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My second show...good/bad/ugly...video inside and constructive criticism welcome

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  • My second show...good/bad/ugly...video inside and constructive criticism welcome

    My biggest issue is fear. Each day it gets better, and show environments are very exciting for horse, so scarier for me.

    This video was from last Sunday - day two of a schooling show. My second show ever. Trainer showed him on day one and got the lowest scores ever on horse. Horse was WOUND UP. He was calmer on Sunday.

    There were many exciting things going on - it didn't get windy until we went into the ring, when apparently the wind Gods got wind that I would be riding in an actual test. When I didn't immediately panic, they kicked it up a notch a minute or so into the test. No, his tail typically doesn't go horizontally at times. The other person notified was the man with the 747-sized RV parked beside the ring who felt it necessary to bang around with the panels underneath right after we went by so horse could hear but not see what was up, then fire up the jet engines at a great time as well. This can actually be heard over the music. Let's see, what other excuses can I come up with...rainbow flying flags, a baby stroller, the show office and other ring right there behind the videographer...and, holy moly, an appaloosa nearby. Hmm...there seems to be a theme...these are all things commonly found at a show...

    Anyway, there are a lot of mistakes in my riding here, but there is one HUGE non-mistake, and that's the fact that I put my big girl panties on and went in there and DID it, which was a really big deal for me. The other big deal is that I tend to not have any "forward," like, EVER, and while the test started out in slow motion, once I realized that round wasn't going to happen, I had the presence of mind to channel Trainer Bird (riding on the shoulder opposite Fear Bird whose muzzle I apparently left at home), who somehow was able to get a few words in edgewise and told me to go back to the training scale and simply ride forward. So I did. Interestingly, I also channeled ideayoda from a COTH thread about free walk before the show. This can be seen halfway through the free walk, where I suddenly realize that shoving my arms straight down and low isn't what I was supposed to be doing, and I carefully tried to fix it. So, thank you ideayoda, and sorry to call you out, but I wish you had spoken up at F instead of X.

    Please do not allow this to be a reflection on either my trainer or my horse, as 1) I have been taught to ride better than this shows, and sometimes I actually do relax and ride better than this, and 2) horse goes far better with trainer and actually has a beautiful, non-ewe neck position when ridden properly.

    I don't think I ever loosened my grip with my thighs, so my seatbones never made contact with my saddle. And apparently I didn't remember that I actually HAVE elbows. Geometry was a bit off at times as well - I actually do know that "I" isn't a touch point of the 20 m circle. I feel very bad for horse - he can be seen trying multiple times to actually lower his head from a horizontal to vertical position while I continue to insist that riding with a braced rein would be more effective. But, sadly, this is his lot in life, and he is well compensated for the most part. He's one step closer to sainthood after this ride.

    One funny thing - I had a nightmare about him sticking his tongue out (I posted it here)...he can be seen "talking" during the test. I don't think I've seen him do this before. He just moves his lips as if he's chattering on about all the things I should be doing. No tongue, no open mouth, just his lips. It's probably a bad thing, but I think it looks hysterical. I'd love to write a running commentary about what he's saying to me. I swear I heard him say to me as we were turning the corner to go into the ring, "chill out, Mom, I'm just looking and I'm not going to do anything stupid." That gave me the cajones to go in there and do it.

    Overall, I'm very proud of myself for getting in there and just DOING IT. And mostly doing it forward. The other stuff is coming along. I got a score that stunned me, but I will refrain from posting on the "scores that I don't deserve thread." I think the judge was very kind and generous and if facing fear was what was being rewarded then I think the score was very fair.

    Oh - and I am the schooling show manager (yes, this total newbie took the position a month ago before our season began when someone had to suddenly resign...scary having me for a show manager, I know, but someone had to do it), so had to warm up, ride, etc., while still trying to run the originally 1 ring, 2 day show but grew to 2 rings, 2 days show. THAT was fun...

    As I said on Facebook, if I were any happier they'd have to surgically remove the smile from my face. It's a journey, and we're getting closer.

    All that said, I'm always open to constructive criticism and advice. Really. I have a wonderful trainer who has probably said everything there is to be said and shares sainthood with my horse, but sometimes it's heard differently in print, so if you have anything to share, I'll take it to heart.

    So here it is...if you care to watch and comment here, please be somewhat kind . This is my hobby, not a career

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPE7cK_zBd4
    LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

  • #2
    First of all I was expecting awful and never saw it. Secondly are you a fellow parrot head?

    Your horse is super cute and looked to be a pretty nice pleasant fellow in the test. My daughter's test on Sunday was a bit more challenging than the one she rode on Saturday. It happens. Weather, distractions, etc you just never know. I think you did a pretty decent job and at the risk of sounding weird, there's a lot to like about your seat. Oh and I know the judge and I think she scored you fairly. So kudos to you for getting out there and doing what a lot of others are still thinking about
    Ranch of Last Resort

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by exvet View Post
      First of all I was expecting awful and never saw it. Secondly are you a fellow parrot head?

      Your horse is super cute and looked to be a pretty nice pleasant fellow in the test. My daughter's test on Sunday was a bit more challenging than the one she rode on Saturday. It happens. Weather, distractions, etc you just never know. I think you did a pretty decent job and at the risk of sounding weird, there's a lot to like about your seat. Oh and I know the judge and I think she scored you fairly. So kudos to you for getting out there and doing what a lot of others are still thinking about
      Let's talk about what's most important first! Yes, yes I am a fellow parrot head!! In fact, I'm planning on going to the concert next week - do you want to go? I have never seen him indoors before...but since I moved to Arizona I haven't been to a concert so I'm in withdrawal. Let me know if you want to go!

      Second, thanks for the kind words about my horse and our ride - he is a very pleasant fellow . I'm head over heels for that sweet horse.

      I didn't see your daughter's rides!! I didn't even realize she was your daughter until I saw you in the show office!

      Thanks for the support . I bought him a trailer so that we can have more experience in new EXCITING places, so maybe one day I will take you up on your previous offer to go for a trail ride alongside experienced horses!!

      In all seriousness, let me know about seeing Jimmy. I'm going.
      LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

      Comment


      • #4
        I am far from an expert, actually a beginner. I like your horse, he looks like a really nice willing guy. Your test looked much better than you described. I especially liked the canter.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would absolutely love to go and you are very nice to ask but as can be expected I have, not work but class. I'm hoping to be able to sit for the boards and am taking prep classes to get ready. The first class is Thursday evening. DARN IT !!!!!!!!
          Ranch of Last Resort

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by psb View Post
            I am far from an expert, actually a beginner. I like your horse, he looks like a really nice willing guy. Your test looked much better than you described. I especially liked the canter.
            Thanks!! From one beginner to another, thanks for your kind words! I guess we are always hardest on ourselves and I just want to reach through the computer screen and pull my shoulders down and back, ribcage up, elbows bent, head up, etc.

            He is definitely a nice, willing guy . We are both new to dressage (not the ideal combo), but he is an experienced horse at the age of 14, and we have a wonderful trainer, so we are very happy to learn somewhat together. And thanks, I love his canter too! One day I will have a video of him cantering round to post .

            Originally posted by exvet View Post
            I would absolutely love to go and you are very nice to ask but as can be expected I have, not work but class. I'm hoping to be able to sit for the boards and am taking prep classes to get ready. The first class is Thursday evening. DARN IT !!!!!!!!
            DARN! Well, wear your grass skirt and coconut bra to class, and I will think of you during the concert. . And good luck with the whole process!
            LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

            Comment


            • #7
              Oh, kiddo! You were so close to making good things happen. He is in a good tempo, and moving fairly well-balanced. He is also just barely starting to get the idea of how to reach into the bit. You could have actually gotten it from him very easily during this ride. This is a rider/trainer skill rather than a horse skill at this point.

              Let's talk about the rider skills that you need to first improve. Your upper body is collapsing forward, and this will prevent your horse from rounding. Your reins are being held at a good length, but because your upper body is falling forward, the rein length has become too long due to your arms falling forward away from your torso. The extra length is from your arms falling away from staying vertically aligned with your torso, not because you need to grip the reins shorter. You need to bend your elbow and keep your upper arms vertically aligned with your torso. Forget where you think you need to keep your hands and get those upper arms correct. Otherwise, the extra weight of your arms in front of you is going to continue to pull your shoulders forward.

              Your legs look nice and long...just like all the old pictures. However, the problem is that you need some bend in your knee in order to allow the weight of your torso to fall into your heels. You cannot comfortably rest your feet in the stirrups and keep the weight in your heels as you post with the stirrups this long. It is also part of the reason you are falling forward. Take those stirrups up two notches. Now as you post, think about come up straight out of the saddle....not posting at a forward slant as is happening.

              The key to posting straight is to remember that you have shoulders. Your shoulder blades need to stay closer to your spine. As your shoulders come back, it helps expand your chest. The chest expansion helps tone the abdominal muscles, which in turn will help your get your pelvis into alignment. If you ever hope to have a decent sitting trot, and to be able to do the transition from posting trot to sitting trot which you will soon need, you really need to be thinking about getting that torso aligned now.

              Let's talk a bit about the posting trot. As you post in a dressage saddle, you do not want to go back and forth between the cantle and the pommel. You want to go up and down over the center of the saddle. To do that, you must first keep your torso vertical to the ground. Then, you must have a little bit more time as your seat goes into the saddle than you spend at the top of the post. We call this "slowing your posting." However, most people do not slow the post correctly. What you need to do as your seat goes into the saddle is do a little push down, as if you were sitting on a cushiony chair and gave a little push in order to better rise from the chair. You need to learn that from the posting trot because in the sitting trot that ability will be needed on every stride, not just every other stride as in the posting trot. For a woman, that means getting your pelvis rounded under you a bit. That period of slight push into the saddle is the time that you can collect the horse more forward into the contact, and as you rise to the post, this is what releases the energy of the motion more forward. The slinging upward to attempt to get the horse moving is actually counterproductive.

              This skill of the push is also very, very important in the ability to control your canter from your seat. Your canter seat shows very graffically the misalignment of your pelvis right now. You will see quite a bit of flop as your seat goes into the saddle on each stride. That means as your seat is going into the saddle, you are landing on your crotch. It is happening because your pelvis is not correctly balanced, and because you are falling forward, the body also will begin to grip with the thighs to keep you from falling forward. The thighs are the results, not the cause of your seatbones not being in the saddle.

              You had a very good beginning for your free walk...and then, the horse broke momentarily. Even in the walk, your incorrect torso alignment affects the way the horse is moving. That break would have been worse if you were heavier than you are. If I had been doing it, the horse would have actually been stumbling on its forehand...chunk that I am.

              For only your second time in the ring, you really should have good feelings about how well your horse did do. He was just busy admiring the scenery. There is always a certain anxiety for most of us as we show. However, a good portion of that stems from the fact that we really don't quite know what we are doing up there. Good luck as you move forward.

              Comment


              • #8
                OP, you and I have a lot in common. I have been dealing with fear for a long time, too. My new horse has done a lot to build my confidence, but I still have my fearful moments. I just did my first schooling show on my new horse. She was so well behaved! But I know my riding was not up to par and so will NOT be posting my video. I think you are very brave to post yours. I wish I could watch it, but you tube is blocked on our work computers. I just wanted to pass on some wise words my trainer likes to tell me. "Don't be so hard on yourself! And BREATHE!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  The good thing: he is bending well in the corners.

                  The elbows -'nuff said. You are spot on about discovering your elbows at X.

                  I have this feeling, and I have seen it many times, that you are riding on hope - hope that if you get the position right and are still, that everything will come 'round, but the thing is, at the horse's present level of training, you need to be much more active and emphatic with your aids. Discuss half-halts with your trainer. Apply them until you get a result. You will not hurt him, he will not dislike you. Remember: presently,you are the executive. Partnership comes later.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I'm going to leave it to others to discuss your seat and your horse. Other than to say, as you get braver, it will make more sense to make HIM GO FORWARD and not lollygag and look around. For now, I completely understand why this is happening, but just sayin' that that is where you need to go/get to in order for things to come together for you to really start having fun in the show ring. Schooling shows are where you need to be until you are over the stage fright. Keep on going, don't expect much, but look for small things you can improve show to show.

                    For your second ever show, you did a good job. You just need to do this more so your nerves don't overwhelm what you know you should be doing. The more you do it, the cooler you become. There is Not One FEI Rider Out There who has not had MORE embarrassing moments in the ring, myself included, and sometimes in **really** really embarrassing situations with lots of people watching.

                    Carol Lavell used to say something about training level, and I think its worth remembering here. Even though you think the world is watching, "the only people watching are your spouse and your coach." NO ONE watches training level (er, actually few people watch anything much below second level) except those with a vested interest in you. . .so think about your audience. Your coach wants you to do well and apply what you've learned; your SO just hopes the test is over soon because he/she thinks its about as exciting as watching cement set; your parents/siblings don't know the difference and could care less, they are there supporting YOU. Sage advice, yes?

                    Keep on working at home, go to schooling shows and learn that the show ring really isn't the Roman Colosseum. No tigers are coming for you, and pretty much most folks (including the judge) DO understand where you are, right now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by right horse at the right time View Post

                      ...but there is one HUGE non-mistake, and that's the fact that I put my big girl panties on and went in there and DID it, which was a really big deal for me. The other big deal is that I tend to not have any "forward," like, EVER, and while the test started out in slow motion, once I realized that round wasn't going to happen, I had the presence of mind to channel Trainer Bird (riding on the shoulder opposite Fear Bird whose muzzle I apparently left at home), who somehow was able to get a few words in edgewise and told me to go back to the training scale and simply ride forward.
                      I LOVE that you recognize what a huge accomplishment getting in there and doing it is! LOVE IT!

                      And I also struggle with needing to remember that forward comes before everything else. It is amazing how much improvement can be found in remembering that one little thing.
                      Sheilah

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        RHRT - it says the video has content blocked in Canada any way to make it available to us Canucks??

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wouldn't work for me either and I'm in the USA.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Thanks for the support . I bought him a trailer so that we can have more experience in new EXCITING places, so maybe one day I will take you up on your previous offer to go for a trail ride alongside experienced horses!!

                            OK here's your mission should you choose to accept it Get the miles, grow the confidence (you're well on your way) and then when you're ready give me a call. Here is what my daughter and I did today (cell phone pics so not the best quality but you get the idea)

                            Spur Cross Ranch just revamped some of their trails. Views were gorgeous as was the weather.





                            Here is my daughter on the studly. You see no matter the level they ride or compete at, most can be steady eddies out on the trail. Resolute was none too worried about it all.



                            And now for the comic relief, this is what the stinker pony thought about it.....got to love a Welsh Cob with a sense of humor



                            Even got to see a few of these land and take off while we were riding around



                            So the invitation will remain open for whenever you're ready and cute horse is willing.
                            Ranch of Last Resort

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm curious to hear what your trainer has to say about Horse chattering; I, too, thought it was quite funny. Here's hoping it isn't anything bad!

                              I *love* your self awareness. I think it's huge to be able to recognize corrections you need to make (e.g., changing your arm position during the walk).

                              Have you been riding for awhile and just now decided to show? You look like you've been riding for some time - or perhaps it's just that you are athletic. In either case, I thought you two did a great job for the first time in the ring. Bravo!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                If ever you sell that saddle, someone'll get a really good deal. Except at the canter you never sat in it.

                                Actually your ride was good. Relaxing your thighs would have not only allowed you to sit, it would allow your horse to move more forward. I suspect that it would also bring your shoulders back from your perch. Elbows need to bend at all gaits. The same goes for the stretch trot as for the free walk, don't drop and spread your hands, and no stiff elbows.

                                After you've done about 20 tests, you should start to relax, and it will all fall in place.

                                It was tidy, accurate and far from a disaster.

                                Ride on!!!!
                                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  For some reason now I can watch it! You looked good considering how many shows the two of you have done together so far It can only get better!

                                  I loved that you were self-aware while you were in the test - making changes as you went. My brain always seems to go somewhat blank or focuses on one thing while showing so I'm jealous

                                  Great job!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I'm chiming in from H/J land--- just to echo that once you do more shows you'll get better about the nerves, I promise!!

                                    I used to shake from nerves waiting to go in the ring, and once in I honestly thought Every. Single. Person. on the rail was watching ME!! all eleventeen billion of them

                                    now I'm much better, especially in a flat class with so many other riders to hide behind ha ha!!

                                    I just want to let you know that it does get better, especially when you start to feel more confident in your riding, position, etc. so your confidence will help your position, which helps your riding, and so on and so on.

                                    Keep at it!! good luck!!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Wish I could watch but its disabled for.mobile.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Nothing wrong with that at all. You know what you need to work on, so I'll just say ... Bravo! Stay the course.

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