Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Just Do It

I have been struggling with the delusion that the trot is just going to magically fix itself.  Apparently, if you don't practice something it will improve...obviously that is not the case.  It took months of walking every single day before the walk improved.  It is going to take the same for the trot and the canter.

Things going sideways

I am too quick to back off when things start to go sideways in the trot.  Granted I have solid reasons for backing off rather than pushing him through, but at some point I need to start pushing forward.  Having a horse that is good at walking won't get me very far.

Lots and lots of time to get here

I haven't figured out how to push forward with the trot without losing the relaxation that I have been striving to maintain.  For awhile I was having success when I kept him in a small trot, but now that has been creating a lot of resistance.  I was having success when I was sliding him in and out of the trot, but that totally ruined the walk and caused lots of jigging.

Can we just photoshop me up there and call it good?

Honestly, part of the problem is I need to be better at riding the trot.  One of his favorite things to do is pull with the front and let the hind trail.  This makes it really hard for me to balance, I am using all of my core strength to maintain my balance and have nothing left to regulate the tempo.  Two, I don't have the ride ability necessary to get the front to slow and let the hind end catch up.  Three when he gets off balance, his solution is to go faster.

At least he is cute even if I don't know how to ride him

I go back and forth on how to fix these problems.  Right now I feel like I need to suck it up and just do the trot work and put in the time.  It will get ugly for awhile (the walk was ugly for awhile), but then it will get better.  I also feel like I lack the confidence in my riding to really stick with that plan.  So if you have any wise words blogger land, please chime in.

28 comments:

  1. dont lack confidence!!! you can totally do it.

    in fairness to you he looks a little cray lol

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    1. Anxious pretty much sums him up, and while it looks bad it is really easy to ride just not the most fun sometimes 😊

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  2. I have no wise words other than what you titled this -- just do it! It might be ugly for a bit, but if it starts ugly, it can only get better. Right?

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    1. Are you saying we are at rock bottom??? 😉

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    2. Of course not 😋 just that we all start somewhere! You should see me trying to walk Cinna in a straight line. THAT'S rock bottom 😂

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    3. But all babies are drunken sailors! It is part of their charm (for me at least)

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  3. You can do it! Maybe grab your draw reins to make sure things don't get too exciting, and take him out to a field or low key space and just set a posting rhythm (or if you can, two point and bridge your reins on his neck for your own support, and bury your hands into the base of his neck like a racehorse) and let him work everything else out. Sometimes when Mikey or Penn got all flustered with the work, two point with leg and burying my hands in their necks and letting them trot/canter seemed to really help. I donno if that would wind him up or if he'd eventually relax after a reasonable amount of time, so take it with a grain of salt.

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    1. I've tried that and he just keeps building and building and never settles into a rhythm. The horse can trot and he doesn't stop. I've discovered that he really dislikes me in two point. When he loses the butt contact he gets really insecure. I'm working on it in the walk but it is interesting to say the least.

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  4. How is his trot at liberty or on the lunge? If he can get his legs moving in an acceptable manner on his own, then I would second Codex and recommend that you try doing less managing of him, and letting him just trot while you take care of your own position. Bring him back to walk if things get too hairy, but allow some fluctuations in speed as he figures out his own rhythm. Praise lots when he does even a few good strides. On the other hand, if he can't trot well consistently while lunging, I would do more work on it on the lunge first.

    Also, lessons if you can. I had the same deal with avoiding doing much canter work, and a trainer is great for making you just do it!

    You totally can do it! I believe in you :)

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    1. Drool worthy on the lunge, so I know it is in there and it is quite steady. At liberty it is very saddlebred (back hollow under neck braced). I do need lessons. Work has kicked my butt and I haven't had time. Lessons keep me confident.

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  5. So could it be the saddle? Or could you be tensing somewhere (I have a sensitive princess type horse and have to be sooo careful). To settle Carmen's trot I have a few things that I use mostly on circles: walk-trot trans on a circle going to trot when she became unbalanced. Smaller circle inside the larger circle and figure 8s.

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    1. I doubt it is the saddle because it was just checked and the walk tends to disappear if it is a fit issue. Not to mention I am quite obsessive and paranoid about the fit.

      I do think I'm part of the problem. I just haven't figured out what part of me is the problem...

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    2. I figured that you probably were- I just asked to make sure. Riding is a combination of two so some of it's probably him too- I am sure you can figure it out.

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    3. I'm hopeful that I will figure a few things out this weekend with my favorite dressage judge.

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  6. Horse training is ugly sometimes, just embrace the suck! Almost nothing is irreparable. Also re: confidence, you'll only gain confidence by making mistakes and learning from them, not by avoiding making mistakes. More lessons, more trainer rides, more time on schoolmasters will increase confidence too. You can do it!

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    1. I like "embracing the suck" I should make that my new motto. And I forget that I will be able to fix things. I get so paralyzed at the thought of screwing up that I don't do anything.

      I really really really need a schoolmaster! Unfortunately there aren't any floating around the barn or near by barns.

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  7. one of my favorite clinicians reminded me earlier this summer that 'a pirouette canter doesn't just create itself.' same idea that you're discussing above.

    another friend is fond of reminding me that i'm not really going to ruin my horse. there isn't really actually all that many truly "wrong" ways to do a thing. just gotta keep practicing and keep working on it and it'll eventually get there!

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    1. Why can't my horse practice in the pasture and make himself a school master???
      Ruining my horse is a fear of mine and I try to remember that a) I didn't start with anything to ruin and b) I'm the one riding him so it really doesn't matter if he isn't everyone's cup of tea. But my brain doesn't always leave room for logic like that.

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  8. Just keep on working! My coach is forever telling me there's no substitute for putting in hours doing it (problem thing) to improve it. Also, she pretty much tells me every ride I am not going to ruin my horse. :)

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    1. I think I need to borrow your coach for a bit...or at least be able to play that on repeat.

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  9. This sounds so familiar to me! Royale (the 3 year old saddlebred) is very much like this. He would much rather trot 100000mph, and if I take a hold of his face he back goes down, and he just trots faster. ASBs are quite good at evading every aid you have - simply by dropping their back and escaping out from under you. They take a very skilled rider - so that is major props to you! What has worked with Royale (so far) is to bend to the inside, then give. Bend to the inside and give. When he softens and drops his neck, I GIVE. This is all I really do with him. I started teaching him leg yields, but he just got tense and actually started racking so ... he just goes in a 20m circle. And that's all we do. If he gets too tense at the trot, I come back to the walk. Bend and give, bend and give. His canter is still above the bit, but that's ok. It will come. #asbproblems

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    1. I can manage that at the walk but I get all discombobulated in the trot and my timing is off. I think I'm lacking in some of that skill you were talking about 😉

      But it is nice to hear that what I have been trying to do should work eventually.

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  10. I think "just do it" is all you can really do! I was given the tip once to think about it like sitting on one of those bouncy ball things with a handle (both seat bones move at the same time in the same direction). For some reason that really helped me!

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    1. All I remember is I was terrible with those bouncy ball things! I could never make it more than a couple of bounces 😂

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  11. 900% (approximate estimate) of what we're doing with Leo right now is on the lunge. Under saddle, it mostly gets lost, even with Trainer K in the seat. He's getting 5 days of lunging plus 1 day of riding right now, and each week the riding seems to be a little less giraffe-like. So, maybe, less riding and more trotting on the lunge? She always has side reins or neck stretchers on when he's on the lunge - albeit extremely loosely, and now when he lunges without them he tries to stretch down to find contact that isn't there. Teeny tiny baby steps are what's working for him right now.

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    1. I totally agree with that system and we used it at the beginning. But he is awesome on the lunge all the time and it just doesn't translate to the under saddle. I think this is because of the way he was started. The lady I got him from picked him up in an auction yard as a two year old. He was "broke to ride and drive." It took her a couple years to get him to where she could lunge/ground drive him with out him panicking. When I first started riding him, it felt like he was panicked. We have worked through that part but he still has some lingering anxiety I think.

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    2. This might be too out there and whackadoodle (esp since I know you're a scientist!) but have you ever tho get about essential oils or Bach flower remedies or something like that? Just spitballing here 😀

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    3. *thought about

      Stupid smart phone is not so smart!

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