Training the Show Horse
Posted 21 August 2008 - 07:02 AM
Posted 21 August 2008 - 07:39 AM
If you're only looking for information from Ammy's then I guess I won't post, but if you would like a trainer's insight, let me know!
Posted 21 August 2008 - 08:54 AM
Posted 21 August 2008 - 11:50 AM
Okay, what is it that you'd like to know? If you can pose specific questions or situations, things relevant to what you are doing with your horse or that you would like to accomplish with your horse, we can go from there.
Posted 21 August 2008 - 12:51 PM
Posted 21 August 2008 - 01:03 PM
Although I do work for a trainer and look to her for assistance and school with her at shows, I do all of the work myself on my horses. My schedule has become a major white elephant, I hardly have time anymore for a solid training program on my horses due to school and work. However, there are certain times of the year where I have more time to focus on them, this is usually around late spring, early summer. As for SS riding, I like to use alot of collection, because the more you have the horse together at a slower speed the more cadenced they are going to be when you push them up and ask them to move out a little bit. I use alot of leg and softening with my hands while keeping them at a slower collected gait to warm them up, I even do this with hunters. Then when you ask them for more trot they are not all willy nilly and keep their balance and collection. Thats actually a very basic tip that can even help you even if you only do it at a walk, you'd be surprised how much of a difference it makes in your other gaits. Hope you have some great sessions with your horse! Good Luck!
Posted 21 August 2008 - 02:57 PM
I plan out the schedules for my horses each evening for the next day, I like to mix it up and keep the horses guessing what they'll be doing, I don't necessarily ride them in the arena every day (I'm not a fan of burnout), I use bitting/longeing and longlining a lot and I subscribe to the theory of "less is definitely more" ~ i.e., if the horse is being as perfect as possible I'd just as soon ride them for a mere 15-20 minutes after warmup rather than push them and get into a fight with them or cause unnecessary wear and tear on them. That's never productive. I do my conditioning on a longeline and I also use a lot of Dressage basics in my training program. Additionally, I don't expect my horses to spend their entire lives working in an arena, I trail ride pretty much all of them a lot, too. Really, my philosophies pertain to any discipline, not just Saddleseat.
Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:48 PM
Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:26 PM
Yes, what I use with my bitting rigs does vary (assuming you are referring to the bit and any added equipment such as a sidecheck or overcheck, etc). While speaking specifically of a Saddleseat mount, if a horse tends to want to get behind the bit and not carry him/herself properly, I'll usually use a sidecheck; if the horse tends to consistently drop below where I want his/her poll, I'll use an overcheck. Some horses need neither. I also use a draw rein attachment for some horses and not for others, it depends on the individual horse as well as the horse's level of training or attitude with the training program. There are just so many factors.
For my "Dressage basics", I want a horse supple and responsive, so I want them to learn shoulder in/shoulder out, haunches in/haunches out, leg yields and the half pass. They don't have to be fancy nor do they have to be perfect, but my intention is to make the horse think about where his/her body is. There's a terrific book I have which gives 100's of Dressage exercises for every conceivable issue you may have with a horse and I refer to it religiously.
With regard to collection, and remember this begins before ANY headset is even toyed with , I'll ask the horse to learn how to carry him/herself, meaning when we're learning the forward impulsion process (which is what leads to collection) I am going to completely stay out of the horse's face. I'm not going to worry about front end elevation until I am sure I have the horse's attention, they are physically capable of keeping themselves collected and they understand how to stay collected both at the trot and the canter (I'm also a very firm believer in training ALL the gaits equally, not concentrating more on the trot than anything else). Then I'm going to be able to work with front end elevation, but not until. Remember also that if the horse is "refusing" to elevate in front, especially when the horse obviously should be physically capable of doing so, there is going to be a reason why, from the horse hurting physically to the horse not completely understanding what's being asked of him/her. I'll find out why the horse is not [properly] responding and work to fix the problem.
Posted 21 August 2008 - 04:46 PM