I am not sure how to add videos to my existing thread to keep it ongoing so I just created a new one. If someone could explain the best way to edit thet itle to show new videos have been added each time and where to put the new links (in original opening or later in thread?)
I had 5 other rides recorded on my other video camera but there is a problem with getting them to download in my computer. Anyways this is the second ride working on 20 meter circles and bending. He was a little tired from our ride yesterday from doing the same work. Yesterday he did extremely well (wish that video would load). He will have the day off tomorrow to recharge. Should I only ask for this more demanding work every other ride for now, since he is still a bit out of shape? I only uploaded parts of the ride that the camera could see. I did go large and do plenty of walk breaks but felt it was not worth including.
then at the bottom of the edit box it says "go Advanced" from there you can edit the title of your thread, and add more video links to your original post (ideal for readers) i'd just make a point to put "update" and the date before each video link in the OP
Last edited by Petstorejunkie; Apr. 14, 2011 at 10:10 AM.
here's my perspective from only watching this video
I think he's in shape enough for you to expect more. He's got great rhythm, balanced diagnals, decent energy coming from behind and he looks fairly consistent in the bridle. It's been my experience (limited with friesians) that being bred for cart and only recently being purpose bred for things like dressage, ribcage flexion and suppleness are a challenge. Resist the urge to use your inside rein to create bend. I see alot of bent neck without bent body. think of that outside elbow being connected through your lats... really FEEL that connection when you HH.
Here's the bigger point. Were you bored watching your video? Did it seem like the same dang circle over and over? It did to me, which means it was probably boring for your horse too. Conditioning doesn't have to be boring. You want them to be using their brains. Vary it a bit, maybe some spirals, maybe do 2 20m circles then condense him for a 15m then ask for a longer stride and a 20m circle. Incorporate transitions, baby shoulder fore, heck do a 20m, to a 10m, to a shoulder fore on a straight line! If you go 3 times around in a circle asking for the same thing, you've lost his attention. the smarter they are, the sooner the variation or "change in question" is needed.
Lol. yes it is quite boring but thank goodness that was not all we did. My camera is in a stationary position and can only tape that spot so I only put the circles in the edited video. We are working on shallow serpentines and leg yielding to and from the quarteline as well. I just can't get everything on video. If I try to get the whole riding area, it turns out too blurry due to being an ancient video device. Hopefully for the next one, someone else can tape it.
I am hesitant to do smaller circles to the right because when i do, his right hind end sort of gives out and falls out from underneath him (best way i can describe it). Going left is is overbent side so i hate to do too much bending that way til i can get the right side more flexible. The few times i tried to restart him in the past, i was more demanding and he became lame again in the right hind. I am scared to overdo it this time. Am i over reacting or should i continue on the slow path and listen when he tells me it is too much? I wish i could upload the ride from the day before. He looked and felt awesome, was truly bending in rib cage, forward, and very steady into outside aids. This ride he seemed much more hesitant to go into outside aids and bend. He was not as well in front of my leg. I chalked it up to being tired from doing such correct work yesterday for the first time. Surely he used alot of muscles he had not been using. I am wondering if i should alternate days with one day just being forward and relaxed with transitions and the other day being bending/suppling work. Keep in mind i am used to just going large around outside of arena so most of the pattern work is new to me as well. I have a hard time doing too many things at once...... though i am trying to work on having a goal for every few steps we make. (hope this makes sense) Thanks for the input, it is greatly appreciated
Last edited by black jack; Apr. 14, 2011 at 12:28 PM.
it sounds like I need to read your first thread.
on a sound horse the hind falling out on smaller circles has to do with your outside aides. you create the wall the water flows against, and your aides are what bend the water. (zen moment)
i hear you on the video camera. It's so much easier when you have someone to film!
I find myself working with more of a focus on longitudinal balance one day, and lateral balance the next (ie transitions and stretchy trot stuff, hills, etc alternated by spirals, SI HI etc.)
As far as hind end falling out; what i mean is that it kind of drops(think stifle catching or something) not that he swings his hind end out to the outside.
I did ride tonight but did not tape it. I tried to focus on more outside rein to turn the shoulders around and it hurt me to hold that hard and press against the next without crossing over. Is it normal to feel that difficult at first? I thought i hit record on the camera but apparently not; so i do not have video. It seems the more i am trying to bend, my nicely quiet horse, who reaches for contact is becoming super tight in the neck and strong against me. when i use inside leg it just makes me have to have a death grip on the outside rein and he wants to go faster and get heavier. Then i have to be very strong with outside rein. It just does not feel good to me. Not sure if i just need to keep at it til he can handle it and give to the outside turning aides while staying bent or if i am asking too much.. This is very frustrating to say the least. I don't want to stay stuck in first gear but i don't want to overdo it.
the outside rein should feel like a firm grasp on a child's hand crossing the street. you should not be fatigued holding it. Do make sure you are bending your elbow and be conscious of the fact that your arm is connected to your body. transfer the power to your body.
Try asking him to yield and come into the bridle, hold for a few steps, then oose the rein back out and ask for more forward. then downward, then gather him back up, then upward and repeat.
you also may be blocking with your thigh. my horse gets tense and thick through the neck when my thighs aren't floppy. floppy flabby thighs are what you want so your bones can access your saddle. tense muscle keeps the bone from finding the saddle.
What is/was the right hind injury? Stifle? Circling is very hard on stifles, especially weak stifles on big horses. He may need some specific physiotherapy exercises to address whatever was weakened by the injury.
I do believe it is important to vary the work from day to day as different work uses muscles in different ways. Allowing time to heal and strengthen, as well as working different groups is important. If a muscle (or group) is stiff/sore from the previous day and we demand too much the horse may find some evasion in order to use less painful muscles, which can strengthen the wrong muscles and make the correct work even more difficult both because the right muscles aren't getting stronger and because the horse develops a habit of incorrect carriage.
It is also important to work both sides of the horse even if they have different issues. If you work one side too much it becomes fatigued and sore and the horse will develop poor carriage and/or become resistant to work. I like patterns that work both reins with frequent changes of direction to help prevent one sided fatigue. 101 Dressage Exercises has one that I use all the time - I think it's called threading needlepoint. I can apply endless variations in gait, transitions, lateral work, and size of circles within the base pattern to suit the horse on the day.
He can't pull if you don't. I find that simply relaxing the muscles in hands, arms and shoulders without moving the hands can do wonders to lighten a heavy contact. If I do get suckered into holding too much weight on the rein I also find it beneficial to actually loop that rein and try to ride with no contact on the one side for a bit. It never happens - I always sneak in a brief touch on the rein to get the bit of bend or whatever, but the horse starts to respond to a very light touch on the rein very quickly. The other exercise I find helpful is to do a serpentine or figure eight and not use any rein to make the change of bend - just hold the contact light, steady and absolutely even in both hands (easier said than done I know).
Okay - now I see in the video comments that the injury was to hip and stifle. If he's dropping out on that leg the stifle is likely still weak (the muscles around the stifle to be precise).
Stifle strengthening exercises:
Walk over randomly spaced and angled poles. Walk is better than trot because the walk forces the horse to lift the leg using the muscles rather than bouncing over them the way he can in trot.
Backing up in a straight line, in a calm and unhurried fashion. Then backing on a curve. This can be done in hand easily, and can be separate from any under saddle work (ie. when bringing in or turning out).
If you have access to a hill, walk and trot up the hill. Walking down too - but keep the hindquarters directly behind the front end.
Trot raised trot poles. I did this ad nauseum with my boy. I had a set of 20 poles set at 12" and eventually (over a period of weeks) worked up to doing five sets of ten passes over them three days a week (that's 1000 poles per day). I didn't know about the walking over poles exercise at the time. Three days a week because I wanted to give him a day away from the poles in between so he didn't get sore. We started with flat poles, then poles that had one end raised about 6-8".
As with any exercise beware of over doing it and creating fatigue and strain in the very muscles you are trying to strengthen. Treat it like physiotherapy. The big guys need strong stifle muscles.