Hey guys! 

I'm going to start posting blogs about what I've been doing with Erin and what's coming up for us :)

Lately, we've been really working on our dressage. Dressage isn't our strongest point, and since Erin's a Quarter horse, it's sometimes harder for me then people with warmbloods or TBs that naturally move uphill. If anyone has any pointers or tips on how to get better dressage scores and ideas on how to keep a horse moving nicely uphill while they're round that would be great *dressage riders take note.* We've really done a lot of transitions and some lateral work... though I've been slacking a little on that xD not my favorite...

Anyways, we have an event coming up in about a week... we're just doing Beginner Novice, but I'm still pumped! :) I can't wait for cross country... Eventers: What is your favorite phase? 

How's everyone else been doing with their horses... what have you been working on?

Bye for nowww! :)


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Comment by Gillian Warner on April 19, 2012 at 5:35pm

thanks again everyone :) 
vickie: my horse, erin, is also around 15.3. i don't have a huge problem with her stepping up, but i would recommend for you to not try to get the horse going in a frame (i dont know what kind of stuff you do..?) but anyways, as i was saying, a horse is not truly round without moving forward, so maybe try to get your horse to relax and move with it's head in a lower place, do circles/figures- anything to get your horse relaxed. then, slowly try to pick your hands up and get the horse to come round. FORBES is a great example of it: F for forward movement which is most important, O for obedience, R for relaxation and rhythm , B for balance, E for engagement, and S for suppleness. keep this in mind when you are working with them and let me know if you need any other help - i dont know your horses that well, but this is what i would do :)

Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 19, 2012 at 10:18am

Spelling correction:Philippe Karl

Comment by Marlene Thoms on April 19, 2012 at 10:09am

I can attest that climbing hills builds great muscles since I didn't have a lot of choice, all there is is steep hills around here. A dressage rider saw my horse after a summer of doing steep hills and said my horse's condition was great. As far as techniques, Phillip Karl has a series of DVD;s on dressage training from the beginning on up. Not sure how dressage works on different breeds, but I know my arab is naturally light on the front end, which is not always a good thing, but quarer horses do have a good work ethic, a definite plus.

Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 19, 2012 at 8:48am

Hi Gillian, my circles improved greatly when I changed my rein aids from an inside direct rein of opposition to giving with the outside rein (moving my hand forward a little.)  This way the horse does not get a signal to slow down (direct rein), lets the horse's inside hind leg move properly, keeps up the same speed in the circle, and keeps up the impulsion.

I don't have any horses any more, but I am working with three horses, 2 Arabs-one, a 30 yr. old or so mare that was frozen with arthritis when I started riding her, much improved, and an Arab gelding who has some back problems but is a GOOD GUY who tries, and an 18.2 hand balker who lost faith in moving forward under a rider, with him I am just trying to get him to move willingly!

Comment by vickie lawson on April 19, 2012 at 4:57am

I have my 2 lovely home bred NZ Hanoverians. Both on the 'short' side - about 15.3hh.  My big issue is with the 6 yr old- she does not readily give a medium trot! Ive tried many things to get it, but it just doesn't come..... suggestions GW?????

Comment by Gillian Warner on April 18, 2012 at 8:39pm

thanks, guys! those tips are really helpful! i do have some problems with my circles staying the same size, but i've been working on it and they have been getting a lot better! i would love to hear about how you are your horse/horses are doing! :)

Comment by Barbara F. on April 18, 2012 at 8:01pm

Great tips from Jackie, and keep up those transitions within the gait, not just from one gait to another.

The best tip I can give for improving your scores is to improve those elements you have control over: keep the rhythm steady as the tick-tock of a clock, and be accurate. That means round circles of the correct size, go into your corners, turn down CENTRE line, and not a bit off centre, and ride letter to letter. You can't imagine how many points can be gained with just those things in mind!

Good luck with your event. Let us know how it goes!! :)

Comment by Jackie Cochran on April 18, 2012 at 6:09pm

For your "downhill" horse I recommend a LOT of hill work, starting SLOW, and building up GRADUALLY, like over six weeks to a strong trot uphill.  Just walk downhill, that will give your horse a lot of experience in bringing his hind legs under him and if the slope is steep it will give him exercise in rounding his back.  The uphill work strengthens his hind legs and increases the hind leg push.  Keep yourself in the two-point position during the hill work.

If you don't have hills work on any incline you can find, even down into a ditch and up the other side, again starting at the walk.


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