From Endurance to Dressage
It's far from perfect, but what I love about it is the very steady rhythm that Sydney has finally agreed to (albeit a slow one). He's also definitely relaxed, which means that collection is up next. JL has just had us start working on collecting the canter.
From the video, I can see that I do need to shorten my reins. That's been a progressive issue with this horse (and me). Sydney was very resistant to contact even a few short months ago (rearing/whirling/bolting), but I can see now that he wouldn't fuss if I took them up another six inches.
I also need to BEND MY ELBOWS. Holy crap. When am I ever going to get that? At least I am keeping my left fist closed; that's something. Bending my elbows will do a lot to improve the whole picture that we make.
Showing a video is hard on one's ego. No criticism needed - I am REALLY good at doing that for myself. And on the flip side, no false atta girls either. Yes, there is huge improvement, but we still have a long way to go.
Sorry we're so tiny, but putting my camera on a mounting block means I don't get to use the zoom feature, and it definitely affects the levelness. If you watch it on YouTube, you'll be able to see it better, but the cockeyed angle will still be present!
Omg! That relaxation! So gorgeous!! :)
6/30/2014 04:40:57 am
When I rode Speedy this morning, I was really good with my elbows; it was hard, but I refused to just give it all back. When I went up for my lesson on Sydney, JL pointed out that when I am actively riding, my elbows are great. The problem comes when I "soften" which is when I let my elbows open. She said my problem is a more from my rounded shoulders. So every time I just to soften my shoulders, she reminded me to open my chest which naturally fixed my elbows.
6/30/2014 12:11:24 am
wonderful video! thanks for making it. relaxed both directions! totilas wishes he had such a nice tail swing. seriously, he doesn't have that, cuz he's disconnected front to back and still wins 80s and 90s?
6/30/2014 04:42:29 am
FINALLY!!! We've been pretty good to the left for a while, but the right has been disastrous. He's now pretty close to even going both directions, and if the truth be told, he's much prettier and more uphill to the right. :0)
6/30/2014 04:44:02 am
That's exactly what we're doing - working on the quality. It has taken FOREVER to get here, but things are moving along a little quicker now. I had a lesson this morning, and I couldn't believe how light he was at the canter once JL had me tweak a few things.
6/30/2014 04:46:04 am
JL has "threatened," but on horse like Sydney, that could be quite dangerous. When we talked about it this morning, she said I do bend my elbows quite nicely when I am actively riding. It's when I soften too much that I drop the contact. So now I need to be firmer in my expectations. :0)
7/2/2014 11:19:05 pm
I have the same problems with my elbows. I have thought half seriously about tying them to my sides with vet wrap but my horse also bolts unpredictably when he gets uncertain. It's so much better now but I don't entirely trust him either. What I found to help is taking some duck tape and just placing some tape on my elbows while they are bent. When my elbows creep forward, I feel the slight pull. Just the tape on my elbows makes my more aware of them (I think using the same theory that kinesio tape works on.)
7/3/2014 03:09:39 am
That's a great suggestion, Beth. One thing my trainer told me after I watched the video and then shared my thoughts with her was that when I am actively riding my horse, I don't have an elbow problem. Hmmm … That really gave me food for thought. I am certainly not "cured," but knowing that the fix is to simply be an active rider is very encouraging. :0)
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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.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
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2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
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3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: