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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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    Originally posted by ParadoxFarm View Post
    Why do people feed others' horses without asking? Sheesh.
    I never have.

    The 2 rules of living rural.


    If it does you will be blamed even if the death has nothing to do with what you fed.


    Open it when it should be closed let's animals out.

    Close it when it should be open you could be stopping livestock getting to water and or feed.

    It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


      Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

      I never have.

      The 2 rules of living rural.


      If it does you will be blamed even if the death has nothing to do with what you fed.


      Open it when it should be closed let's animals out.

      Close it when it should be open you could be stopping livestock getting to water and or feed.
      Yeah, I'm guilty of giving treats sometimes to others' horses when they're not around to ask...but only after establishing that they're cool with it.
      I know my horse gets treats from the BO and some of the other boarders, but I'm fine with it. Basically everyone at our barn is generous with the treat-giving, but only after we know the owner is okay with it, and never a lot of treats, like one or two small cookies or hunks of carrot or whatever. And, for example, we have a lovely new boarder that came today, and I would never give her mare anything without asking first. And I wouldn't even ask unless I just happened to be standing by her and her horse with a treat in my hand for some reason. I don't go out of my way to feed other people's horses treats.

      As for gates, unless it needs to be open to allow a horse into an area for water or shelter or feed, I want it closed! I always kept gates at my farm closed, and I'll go around the barn where I board now and close open gates (usually just the round pen gate and the gate to the small grass paddock that rarely has anyone in it). Gates hanging open = hard on hinges = sagging gate = broken hinge eventually = needs to be fixed or new gate. No good! Plus, it just looks nicer to have the gates closed and latched.


        I need to catch up with everyone! It's been quite busy around here for me. First, my trainer said I should try a schooling show this summer, if I'm interested in that at all. There is a facility a few miles down the road that does small hunter schooling shows that my barn is planning on going to. My first reaction was, haha no, not ready. But I've been thinking about it more, and I think I might be interested in using a baby hunter class as a goal with my guy. It will give us something more concrete to work toward, and we'll both get a very small taste of traveling to a show and doing a class. More to come on that...

        Right as I was planning out my training for a baby hunter class, my horse got kicked into a fence and was lame, so he went on stall rest for 5 days. Nothing serious, just some bruising on his rump and a shallow cut from the gate (which has since been fixed). I rode him for the first time yesterday, and he was actually very good considering how long it had been. It's going to rain all week here, but I am going to try to get back on track with him.

        Speaking of gates, my boy loves gates (I think I shared a while back that he was pretty buddy sour and he would try to run to the gate to get to them). He's started to become fixated on the other arena gate that leads to his new pasture. Nothing like what it was before, but a fairly consistent desire to drift towards the gate, most noticeably with his left shoulder. I'm working with my trainer to correct this, but I'm open to any tips on working with a horse who can be drifty with his shoulders.


          Hey fellow re-riders, long time no post!!

          Things have been quiet for me lately, not only because of COVID but because I sold my horse, Cosmo, at the beginning of January and have been riding school horses on a much more infrequent interval since then - or at least until a week or so ago, because...

          I bought a new horse!

          While I unfortunately do not have a ton of video yet, I am happy to introduce Bronx to you all, aka "New Yorker"! He's an 8 year old New York-bred OTTB who raced 14 times (only 1 win) under the JC name "Elusive New Yorker" (Elusive Quality, Gone West X Naughty Natisha). My trainer and I tried to do some local horse shopping without any luck, and our plans of trying to horse shop in Canada were squashed because the border is still closed. However, we made an almost spur-of-the-moment trip down to Virginia for the last weekend in May and I ended up trying 10 horses; Bronx was (naturally) the last one we saw that Sunday afternoon, and the planets must have aligned just right because he was vetted, paid for, and in a stall at my trainer's barn by the Friday following! (To quote my trainer, "What the hell - this (getting the horse home) never happens so quickly or smoothly.")

          Bronx has done a little bit of everything from low-level jumpers to a few local hunter shows, but was mainly doing eventing before I bought him. He doesn't look like a typical OTTB at all (WAY too beefy!) but he has the unflappable attitude of a horse that's been around the block. He's dead brave and honest to fences, even if he over-jumps a little; probably residual caution about hitting fixed XC fences. I am totally besotted with this horse already and while we don't have plans of showing this year, I'm excited to see how we progress together! We're already coursing 2'6"-2'9", which feels amazing since that's where I left off with Cosmo in January.

          I'll attach a couple of pictures, and here's the one video I have of me riding, from when I tried him in VA! (Excuse my noodly-ness; going from only riding for maybe 30 minutes three days a week during COVID lockdown to riding 10 horses in less than 48 hours had me very loose! )

          Attached Files


            PF: How is Flynn doing? Also, i saw your Dante jumping picture, SUPER NICE!!

            Lucky: Baby is super cute!!! That face!!!

            Suzie: I LOL!! Ride through the judge, but please stop or turn right before the judge!! . PF/Suzie: My old barn, a ton of issue with people dumping extra hay into other horses' paddock, i kept seeing these drama on their FB page!

            RnCruise: I'm so glad Milton is trending to be better and he gets to move in with the boys!! Best of luck for the move and i'm praying that he will be happy!

            RiderNC: Yay for schooling show! Sorry he got kicked. This reminded me of when i went to my first show, the love of my life (Toffman) got kicked on his butt too,nothing serious, just a shoe mark left on his butt. and the amazing packer decided he is not tolerant of any mistakes and dumped me 3 times in two days, at a rated show, before i even jump my first fence!

            TCP: Congrats on your new horse! He looks super cute, and seems like he has done quite a bit already. I love horses that events, i felt like they are so brave!

            AF: Thank you!! Trainer was able to put me with my old barnmate in lesson together a few times, and really feels like old time, without the yelling!! She seems to love it here! Her mare is settled in Colorado (she gave her away to be a broodmare), so now she's itching to find another horse. One thing that I miss from my old barn is the trail ride! I use to be able to do that with Bobby and Toff, not so much with Cato. My current barn has a very nice field that we get to cool off the horses, but it's really tiny and you can get done in 5 min.

            We finally get to jump school a course, my first since SIP in March!! It was SO SO SO much fun!! Nothing scary as we are just getting back into coursing, trainer even threw in a Gamblers choice, you pick, 2'3 vertical or 2' wide oxer, of course, we picked the oxer (the vertical's path to the next fence is wider and easier, but who doesn't like a good challenge?!)

            The day before, the trainer put this really difficult for me exercise, 4 raised pole (only like 6 inches off the ground), 2 strides apart but set Zig-Zag, lead change after every pole. It was massive headache inducing and my pony has lead changes too! So good for us though!

            Hoping everyone has good rides!! Happy monday!


              Techni - Congrats!! He is SO CUTE! I thought you looked great on him and enjoyed watching the video!

              PF - I wasn't able to watch your tests (it said not available) but the pics you shared on Instagram were great! I think these virtual shows are such a great idea, I hope opportunities like that continue down the road. It's such a great way to work towards goals and stay focused without the pressure of going off property!

              RiderNC - I think the schooling show would be a great goal to work towards, but maybe keep the timeline open in case you don't quite feel ready for the upcoming show with the latest setback with your horse!

              Rhythm - Sounds like things are on the right track with Milton and you've gotten to the bottom of some of his issues. I missed his background - does he have kissing spines? Have you ever tried Robaxin (methocarbomal) for his back spasms before?

              Lucky - Yay for a surprise lesson! Got to love unexpected pony time

              AFM - I've loved your Instagram posts lately, your property looks so pretty with all of your blooming flowers and I'm so glad you've gotten some great rides in....hopefully you got to enjoy the beautiful weather this weekend before the next heat wave hits! I think we're in for a hot summer!!

              Faye - That will be fun to have your old barn buddy back at the same barn as you!

              Not much to report, lessons are going well, horses have been great! We had an in-barn private clinic last week for our junior riders and I let one of our girls ride my mare in it since her horse had just gotten injections. No one's ridden her except for my trainer and I so it was fun to watch her shine with a junior! She rode her great and they really got along well!

              Cash's lease is up at the end of July and his lease kiddo is showing him this weekend. They've had such an awesome year together I'm happy that despite the Covid restrictions they'll be able to get a couple more shows in before the lease ends.

              On the home front, my stall kits and lumber were delivered last week and I met with an electrician this morning to add/move a few outlets. Can't wait for it to all come together!


                Suzie - Great rules to live by!

                Rider - Schooling shows are super fun, and they're a great way to establish a baseline. I think it'll be a fun learning experience. And of course you have to get some videos to share with the class . Glad your horse is on the mend!

                TCP - Yay for Bronx! Congratulations. He's got a sweet face.

                Faye - Building confidence back up after taking a break can be hard. Glad you had a good experience coursing again after the COVID-19 lull!

                Sugar - It was nice of you to let someone else use your horse for a clinic. It can be fun to watch someone else ride your horse! That's something I didn't understand when I was a kid - I thought they would either "ruin" my horse, or maybe they'd ride it better than I did and I would be embarrassed. Now I can appreciate the experience, and I think it's useful to see how your horse reacts to different people/riding styles/etc. Can't wait to see your barn setup when it's done!


                As many of you know, I've been trying to earn my USDF Bronze Medal. This requires two qualifying scores (above 60) at 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level - with different judges at each level. When I set this goal with my trainer, we knew it would be tough, esp. the 3rd level scores. My horse is a superstar former upper-level eventer/showjumper, but he's also a strong-willed 26 year old who has never been a fan of dressage and has been described as having "pony gaits." Anyway, we set the goal about 2 years ago, when I was on the verge of retiring him (at the suggestion of the H/J barn he was previously boarded at) but changed my mind. It was really just to give me something to focus on in my riding. When I started going to dressage shows I got a little discouraged - I tried as hard as I could to make up for my horse's lack of impulsion and submission with things that were more within my control: precision of movements, good geometry, etc. I could tell my horse was trying his best, but I often fell short. It was also a little discouraging to be surrounded by fancy, purpose-bred warmbloods with drool-worthy gaits in the warm-up ring. It really keeps you humble .

                At any rate, I kept working toward my goal and I'm beyond excited to announce that at the horse show this past weekend I finally received my second set of qualifying scores at 2nd and 3rd level! I cried some happy tears, and my trainer and I jumped up and down and hugged each other (then stepped back quickly after remembering that COVID is still a thing). I still need qualifying scores at 1st level, but I don't think those will be tough to secure, so I'll try to hit a horse show in the fall once the weather is cooler to get those scores.

                This weekend also reinforced to me how subjective dressage scoring can be. On Friday I put in my best ever dressage test at third level. I was thrilled. My trainer was thrilled. I couldn't believe it went as well as it did. Unfortunately the judge did not agree, and it scored a 57. Reading over the comments, which were a little on the harsh side, I was so disappointed. On Sunday I rode the same test again. While I tried my best to take the feedback from Friday to heart, the test didn't go nearly as well. I had a lot less impulsion, some of the lateral work was a little wonky, and he wasn't really giving me the forward I needed for the mediums/extensions. I walked out of the ring feeling a little deflated....but it ended up scoring a 63.7. Qualifying, and I was less than 1.5 points from the pair that won the class. Anyway, I think it's a good lesson for life. We can't let our expectations get the best of us. Nothing is guaranteed. Sometimes we just have to do our best and accept the results with grace and patience.


                  Yay on the new horse techni. You sound so happy.

                  Sugar yay at the great year. Are you going to bring him home or lease him again?

                  Faye I am glad you have a friend again and still no yelling.

                  ridernc. Gates.

                  I can explain in different ways as to your experience.

                  Number 1 In an arena, never dismount at the gate, or leave through the gate in saddle, before leaving to untack. Instead dismount in the middle of the arena and lead to the gate.

                  Of course this is easy for me as I have my own arena and only share with hubby.

                  2nd Think of it as you having 6 gates. You have your 2 legs, your 2 seat bones and your 2 reins. Now you don't just have to open the 3 gates in the way you want to go. You have to close the other 3 gates.

                  What is most important is that if you want to go right and he wants to go left he MUST GO RIGHT. You are not allowed to turn left to go in a circle to go right. It doesn't matter if you have to lean down and grab the rein near the bit and pull him to the right. He must go right. Or left if Visa versa.

                  If you are more experienced, which it sounds like you are, then the opposite is true. We no longer use the inside rein to bring the horse around, instead we have the horse in the outside rein and it is the outside aides that bring him around. You may have to add your outside elbow and knee so as he does not bulge.

                  Also praise is important. Praise by giving the inside rein and you can add good boy/girl and or scritches on the neck.

                  Do not give that outside rein. It is the outside rein controlling the shoulders.

                  For any level of riding it is also important to look up. Not just up off the ground or up off the neck, but up at the horizon. Again that is easier for me as I am looking at mountains and trees, not the 4 walls of an arena and LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING. So you should not be looking at the gate, or him, but your head should be turned and looking where you would be after you have turned, either down the long side or more turned if on a circle.

                  Also you know that he is going to try and drift towards the gate, so you are ready for that and taking action before it happens. From now on you have a tally board in your head. If he drifts 1 point to him. If he stays straight 1 point to you. This is a competition you want to win.

                  I hope something in there makes sense. Let me know if it is as clear as mud!

                  As for the schooling show aim to go. If you go and only hold him and don't get on and compete it is a day well spent as he learns that he goes out and comes back again and everything is okay.

                  If you get to ride and not compete. Fine it will do you both good.

                  If you go and compete. YAY.

                  If you go and compete and win you will see I will be over the moon!
                  Last edited by SuzieQNutter; Jun. 15, 2020, 06:35 PM.
                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                    Mustang - Huge congrats! Was it the same judge? Last time I did a 2 day show they had different judges, and my scores were about 5% higher on the second day even though I felt like the first day went better. Go figure! I think the day 2 judge took pity on us because it was a super windy day. But the day 1 judge is judging my next show. I initially wasn't planning on going to this show to avoid the harsh judge, but since everything else the last 2 months was cancelled I'm going anyways so wish me luck, I will need it lol.


                      Mustang Twist


                      Suzie Q tuns around waving her arms with a t-shirt over her head.

                      I don't understand 1st level etc.

                      We have preliminary = 20m circles
                      Novice = 15 m circles and leg yield
                      Elementary 10m circles and proper lateral work and rein backs.
                      Medium = better collection and flying changes and can use a double bridle

                      and so on and so forth from there. With Advanced Pre St George and Grand Prix. I dont think I have missed any

                      Mum had an old horse called Tommy. He was agisted with us.

                      First we got a phone call berating us that we were feeding him without her permission.

                      2nd we were berated because he was too skinny!

                      Then given to us so we started feeding properly.

                      He was a red coat horse, used for walk to canter and lead the winners in a circle.

                      He did not trot. He jumped with his hind legs leaving first.

                      He had some Arab in him.

                      I taught him to trot. I used a bounce to teach him to jump.

                      He was very slow and very quiet.

                      He got younger until 2xweeks in a row I had the exact same conversation with the father of one of the 2 kids who had a horse in an adjoining paddock.

                      Who is that? Pointing down the paddock.

                      You know who that is.

                      No I don't.

                      Yes you do.

                      No I dont.

                      Yes you do, you have seen him every day.

                      You are not going to try me that is Tommy?

                      Yes that is Tommy.

                      I took him to an EFA ODE (Equestrian Federation of Australia One Day Event). It was held at out pony club but all the professional riders, not just our members.

                      I had to do the dressage test without a dressage whip. I have never worn spurs.

                      He wouldn't go. I tried, honestly I tried but uh so slow. No impulsion, no forward. I pushed my heart out.

                      I came out of the arena and Mum and I just looked at each other, we were so disappointed, it was heartbreaking.

                      All that training, all those lessons to produce a test like that and not at a pony club level competition.

                      We came 3rd in the dressage. 3rd! We couldn't believe it. We almost fell over reading the scores.

                      Looking at the video it was not how it felt. He was round and his outline never wavered. He did every transition on point and our geometry was correct. His poll was the highest, he was vertical to the ground. He looked like a dressage horse.

                      I would never have believed it if I had not seen that video.
                      It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                        TC they say if you have more than 20 points different by each judge you can complain.

                        It was the norm for Pepper to have more than 20 points different, that and always the comment of running.

                        A better rider with lessons and when I was able to bring him through from behind, suddenly the scores from both judges were almost the same and we won.

                        I went from being called out as Suzanne Ruiter as there was a good rider called Sharon Ruiter to be called out as Suzanne Rutter, and when Sharon Ruiter came back from a hiatus she was being called out as Sharon Rutter!!!!
                        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                          hi guys! I've been reading but haven't had much to post.

                          Mustang I AM SO EXCITED for you. That's a big hairy goal and you made it happen. I hear you on the subjective judging, I experienced a lot of it in the hunters, though that's likely even more subjective honestly. Score or no score, think how happy your future young horse will be to have a mom who rides with such great connection and wisdom. Really cool!

                          Cupid Good luck to you as well. Did the mean judge at least give you concrete things to work for or were the notes more about unchangeable things about Cupid?

                          Sugar that is so exciting about your barn, I would be so thrilled to finally have the horses on my own terms. That's fantastic news about your mare, sometimes when someone else rides, you can see the progress more clearly.

                          Faye Glad you're back coursing with confidence, it takes time to rebuild that. That raised cavaleti exercise sounds BRUTAL!!!! I would be pretty pleased with myself if I survived that.

                          Technicolor, congrats on your lovely new horse, wow, what a looker. He has such a classic look and a beautiful eye.

                          Suzie I love that story about the test. So often we look at our videos and are just shocked at the results. It can feel like it's going so poorly and really, it's all right, we are too much in our heads is all.

                          Rhythm I agree with Sugar, it sounds like robaxin could be really helpful here. I'm so sorry though, I know the feeling of trying to control the pain, but then they spook and aggravate it!

                          RiderNC I think it's a great plan to have that show on the horizon. It's low key and nearby and honestly, if you go on the ring, remind yourself that you can pull the rip cord at ANY TIME. That's your time to work on yourself and your horse. What I've noticed and why I really like showing is it really shows you in stark relief what you need to work on. And I find it can really help the horses grow up a bit. Just remember, it's always supposed to be fun.

                          My horses are going well, Hudson especially, you feel like the absolute best rider on him and then I get on Duty to flat and I'm like..... oh yeah, I still have some things to work on . One thing I'm realizing is how much the no stirrups work helps, even like a lap or two at the canter and suddenly I am sitting so much more around my horses. My trainer has taken my spurs away, which is brutal on the flat, but I also feel like I'm using my leg more to turn, which is kind of the idea!

                          We are officially going to our first show in 2 weeks. I feel weirdly under-prepared. It will be my first show with Duty, and I know whatever we show in, it will be a lot smaller than the 1.40m he was doing before. But I'm still nervous. I've never had a horse as well-schooled as Hudson or as experienced as Duty. I worry a lot about ruining them or taking away from their big hearts. Ok, that's enough navel gazing, good grief.


                            Technicolor: What a lovely boy!

                            Faye: Oh no - that is quite the experience, haha. It must be nice for you to get back out again after so long. The past few months have felt like an eternity but then I'm like, what, it's mid-June already??

                            Sugar: Definitely open on the timeline. I think this particular place does one show a month, so there's a lot of flexibility. I love watching someone else ride my horse. It helps me see the whole picture of my horse + rider better, especially when said rider is a better rider than I am!

                            Mustang: Yes, that will likely be my first video I share! My horse's owner is a salt-of-the-earth cowboy type, and I think he would get a kick out of seeing his trail horse done up like a hunter. 😂 Super congrats!!! I think you nailed it with the phrase "accept the results with grace and patience" - that sounds like good advice for everything related to riding.

                            Suzie: Thank you - that is very helpful! He doesn't always respond to outside aids, so I do use some inside rein as a "reminder." He is still relatively green to non-trail riding in general. A friend of mine (not a trainer) said that when her horse resists going the direction she wants, she spins her in the direction the horse wants and releases her only when she goes in the direction she, the rider, wants. I get this principle—I used it when he was really buddy sour at a particular gate—but I thought it might be a more complicated solution since the horse has to realize that the choice they made resulted in the spin and not making that choice results in no spin. I feel like there is less clarity in this response, but I am not a trainer either. I have been doing what you advised which is never letting him decide the direction, even if it results in a halt then square turn. I like your tally board idea, I'm going to use that. I am keeping my expectations very low for the schooling show, so I would be happy if we were able to just go together and hang out.

                            Greys: I love that notion of being able to pull the rip cord! I will definitely keep that in mind. I have been putting off no-stirrups work, even though I know I need it. I need to work on my sitting trot, but I have convinced myself I am going to bounce off. He has such a bouncy trot! I think I am close to my trainer taking my stirrups away, haha.


                            My guy is basically good as new and very happy to be back in his pasture. He still has a cut, but it appears to be healing up nicely. The weather here has been pretty up and down. One day it's 90F with 80% humidity, the next day it's 55F and storming. Either of those options makes doing hard work outside a bit less appealing... I joined a pole work group on Facebook, and it's been inspiring me to try some new things. Yesterday, I got him to do the one pole challenge (yay!), and we started adding poles to a circle on the lunge. After adding two poles (12 and 6), I noticed his shoulder dropping and rushing through the turn improved a lot. Probably because he had to think a little more about his feet and less about the gate. So, I was very happy with those results, and we had a nice afternoon hanging out together.


                              TC - Thank you! It was a different judge than I had for the same test on Friday, but I've had her before. I studied her prior comments really carefully and tried to apply them, which seemed to work out. Good luck at the show! What level(s) are you showing and where it is? How many days are you planning to be there?

                              Suzie - Thanks for the kind words! Really appreciate it. The USDF levels are Intro, Training, First, Second, Third, Fourth. Then you have the int'l levels of Prix St. Georges, Intermediare, & Grand Prix. Here's a basic description of 1st - 3rd level:

                              First Level: At this level your horse must have thrust, power in their hind end, and start to achieve thoroughness in their back. This is the last of the more basic levels. Riders and horses must be able to perform 10m circles at trot, 15m circles at canter, lengthen the stride in trot and canter, leg yield, and counter canter.

                              Second Level: Welcome to playing with the big dogs. Well, at least the next level of big dogs. Second level is where things begin to pick up now that you’ve demonstrated understanding of the basics. There’s a lot more power in the hind quarters required at second level due to the need to perform collection, medium paces, Travers, simple changes, 10m canter circles, and half turn on haunches. Additionally, a greater degree of straightness, suppleness, and self-carriage is expected at this level.

                              Third Level: At this point, your horse should know the basics and have an established uphill balance in their work. Now they must begin to perform increased engagement in their movement as well as more refined transitions between collected, medium, and extended gaits. Third level introduces extended gaits, flying changes, half pass at trot, Renvers, and half pass at canter. At this point, if you receive qualifying scores at first, second, and third level then you can receive your United States Dressage Foundation Bronze Medal.
                              Greys - So excited for your show! Can't wait to see pics. Where is it? For what it's worth, I think the risk of you "ruining" either horse hovers right around zero. You're such a thoughtful rider, your horses have good brains, and you have an experienced coach. I think you'll have a blast! And you're absolutely right about the no-stirrups work. It's so helpful, despite how unpleasant it is in the moment .

                              Rider - I'll have to look into the one pole challenge, it sounds interesting! Hope the weather evens out for you guys soon. Do you guys have an indoor at your barn you can use when it's storming?


                                Hey Everyone,

                                I'm starting a new job at the end of July that gives me a 20% raise. After I get caught up on my bills, I'm hoping I can afford to do a half lease somewhere, somehow. An old friend of mine has a older Hanoverian that I could do some dressage on, maybe even first level, as well as jumping some small stuff. He's a beefy 16.1 hands and very well schooled, but very heavy in the hand. I'd be doing lots of transitions! I haven't done much research else where yet as I haven't done a budget yet and don't want to get anyone's hopes up.

                                I hope everyone is doing well. I haven't had the chance to catch up on posts yet.

                                You hate that, dont you? Do you like oysters? You have to acquire a taste for oysters and the deep distance.
                                -- George H. Morris on learning to love the deep distance


                                  Originally posted by greysfordays View Post

                                  Suzie My trainer has taken my spurs away, which is brutal on the flat, but I also feel like I'm using my leg more to turn, which is kind of the idea!
                                  A great update Greys.

                                  I am very interested in you going from spurs to no spurs.

                                  I believe rhythmandcruise has just done this and has found that Monty has gone from not even going forward to the whip to being very responsive with just leg aides.

                                  Do you think you will go back to wearing spurs? If so why?

                                  Why do jumpers where spurs?

                                  Dressage riders do not wear them in competition until medium, when they are up to doing proper flying changes, half pass etc and they are supposed to only be touched for lateral work as you no longer use legs for forward.

                                  I think new rules are coming in that you do not have to wear spurs if you dont want to.

                                  I have never worn spurs. I cannot keep my heels down from short Achilles tendons. I bought new rubber long boots one day and they had a little ledge on the back for the spurs. I was so horrified that Aztec lost hair from that rest that I ground them down and have never put spurs on as I never want to hurt a horse.

                                  One of my fellow wannabe instructors failed part of her instructors exam as we swapped horses. I asked her to take her spurs off and she did not.

                                  Az said oh you are going to kick are you? Well kick a bit harder then! He went hollow and not forward for her. Her horse went forward and round for me. We swapped back and AZ was happy. Her horse hollow.

                                  She was told she failed as she did not listen to her student. If you are told not to get on with a whip or spurs you should listen and comply.

                                  My instructor has told me I will have to put spurs on if I want to continue up the levels

                                  I said I can't as I can't put my heels down.

                                  He said that doesn't stop other people.

                                  That reasoning does nothing to sway me. I do not suffer from peer pressure. I will not do something that everyone else does because other people do it.

                                  Although I an guessing it should be a skill I should have. Do you think you will go back to wearing spurs?
                                  It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                                    RiderNC: I think trotting without stirrups is pretty intimidating. Something that's less so but probably even harder is doing two-point at the walk. It is a KILLER. You really want to focus on making contact with your lower leg, not just pinching in the knee. I don't usually post without stirrups bc I tend to start pinching, but I do a lot of spirals at the trot and canter in and out without stirrups.

                                    Duty is actually very reactive to stirrups dropped, so I can only do it at the walk and trot for now, but we're going to try cantering this week I think.

                                    Suzie I think eventually when my leg is really still, I will go back to spurs. For sure as the jumps get bigger, if you need the horse to respond quickly, the spur really makes a difference. I don't think the heels being down is as important as still, but I could have that wrong. It's also a much different leg contact in dressage than jumping and I think both rider and horse conformation are at play too. For now, I enjoy being able to steer more with my leg rather than pulling to make the corner and i keep a more consistent pace in the corners as well.

                                    Mustang Our first show is Temecula and then we will do the Oaks. We are still waiting to find out about Thunderbird. Thank you so much for your kind words about my riding, it means a lot, truly.

                                    Darcy So good to hear from you! Congrats on the raise. I know the first thing I think of when I get a raise is how to spend it on the horses! Transitions are great for horses and rider, this could be a great fit! I'll keep my fingers crossed.

                                    One thing I totally forgot to mention was last week my trainer's mom was out and I got to take a few lessons with her. I've really struggled to get Duty's balance up enough. So we talked about feeling the right response when you send the horse forward. If you send them forward and it feels like a wave coming up from behind you, great, but if it's crashing on the beach, at any time, she recommended halting.

                                    She rode Duty the day before and felt his half halt had completely disappeared. So for her, the halt reinforces the half halt and for that lesson, any time I felt the balance crash on the beach, we would quietly halt. Our transitions got much smoother and more importantly, I could feel his back legs come under. That is, if I used a lot of leg! That was pretty key to the transition. And she said it was supposed to be the same feeling for the upwards. That imagery was really helpful, as well as the discipline to always take that halt if the half halt doesn't yield anything. We practiced that over the jumps and I was amazed how one halt could suddenly make him land more softly and respond to a light half halt to really re-balance the next time we jumped it.

                                    All of this half halt love is old hat for our experienced dressage riders , but for me, it was such a clear way of solving the problem.


                                      Greys- I have absolute confidence in you- you are such a kind rider and the shows will go great. I’ve been doing trot-halt with Pony to get her listening to me and to back off plowing through my hands- when it’s good, it’s very good, when it’s bad, we’re five strides from where I started asking 😀. Jingles for safe fun rides. Will you be showing Hudson and Duty?

                                      Tech- what a handsome boy- that face and those eyes! I love your boy!!!


                                        Thank you Mustang Twist and Greys.

                                        Ridernc to me no stirrup work means sitting trot. You do not start sitting trot until the horse asked for it when they have enough muscle.

                                        For safety it is better to be lunged. If you drop your stirrups when riding you should cross them over the front so as the stirrups do not bang on their elbows.

                                        Canter without stirrups can be a killer!
                                        It is better to ride 5 minutes a day than it is to ride 35 minutes on a Sunday.


                                          Faye - Oh my, that zig zag exercise sounds crazy tough! Sounds like a great one to work on straightness though. So glad you got to do some fun coursework after such a long break, feels good to start getting back to normal!

                                          Mustang - So, so happy for you! What an awesome accomplishment, and to be able to do it on the horse you've had for so long and at his age is even more incredible! I loved your IG pics, and can't get over how good he looks at his age! You have seriously made me contemplate keeping Cash in full work, even though he'll be "retiring" at home. And, I totally agree about others riding your horse....I used to feel the same way about it and was worried someone else would ruin my horse, so silly and not really possible It was cool to watch a junior work through some of the common issues I have with her, and also to see how much her training has progressed! She can be a tricky mare, and it was nice to see her being so tolerant.

                                          Suzie - No, I won't lease Cash out again and it wasn't anything I'd ever planned on doing, but the circumstances just fell into place. The family that is leasing him has another horse at my barn and they are such caring, conscientious owners that I knew he'd be in great hands. He deserves to come home and enjoy a lighter workload now though. I think he's shown more the past two years than he has his whole life - he deserves a break!

                                          TC - Yeah, it'll still be good to get out there and show again even though it's not your favorite judge! When is the show?

                                          Greys - WOW, that half halt description just hit home for me! Thanks for sharing. That has been something we've been constantly reinforcing with my mare lately, she'll go from being light as air to nearly ripping me out of the tack so we've been doing tons of canter in then trot out, canter-halt transitions, canter-walk transitions etc and it's starting to make a difference. I hear you on feeling underprepared to show - I think a lot of riders feel that same way right now. But, you're showing at a level you have loads of experience with, with great horses and trainers. I'm sure you guys will kill it!

                                          RiderNC - Super cool you were able to start seeing a difference with his balance over the pole! Sounds like continuing pole work would be great for him, as you said, it'll help him figure out where his feet are and will get him to start thinking! Glad he's doing well!!

                                          MFDF - Congrats on the new job!! I'll be crossing my fingers the lease works out!

                                          I had a tough lesson yesterday, but it was actually all really positive. Like I've said, my mare can be a tricky ride and in true mare fashion often has temper tantrums when she doesn't get her way. She's quiet and unreactive, but also can be spicy and sensitive - if that makes any sense at all. She was awesome warming up, we cantered into some lines of poles and trotted out, reinforcing coming back and softness. Once we started putting coursework together she got SASSY. She doesn't like the bugs or heat, and when she decides she's over it, she's over it. Some parts of the course felt amazing, she was soft and responsive, and others she'll jump in soft and then try to leave out a stride, or she'll kick out or buck in response to my half-halts. So, lots of halting mid-line, and lots of downward transitions yesterday. Of course, this made her MAD. I had an audience during my lesson and a few people mentioned how cool it was to watch me ride though her tantrum and said they could literally see her decide to wave the white flag and surrender My trainer was very complementary of my riding and really boosted my confidence that I can ride her though pretty much her worst. We were able to end the ride jumping into a three stride line, coming back to trot before a bending line set five strides from the out. Mission accomplished!