Sunday, May 10, 2015

Dressage Clinic and My "Thick" Pony

Dressage clinic Saturday. Here I though I was putting in some good dressage schooling at home and I get on at Silke's and in about 2 seconds she was like GET THAT HORSE IN FRONT OF YOUR LEG! Apparently we haven't been round or bendy or in front of my leg at all. He cheats a lot to make me think he is from the saddle. But from the skilled eye of the trainer, he's not. He just being the same "thick" asshole as ever, making me do all the work. Nice one, Twister. And nice one, ME for letting him get away with it. I inadvertently teach him bad habits. Like how it's "ok" to pull the reins out of my hand. Or when I give in to him when he gets heavy by leaning forward and slumping or stretching out my arms like a straight arrow. Twister has figured out how to get me to carry him instead of the other way around. And once I learned how to make him work, I wasn't huffing and puffing so much. 

Letting him get away with everything... pull pull pull
My homework is based off what we worked on. 

1. Make sure he is in front of my leg, moving freely with impulsion before asking for anything else. Pump him with my leg, get him with the spurs, anything to wake him up and get him moving from behind into my hands. This is at a walk and a trot. Spending a good deal of time at the walk. It's the most important gait.

2. When I ask for him to be round, get what I want and stop giving him the reins every time he pulls. I'm just teaching him to pull. He's stubborn and doesn't want to work. Part of this is sitting back and keeping my legs down and shivering until I get what I ask for. Meanwhile not letting him get behind my leg. Ride lots of 10 meter circles. I also need to remember to close my hands. They need to be in front of me, not out to the sides. 

3. Worked on transitions. If he is in front of my leg and engaged in his hind end he will stop hollowing out and jigging to a walk. Do them on a small 8 or 10 meter circle and make sure he is in front of my leg and engaged before I ask for the transition. As we go around the circle, ask before so I can use the fence to help bring him down. Sit back and stretch down when I ask. And after he walks, put my leg back on to keep him marching and from dying out.

working on going from a trot to walk

4. We worked on half-passing and I was told to KEEP working on it. It's a good way to keep him engaged and round and help with flexibility. Make sure he is round before I start and watch for cheating... aka him leading with his shoulders instead of crossing over behind like he SHOULD be doing. Which is also more work, therefore he will try to cheat. 

attempting half-passing.
my awesome face....
Here are some more shots. T took the photos for M and I. Great photos!

workin' on that walk

M's first clinic/lesson ever! Silke LOVED Sunshine.
A win for Saddlebred/Morgan crosses!
one where i'm smiling
i usually make the worst faces
I really felt like we'd learned something and really improved from beginning to end. We have a lot to work on but I also plan on having a lesson with Silke at least once a month. 

On Another Note:::: I switched up my show schedule some. I wanted to do a few HT's but the first one I had planned is at a farm I went to today to watch and having a giveaway for work. It was unorganized and half-assed and it seems like BN went on most of the day. At 2pm they were only just starting the lower levels of stadium and people had been sitting around most of the day. Some of the people associated with the farm were pretty snippy too. I've done HT at a couple other farms near there that were well-organized and the people were great. I have no desire to show at said farm anymore. M and I went over the show list and I rearranged my schedule to get her in on one show (will be her first) and get me to avoid this particular farm. Not doing as many HT as I had wanted but I'll be doing a little of everything looks like. I only like to do about one show a month. I don't have time for more than that plus dressage lessons and xc schooling and regular work and life. Plus I need to start working with my pup again. Surgery again in a month but I want to do dock jumping or therapy work with him and I need to be training there too!


  1. Great photos! Sounds like you have lots of good homework :)

  2. great clinic - and good takeaways. my mare is really good at tricking me into doing all the work for her too lol - so frustrating! seriously tho - you guys look great in the pics, good luck settling into a better show/lesson schedule that does NOT include going anywhere you don't like :)

  3. I'm working on the same things with my horse right now. Apparently letting him get with murder isn't the best training aid? LOL