From Endurance to Dressage
A "FIRST" for Speedy
So we seriously schooled some First Level stuff on Sunday. And when I say First Level, I mean the actual movements as they're done on the first test.
Some good, and some hilariousness ensued …
I get the little half circles at E and B. We're actually not too bad at that. The one issue we had was that I have the horrible habit of looking down at Speedy's neck instead of through his ears. After several attempts at the half circles, I realized that I was way overshooting the mark in the first half circle which made the 10-meter circle at E more like 13-meters and the half circle at B more like 7 meters. It worked much better if I looked up to C so that I knew where the mid-point was. Then, I could do the change in bend to track right.
We also schooled the 15-meter canter circle for a few minutes. Truthfully, those are about as good as I can get them without some eyes on the ground. I just have to be very vigilant with my outside rein so that Speedy doesnt't drift wide. Otherwise, we do have the ability to ride a 15-meter canter circle without looking too idiotic.
When schooling the extended canter (lengthen stride), on the other hand, we had a few issues. What did I say the other day? Extended canter shouldn't be much of a problem. Well it wasn't. Speedy extended alright, but what I forgot is that my court is only 50-meters long which means if I want to return to a working canter, I had better downshift long before I get to the corner.
The extended canter is from M-P and F-R which is only 36-meters, but I get to develop a working canter from P-A or R-C which is 18-meters plus the corner which is another 10-meters. I did the extended canter down my long side, but I only gave myself about 6-meters to return to working canter. Poor Speedy had to hit the brakes hard!
What I also discovered was that if I half halted too strongly, he dropped down into a trot instead of a working canter. We had to work on that a little bit so that I could go from a lengthened canter stride to a working canter without trotting. The good thing about working in a short arena is that when I do show in a full-sized court, I have tons of room to get the job done.
The trot lengthenings I left for another day. We're not going to get that in the next few weeks. I am hoping that a little work with Chemaine will help get me on the right path. And, the trot lengthening doesn't have a double co-efficient, so it's not as important as our working trot and canter.
I know both of us enjoyed doing something other than 20-meter circles!
10/16/2014 01:15:59 am
Remember, doesn't need to be a HAND GALLOP! If you manage to start slower, the speed you need to make a clear transition is not quite so....exuberant LOL! He just needs to look immediately responsive and in front of your leg...."develop the canter" is supposed to mean bring him into an uphill, in front of your leg frame...not start to go faster hahaha!
10/16/2014 02:13:32 am
This is exactly the same stuff that Paddy and I are struggling with - especially the lengthen-working canter tx. Brakes countered by lots of leg is haaaaard!
10/9/2022 07:53:43 pm
Thank you for writting this
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About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
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