Fighting last week

We’re not on the same page with the right shoulder.

Trying to control it in canter on a circle, while keeping something of a tempo, and staying the line – she went complete monkey turd.

I’m only asking for ONE volte, what, 30 seconds?

Gasp, who’s bothering her in her own personal flailing yoga session!?

Thought it would be just fine to hold it with the outside rein.  You know, since on the left she was steady there the day before.  And very handy if we are to one day leave Training Level…

Legs

Big hissy fit when attempting to turn for the outside right rein on a 20 m.

“fine.   how about I don’t canter at all then?  see!  happy now!!?  or scrape into the fence? yeah.  Who’s your pretty now!?”

We argued.

It got better.  I’m wondering how it will be later this week.  Today we did it for 3 strides.  Did I sit straighter?

There’s a show in the middle of this argument, this weekend!  Perfect timing…

 

16 thoughts on “Fighting last week

  1. Of course. This always happens right before a show. Things you thought you had taken care of become…impossibly difficult. Why? Oh, why not? Oh, horses. Deep breath, slow down, and go back a step to what you know how to do. Relaxation, straightness, rhythm, you know the drill. Find your harmony again, then ask for that circle and feel where it starts to go wrong. Is the outside rein a little too strong, a little too restrictive, preventing her from bending? Or is the outside rein missing? Are you aligned correctly? How’s your seat? Relaxed? Gripping anywhere? Three strides of good is better! Next time, Five strides! I have a show in 10 days and so of course EVERYTHING is falling apart…

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    1. Love this!
      Too little outside rein, and then inconsistent, and then too strong. All in one. She hated it. I kept on insisting that no, you can actually canter while being straight on a cirlce. Then, I tense up.
      Better when we tried it again -but still no true straightness, even when we go straight, gaaaah. One more try before the show, then she’s got some time off. Glad to hear I’m not alone in this!!!
      OK, I’m staying tuned for your show #2 update! 🙂

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      1. Ha ha, yes! Today I realized that the reason she rushes when I allow her to go straight (after shoulder in on the circle) is because I’m letting her be on her forehand, so she is unbalanced and she HAS to run on the forehand. Duh! As soon as I helped her rebalance a bit with some strategic half halts (and a bit of outside rein!), she did better. Dressage is WAY too hard some days, and today was one of those days. Thank God for a nice little trail ride afterwards.

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        1. It’s the degree of difficulty that is so irking, yet still so alluring… Oh, I sure DO miss being able to just head out on a cool off walk afterward, so good for both!
          Had Valiosa out on two trail outings with a friends trailer – awesome – but it’s not the same as just heading out to wind down after an arena ride, just breathing out 😉

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  2. Ah! Circles! This discussion will continue on up the levels. This past winter in Florida I had a whole lesson on circles and how to ride them after I had made a pigs ear of my 8m voltes in the Prix St. George. We did the voltes but Biasini would come out of the volte with his haunches in and then we would take a stride to straighten before the half pass. Not enough time for that! So my lesson was all about keeping him straight on the circle. There are points on the circle and in between the points there are corners so the lesson started with riding corners and halting in the corner. Did I have him straight ( as in no quarters in or shoulder in or neck bent in or out). Then we went on to apply this concept to the 10 m circles. I found it mentally challenging at first but it worked! So carry on and have hope.

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    1. Oh Anne, you mean this won’t end!!! Gulping… 😉
      The whole straightness and perfection on the volte makes me itch all over. Something about being completely aware of how little I know. Concious awareness of the lacking skill, ain’t pretty 🙂
      I truly appreciate hearing you’ve had to struggle with this, even at Prix St. George – makes it feel as if there indeed IS hope for me and miss young grey mare 🙂
      I’m carrying on! Thank you!!!

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  3. You may have to forget about depending mainly on the outside rein for a while and try reinforcing her shoulder position with your outside knee while just keeping that rein as a sort of “wall” lying against her neck. Another reason she doesn’t stay straight on the circle (I know that sounds strange, but they do need to be straight in order to stay on a curve) might be because the haunches are traveling in or traveling out instead of staying straight. Try moving the haunches one way or the other just to see what happens.

    Meanwhile, my mare and I were having a heated discussion about her unwillingness to stand at a halt next to a gelding–so she just reared up and hung there for what seemed like a minute but of course was not. Only bright side to this is knowledge that she is strong enough to hold a nice levade should I ever decide airs above the ground would be a good idea.

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    1. Hahaha, mares! Love it. AND you stayed on, and she didn’t squirt away on a banshee sprawl afterward, double score for you!! 🙂

      Good point on the outside knee, I haven’t relied on that at all, must try. I mainly try with the whole lower leg, which obviously isn’t working, so time to try something different! !!

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      1. Yeah, the whole leg often tells the horse to move laterally, while the knee is able to just push part of the body into the correct position, especially if you’re initiating a turn.

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    1. I just need to hear that sometimes 😉
      I’m trying again! Big part of the problem is that so far I’ve never really HAD HER ON the outside rein in canter, too green, only in trot.
      Then I thought it was time for some big girl pants and she felt they didn’t fit at all!

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