Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Loch Moy Dressage Break Down

As I stated in my post yesterday, dressage left little to be desired...especially with how well Tillie has been going for me lately. Don't get me wrong a 31.8 is a decent score, but I know we can be in the 20's and if I can get her going as well at events as I have been at C's or home, we would be in the low 20's according to dressage trainer C.

Basically Tillie when shes tense...all or nothing

I had a dressage lesson with C yesterday because I literally just cant get enough of her lessons and I wanted to pick her brain about the tension and judges comments from the event. Which were minimal and one worded comments BTW. Just not helpful and either she really didnt like us, or she didnt want to be there that day. Either way, C was pretty riled up at the lack of any remarks...there werent even collective comments.

Side note: I do love how Loch Moy is ran and the jumps are beautiful...but the dressage part of these shows now both times have my a little disgruntled. Both times I have competed there the judges have really lacked on the commenting or even completing the tests. My trainer, C, has been a bit peeved by the test too and flabbergasted at the lack of a completed test and remarks.

Soooo tense

Anyway, I planned to get on very early and just walk Tillie around on a loose rein to take in all the things to try to help. She did this quite well and was very relaxed. She even was pretty good when I picked her up in the walk, but as soon as I asked for trot all bets were off.

Now, there was no airs above the ground or blows up like we had a few events ago in warm up...but she just would not relax no matter what I tried. I tried everything from rating the trot - going slow to fast and back to slow, I tried lateral movements, counter bending, loosening my reins to see if she was claustrophobic, cantering a bit...the trick was it was also pretty hot, so I didnt want to get her overly hot...but C suggested yesterday maybe just let her canter it out next time a bit longer.

We chatted a lot about it and if its possibly me and something I am doing differently even though I feel much less nervous and more relaxed at events than I ever did last year. So our homework is go do some dressage shows.

Here is the video of the test:

You can see its slightly quick and shes against my hand pretty much the entire time...especially after canter she wants to root and pull down and low. That was the name of this test either bracing and racing or low and slow.

Its quite frustrating knowing how well she can go and THATs what I want to showcase...not this reverted version of a racehorse....**sigh**

I know I am being picky. I am still proud of her and shes come a lonnnng way with this, but it has been a bit of a consistent thing at shows I want to iron out. It also didnt help I came prepared to ride Novice A and realized when I was on deck I needed to actually ride Novice B - EEKS!!

Luckily we have been riding that but it was one more unsettling thing to add to this phase.

Anyway...C watched my video and compared notes to the test. She said she saw lots of things to like and some not so nice things lol and we worked on a few more ways to get Tillie unlocked. It was one of the hardest lessons I have had in a while because it didnt FEEL good, But C reassured me and asked me to trust her - that we need to focus on getting Tillie unlocked at the base of her right side of her neck.

Mind blown after that lesson

We did A LOT of 10 meter circles tracking right basically over bending her and asking her to MOVE the F away from my right leg since C said shes a bit dead on it. She said this is also why left lead canter is tough because she locks on the right side. So LOTS of counter flexion in canter too.

What FINALLY helped is when C had me both in canter and trot totally ignore her fussing and being connected and just keep her poll up and basically leg leg leg to get her booty under her with a TON of outside rein and then be soft to let her be straighter and carry herself rather than me helping her. This made a HUGE difference in canter and a few moments she even lifter her back.

So we have some things to work on, but at least we have a plan and I am determined to make sure Tillie doesnt get too worked up with this new set of homework we have.


  1. Unlocking them is tough. When you get her unlocked you can come unlock Stinker. ;)