April 20, 2014

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 :)

 

flatwork schooling

Hi Karen, got some video of Jake schooling the other day as requested; we’ve started working more with his collected canter now but it does have a way to go; any advice would be great! Thanks

Also! A question; he has decided that turn on the haunches is best done as a canter pirouette; because he’s still got one more level after the one he’s at until he actually needs the canter pirouette and he needs to be able to do a turn on the haunches at this point; is there a way to go about fixing this but not ruin the pirouette for the future? I think it might be a problem with my aids on top of the horse being a bit too clever!

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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!

Jake at the State Qualifier Finals

 

I took Jake to the final for the State Qualifying events today. My friend’s horse pulled off the float while I was warming up and came running up to follow Jake around which really set him off for a bit, but he settled down and managed to pull out a reasonable test and then a not-as reasonable test. We came 1st in the first test (grade 2E), then 2nd in our 2nd test (grade 2F) to come 2nd overall on countback (damn count back!). I have been doing a lot of work on sitting him up and he has started to pick it up, so I’ve put bits of where he seems a bit better in the video and then bits where he’s still somewhat lacking. There was also something apparently spooky at M in our second test which wasn’t useful but he only lost a mark or two for his lack of interest in that corner (that I will work on next time). I’m hoping that he qualifies for the state team so I can take him and try him in a bigger competition field! Any advice from these two tests? My friend took some bits of both and put them together for me :) Thanks in advance!

Jake after trying some of Karen’s ideas

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Jake has had a week off after a go at showing/hacking on Tuesday (I decided a momentary change of discipline might be fun) then throwing a shoe (he’s too sensitive apparently to even work on grass without shoes), then today I had a go at the things you suggested and decided it’s time to get our heads together and ‘boot camp’ him into sitting on his back end. He argued at first because he decided it was all a bit much hard work, but then he realised it wasn’t as hard as he thought it was, particularly in the canter, and was a lot happier. He is still leaning down in the medium work but he was lengthening his trot a lot easier than he has been! I didn’t get any videos but any thoughts/tips on what you can see from these photos would be much appreciated. I’m aiming for him to be constantly sitting up properly by the end of the month (I might be a bit overenthusiastic but I’ll give it a go), it does feel very different when he’s engaged correctly! Thanks for the tips the other day, they were really helpful :)