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Just for FUN: What was your A-HA! moment this year?

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  • Just for FUN: What was your A-HA! moment this year?

    I'll start!

    1. Dressage is a balance of having really strong core muscles that invisibly absorb all that horse energy and remaining really loose/following the motion with everything else (legs, shoulders, arms, seat), so the horse can work underneath you! This allows you to be independent with your weight, leg, and rein aids as you need them! (aka, you can't grip yourself into the perfect seat --I tried...I could keep from bouncing, but couldn't do anything else on my massive WB mover!!)

    2. You can control your horse's neck height almost exclusively from what you do with your legs and seat!

    It's funny...I would have thought I'd learned these basic things many years ago...what is old is new again...

    3. Rescue OTTBs RULE! Organizations like TRF provide great horses a second chance. What a wonderful place to find a young prospect for very little money and from an organization that WANTS to find you the perfect partner.

    4. The right saddle can make a BIG difference.

    5. I can and DID get out of First Level. In fact, I'm showing 3rd this November!!!!

  • #2
    Originally posted by HollysHobbies View Post
    I'll start!

    1. Dressage is a balance of having really strong core muscles that invisibly absorb all that horse energy and remaining really loose/following the motion with everything else (legs, shoulders, arms, seat), so the horse can work underneath you! This allows you to be independent with your weight, leg, and rein aids as you need them! (aka, you can't grip yourself into the perfect seat --I tried...I could keep from bouncing, but couldn't do anything else on my massive WB mover!!)

    4. The right saddle can make a BIG difference.

    Wow. Your list is really similar to mine! In a lesson recently I really got a "WOW!" moment when I realized how much more fire my horse has to have in his engine to move up from 1st to 2nd. When he's really "right" I need much more half-halting and a lot less "come on, let's go!" and the work is sooo easy and feels sooo good! But I'm only getting it about 50% of the time.

    And how much more fit I need to be to control my movements going into 2nd level.

    Oh yes... the right saddle does make a difference for horsey and me!


    • #3

      ... important my right leg is in the left lead canter.
      ... to keep my shoulders, elbows and hands perfectly still during the sitting trot.
      ... much my horses back can drop in front of fence because he is behind my leg. Even if we are moving up to the fence at a good pace.
      ...many horses I can actually ride in five hours is more than 6.
      ...a better understanding of bending the horse as opposed to just flexing the neck leading to a more supple horse.
      ... strong correct contact can be.
      ...how a correctly ridden horse can just SUCK you into the saddle during the medium sitting trot.
      ... correct training can really turn a horse around from a dangerous attack animal when ridden into a working machine who is happy to do his job.
      ...much it means when you know a horse loves me for the things I do for him and not for the things I bring him to eat.
      ...how wonderful my horse really is.
      "I am a sand dancer... just here for the jumps!" - Schrammo


      • #4
        How much easier things are on made horses.
        How easy it is to train a horse with natural ability.


        • #5
          How wonderful it is to go from you think you can't to you think you can.


          • #6
            SO many for me this year...but all relating to how even very small "blocks" in your body can so hugely affect your horse.
            a 501(c)3 organization helping 501(c)3 equine rescues


            • #7
              um, dressage is hard?

              More seriously, that I'm good enough to "read" my horse when she's being silly, to know when it's because she's just being a goof, and when it's because she's absolutely terrified. The approach to use in each situation is quite different -- but I also learned I have at least some control over keeping her from becoming terrified in the first place.

              Relatedly, that seeking out situations that might result in a spook is a good thing.

              That a good trainer of *horses* may not be such a good trainer of *riders*.

              That pure arena work is good neither for me nor my horse.
              You have to have experiences to gain experience.

              1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"


              • #8
                Tempo. It is all about tempo.

                "He goes faster rather than lengthen...." It's the tempo.

                "She gets short and stiff; short in the stride when she raises her head..." Hello! Tempo!

                The base of the scale is rhythm. Rhythm is tempo. Read it, heard it for years. Thought I knew it.... Hello lightbulb moment!
                Last edited by Carol O; Oct. 9, 2009, 10:53 PM.


                • #9
                  wow a bunch of them like...

                  I don't really need to do this attitude adjustment on my 2 yr old dutch myself..send him to the trainer for 4 weeks of "camp".

                  If doing half passes makes my 11 yr old uncomfortable, then really...do I need to do third level? He is conformationally challenged anyway so God bless second level for him.

                  I really like my 5 year old a lot so why am I thinking I need to sell him?

                  Maybe not what you were looking for OP, but they were major AHA! moments for me this year.
                  *Every horse is a self-portrait of the rider....Autograph your work with excellence.*
                  Supporting Nokotas www.nokotahorse.org
                  Lipizzan's rock! http://rigitta.blogspot.com/


                  • #10
                    It was a year of lots of "A Ha!" Moments but then again ... when my boy is only three years under saddle and has gone through as much as he has, we have lots of them! But I'll stick to two:

                    1. How AMAZING he is to ride ... and how easy it is ... when he is fully collected and enjoying himself rather than fighting and evading.

                    2. How far *I've* come and that yes, showing him really matters to me ... from being someone who didn't want anyone to watch her ride and only started taking lessons on the caveat that the instructor not watch me (how stupid, huh?) to someone who was horribly heartbroken at having to call off our first dressage test because his squamous cell carcinoma needed another treatment - to see him so fit and muscled and know how *on* he was after a summer of work and know we couldn't show was devastating. But losing him to carcinoma would be much, much worse, and his health is much more important.
                    If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
                    ~ Maya Angelou


                    • #11
                      Cherish the people and animals you love. Let them know they are cherished.


                      • #12
                        How important it is to establish a clear, correct rhythm, from the first. I've spent more time counting the rhythm on my new horse and discovering that WOW! She goes great when I do that and let the other things fall into place once it is established.

                        Now, our warm up consists of counting the rhythm, always.

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


                        • #13
                          This is a great thread! So many have posted comments I can agree with and understand!

                          My big A Ha! This year has been finally understanding CONTACT! It's not steady yet, but we're getting there. My trainer doesn't have lesson horses, so I ride mine. My lesson horse is my 3 year old stallion. He's the perfect complement to my trainer. The two are teaching me, as we are teaching him! I've been riding for years and have been trying to improve in my journey in dressage. Can't do much without contact!
                          Stacy Mortazavi
                          Mortazavi Farms, breeding Arabian and half Arabian Sport and Performance Horses


                          • #14
                            My western pleasure paint can in fact do dressage, and can do it well!!!!!

                            And- A year end championship is always in reach if you reach for the stars!!!!


                            • #15
                              I have the same "Aha!" moment every 6 months or so:

                              Oh, THAT'S how you ride a half-halt!

                              And an oldie but goodie that I constantly re-remember as well:

                              It's easier if my horse is in front of my leg.
                              From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


                              • #16
                                Letting go of ambition can get you further than "trying really hard." Riding each ride for itself, rather than towards an end goal can actually get you closer to the goal, faster.

                                There is always, always a reason when a horse acts opposite to their normal demeanor. It's usually physical, provided it's not the rider.

                                When you get out and DO something, and appreciate the good stuff, there is always someone who will rain on your parade... that doesn't matter. If you learned and had success for YOUR goals, it was successful. Scores don't always equal success.

                                Mileage is nothing without suppleness and obedience. Last year I began to get a glimmer about the relationship between suppleness and obedience, this year I learned that mileage is somewhat a scam. When you get suppleness and obedience it doesn't matter where you are... indoors/outdoors/first time away from home etc.

                                Supple one side, supple the other, supple both.

                                Do what you know works (in-hand work) regardless of the circumstances or location. If you know it works, don't change it!

                                That horses are kinder and more willing even than I already knew.
                                InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

                                Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


                                • #17
                                  Soundness wise, my girl may not make it as far as I had hoped. AHA-I love her anyways and will be happy if I'm fortunate enough to know her well enough to get her to her max without going too far.
                                  Not all good riders are good trainers...
                                  Mrs. wonderful, quiet, etc., will NOT tolerate a trainer that she feels is too forceful and becomes not so wonderful
                                  Don't toy with the dragon, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup!


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by DressageGeek "Ribbon Ho" View Post
                                    SO many for me this year...but all relating to how even very small "blocks" in your body can so hugely affect your horse.

                                    This is the type of revelation I'm having this year as well. That my equitation problems and imbalances are not confined to my time in the saddle. I cannot fix them in one or two hours a day in the saddle if I spend the rest of my waking moments moving and holding my body incorrectly.
                                    "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                                    -Edward Hoagland


                                    • #19
                                      1. It's OK to admit that the horse you've put a ton of work into isn't the right horse afterall.
                                      2. Getting a new horse who wants to work and learn is a GOOD thing.
                                      3. Missing a year of competition in order to bond with new horse and learn is key.
                                      4. Slow, correct work is the only way to accomplish anything!


                                      • #20
                                        1) If the horse is forward and straight, everything else will fall into place.

                                        2) FINALLY getting a saddle that fits makes a big difference.