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#41 JacqueB

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 07:04 PM

Well Charles de Kunffy said in his book The Athletic Development of the Dressage Horse that you should do trot work with ungymnasticized horses out on big tracts, not dressage arenas. So that's what Majiida & I did today, all hills or inclines, too. If they were steepish she wasn't keen on that, too hard of work for her I think. But the first hill we trotted up she was balanced & had regular rhythm. The wind kicked up from time to time & she used that as an excuse to complain about having to do stuff by herself - occasional brief passage practice. And we had our first fight. We were going to open the gate to get out of the riding arena & we got it partially open & I needed her to back up a bit so I could pull it open more & she refused & even with crescendoing demands kept refusing. What finally got her to back up was dramatically see sawing the reins & applying the whip. I repeated the request with a light pull at the same spot & she made me crescendo all the way to see sawing again with the whip. But the 3 time she responded to a light, please back up, pull. We stood there for a while & I rubbed her neck & told her what a good girl she was (I lied), then we got the gate open and stood at the open gate relaxing. Then we walked off quietly. She was quiet & relaxed walking the half mile back to the barn, but not so lovey duby when I got off - think she held a grudge or didn't like losing?
We did do arena work, she needs to be more relaxed in the bridle when performing correct bend in the corners at a walk. On her strong side she's pretty stable in the bridle on the long side but her weak side/direction she's still fussing some in the straightaways in the bridle. So we worked on getting quiet/relaxed - not there yet & of course fussing tends to change her rhythm, too. One thing that is encouraging is Bowie is pretty close to trotting actual circles, not to flat or bulgy in any of the arcs.
It wasn't long ago that he could hardly walk a circle much less trot a circle. So, I think, under my riding instruction there seems to be hope for Majiida, too.
JacqueB

#42 VanAlma

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 12:51 AM

LOL Mare fights are the best...or the worst...depends on how you look at it. Someone's gotta be alpha!

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#43 JacqueB

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Posted 20 January 2011 - 07:18 PM

I thought picking "a mare fight", as Kate puts it, as we were coming out of the ring suggested a sour attitude about ring work that day. So today it was all out on the large tracts as Charles de Kunffy suggested. Rode for a solid hour, got several small hills trotted & better than a 1/4 mile incline trotted three times. The 3rd time Majiida's head started dropping & it felt more like a working trot. We "changed reins" all the time on the trail & by the end of the ride she was quietly making the adjustment without her head coming up or fussing or changing her rhythm & at the last she was really walking out, so I put my abs to work & asked for alittle more contact as her head was nicely stretched down & she accepted it & rounded up some. No wind gusts today & her heebeegee's didn't really surface today. Nothing like regular work to create a relaxed state of mind.
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#44 VanAlma

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:39 PM

BTW - I just found a very cool forum and I can't remember the exact name, but do know it has to do with Ultimate Dressage. Google it. There is SO much helpful information. I've just been looking around, soaking up stuff, and some of the posters are truly trained and talented people who give amazing insight.
I think I might join after tomorrow's eventing clinic in OKC. I KNOW I'm going to get torn apart ... and am looking forward to it ;)

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#45 JacqueB

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Posted 22 January 2011 - 05:54 PM

BTW - I just found a very cool forum and I can't remember the exact name, but do know it has to do with Ultimate Dressage. Google it.
I'll look for it
There is SO much helpful information. I've just been looking around, soaking up stuff, and some of the posters are truly trained and talented people who give amazing insight.
I think I might join after tomorrow's eventing clinic in OKC.
Wishing you safe rides on the horse & on the road
I KNOW I'm going to get torn apart
I hear ya', that's what so tough about watching a video of yourself riding - so much to fix!

Some times I've gone & followed a young person I knew who was getting schooled just before her dressage test by her trainer & that trainer would be hollering stuff a mile a second - do this, do that- & the amazing part was how fast that young rider would respond & the horse would be different.
Have fun!
JacqueB

#46 JacqueB

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Posted 26 January 2011 - 11:27 AM

Had a great time riding yesterday. It was near 50 degrees, but very cloudy & humid, tho' not windy. Majiida was in a raging heat, winking, tail continously cocked & whinnying/calling to everyone. So we started our 60 min ride more animated, but eventually got into a good work mode. One thing that was fun while doing the ~1/3 mile trot sprints Majiida is offering to canter, she's got a big canter, I'd always bring her back to a trot so she would be evenly exercised but it was an indication to me that she's more conditioned & balanced. I felt like I needed to get stronger at 2 point, so I rode in that alot yesterday & some of her trot work the saddle was coming up & hitting me(yes I ride with a long leg), so I think she was doing good work - we trotted quite a bit. When I untacked her the sweat areas were the belly, breast, & between the legs as well as the saddle & girth strap. Bowie got ridden for ~1-1/2 hrs & got a whipping for "misinterpreting" my signal to trot up a gentle grassy incline as permission to buck & bolt, the bugger. He got lots of trotting hills in as well & my 2 pt much improved & thanks to those Sprenger 4F stirrup irons my knees weren't even tired. Snow today, but that's not likely to hang around with several days following that are 40+ degrees. So hopefully starting Friday we'll get daily riding going again. Spring time there typically are 2 or 3 hunter paces, might have to take Majiida again - she was really good & much less condition with regular riding back then, 2007.
JacqueB

#47 JacqueB

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Posted 31 January 2011 - 03:23 AM

The weather & my schedule allowed a couple more days of riding. Yesterday, just walking, ring working spiraled in well on her strong side quietly with lovely regular steps, but still I little resistive/fussy on her weak side in the bridle spiraling in & out. Got a nice trail ride in also - good 50+ minutes of riding with her 4 yo daughter being ridden by my client who commented on how much muscling she was noticing on Majiida.
Today she had to go it alone & got the 1/3 mi trot work in twice - total of 60 minutes of riding. She's got some muscling breadth across her loin & she's not the bowl full of jelly any more. I might also put her in the riding ring & do some lunging with long low sidereins especially since she's got some muscling now.
Saturday despite the warm temperatures she did not have any sweat, we were only walking, so that tells me that she's developed some conditioning. Today we trotted enough for her to get some good sweat.
So I think we're close to getting some benefit from a riding lesson & but we'll still need to keep up the large tract/conditioning work.
BTW Kate I did find that forum & was reading stuff - thanks!
JacqueB

#48 JacqueB

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Posted 01 February 2011 - 01:48 PM

Talked to my buddy who trained her Chincoteague pony all the way to 2nd level dressage & she said for a training level test that working on rhythmic/regularity & going forward relaxed is the way to go. So I think I'll spot check her top line development with the lunging/long/low sidereins & continue the trotting sprints for now - I'm staying in 2 point & keeping my hands really low with the reins long which resembles the long/low side reins during the trotting sprints up the gentle incline. I think I'll start doing some transitions during those sprints & really focus on keeping her relaxed going forward & getting so well developed that her head can stay forward & low during transitions. When I start seeing that out on the trail then we'll start trotting in the ring. She's better about keeping her neck long & head low going from trot to canter than she is going from walk to trot & trot to walk. New tests for 2011 - have to look at those. Mean time work in the ring will be at a walk establishing her big rhythmic walk with correct bend & more leg yielding exercises.
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#49 JacqueB

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 08:51 PM

Oh my, weather & other demanding scheduling items....did not get back to conditioning til Sunday & Monday. I just love how easy she is to move around. Was reluctant on the trot work again, but finally started easily moving forward today/Monday. I'm trying a new girth strap, prestige, it's angled so that the saddle is kept off the shoulder, which it is doing, but I'm wondering if the wide firm part that necessarily lays on the ribs a bit farther back is contributing to the inhibition for the trot. de Kunffy talks about how horses don't like riders legs gripping them, I've got more the opposite problem-my knees are more likely to be loose & flappy. She easily moves forward at the walk, big walk, in fact. So not sure what's happening there. For a bit was going forward very nicely at the trot, even offering the canter. On thing I'm teaching her to do & she's picking up on it very quickly is shoulder-in. I've been keeping my hand low & rein kinda long & gently working with her & she's got a nice little bend in her spine for a few steps with her head nice & low, quietly at a walk. Once we do it both sides, then I let her go straight & give her plenty of rein & she really drops that head even more & gets a big walk going. de Kunffy I think likes to work on longitudinal flexion(coming onto the bit) first, but one of my dressage trainers, she'd do a bit of shoulder-in quietly to get them ready for longitudinal flexion. So I'm using large tracts for trot work. In the ring I'm really pleased with her rhythm & regularity at a very forward walk with flexibility. Just need to get that same kind of work out of her at the trot. Hope to ride Wed, maybe Thursday then Friday/Saturday/Sunday. I need to ride this week, got 2 apple pies coming in from Argo, Alabama & I've been known to eat them all within a very short time....
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#50 VanAlma

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Posted 07 February 2011 - 11:28 PM

Oh I hear you about weather. I have been contemplating how I am going to be ready for a show in May and I really have no clue at this point and quite possibly will make a fool of myself. Given I average riding 1 day a week, his state of condition will need to drastically improve as will mine.
Anyway, this is what I have come up with for practice time even if for just 20 minutes in the freezing mud:
Walk-stop transitions
Backing: both straight and through poles or asking to turn while backing
Turn on the forehand
Turn on the haunches
Those all can be done with little or no speed, yet contribute to suppleness and responsiveness. That's my 2 cents on riding in non-riding weather!

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#51 JacqueB

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Posted 08 February 2011 - 01:31 AM

There is alot to be said for accurate turn on the forehand - especially with just 1/4 turns, no more. I've not taught her a definitive turn on the haunches, good idea. There is alot to be said for a good halt. I remember Bowie, when he was 3 I took him to a w-t introductory A&B dressage test & he did real well - 65 & 67. We practiced the halt just before we went in for the test & he got an 8 on the halt! When I was scribing for the dressage judge at the CCI* at the Virginia Horse Center - the only 10 he gave that day was for a halt - he sat there & thought about it before he said "10".
Footing can really be an issue with the cold temperatures & snow/precipitation - be careful.
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#52 JacqueB

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Posted 09 February 2011 - 12:56 PM

From SE Horses at Auction thread
"DEar JaqueB

It is MOST important that horses sweat behind, before they sweat infront. If they only sweat infront, it is
working on nervous energy, stress, fear or whaTEVER.
When in condition most all sweat lightly all over.
Dont like to see the blood vessel pertruding on the neck,bulging= when someone once said here that's "quality" and the rearend is dry.

Your mare doing right for you now is enganging properly, that's work. So you see that welcome sweat behind, between the hind legs.Ut will tell you a lot.

So get that neck/head down, have a move like hound through the grass, give her no weight on her back,
let her exercise the back musles, than after a few weeks bring her up more in front until eventually you have her sitting down on the rearend.IN another words, ride her in a light hunt seat and POSTING! 5 Minutes, then 5 minutes walk on a long rein to relax the neck muscles, because they hurt quickly. And when you stop, dont throw the reins away, put her on the bit, standing still, and then let her chew the reins out of your hands gently.
that's the only way all your work has worked and rewarded.Otherwise it will not.

Hansi"

Hi Hansi,
Thought I'd move your comments over to the thread that was addressing the ongoing work.
I have been getting better trot out of her in 2 point & have started staying that way for the most part.
I only post lightly, no sitting trot & really 5 minutes is the max that I've had her trotting. What I've been trying to do is getting in 2 pt, have my hands really low to encourage her head to come down & on a loose rein, almost no contact without jangling the bit in her mouth- I use the loose ring snaffle. I've also been doing fairly short trot-walk-trot transitions trying to get her work better. So thanks for confirming that my efforts have the right idea, I just hope I can get better results. I got the best results when I rode her 5 days in a row, so maybe the upcoming Friday, Saturday, Sunday will bear better results. She does really well with the long rein relaxing those neck muscles at a walk, so at least I'm getting that. I'll try that contact at the halt & see if she'll chew the reins out of my hands.
JacqueB

#53 JacqueB

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Posted 10 February 2011 - 01:35 AM

Equine Dentist out today for a client's horse, playing the "inquiring minds want to know" role, we found Majiida had some sharp points near the bit area & also right under where the noseband goes. So it will be interesting if she's more ready to go forward at a trot & the little bit of fussiness in the bridle disappears.
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#54 VanAlma

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Posted 11 February 2011 - 10:20 PM

Just curious: has she changed post dental work?
I did some work today in the snow and mud - although the sun was beautiful! We did some working walk, practice turning around my leg with no (or little) guidance from the reins, halts, backing, turn on the haunches....the turn on the forehand leaves a lot to be desired but he's trying :scoregood: Did some trotting but very little. It's a nasty mess out there. I'd rather him be out of shape then injured.

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#55 JacqueB

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Posted 14 February 2011 - 01:49 AM

Yes Kate, the little bit of fussiness with the bit/bridle has disappeared. Her reticence to trot is still a bit there. We did several short trot stretches the last one she was freely going forward, I just hung out in 2 pt with my hands low on her sides. The last time she did good work at the trot was after 4-5 straight days of riding. Tomorrow there are 20+ mph winds albeit warm, so I'm not likely to ride, wimpy with wind, but Tuesday thru Sunday she's going to be getting some kind of work every day, even if it is just for 20 minutes. I love my dressage saddle & it's made for her, but I might try my all purpose collegiate saddle that I used to use for combined training/horse trials & see if she's more forward with that saddle. She's moist from the saddle behind her shoulder, not up on her shoulder, so I don't really think my saddle is riding up on her shoulder, that prestige girth is doing it's intended job. Long trail ride today, mostly walking but lots of hills, some quite steep. She did very nice serpentines down a couple of not so steep hills with the correct bend, very easy.
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#56 JacqueB

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Posted 15 February 2011 - 12:07 AM

Heard this afternoon that planes have been diverted from Roanoke because of wind - I feel a bit vindicated for my decision not to ride today- it was about as bad on Saturday, but ~ 20 degrees colder.
Still looks good for Tuesday - Sunday.
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#57 JacqueB

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Posted 16 February 2011 - 07:19 PM

I'm beginning to think that the new prestige girth I got to keep the saddle off my 2 mutton withered horses' shoulders, is the source of Majiida's reluctance to trot out. It has some elasticity but not as much as the ovations & the design brings the girth strap back over the ribs rather than just 4 fingerbreadths behind the elbow. I didn't use the Nunn Finer non-slip pad today either, just the supracor pad. There was some sweat over the edge of the shoulder which is not there when I use the prestige girth strap. I keep the supracor about 2 inches anterior to the saddle @ the shoulder + when I tighten down the girthstrap I have managed to keep the saddle 2 fingers behind the shoulder edge. But when I get off I check it & the saddle has moved up to the shoulder edge. Today, the first gradual uphill grade she was reluctant but then got going okay. Tried trotting at another spot, again, squirrely, but that was near where the gelding she's tuned into was grazing, she's coming into heat again. So we had to get out of that area. She really went very freely forward for a good 1/2 mile to the upper pastures, long uphill grade. Longest I've ever asked her to trot. I didn't consider her trot work as good today as back on Jan 26th, but it was freely forward. When I untacked she was sweating between her back legs & the back half of her belly & she had good foam in the corners of her mouth, so maybe she did better work than I was giving her credit while riding. At least 4 more straight days of riding. We rode an hour today, but we've not done any ring work recently - that will change over the next 4 days. It's time for me to be a bit more demanding/instructing...just as she's coming into heat...that will take some patience.
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#58 JacqueB

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 12:36 AM

30 minutes of ring work today, total of 45 minutes of riding. It was a gorgeous 66 degree sunny day with the exception of the wind that kicked up about the time I started riding. Majiida's goosey attempts to delay work had me giving her something to concentration on without frustrating her. Got her walking out so big that her back was really popping up, so I gently got her to go into a trot keeping her head down, we just did alittle bit & then I'd bring her back to a walk, but didn't get the coming back to a walk transition with head down. But going into the trot with the head down is progress. It was obvious that we've not been doing ring work, quite rusty on accuracy in the corners with relaxation. Need to work on turn on the forehand more frequently, so she does it without complaining/getting frustrated. Tricked her into quietly leg yielding, quite lovely. She amazingly straight going across the diagonal. The ring work must have been okay in the main because she gave me her sniffy hugs when I was untacking. Oh, btw, I tried not using the supracor pad & her withers are wide enough that I could still get 4 fingers between her withers & under the pommel of the saddle. So her withers are flat enough she doesn't need the supracor & I used the little $20 Nunn-Finer non-slip pad & the saddle stays beyond the shoulder with straight ovation girthstrap. Not much sweat, but the muscles between the legs & the back half of her belly was warmer than other her other muscles, so I think she did some good work - nice foam at the corners of her mouth, too.
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#59 JacqueB

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Posted 18 February 2011 - 05:12 PM

Warm weather has arrived but blustery wind seems to be part of the package. So with Majiida's "heated" state of mind I decided to let the long low side reins remind her of the work at hand. I hadn't lunged her since ?Oct/Nov. She looks much more balanced & muscled reached good out of her shoulder especially at the trot & over reached good from behind. No canter work & it was short, ~ 15 minutes. Several times the long low side reins reminded her that the best place to be was with her head down & neck out long. Untacking found sweat between the back legs & the last part of the belly, so she worked inspite of herself, not so much foam at the bit as when I ride her but some. 20+mph winds Saturday, but Sunday & Monday look good for riding. Since she's been worked 3 days in a row - think I'll give her the day off tomorrow. Looking ahead, I think I'll be able to get 4-5 days out of 7 ridden, so we ought to start making some real progress with the trotting work over the next couple of weeks. Think we'll do our dressage test after she's bred. Her expressiveness as a broodmare which I valued, is not so helpful with under saddle work. She does the work, but it's definitely harder for her to stay on task.
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#60 JacqueB

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Posted 20 February 2011 - 11:38 PM

Today was a good example of Majiida being in a raging heat but still able to get work done. We trail rode around the upper pastures - all geldings currently & I tho't Majiida was fertilizing the ground with her legs wide apart & back pushed up, but it was all show for the boys - she walked like that for ~ 1/3 of a mile! We finally got down to the riding ring & she not only did good walking work but when she transitioned from a trot to a walk she kept her head down & we got some nice trot work done, still can be better, but some of the corners she got the correct bend at a trot. Some nice turn on the forehand 1/4 turns fairly precise. And her leg yielding work is including more steps and keeping her head down with relaxation - so lots of good work. Tomorrow it's going to be windy/intermittently rain, so I think I'll just try to work in some quick lunging with the long/low side reins. Starting to see enough progress that it seems hopeful that she'll actually be ready for a training level test in 4 months if we can keep up the regular work & with Spring just around the corner, that seems likely. March first I'm whacking her mane off to my liking - the sport horse/pulled mane look. Just preparing you for her look when I finally get someone to take pictures of us doing some work in the ring - sorry, not a long Arabian mane lover.
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