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Can I ride my dressage test without changing my diagonal? (Join our new clique!)

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  • Can I ride my dressage test without changing my diagonal? (Join our new clique!)

    I mean, I know *I* can, but is it a no-no or does it matter?

    I'm showing my lease mare for the first time this weekend, and we have a severe case of llama-itis (hindsite is 20-20... no epona, you should not take a horse you've had for a week and half to a show)... when we ARE getting some good trot work, as soon as I sit a bounce, the giraffe frame returns... can I just ride the whole test on the same diagonal? (and no, I don't think its pain related, I think it has everything to do with going from my ho-hum ride every step gelding to this SUPERSENSITIVETRACKYMAREYAY!)
    Last edited by eponacowgirl; Sep. 5, 2008, 08:06 AM.
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    Stand thru the diagonal change instead of sitting a "bounce".
    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

    Comment


    • #3
      As far as I know, there is nothing in the rules that says you *have* to be on the "correct" diagonal. However, if being on the wrong diagonal has a negative influence on your horse's balance/bend/rhythm, you can be marked down for those things.

      Have you tried going up 2 steps instead of down to change? That can be a better way if the horse is tight in her back. Good luck!

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Hello, my name is Epona and I have no coordination...

        I've been working on "standing a bounce"... it did work, but *I* suck and half of the time it works well, half the time I end up flopping around like a trout.
        Big Idea Eventing

        Comment


        • #5
          epona, can we please found the "flopping around like a trout' clique? Snort.
          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Lori B View Post
            epona, can we please found the "flopping around like a trout' clique? Snort.
            Abso-freaking-lutely!
            Big Idea Eventing

            Comment


            • #7
              Done.

              After my lesson tonight, which was a master class in my horse's kind patient tolerance of my uneven efforts to learn how to jump, it is the perfect name for my process of learning to ride. Lordee.
              I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
              I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Done and done.
                Big Idea Eventing

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                  epona, can we please found the "flopping around like a trout' clique? Snort.
                  I have my own version... "I look like an octopus on crack".

                  I'd say "try" the up 2 beats if you can... but I don't think staying on the same diagonal is the end of the world. I've seen riders do that and still place well. And if the horse doesn't care and isn't affected by it, go ahead.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I think I'd be more freaked out and tense than the mare if I found myself going around on the wrong diagonal. Just. Can't. Do. It.

                    I'd vote for standing through the change. I do that 90% of the time anyway, it's just easier.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Not only is it good balance practice it can keep a horse from getting tense Stay up for the double bounce.

                      Some judges will mark you down and mention on being on one diagonal

                      With many OTTB it is easier standing for the change at first as they can be quite tight (some of them ;-)
                      Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.
                      Confucius

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Sorry to say it, kids, but you need to do some exercises. If you can't stand up for 1 diagonal change in trot, how do you plan to run around a show jumping or xc course? Please practise. I want you, AT THE WALK, to stand up in your irons. Feet flat, back straight, as if you were standing on the ground. Put on a neck strap if you must, but you should be able to walk around like this without flopping back into the tack. Go on, now, get out there and work on this. You should also spend some time in your 2-point without holding mane.
                        Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RBP, I did a little of that last night, and could stand to do a whole lot more.

                          Very guilty as charged.

                          Although, in the case of this reverse / bounce thing, the difficulty I have is that my posting is so habitual that it's just hard to do something different.
                          I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                          I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by RiverBendPol View Post
                            Sorry to say it, kids, but you need to do some exercises. If you can't stand up for 1 diagonal change in trot, how do you plan to run around a show jumping or xc course? Please practise. I want you, AT THE WALK, to stand up in your irons. Feet flat, back straight, as if you were standing on the ground. Put on a neck strap if you must, but you should be able to walk around like this without flopping back into the tack. Go on, now, get out there and work on this. You should also spend some time in your 2-point without holding mane.

                            I agree...I often use this exercise when teaching. I start my students at walk working on standing in the irons, allowing the weight to drop naturally down, finding their own balance. I also have them drop into a half seat from the standing position and then back to standing getting them to find their base support from the lower leg...When this is established at walk then we move on to trot...standing then lowering into half seat then back to standing over and over again. Lars sederholm had me stand in my irons, completely balanced in trot approching small cross poles and then lowering into jumping position on take off then back to standing on landing. This is the reason why I have some rather over developed calves. My students HATE it, turn red in the face, sweat, curse etc. But this exercise gives them an independent base. I believe this exercise to be the most effective means of training your lower leg to stay under you...there should be no change in lower leg position from standing to half seat to sitting back in the saddle.
                            Last edited by snoopy; Sep. 5, 2008, 10:51 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Always loved the Jim Graham clinic exercise where you shortened your stirrups 4 holes shorter than your jumping length, then did trot over cavelletti and little cross rails standing straight up. I did hill work with my stirrups like this and got much more secure (which is not in any way to imply I have good form, especially during dressage)
                              OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I will also tell you that I teach my students to change diagonal in the far corner (when change of bend is established) NOT at X as this can disrupt the balance of the horse. Most European dressage trainers will have you do it this way...as well as Jeremy Michaels who is/was chief examiner of the BHS.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  snoopy -- I will try that when I work on my test Saturday. Makes a lot of sense, actually. Thx.
                                  I tolerate all kinds of animal idiosyncrasies.
                                  I've found that I don't tolerate people idiosyncrasies as well. - Casey09

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lori B View Post
                                    snoopy -- I will try that when I work on my test Saturday. Makes a lot of sense, actually. Thx.

                                    Lori, as your horse is about to change bend when returning to the long side is when you should change the diagonal as the extra sitting stride is a GREAT time to ask for the change in bend. Good luck.


                                    I will also add this is especially important when teaching/schooling the lengthening of stride. The horse should be straight across the diagonal and the new bend established just before the corner.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      changing diagonals

                                      I once rode a dressage test for Jim Graham. I always, always change my diagonals. But I might make a mistake on the diagonal I am changing to occasionally. Usually I catch it,though. But I was so nervous riding for Jim Grhama, OMG, he is an Olympic Selector, that I was too tense for words. Well, he commented in the test remarks each time I was on an incorrect diagonal. We spoke about it afterwards, and he explained that while it is not technically an error, it takes away from the whole balance and picture of you and your horse, and as such it will adversely affect your score. He gave a for-instance of a point. Perhaps I got a 6 and if I had been on the correct diagonal I would have gotten a 7.

                                      Thought I would share his viewpoint.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by scubed View Post
                                        Always loved the Jim Graham clinic exercise where you shortened your stirrups 4 holes shorter than your jumping length, then did trot over cavelletti and little cross rails standing straight up. I did hill work with my stirrups like this and got much more secure (which is not in any way to imply I have good form, especially during dressage)
                                        Ugh, one of my trainers would have me drop my jumping-length stirrups and put my feet in the stirrup leathers, get up in 2 point and walk/trot like that. It's HARD!! Your thighs start burning in seconds! ugh.
                                        Amwrider: May the fleas of a thousand camels infest their genitalia and may their arms be too short to scratch.

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