I'm going back to basics for a while and though I know it's the right thing intellectually, I can't help but feel kinda down about it, so I've come here to whine a little!
Fact: my horse is not confirmed on the bit. The problem comes from a lot of different things but it is a fact. Reasons: I have had a hard time putting the concept into practice. His bit turned out to be really bothering him. I've gotten a lot of conflicting information about how to put a horse on the bit and all that swapping around has confused him and me. He's an Arab! He's young. And so on.
So, the advice is: go back to walk and trot and practice practice practice the techniques demonstrated to me until he is confirmed. The techniques do work and he is much more comfortable and consistent, but not perfect yet. So progress...but I had hoped to be much further along by this time.
Give me some tough love and tell me to persevere and to put my expectations aside for the moment for the long term good. Right? And share some stories if you've got them.
You are doing the right thing. I know it feels like failure to have to step back, but think of it as a "refinement". I just hit one of those moments myself (whaddya mean she's not working over her back correctly? Seriously, we have to work at the walk for 45 min to correct this?). The better you get with the basics, the better your more advanced work will be. Or as my trainer said to me last night "Sure, you could go and go a schooling show now, and survive, and get a score, but if you really work on this, you can do a show later and get the score you WANT". So maybe that helps?
Also, I sometimes run into another participant at clinics whose horse was very, very, good at pretending. Up to 3rd level or so. She's realized that she and he have to step back and reconfirm the basics of connection before they can move on. So it happens to a lot of people - don't feel bad!
I think even the highest ranked riders continually work on the basics! So just think of it that way!
Could be worse - here's my sad story: backed my (now) 4YO horse last year, things are going great. Decide to take the plunge and register for a clinic early May. Give him a few days off, come back up and he's off. Cancel clinic (enter heartbreak & bitter disappointment). Turns out he's got a mild check ligament injury, needs 2 months of stall rest. FML. Then finally we get back to work - slow and steady as she goes! Spent the first 2 weeks only walking under saddle. Day before I introduce a few minutes of trotting - he blows up. HUGE buck, I essentially punch him in the neck, break my hand. Need surgery, oh and while I'm in the hospital, my cat has been unwell and I get the sad news from the vet. He's my heart cat, just 4 years old and has a mass in his stomach. I had to have him put down, and I can't even say goodbye, sister has to do it for me as I was still in hospital. Now *I've* been off for two months and am on the brink of getting back in the saddle. *gulp* For the first time ever, I'm a bit nervous.
Talk about going back to the basics! I think at this point I'm going to have to start right back at square one. Very frustrating! But that's how it goes sometimes, and we have to do what's best for the horses.
So you see, it could be worse. You and your horse are in good health! You say your horse is young, so time is on your side. I think with youngsters it really pays off to take your time and let their minds and bodies develop. The basics are SO important, and you know what they say - admitting you have a problem is the first step on the road to recovery! So you're on your way!
In dressage, the basics are ALWAYS being worked on. All the way up the levels the same basic principles are at the heart of the training, and are never totally "finished". So try not to think of it as moving backward, but as polishing and advancing the work you've already done. Arabs especially can be seriously tricky with the contact, but oh so worth it when they really soften and lift their backs!
In my vast 18 months' experience with dressage, I've sat through quite a few clinics and watched folks work at higher levels than I have attempted. One thing came through loud and clear - if you don't have the basics, all you're doing at higher levels are the "tricks". I didn't want to be one of those people - I want to get it right from the beginning. So here we are. I appreciate that you are telling me the same thing...so we'll keep slogging away until we get it!!
Monty and I appreciate the support. Maybe I'll have a video soon that doesn't make me cringe and that I can show you. Stay tuned!!!
one thing that has helped me in the past is to remember it's a pyramid for a reason
the bottom takes WAY longer to build than the top
This is what I was going to say.
I remember after he won the World Cup, or maybe after he did well at WEG, Steffen Peter discussed in an interview how he was focused on trying to get Ravel to lengthen his neck. Something which would seem very basic, yet a big focus he made... and look how it turned out for them by the time they got to Aachen!
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed