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  1. #1121
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    Question for those that do the standing flexions In Hand how often do you do them (or how do you incorporate them into your program)--are they part of your daily routine? Or are they something that you use as needed.



    Update--Pony very lofty today, very good lateral work, LY, SF, SI, R & T and we had fun mixing things up. Also really nice uphill balanced soft relaxed Short diagonal to Counter Canter to Canter to Walk + Several good steps Spanish walk In Hand and two leg (one R and one L) stretches under saddle.

    Pony was very relaxed afterwards and became very loose and supple---which caused me to wonder if one should seek a balance between Positive Tension and Supple/Relaxation----like the Lightness question is there such a thing as to loose. I think I mentioned before our soft landings in the halt transitions where it feels like the haunches are stepping under but in a kind of 'cushy' soft way--almost a bit of a 'haunches sinking feeling" and I wonder at times if I should create more Positive tension during these "downs" so as to avoid taking any 'odd steps". By odd steps I mean he almost steps too far under--like the halt 'surprised him' and he forgot to shut the hind end down--even though he comes to what I believe is an obedient halt and is not heavy in the hand or falling on his face---though during these 'soft landings' I think the hinds are slightly 'not square".
    Last edited by goodpony; Nov. 7, 2012 at 06:38 PM.



  2. #1122
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    bump
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ― Albert Einstein



  3. #1123
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    bump..see above questions



  4. #1124
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    I don't know if there is a word or phrase for it in either German or French and, especially, as it would pertain to the training of the horse, but yes, one can be too sloppy.

    It is the difference between a horse with a very distinct set of footfalls, including the "marching" gaits that do get used as descriptions of what the "quick back leg" and "every joint engaged" along with being suppple and elastic, and the horse that just rolls through his gaits without fully using himself equally throughout his joints ... those are the shock-absorbers and by using them properly throughout all of your training then your horse should stay sound for a very long time. Theoretically.

    In my experience that works, so that is why I try to do it right when I do it.



  5. #1125
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    Runners talk about it. You can 'run' or you can 'run' .

    It's not about speed, it is about efficiency of stride and lightness of footalls. There is a lightness but there is power in it.



  6. #1126
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    That is why I find it a little perplexing--because he is rhythmic and cadenced when making the down transition to halt. The 'soft landings" have only happened once or twice--which caused them to stand out in my mind because the feel 'different". He is not stepping backwards/forwards/see sawing and is landing light/square in front--but I think slightly offset behind--perhaps a little wide now that I think about it--he almost seems surprised--or maybe Im suprised. And it led me to wonder about generating more "Positive" tension by supporting with the leg.



  7. #1127
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    I can't comment without a visual.

    I cannot think of a time I had sloppy or squishy without something being obviously not correct.

    No, I release tension into the halt. I learned not to fiddle with the halt. If I ride into it inside leg to outside hand, on my inside seat bone, close my thighs and have done all the basic training, I am good. Nice, square, smooth halt.
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ― Albert Einstein



  8. #1128
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    I wish I had a video that so that I could see whats happening. As I mentioned its not something that is necessarily recurring on a regular basis (1-2x)----and its not what I would consider sloppy-its more like he steps a little two far under and it feels as though his hocks are flexing and he is sitting---could he be wide-is that what wide feels like?. I am just mystified by what he is doing back there. We regularly score "7-8s" on our Centerline-Halt Transitions (even with our very limited showing)--and not usually less than.



  9. #1129
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    I remember the video that you posted maybe a few weeks ago.

    You might be 'loosing' the rear end sometimes just because you are still building on the pieces of putting everything together, .... where you can hold things together a bit longer and through more strides without loosing the connection, the 'feel, or your steadiness.



  10. #1130
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    In what respect losing the hind end as in haunches out/in? Or as in trailing behind-I am genuinely interested in learning about this. But as I pointed out he is not falling on his face---he is light and obedient in the hand and attentive in the halt (it just feels like the haunches take a step where they sink when he comes to the halt).

    Oh yeah the video---he was pretty pokey that day (it was really HOT), he is like a shag carpet this fall (PLUSH) and here in CA we are still having frequently VERY warm days. Neither of us were really on our game. Will have to try for some new video soon.

    Before Shearing

    After Shearing

    I found this image online---and it feels more like this (only this would be the extreme scenario---in my case the forelimbs are vertical rather than out front---and not sitting as deeply on the haunches---but there is moment where he feels like he is sitting

    http://knighthoodoftheacademicartofr...ads/Parade.jpg
    Last edited by goodpony; Nov. 7, 2012 at 08:48 PM.



  11. #1131
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    WOW! Pretty PONY! How much time had passed between the two photos?
    “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”
    ― Albert Einstein



  12. #1132
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    3 weeks--clipped him yesterday for the second time this season. I clipped him earlier than normal this year because he was sweating/thick pile carpet coated and at that time it was still very warm---cool nights. He is a cool little dude--seems to be getting back to where we were before we detoured--only better!



  13. #1133
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    He is adorable, goodpony. He has great confo, but he is really cute in his expression.

    Can you find that video and repost it here again? I know that I saw some things in it that are part of what you are trying to figure out.

    Do you have the book, Riding Logic, by Wilhelm Museler?



  14. #1134
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    He may be reaching too far forward with his hind legs, rather than 'carrying' with them (more action in the joints of the hind leg).

    He may be well built enough to look good (for the judge) even when he isn't really coming through and carrying more.

    I am guessing he is quite athletic and really can do a lot without even working. And 'working' does NOT mean riding the poor pony into the dirt ... it means putting effort into flexing the joints and suppling the spine ... a little bit at a time as you develop more conditioning.

    It's always about conditioning. One step at a time.



  15. #1135
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post

    Do you have the book, Riding Logic, by Wilhelm Museler?
    yes, I have this book. sitting on my desk And I agree, I am kinda fanatical about conditioning, which is why I posted about not pushing him beyond his capabilities/scope and that goes along with fitness--he is not a baby but he is still young enough that his best years are yet to come. He is also transitiioning from T-First Level to more 2nd/3rd Level stuff. He works hard because he lives out on grass pasture 24/7--and If I don't ride him he will be as big as a house.

    I will try to get some new video of his current work and share that--dont think that video is representative of the work he is giving me this week---(had to be a little cognizant of the temperature) unfortunately its supposed to rain! No idea if I can capture video of his 'soft landing'---but I sure would like to see it myself!

    He may be reaching too far forward with his hind legs, rather than 'carrying' with them (more action in the joints of the hind leg).
    and this sounds like him--he would rather not work too hard but his gaits are changing a little at a time. Today was especially good--he was much straighter.



  16. #1136
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    Easy hacking where you just "follow" your pony won't mess him up. It's when we try to ask them to develop true engagement while 'on the aids' that we mess them up, and that is mostly because we forget to still 'follow' their movement and just ask for a little bit extra .... sort of the less is more approach.



  17. #1137
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    I have a similar horse, who naturally brings her hind legs all the way under her body even when not engaged at all. Means she can convincingly "fake" engagement.

    However, I asked a friend to sit on her the other day so I could see how she was going. Friend is an okay rider, but not going to put the horse together. Still, was better than nothing. Even though the horse was being allowed to slouch around the arena, she was still flexing the joints of her hind legs as she brought them underneath her far more than she used to. So if she's folding those hind legs more when she's completely sprawled out, she surely must be doing so when she's collected. So, progress.



  18. #1138
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    Quote Originally Posted by BaroquePony View Post
    Easy hacking where you just "follow" your pony won't mess him up. It's when we try to ask them to develop true engagement while 'on the aids' that we mess them up, and that is mostly because we forget to still 'follow' their movement and just ask for a little bit extra .... sort of the less is more approach.
    This is the path we are definitely on and one Im finding is really working for him. The more I focus on 'my stuff' (following, timing, position, weight aides, posture ect) the more he offers-and at times it can be a pretty dramatic shifting of balance. Even though he is not purpose bred by any stretch of the imagination he seems capable/willing enough of using himself better--even if by slow progression/conditioning. We do dressage 3/4 times a week--the rest is Hills, Trails and Jumping small jumps which he enjoys. I'd like to do more jumping/interval training with him but don't have a forward seat saddle moment to really do as much as I would like with him. He is very athletic with no help from me but only this season has developed anything like a real topline--he is a bit squishy in the middle sorta like some Cobs. By squishy I mean he is not stiff/hard in the back and is possibly more difficult to 'manage' in that respect---in otherwords he doesnt leave much room for rider error with respect to a supple swinging seat/hips and understated aides---which is challenging for me because Im not a spring chicken/experienced dressage rider. But herein lies the beauty of it all---always learning.

    I looked through the Muessler book last night---there was some helpful information--Id not looked at it in some time.



  19. #1139
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caol Ila View Post
    So if she's folding those hind legs more when she's completely sprawled out, she surely must be doing so when she's collected. So, progress.
    I don't get the since with my guy that he is all that sprawled out (not compressed/but somewhere between)----but I do have to remind him to keep the hind legs active. My instructor has mentioned that "When he sits, he really sits". When he first began to offer to 'sit' more it was pretty dramatic and really began to "Jump through" from behind---I almost came tipped off the back of him because it came so suddenly. Amazingly he can be very "Uphill" but remains somewhat inconsistent at this point---slow progress and all that.

    We are just ordinary--just keep plugging away at it.



  20. #1140
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    Default How often to do flexions?

    In answer to the person above who asked this:

    I do flexions from the ground (and later from the saddle) when first asking the horse to give me the balance I want. Usually, the relaxation of jaw and poll comes very quickly as a conditioned response and I need do it only several times at the beginning of a ride.

    Should he go against my hand (throw a "contraction") in the course of the ride I might halt and refresh his memory as to the correct response, while eliminating this "brace" or "contraction."

    When I get on a horse I've not ridden before, a catch-ride say or a student's horse, I spend perhaps 5 minutes doing fixed-hand suppling under saddle just to make sure the "buttons" are installed and working; not unlike an aviator going through a pre-flight checklist in an airplane.

    Flexions can easily be overdone and unless the horse is throwing you constant contractions and resistances should not be done every day.

    Hope this helps!



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