Saturday, October 1, 2016


Easier said than done

Today was a good day.  My dear friend J came to visit today, which I always appreciate, despite the drive she has. 

Donni and Chili had been a little spunky the other day, so we let them loose in the indoor to roll around for a minute.  They mostly just practiced standing and staring at us, so we saddled them up and went outside.

I wanted to see if we could get a test or two taped for a virtual show.  North American Western Dressage (NAWD) offers virtual shows with judges that basically sit and score various western dressage, western dressage trail, traditional dressage, and ranch pattern type classes online.

I have submitted some videos before and the feedback was "entertaining" the last time around.  Basically, the judge said that I needed lunge lessons before I should ever consider cantering my horse.In my clinic with Jec Ballou, she told me the opposite.  Canter the dang horse as much as possible.  One of these days, I will actually try to write up a recap of the Jec clinic, but I think it was a great experience.

But in the end, feedback is only as useful as we can make it, so despite mentally rolling my eyes at some of the commentary, we set out for some more taping.A few problems presented itself.  One was that I was trying to read a test to J and film and I had Chili.  I started reading a test and then promptly recorded Chili face.  Epic fail. 

My solution was to climb on Chili, sit behind C, and record and read at the same time.  Good thing Chili was feeling quite cooperative and didn't move too much.  Hopefully the video turned out OK, as I haven't watched it all yet.

By the time J was ready for me, her SO had come back from his outing and decided to be the cameraman which was excellent.  Much easier for someone to read and another person to film.  Self: please remember this next time.

Chili was pretty well behaved, however, I think I need to learn to school with the whip.  I have never used spurs on her either, but not sure how I should begin addressing the fact that when she is getting more fatigued, she just out and out leans down on my hands or sucks downwards if I let her.  Adding leg just seems to pop the head up momentarily, but perhaps if I got after her each time she did it?

Regardless, this was a factor in our last virtual test, which is what I think the judge misinterpreted that I was pulling her head down.  I can't really pull her head down, nor has she ever had equipment along the lines of draw reins to do so, she just naturally does this.  I have plenty of video of her on the lunge just trying to do her best peanut rolling AQHA impressions. 

Or would spurs provide a more immediate response? 
Tired horse starting to lean...

I am not really well enough informed either way to make a decision.  Also sadly, my pocket book isn't such to support frequent lessons so someone else can make an informed decision.  Good thing these are my horses and either way, they are probably stuck with me, even if we just decide to muddle around in training level for approximately the next twenty years.

The NAWD organization also offers western dressage trail, which I decided to do in my dressage saddle because it was on the horse.

It was a good experience and it's not everyday that I decide to try and ride a perfect 20 meter circle around ground poles set in the center of the arena. 

There is also an L which in the easiest test is just walked through.  Other obstacles include a pair of sunglasses (or binoculars) to be picked up off a barrel at E, but I had to improvise and use a fence post and of course, the four trot poles of which X was in the center. 

Now comes the big I submit these videos and face the feedback?

Not sure, I have until the 24th of October when the videos are due.  I am considering trying to find a pair of little spurs and trying them out the next time.  I have ridden with the whip, but that usually gets the racehorse speed until she's tired and then she leans again. 

Feedback anyone?  ;) :) 

1 comment:

  1. Eh sometimes I think you should just go for the feedback even if you know there are issues with what you are presenting. Just keep all that in mind.


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