Identifying Your Training Issues – And Comping Up With A Plan!

Let’s do this again!

Last training update post in early June, Current Riding Struggles, with many pictures was a hit, so here we go with another one.

The purpose of this post is to highlight some, not all, of the holes in our training.  You can try this on your own too, looking at pictures and identifying some of them, and deciding what to focus on.  It really helps!

But first, check out Gray Mare, finally using her inside hind.  (At least sometimes.)  Cheers for improvement!

engaging the hind leg in canter transition


Today, shots of some of the “fuglies” I’m working on.  It’s one thing to know what’s right, a whole other thing to actually ride it, right..?

Welcome to chime in with anything in comments below.

Sometimes some sassiness.  Because she wants to have an opinion about many things.  Not super often, so this is more of an observation than anything.

bucking into canter


Riding from the outside rein.  Everybody knows this is the key, still, how hard is it to let go of relying on the inside rein!?!  Super hard for me, I forget to think about it as soon as other stuff crops up.  Maybe you’re like me, where one hand wants to do more of the work?

Here, releasing the right is a piece of cake.  The left though, in the other direction, keeps doing too much, and it’s harder to ride her off the outside, right, rein correctly.

riding from the outside rein


Staying centered over the back.  Even when preparing for something else.  Or, seriously, extra well when prepping for something.

Coming in to a loop of counter canter, I’m suddenly leaning in through the corner, “helping?”, I don’t know.  It’s not helping 🙂

leaning in to corners


Not falling apart in the corners.  Here’s where she’s gotten too strong in the canter on the short side, I’m no longer riding from the seat, she’s fallen off the outside rein, and we’re cowboying around from the sneaky left hand.

Excellent way to put the horse on the forehand and give up any chance of staying together like a team across the diagonal.    I put this picture here so I can look back at it one day and say “Hey, this is gone now.”

turning for the inside rein

Training goal:  Establish a truer connection on the right rein.  (Yay for setting a goal!)

Getting it right sometimes.  So much easier for her to do something, anything, coming out of the corner like this!

balanced in canter through corner


Blowing and snorting.  OK, maybe not a real issue, (healthy really.) but when she’s processing something, releasing and letting go, while cantering, this goes on.  And on.

Sometimes she does it so many times I’ll loose all focus and forget what we were working on.  (Her party trick, sneaky way to end canter and walk.)  Somebody asked from another post what I meant, and why I don’t ignore it, so here you go.   Classy seat!

blowing and snorting in canter


Engaging the inside hind more on the circle.  Forever issue for many.  For her, super challenging, she’s gotten away with not really doing it much, and she can get flustered there.  It will be so cool when she’ll mold her self around the inside aid, easily.  One day!

engaging the inside hind on trot circle

Anyone who wants to chime in on Training Issues are welcome!

16 thoughts on “Identifying Your Training Issues – And Comping Up With A Plan!

  1. I am not chiming in because I’m an expert but more a partner on the same journey. In my last lesson Shanea had me ride through the corner like I was doing a shoulder in: as soon as we went around the corner bring her shoulders off the wall. It helped us to stay straight and not lean through.

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    1. Yes to the “off the wall”. It’s when we get “clingy” there, that I start doing other, funky things, to make it through the corner. Last two rides I’ve found we do it well, as long as I pay attention…
      As soon as there’s something else to focus on, the corner is an issue again. Good fun… 😉


  2. All of these issues are things I have been through. I had a horse who used to snort like mad and I decided he was swearing at me or at least talking back. I wrote a post back in the spring about “riding with crutches” that might help the motorcycle tilt and the right/left too strong issues. Also I just posted with two videos and you can hear my coaches instructions about the corners so maybe take a look (“Discouragement and the Visual Learner) and see it it might help. Anyway….carry on! You are doing a good job!

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    1. The riding with crutches is definitely a good visual help. Still, I manage to throw in “other stuff” as soon as the focus goes out the window. Slowly, slowly being able to manage “more” things simultaneously during the ride.
      Heading off to your post to check out the videos!!!

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        1. 🙂 Thank you for cheering for us!
          Another thing I find challenging is that the riding goes well during a lesson, confident in following directions, but then, the other 4 or so rides during the week, it’s hard to keep “on the straight path”.
          I find that I fluctuate between keeping a too high frame (for a young horse) and riding with too long reins. Ah, the never ending list of issues 🙂


  3. A couple of stray thoughts. Maybe factual, or not…
    A horse with a tight neck/TMJ/esophagus can’t really blow and snort, so as you suggested it may be a sign of a muscular release in these areas for Valiosa when she does finally let loose into some snorts. Tell her olé! and to go blow it out your saddlebags, mare!
    Second stray thought. Young green horses usually need the support and guidance of reins held rather widely apart. But I’m thinking that she’s at the level now where that may not be helping her. Keeping your hands together over her withers and your elbows closer to your sides may also help you keep from tilting in on the turns.
    Will eagerly await the next chapter.

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    1. Definitely a large release for her, and it’s a positive one, with the blowing and snorting. I’m still thinking she’s a smart cookie though, and has figured out, that if she keeps it up, we can canter two circles while doing it, and then fall down on a dead stop to a shuffling walk break. This mare is smart!! 😉

      And YES to the elbows at the sides (make it happen!! Now!), as soon as I can get there. I’m hoping maybe more consistently if I focus on it, possibly by September. Seriously, it’s SO hard to retrain muscles to do things OTHER than what they have been doing, right?
      For the hands, that is my ongoing struggle. Great position, for three strides, then they’re doing something else. Holding them wide is usually a sign of trying to restrict the frame, so, yeah, still too restrictive.
      Every time I get to look at some new pics, the same thought pops up – Give More.
      Working on this – and, to keep things interesting, there’ll be lots of pictures coming up during the next few weeks!

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      1. The antidote to using the blowing and snorting as an excuse to grind to a halt is to allow the blow and snort, but refuse to let her pull the reins out of your hands and keep them for herself. You give “a little” to allow for the head/neck motion, then promptly take back what you gave. My mare does the same thing. Maybe it’s a mare thing? Sheesh…

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        1. Yeah, I’m going to go with a Mare thing 😉
          Seriously, today during the ride, she took it ALL. I’m envisioning athletic, sporty canter, with blowing and releasing a little. She pulled me out of the saddle almost 😉
          I’m glad no one sees us most of the time haha!
          On that note though Alli – it really helps discussing it here. Makes me more aware of stuff as a rider, and I’m pretty sure this will be something I’ll work on during the rest of the summer. Thank you!!!

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          1. It also helps that you get to find out that lots of other people have the exact same issues. For example, I have spent several months now persuading my elbows to stay in one place: hanging straight down from my shoulders, close in to my sides, and not flapping around either forward or backward. Yeah, right…

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          2. So hard…

            I think I’m going to make it a point to go out and audit some more this fall. Too hot right now. Audited the Hilda Gurney clinic this summer, but would like to see more. It’s really helpful, watching other riders. Just all about time – never enough!


          3. Thanks for hooking me up with the dates! Yes, Davis is within very reasonable distance! Will see if I can pull this off! I’ve been wanting to audit one of his clinics. Watched some tape, but of course it’s not the same! August date is coming up soon, will see what I can pull off. Thank you much!!

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  4. Ha, this lengthy list looks a bit like mine, for “Rider Issues….” I do and will always love riding, but once you master one issue, it seems like another issue will come up….but we still love it!!!!! 🙂 🙂

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