Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Video Lesson #2

Due to hip problems (me), saddle problems (him), and spraining my ankle, this video was taken a little over two weeks after the previous one (we are still in August).  This video is a bit of a hot mess. We were chased by a dog at the beginning.  He had to have a pee break in the middle.  I am bareback.  And to top it off I had a technology fail (one of many) and it isn't in focus...  Watch at your own risk.

My initial thoughts:  I thought it was a mess (as expressed above).  I did think it got better after the pee break.  And I was trying really hard to be better about releasing.

D's Thoughts:  (These are a little less precise than last time so read at your own risk)

First big thing, I am not sure the bareback thing is his deal.  Second, everything from the beginning until after the potty break (hilarious by the way) you were death gripped on for deal life.  You were trying to vocalize calm and steady which is great, but your body reads so different.  RELAX and follow.

9:49-10:17  Some of the best trot work I've seen you have on him!  The only pick is that shorter reins would have made you have a better feel of him and help control it all a smidgen more.  You are kind of like, "hey look he is stretching but my hands are still by my face"
11:12  He just gets stuck on the left side.  I would have leg yielded him left or circled 12 m OR you can try playing around with just slightly maneuvering his shoulders right and left between your reins.

14:30  Notice your arms.  What are they saying to you? (All the tension went straight to your arms and worse yet they were chickened out to the side.  If you were doing yoga you would lose your zen center with those arms.)

14:33  You were together and you gave just the right amount and at the right time!!!  Yes now we have better arms.  They are at our side and we have a flow through your body.

14:41-14:45  Looked awesome!
15:50-15:54  Another great success.
16:16  You kept all that up until you wanted to make a right turn and you went "OK right turn" and your hands come up in the air about center of the arena.  Those elbows lock back out and he starts jigging again.  Think "Ahhh let's fall right" instead of "OK we can make this RIGHT turn"

16:27  You widen your hands because he is stretching, but you feel no contact.  And you are like "yo where's my weight", when you are feeling that, your reins are too long.  Everything from here to the end is due to your reins being too long.  Elbows always stay at your side.  You can push your hands forward to find length in his neck.  When it is all rein, it drops him on his face.  Stretch WITHIN the contact whether it is half an inch or more than that.  When you can push your hands forward, he follows, and if you run out of arm you can maybe float a touch of rein.  But for now practice only doing it by pushing your hands forward toward his ears.  Then bring them back to your side.

When Stinker stretches, you have to think "sit back half halt with my core and slow my body down even more" because that is hard core work for him too.  Especially coming back into work.  You need to get your reins shorter and that would have solved a lot this ride.  Also, you need to change the way you let your brain speak and think to yourself.  Instead of thinking "ah ha here is an exercise to fix that!" say "hey look it's cool in this position or to move this way" (in your best stoner voice).

Next time I want to see more circles and changes of direction more often.  This way it is a "flow from here to here to here" feeling instead of the current "ooooook we trotted around the outside and whew we held it together.  Maybe we'll do something different ooooook now.  Prep and stay calm and relax."  Just typing that makes me tense.

Take home message:
I really need to work on being better at giving and half halting with my body.  I also need to play at being a chill stoner instead of the tense neurotic mess I am.

I love the way D explains things.  She is very blunt and hits the nail on the head but it is always in a fun positive way that makes me laugh.  Although apparently she has made students cry...but I always find the humor in the situation.

Someone got a bath and was shiny and pretty for all of 30 seconds.


  1. now you've got me wondering if i should try the video lesson thing haha. i frequently record lessons in session - which is useful bc i can see my errors, hear (sometimes) the coach's correction, and then see how both i and the horse change - but then again perhaps there's an advantage in letting the coach really analyze the footage too... will be curious to hear how you feel these lessons help you progress in the long run!

    1. I am loving these lessons for several reasons. It is really helping me get a feeling for what we actually look like. When I'm riding what I think is happening isn't what we actually look like and this helps to develop the feeling to reality. It is forcing me to be more independent. I don't have some one telling me the problem and how to fix it. I have to identify the problem and fix it. If I am missing something or need to alter a correction I find out after the fact but it is all on me. Also, D knows my riding and Stinker quite well so it works for us. All of that being said, if I had access to D or a trainer of her caliber on a regular basis I would not be doing this. As much as I love S, Stinker and I need to get this dressage down before we can really feel comfortable doing anything else.