I can comment on are encouraging him to reach down into the bridle and his walk work. With a horse that naturally tends to be higher necked and hollow backed it is of utmost important to work the horse consistently over his back. I spend about 15 minutes of every warm-up with my horse in a long and low frame at all gaits before picking him up. With a little more back to front and seeking the bit I think you'll see your free walk and stretchy trot improve.

    His walk needs more forward and more stretch. If you watch where his hind feet land in relation to his front feet he's not stepping up in his tracks. He has nice gaits, so I bet there's more push in there. Try swinging your seat and encouraging those hind feet to step up and you'll see your free walk score improve.

    You ride him very well and put in a nice test. I can tell you have a lot of really good basics in there .



  5. #5
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    are you working with a real dressage trainer?

    if not then that would be my suggestion if you want to do dressage.

    there is a level of basic ideas that need to be in place for it all to flow and a dressage trainer (or maybe eventing trainer) should be able to help.

    cute horse



  6. #6
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    Jun. 7, 2006
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    I think your horse is lovely and you two make a nice pair.

    As for the nerves, try to make the horse show not all about you. This sounds like I am being obnoxious, but think about it: when you are nervous, you are worried about YOU. What will the judge think of YOU, what will the other people think of YOU, will YOU remember the test, will YOU complete the test without error, and so on.

    Try thinking instead about what your horse thinks of the experience. Will he be happier and more confident at the end of the show? Will he ride more mature at the next show? Does he feel confident in your leadership in a new place or is nobody home when he asks you a question because are in your own world?

    Remember that you are not along in the ring. You have somebody with you who has practiced with you every step that you have practiced. He has worked with you every step that you have worked. Don't suddenly forget about him just because it's crunch time now. Crunch time is when he needs you the most.

    Ride to make him feel special about the things he does well so that he feels like a rockstar. Ride to make him feel that the stuff he doesn't do so well isn't such a big deal and make sure he knows you love him anyway. Ride to make him feel safe and comfortable in the arena so that he can feel proud and tell the world, "Look what I can do!"

    He should feel like an Olympic contender by the time you're done, and your ride will have been in service to the horse who has carried you in practice all this time.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 3, 2010
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    Default

    ^ What a great way to look at show nerves!

    I would also suggest "That Winning Feeling" by Jane Savoie. Has some great suggestions for show nerves and the like.



  8. #8
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    Jun. 19, 2008
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    No critiques here, just wanted to say that I LOVE your horse! You two look lovely together!! I also have a pinto ASB (5yr old, going on 3!), working on Training Level, and our issues too are my nerves and his giraffe neck. Maybe we should start a support group!? My trainer has us working on a lot of lateral suppling and long and low work to get him working over his back.
    I had to laugh a little at the spook at B, your horse has the same move mine does, as well as the looky-loo's - it's kinda cute when it's someone else riding! Great job getting out and showing! I'm sure you guys have a great future ahead!!!



  9. #9
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    May. 16, 2000
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    Cute pair! The two things that struck me the most are that you have a tendency to be perched so that your upper body is a bit tipped forward, and your hands are not going forward toward your horse’s mouth for the first ¾ of the tape. There are some lovely moments toward the end of the tape, where you keep your shoulder blades behind your hips and allow your very nice horse to take your hands forward. This is the feeling and look you want to strive for. As far as nerves, concentrate on breathing down low—through your belly button. When we are tense, we tend to breathe up high and take shallower breaths. Not enough oxygen gets to our brains, and our thinking (quite literally) is impaired. Also, our muscles become deprived of much-needed oxygen. Breathe low. You clearly have ability and a nice horse, so with these minor changes, I think you will see much higher scores and, best of all, enjoy your ride more.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
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    You are "going fetal" because you are trying to brace against the motion, rather than embrassing it. Raise your stirrups two holes, and go back to posting the trot. You do not have the balance to sit yet. As you post, you want the weight of your rise to fall into your heels, which means you need to elevate your hipbones. Right now, your upper body is falling because the hipbones are not elevated, which tips you onto your crotch. As you feel yourself falling, you then pinch with your knees to brace, and this both puts your horse on the forehand and causes the horse to string out behind, meaning you lose the impulsion.

    As your body comes down from the post, it is the push of your seat into the saddle that drives the horse forward into your hands....provided that your upper body is not falling forward, and that your seat actually goes into the saddle rather than remains hovering and braced.

    I love your horse.



  11. #11
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    Aug. 2, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmac84 View Post
    If your horse is a little nervous himself than getting to the show early enough to let him look around and settle in, maybe even riding him twice before your first test, once to settle him and once to prepare for the test?
    We got there Friday, showed Saurday in two tests, and this test was Sunday. Still nervous!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Megaladon
    Do you have one leg longer than the other? Your stirrups looked uneven a couple of times, maybe it was just the camera angle.
    I like to stand more in my left stirrup and then collapse my right rib area. Well, I don't "like to" so much as I "tend to".

    Quote Originally Posted by countrygal
    The biggest things I can comment on are encouraging him to reach down into the bridle and his walk work. With a horse that naturally tends to be higher necked and hollow backed it is of utmost important to work the horse consistently over his back.
    Yes, I need to encourage him to reach down. But how? At home, he will be working along, neck lower, and then "Hey! A squirrel!" I have that Jane book and also "Its Not Just About the Ribbons".

    Quote Originally Posted by mbm
    are you working with a real dressage trainer?
    I am working with a dressage instructor - normally once a week. I have been working with her for about 1.5 years with this horse...decided this March to get out and show. Maybe I am at a crossroads here. hmmmm

    Quote Originally Posted by meupatdoes
    As for the nerves, try to make the horse show not all about you. This sounds like I am being obnoxious, but think about it: when you are nervous, you are worried about YOU. What will the judge think of YOU, what will the other people think of YOU, will YOU remember the test, will YOU complete the test without error, and so on.
    Oh you are good! Add in, "What will people think of my wonderful horse?" I need to print this out and re-read it often!

    Quote Originally Posted by asbintx
    My trainer has us working on a lot of lateral suppling and long and low work to get him working over his back.
    I had to laugh a little at the spook at B, your horse has the same move mine does, as well as the looky-loo's - it's kinda cute when it's someone else riding!
    We do a lot of leg yielding, shoulder-fore, square turns, and we are always trying to work long and low. Honestly, I didn't mind the spook. It was pretty honest and neither judge mentioned it.

    I will add that I was not concerned about my placing at the championships. I was so pleased that we qualified and happy with our test. I thought he improved over our Saturday tests (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxHwFvFF-LE and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9hy1cMohxE if you are bored). I was a little disappointed in our scores for the ride, which is why I posted looking for input.

    Thank you so much for helping me.



  12. #12
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by suzy View Post
    Cute pair! The two things that struck me the most are that you have a tendency to be perched so that your upper body is a bit tipped forward, and your hands are not going forward toward your horse’s mouth for the first ¾ of the tape. There are some lovely moments toward the end of the tape, where you keep your shoulder blades behind your hips and allow your very nice horse to take your hands forward. This is the feeling and look you want to strive for. As far as nerves, concentrate on breathing down low—through your belly button. When we are tense, we tend to breathe up high and take shallower breaths. Not enough oxygen gets to our brains, and our thinking (quite literally) is impaired. Also, our muscles become deprived of much-needed oxygen. Breathe low. You clearly have ability and a nice horse, so with these minor changes, I think you will see much higher scores and, best of all, enjoy your ride more.
    Thank you for the kind remarks! Yes, when did I start perching?? I swear that's a fairly new thing, or rather a return to a bad old habit from my breed/pleasure/open show days.

    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    You are "going fetal" because you are trying to brace against the motion, rather than embrassing it. Raise your stirrups two holes, and go back to posting the trot. You do not have the balance to sit yet.
    I did feel like I was bracing against the motion.
    Stirrups up two holes? Really? I can try that.
    I normally only sit the trot in the corner right before the canter depart. If I did so at other times, it wasn't intentional! We haven't even started any sitting trot work in my lessons.



  13. #13
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    Feb. 3, 2010
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    Deep South
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    My horse is the same way- introduce him to a new enviroment, or someone walks in the door and the attention span is totally blown. Sounds like you're practicing all the right things at home, so I imagine it's just a matter of getting out and seeing unusual things more often. Keeping his attention will always be my battle riding a reactive and very alert horse. I find my horse is more attentive to me if I keep things changing. Even in training level I would ride some shoulder fore and really work to keep him focusing on me. It's amazing how quick these guys can get distracted :P

    You really do a lovely job. I can tell you have a great partnership with your horse.



  14. #14
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    Mar. 8, 2009
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    I'm just going to make comments as I go through the video:

    1.- sit back. I can tell that you are timid, but so can your horse. Your seat can be more effective if you put your shoulders back and when you come down in the trot come down on the "back" part of your bottom and actually get your horse to use his back end and not come hollow through the back.

    2.- bend your elbows more, which will draw your hands back and up, just slightly. Right now your hands are not being as effective as they could be and at times you are pushing down. Your hands are too far forward on the horse's neck and the communication has a gap.

    3.- When your horse spooks (like before the test), use the inside leg to push him into the outside rein to push him into the corner. This will also help with the hollowness that it happening.

    4.- Try to keep your foot flat against the horse, asking for things with the side of your calf, not the back of your heel with your toes out. Fixing this now will help you if you ever need to put spurs on. This will help to make your leg use more effective.

    5.- You do a nice job of keeping your head up and your eyes where you need to be going. This really can help with the total picture and can be many people's Achilles heel, so it's great that you look to have mastered it.

    6.- When you ask for the canter, don't lose your contact to the outside rein. For a few split moments you had no contact on the rein and the horse became hollow and lost focus. This will take your transition score down a point.

    7.- When you ride your canter right, ride it in a shoulder-fore position. In the video it is clear to see that your horse is crooked to this direction and likes to carry his hind end to the inside track. No horse is perfect! So, we have to adjust, and to do this, you need to then ride a shoulder-fore position, bringing his shoulders slightly off of the track to counter the fact that he wants to bring his hindquarters off of the track, then making him straight.

    8.- When he comes above the bridle, don't push down with your hands, sit in with your seat and push him into the outside rein with your inside leg. Then hold a steady but flexible contact with your outside rein.

    9.- Good recovery on the spook. You didn't let you get unhinged and ruin your entire ride. This is a great quality to have.

    10.- In the free walk, ask the horse to really work and really move out. It's not a trail ride. 1/3 of your points are in the walk, so don't lose them by just taking a break and hanging out. Alternate your legs left and right opposite of the horse (without getting the horse lateral) asking the horse to reach for the contact.

    11.- Your horse is straighter to the canter left, but wants to now swing outside slightly.

    12.- As an aside, he seems like he would benefit from some counter canter work to strengthen his hind end. He looks like he needs some more "umph" in his canter and some more impulsion. The counter canter can help this. But more strength if he seems tired.

    13.- You're sitting very straight throughout and you don't seem to tilt or fall over. This is very good for a young rider and a tough thing to learn.

    14.- The reason that stretchy trot didn't really work out is because your horse isn't really true to the bridle. That's not really the end of the world, or the most uncommon thing at this point in many horse's at this level, but a horse that will stretch is one that is true. The stretchy circle is like a test to see if you're really doing what you're supposed to be doing. That being said, work hard on putting your horse into the outside rein properly with your inside leg. Get that strength up in yourself. And though you sit nicely and you don't seem to jar the horse in the back, you need to be more effective in the use of your seat by sitting back more and sitting in. Also, drawing your hands back and bending your elbows will help to put half halts to use and get the horse properly on the bit.

    All in all I think you guys are in on a good track. And you had a nice canter walk, even if I don't think that it was called for in the test (???)
    http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by countrygal View Post
    You really do a lovely job. I can tell you have a great partnership with your horse.
    Oh, thank you - this means a lot to me.
    I absolutely love this horse.



  16. #16
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    well I enjoyed the video, thanks so much for being brave and posting it I love watching world class dressage vids, but you know.. there's alot to be learned from us struggling to get there people too, I think.

    (I show just for giggles, and have been known to quite happily destroy an entire jump course on a greenie, and not care a whit that I have done. so take my comments for what they are worth - sweet bumpkiss )

    One of these days I'll get a vid and be brave (gulp) any rate, your horse looks like a sweet guy. as for nerves, we DO THIS FOR FUN! (ok..well I do) but remembering that helps with my nerves a lot.
    Quote Originally Posted by ExJumper View Post
    Sometimes I'm thrown off, sometimes I'm bucked off, sometimes I simply fall off, and sometimes I go down with the ship. All of these are valid ways to part company with your horse.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quest52 View Post
    I'm just going to make comments as I go through the video:
    Thank you for taking so much time!!

    1.- sit back. I can tell that you are timid, but so can your horse. Your seat can be more effective if you put your shoulders back and when you come down in the trot come down on the "back" part of your bottom and actually get your horse to use his back end and not come hollow through the back.
    Yes, I see that.

    2.- bend your elbows more, which will draw your hands back and up, just slightly. Right now your hands are not being as effective as they could be and at times you are pushing down. Your hands are too far forward on the horse's neck and the communication has a gap.
    OK I also see that. I think I was trying to make his neck come down, which I know is not correct.

    3.- When your horse spooks (like before the test), use the inside leg to push him into the outside rein to push him into the corner. This will also help with the hollowness that it happening.
    I was trying to do just that - apparently ineffectively!

    4.- Try to keep your foot flat against the horse, asking for things with the side of your calf, not the back of your heel with your toes out. Fixing this now will help you if you ever need to put spurs on. This will help to make your leg use more effective.
    OK good thing to work on.

    5.- You do a nice job of keeping your head up and your eyes where you need to be going. This really can help with the total picture and can be many people's Achilles heel, so it's great that you look to have mastered it.
    Thank you.

    6.- When you ask for the canter, don't lose your contact to the outside rein. For a few split moments you had no contact on the rein and the horse became hollow and lost focus. This will take your transition score down a point.
    Throwing my reins away at canter departs...yes, something I struggle with.

    7.- When you ride your canter right, ride it in a shoulder-fore position. In the video it is clear to see that your horse is crooked to this direction and likes to carry his hind end to the inside track. No horse is perfect! So, we have to adjust, and to do this, you need to then ride a shoulder-fore position, bringing his shoulders slightly off of the track to counter the fact that he wants to bring his hindquarters off of the track, then making him straight.
    I am supposed to be riding the whole test slightly shoulder-fore, per my trainer, or at least thinking shoulder-fore. Execution fail!

    8.- When he comes above the bridle, don't push down with your hands, sit in with your seat and push him into the outside rein with your inside leg. Then hold a steady but flexible contact with your outside rein.
    Definitely need to work on that.

    9.- Good recovery on the spook. You didn't let you get unhinged and ruin your entire ride. This is a great quality to have.
    He is so alert that I am used to it by now. LOL!

    10.- In the free walk, ask the horse to really work and really move out. It's not a trail ride. 1/3 of your points are in the walk, so don't lose them by just taking a break and hanging out. Alternate your legs left and right opposite of the horse (without getting the horse lateral) asking the horse to reach for the contact.
    Yes, our free walk sucks! When I try to ask for more, he will just drop his head and tuck his nose in so I decided just not to ask for much for this test. I thought it was the lesser of two evils until I get that worked out.

    11.- Your horse is straighter to the canter left, but wants to now swing outside slightly.
    More outside leg to keep hindquarters where they should be?

    12.- As an aside, he seems like he would benefit from some counter canter work to strengthen his hind end. He looks like he needs some more "umph" in his canter and some more impulsion. The counter canter can help this. But more strength if he seems tired.
    Oh we just started playing with counter canter and oddly, he seems to enjoy it! It is a challenge for me to keep myself together for that exercise.

    13.- You're sitting very straight throughout and you don't seem to tilt or fall over. This is very good for a young rider and a tough thing to learn.
    I am actually not young, but thank you! LOL!

    14.- The reason that stretchy trot didn't really work out is because your horse isn't really true to the bridle. That's not really the end of the world, or the most uncommon thing at this point in many horse's at this level, but a horse that will stretch is one that is true. The stretchy circle is like a test to see if you're really doing what you're supposed to be doing. That being said, work hard on putting your horse into the outside rein properly with your inside leg. Get that strength up in yourself. And though you sit nicely and you don't seem to jar the horse in the back, you need to be more effective in the use of your seat by sitting back more and sitting in. Also, drawing your hands back and bending your elbows will help to put half halts to use and get the horse properly on the bit.
    Yes I went into the test knowing our stretchy trot was not there. I can get decent stretch at home - if there are no distractions. I don't really know how to keep his focus during the stretchy trot.

    All in all I think you guys are in on a good track. And you had a nice canter walk, even if I don't think that it was called for in the test (???)
    Canter walk?? Did we do that? We try to never do that because he would prefer to drop to a walk.



  18. #18
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    breathe,... breathe, ....breathe,.... and then I need you to work on your breathing. Then when you have that square work on more breathing. just relax and have fun, this is SUPPOSED to be FUN !! did I mention breathing?
    Last edited by MunchingonHay; Oct. 27, 2010 at 01:44 PM. Reason: spelling



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddys Mom View Post

    Canter walk?? Did we do that? We try to never do that because he would prefer to drop to a walk.
    Mind fart... I was typing and watching and I must have missed the few steps of trot that happened. There was trot.
    http://dressageesquire.blogspot.com
    "The ability to write a check for attire should not be confused with expertise. Proficiency doesn't arrive shrink-wrapped from UPS and placed on your doorstep."



  20. #20
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    This is going to sound soooo weird, but being a saddlebred owner I'm hoping you'll appreciate it.
    have you ever been to an upper level saddlebred show? with the organ and horses gaily trotting around the arena, with rider's smiles so big they look like mules eating briars? That's the visual I use to get a kick ass trot. That thought of those riders gets me sitting tall, my shoulderblades back and down, me breathing, my hands up and my nerves dissolve. Maybe because they look like they are having such a good time? i don't know. but i do find it funny that's what gets the lengthenings and through out of my TB
    While watching your video i kept thinking "let him be a saddlebred doing dressage, raise your hands, relax your elbows and ride him like you own him" let him be who he is. your hands need to come up at least 2 inches and your elbows need to come in so your thumbs can come up.
    yeah your leg could rotate in more, but i bet if you just pick your hands up and smile, your score will go up at least 7pts.
    www.destinationconsensusequus.com
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