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My 3 yr old ASBx debuts in Dressage...

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  • My 3 yr old ASBx debuts in Dressage...

    My homebred OldenburgxSaddlebred gelding has been to two shows already this year, behaving better than many of the older, more seasoned horses and thoroughly enjoying himself.
    Our first time out he was a little rattled by the judge's booth and the big white letters, but we still managed an error-free Intro test, for a score of 61%.
    Second show, at a much bigger venue (one of the fanciest show venues in Eastern Canada, actually), he was pretty much unfazed by the ring and judges and we scored 66.6% and 66.3% on our 2 Intro tests (for 2nd out of 5 and 3rd out of 4). He was the youngest horse there and impressed everyone with his calm, attentive attitude and the ring stewards got a kick out of his friendly/goofy personality.

    I've only been breeding for a little while, but so far I'm accomplishing exactly what I want - producing sane, sensible, willing horses who turn themselves inside out to please. Not to mention EASY and COMFY to ride, omg!! He is the third horse (second homebred) I have brought out to a show at the tender age of 3 in the past five years, and all have behaved impeccably.

    Videos here:

    Thansk for letting me brag! I'm quite enjoying this Dressage thing, very fun! Everyone is super friendly and supportive, i don't know where this "DQ" business comes from.. maybe that's only at big, rated shows??
    Last edited by ASBJumper; Jun. 22, 2011, 05:51 PM.

  • #2
    What a good boy!! He is very pretty and SO well behaved for a baby just figuring out the show thing. You should be very proud
    Gallant Gesture "Liam" 1995 chestnut ottb gelding
    Mr. Painter "Remy" 2006 chestnut ottb gelding
    My Training Blog: www.dressagefundamentals.com


    • Original Poster

      Thx, Gallant! I am very proud of him, and hope that i'm doing a good job.. i'm only an AA, after all.

      Any tips on how to encourage more stretch in the free walk for a horse who loves to carry himself "up" and look around..??


      • #4
        GREAT JOB!! What a lovely boy, and he looked like he'd BTDT!

        He's all legs, quite elegant. And love the matching sox too!


        • #5
          What a nice young horse! Congratulations!
          Stoneybrook Farm Afton TN


          • #6
            very nice! thank you for sharing. I enjoyed watching your video and he looks really great for a 3 year old!


            • Original Poster

              Aww, thanks guys!! I really appreciate the support!


              • #8
                For encouraging the free walk, lots of trail rides -and walk breaks that focus on the long stretched neck with groundcovering, overstepping strides in your daily work.
                Be diligent on getting it, since it is a double co-efficient training level thru second level. And while you're working on that, you might as well start working the stretchy trot circle, too, that will help your topline development.


                • Original Poster

                  jcotton - he is the same on trail rides, I can let him out to the buckle and he will happily keep his head up, neck level with or higher than his back, looking around and checking everything out. I have no idea how to teach him that I want him to put his head & neck all the way down, it truly seems like a foreign concept to him..!

                  What kills me is that he could NOT have been more relaxed - if he had he would've been asleep.. and yet they kept asking for "more relaxation". What if he is truly relaxed without having his head/neck all the way down??


                  • #10
                    I'd do a lot of change of bend. I say this not having worked with an ASB, but having worked with other naturally high-headed horses. When horses have the natural high head carriage, getting them stretching out and down is actually necessary in order to build up back muscles and improve their movement. Our Friesian-x looks like a totally different horse now that she knows how to stretch down/out. In her case it's about using inside flexion and inside leg to push her inside hind toward her outside shoulder. Holding with the outside leg to not lose that shoulder, of course, and obviously supporting with the outside hand. Think leg yield on the circle, leg yield on a straight line, spiraling in and out. Since I try to avoid as many circles with a young horse, I love to do long trail rides and just slight weight shifts back and forth.

                    For most high-headed horses I've worked with, reaching down and out involves having to lift the back and really work, rather than dropping on the forehand like many lower-set horses, and is therefore actually more beneficial for them because of what it means they're doing through their body.
                    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

                      Thanks, netg! Will remember that!


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ASBJumper View Post
                        jcotton - he is the same on trail rides, I can let him out to the buckle and he will happily keep his head up, neck level with or higher than his back, looking around and checking everything out.
                        Try some ungroomed trails. When Grey gets out into the woods with branches and mud puddles and other iffy footing, his nose goes right down to about a foot off the ground and stays there. Of course, Greys afraid he's going to fall into a pit of quicksand, but it might work for your guy too.
                        Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans


                        • #13
                          Please let us know how it works! With every horse being different, I am curious to know if it applies to your naturally high-headed horse, too.
                          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.


                          • #14
                            Well said, netg, and a great way to explain it.


                            • #15
                              Im SO jealous! I have a 3 y/o DWB x whom I hope to take to some schoolies in August.... I am dreading the baby crazies!

                              How did you get him so calm? Trail rides, trailering to other barns etc?


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by pryme_thyme View Post
                                Im SO jealous! I have a 3 y/o DWB x whom I hope to take to some schoolies in August.... I am dreading the baby crazies!

                                How did you get him so calm? Trail rides, trailering to other barns etc?
                                Funny you should ask that...
                                There were at least two other young/green horses at the show that I *know* have been taken on organized trail rides/taken to different barns/shown on the line as babies, and yet were still doing "airs above the ground" and giving their riders major headaches.

                                So, while I could say yes, he showed on the line as a baby and I did a lot of handwalks off property with him as a baby, a big part of it is his breeding - he's just sensible like that. He did look at some things and the walk to the warm-up ring from the trailer area had him doing a great giraffe impression, but all it takes is a pat and a kind word and he immediately relaxes.

                                I purposely breed this cross to weed out "crazies". I got sick of riding horses that would pull dirty stunts like bolt/buck/drag me, step on me, slam me into walls, etc. when they got scared. I don't do "stupid/flighty" anymore, it's dangerous for my health.

                                He's a looky, alert young man, but super super sensible and ALWAYS aware of me and what i'm asking - no matter how nervous he is. He never, ever tunes me out.
                                His 2004 half-sister is the same way, and my 2011 filly is already proving to be just as gentle, sensible and intelligent as him, if not even more so.

                                What you breed in, you don't have to train in.

                                Good luck with your youngin' pryme_thyme!!!


                                • #17
                                  Thank you ASB! I am thinking I will ditch the dog and take the horse for walks

                                  Very jealous! I notice you are in Ontario too, do you show around the Kingston Area?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I am HUGE believer in handwalking off-property for young horses, over as much varied terrain as possible.

                                    I show in the Ottawa area, Kingston is a *smidge* too far.

                                    Oh, and ps - the above-mentioned 2004 half-sister to my gelding is a Pacific Star baby. Just FYI.


                                    • #19
                                      Nice ride!! Looks like a fun horse to ride. Maybe the judge's remarks were due to the chomping at the bit?

                                      I'm riding these tests on Sunday, and haven't seen anyone ride them before, so a big THANK YOU for posting these videos.

                                      A little off topic, but for the rising trot are you expected to be on the correct diagonal the entire time? (Aka, for test B where you change direction at rising trot, do you switch your diagonal at X sort of thing?)
                                      A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing


                                      • Original Poster

                                        No, they specifically mentioned more relaxation and stretch over the topline for the free walk. They want his head/neck stretched further down.

                                        And I don't think they're too nitpicky at schooling shows about exactly when you change your diagonal - right after F, at X, right before H, whatever.. so long as you change it in a timely manner, I think.