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Amateur Dressage

For all of us who are amateur dressage riders. This is our place to share tips, experiences and just to hang out.

Members: 93
Latest Activity: Nov 12, 2017

Discussion Forum

mane going different directions 2 Replies

Started by Nancy Speir. Last reply by Alli Farkas Aug 5, 2011.

help! 4 Replies

Started by vickie lawson. Last reply by vickie lawson Jan 31, 2011.

Hi 1 Reply

Started by Mind4sport. Last reply by Tamara Hurst Jun 8, 2010.

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Comment by Laura Coffey on December 5, 2009 at 1:56pm
I noticed the groups comments about getting horses "on-the-bit" and just wanted to share my experience with my young horse.
First I'd like to recommend the video, "On the Bit" by Sylvia Loch, for clarification of exactly what the term means. Actually I think the term "through" is a better description of what we are trying to achieve. In reality what happens with the head and neck of the horse plays a minor part in the phenomena of being on the bit.
When I began training my horse he was extremely resistant; head tossing, locking his jaw, and lots of other unpleasant behaviors. I found that his saddle was a poor fit, so I replaced it with a George Gullickson custom saddle. I also notices that he was stiff laterally so began including a lot of stretching exercises in the warm up. This made a huge difference, (remember your horse has to be bent (laterally)to be on-the-bit) if they are stiff and having trouble bending you're just going to get resistance. There are some great books out there on horse stretches. I'm not going to say my youngster is truely "on-the-bit" but he is certainly working long and low, and has moments of self-carriage, which is right where he should be for this stage of his training.
Comment by Ellin McGinley Daum on December 5, 2009 at 11:54am
Hello to all!
Brenda, you did a wonderful job explaining a complex procedure. The defining book on flexions is by Phillipe Karl: Twisted Truths of Modern Dressage. He has made a thorough study of Baucher and put it in terms and pictures for all to understand. It is a good read although somewhat difficult if you are not initiated into the lightness mind set. Have fun!!
Comment by Brenda Gordon on December 5, 2009 at 11:30am
I have a technique to share,
I learned from my instructor.
We have been riding with Ellin Daum, she was a student of Jean Claude Racinet. He was in Indianapolis about two years ago for a clinic and I watched him ride several horses with the master's touch. He was impressive, gentle and able to correct any issue the horse/rider had, with the simplest of corrections.

We get our horses relaxed with flexions before we mount. We get the horse on the bit by flexions from the saddle, I mean... supporting on the outside rein-so the contact is light but has real contact, then close your fingers on the rein on the inside and hold until the horse releases the jaw and at that moment you also release the inside rein-and outside so the horse is able to feel the bit drop and then will follow with his head and take contact again.

I have been working my mares like this for months, neither of them would relax with flexions at first, now we are communicating and both know what the flexion, on the inside rein means.

I rode a school horse who could understand the meaning by simple squeezes with my thumb on the rein, she would drop to seek the contact. We did wonderful diagonals with her contact on the bit on the longest rein-at the buckle.

I think it has been the most difficult concept for one of my horses to get, she carries her head high and tucks back to avoid the bit. She now will release the bit, drop her head to the level I pick by my release of the reins, usually she picks up her head again within a few steps, my instructor says to keep doing the same method until she holds the position until I request something different.

The technique is also in the book by Michael Schaefer, Right from the Start. Learning the flexions is great for the horse

I just invited my instructor to join Barnmice for everyone to enjoy.
Comment by Meredith Kramer on November 29, 2009 at 3:47pm
Thanks slc2, that help with that, even though I am now using an Elevator, and he has been good, so I might actually go back to a double jointed snaffle. I also got a figure-8 noseband, and that has helped a lot! Thanks!
Comment by Queenrider on September 16, 2009 at 3:52pm
More information is needed to direct your enquiry regarding getting a stiff horse on the bit. Stiff horses are often ridden by stiff riders! Most riders starting their dressage journey do not recognize the beggining stages of of "on the bit" so the horse gets no reward for trying so the horse gives up. Then ususally the rider gets very frustrated. Then the gadgets start being used and things spiral downhill from there.
Comment by Meredith Kramer on September 16, 2009 at 2:35pm
Does any one have any good tips on how to get a very stiff horse round and on the bit? I can only seem to do this with a pelham... and my poor horse gets really mad!
Comment by Rachel Heysen-Smith on May 13, 2009 at 4:38am
Comment by Brenda Gordon on April 22, 2009 at 6:54am
I have been taking dressage lessons for about two years. Problem is not having a place to practice at home. Started on school horses and found that each horse had various levels of understanding while I was just beginning too. That was difficult. When the instructor asked for leg yield sometimes it was great other times a struggle depending on which mount.

Now I'm using my own horse, at least we have a learning curve.
I'm hoping that I'll be able to ride a test someday. Still learning lots and trying to get my horse ready for the intro stuff.
I'll have an arena this year and CAN'T WAIT so I may be riding everyday.

I'm trying to decide which saddle to purchase for my horse's best fit and my own.
I tried the Courbette, County Competitor and HDR synthetic from my instructor's tack room,(that I liked. Also the Stubben, Kieffer and Wintek that I really didn't like - too hard.
Got any personal tips. I am thinking that now I don't want all the thigh block (too much ) and liked the HDR Pro Lexus.

what is everyone else riding and why???

My husband rides a County Competitor -too wide in the twist for me. but the saddle is great on the horse's back. all my horses are wide and we can see they do feel comfortable in that saddle.
Comment by Julia on April 17, 2009 at 3:54pm
Thanks for the tip,Sarah. i'm going to check that out....I can use all the help I can get!
Comment by Sarah Ingrey on April 17, 2009 at 9:45am
Hi, I am fairly new to dressage and have found lots of help competing with You download the test, learn it, get someone to video you, upload to web and they are marked and commented on. The comments are really indepth and helpful and the rosettes are gorgeous! :-) Great way to guage progress if you can't get to shows etc etc

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