Dressage Horse Training: How do you warm up for a test?

Hello everyone,

I just had a very poor PSG ride this morning and after indulging in (for about 45 minutes) what happened, why did Donzer quit on me and why am I not a better rider yet, I’ve decided to move on to the real reason we ride tests.  See what happened, understand what happened and make a plan for improvement.


Situational Analysis

I am in the phase with Donzer where I can tell when it doesn’t feel as good as it should but I cannot always diagnose what the problem is so I can fix it.  What I feel is still at the noise level and I’m still trying to discern the individual parts and pieces.  In our warm up I did a nice long and low beginning.  Then, I brought Donzer onto a 20 meter circle and asked him to bring his poll up to a PSG frame which usually takes some discussion and resistance and then eventual compliance.  Today, Donzer brought his poll right up but I know now that he still didn’t give me his back and so was not through his back.  Overall, Donzer felt very compliant in the wam-up.  We did trot and canter half pass, a few changes, a counter canter and pirouette.  All of the elements were in place but we were lacking the thoroughness.  What I felt is that the trot was a lot of work to sit and the trot can be really nice to sit when Donzer is carrying me.  I did some surging but it was clearly not effective to get Donzer working through his back.

I am going to make a plan for my warm-up tomorrow and see what works and what doesn’t.  My goal is to create a clear way to communicate how to structure a warm-up and help the next person sort through the overall good/bad feeling to get to effectiveness.

Problem

So, the problem I am solving is how to know when my warm-up is complete.

Solution for Tomorrow

1.  Continue my initial warm-up.  I ride a trot long and low in big circles focusing on getting Donzer to actually touch the bit and connect over his back.  I do this at canter and then add a canter to counter canter until the neck shoulder connection muscles release.  At this point in the warm-up the shoulder girdle is fairly loose but we are definitely on the forehand.

2.  Ride a diagonal on fairly long rein moving from baby halfpass to leg yield, suppling the spine laterally.

3.  Ride a 20 meter circle and shorten the reins up into a PSG frame.  This involves asking Donzer to lift his belly and recruit the topline muscles instead of the underside of his neck. I will ask for flex at the poll back and forth to ensure we are using the topline muscles.  I will flex at the poll in halt/walk/trot and canter.

4.  Transitions.  I didn’t do this effectively for my ride today.  Tomorrow I plan to do all of the down transitions (canter trot, canter walk, trot walk) making sure Donzer is sitting and not dumping on the forehand.  This is a key check for where we are in the warm-up that I didn’t focus on and we were dinged over and over in the test for–as we should have been.

5. Do surging at trot and canter but insist it get better.  I did this today and it got a little better (very little) each time.  For some reason I was focusing on “harmony” versus being in the driver’s seat and having a gas pedal.  The key is that I cannot accomplish this out of frustration but with clear intent. I fully expect Donzer to offer some resistance since he didn’t have to step up today–and I need to keep calm and focused and not be distracted by pulling, rushing or whatever else Donzer may offer.

I’ll let you know how it goes, what was helpful for me and I’d be interested to know what was helpful for you.

Good Riding, Tara

Author, Out of the Saddle 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

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Dressage Horse Training: Preparing for Prix St. George

Hello Everyone,

I wanted to share how our first PSG went in Autumn Hill.  Donzer had not been shown for almost three years while we were learning changes.  LikeI’m learning about most horses, there is always one move that is particularly challenging.  For Donzer and I it has been the flying changes.  Donzer understands the canter pirouette and we are building strength and negotiating the extra effort required for an FEI level frame and self-carriage. 

We entered the show with the 3s and 4s being a guessing game.  Donzer has done many clean lines and he also has done every variation therein.  So, rather thank continue to postpone our showing leg of our learning process, we pressed on.  I rode 4-3 as a warm-up and was glad to do this because Donzer has always done better with a pre-test ride.  Donzer did try to pull some old tricks and take over like he used to do.  Now that I’m a better rider, I had to demonstrate that I’m driving now (although he’s always checking on that fact).  The first PSG (see Tara Nolan’s Horses on Youtube) was a 59.737, just under the required 60% for our silver medal counting score.  I think the ride was successful because we were able to navigate the pattern and we had both of our’s first PSG under our belts. 

After the first ride, Kris, my husband and I, sat down to review the warm-up and performance and decide what we may be able to improve on for the next day.  We decided that we needed a better warm-up with Donzer more honestly through his back.  We also agreed that even though each element of the test is doable, riding an entire test with all the pieces together is harder. 

We went down to the warm-up arena and watch some of the local trainers warming up their client’s horses.  We got to see an amazing example of one of the top trainers take her horse from a walk on the buckle to elevating the shoulders and poll for an FEI frame.  For me, watching the way the trainer applied her half-halts and dealt with the different answers her horse tried out was very helpful.

For our second day warm-up I allowed myself 45 actual minutes.  I did our training level warm-up and then walked over to the fence to chat for a few minutes.  Then I did a few canter three loop serpentines without a change of rein.  For some reason this movement helps Donzer to let go of his back and any bracing tendencies that hinder our changes.  Next, I established a 20 meter circle and focused on elevating the poll from a 2-3 level frame to the PSG frame and asked for the self-carriage.  This is where the half-halts from the day before came into play.  I took another chat break.  This seems to relax Donzer and I’m sure it’s because I relax as I think about something else besides the test.  

After reading my copy of my test, I also realized that I was allowed to collect and do my flying change from the extended canter on the diagonal instead of at the letter.  The show test versions have more explanation than the copy I printed on-line. 

Although our second test did not feel as powerful and glamourous as I would have liked-it felt very solid and steady.  Donzer was late responding to one of my 4s and so we did 5 strides.  On the threes he blew me off and I just added in a few more after X so he didn’t get the idea changes were done.  Donzer stayed calm and did as I asked so it was a good training moment. The ride ended up being a 61.9 so I was pleased we were able to make some effective changes for the second day. 

Since we have to do another PSG to get our second 60% I’ve been focusing on the quality of the canter.  The better job Donzer does working on his hind end, the better the changes get.  Today, I did many changes-none were late behind but we are definitely renegotiating the change.  Donzer is pretty sure that after a change I should lean forward a little, give him some extra rein and let him gallop off just a little bit.  I have decided to sit up, and make the changes a nonevent in terms of the canter–and this is not being well-received but it is happening.  The PSG is such a combo effort of horse and rider and we each have to put effort into the process. 

Good Riding,

Tara , Author Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding.

 

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Dressage Horse Training: From Schooling to Showing

Hello Everyone,

I have entered a show at the end of the month and now I’m committed.  For me the reality of a hard deadline helps me focus instead of just having a wide lens view of everything.  It’s been almost three years since I’ve shown Donzer as we hit the challenges of flying changes and this less than black and white requirement of quality and self-carriage.  As we keep improving, my understanding of the previous step clarifies and I see how much further we have to go.  But, I have drawn this line in the sand and we’ll use the show to truly highlight what is working and what aspects need to keep improving.

I can see why the recommendation is to learn on a schoolmaster because there are some things that once I feel them it eclipses the need for explanation.  It is difficult when you do know how something should feel, you know it is wrong and you’re not sure how to fix it.  I was working Donzer on Monday and had him warmed up like I would for a show but it wasn’t right.  We figured out he still wasn’t reaching forward to the bit like he should.  I tried to ride some figures, some forward and back and finally, when I started posting the trot and almost squishing him forward like clay between my calves, we got the connection.


This clip shows some canter and flying change work.  I can tell you that I am still holding on to changes with my fingernails.  I understand what should be happening in my mind if I slow everything down just to think about it.  When I try to visualize my changes real time I still get overwhelmed.  Watching the video I still cannot always tell if the change is clean or late but each time I watch the video it’s like it slows down a bit more. The changes are still more about the canter and we are developing more self-carriage.  On Monday I had a few moments of Donzer truly working off his hind end and wow is all I can say.  I wasn’t able to recreate that feel again but now I know it’s in there.

I have 2 more weeks and we’ll see how much progress can be made in that time.

Good Riding,

Tara, Author of Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding.

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Dressage Horse Training: Donzer and Tara PSG journey update

Hello Everyone,

This has been a busy traveling year for me. Already this year I’ve been to Hawaii, Vegas and China.  In between travel and weather, Donzer and I have been working on PSG.  Our goal was to ride PSG last fall but I decided to get the changes more solid.  In my PSG rough ride video we almost did our 3s and 4s counts perfectly but the rest of the picture was not as it should be.  I have gotten a greater understanding of this fuzzy term “quality of gait.”  I have found this to be one of the hardest things to learn in dressage because after you understand walk, trot, canter, pirouette, etc you then have to start recognizing the quality of the walk, trot, canter…

The best explanation I had this winter from one of my trainers was, “you’ve done a good job with your gaits, circles, half-passes and now Donzer needs to do all of these movements with the poll about 4 inches higher.”  This is much simpler than it sounds.  When you bring the poll up, the horse’s back, underneath your seat, stops feeling bouncy and becomes almost rigid as new muscles are engaging to lift the poll up.  I find if very had to leave my comfy long and low trot for the more uphill frame because it doesn’t “feel” as good.

I have approached this new poll high frame by letting the forward in our trot lessen and as Donzer and I find our balance together, I’m letting the gait grow again.  What I had been doing previously was pushing forward into a trot I couldn’t sit (and thus direct) and Donzer couldn’t really balance to the hind leg.  I balance this more precise work with some big posting trot so we don’t lose the idea of forward and we’re learning to bring the poll up.

This process is one of Donzer getting physically stronger, me developing a more independent seat and the core strength to sit a bigger trot (I’ve actually shortened my stirrups 2 holes as the trot has gotten more elevated!), and finally, Donzer’s agreement to work at this next level.  I find that when I get Donzer on board with the new program he becomes a helper and I don’t have to be quite as an accomplished rider.  There are movements that Donzer can do better with an advanced rider.  I like having his help that he provides when he is happy in his work.

We’ve also been working on learning piaffe from the ground.  So far Donzer has learned to sit when tapped on top of his croup.  This is helping with my poll high elevated work because when I tap with my whip Donzer has learned to sit from our ground work. This was not intentional on my part but it has worked out well.  This is yet another example of how ground work helps with all aspects of training from the perspective of understanding.

What I can say is that over the winter I have a few aha moments where a canter depart is effortless (for me) or I can give the reins forward on a small circle or half-pass.  So, while I’m not living in that level of balance yet, I know where I’m trying to go.  I have been scheduling a lesson every 3-4 weeks when I feel like I have some consistency and get more feedback.  I think I needed this time to ride without someone in my ear all the time so I can sort out what I do and don’t know.  By the end of the summer, I will be ready to accept more input but I needed processing time for what I had.  There really are stages where the body just needs time to catch up with the brain–at least for a visual and aural learner.  I have a feeling that kinesthetic learners may be somewhat reversed on this point.

I’ll keep you updated on our progress,

Good Riding,

Tara, Author of Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

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Dressage Horse Training: Horses in China

Hello Everyone,

I just got back from an amazing 10 days in China and I was thrilled to get to ride a horse as part of my trip.  We were able to go to a riding facility and there was the immediate language barrier.  Luckily, horses speak horse all over the world.  The trainer, Liuxianhong, smartly decided to start me on a safe horse on the longe line.  After demonstrating I could walk trot and canter I was allowed to ride around the yard.  Then, after about 10 minutes, I was moved to another horse, that I understand actually came from Australia.  Finally, I was able to ride a third horse.  The translation I received was “this horse is not so well warmed up and he many not be so good.”  When I got on I did feel I was on a bit of a powder keg but I have had a few horses like this in my lifetime.  I really enjoyed putting my dressage training to the test.  I began my warm-up like I would any hot horse with walk halt walks, some contact and then encouraging a stretch down.  We were able to finish up with some nice trot extensions and trot leg yields.  I elected not to push the envelope and delve into canter when I was getting such honest effort from my horse.  I’m sure I was asking for a very non-standard routine as this horse clearly jumped for a living as a schoolmaster.

If you find yourself in China in need of a horse fix near Beijing, you can check out their website at www.lftclub.com. You will need a translator to decipher the site but the pictures are universal. You can see photos on my fan page Chinese Horse Trainer

Good riding is good riding,

Tara 🙂

Author, Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

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Dressage Horse Training: How to Use Visualization

Hello Everyone,

I am in the process of learning the throughness for Prix St Georges.  This is something both the horse and rider have to learn and when you are learning it together it is essential to use all the resources available.  One of the great tools is visualization, putting a clear mental picture into your head is a valuable tool to create an action in the “real” world.

I came across this great photo of JJ Tate in the Feb 2013 issue of Dressage Today. This photo shows the articulation of the horse’s joints, the flex of the belly muscle by the rider’s ankle, the engagement of the belly muscle at the rear corne of the saddle pad, the fullness of the horse’s back muscle behind the saddle pad, the engagement of the neck muscle in front of the saddle pad all the way to the poll.  The reins are soft and the mouth is foamy.

The rider, JJ Tate, has beautiful ear, shoulder, hip  and heel alignment.  Her toe is lifted and her foot parallel to the horse.  Her armpits are dropped down and connected into her core.

Find a great photo that has all the elements you are working to achieve each day in your riding and put it somewhere you will see it often ( hanging on the bathroom mirror is a great place or even your refridgerator door).  Look at the photo and the put yourself into the photo.  Notice where your stiffen or start in on yourself with negative self-talk.  Let the negative thoughts pass through and then replace them with positive images.  Even if you cannot quite get a clear picture of yourself in this form–pretend (your brain/body doesn’t know the difference).  This visualiztion process wills start creating neuro-muscular pathways to develop fine motor control of new muscles needed for riding.

Good riding,

Tara 🙂

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Dressage Horse Training: Teach your horse complex moves from the walk

Hello Everyone,

I just read the article “Easy Canter Pirouettes”  in Dressage Today Feb 2013 issue and it is perfectly aligned with the way I like to learn and teach.  The article shows how you can teach a very simple exercise at the walk first to allow the horse time to understand and then add the impulsion of canter to the mix.


When I was first learning to ride, just keeping my hips moving enough to keep up with the sitting trot used all of my concentration.  I had an instructor trying to teach me leg yield one day and she insisted that it would be much easier to learn from the trot.  My horse didn’t understand the aids for leg yield and at the trot I was so unpracticed that I gave my horse many erroneous aids along with the correct aids.  I now teach both my students and horses the leg yield from the walk first.

I think there is some hold over from the more traditional European method of teaching that puts novice riders on school master horses.  In this model, you can focus on teaching the rider how to apply aids because the horse is already educated.  In the typical American way, we are learning along side (or should I say astride) our horses so it is the blind leading the blind.  It is essential to break the movements and down to the walk first and then add impulsion.  Our students are learning to become trainers in addition to riders. Before we can teach our students to ride a leg yield, we first have to establish if the horse understands the aids i.e. move sideways when I apply my leg versus trotting off. Or, keep flexion at the poll when we are moving instead of sticking their head in the air to access the underside of their neck muscles.

I begin this process first on the ground teaching horses to respect and respond to the aids.  For the rider, working with your horse on the ground allows you to see what is going on, learning to read your horse’s body language, without having to keep your balance in the saddle at the same time. You can find my Home Study Course Communication: Part I which incorporates a workbook and accompanying DVD lessons to take you through the process.

I continue this approach in my lessons and for anyone who rides with me, take a peek at the article in Dressage Today and you’ll see a little bit of your future.

Good Riding,

Tara 🙂

Author, Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

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Dressage Horse Training: Developing canter balance for flying changes

Hello Everyone,

I had two educational experiences this past week that have furthered me on my flying change journey.  In my lesson with Nicole from Westmanton stables, I had improved enough from my last lesson to have new homework.

  • Shoulder for canter on straight lines
  • Counter canter with bend in the opposite direction

I watched a lesson at JJ Tate’s clinic in the Black Forest and took an exercise to add to my list.

  • Half-pass to quarterline and leg yield back to the wall

JJ’s Homework

I watched a rider do halfpass from the wall to quarterline and then leg yield back to the wall.  I came home and tried this on Donzer and found it very doable to the left.  When I tried to the right, Donzer couldn’t get it down and broke down to the walk.  I did the exercise at the walk, trot and then Donzer was able to find enough balance to complete at the canter.  This exercise raised my awareness of my seat and to make sure I was sitting on my outside sits bone in the canter.  It also highlighted when I was leaning forward.  I will keep this exercise in my took kit for sure.

Nicole’s Homework

I was able to find shoulder fore fairly consistently on the quarterlines but it was much more challenging on the diagonal.  I found shoulder fore left more challenging as connecting Donzer’s left hind/right front is the harder diagonal.  The work I did today consisted of establishing a consistent canter with jump on the 20 meter circle.  When I took this canter to a straight line, Donzer would drop his back a little and root slightly with his nose.  I added some firm half-halts and felt Donzer come up through his back right under my seat.  I stabilized this position and then took it across the diagonals as well.

For the counter canter with bend practice, I took the shoulder fore canter on the quarterline and then bent Donzer’s shoulders and hips (i.e. in shoulder for left I moved his shoulders and hips to the right).

This exercise is excellent for me because it is making me truly aware of my sits bones.  When Donzer drops his head a bit and starts bouncing me around, I usually lost my sits bone connection to his hind leg.  To maintain the counter canter with opposite bend, I have to control my seat and half-halt Donzer so he doesn’t be naughty and toss me around.

Today, to finish up I got my ground guy, Kris to come watch my changes.  Our routine is to do four loop serpentines up and down the arena with simple changes and then add in flying changes.  Our first flying change was late behind 3x.  I just halted and then repeated until the change was clean.

What seems to be happening is that as I get Donzer to let me bend and supple his body, he tends to relax and get slow behind.  I had to play with activating the hind legs to be quick.  Once I got the hind legs active, we did 7 clean flying changes–that I asked for and we did not speed up.

Good Riding,

Tara 🙂

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Dressage Horse Training: The Value of Another Perspective

Hello Everyone,

I am working intently to solidify 3s and 4s so I can ride my first Prix St George in September.  I have until Sep 13 to see if we can make enough progress to enter and part of my process was to find a local trainer to help me.  I had a lesson last week with Nicole from Westmanton Stables and here is how it went.

I arrived only a few minutes early so while I filled out my paperwork, Nicole jumped in and finished Donzer’s tacking up.  As we walked through their beautiful new facility, I shared my perspective and brief history.  You know, here’s everything you need to know about me and Donzer in 3 minutes or less.

We agreed I would get on Donzer first and run through our routine.  My husband, Kris, and I had been riding a very specific program for the last 2 weeks to practice the changes.  The first part was that I did not do changes without Kris there because I need him to tell me if the change was clean or not.  The routine was designed to help me find my balance and coordination and to give Donzer something he could anticipate.

My Routine:

  • Long/low trot
  • Canter
  • Canter shallow-loop serpentines to coordinate my seat to his back
  • 4 loop serpentines with simple changes
  • 4 loop serpentines with flying changes (if late, we repeat until clean)
  • Quarterline simple changes
  • Diagonal line simple changes
  • Ride PSG inserting simple changes for the flying changes

I started with the stretchy trot and Nicole immediately pointed out I was letting the shoulder pop out which contributed to Donzer not connecting with the left rein.  Then, Donzer would brace, not pull, but just brace his right jaw mostly and I didn’t soften soon enough.  For our simple changes, Donzer was backing off instead of marching forward into the walk (I allowed this because he would add trot steps if I tried to push him forward).  Nicole also mentioned that Donzer did not really listen to the last half-halt to signal the canter to walk (this was because I really didn’t do it).  We did some flying changes on the short diagonal and especially on the right to left change, Donzer really skated left.  Nicole asked me if I felt this, I thought about it for a minute (literally 22 seconds) and decided I did feel it.  So, the analysis at this point was that the changes were fine, Donzer’s submission was the issue.

Now Nicole got on.  I really wanted to see her ride and how she connected with Donzer.  And, I wanted her to feel exactly what was him versus me.  This was fun because as the rider, you don’t get to see your horse in action all that often and video just isn’t the same.  I got to see what Nicole was talking about with the submission and not touching the bit.  And, even better, how she managed him.

My homework from this lesson was as follows:

  • Ride the canter much more forward until I really felt the jump
  • Do my canter-walk transitions fearlessly.  If Donzer made the mistake of trotting a step-fix it don’t block it.  And, add the outside rein half-halt to my process.
  • Do lots of canter, counter-canter and bending so Donzer allowed me to canter without associating a change of bend with the change.
  • Keep the same canter when I decide to change that I had when I was just cantering.

How it worked out at home:

Donzer did do the bigger gait but I had to push him up each day in both the trot and canter.

I usually remembered to check in with the shoulder alignment after a few minutes of trotting and then at different points throughout the ride (clearly this is not second nature for me-Yet).

The canter-walk seemed to almost fix itself with the clarity of my intent.  Adding in the outside half-halt is going to help a lot when there are distractions

On second day, Donzer actually tried to pull me forward out of the saddle because he was tired of me insisting he touch the bit.  We worked a little longer that day until I got a canter I was happy with for a couple of circles.

I took Donzer to the round pen to have a little reminder about who was the boss at the beginning of my next  lesson.  The smarty pants horse remembered roundpenning and tried to just joinup and follow me around immediately to avoid going around in circles.  I pushed him out to do a few changes and then we went on to ride–with much less head shaking, pulling, bit touching drama.

On the diagonal from left to right, Donzer is ignoring my attempts to quickly rebalance and bend.  He is shoving his nose out and up and bracing on the right rein.  I have been repeating this in a simple change until he acquiesces and then moving on to the next thing.  Nicole is right, the change is not the problem.

For my last ride before my next lesson with Nicole I was on my own.  So, no changes.  I rode bigger canter, did serpentines and bending.  We did many simple changes.  Donzer gave me a lot of static on the diagonal changes and I probably did 6 full diagonal lines playing with my half-halts (always needing to be much stronger than I think they need to be) and I felt a canter like he lifted up under me–very cool.  I also did the canter pirouette move with the counter canter through the corner and a simple change at C.

My Overall Assessment

I think Donzer and I made great strides on our homework and we’ll see what we do for Nicole tomorrow.  I’m not sure but I think I like my riding half the lesson and then Nicole hopping on for a bit as well.  I am a visual learner and it helps me a lot to watch her ride and manage Donzer, too.

I know the frustrating thing for my other trainers is that there is nothing cosmically new that Nicole did or I haven’t been told to do before.  But, it helped me focus and the great part is that a new trainer doesn’t have any preconceptions and just hones in on what they see in the moment.

I am looking forward to my next ride with Nicole.

Good Riding,

Tara 🙂

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Simple Changes are the Key to Flying Changes

Hello everyone,

I am at the flying change segment of my dressage journey and here is my next ahhaa discussion.  Donzer spent a few months with a trainer this spring to learn changes and now I am working to get changes into my body, too.  Since I don’t have access to a schoolmaster, I have been struggling with how to learn flying changes.  For me, I truly understand a concept when I can teach the next person and simple changes are a key you need to understand.

When I first rode 2nd level the test called for simple changes and I read the definition and it said to go from canter to walk to canter.  OK, done.  Now, I understand that the simple change teaches the horse and, more importantly, the rider how to prepare for a change.

Janet Foy taught me the exercise of counter-cantering, moving the shoulders over, walking and then picking up the true canter.  I did this exercise fairly mechanically and am just now understanding the real point.  If you move the shoulders over before the walk, you position the horse to pick up the other lead.  If you simple canter to walk with the same bend then when you try to pick up the other lead, the horse will have to adjust, stutter step, stick their nose in the air… When you change the bend before the walk, your horse is prepared for the new lead.

The homework is on many levels in this simple exercise.

You have to feel if your horse is sitting to stop or dropping onto his front end.  You have to teach the horse to allow you to change the bend and not flip a change or brace.

You have to really keep your own balance and not learn forward or sideways.

You have to feel for other odds and ends. Ava swings her belly to the right no matter which way she is going so I have to feel where her hind legs are versus simply checking in on her belly.

A flying change is just a canter depart from a canter depart.  A canter depart from a walk needs to be smooth and effortless to have a good change.  Donzer has no physical problems doing changes.  The challenge is to get the changes into my body.  I rush and anticipate myself.

Here is what we are doing now.

Ride 4 loop serpentine canter walks over centerline.

Focus on uphill down transition and hindleg departs

Focus on Donzer moving his belly from right to left to make room for his hind legs.  One problem Kris and I finally figured out was that Donzer was leaving his belly on the right no matter what and the change from Left to Right was usually late behind because of belly in the way problems.

Ride quarter lines with simple changes–as many as we can fit.

Next, I’m going to add simple changes across the diagonal.

Then, I’m going to ride the Prix St Georges replacing all of the changes with Simple Changes.  This will slow me down and let me feel where my balance is off and also where Donzer tries to take over.

Then, we’ll add changes and see how it goes.

Good Riding,

Tara 🙂

Author, Out of the Saddle: 9 Steps to Improve Your Horseback Riding

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