Not unless they realize they want to do other things other than pursue the sandbox. Nothing fills me with more dread than the notion of spending 4-6 days a week in the arena, working.
Originally Posted by NOMIOMI1
Schooling HI, SI, LY here and there as a gymnastic is not the same as the laser focus needed to really go after it hard and make it beautiful.
Me, sometimes I want to drink a cold beer and toodle down the trail. I can leave the sandbox, and gladly, and do.
Like I said,it's the road ended for me, and that is awesome. Better to realize my self-imposed limitations and honor my other wishes than try to cram my horse into a twice a week vise and try to make it work, halfassed.
I'll mind the cooler, y'all get after it! It's ALL good :)
There are days when "the cooler" looks good.
lateral bending leads to longitudial flexion aka the horse bending in its body and learning to step across with its hind legs leads to the horse automatically coming onto the bit and chewing... that is the beauty of it :) you get instant feed back into what you r are doing - whether it is working or not :yes:
Originally Posted by Gloria
only once the horse bends and connects can the half halt truly work by bending and folding the hind legs..... and once that happens as my trainer says "your work is done" for that moment.....
there are reasons why the theory is laid out as it is... and it all starts to click into place once you feel how it is all interconnected :) that in itself is super rewarding!
What is forgotten is the acitivity and what you once were taking as steps simply forward are now equally going upward AND forward. (not at first but that is the goal).
Lot's of great replies. Exp Ideayoda and mbm.
It seems to me just about anyone can ride successfully through TL and First and 2nd is where the real work comes front and center. Perhaps this is why so many drop out after first. I'm learning first hand that a SI done at a TL frame/gate does not make a 2nd level SI.
We could go in and do a 2nd level test and prob score a 60 but I really want to do better than that. I really want to understand the concepts and be able to apply successfully.
I really wish there were more in first level to prepare for 2nd. Maybe if I was a pro and did TL and First last year we would be ready for 2nd this year but being a 1 horse ammy it's taking a lot longer.
It's a little frustrating. I know we are getting better and I can feel that I'm on the verge of soem really good work but it's just that I've been feeling like this for a few months now and as I inch closer I see that I have a few more inches to go.
When I make it, I can die happy. LOL (yea right. As soon as I do I know I'll start to tackle 3rd )
Don't worry, it will all come together!
When I started 2nd level work on my guy, the goal of a decent 2nd level test seemed so far away. On a lark, I entered a 2nd level 1 test and gave it a try. We did not win our class, but earned a good score above 60%. I was encouraged by the judge's comments and the feel of the test itself.
That made the journey through 2nd level easier the next year, though I remember each test as feeling SOOO long and SOOO hard!
Now we're working on moving up and beyond Third Level next year and THIS feels hard, but not as hard as Second was! Each level demands more strength and stamina from both horse and rider. If I hadn't had to work so hard to be fit for Second, I'd never have made it to Third.
Ask your horse (and yourself) the questions in bite-sized pieces. Ask for shorter medium trots, but make the transitions more crisp and expressive. Same with simple changes and all the rest. Ask for little bits but make them GOOD. Gradually make your little bits a little longer but keep the quality. Hill work and cavalletti work are your friends as you go up the levels. They will help with strengthening and keep yourself and your horse fresh & interested.
Go ahead and try a Second Level test and find out where you're weakest and strongest. You may be pleasantly surprised how well you ARE doing and it will give you the incentive to go onward and upward.
I am so glad I am not the only one!!
I have had my "new" horse for three years now and my trainer says my horse is solid first level....(I go based on her opinion since I am proving to be a terrible judge of where we are....I think I would be eternally in training level if I went solely on my own opinion). We have started schooling a lot of the second movements but for me and this horse it is proving to be a really tough jump. I feel like I don't have enough experience and my horse isn't in full time training and isn't already trained so we are learning together.
So...no advice but I can understand what you are saying!
Sometimes I think "Should I put him in full time training for 30 days" "Should I bump up my lessons to 4-5 days a week"
"Should I have trainer ride a few times a week and then I ride a few times"
It's just so new to me and to him (he's only 7), I'm jsut not sure what the best approach is. I see others out there with upper level school masters and he's hard to stay behind while we are learning. Seems like the only thing I have going for me is my dedication, desire to succeed and my never quit attitude. Other than that it's just a bunch of hard work physically and mentally. A LOT harder than I ever imagined. I have so much more respect for people who've done it.
This was my first year showing at Second Level with my mare. And boy was it a learning experience!! We didn't light the world on fire but we did fairly well, mostly scoring in the mid 60's. Even though both my mare and I had just started to work on Second Level in earnest in the spring I decided to start showing by early summer as I find half my problem in the show ring is learning to "show ride" (ie; tie all movements together, not get too nervous, figure out proper warm up length, to keep moving even if we have a glaring mistake. etc.).
I was hoping to do Third Level right off the bat next spring but now I think I'll start back at Second with the goal of making Third by summer. I want to be able to score consistently in the high 60s before moving up.
What I have found challenging is really riding with my mare up in her shoulders and reaching for the bit. She is a bit of a lazy sort and wants to stay in her comfortable First Level frame...just not gonna cut it! This has also required me to really firm up my core and use my back to encourage her front end to stay up. I must say in the attempt to really ride decently at second level MY riding has greatly improved. I almost can't stand to look at a video of me one year ago:(
What has also helped was putting my mare in training over the summer. Previously I hauled out once a week for lessons but this summer I have taken 3 lessons/ week. HUGE benefit!
Just keep working on it and one day you'll be working on 3rd level and 2nd will seem easy.
Think of it this way, once you master 2nd it's a cruise up to PSG, then you hit a similar moment in training.
It IS hard work and it requires dedication, and education to make it happen. I spend 10% of my gross income just on my dressage education. That's not counting any other horse expenses! That's JUST my education.
Next time that happens, be sure to post a video! :D
Originally Posted by goodpony
I really wish I could have more "eyes on the ground" support than currently do as there have been a lot of times I have 'questions"---endless questions! My guy is also 7 and homebred and never been in any pro training. I do feel my instructor is very good and more than anyone else she has been really supportive and encouraging during this phase--during our weekly sessions! I do think more than one lesson a week would really help keep us on the right path.
Originally Posted by bluehof
I too am working at keeping my guy "up" and "mobile" in his shoulders---but more importantly with him keeping him active behind--and all while maintaining cadence/tempo. He has come up almost ALL from the work itself--but his tendency lies more in being just a bit lazy behind --and needs occasional reminding. I can feel the steps getting higher as we work and when he sits in Collection he really sits--which has really helped strengthen my balance/core. There are days when I wonder who is teaching who exactly---he has become my best indicator of where/how I need to improve my seat/position/timing-to help him become MORE straight--when I get those things right and he is straight and through--the "more" becomes available. Very addicting---that "more".
good post Good Pony!
Really good:yes: post Good Pony; I especially liked the part about strengthening your center to really firm up my core and use my back to :cool:encourage her
agree here, too!
This why I said dressage/ flat work is/ was an important part:yes: of my conditioning program for a TB with a base:o!
Many if not most riders don't push it in their schooling the way they need to. You should be schooling a constant canter for 7 minutes 2x a week per lead. Collected, to medium, to collected, to SI to HI, to counter, to medium, and so on. 7 straight minutes. There's nearly 5 straight minutes in the test. __________________
My guy is 8 this year and we made the official (recognized show) move to second at the end of last season, with scores in the upper 50's. We worked hard over the winter and again showed at second a few times this spring, with scores right around 60. All along, I had been riding my guy 5-6 times a week and lessoning with my excellent trainer 1-2 times a week. I still felt like we both kept making the same mistakes. In June, I bit the bullet and put my horse in full time training for 30 days, just to get him really confirmed and to actually start confirming the third level movements as well (which we had been working on). After the 30 days (during which time I did not ride him at all, just trainer), I had a completely different horse. He was solid second level and pretty confirmed at third, too! I just had to learn to ride him! In mid-July, I took him to a show at second and scored upper 60's and low 70's. Another 6 weeks of lessons and we made our third level debut last weekend, with great scores, too. I was reluctant to put my horse in full training when I had done all the work myself up to that point, but it turned out to be just the push we both needed.
Originally Posted by KurPlexed
My horse and I made the jump to 2nd level this year (just a few weeks ago!) with more success than I anticipated. Horse hasn't had a pro ride in over 2 years and we have been without eyes on the ground and lessons for 3 months now (were military and moved to a dressage black hole haha!). To top it off he's a saddlebred and its a first for both of us at this level! It was a tough jump up but in the end the basics are all still the same. It's not always easy but it can be done!
Originally Posted by Carol Ames
This is where I'm a firm believer of a good fitness program being incorporated into the weekly routine. I'll do 2 days a week of canter sets, similar to those you would in preparation for a 3DE without the actual full on gallop work. A good strong working canter is all that is really needed.
It also helps with blowing out the cobwebs and keeping them fresh and interested.
In Carl Hesters book 'Real life dressage' he covers briefly on the topic of fitness work outside the arena for a dressage horse. I figure it's good enough for Carl Hester then it's good enough for my horses.
Back to the topic, I don't find the step to 2nd such a daunting task as the exercises needed are all incorporated in a daily training program from day 1 in tiny baby steps. I think where a lot of riders come undone is the steps into 1st due to the simple factor of having to sit trot for the majority of the test.
The step I find the most daunting was 3rd to 4th with the extra collection need in the canter work for sequence changes and pirouetes.
You don't have to sit the trot in 1st...
Originally Posted by BrokenArrow
I so far am finding the only big problem we have moving to 2nd is my sprained back, and recent discovery that working on collected gaits means a week off riding due to massive back pain. Time will heal that, though. But our collection is simply coming out of all the work and exercises we've done. Maybe it has to do with natural talent to collect in a horse? We had to have collected trot there before being able to do what I feel is a sufficient lengthening for 1st because his talent is in collection, and he needed to build carrying strength to be able to lengthen properly.
Similarly - we're schooling canter pirouettes, as he's ready for them and if I ride them properly 1/2 pirouettes are super easy for him. But we need the strength to have discernible mediums and extensions which happen immediately rather than which slowly develop across a diagonal.
Netg some tbs just have an easier collected gait (in my experience). Lenthening and mediums seem to be a bit tougher strength wise :)
Other people I have spoken to also have the same.
The tbs need more suppling and relaxation which can set you back and their trot work can be a bit difficult.
For my own training I try to do the same and work what is easy above my level and strengthen what is not making sure they dont school something and then try it right away as finished. Increase the difficulty abkve the level to ensure fitness and coordination and then you can soften back to the movement which feels easy after.
Example is half steps. Basically at this level its like a jog as far as impulsion but if the horse can at least understand the idea then your collection will be easier.