You’re Not The Only One With a Tighter Horse In the Outdoor Arena

We’ve been schooling outside a bit – she’s much more upright and distracted out there.

Good stuff!

Mostly, I walk her on the property for conditioning on varying footing. Super helpful for her walk, so much more ground winning than a year ago. But when we’re allowed to go in one of the outdoor arenas it’s worth it with some schooling there!

tense horse in outdoor ring

horse more forward in canter outdoors

Lately she’s been forward in canter, which is not usually her thing, only to become really strong if I get fooled into too much on the inside rein. Like this ⇓ 🙂 Then she just takes off with us both.

downstride in canter

Or she’ll mix it up with a dead-stop fake-spook to keep things interesting. Mostly, I wait for her to take a breath, and then we go again as if nothing happened.

riding through spooking
My horse, a breathing tripod. Ever seen one who can place their hinds this tight? One touch and we’d tip over…

Riding Silverfish takes a lot of patience. All worth it!

dressage outdoors

As soon as it gets baking hot even before 10 am, I know we won’t be out there too much. Taking advantage when we can – show you more of that next week!

Riding Troubles – Free For All

A bunch of pictures where the horse looks Game On…

With stuff looking alright.  What’s fun with that, if it only lasts a few moments here and there..?

Today is Training Trouble Day!

Plenty of issues going on over here, wasn’t hard to pick some!  Come on, share your most pressing riding issues.  If anything, just to cheer me up.  🙂  I’ll go first!

She’s still very unsteady in the connection.

We’ll be going along nice, smooth, focused and together, and then tweeeeek!  She’ll shorten, stiffen, and wobble her neck.

twisted neck in dressage

Or, she can do a short, beautiful half 10 meter radius in canter, only to have major steering troubles on a 20.  Keeps you on your toes for sure.

dressage horse over bending to the stiff side
She’s still very wobbly. But in a stiff way. Like riding a frozen seal. Never rode one, but I imagine that’s what it would feel like.

Neck bulges out when going left, and does tweaky things at the poll when going right. 

Common for many horses to have the more difficult side on the right (which is a sign that they need to be able to stretch out the left side more.), but who’d think it would take this long to work through it.

Next, some new random spooking.

not leaning forward when spooking
More forward horse – more on the aids – more reactivity. At least in her case. So spooks happen some more.

Along with interesting naughtiness.

horse bucking from legs too far back

Spookiness by entire entrance of arena – didn’t happen the first month.  Ugly over-bending to the inside, sometimes the only way to get through there…

bending away from spookiy objects

Random piloting errors. 

This is coming on to the centerline…  Or more, “How not to come on to the centerline.”  I get sloppy in preparing, and then she’ll come off the outside rein.  This happens a lot when training on my own too much.

how not to steer onto center line


Lastly, here’s something I’d like to fix.  Tomorrow would be good…  Or at least half way fix, because you never really “solve” anything, just learn to ride it better.

Anyway.  Coming in through a corner, she feels fantastic, smooth, and light.

riding straight before a corner

Only to completely wobble away a second later!

horse over bending through corners

Here, friends, is where we are a bit stuck for now.  It’s simply too much for her.  Riding it more conservative, she’ll do just fine, but when she works a little more up, we tend to get all over the place because she’s not exactly through and I’m not doing the right thing for her there.

Very tricky and I’m not helping at all.  Few months ago, there wasn’t any problems with the corners, so I know I’m the one creating it.


Okido, that’s all for today.  Ending with Miss Lovely being lovely.

dressage horse stretching on circle
Let’s hear something about your troubles!! 🙂

Schooling Vs. Showing

We’ve all been there.

Schooling the greenie at home, maybe with somewhat whacked out geometry and “fair enough” precision.  But you know, getting a feel that;  Yes, this is finally sort of coming along!

Then on show day, almost half the communication is lost.  Not for you?  It’s OK to smile at this photo bomb anyway.

At home, Miss Grey Mare, going really well.

cantering through corners
Good canter, no four beats
cantering straight
Straight, stepping in well underneath, no freaking out.
horse not bracing in the neck
Listening, going forward, not bracing or curling behind…
Elinor Yee
Love her!

And then, in the showring.  Valiosa’s take on it –

lengthening canter with young horse
Canter Lengthening – “Weeeh, we go up and down!  Short steps now!”
15 M canter cirle - "Let's counterflex!"
15 M canter circle – “Let’s just go straight here!  No, still canter circle?  How about I almost trot instead?”
horse looking at camera at dressage show
“Eeeek, a camera! Sure, some  1500 shots of me on that blog, but a camera here at the show, – now that’s just too much!”