Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Video Lesson #3

This one is from the beginning of September.  It was one of my earlier rides with stirrups after I sprained my ankle, so my left leg isn't as effective as it should be.  This doubly sucks because he is always braced on the left side and requires a lot of leg.

My Initial Thoughts:  I didn't do as good of job riding him (I had a very good non videoed ride before this) and I was carrying tension which caused him to be more tense than our previous ride.  I wasn't as good with the release and he got grouchy and was shoving his head out quickly and then promptly sucking back.  I also thought I let him hang out in the grey area when I was trying to unlock his neck.

D's Thoughts:
Overall, so much better in your control and his frame and the trot.
1:42  That left turn was much better.  You still need to make him yield those shoulders and neck more.  Over all the neck set is better and not so locked.
2:28  When he locks left try crossing the left hand over the wither until he gives in the jaw and shoulder.  Knock him right with your left leg as dramatically as you need to until he does.
2:52  Your sitting is much better, but it still could be slightly slower here.
3:01  When he pulls down and wants to run you need to sit farther back.  The down is good but he is bringing his shoulders with him and that is why he runs because then he is falling down a hill.  If you are sitting back you can counter the weight and attempt to tell him to keep his weight back.
3:46  Notice your body rhythm change.  You are choppy again.  You need to work on that looseness in the transition.  Try the circle leg yield out then ask in the leg yield exercise to gain more control in the transition.
3:55  You were correct to praise here.  Good timing.
4:04  More outside rein and half halts.  I want to see his neck a little straighter to the left when you aren't on a bended line.
4:16  I would make the canter time less and do more transitions trot to canter.  You are controlling the canter in its entirety better.  I know it's fun to ride when it is nice but the transitions and control need the work and you are ready for that.
4:27  That was pretty decent.  Nice job organizing yourself.
4:31  Slow sitting.  He got tense, you got tense, and that's why you needed to resort to your talk out loud because I'm losing control default.
4:48  Good rhythm push and drop his neck more there.
5:13  Decent timing.  I was just getting ready to say you are making too many pointless rounds around the arena.
5:26  That looks better.  Cross that hand over and work that left bend.
5:50  That's where I want to see his neck in general next time.
6:15  Cross that hand and move him over get after that left bend more for next time.
6:42  Bump off that left leg.
7:00  Super nice.
7:02  Mover him off that left some.  Try smaller circles or spirals to help develop that left bend.  He is wanting to stretch down and I like how you have a connection in your hand up there but now you need to find that connection down there.
8:30  I am going to guess you ended up sitting too deep and pushed too hard for him to jet forward.  Because the transition was balanced and clam as it was happening.  I wouldn't have abandoned it.  You recovered the trot nicely, but then you just avoided the left canter.  Go do it 10x.
11:56  I would have gone left.  He was really hoping you wouldn't.
12:18  Good trot.
12:41  Good stretch.

Your homework is more left turning now.  Get after suppling that left side.  I want to see more transitions through all three gaits.  I want you to start playing with very shallow one loop serpentines in trot and canter and a slightly lower neck.

My to do list:
Better release
Better body control
No avoiding the left
More transistions
Add in one loop serpentines


  1. i love how positive D is with all her commentary. and also what is it about turning left that is so difficult?!? my mare and i literally had a lesson on the same thing recently that left me feeling ridiculously inept (like a zoolander omniturner or something ughhhh)

    1. D is the best. She is the reason I love dressage. After good lessons I always feel inept but with time we usually seem to manage to get it together an transfer to a different struggle bus. You and Izzy will get there (I'm currently back in May and totally addicted. I haven't even been playing candy crush because I've been reading your blog)