February 27, 2015

please judge

please judge dressage schooling on my tb X clydie. I put the beach one in just for fun :)11034217_10206044671977071_8378604466081586973_n11028331_10206037336753695_1076563580_o11029683_10206026964814403_1247649392_o

Finn’s first level debut


Our first attempt at first level.
This was the beginning of the last lengthening in the test. He was super behaved, but was getting tired. Sorry about the quality of the photo it’s a still off a video

Please judge us both thanks

Finn is a 14.2hh pony and I’m 5’8″ (cue trying to channel my inner Fox-Pitt)

Tonia and Clay update

Hi there! Just wanted to post an update (last post here) on our dressage progress. :)

I had to take a couple months off to have surgery, but have been back in the saddle for about a month now. Clay didn’t forget anything during our little vacation. :) He’s such a smartypants. I felt weak at first but it all came back after a week.

Our goal is to show First Level for the first time this summer, maybe using the TL tests as our warm-up. The first show is the first weekend in June and is a USEF schooling show. The recognized shows come later in the summer. Our connection and contact has improved dramatically. Clay is learning to trust me, forgive my mistakes and relax.

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.16.06 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.16.23 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 3.12.45 PM

Honestly, all of the lateral, trot and walk movements in the new 2015 First Level tests feel really solid, but we have a lot of work to do on the canter. Clay is very exuberant in the canter departs, so I have to really set him up for a good depart and be strategic about getting him through his back and relaxed before asking. He also is very strong and can blow through my half-halts at the canter, causing our tempo to be too rushy at times, especially to the right (his weaker side, and my weaker outside rein). Our third problem is that he wants to break into the trot when I give him a good strong half-halt in an attempt to slow him down. When I use my leg at the same time as the half-halt, to keep him from breaking, he gets tense and goes behind the vertical. Sometimes we have these problems and then sometimes we have freakishly good canter. Very inconsistent right now. Any tips on how to help him strengthen, find rhythm, relax and accept my leg and half-halts without getting so worked up? Maybe I need to lunge him in side reins at the canter more often?

Thanks so much, you’re always so helpful!


Dressage Hafl – An update

It has been some time since my last post – it was trot poles I guess. This time I am sharing an impression of this weekend’s clinic with a trainer who is also working as dressage judge in Austria. We were mainly working on lateral movements and canter improvement. Hafl is supposed to show an interim level between second and third (called LM in Austria, shoulder in, haunches it, half pass in trot,  half walk pirouettes, simple changes).

Some trot work

Half pass

Please Judge Horse and Rider!

This is me and a horse I’m riding for someone. We’re hoping that she can start eventing a little this season. She hasn’t been ridden a lot recently, so her canter is kind of unbalanced right now. Do you have any suggestions on how to get her canter more balanced? Please judge both horse and rider. Thanks in advance! Screenshot_2015-02-13-17-36-57Screenshot_2015-02-14-11-17-54 (1)


imageHello this me and my horse filly hill giada competing in training level!image

Dressage Critique

Please critique me and my horse Arsiero at a show a few days ago. Thanks!


Judge my ride :)

imageThis is my horse adagio and I.  At this show we were doing training level

Judge My Ride

imagePlease judge both horse & rider. Open to any tips!! Thanks a bunch!



Update? I guess?






Wow, haven’t been in this site for a while… :)

So remember that lovely white school horse I’ve sent a picture of a few months back? Yeah, he was sold a few days ago… so I started riding this green Quarter horse who is also owned by the school and he’s been doing some western work too but now we are trying to teach him how to be a proper dressage horse.


His main problem is that he avoids contact by going too low and round, like western horses often do when they are put in a strong western style bit. We are trying to teach him to take the contact forward and open his neck more, working through his back, ect.

I’ve only ridden him a couple of times and he’s cute and kind of nerdy in the way he works, if that makes sense… he tries for you and is very reactive to the aids, just very green and needs to develop his muscles. All the basic work, starting almost from scratch again.

These are some of the better moments of our lesson yesterday, we were working with a lot of transitions to try and seduce him into putting his hind legs under himself without touching his mouth (I could literally hold my hands still, not move a finger and he’s still go way too round – that’s how sensitive he is! Which I guess is a good thing because I need to learn how to hold my hands better, come to think of it…)

Anyway, I would like some feedback, I guess… maybe some tips of how I can fix me shoulders? Still haven’t found a way to train myself to open them up and keep them level. The struggle of scoliosis… Sigh…


Thanks! :)





P.S. I’m finally going horse hunting in Europe around next month! Woohoo!!!! I’d love some tips about that too – the more I know about the process, the better I can do, right? Do you know of any good sales stables I should check out? Looking for a schoolmaster, preferably. I’M SO EXCITED!!!!! :D