Thursday, November 12, 2015

Video Lesson #11

As I mentioned in the lesson before this, we have a new format!!  D is going to give me a list of exercises to do in the lesson and all lessons are to be done in the ring. There is a very good reason for me not riding in the ring and it is the horses that are pastured in that area.  They are all assholes (mine is in this pasture too, but he can't be an asshole this time).  They are all super curious and my worst fear came true.  The camera got knocked over by the giant draft.  At least he didn't walk on it.  Back to the point at hand (watch the last 30s of the video and you can see/hear him) the list....*insert dramatic music here* (PS the videos are getting super long so I am breaking things up, but my OCD self still wants the whole video at the beginning.)

The List: 25 Minutes total
3 One loop serpentines both directions in the trot (i.e. KXH)
1 Leg yield from the quarter line to the rail each way
1 Trot lengthen
1 whole arena with 20 m circles at A and C both directions in the canter

The Result:
25 Minutes total
3 One loop serpentines both directions in the trot (i.e. KXH)
1 Leg yield from the quarter line to the rail each way
1 Trot lengthen
1 whole arena with 20 m circles at A and C both directions in the canter (to the left not so much)

My Initial Thoughts:Despite my whining, I think I got all the goodies. The end is cut off, but all that was in there was me getting him relaxed again. Also please ignore the clip job S is going to clean up the lines for me when she gets a chance (I have a post about his clip job that is waiting for pictures). I was actually really pleased with this ride. I had flops in it, but overall it felt like he was really stepping up to the plate for me. I am also riding him in S's dressage saddle (county fusion narrow tree 17.5 seat).Thoughts on the 1 loops: We kept getting stuck, so I started adding in circles at X (I also wasn't getting all the way to X like I thought I was) and I do think that helped.
Thoughts on the leg yields: I need to get his haunches in line. They are swinging right all the time and this is especially apparent in the leg yield to the left. 5:45 leg yield left=fail. He kept getting me dumped off the left side. I need to be sure to keep my weight to the right. After that he decided cantering and being a saddlebred was easier than work.
Thoughts on the lengthens: I am not entirely sure if we actually lengthened the stride or just sped up. They did feel ok at the time. One was across the diagonal at 13:20ish. The other was down the long side at 15:5ish.
Thoughts on the canter:I think our right lead looked pretty good. We had some bobbles in places and the down transition took way too long, but overall I thought it was good. He was the one that offered the canter and I just rolled with it.
Left lead canter= UGH... Our first attempt at 17:50 he picked up the correct lead behind and incorrect in the front (I think). It felt like a hot mess. The next time I tried to take his head right and put that shoulder in like you suggested. 19:30 we had some form of trot/canter. I think he was correct, but it felt like he was cantering trotting cantering in the back. I don't know if in this moment I just need to push him forward or bring him back. Everything felt very messy and in the moment I couldn't tell what was correct and what wasn't. At 23:20 I tried just to ride through it, but there was a lot of breaking and this that and I can't tell what is and isn't happening in the moment. All I know is it feels like a whole lot of crazy. 26:15 I am not sure what was going on I think he flipped things on me but I don't know. Even with the video...Teresa fail. I tried again at 26:50.
Then pain in the butt draft knocked over the camera. I don't think I tried any more transitions. Mostly I just wanted to get him back to where he started in the beginning. We did trot circles both ways, another leg yield, some three loop serpentines. And I think that covers everything.D's Thoughts:It is never a bad thing to go back and make him relax, so doing that at the end is good. Overall, you need better leg to communicate with his hind leg. Meaning you need to make these two separate body parts act like one. This is most apparent in your leg yields. It is also evident in the rest of the video, but it will be easier for you to make yourself aware in the leg yields.
Your first fix in this is to bring that leg farther back at all times, and even farther back in the leg yields. It is sometimes better in S's saddle, but still not where it should be. You were less braced in your knee, but mostly your leg was by his shoulder. Especially in your two point, which is the dead opposite of the effect you want. You should have your leg more towards his bum.
The tempo of the trot was much better through out the whole video so good for you on that. You actually did well with the left lead canter. What you felt was his wanting to change but he couldn't because you had all the right doors closed. He was hopping around, but not changing so that is a good job on your part.
1:25 I know we talked about bend in the same direction, but here he is too locked left, so in this case I would circle right or bend right.
1:49 Kick haunches left
2:00 Beautiful give in the neck here.
2:37 Push his should right more on the last quarter of the circle.
2:56 Another good give.
3:07 Bend left and push off the left leg. He is locked in the left shoulder which is why his haunches are right on the long side after you change directions.
4:40 Push him off the inside leg so you have a more loud outside rein to whoa with. This will help the transition come faster. It is a good downward into a nice trot.
5:07 Keep that leg under and push his haunches. You leg needs to control this.
5:49 Stronger outside half halt and more right leg back. Again back to the fact his right leg needs to be a part of your body and right leg. That way when you give an aid, his leg does what you want.
6:25 Work the neck down.
6:36 Outside half halt more consistently.
6:45 This is the leg thing in two point I mentioned earlier.
9:21 Tell him no saddlebred neck and take it away.
9:38 Your braced leg is causing the tension
13:03 The best one loop serpentine.
13:34 Decent lengthen! Good girl!
14:24 Really nice through his body here.
15:18 Take that nose left
15:29 As you go make that turn right, take both hands right to guide those shoulders first.
16:58 Command more leg under and sideways in the leg yield
17:21 Best leg yield. Yet notice how his hind end looks here vs the other ones.

Overall, I liked how my outline worked for you guys and he looked more secure doing things in the sandbox.

My Thoughts:

I have been really impressed with him the last few rides.  He has really been focused on me and we have stayed relaxed and responsive.  I am doing a better job of using my leg, now I just need to get it back where it needs to be.  But at least it is on, and that is an improvement.  I feel like we have had a huge jump lately.  He is happy to walk at the beginning (not so much in the middle but that is improving).  I am really starting to identify holes, but that means we are making enough progress to have holes.

Today S rode him and I watched.  There was another girl who hasn't seen him in quite awhile there too and she was super impressed with how much he has changed.  I was also so proud of him.  He cantered to the left and managed to do a whole circle.  He broke a couple times in the beginning and there was some hopping, but I think that has to do with strength/a strong preference for the right lead.


  1. oooh i love the new format - as a rider i personally do much better with a little bit of structure, so having a 'to do' list appeals to me. also i love all the gifs! also very glad S did well with the ride :D

    1. Me too! I was a little terrified when I first saw the list but when I started riding it was really nice. I had something to keep my mind busy.
      I might be jinxing myself but I feel like Stinker is really stepping up. I can't wait until he gets to start jumping. The other day he jumped a BN(?) cabin when he was coming in.