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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2000
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    The Frozen Tundra
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    3,713

    Default

    tullio, I'm totally in, except I think that for the sake of full disclosure, we'll have to call it the "OMGiH, I Made My Trainer So Mad S/He Threw SomethingS [plural] At Me" clique. 'Cause, um, this wasn't a one-time deal!!

    Pat, it's an interesting idea -- and I'm sure you are correct. I've been doing a bit of PT on my way back from a broken ankle, and the first thing the therapist said was, "You don't sit straight in the chair -- let's see how you walk!" I feel all oogy about chiro, though (nothing against chiro -- I also don't like massages!). But I might be able to get over myself if it were to make my riding better... --Jess



  2. #42
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2006
    Location
    In the Ozarks....
    Posts
    1,233

    Default shameless thread hijacking continues...

    JAGold - and then, there was a clique, and we saw that it was good.

    I guess we should just be thankful that our trainers are trainers, and not professional baseball players, or anyone else likely to have good aim!

    ps - go to the chiro. It is oogy at first but it will help so much, you will not mind the initial ooginess!
    Fun equestrian t-shirts designed by a rider like you:
    http://skreened.com/laughinglion



  3. #43
    Join Date
    May. 1, 2005
    Location
    Cupertino
    Posts
    941

    Default

    I'm sorry but the truth is that you don't ride well enough yet to make any progress with either of your horses. You'll be lucky if you don't make things worse. Reading some of your previous posts, particulary regarding Tex, you have already done so.

    You will not make any progress until improve your riding. To make things worse improving your riding on an untrained horse will be nearly impossible, even for someone with far more patience than you have. By that time it is going to be even harder to undue the problems you are creating.

    The only option that I see being effective is learning to ride on an already well trained horse. I would spend your money first on improving your skills. I repeat, on a well trained horse. You could still longe or ride her around on a loose rein for excersize but I suggest you stop trying to "train" her and train yourself first. Mabey try to find a working student position. Summer is here right? After your skills have improved then spend some money on having her trained and you will better equiped to maintain it.



  4. #44
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2005
    Posts
    540

    Default

    DressageJunkie, I think you'd be a lot less frustrated if you could take lessons with a good dressage seat and position trainer - even for a few weeks!

    One thing that has REALLY come home to me over the years is how much the rider position affects the way the horse moves (and the way the horse carries her head is part of that).

    No one can give you dressage lessons over the internet, but I can hear your frustration and I'd like to give you an example of what you need to work towards.

    STOP thinking about her head. Just stop worrying about it. Think about the fact that she is raising her head more because of what is going on ON HER BACK.

    Horses like:

    1. Consistent rein contact. That means keeping your hands as still as possible. Don't make your reins too long or too short, just the length they should be to reach her mouth if/when her head would be on or just in front of the vertical and keep your fingers closed so the reins don't slip. Keep a straight line from your elbow-hand-bit even if she raises her head (then raise your hands - never pull down!). Lose the martingale and any other gadgets.

    2. A firm feeling from the rider - not a sack of potatoes flopping around (I'm not saying you are like that because i have never seen you ride). Horses like a firm, tight package strapped to their back. This takes lots of core muscle control - abs and back muscles. To develop this seat often takes hours of lessons on the longe line or with a trainer right there correcting you. There needs to be a straight line from your shoulder-hip-heel, so your leg is under you and not bracing against the stirrups. Let yourself bounce at first - try holding on to the pommel of the saddle at the trot and pulling yourself down into it to get the feel. If you can get a mirror near where you ride or have someone take daily photos if a trainer is not an option. Ride without stirrups for a few minutes each day - but make sure you don't compensate by clinging or gripping with your legs too much.

    3. When people say the horse likes the rider "relaxed" it can be misleading. No one can ever be completely relaxing when riding or they would fall off! Muscles are always at work... the problem is that humans instinctively try to cling on like monkeys. Instead, work on finding your balance and keeping control of your body so it stays in place in the perfect balance spot. The muscles come into play in keeping your body tight in position - a form and vertical torso and pelvis that is vertical (ie think tucking your butt under slightly). Then, your horse will immediately relax her back and her head will come down because she won't feel like there is a clinging flopping monkey on her back

    4. Keep your upper arms at your sides and pretend your elbows are glued to your sides. Pretend the reins come directly out of your elbows and that you have no forearms or hands! This will help you keep your contact steady and your upper body vertical.

    5. Keep yourself glued in position. Don't let your horse rip you out of your seat you need to have a strong enough seat that NOTHING can move you. You don't pull on her, but if she pulls on you stand your ground and she will realize she can't yank or pull you out of position or yank the reins out of your hands.

    6. Read this website and study the photos of horses and rider analysed.
    http://www.mary-wanless.com
    Compare some photos of yourself riding and decide what you need to work on.

    7. Get Walter A Zettl's book "Dressage in Harmony" it takes you step by step through the training pyramid and although it's no substitute for a trainer it is a clear and useful book. http://www.walterzettl.net

    8. I know you live with your parents and they may not want to pay for lessons. Try to work out a deal - can you clean stalls or tack for a trainer in exchange for lessons? Groom at a show? Can anyone here recommend a trainer in kansas for DressageJunkie?

    9. Keep Trying!
    Last edited by snowpony; Jun. 16, 2006 at 01:07 AM.



  5. #45
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 1999
    Location
    Holland Township, NJ
    Posts
    2,699

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snowpony
    To the people who 'feel sorry" for this girls' horse, come on. We all had to learn on some horse, and I'm sure you can look back and think of some poor pony or school horse you learned on.
    The problem, and the reason I feel bad for this kid's horses, is that she' flying blind in all aspects. And often, the harder one tries to point her down the right road, the excuses come out. It's much more than the original post. If you have a moment, and the inclination to do a little search, you'll see what I mean.



  6. #46
    Join Date
    Nov. 25, 2005
    Location
    Golden, Colorado
    Posts
    1,011

    Default

    DJ, I'm a Psychology student, so pardon me if I analyze you a little.

    You have a hard time accepting criticism. That's okay. So do I. So do most of us. However, you have a tendency to justify, explain, and make excuses any time you are critiqued. This shows that you are feeling attacked as a human being and a person, rather than taking criticism of your riding skills as an evaluation of one piece of you, and a useful evaluation at that. Yes, it's easy to feel attacked on the internet- and it's easy to want to fight back.

    Here is something you should do. Anytime that you receive criticism and want to respond, remember the three A's.

    1. Acknowledge- Look for the truth in the criticism and the parts you can use to improve. Example:

    Criticism:
    "DJ, you are posting with your hands and hitting Sheza in the mouth. You should ride on the longe line with no reins."

    Acknowledge:
    "Yes, I see now that my hands move when I post. I don't have someone to longe me all the time, but that is a good technique to try if I can."

    Allow yourself to use what is good- you are the only one who will benefit if you do, and you and your horses are the only ones you're hurting if you don't.

    2. Accept- Accept the parts of the criticism you don't feel you can use. Example:

    Criticism:
    "DJ, you shouldn't have horses- you should sell both Sheza and Tex and ride school horses for a while."

    Accept:
    "Thanks for the advice- that's not going to work for me, but I appreciate the response."

    Don't feel compelled to argue- just accept what you can't use to improve your riding and horsemanship, and go to number three.

    3. Advance- Get beyond the criticism and move forward to something positive. Example:

    Criticism:
    "DJ, get some manuals on training a green dressage horse. You need to ditch the martingale and the 'headset' term."

    Advance:
    "Okay- can you recommend any manuals that I can get fairly inexpensively online? Can you explain more about achieving proper head carriage without the martingale or calling it a headset? I have learned that I am using my hands too much- could you give advice on developing my seat and legs?"

    Ask for more help when you need it. Talk about the positives you have taken from the conversation, and move forward to something that helps you, without dwelling on what doesn't.
    "The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated." - Gandhi

    -my gelding is a ho clique-



  7. #47
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2006
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Heya DJ... do you have a trainer as of now?

    I'm not sure where you are in Kansas, but I took the liberty of looking up some dressage trainers. Hopefully one is near you. I have no idea what the reputation is for any of these barns, but I think any instruction is good instruction for you at this point.

    Here are just a few...

    http://www.stoneymeadowfarms.com/ - Bonner Springs, KS

    Blue Jacket Farm 1219 E 1900 Rd Eudora, KS

    Freedom Hill Farm - 12200 Gardner Rd, Olathe, KS

    http://www.whitehorseequestriancenter.com/ - Eudora, KS

    Shamrock Farm - 27498 Tonganoxie Rd, Leavenworth, KS

    http://www.trinityfarmsequestriancenter.com/index.html - Olathe, KS



  8. #48
    Join Date
    Sep. 20, 2005
    Posts
    3,504

    Default

    Okay, so this what I was taught to do when riding a barely broke horse that is to progress into dressage and then jumpers:

    Out in a field, loose reins, trot, and leg leg leg leg leg - teach beastie to go forward. Not *run* forward, just to carry themselves moving forward from their hindquarters. After we have established *forward* in the field with nothing in front of them, we move into the arena where it is EXTREMELY light contact with their mouths and leg leg leg "you can go forward in here too". Once the horse is moving forward nicely, you can start to SOFTLY take up contact. Don't worry about where the head is, when you have a properly established foundation the self carriage will come on it's own. Next work on shoulder in, haunches in *without moving your hands* - a young horse has got to learn that they can trust your hands to remain still or they will never come to the bit on their own. Once the forward and the beginning of lateral work is going well, your horse should start to come down to your extremely still and quiet hands on their own. Remember, you can't force anything. I might suggest, once again, a properly adjust standing martingale. It isn't to keep her head where you want it, as that wouldn't be properly adjust, but rather to keep her from evading your aids *too much*. Oh, and stop balancing off her mouth when you trot - tisn't attractive.
    "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
    -George Morris



  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2006
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    2,712

    Default

    for goodness sake.. does anyone live around near her and would volunteer to spend an afternoon with her helping her??

    Christ if i wasn't in australia i'd pop right over Dying to hop on that horse! Just dying to.



  10. #50
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    303

    Thumbs up

    You guys are awesome...even if DJ isn't listening, I AM! I have learned some useful tips! Thanks!



  11. #51
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    DJ- I would love to see you take some longe line lessons without reins so that you can learn to use your body independently. As others have pointed out, you seem to have a hard time using your leg, seat and hand independently. You appear to be posting way to high (up and down) without using your leg and you have a hard, ineffective grip on the horses' mouth. Also, you may want to have a good trainer get on and work on just the horse. She would probably respond really well to an experienced rider that can help her get supple and balanced. Did you try any of the techniques that people suggested for the trailering issue? Please post an update. Good luck!



  12. #52
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    DJ, give yourself a little break AND a little reality check at the same time--I've been riding for almost THIRTY YEARS and still can't say that I can feel progress from one month to the next. You need to pay your dues and accept that a green horse/green rider thing is NOT EASY. The cure is lessons, LOTS AND LOTS of lessons. YEARS' worth of lessons. HOURS on the longe line with no reins or stirrups. No short cuts!

    We've all been there, girl.
    Click here before you buy.



  13. #53
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2004
    Location
    on the North Shore, MA
    Posts
    2,058

    Default

    Have to agree with a lot of the posters here.

    Get thee some lessons.

    Also, lose the spurs, crop, and the martingale immediately.

    Here are a few things you can work on yourself.......
    I am taking you the safe and gentle route - it takes longer but is less stressful for both you and your partner (Sheza).

    First remove your stirrups from the saddle
    ride at the walk only on a longish rein - till you and Sheza are moving forward, relaxed and swingy
    Once both of you are relaxed and swingy start to incorporate teeny tiny periods of trot (still with no stirrups) - I'm talking just 4 or 5 steps.
    Reins should still be longish.
    Do lots of transitions - lots - lots - lots - Walk Halt Trot
    Learn the half halt. Tighten your abs and butt - if no response, tighten your abs, butt and lower back, still no reponse? tighten your abs, butt, lower back, shoulders, jaw. Use a tiny HH (bum squeeze) prior to each request for a transition - whether the transition is up or down
    Practice the half halt in varying strengths till you can transition and halt with just your seat (no reins).
    Close your eyes at the walk for about 5 strides and 'feel'.
    Remember that when giving aids, don't ask too long (IMHO four strides is too long) - ask, relax, give them a chance to respond (about 3 or 4 strides to start), then ask again if no response.


    Well this should be enough to work with for a few weeks.

    Good luck
    Bridal Sweet 05/28/1983 to 01/23/2008





  14. #54
    Join Date
    Dec. 6, 2005
    Location
    Waller, TX
    Posts
    94

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat
    I you were my student I would stick you on the lunge line, take away those reins and make you work like that ad infinitum untill you learned how to post with out your hands.
    I second the lunge line. If you have someone who can lunge her, you can rule out that it might be you getting in her mouth or interfering with her. You can RELAX and just worry about your seat and feeling the gaits. Let Sheza relax, too, and just get into a steady rhythm, and then see what you have. Also, I'd try riding with just a sidepull or halter (or Natural Hackamore ), if you have an enclosed area you can work in, if you don't have anyone who can lunge her while you ride.

    I have a foxtrotter and an Arabian mare who both naturally carry their heads high, but it's still quite possible and easy to get them to go long and low.



  15. #55
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Lucama, NC
    Posts
    5,868

    Default

    I haven't read all the replies, but read some. First off, get off this kids case! At least she is TRYING to figure things out, if not doing a perfect job of it!

    Now to the problem at hand and you photos. Youa re TOO involved in the ideas of "collection" and "headset" FORGET THEM. You need to ride this hrose FORWARD which it is apparent from the photos you are not doing. Work on getting her REALLY moving forward (that does NOT mean running around with little short strides though) into a LONG REIN. She WILL begin to stretch down and accept the bit if you do. But it take TIME and plenty of it. I do suggest you find a trainer that is good and work with them consistently once a week if at all possible. If the hrose is "yanking the reins" out of your hands several thigns are going on, she is ASKING you to allow her more rein to stretch into the contact, if you don't give it to her she will evade the contact by raising her head, and getting hollw, or going behind the bit. Allow her the rein, do LOTS of trotting work on BIG circles, changes of direction etc. When you walk, for now, ONLY walk on a long rein, you should never "collect" at the walk on a green horse. Cantering will also help, especially cantering them coming back to the trot, the horse will want to stretch down after the canter. TAKE YOUR TIME, LISTEN TO PEOPLE, seriously you are young and many people here have been riding for decades longer than you, in spite of their rudeness they MAY know what they are talking about



  16. #56
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2004
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,648

    Default

    I can't judge alot from a few pictures, but the shot at the trot looks to me like she is being evasive, probably due to (a) discomfort (b) confusion or (c) both.

    How is her headset when she is lunged without tack? With tack?

    I know you do not want to here this, but please-please-please LOSE THE SPURS! I suspoect she is confused/frustrated by the spurs saying 'go' while your hands (trying to 'set her head') say 'whoa' - she doesn't understand what you are asking.

    I don't want to get into the flame fest that I know is going to ensue: PT me if you'd like more advise.



  17. #57
    Join Date
    Oct. 26, 2005
    Location
    Deep South
    Posts
    4,602

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    Seem to me that DJ is in too much of a hurry with her "training" and Sheza's. She wants to be at a point that realistically she can't get to yet. DJ, I say start over from the very beginning with a good trainer, as if you ahd never ridden. Start on a longe, no reins, then go to reins, no stirrups, with good instruction, until you mentally "get it". No rider is too good for lessons, and sometimes it is best to start over than to continue down the wrong path. You will not be a great rider without LOTS and LOTS of training and practice, and you can't be a good rider without mastering the basics.
    SPAY/NEUTER/RESCUE/ADOPT!
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  18. #58
    Join Date
    Nov. 24, 2005
    Location
    St. Simons Island, GA
    Posts
    6,466

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by shawneeAcres
    I haven't read all the replies, but read some. First off, get off this kids case! At least she is TRYING to figure things out, if not doing a perfect job of it!

    Now to the problem at hand and you photos. Youa re TOO involved in the ideas of "collection" and "headset" FORGET THEM. You need to ride this hrose FORWARD which it is apparent from the photos you are not doing. Work on getting her REALLY moving forward (that does NOT mean running around with little short strides though) into a LONG REIN. She WILL begin to stretch down and accept the bit if you do. But it take TIME and plenty of it. I do suggest you find a trainer that is good and work with them consistently once a week if at all possible. If the hrose is "yanking the reins" out of your hands several thigns are going on, she is ASKING you to allow her more rein to stretch into the contact, if you don't give it to her she will evade the contact by raising her head, and getting hollw, or going behind the bit. Allow her the rein, do LOTS of trotting work on BIG circles, changes of direction etc. When you walk, for now, ONLY walk on a long rein, you should never "collect" at the walk on a green horse. Cantering will also help, especially cantering them coming back to the trot, the horse will want to stretch down after the canter. TAKE YOUR TIME, LISTEN TO PEOPLE, seriously you are young and many people here have been riding for decades longer than you, in spite of their rudeness they MAY know what they are talking about
    I want to echo ShawneeAcres point, DJ. I can't tell you how many people make these same mistakes with OTTBs that have ridden for years. Regardless of the horse's headset naturally, it gets worse with a tense rider focusing on headset. You know what? I NEVER focus on headset with a green horse. I focus only on what they are doing with their body as a whole. Where their head is is a great indicator, yes, but you can't fix just the head. The head falls into place once their body has relaxed.

    A young gentleman at my farm is where you are riding wise. He came to me looking for help with his strung out mare. First things first, the boy didn't even ride the horse for about 2 months. I explained to him that we needed to work with her on the ground first; her manners were appalling. Most of that has resolved, and we are about to start the riding part now. He formerly rode "backyard western" and wants to learn English. The kid listens to me, and asks plenty of questions. At first, he gave me lots of excuses why his mare did this or that. I let him know early on that while one is talking, they ain't listening. Make sure when you start with a trainer, you listen as well. Like him, I know you wnat what is best for your horses and to be the best rider you can be. But it's baby steps, hon. Baby steps. We all advise a trainer for you not to push you away, nor to insult you. It's just that honestly, there is such an abundance of issues to work with here, that simply reading a book isn't going to fix it all. Oh, reading books is a FABULOUS start! But experience is everything here. You can't read "feel". As I mentioned before in this forum, I can read everything about flying an airplane, but I have no real idea HOW to fly one. That's feel and experience. Best of luck to you!!!



  19. #59
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 1999
    Location
    Rosehill, TX
    Posts
    7,080

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by ~DressageJunkie~
    Yes Dawglover, I am quiet aware that she is a Saddlebred and a natural high head carrige, but if she can collect nicely in the walk, she should be able to collect in the trot.

    Walk ( She can collect even more then that) http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227duofcw

    Trot (and it was even worse then that today!) http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227wRHskc

    About the term headset, yes I know it's all from the hindend, but I grew up thinking headset, it's hard to lose the term.

    She has had her teeth floated recently.

    This is how her neck is built into her neck http://community.webshots.com/photo/...54937227utZoYw
    the walk shot shows the mare braced against a running martingale - nothing relaxed (or collected or supple or....) there
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”



  20. #60
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,136

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ember
    I'm sorry but the truth is that you don't ride well enough yet to make any progress with either of your horses. You'll be lucky if you don't make things worse. Reading some of your previous posts, particulary regarding Tex, you have already done so.

    You will not make any progress until improve your riding. To make things worse, improving your riding on an untrained horse will be nearly impossible, even for someone with far more patience than you have. By that time it is going to be even harder to undue the problems you are creating.

    The only option that I see being effective is learning to ride on an already well trained horse.

    I suggest you stop trying to "train" her and train yourself first. Mabey try to find a working student position. Summer is here right? After your skills have improved then spend some money on having her trained and you will better equiped to maintain it.
    Yes, yes, yes, yes.



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