rhosroyalvelvet

Kind Of Scared But... Critique Me...

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Hi. I'll add a little info first. This is me and Rhos my 22 year old 138/143 pony. He has shown all his life and done so well with us the past three years and came on from a dippy skinny generally poor pony to a fairly fat (fatter when showing) happy loved caring pony. We have pretty much retired him from showing now for this upcoming season because he is looking a bit old in the ring and we are starting dressage. We have done a few prelim tests that went quite well. My instructor has big plans for us this year and wants me to do silver spurs on Rhos and her pony. Silver spurs is a dressage comp that is mainly based on riding. I think I know my riding faults and am working on them. I know my instructor will help me right through any problems I have but It'll be good for people who don't know me and haven't seen my improve over the years to see what they think are my main riding faults. Thanks so much in advance I feel that this will really help me improve. Thanks again,
Rhosroyalvelvet

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first off i think it's very brave of you to show this video, but i would hope you wouldn't be afraid to ask for feedback in the future. the people on these boards are very helpful in my experience and try to offer constructive advice.

your pony looks super nice, and you can see that he is a seasoned performer. if you're from the emerald isle as it says in your siggie you're in ireland, not known for being super dressage enthusiasts so good for you in pursuing your interests despite that.

i only have two comments: your pony is BTV (behind the vertical) 90% of the time, which while maybe looking good on the surface is actually him avoiding the bit and not healthy for vertebrae 7-9 in the long run. you want that neck ideally to be a lot longer and nose not bent so close to his chest. maybe judges in ireland reward that, but classical dressage critics (and vets) would frown.

your hands are in your lap. this doesn't give you nor him much flexibility. think straight line from elbow, wrist, hand to his mouth. other than that you look like a very handsome pair, and good luck withh your future tests!!

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Okay. You asked for a critique, so here it is.

What I'm seeing is fairly common. The horse is uncertain about accepting the contact and the rider is forcing the issue - resulting in the head dropping behind the vertical and/or the horse leaning on the reins. I'm seeing both. His back end is not stepping under him far enough.

Far too many dressage riders - at ALL levels - ride the wrong end of the horse. Horses that are not used to being worked in a dressage frame will also lean on the hands instead of carrying themselves. As my instructor says: Don't hold his head up for him.

You need to use a bit more inside leg, a soft squeezing in rhythm with the stride. This is challenging at the rising trot, trust me, but it helps get the inside hind to come further under, which then results in the shoulders lifting and the head will *naturally* drop into the correct position once the rest of the horse is right.

Lift your hands a little and keep the contact soft, and PUSH the horse into it rather than PULLING him into shape. If the horse goes behind the vertical, give with the hands and add a touch more leg...same if the head goes too low. Never correct a too low or too high head with the reins. You don't want a "headset," you want proper impulsion.

The other issue I see is that your legs are a little noisy at times in the trot - not an issue at this level, but if you're serious about dressage, you want to work towards having your aids as close to invisible as possible. In a really good test each movement looks like the horse's own idea.

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Thanks so much. Most of these critiques are what I was expecting. When I looked at the video I saw him behind the verticle which is a thing I DO NOT want AT ALL. I hate the idea of overbending ponies and didn't realise it was happening.

For my hands being on my lap I am working on raising them but I don't know whether it's from breaking ponies and having a hand on each side of the neck to create a tunnel or whether it has developed from in the past opening my hand out to my knee to ask for inside flexion I now try to minimize the movement. They look lower than I feel they are when riding. Mabey it could also be me being a bit precautious because at one point in the summer I rode with my hands way too high (not so good) and have dropped them alot since. I do know about the straight line from elbow to hand to bit and do have it in mind when riding. Also today when riding I found when my reins got too long I lowered my hands. I ride with quite a long rein that is always slipping a BIG fault of mine that could be the reason either. If it is I will just shorten and raise my hands.

Yes he was being heavy in my hands that day. You see we did long and low with him for a while as he always stuch his head out horizontally when being given a long rein and now he reaches down. The problematic side effect is that he enjoyed it so much he is constantly leaning on me now looking for the rein. I did find if I pushed through more he raised his head but I am not very strong in my leg at the moment because I am trying to minimze the amount of fusing I am doing with my heels and I have always found it difficult to squeeze with my calf strong enough to get results with out having to sit in trot. So from that you would say canter should be easy but I find getting the right rythem to squeeze in canter difficult to find. After watching charlotte dujardin one day I looked at the rythem she used and mimicked it in my horse and he was AMAZING for 2 days then I hacked him out and forgot it. Must watch her again till the rythem becomes second nature. Any times for squeezing in trot while rising?

I dont pull him in to a headset. I hold a contact and push. If he is being a little piggy with his head I use inside leg to out side hand. I'd say I'm just not pushing enough. Hopefully that will improve when I get the squeeze in trot. He was actually being quite lazy then and today. Wonder why? Must hack him out soon that might perk him up he hasn't hacked out since not last saturday but the saturday before due to time and light issues.

I do not really know why he was going behind the vertical as I wasn't asking for it. Horses had just left the ring and he was getting very strung out so mabey when I shortened my reins to re-collect him I was putting too much pressure on. Oh dear I really don't want to be riding off my hands. If I am at least we would have caught it early and I can fix it before it becomes a bad habit like my low hands.

One more question. I find when collecting him using half haults especially in canter I cant get it right. I bring him bak with my body weight and don't get my leg on in time and he breaks. I put a strong leg on in time and he thinks its time for gallop from his shows and then it is near impossible to get him back with his mad head on. Any tips for getting the happy medium? Mabey its my rythem for squeezing as he was in a fairly good collection when I watched charlotte dujardin. Also coming back from trot he gets all strung out trying to extend for extention time in the shows. He was better today but I can't seem to get enough body weight to bring him into a collected trot from canter. Any tips on that?

Sorry for the novel was pretty much just writing what came into my mind. Thanks so much and I will work hard on those points all week and hopefully *fingers crossed* my sister will take a short video again this weekend or later in the week. So I can see if I have improved. I can post it here if you want but no need to burden you all. If you want anyother videos to see my riding for critique (you probably don't but anyway) All the videos on my mums channel (?) on youtube red4alert bar the hunter and hunter 2 ones are me riding through the years. Thanks again. This will really help me for silver spurs. Will run all the points through with my instructors as well. Thanks again (sorry I am saying thank you too much)

Rhosroyalvelevt

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Thanks so much. Most of these critiques are what I was expecting. When I looked at the video I saw him behind the verticle which is a thing I DO NOT want AT ALL. I hate the idea of overbending ponies and didn't realise it was happening.

For my hands being on my lap I am working on raising them but I don't know whether it's from breaking ponies and having a hand on each side of the neck to create a tunnel or whether it has developed from in the past opening my hand out to my knee to ask for inside flexion I now try to minimize the movement. They look lower than I feel they are when riding. Mabey it could also be me being a bit precautious because at one point in the summer I rode with my hands way too high (not so good) and have dropped them alot since. I do know about the straight line from elbow to hand to bit and do have it in mind when riding. Also today when riding I found when my reins got too long I lowered my hands. I ride with quite a long rein that is always slipping a BIG fault of mine that could be the reason either. If it is I will just shorten and raise my hands.

Yes he was being heavy in my hands that day. You see we did long and low with him for a while as he always stuch his head out horizontally when being given a long rein and now he reaches down. The problematic side effect is that he enjoyed it so much he is constantly leaning on me now looking for the rein. I did find if I pushed through more he raised his head but I am not very strong in my leg at the moment because I am trying to minimze the amount of fusing I am doing with my heels and I have always found it difficult to squeeze with my calf strong enough to get results with out having to sit in trot. So from that you would say canter should be easy but I find getting the right rythem to squeeze in canter difficult to find. After watching charlotte dujardin one day I looked at the rythem she used and mimicked it in my horse and he was AMAZING for 2 days then I hacked him out and forgot it. Must watch her again till the rythem becomes second nature. Any times for squeezing in trot while rising?

I dont pull him in to a headset. I hold a contact and push. If he is being a little piggy with his head I use inside leg to out side hand. I'd say I'm just not pushing enough. Hopefully that will improve when I get the squeeze in trot. He was actually being quite lazy then and today. Wonder why? Must hack him out soon that might perk him up he hasn't hacked out since not last saturday but the saturday before due to time and light issues.

I do not really know why he was going behind the vertical as I wasn't asking for it. Horses had just left the ring and he was getting very strung out so mabey when I shortened my reins to re-collect him I was putting too much pressure on. Oh dear I really don't want to be riding off my hands. If I am at least we would have caught it early and I can fix it before it becomes a bad habit like my low hands.

One more question. I find when collecting him using half haults especially in canter I cant get it right. I bring him bak with my body weight and don't get my leg on in time and he breaks. I put a strong leg on in time and he thinks its time for gallop from his shows and then it is near impossible to get him back with his mad head on. Any tips for getting the happy medium? Mabey its my rythem for squeezing as he was in a fairly good collection when I watched charlotte dujardin. Also coming back from trot he gets all strung out trying to extend for extention time in the shows. He was better today but I can't seem to get enough body weight to bring him into a collected trot from canter. Any tips on that?

Sorry for the novel was pretty much just writing what came into my mind. Thanks so much and I will work hard on those points all week and hopefully *fingers crossed* my sister will take a short video again this weekend or later in the week. So I can see if I have improved. I can post it here if you want but no need to burden you all. If you want anyother videos to see my riding for critique (you probably don't but anyway) All the videos on my mums channel (?) on youtube red4alert bar the hunter and hunter 2 ones are me riding through the years. Thanks again. This will really help me for silver spurs. Will run all the points through with my instructors as well. Thanks again (sorry I am saying thank you too much)

Rhosroyalvelevt

i love, love charlotte dujardin!! i love, love that she takes her olympic horse fox hunting, and that she wears a helmet hah!!

you get inside flexion (traver) only from the inside leg and outside rein. pulling on the inside rein will only lead to resistance (would you like it?) and the hindquarters and shoulders getting away from you. do you know what shoulder in and crupper in are? it would be helpful for you to practice these to encourage your pony to stride more from back to front and stretch. weight on the inside hip, inside leg asking for the hindquarters to yield, outside rein telling the shoulder to stay on the line, and your head staying relaxed! the only thing the inside rein does is to "open the door" for him to stretch.

downward transitions are the toughest, and you must remember to give yourself and the horse time, mentally, physically and emotionally.

get your hands out of your lap, they are counter-productive.

Edited by nick

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i love, love charlotte dujardin!! i love, love that she takes her olympic horse fox hunting, and that she wears a helmet hah!!

you get inside flexion (traver) only from the inside leg and outside rein. pulling on the inside rein will only lead to resistance (would you like it?) and the hindquarters and shoulders getting away from you. do you know what shoulder in and crupper in are? it would be helpful for you to practice these to encourage your pony to stride more from back to front and stretch. weight on the inside hip, inside leg asking for the hindquarters to yield, outside rein telling the shoulder to stay on the line, and your head staying relaxed! the only thing the inside rein does is to "open the door" for him to stretch.

downward transitions are the toughest, and you must remember to give yourself and the horse time, mentally, physically and emotionally.

get your hands out of your lap, they are counter-productive.

Yes I love everything about charlotte dujardin too!

I never thought about squeezing or in somecases opening the inside hand as a cause of resistnace. I will keep that in mind in the future. You see I sometimes find that he would come right around my leg from his hind end to his shoulder but then not come as well in front and that's where the hand came in.

I do do some shoulder fore shoulder in leg yeild loop in of the track and stuff like that. But I do not know what crupper is. He does usually over track and stride bigger but he was at the end of an hours schooling there and he was tired and dead off my leg but even still I should be getting him to track up more.

I will lift my hands up and hopefully that will be a start. Thanks again.

rhosroyalvelvet.

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Make sure you are on the correct diagonal.

Inside leg as you rise.

This is HARD to get right and does require a certain amount of muscular strength as well as coordination...it took me a good while too. I recommend, a couple of times a week, walking backwards for, at first, a few steps, HEEL first, gradually increasing the number - this strengthens your lower leg and really helps make it much more effective.

You do seem to know what you're doing...and doing wrong.

I haven't heard "crupper in" as a term myself - is this a regional term for haunches in?

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I always forget to check my diagonal... BIG fault of mine! Inside leg as i rise? I always thought you squeeze every time you sit... I will definatly try that to strenghten my lower leg. Thanks for the tip hopefully it will help me alot. I will try and keep you updated of my improvements if you want. Thanks again,

Rhosroyalvelvet

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I always forget to check my diagonal... BIG fault of mine! Inside leg as i rise? I always thought you squeeze every time you sit... I will definatly try that to strenghten my lower leg. Thanks for the tip hopefully it will help me alot. I will try and keep you updated of my improvements if you want. Thanks again,

Rhosroyalvelvet

you are so nice to your horse!!

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you are so nice to your horse!!

Thats so kind of you to say but I'm a little confused as to how the quote you used showed that... or are you being sarcastic?

Edited by rhosroyalvelvet

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I've been told that too, but that's backwards. You want to apply your inside leg as the inside hand comes forward which, if you are on the correct diagonal, is as you rise.

And yes, always check your diagonal. Eventually you'll learn to feel it. Or you'll end up like me - I really need to fix this weird thing I have going where no matter what I'm doing I always start rising on the right diagonal.

Sigh.

(Never claimed to be perfect).

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Just thought I would let you all knowWe went to our dressage show on sunday. I was extremly nervous as I was competing against an international FEI pony rider and her mum in the prelim class. To make matters worse we got lost and only arrived 10 minutes before my test was scheduled. So I was completly panicking but Rhos was a superstar. He gave me a great ride (even though I made afew mistakes as a rider). I was so pleased with him and didn't care where we came but it just so happened that I won the class of 25! We scored 71.45%, which also ended up to be the overall highest score of the day across all classes!!

Then for the cherry on the cake I have been asked to train with the Irish Pony FEI team this weekend! Nothing may come of it because I am NOT at medium level but it is still really pleasing!!!!! Also my main instructor heard from the secreatary of my region in dressage that lots of people were talking about a student of hers on a lovely chestnut pony. She said we turned a few heads and that the majority of people went to silence during my test and watched! I think she was exagerating a lot though because it was really quiet all day any way and I didn't notice any one looking at all!

I do think every one is over reacting though...

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congratulations, and give yourself (and your pony!!) some credit! winning a class of 25 doesn't just happen by accident and certainly not a score like that. and after getting lost and having only 10 minutes to get ready!! that alone is a major accomplishment in my book.

i've had people ask me about my 9 year old lusitano gelding after watching us during working cow horse. (we're a classical dressage barn that chases cows every thursday to put practice to purpose). i never notice anybody looking at us either because we're too busy, but in my case, however, i and everybody else know all the credit goes to him :lol: .

who cares if nothing comes from your training weekend? i'm sure the experience alone will be fantastic and educational!

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I haven't heard "crupper in" as a term myself - is this a regional term for haunches in?

sorry--was translating directly from the german term. yes, i meant haunches in :blink: . sometimes i get language confused...

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congratulations, and give yourself (and your pony!!) some credit! winning a class of 25 doesn't just happen by accident and certainly not a score like that. and after getting lost and having only 10 minutes to get ready!! that alone is a major accomplishment in my book.

i've had people ask me about my 9 year old lusitano gelding after watching us during working cow horse. (we're a classical dressage barn that chases cows every thursday to put practice to purpose). i never notice anybody looking at us either because we're too busy, but in my case, however, i and everybody else know all the credit goes to him :lol: .

who cares if nothing comes from your training weekend? i'm sure the experience alone will be fantastic and educational!

Thank you so much!

Well I think Rhos deserves all the credit any way! I do agree that this weekend will be very educational and a fantastic experience!

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Well... Were on the Squad!!! The development section meaning that we go to training and when we are at medium level we can compete with the team but not yet.

I won't be on a team in ponies because I am out of ponies on Jan 1st but maybe just maybe if I practice really hard with Rhos and then with my next horse I'll be on the Junior team/ Young riders.

So happy rider and spoilt horse!

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