Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Ok, so it took me an hour and a half to upload the stupid thing (I have no idea why, but there you go) so here is one video! This is First Level Test 1. Also, this is a video of a video since I couldn't figure out how to upload the original and I can also not figure out how to mute it, so there is a phone conversation with my mother about half way through... I would recommend muting it, lol.

What I notice about the video -

Jetta is really mouthy, which is how she gets when she or I is nervous, something we need to work on.

Second trot lengthening is really fast, but part of the reason is because she tries to canter and when I don't let her, she yanks me out of the saddle (I should have been sitting back more...) and thus is on her forehand.

Need to work more on keeping her supple and really bending through our corners to help with our balance and suppleness issues.

I need to put my shoulders back really badly!

Upwards right lead canter transition = awful

I think I tend to stiffen when I ask for the canter so that's probably not helping us any.

Judge noted that we need more bends in our half and full circles.

So there you are! Feel free to give feedback/advice, but please be nice :)


  1. The ride was really quite nice, but here is room for improvement. She is SO gorgeous though, she's gotten so much better..

    Anyways, I would suggest shortening your stirrups up. You're letting her post you, and you're wiggling throughout your middle which makes your thigh/knee wiggle around, which means too much weight is in your stirrup.

    You want to keep 80% of your weight in your thighs, and 20% in your stirrups. Once this is happening, you can post from your thighs and not from your stirrups, which leaves your lower leg free and quiet, as well as helping to still your seat and be quieter on her back.

    The biggest thing I see in dressage recently is the long stirrups. It really is quiet a bad trend, I just can't stand it. (If you want to see a rider with the "ideal" position.. http://www.mary-wanless.com/images/heatherBlitz.jpg )

    Her name is Heather Blitz and she is a Grand Priz rider and Olympic hopeful for the next Games. Pictured in the foreground is Mary Wanless, I recommend looking her up as well, it is QUITE interesting.

    But goodness, you guys look 100x better than a year ago! WTG on your achievements, you must be so proud!

  2. Thanks! I will try that :) And yes, we've come a LONG way, I can't believe it almost. Love Heather Blitz by the way.

  3. Overall a nice test! It was a bit tense to start, but her trots after the canter were really nice and flowed better. Your downward c/t transition at X was lovely and spot on!

    RE the right canter lead, there's not much time to go from free walk to canter, so you have to make every step count. The advice I got on this from my trainer was to pick up the reins 3 steps early for the working walk, get your walk, overbend or even ask for shoulder-fore in the corner so that the inside hind is REALLY engaged for that canter depart. Maybe it will help you too?

    Y'all looked really nice overall, and have come SO FAR in a year. You should be a really proud mum!

  4. Lovely!! You guys make a great pair. You ride a lot like I do. :) I think we have a similar body shape. Here are my suggestions but I am just being picky here - you guys are really quite super.

    1) When you post, you are electrifying your horse's back (this is a "hunter habit"). You almost hover before coming back up. Sit down and wait for her to push you back up. Wiggle your toes when you post. Take the tension out of your seat.
    2) Don't throw away the contact and connection in the stretchy circle. Keep the connection. Don't widen your hands. By throwing away the connection, it takes you much longer to restablish it when you put her back together. Plus, with no connection it's not really a stretchy circle.
    3) Right lead canter transition. At home, lift your inside (right) hand up when you ask. This has a very slight gag effect and will encourage her to stay round in the transition.
    4) Raise your hands by bending at the elbow. This will automatically send your shoulders back (this is one of my issues I also struggle with!) and makes it easier for you to use your core.

    Sorry for the novel! Love your horse. Keep up the good work!

  5. Jenj - good advice! I definitely think I need to prepare her more for the transition and I think that would probably help us. Now if I could just remember to do that in the middle of our test...

    Karen - thanks for the advice! Makes sense, so I will have to try those. Love getting tips I haven't heard of before!

  6. Just came across your blog, and instantly recognized the arena you're riding in ;) And I also recognize a few of your pictures. Did you have this horse posted on craigslist a while back? She's gorgeous. I live in Hillsboro and also have a TB :)