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"Throwing" a class...

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  • "Throwing" a class...

    Have you ever thrown a class and just used it as a schooling exercise? I mean perhaps tossed in a 10m circle where it didn't belong to supple the horse, that sort of thing?
    My mare is perfect in the warm up, supple, forward, soft and round and the closer we get to the ring, the harder, more tense and faster she gets. I really don't think it was me that much, as I checked myself and I didn't feel nervous.I was thinking that it might have been a good idea to go off pattern in order to supple her as a training exercise during the test. How else can I practise having her get relaxed in the ring, other than relaxing her in the ring?

    Comments?

    NJR
    Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

  • #2
    Yes I have, but some judges don't take kindly to it. Good luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      I don't have a lot of experience showing, but I can tell you for sure that getting a whistle and error, even if it's intentional, would throw me off and when I'm tense, my horse is tense. (See other posts for more info on THAT!.)

      I suppose you could ride hor concours ...

      I do have a lot of experience scribing, and honestly? I give a big virtual frown to anything you do that intentionally disrupts the schedule like that. While I don't know any judges who would get all offended in theory, in practice they are responsible for keeping to a schedule that is predicated on an assumption that the times listed for each test are reasonable and competitors will reasonably adhere to them.

      You could consider preparing for and riding tests in a lesson as though it was a show class: go through all the motions of washing, braiding, prepping ... dressing yourself ... asking people to come watch/chatter/clap and bring a nervous dog or two.

      Developing relaxation in general is a much better way to address the issue than "throwing a class," IMO.
      *=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=*=

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      • #4
        I did it at a schooling show. That's what "schooling shows" are for, right?
        Granted, we had already had a big "spook at H" and dash sideways across the arena to G (I think). We circled back around to try the approach again and my guy was super-tense that whole short side so in the next corner I did 2 voltes at the walk since that is what calms him down. I got a -2 penalty for that movement but got a judge's comment of "smart riding" and received 6s for the rest of the test since I had his mind back.

        I would do it again too.
        The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.

        Comment


        • #5
          my guess is it is a rider issue

          Comment


          • #6
            My first step would be to have trainer warm-up and show horse while you watch from afar. This will determine whether it is a rider or horse issue.

            If its a rider issue, you need coping techniques and miles, and your horse may benefit from some miles with a pro.

            If its a horse issue, I agree with going through the motions at home on a weekly basis. Work through the test will all sorts of distractions. Find someplace you can trailer and do the same thing there. When you can work through anything, go give it a shot at a schooling show. Don't intend to circle everywhere, but be willing to do so if things start going south. Save the rated shows for when you have gotten in a few good tests at schooling shows.

            Comment


            • #7
              I have seen several riders have so much trouble that they did not complete the movement (something happened such that the horse lost complete focus and would not listen to the rider's aids). They then deliberately go off course so they can redo the movement. Instead of getting a 1 or a 2 for the bad movement, they get -2 for going off course and then get a (e.g.) 6 for the correct execution = net 4. I don't know if the judge frowns on it or calls it smart riding (or both), but it is completely legal.
              "He lives in a cocoon of solipsism" https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/c...lies/smile.gif

              Comment


              • #8
                My son was competing a horse for the first time at an event...horse was known to be a bit tough in dressage before we got him. Well, after their first canter work in their dressage test, the horse was a bit lit up & kept breaking into the canter during the ensuing trot work. My son brought him back to trot twice. The third time the horse broke into a canter, my son sat the horse down on his butt. Made him halt for a moment, then resumed his test. Horse politely trotted off and has never offered up that behavior in a test since then. He also received a comment along the lines of "good ride" to accompany the movement where he executed the impromptu halt, and a 7 on his overall rider score.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Why not just ride HC? That's what HC was made for (among other things) schooling a horse who needs to work through issues in a show environment. You can even ask to be the last ride of the day or right before the lunch break or something if you're worried you'll take up extra time.
                  ~Veronica
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                  http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Unless you are at a truly entry-level schooling show, if your horse is giving you so much trouble you really can't stuff him through the test as written, a more graceful response would be to halt, salute, and have the judge excuse you.

                    The message sent (which will be remembered!) is "Oh dear, I'm so sorry, we're not as prepared to compete as I'd hoped, please excuse us and we'll be out of the way."

                    OTOH, if there is a chance the judge, the organizers or your fellow competitors will see your "taking the school" as taking up and wasting other people's time while causing a "scene," that too will be remembered the next time you or your horse is on the program. It's a small world . . .

                    This is "Old School," perhaps, but I feel a horse who is not on the aids enough to go calm, forward, and reasonably straight in an elementary walk, trot and canter, trusting and obedient to the rider under any reasonable conditions, is not yet well-trained enough to be competing in Dressage with a capital D--the rules are very clear as to the picture that should be presented, even at the lowest entry levels.

                    Simply put, the horse must be "broke" to ride before he can "do Dressage."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                      Unless you are at a truly entry-level schooling show, if your horse is giving you so much trouble you really can't stuff him through the test as written, a more graceful response would be to halt, salute, and have the judge excuse you.

                      The message sent (which will be remembered!) is "Oh dear, I'm so sorry, we're not as prepared to compete as I'd hoped, please excuse us and we'll be out of the way."

                      OTOH, if there is a chance the judge, the organizers or your fellow competitors will see your "taking the school" as taking up and wasting other people's time while causing a "scene," that too will be remembered the next time you or your horse is on the program. It's a small world . . .

                      This is "Old School," perhaps, but I feel a horse who is not on the aids enough to go calm, forward, and reasonably straight in an elementary walk, trot and canter, trusting and obedient to the rider under any reasonable conditions, is not yet well-trained enough to be competing in Dressage with a capital D--the rules are very clear as to the picture that should be presented, even at the lowest entry levels.

                      Simply put, the horse must be "broke" to ride before he can "do Dressage."
                      Doesn't this teach the horse that if he's naughty in the ring, he gets to leave?

                      There are horses (and it sounds like the OP's is one) who know the difference between in the test and not in the test, and sometimes the only way to school a horse like that is IN THE TEST.
                      ~Veronica
                      "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                      http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I am horseshowing a horse, unless I am at some tremendously important thing like Championships or Devon, I do what is best for the horse. I will trot in and canter out of lines on a greenie, or if I jump in conservatively deliberately let the horse do the add rather than goosing him. Do I know that that will cost me major points? Yep. Do I care? Nope.

                        I don't care what the judge thinks, I have the long view of the horse's career in mind, not this show. If the horse needs a circle, he gets the circle. When the judge is paying my entry fee maybe then I will care.

                        Hopefully by the time a horse gets to a show that really counts, having taken the long view for the duration of the horse's career to get there means we won't have the problem in the first place.
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                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I certainly have done an extra movement if it meant making a better experience for my horse at that time.

                          I cannot GUESS if I need to ride HC in advance. Never know when all H*LL will break loose in the ring....

                          I scribe a great deal. I perceive most judges recognize the need to 'school' as long as it is done appropriately and discretely and humanely.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Lady Eboshi View Post
                            This is "Old School," perhaps, but I feel a horse who is not on the aids enough to go calm, forward, and reasonably straight in an elementary walk, trot and canter, trusting and obedient to the rider under any reasonable conditions, is not yet well-trained enough to be competing in Dressage with a capital D--the rules are very clear as to the picture that should be presented, even at the lowest entry levels.

                            Simply put, the horse must be "broke" to ride before he can "do Dressage."
                            Maybe your horse is a robot, but all the horses I've known can have moments, or even days, when they just aren't on the aids. That includes the ones who *are* broke to ride in Dressage (with a capital D). And sometimes those moments happen at shows.
                            "She is not fragile like a flower. She is fragile like a bomb."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You are not 'wasting' anyone's time - you have paid for the time it takes to ride the test. There is no substitute for actual showing.
                              Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Another thing you might ask for if you think it would help is to have two tests scheduled back to back. You can go ahead and go through the first one "tense" (or normal) and see if coming right back with no break in gives you any relaxation/improvement. I don't know your particular horse of whether you think this will help but that's a way to stay on course and still perhaps work on relaxation IF you think it'll help. I guess it depends why the horse is tense. If it's a "getting used to riding in a different place/spooking at the judge's stand kind of tense-- I can see where going back to back might help you conquer it a bit. My background is more hunters but I know plenty of green/tense horses who benefit greatly from going back to back/staying in.

                                As mentioned, I have no qualms about giving the horse the ride I think it needs. HC if you know ahead of time there's likely to be an issue or even a spontaneous decision if it's more of a sh*t happens moment. But you also might work with the show to see if they can schedule you in a way where this will least impact the schedule.
                                ~Veronica
                                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I don't consider giving a horse the ride it needs to be throwing a class or anything but good training. There is a difference between showring riding where you try to minimize and not make a deal of mistakes vs. having to take a training moment where the horse has learned you just keep going and has chosen to put misbehavior in there. I think if possible schooling shows are the place to fix this, and I think most horses will have moments in their careers they wish to challenge when they know they will not be likely to be corrected.


                                  A circle just because a movement wasn't perfect, though, is not necessarily a good idea to me. You have home schooling to work on the balance issues/training issues/whatever caused those type of problems.
                                  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.
                                  -meupatdoes

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have a horse who gets silly once he goes down the center line and I have repeated a movement at a schooling show before. In fact, Ive done it several times. And judges have never complained. He is much better since I did a series of schooling shows, with "corrective" movements. Who should care what I do with my allotted ring time? I paid my $$ for my five minutes....

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      you can also ride a bit of LY in the corners to get suppleness, or shoulder fore positioning. This will not require dramatic things like circling to get the suppleness back.

                                      I have not blown a test for schooling since my horse is pretty good and doesn't take advantage since we are at a show. I would do it in dire circumstances, something unplanned and really terrible.

                                      I would say just do a bit more homework, more shows, and the tests should come.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thanks all. It wasn't a total blow out...we got 60's on both tests, but she was very tense and "rushy", especially going down the long side. I know she would have benefited from a 10m circle at that point to remind her to slow down and bend, but I didn't and she just got harder in my hand. At the rate she was going in trot, throwing in an extra 10m circle or two would certainly not put us anywhere near the allowed time, so no worries about interfering with scheduling..
                                        She's very smart and I am afraid she is one of these horses who will learn either a) I don't want to go in there or b) I can do whatever I want in here.
                                        Perhaps next show, I'll ride the horse instead of riding the test.
                                        NJR
                                        Your beliefs don't make you a better person, your behaviour does.

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