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Dressage Chit Chat #30

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YAY Rex!! He looks lovely Shantel, can't tell he had half a year off!

How'd the show CSA?

Smithereens, sorry Lieto's had a rough go, hope the trainer switch goes well, those are always stressful. I've had the same dressage trainer for a decade, and have yet to find a good event/jump coach in that same amount of time. He's so beautiful, I can't wait to see you two tearing up the show ring.

Things are . . . weird here. Sold my mare (yay) and have found a lease horse! He's been here for a month, he's done 3rd level, we'll have the winter to fine tune some things (he thinks changes are too fun, and is really really lazy, so medium trots and extended gaits are . . . nada, which we knew, but I think we can get there). He's no superstar, but he'll be great to have something to get out and show and clinic for a year before I look for my next big horse. He's loving life though, he was turned out all day today- hasn't been turned out, at all, in YEARS. Guess he used to be naughty. He's happy with the pasture in the middle, and next to a girlfriend.

Riley has been a walking disaster. Or not walking, as it is. He finally blew the abcssess, I was going to give him one more day and hop on him, and the day my mare left, he threw a fit and strained his check ligament. The next week, he had neuro symptoms. Looked drunk walking, fell over and scraped his leg. We caught it really quick, as it was fall shots day, and did a round of steroids/antibiotics/etc, and he was improving by the next day, but I thought we might lose him. Still have no idea what it was about. Concussion? Virus? Who knows.

And then he tore the check ligament. It looks AWFUL. The fetlock is sinking, he's really lame. Makes me so queasy looking at it, thinking about it. But he should make a good recovery in 6-8 months. It's going to be a loooooong winter of stall rest.

Bennigan it still chugging along. Need to renew my ads, I let them expire when I sold my mare as it looked like he'd be my only ride. I really want to event him, point him for AECs next year though. Hs's such a nice guy. We'll do our first horse trial next weekend at a recognized course, so look out for pics.

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Wow Shantel, Rex looks great, and very nicely recovered. It's always nice to have them recovered like that. So super that he's remembered his lessons and looks so ready to move along. You have to be happy with everything.

KTS glad you sold the mare and found something to ride. Sounds like you have some challenges, but interesting ones. I'm so sorry to hear about Riley. Another long recovery for him has to be hard.

All is going well here. Rubin is working well, getting fit and figuring his things out nicely. Mackenzie has settled in. She did very well in the Danish Mare Elite testing. The trip from Denmark caused her to loose a great deal of weight but she's gaining it back. I was able to get on her and she's fairly uncomplicated. Green, but uncomplicated. I'll see if I can do pictures but I may have to just link to my FB account.

Edited by PMJ

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Shantel-Rex looks good. Even with the extra time off he still looks to be a nice ride.

KTS-Riley needs to be covered in bubble wrap and put in a padded stall. Maube then he can survive a year without getting injured. Congrats on selling your mare. Can't wait to see pics of you and Bennigan.

PMJ-I think we need pics of this mare.

Show went ok. Did Intro B and used it to see where my horses head was at. Which was pretty much in the clouds. Cheese held her head up and was tense through out the test. U had a ride in between someones student so she stayed at E since she was reading for them. Cheese spooked at her then spooked at the next couple letter markers. Never thought I would have to get her used to a lone person with paper next to the ring. Judge was one of the first trainers so I didn't get to bad of a lecture. I was happy with the fact we did the movement. Got the downward transition when I asked. Chese just threw a couple jig steps at the free walk. So after that I decided to school her for a good hour before the next test, IntrpC. Get her listening and bending/relaxing good. Took her out of the warm up and immeadiately she tensed up. So did some small figure 8s to keep her focused. Yesy was really good for us. Had a few tense moments but overall more relaxed with more impulsion. Came off the second trot circle at E and overheard the jusge say 7. I got all giddy happy and left things fall apart for a bit. The downward transitions were what I dreaded the most. Usually takes some convincing to get Cheese to drop. They were tense but totally off of seat. Big deal for us. Ended with a 58%. Our first 50s score and a real nice ride for away from home. I like to pretend the equitaion class did not happen. Lets just say Cheese in a ring full of horses is not a good idea unless it is warm up.

Couple thing I learned. Going down center line is hard. Don't anticipate my horse anticipating. Doesn't end well. People only nelong at the short end of the dressage ring. Otherwise expect some sort of reaction from Cheese.No matter how tired I feel an hours wirth of trotting is nothing to Cheese.Will see if I can get a few pics from the BO and post them.

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Okay, dumb question--how do I post photos here?

I'm packing up both my horses to go to the trainers for a week before he leaves for Florida. I'm so missing going down this year, but work is just too busy. And having two horses this year makes a big difference.

csa, sounds like things are on track for you!!! Centerlines are hard. Rubin was wiggly and silly at his first show, so that's one of the things we practiced a whole lot, still do with him--that and halting. It's one of those things I used to never think of practicing, but then someone said, why give those points away?

Love to see photos.

So, off to pack. I'm looking forward to seeing what they will learn. I've only ridden Mackenzie about 9 or 10 times, but she is a real blast to ride. Nice, forward and willing and uncomplicated. I think the spring will be pretty fun.

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Thanks guys.

Pamela, you can post photos by uploading them say to your FB account. Once they are uploaded, open up each photo you want to share to the full size, right click on it, click on PROPERTIES, and copy the URL that comes up in the little grey window. Then when you are making a post here, you just click on the little photo icon (two to the right of the smiley face above) and paste the URL. Tada.

So this Saturday I was finally able to long line Rex. I had been wanting too all week but getting home after 630pm after putting in 10 hrs left me with no energy.

Anyways, it was our first long lining session in over 6 months. He was good. Two little moments where he was being a fresh 4 y/o but not bad. Once going left a little half rear kick deal and then going to the right he still did his typical "I dont want to go to the right so all of a sudden Im going to duck out left at the rail" movement. Hes stiff to the right and was like that before - going to the left has always been easier. So nothing new but he went on about his business with a little encouragement.

It was nice to watch him go though as he looks so mature and grown up now even without any muscle. I am catching glimpses of how he could look in the future and his movement and wow. Hes a nice boy if I do say so myself.

So wonderful horse husband videographer was there watching and took some video with his cell (our phones have HD capibilities so they are not bad at all) so I got the last part to upload (the others were jumpy and freezing in a different video setting) and I also took stills from the vids to see too.

Im a little rusty with the lines and need to get a little quicker with keeping him from losing the right position and try to keep the ducking from even happening. But not too shabby with over 6 months off.


Some stills

little naughtiness






And the link to my FB photos (its public)

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i don't keep up very well with this...just had to post.

we went in a clinic with someone really good a month ago (PM for name!) and he saw that v was basically really tense about leg aids and basically didnt know how to move off my legs. it was really eye opening and very encouraging. well i can now say today, we have a really nice shoulder-in, haunches in, AND half-pass (GREAT canter 1/2 pass to the right, still not so great to the left lol but WAY better than a month ago!!). and his collected canter is getting amazing, he just needs to get stronger. but he no longer runs, and he knows how to listen to my legs and seat so i don't just have to pull on him! PLUS, we had 4 clean flying changes today (tried 6, 2 were late behind)!!! he is the 1st horse i have ever taught flying changes to, and i have never owned or leased a horse with changes, i've just ridden a couple at the barn sometimes. and he didn't get worked up or anything!! PLUS we got a couple 1/4 pirouettes, AND some half steps!!

it's amazing, i feel very encouraged. i was really feeling discouraged cause even though we were doing alright at 2nd level (scores in the mid/lower 60s), it really felt crappy and it felt like if i let him go it would all fall apart. it just felt like he was capable of so much more and i was riding him so badly but i didn't know how to fix it, i wanted to quit and just event him lol. but i feel very hopeful now! AND we're going to show 2nd and 3rd next year, and i can't wait to show 2nd again cause i think we could do really well!!!!

ALSO, i got to ride my trainers old horse like a week ago, 3 times. the 1st time we did 2 sets of 3 tempis (not very well lol) and some crappy pirouettes. but on the 3rd day we did some sets of ones!!! and our pirouettes were wayyy better! it was great :D i finally feel like i am FEELING again haha if that makes sense. i was so discouraged for a while because i read so much (in books and on the internet) about how dressage was soooo hard and you have to do all this different stuff, and it really IS really hard but you also have to trust yourself i think and trust your feel and not try and overthink it, because you can understand theory all you want but what it comes down to is actually doing it enough (most of the time doing it wrong haha) and finally getting it right and feeling it be right!! i am definitely still working really hard to develop my position and effectiveness, but i feel very encouraged.

also my trainer is realllly nice and lets me ride lots of fun horses (i'm her working student). anyways i helped her break this 3yo friesian about 2 months ago (i lunged her while she rode), and she put about 20 rides on her and i've been riding her 5 days a week since then!! and she is SO fun because you can feel the progress everyday. and you can feel when you're screwing it up, b/c she hasn't had any bad training so anything bad she does is either my fault for not fixing it, or my fault for riding her wrong. but she is really starting to go forward and i have weight in my hands and she listens when i ask her to slow down and doesn't run around like a freight train haha. i'm really excited too b/c her owner wants her to show next year, but we also have this 3yo dutch horse that my trainer is training and is going to show next year, so for their 1st show (probably a schooling show since they'll both be most likely wild, well maybe not the freisian but the dutch horse lol) she said i might ride the friesian :D eee i'm so excited.

i'm just very excited haha i should just journal or something but im too lazy to write so i posted it here sorry guys

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