Under Saddle Training Update

I’ve now had Joy for two months. Since I am dang near a pro level dressage trainer, I’d like to share a video of Joy’s upper level work. We’ll be debuting at Grand Prix in July.

Ok. More like a video showing me bumble around while I struggle to steer and the ‘Go’ buttons are a bit sticky.

Cue video!

It’s down there some where. Keep scrolling.

Joy’s progressing fairly well. She’s starting to figure out leg, rein, seat aids (in a general, they exist kind of way). We’ve been working on leg yielding the past week so that I can start to build on ideas like bend, outside aids, and stepping under the body. She’s darn good (for a greenie) moving to the left, and it’s like pulling teeth to the right. She likes to toss her haunches left naturally, so crossing and stepping underneath herself to the right with the left hind leg is probably moving her in ways she’s not used to moving.

I’ve also started turn on the forehand. I was going to wait a little longer to introduce this, but I was listening to a podcast that talked about the benefits of the movement for young horses. And because Joy swings her hips left all the time, I thought it might be helpful to try to teach her how to move them around as early as possible. Plus, the crossing of the legs helps her loosen up her hips. We just finally were able to get a few steps in both directions this past week.

She seems to get locked into only my right leg. So after a turn on the forehand I put both legs on and she just keeps turning, and turning…

One thing I’ve noticed.. when you’re horse is this small, you really have to keep your balance right in the middle.  I kind of feel like Joy’s size is an advantage for dressage training since the idea of following my seat is kind of mandatory or she’ll fall over. Hahaha

I finally measured Joy last weekend. I had a disagreement with a friend about Joy’s height. I thought she was 14.2ish. Friend thought she was 13.3ish. I was invested in Joy being 14.2, because anything smaller could only mean I have midget legs.

Friend was right… She’s between 13.3 and 14 hands (I don’t have the most accurate measuring tool).

On the plus side, I think she’ll be more marketable in the long run because she’s eligible for the USDF pony classes at this height.

I was having a heck of a time with Joy the last ride. Going to the right was fine. She would bend and move her body. Going to the left she falls in drastically. I can’t flex her left, or turn her head left at all, or we immediately swerve left. She’ll move away from my right leg easily, but when I put my left leg on she ignores it. I can get her to bend her body around my left leg for really small moments at the walk, but then she’s immediately back to the leaning on the left shoulder and bulging left.

It’s frustrating!

I’m trying to figure out if my position was contributing to the issue, but I can’t tell when I watched the video. If you see something let me know.

I need a better fitting saddle for Joy. This one isn’t going to work. And of course, neither of the other two saddles I own fit her either. Ugh. I need a midget sized saddle. I don’t know how I’ll fit my tubby butt in a saddle small enough to fit Joy. I think I need to switch to celery sticks for dessert.

Finally, here’s the video of Joy’s training as of June 5th, 2015. If you watch this, don’t expect much. It’s pretty rough looking. But… *drum roll* there’s footage of me actually cantering.
I’ve only cantered her three three times and only a few steps. This time we turn while cantering!! 😉

4 thoughts on “Under Saddle Training Update

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