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What are you working on right now?

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  • What are you working on right now?

    There are always ten million things wrong with my riding, but I try to concentrate on one thing at a time until it's second nature...or at least better. Right now, I'm trying to fix the fact that every time I give an aid, and the horse starts to respond, I take all my aids off immediately, so the horse falls out of whatever I asked. Doh! When everything is under control, I think about sitting back (straight), keeping my hands in the right position and my heels are down.

    What are you working on right now? Include the level you ride, just out of curiosity. I'm STILL at training/first.
    Jennifer Walker
    Proud owner of Capt Han Solo+, Arabian stallion http://www.capthansolo.com
    Author, freelance writer http://www.authorjennwalker.com

  • #2
    2nd level. Right elbow and lats. Left are strong, right get floppy and creepy if not kept under constant supervision...


    • #3
      I'm working on patience and positive thinking to get my 3rd level gelding's ligaments healed. And finding a horse to lease to get my last Bronze score, since the outlook on the latter is not too good.


      • #4
        I'm on ride 30 on a baby. I'm working on not running away at the trot! I pretty much chant 'rhythm, rhythm, rhythm' every step. Shes quite awesome and I'm very excited, but wow have I taken myslef down the levels! I'll be happy with training level in June. As for me personally, not tipping forward.
        Do not toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


        • #5
          Well I took off a few years after a jumping accident. Just getting back into serious competitive riding in jumpers/dressage. Working on my confidence in the saddle since accident and also...dont laugh...keeping my heels down!! For some reason no matter how long I ride...Those words ring in my ear

          I am in training for show jumping and lower level dressage, with the goal of by Jan 2011 taking my career in dressage even further


          • #6
            On the 4yo I ride I am working on developing a stronger more consistent connection, improved transitions, improved leg yields, and improved stretchy circles.

            On the 5yo I am working on an even connection (he prefers to go to the left rein and avoid the right) and we are starting to up the collection with some shoulder-in at canter and 10m circles at canter, and playing with half steps ad lengthenings in the trot. He knows lead changes and is working on developing more consistency in the counter canter.
            As for his jumping we have plans to step into the 3' ring at rated shows when the USEF year turns over, and develop his jumping to/at 3'6" at home.

            The TB is confirming second and developing the strength for 3rd. He knows everything he needs to know for 3rd, but needs to develop the strength to do it in a 3rd level balance.
            The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
            Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
            The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY


            • #7
              With both my TB and my ArabX lease, I'm working on relaxation. I just built a new arena a good ways from the barn, so we couldn't see the herd while we worked. Unfortunately, they are not loving not seeing the herd. When they get over it, we'll return to working on relaxation.
              "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


              • #8
                Finding an affordable saddle that works for the 4.5yo, and actually using my legs.


                • #9
                  Well as for me - keeping my shoulders back, my elbows by my side and stretching up through my sternum. Of course this has been an ongoing struggle for me since my hunter days decades ago. The other thing I've been working on particularly hard the last few weeks is the feeling that I can pick my horses up with my seat and get them light in the bridle while softening and reaching with their forehand as well as improving the airtime and cadence of their gaits. Feels great when it happens but sustaining it is challenging.

                  PSG horse - working on better engagement at the canter, improved cadence at the trot and keeping him soft through the work.

                  Both 4 year olds - balance in all 3 gaits, steady tempo and starting to ask them to stretch their frames

                  8 year old - goal is to show second level after the first of the year - today was the first time he really lifted up through his shoulders/withers, extended from the shoulder and gave me the beginnings of a real medium trot. We will now begin to work on his balance and strength to maintain that all the way across the diagonal. There's nothing like it when the lightbulb finally goes off (He's had lengthenings but nothing like this ).

                  Just maintaining the mares at their current level, will breed 2 of the 3 this spring.

                  The other two are retired.
                  Ranch of Last Resort


                  • #10
                    Where do I begin?!! To my remedial 9 y/o who has the training of the average 3 y/o everything is new and a challenge. The problem is that she is big and strong enough to resist more. It has taken almost two years to get her to accept any kind of bit contact and to get her to actually stretch down into it. Rhythm at the trot is now a work in progress. Circles-HAH! We only like to do cirlcles at the walk right now. Trot circles are Fugly at best. The canter is quite interseting-that's all I will say on that matter. The absolute worst part of all of this is that the only bit this horse will accept (and yes I know I will be flamed and probably thrown off the boards for this) is a solid mouth, low ported kimberwick. Yes, I know it is illegal for dressage. Yes I know she should be in some version of a snaffle. I have argued long and hard with my trainer to try to switch her over to a snaffle, but truly, the horse will NOT accept anything else and goes badly in the the other bits. She inverts, she sucks back, she goes behind the bit, over it, opens her mouth (no, I'm not yanking her mouth) unless she has her precious kimberwick in. It makes no sense-she SHOULD HATE IT BY ALL RIGHTS. I have tried every version of a snaffle that they make-NOPE! So, anyway that's my rant for the night.....
                    Last edited by EPONA ANGEL; Oct. 10, 2010, 08:11 PM. Reason: incomplete


                    • Original Poster

                      Welcome, Epona Angel!

                      Thanks all for posting...keep 'em coming! I love seeing what other people are struggling with.
                      Jennifer Walker
                      Proud owner of Capt Han Solo+, Arabian stallion http://www.capthansolo.com
                      Author, freelance writer http://www.authorjennwalker.com


                      • #12
                        PSG/I1+ What we are working on:

                        1. My issues: Looking up, using my legs far more for straightness and bend, keeping hands pushing forwardforwardforward, keeping the inside shoulder more up and the outside shoulder more down (so I don't collapse).

                        2. Horse: working on straightness and collection, forward within the collection; improving the trot with exercises toward passage.

                        3. Movements: working on canter pirouettes (they are still green) and getting seven two tempis that are all uphill (the first four are); passage (we have piaffe).

                        and the biggest holy grail for my winter training--SELF CARRIAGE (horse and rider).


                        • #13
                          Training/hoping to show first in January.

                          Building up strength after repeated injuries so he can give me the lengthenings he wants.

                          And everything about my riding.

                          I was discussing with my trainer the other day that I know with my horse I will be the one to limit our future, because he just does it all if I don't get in his way.
                          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.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Cowgirl View Post
                            keeping hands pushing forwardforwardforward
                            Me too!!! I'm working on PSG.

                            Things can be really lovely when I can get my hands the heck out of the way, but I want to fix things by bringing my hands back and it always makes things worse (my subconscious has to grasp this fact).

                            The other thing I'm working on is letting him make mistakes so I have an opportunity to correct (i.e. self carriage). I tend to band-aid too many problems instead of confronting them head on.

                            For the horse: Strength. He's a giant mover, with a lot of front leg/shoulder. It's easy for him to get climby in front and out behind in the canter - which makes him look like a carousel horse, or a drowning person flailing (depending on your spin). The extra hiney strength will hopefully improve all our transitions as well as our canter work in general.

                            Movements: adjustability within the canter pirouette (it isn't supposed to have one speed and one amount of turn); trot half pass (increasing expression and bend); playing piaffe and passage; transitions


                            • #15
                              Working on right now? A dark chocolate bar with dried cherries in it. Delicious.
                              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                              • #16
                                The biggest thing I am working on is bringing my mare back from suspensory surgery she had in March. We are working on the longe now -- very large circles at the trot, and *occasionally* she shows me the very cute trot that she had when she was fit and in training. (It's also good for me, because to get large circles, I have to walk smaller circles and chase her a bit -- she is on Ace to prevent playing!) I might be able to ride her at the walk by the end of the month.

                                The second biggest thing is making myself into a better rider so I am the best I can be for my mare, because the rehab work is mostly up to me. I am taking lessons on a mare who is trained to 4th level but is a great LL schoolmaster for those of us who are "smurfs." She rides quite similar to my mare. We are working on connection, adjustability within gaits, and my position (using my back and shoulders and core more, developing following elbows, etc.) I am also doing one very basic lesson a week on a LL mare who can be a bit tuned-out, and trail riding her once a week to keep me confident and courageous (she can get a bit goofy on trails; she is a retired eventer, but I am the only person who takes her out of the arena. Once again, I will repeat myself: trail riding is NOT a waste of time for dressage riders!)

                                I will continue taking lessons on one or both of these mares until mine is ready for lessons again, which will be some months in the future.
                                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


                                • #17

                                  Sitting trot
                                  Moving forward with energy and impulsion! (I ride a very lazy Fjord.)
                                  Round canter transitions, and always always always my position. I am the queen of hunched shoulders.


                                  • #18
                                    I have lots to work on so I guess it depends on the horse I'm riding...

                                    My 8 year-old OTTB (he's 1st level, not sure what I am) working on building up my confidence when he's fresh (had a nasty-fall a while back with some lingering injuries), canter/trot transitions- he loves to come down into a HUGE trot if I don't prepare him properly. Halts are getting good but he still doesn't appreciate doing them.

                                    Leased 2nd/3rd level dutch warmblood - working on balance and no gripping at posting trot. He's a huge mover and can be very hot so you have to have very solid position and stay out of his way. The kind of ride seems to depend on my injured back and I'm trying to learn to ride through my physical issues and not have such an obvious difference between good and bad days.

                                    Trainer's 19 year-old PSG schoolmaster - Love this horse. He's the one I try new things on. He's easy to sit and really comfy, but we've changed it up a little lately with sitting trot on a long rein and light contact. He's almost on the buckle and it's forcing me to really use my seat and steer with my body not my reins. Also working on maintaining my position in lateral work. I tend to throw it away and/or grip.

                                    Friend's 16 year-old I1 schoolmaster - Just started riding him 1-2X a week recently. He's a HUGE mover and my goal is to sit his trot as most people can't. I can sit for 1-2 20 meter circles and then I'm toast and all over the place.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm working on my shoulders : I really need to open them up. My right arm also tends to get too strong.

                                      My horse need to develop more self-carriage, more collection. He also has issues with the extended trot (he's not really a big mover) and flying changes (in fact, he can do flying changes, but he always jumps so high in the air. Ok for the jumper ring, but not so appreciated in a dressage test : if anyone has some tips for that??).

                                      He is very good with lateral work (shoulder in, haunches in, half pass) and has an excellent counter canter.

                                      We both are eventers, but I like to get to dressage shows at least twice a year. Actually showing level 2 with a 64% average.


                                      • #20
                                        Flying changes, ride more forward and don't over-aid for it. My horse will also do that if I don't tactfully change from my old to new outside rein.
                                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.