November 21, 2014

Schooling clydie X

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Haven’t posted any pics of Jake in awhile because he’s been on strict box rest with tendinitis in his front leg so can’t compete him or work him until next year. Luckily though my neighbours (who I work their horses for) have been nice enough to let me ride and compete their horses if I want to so I have been doing a lot of work on this little horse. She’s a clydie X pony of some sort (only 14hh) and had a massive attitude which I really struggled with initially (after 5 minutes of any sort of work that wasn’t walking on a loose rein she would run backwards, kick her legs out, and throw her head up in my face), but after a lot of work, we finally have her using her strong will in my favour rather than against me. I was just wondering if her frame needs to lift at all? I just don’t want to work her in an incorrect frame as she learns things really quickly so I don’t want her to learn it wrong! Also are there any other big things to work on?

Jake schooling his freestyle test

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I’ve put up some photos of Jake’s medium, working, and collected trot from a few weeks ago when we were practicing for his first freestyle test (which he ended up winning); I’ve been doing a lot of work on getting him to ‘sit’ with my instructor and using himself, plus I took him to a clinic where he really seemed to take a step forward in working across the back and using his hind end. Based on these, is there anything I should be focusing on in particular? Thanks in advance :)

Jake winning grade 1

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Haven’t had any ‘new’ photos really of Jake for awhile; BUT, he did have his third grade 1 competition last weekend and managed to win overall champion (with 88% in one test, winning by about 15%!). I’ve got a great coach now who I’ve been working with for a few months and we’ve been focused on getting him to better ‘use himself’, as well as trying to get him to settle into the lateral work that he doesn’t like (travers is a problem; renvers and half-pass aren’t a problem though which is something I’m trying to figure out!).

From the three pictures I’ve posted above, is there anything that I should be focusing on? Also; I’ve been trying to find a way to develop that part on his rump that has sort of a ‘line’ down halfway horizontally-ish; would you know any exercises I can use to strengthen this area? I’ve been doing a lot of work within the paces (collected-medium-extended-medium-collected etc), as well as transitions (walk/canter/walk), simple changes, and a stack of lateral work (leg yield, shoulder-in, half-pass in trot & canter, walk pirouettes), as well as canter & counter canter, but no matter what I do, I just can’t seem to get rid of that under-developed bit of muscle! He had to have 6 weeks off in January with a leg injury and lost a lot of muscle then but has mostly put it back, aside from there!

Thanks in advance!

 

Jake’s second grade 1

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I’ve been having a bit of an ‘up and down’ phase with Jake lately, he did his first elementary and had a tantrum for about 80% of the test, doing small rears and hops, I wasn’t impressed at all! He has been very worked up lately, but in the last couple of weeks he seems to have settled himself back down, although isn’t working as well as he usually does when he goes into a test. We have a new instructor who has been great for developing his canter and he’s working a million times better than he ever has at home, we’ve added a flash strap to his noseband and now he doesn’t ‘grab’ in the downwards transitions and sits a lot better, and he’s a lot more ‘through’ and connected at home and in the warmup. However, (I’ve attached photos), as soon as he gets into the test, he just comes above the bit and stiffens across the back and makes it quite hard to get the flow of the test. He’s still placing well in the highest level Pony Club now (4th overall in the championship on the weekend) however I think I am missing something as soon as I enter at A because everywhere else (including the warmup in the exact same type of ring next to the one he competes in), he works a lot better than he does in the actual test. Any ideas are very appreciated!

Also I just sold miss Piglet, we had our last competition together on Sunday and I attached a photo because she was the star of the day! :)

Thanks in advance :)

 

Jake is back

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Jake has just come back into work (about 3 weeks ago) after his sesamoid injury and has been very sound, and seems to have a clearer head as a bonus. I managed to scrape him together in time for state championships which we had qualified for previously, and he did a slightly unfocused first test (he hadn’t been out in a fair while) and a lovely second test. From these photos, what should I focus on working on? He’s been graded up now so he has more laterals as well as collected work, and I’ve got a great new teacher who has been really helpful in getting him to ‘sit’. Any advice would be great, thanks in advance :)

First competition on Piglet

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I took Piglet to a horse trials this weekend on Sunday, as well as to my Pony Club rally on saturday. The poor thing has had a shock to her system coming from a day or two work a week to six days a week, on a diet, plus a lot of exercise (typical pony that explodes in weight over the summer!). Just wondering what to work on from these photos? I came 3rd overall (4th after dressage, jumped two clear rounds to move up a spot).

She’s just about the complete opposite to Jake so I’m still figuring a lot out with her, she tends to work behind the leg if she can help it and has much more of an opinion, plus is about half the height and twice the width!

Horse change

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Jake has hurt his leg so has had to have a few weeks off and has one more week off before I can start lightly working him again, but in the meantime I’ve been working Piglet; she’s a touch under 14hh, we think she’s either New Forest or GRP (have to do some research). Her owners have asked me to school and compete her until she sells (she’s just been advertised). I’m going to do some dressage with her and a bit of eventing, she is a very different ride to Jake (aside from the nearly 3 hands height difference), but I’m finding she is quite rewarding to work with. She’s not as forward and I’ve accidentally gotten into the habit of tipping my shoulders forward which I’m working on, but I was mainly wanting to know which frame out of these three photos is the most correct? She’s very willing to work wherever, but I’m trying to do some ‘fine tuning’ of the basics before I start teaching her some new things (her owner has moved away for a year and we’re hoping to make sure she sells to the very best home possible). Any other advice would be much appreciated! She’s on a diet but I’ve put her onto a more high energy feed which is making my life a lot easier in terms of getting her fat belly moving also

Schooling the Apex

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Please judge :) This is Flynne, my sister’s 14.2hh QH Gelding and I at pony club today jumping the 1.05m apex. I got a funny line into it so could be a lot more central, but otherwise is there something we need to work on? Thanks in advance :)

First competition of the year!

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I took Jake on a two hour float trip to the National Equestrian Centre this weekend to have a go at some official dressage after his break. He has put some weight on while he was resting for a few weeks and it seems to have done him the world of good! He’s been kitted out with a custom made bridle for Christmas and I’ve been doing a lot of pole work to strengthen his back, as well as getting him sitting up more where I can. He came 1st in one test and 3rd in the other, leaving him first overall which I was very proud of, especially considering he’s had about two weeks work in the lead up! I’ll upload the videos later in the week, but is he appearing to be sitting on his back end more from these few photos? Also, is there anything else I should be working on? I’m leaning towards putting him up to Elementary level for his next competition so will be introducing him more to collected paces. Thankyou for the advice on getting him to sit on his back end, the ideas you gave me seem to be paying off as he is scoring well consistently!

Jake before his break

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I haven’t posted in a little while because I haven’t really had much on, although I did take Jake to a clinic with Heath Ryan at the West Gippsland Equestrian Expo which was amazing for him; the arena I was working in had a trade village in one end and I was riding a young horse in the other end, and he didn’t put a foot wrong; I was super impressed. I’ve been working on getting him to sit on his back end more and more and he seems to have picked that up fairly well although he does occasionally still drop back onto the forehand slightly. With Heath Ryan we worked on getting a better tempo the whole time and getting the most I could possibly get out of his paces, as well as being 110% accurate to the markers every time.

Any advice from what you can see in these two photos? I will try to put up some video of the clinic later in the week :) Thanks in advance!