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Our very second dressage show!

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  • Our very second dressage show!

    I don't think I posted about the first show here, but I did over here on my blog if you want to read about it.

    Anyway, we went back to the same place on Saturday and I did the same tests again (old intro A and B) so I could compare my scores to the first show. We had a lot of improvement! (mostly due to the fact Kieran was feeling the forward on Saturday where he wasn't previously. Now if we could just work on the counterbending thing [which we have been but it was especially noticeable at the show, because I think he was stiff and needed more warmup time and also because he wanted to get back to his friends waiting outside the ring], we'd be getting somewhere.

    Here's what our scores looked like:

    For intro A 2007:

    1. (5 points) Fairly straight entry. Maintain halt, some crooked steps after X.
    2. (5 points) Counter bent
    3. (6 points) Active trot steps, tight in back
    4. (5 points) Good energy, bent outside
    5. (6 points) Obedient transition. Clean rhythm.
    6. (5 points) Head bent left. Needs more march and straightness (I think that's what she meant by "str")
    7. (5 points) Prompt, but looking right
    8. (5 points) Circle too large, but good energy.
    9. (6 points) Overshot center line. Fairly square halt.


    Willing, kind horse. Good tempo. Keep working on steering. Great potential.

    Score: 54.5% (2 points higher than last time!)


    For intro B 2007:

    1. (7 points) Fairly straight and balanced halt.
    2. (6 points) Help horse bend in corner.
    3. (5 points) Circle not accurate, horse looking out.
    4. (6 points) Broke on short side, fairly straight.
    5. (5 points) Looking out but obedient.
    6. (5 points) Allow horse to stretch. Better second half. (she told me after the test she really wanted to see us riding completely on the buckle but I was still keeping a bit of contact with his mouth because I was worried he'd try to duck out the door)
    7. (6 points) Fairly fluid but looking out. Better than last test. Help horse bend in corner.
    8. (6 points) Steady, straight, back more relaxed, but help in corner.
    9. (8 points!) Straight and balanced halt.


    Better! Keep working on correct bend and allow horse to stretch in free walk.

    Score: 58.5% (12.5% higher than when I did this test three weeks ago!)

    I have a full write-up of the day in my blog as well but I figured there was little point in reiterating the entire thing here.

    And you can also see video of the intro B test here:

    Thoughts? Suggestions? Comments? I know we've got plenty of room for improvement.
    The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
    Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.

  • #2
    Hi there! Didn't know you were on this forum, too

    Happy Monday and Congrats on the show!!
    Green Cove Springs, FL


    • Original Poster

      LOL, oh yeah, I'm all over the place.

      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      • #4
        Your video gave me the impression of when my mom's horse is being a bully about listening to her rider and trying to do her own thing. Then I read your blog entry - those bullying, pushy manners you're dealing with on the ground? His turning issues, ignoring your legs and bending however he wants, throwing a shoulder out if he does turn his head in, etc., are all the mounted equivalent. He does have potential - his forward attitude that day, even if just because he was hyped up, gave you a chance to have documented video that he CAN have energy and be light on his feet on those days he tries to tell you he's big and heavy and can't do it. He's a cute mover and his size doesn't limit that, but it does make it easier for him to bully you. Good luck with your continued work, and congrats on improvement! He's a cutie and you can definitely get somewhere together!
        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


        • Original Poster

          I hadn't really connected the on the ground stuff with the under saddle stuff, but it's possible! (the on the ground stuff isn't a "he does this all the time" sort of thing, it's really been in particular situations like when he got antsy about being left behind or when everybody is coming in for breakfast and he wants to barge through the gate)

          And hey, here's some pics!

          Good thing Kieran, at least, looks cute! I put the hat on him when he wasn't cooperating by putting his ears up.

          Because it started out on my head!

          I have no idea at all what I was doing here, but I figure I'll share my embarrassing moments too.

          Guess they did get a couple pics of us riding.

          Must be during warm up before intro B!

          Yeah, I know...David the Shire kinda stole the shot, right?
          The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
          Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


          • #6
            Embarassing? Pfffft, whatever!

            You're having FUN in those pictures. I can't imagine anything better to show in a photo than fun! Kieran appears to be a big, sweet, goofy, fun horse - who maybe has a little too little respect for his size sometimes. But who is FUN! And honestly, I can't think of a trait more important to me in a horse.
            If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


            • Original Poster


              That really is our biggest goal. Neither of us is really all that competitive, after all.
              The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
              Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


              • #8
                Oh you're on here too! (It's StreetMutt)

                I'm not sure if you got my PM, but my work computer HATES the other forum and won't let me post there. *grumble*

                Here's what I wrote you (and I'm sure others here will have better insight than me):

                Saw the video of you and K, congrats! You're doing a great job


                Love how much more forward he is in the video.

                But I think your outside aides need to be much stronger. I know he's counter bent a lot, but when his shoulder bulges, you drop your outside rein contact, which is what is holding that shoulder and side together. Pick up strong outside rein contact, when he goes to bulge his shoulder, lift your outside hand by a few inches to "block" that side. Inside leg to outside rein is only as good as its parts. You can't expect him to balance himself.

                Now, for the counter bending, he is not accepting your outside aides at all. Part of that is your fault, and part of that is his. When you develop strong outside contact, take your inside rein and draw his nose against it by asking him to soften. So your inside rein is spongey and giving. Take your hand and literally move it horizontally by 6 inches and then release. Keep doing this every stride you sit. When he against the outside rein and soft to the inside, keep your hand still but gently squeeze the rein to encourage him to stay soft and bent. As soon as he gets counter bent or off the outside rein, repeat.

                A neat exercise: 30m figure eights, with a long STRAIGHT line between the two changes of directions. He must be straight and he can't fall on any of your aides before you change direction. So, 30 m circle until he is soft and between the aides. Then, ask him straight for a few strides. Then ask for the bend to the opposite direction. Do not let him fall to the new direction. Once he feels balanced just "allow" the turn.

                Best of luck! You both look great!
                Don't forget to keep him forward, forward, forward in that exercise. What I wrote sounds very "handed" but if you're still creating momentum with your inside leg to send to the outside rein, to catch, then it really is just matching the aids. Hope that's how it comes across!

                Also to add to that: don't be afraid to give one big solid boot with your outside leg either. If he's falling to the outside once you've captured his shoulder with your outside rein, take you outside leg behind the girth and "catch" him. If he ignores that, give him a big old boot.

                Any time he "ignores" your kind aid, just reinforce with the strongest aid possible. It may feel like you're doing a lot of booting and a lot of strong-handed contact for the first 5 minutes, but that's what will allow him to understand he needs to listen to the kind aid first. And it will allow you to stop nagging and to create a soft, responsive horse.

                Sometimes pushy guys need to be pushed back. I know I have trouble with that with Jaeger right now because I'm used to Buttercup still. You don't ever get strong or boot Bud. But Jaeger will take advantage of me if I don't insist he listens to my softer aids by following up with a good reinforcement.

                You're doing great! Have you gotten with a good dressage instructor yet? That could really help, especially if you can take like every other ride on a school master


                • Original Poster


                  Yes, I got the PM but I haven't had a chance to sit and digest it, but thank you!

                  And no, haven't had a proper dressage lesson in about...oh, ten or eleven months. Would like to, but can't really swing the extra lessons right now.
                  The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                  Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by analise View Post
                    I hadn't really connected the on the ground stuff with the under saddle stuff, but it's possible! (the on the ground stuff isn't a "he does this all the time" sort of thing, it's really been in particular situations like when he got antsy about being left behind or when everybody is coming in for breakfast and he wants to barge through the gate)
                    One of the best horsemen I have ever had the pleasure of working with once told me. " The ride begins the second you enter their stall to put their halter one." I truly do believe you set the tone at that point in time and you must follow through with everything till you put the horse back in the stall after the ride is over. Your horse should learn to stand even if he is being left behind. By not putting your horse directly away after a ride is a good way to teach this. Let them stand while you clean your tack, make grain baggies or whatever chore you need to do. You need to make sure that they are being respectful while standing there though. He isn't going to like it at first. Then it will just become the norm.

                    Congrats on your improvement in your scores. I know it is a great feeling to see improvement.


                    • Original Poster

                      He'll stand at home in the aisle all day. Maybe whinny a few times if the other horses get turned out and he's still inside. The issue of him getting antsy happens more when we go to a new place (all the dancing around happened while he was tied to the trailer, for instance. I'm just glad that he respects the rope/halter enough not to break it!). Same with the mounting issues I had at the show: most of the time at home, he's perfect, and even when he isn't, it's usually a momentary lapse, I still get on, and he gets made to stand till I am ready to go. Without my own trailer, though, it's hard to set up situations for practicing this stuff away from home.
                      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
                      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


                      • #12
                        Congrats on your 2nd show! I love to see people so excited to start down this path we call dressage! lol

                        I pm'd you! =)