October 25, 2014

Horse and rider critique

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My mare, Raven and I ( Casey) event/ dressage at low levels. These are some recent photos! Please critique both horse and rider! Thanks in advance!



So I’m back on the horse after a 1 year break from riding! (Reason for the break was frustration of not being able to efford a horse that had the ability to handle the advanced work as well as stay sound while at… Plus the selection of good dressage horses for sale in Israel is none-existent.) I’ve moved stables to where one of my past trainers is based now and where a lot of my friends ride, started fresh and am enjoying myself so far! the plan is to get into better shape, get my driving license already so I can make it to the barn everyday and then go horse hunting in Germany/Holland for a good young dressage horse. In the photo it’s me riding an Arabian cross school horse called Shemesh. He’s about 14 years old and is really sweet but, not surprisingly, finds all movements over 1st level very difficult to perform. He’s very willing to try, however. :)   I believe that in this photo I’m about to go on a stride lengthening, even though he doesn’t really have those either… Anyway, any suggestions on how to fix my position and in general? It doesn’t show here but my legs flop all over the place and it just doesn’t look very good… Also, sorry if the picture is huge, I’m posting from my phone. Thanks in advance!! :)


Ruby Dressage



My mare, Ruby, and I event low-level. This is a picture from our last dressage lesson in August. Please critique both of us. Thanks in advance.


Fritz, First 1, Show 10/11/2014

Here’s a pic of Fritz and I from our second time at First 1. This show we increase our score by nearly 4 points…we were less than 2 points away from 60%. I was super happy, because there was a chance he might not have been sound enough to compete, so the fact that we could go to the show was better than winning. I am super proud of this pony! He felt great on show day. Our warm-up got cut short because they switched rings on us, so he was a bit more stiff than usual, but that’s OK. We are planning on doing First 1 again in November. Planning on showing the lateral work in 2015. Don’t want to push Fritz too much after the scare he gave us. But right now he seems to be doing well and is fat and happy and that’s truly what matters :)


After ~1 year of hard work

This is Buddy after a solid 9 months of hard work! Finally starting to figure it out! What do you think?



Cantering Issues!

Long time no see :) Unfortunately due to financial issues, I cannot take a lesson for a good two weeks. Recently things have been going great! My mare has been warming up better than ever, she’s responsive to leg aids, she’s engaged in her hind end, my riding has gotten better as well. We play around with some spiral in’s and out’s, serpentines, counter bending, leg yielding, and shoulder fore. HOWEVER… there’s always a twist. This is only at the trot. The canter is kind of a disaster. She’ll be supple and engaged in the trot but once it comes to the canter she’ll lock her jaw. She’s either behind my leg or so in front she’s running away with the bit and will hardly listen to a half halt. I’ve read that locked jaws are a sign of lack of engagement from behind, however, if I apply leg at the canter, it suddenly means go faster. Could it be the transition into canter?

(All the pain issues are not present, teeth have been done, saddle fits, etc.)

I do realize she is still a “baby” horse due to delays in training (i.e. an eye ulcer, barn moves, etc.), even though she’s 6. She’s very weak in the canter, but how is she supposed to get stronger if we don’t canter? Will consistent trot work improve the canter? Are there any exercises that may benefit our problem? In the mean time, I will be working on our normal walk/trot exercises until I can get a lesson again.

Thank you so much!


Fritz First 1 clips

I haven’t posted in a while! Here’s Fritz and I showing First 1 for the first time on 9/13/2014 at TTC. It’s just a few clips as my friend did not record the whole test, but took a mix of photos and video :) Our final score was 54.3%, just 0.7% away from the first place score. I was super happy with our performance. I messed up a bit in the test, trotted at A rather than X, which is why I lost the first place spot. But I was so relaxed and happy while riding this test, that the score and placement didn’t even matter. My goal was to go have fun and we achieved that :)

The judge pulled us aside after the test and had some great comments for Fritz, saying that he is super talented and she was surprised that he actually has lengthenings! I am super proud of my pony! :)

(PS: I know that my 15m circle was actually an 11m circle…whoops! :P )

Trot Critique?



I posted this horse a couple months a go and you mentioned that we needed to work on balance. Is this better? Thanks!

INDA Fall Show

I took my 6-year-old Half-Arab, Ricky, to his first ever dressage show (and his first time actually being ridden in a legal dressage arena) this past weekend. We rode Intro C  (54.50% and 4th place) and Training 3 (56.80% and 1st place with only 1.60% between 1st and 4th places) with my dressage instructor from a decade ago as the judge.

I would appreciate any critique of my gelding – Thanks in advance and sorry for the photo quality – they are stills from a video

Ricky T3 Canter



Ricky T3 Trot

Claire and Hannah – First Level Tests 1 and 3

Hi Karen!


Thank you for all your advice. This is the notorious Hannah, my 18yo Quarter Horse partner in crime. This is from our last show (we were first and second!). I’d love your critiques of us, exercises to help us improve, and your overall impression of us. I would also love your guess on how long I’ve been doing dressage. Thank you so much!


First Level Test 1:

Claire and Hannah – First Level 1


First Level Test 3:

Claire and Hannah – First Level 3