Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Riley Nov. 27th: working to the right

This is pretty dark footage of Riley and I from Nov. 27. Ri gets "hoppy" in this direction, almost always in the same corner near the exit door. I figure it's kind of a rein lameness, and in this session I wanted to get him forward and through to get past it. I also need to work on my own position.

Bob was there to videotape at the beginning of my ride, which is us at our worst in terms of suppleness (both of us!) and my stirrups are at least a hole too short here -- I lent my saddle out and didn't get the sweet spot in my first try.  I do like the forward way Ri is travelling. I don't see a ton of improvement from the last video I shared.


  1. Ri is looking great! The only critique I can make, something my coach is always yelling at me, is "more energy!" Aside from that, he looks happy, relaxed, and round!

  2. What does he look like free longing, or longing with no tack? I wonder if he'd demonstrate the same "hoppiness" under those conditions...

  3. I think you look great! Remind me, was his lameness in the left front?

  4. Gosh, his trot is to die for! SO floaty and rhythmic.
    A few times throughout the video you can see him drop his hindquarters for a split second and really work through- looks lovely!

  5. it could just be my h/j background but i couldn't stop looking at your way of posting. it's like it's behind the motion and "on your pockets" just a thought.


    first video i found when searched "dressage posting" see what i mean?

    if i am wrong please do correct me

  6. Anon1, the RF is the hoof that had the surgery and is missing part of the coffin bone.

    Anon2, you are so right -- My posting is problematic and one clinician felt it was interfering with Ri's forward motion. I need to drop my knee to allow my seat to land in front of the cantle. Advice appreciated.

  7. Stacey,

    I think he looks really good. Love his canter. Every time I see a video I want to take him for a spin--sign of a good horse, IMO.

    I agree with the posting comment--seems to be the main flaw in what is otherwise a very nice position. Sometimes you seem to be too tight in some part of your leg--lower thigh, knee, or under the knee. You seem to be gripping & "pivoting" from that area, rather than posting up and forward with an engaged core.

    If I were you, I'd try some sitting trot. The sitting trot will help solve whatever gripiness is causing the behind-the-motion posting because you'll bounce and have to fix it. The other advantage to sitting is that it will help you "reset" your core and balance, thereby helping your posting.

    Riley is certainly developed enough to have you sit the trot for much of your workouts. Plus, your position is better at the canter, leading me to believe your sitting trot is probably good. I've been doing sitting trot on my 4 yr old and I think its helped both of us, and my posting, too. It will help you get your core/center of balance more in gear, I think.

  8. From a H/J rider... Your connection and thoroughness can be helped by not "breaking" your wrists. A nice straight line from the elbow thru your hand to the bit will help! This may also help with your "core" strength. Using your shoulders/elbows instead of wrists!

    Riley is a lovely horse! And you are doing a great job!

  9. I think Ri looks steadier and more consistent in his movement.

    I do agree with the grippy leg comment but I've seen way worse :) - I get grippy when I'm tense and bracing.

    I think it's just a stage! It's like dirty diapers at a daycare - you get rid of one bad habit and find another one.

    You're very brave putting videos of yourself! I enjoyed watching your beautiful horse!!!

  10. My horse tends to get "hoppy" to the right, too. This is because he leans on my right leg and rein and is therefore "bumping" into the bit. Maybe Riley is leaning on your right rein too?

    There are a few ways to address that; leg yielding his shoulders a step out and flexing the neck to the inside often work for me. Something else may work for you, though. Best of luck!

  11. After 2:03 (your change of rein), I noticed your right wrist is extremely bent, breaking the straight line from elbow to bit. This could be breaking your outside rein support. Just an observation. I might be more aware of it because it happens to be one of my current working issues too.

    Picky. But, you're good enough now that we can be that picky. ;)

  12. Ah, I'm glad I'm not the only one making comment about your hands, but they do tend to look a bit "Piano." You need to turn them out a big and keep your wrist from flexing with your fingers down. That may work all the way up your arm and give a steadier contact. Being a little limp in the wrist and fingers can break contact with the horse, giving him "room" to be unsteady.

    For the posting, you might try gripping the pommel of the saddle and thinking "hip towards your hand" as you rise. This will help bring your pelvis forward and put you more "with" Riley's lovely stride.

    AT this point, it just looks like little things that will make the ride even better. Riley is really going well and you are doing a super kind, sensitive ride on him. I also like your physical pairing as you fit each other so well. He is developing some excellent movement and you are helping him along nicely.

  13. Thanks all for the comments -- appreciate that tact and the thoughtful advice. I am very proud of Riley and want to ride him to his full capabilities.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.