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Before & After - Updated with NEW lesson video 1/9/11

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  • Before & After - Updated with NEW lesson video 1/9/11

    I posted a few weeks ago about switching into dressage with my OTTB, I was having beginner frusterations and it developed into quite a long thread! Well, Im happy to say that I am still with it. Actually, pretty addicted. Unfortnatley my finances dont allow me to do more than 1 lesson per week, but I think in our 6 lessons me and my horse have improved significantly from the before.

    Our reason for switching to dressage was a.) because I want to learn to ride better. b) to help me rebalance my horse, who wants to be a bulldozer.

    Although we still have a LOOONG way to go (meaning please dont critique too hard because I have a lot of things to work on but am open to any helpful comments), I am seeing some improvement! I still need to work a lot on myself (getting the "feel" doesnt come really natural to me) but I am really pleased with how my horse is coming along. I never posted our original video before, because I was too embarrased!! But now, Im glad I have it because it gives me a great reference!

    (you may want to turn sound down for videos)

    Before Video (ewww, no comments please!): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yw1FSv2_ig8

    After 6 dressage lessons (note, this is not in a lesson where coach always has ways of making me ride better!):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHqSTJgXJUo Trot Right
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7fU218Y_GJY Canter Right
    Trot/Canter Left (our weaker way)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8SOXYcJNkf8



    Posted new video 1/9/11, in a lesson. Think the tempo is better Will post another in 6 weeks time See Page 2 for videolink.
    Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Jan. 9, 2011, 04:55 PM.

  • #2
    Looks like some pretty substantial improvement. Nice horse.
    "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer
    http://dressagescriblog.wordpress.com/

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    • #3
      Good work and your horse is very cute!
      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.

      Comment


      • #4
        You guys look great! Have fun!

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        • #5
          good job!
          Keep up the good work, your shoulders are much better, you could sit a little straighter still but you've come a long way. Your horse looks great too!

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          • #6
            You guys look great!
            RIP Don - 3/28/2004-8/15/2012

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            • #7
              I don't know what you're embarrassed about. Your "bad" video looks pretty nice, and your good one looks great. That is a NICE OTTB. I didn't read that before I saw the before video, and I thought he was some expensive warmblood. For someone who claims to have no feel, I can see that you do. You're a lot better than you think you are.

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              • #8
                Welcome to the "I want to quit these @$#^ing hunter habits" club!

                I agree that he's very cute, and that you are far better than you make yourself out to be! You need to work on the same basics all of us do when making the switch to dressage - keep working on sitting back (which it feels like, even when you're still tipped forward), work on lifting the hands off his withers, and work on a following hand/keeping contact.

                From the difference between the videos, you appear to already be working on those things. The other thing I would work on is using your outside rein more in your turns - especially with the horse there, he wants to throw out his shoulder to veer that direction.

                You're clearly doing good work, and it seems your instruction is exactly what you need for improving, so I don't have much more advice to give, besides believe in yourself more! You wouldn't make this much progress over 6 lessons without good riding in between, too.
                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.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by netg View Post
                  Welcome to the "I want to quit these @$#^ing hunter habits" club!

                  I agree that he's very cute, and that you are far better than you make yourself out to be! You need to work on the same basics all of us do when making the switch to dressage - keep working on sitting back (which it feels like, even when you're still tipped forward), work on lifting the hands off his withers, and work on a following hand/keeping contact.

                  From the difference between the videos, you appear to already be working on those things. The other thing I would work on is using your outside rein more in your turns - especially with the horse there, he wants to throw out his shoulder to veer that direction.

                  You're clearly doing good work, and it seems your instruction is exactly what you need for improving, so I don't have much more advice to give, besides believe in yourself more! You wouldn't make this much progress over 6 lessons without good riding in between, too.
                  Funny you should say that because those are exactly our focus points at the moment. Getting him OFF that inside right rein, onto the left rein is difficult (my bad creation!) but we are aware of it and working on it. Im much more focused inthe lesson where I have someone reminding me practically every other stride

                  I need to soften my elbows, and follow - but with him, a low hand (I tend to want to pick them up to high, and pull on his reins), so for the time being we are focusng on a lowish hand with a soft open elbow....freakin' easier said than done.

                  And yep...its a looong road ahead, I have a lot of issues I have to work on before I can expect my horse to advanceany further.

                  I cant wait for my next lesson!! Im getting so addicted to this!!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Beentheredonethat View Post
                    I don't know what you're embarrassed about. Your "bad" video looks pretty nice, and your good one looks great. That is a NICE OTTB. I didn't read that before I saw the before video, and I thought he was some expensive warmblood. For someone who claims to have no feel, I can see that you do. You're a lot better than you think you are.

                    Awww THANK YOU! I love him to bits. He certainly is a pretty poor example of an OTTB, he's not hot at all, very bombproof and beginner friendly. He's a bit of a lemon though He's only 16hh on a tall day, and on the long and lean side but I think we are a pretty good match for each other. And yes thank you, Im trying really hard to work on the feel so Im happy it at least looks like its coming along!!!

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                    • #11
                      Not a lot of difference in the videos. Nice horse, good potential.

                      Concentrate on increasing the length of the stride, but not the tempo. Increase the bend through the body, not just the neck. Increasing his working through the body, and thus the back will really get the best out of a nice horse.

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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by mickeydoodle View Post
                        Not a lot of difference in the videos. Nice horse, good potential.

                        Concentrate on increasing the length of the stride, but not the tempo. Increase the bend through the body, not just the neck. Increasing his working through the body, and thus the back will really get the best out of a nice horse.
                        Thanks for your honest opinion. I guess I was just feeling the improvement. Either way, Im happy with the direction we are headed. For your comments, yes I agree we need all those and those are what we are working on. It doesnt come overnight...at least not for me!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          look here http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=178116
                          read all of page one and all links on page one as they are all helpful to you

                          read page one on how to alter your stirrups correctly this will help with your position and balance

                          as you tend to tilt forwards and miss a beat when trotting shows up more on the seoncd video for missing a beat
                          tilting is in both, you say your horse bull dozers so sit back and into the saddle will slow the horse up, you have to active legs so onstantly banging on the horses sides so your asking him to go forwards but with your hands your asking him to stop hence the tilt, as your supporting your body weight through his head end so come back of his head and use your seat more

                          try working your your hrose in trot without your stirrups pull them up ove the pomel leftover right, this will help with your balance and make you sit more into him, and also will help you learn to ride with an independant seat
                          so you wont bob on his back and miss a beat when trotting
                          ask your trianer if nessacary to put you on the lunge and owrk on your position which will help you with your balance on your horse

                          hes honest and kind horse so isnt going to do anything nutty just he trying his heart out for you with confusing signals as you not giving him a direct signal of command

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Is that your dressage saddle? It does not look like it fits you correctly (the seat looks too small and your leg too far forward on the flap). You look to me to be struggling with this unnecessarily.
                            On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Yes thats my saddle, no its not to small. I am still getting used to riding in a dressage saddle, which is why my legs are forward (working on not jamming heels down and bringing leg forward). And I am not yet "comfortable" with dressage tack after spending 12 years in a CC saddle, its just a totally different feeling so no my position isnt even close to perfect. I trust my coach, and she thinks this one fits me much better than the others I tried. I feel way more secure in this saddle as opposed to the the ones that were .5" bigger.

                              Again, I get it....like I said there is a LOT of improvement to come, Ive ridden in this tack a total of 7 times. Im listening to my coach as far as tack choices and lessons (no offense to anyone here, but everyone has their own opinion and I really just need to stick to one while I am learning), but thought since I felt some improvement it would look like there was from the first video. Guess not. Oh well, still got lots of lessons ahead of us.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                SquishTheBunny - Your horse is just lovely! I think you're certainly sitting much better between the first and second videos.

                                I know how hard it is to break those hunter habits. I just started doing dressage a few years ago - after 20+ years of doing H/J - on a horse totally not built/trained for dressage.

                                I posted a video here a couple of weeks ago. People on COTH can be extremely critical and harsh. If it makes you feel any better - they're being waaaay nicer to you and your horse than they were to me.

                                Keep up the good work! Dressage is certainly a challenge, but (speaking for myself) a lot of fun and great training for both horse and rider.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
                                  but thought since I felt some improvement it would look like there was from the first video. Guess not. Oh well, still got lots of lessons ahead of us.
                                  Eh, it was one opinion, and I didn't think it was shared too harshly. I disagreed with it, too - I could tell you were working on and improving in the specific things I mentioned. Don't get too upset about anything. And keep having fun with your cute horse!
                                  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.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I think the two of you look great. Cooper is a pretty one - LOVE his face

                                    I am a former H/J rider...(about 8 years)...then took off a few...started again...took off a few more years and then last July - kicked into Dressage. WELCOME to the club

                                    From your first video to the canter one - I see a large improvement already. You are sitting straighter - even Cooper is getting out of the "hunter" frame and is starting to pick his head up better. Looks like the two of you are working together well. Yes - it's a long road...but you two seem to be on the right track. Another poster said it...and while I loathe no stirrup work...it really DOES work for getting your butt in the saddle and working your seat/core and legs. It also allows you to get out of that "hunter" seat.

                                    Your saddle...I believe it looks fine. Realize...that within 6 months to a year - not only are YOU going to change (i.e. muscle memory will be different, core muscles will be more in tune, leg muscles will work and build differently), but your horse is going to build different muscle as well. Saddle fit for a dressage rider and horse can and will change through the levels.

                                    Good luck...and welcome to the crazy dressage world
                                    Heather
                                    Green Cove Springs, FL

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Hey Squishy, things are looking good! I will comment more later, in between lessons now grabbing a bite to eat
                                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                      ---
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by mickeydoodle View Post
                                        Not a lot of difference in the videos..
                                        Totally disagree! The horse started out looking like a candidate for the Quarter Horse Congress and only 6 lessons later he is much more up and open. To the OP . . . just think what you'll look like in a year. Good luck on your dressage journey
                                        "You gave your life to become the person you are right now. Was it worth it?" Richard Bach

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