It's been a while

Pigeon

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Took Pippy to unaff prelim dressage today, first time this year for various reasons...

He was fab! :D Inexplicably well behaved! We had a lesson last week, the instructor really drilled into me that I needed shorter reins and he needed to be more uphill and in front of the leg. So I put that into practise today. He was a little bit fidgety in the contact (it is SCARY in indoor arenas, for me and the horse!) but felt very light and manoeuvrable, which is a HUGE improvement on last year.

We did get 10% lower than when we were last out... :eek: But I think it felt better? I know I should have been more giving with my hands, but there were moments where it felt like he was actually working properly. I don't know, we only got 60% with fives for all our canters, so second guessing myself a bit... I need more lessons ;) Can't fault the pony though, he was brilliant!

Some pics:

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And the vid:

[video=youtube;De_nUD1dRfw]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=De_nUD1dRfw[/video]
 

Pigeon

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Arghh messed up vid.

Here it is;

[video=youtube;pHh7o7QhTzA]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHh7o7QhTzA[/video]

It's all shuddery and I can't figure out if it's just my internet :p
 

Auslander

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Also interested in comments. I'd have been tempted to query it myself - that was a perfectly nice prelim test which appears to have been very harshly marked.
 

charlie76

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Also interested in comments. I'd have been tempted to query it myself - that was a perfectly nice prelim test which appears to have been very harshly marked.
It was harshly marked but I imagine you lost marks from him opening his mouth and bobbing a bit in the contact, they prob marked it down as tension?
Lovely horse and a lovely test to watch.
 

Kokopelli

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Agree with the others that looks lots better then 60 :) you're both looking great! I'm glad the trailer issues are sorted too.
 

twiggy2

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looks like a nice test, the trot has good rythym that is only lost in a couple of places but you are obviously aware of it as I can see you correct it, the first canter transition is lovely, with he bobs his head it seems to be when you lose some impulsion.

on the right rein he seems to be crocked the whole time but that may be the angle of the camera and I did not notice it on the left rein, you are compensating for this by allowing your hands to shift to the right when more leg may help instead. you rode a good test nicely and quietly and the horse responded well on the whole. well done
 

humblepie

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Haven't watched the video but in the photos he looks really good.
 

EveningStar

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That was a lovely test, you had a good rhythm and he has sweet, flowing paces. I'm far far from an expert but am very surprised you only got 60%.
Pip looks great, I'm so jealous of his trot.
 

Mince Pie

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Photos look great, the first canter pic is definitely one for the wall!
 

redredruby

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Lovely, lovely test - we are doing the same test on Saturday and I would be extremely pleased if my boy went as nice as that! Agree with the comments that 60% seems a bit on the low side, but as you say, marks aren't as important as the feel you get when riding a good test.
 

Pigeon

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Thanks guys :) Judge didn't say that much! Didn't mention tension (though admittedly he was tense and I was a bit too :p ) or ask for more impulsion, which watching the vid I think I need in the trot. She did mention I lost the quarters in the second canter (the one with the dodgy transitions lol) which tbh I was so preoccupied with keeping his attention I didn't even think about - good advice because he does tend to go crooked and I don't do enough to fix it.

I'm just really over the moon because he actually listened to me, instead of just gawping at everything else and charging around leaning on my hands. I never thought I would see the day!!

I agree the mouth opening isn't pretty, and he was a bit tense (but not explosive like he's been in the past) and it definitely seems to be when we lose the impulsion, I don't know if I'm overchecking him or if he's just getting behind the leg a bit (did I mention scary) and also I think going in a more upright frame is a bit of a shock to him :p But I felt like if I rode better he would have gone better, whereas in the past it has just been damage limitation!!
 

chestnut cob

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Can't see the vid, says it has been removed by the user. Lovely photos though. I sometimes despair at DR marking, it never makes sense. We got a 30.5 (eventing) at the weekend for a test I thought was more like a 38 or 39 test; I came out of it really disappointed thinking about everything that needed improving, yet other times you can go and do what feels like the best test you've done but get a low mark.

It sounds like you are pleased with how he went though which is the most important thing :)
 

_GG_

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Definitely looked better than a 60%. I can see where marks may have been taken away though so if you want me to, I will say what I see and how I think you could easily fix it or use a bit of ringcraft to hide it :)
 

Pigeon

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Vid is in second post, it was doing a weird flickering thing which I tried to fix but I think that may have just been my dodgy internet connection lol!!!

GG that would be great :) I see problems too but judge didn't really elaborate so I'd love to have known what they were actually marking down for! Like someone else said on the right rein I'm trying to un-crooked him by moving my hands to the left which isn't helping at all lol. I need to sort that, I didn't realise I was doing it until I watched the vid!!

Also re crookedness - he doesn't feel that crooked (or more likely I'm just used to it), so I'm finding it really hard to correct! I need arena mirrors lol! Also possibly more inside bend? I've been doing loads of shoulder in and notice that one way he finds it harder, I'm guessing because of the crookedness!!
 
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monkeybum13

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Lovely tests, good to see you out and about again! :)

West Wilts tend to use listed judges and some do tend to mark very harshly, do you know who the judge was? The canter looked to lack activity and could be a bit more punchy (that's not the right word but I can't think what else to use!), but the test as a whole looked great :D
 

chestnut cob

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Ah, sorry, got it now! I thought that was a really nice test - definitely harshly marked for a Prelim, especially an UA Prelim.

You've already mentioned anything that stood out for me - maybe could argue a little more impulsion needed, bit inconsistent in the contact at times, and does look a bit crooked at times too though could be camera angle. None of that is dreadful though, only being picky, and you see far far worse in Prelim tests! Shame it was only a 60% as I thought it deserved a better mark; lovely test!
 

Charmin

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He looks really good, you must be proud! As others have said, it was a lovely test.

I'm at the exact same stage as you are, though perhaps a step ahead. Just asking my mare to come up into a more upright frame now, and she went through the same inconsistent into the contact phase your boy seems to be. They feel a little insecure so tend to pop on and off the contact, but it's all progress in the right direction so I wouldn't worry about the marks so much. My mare's just become secure in the more upright frame and our marks have jumped up, higher than they were before, but they did dip in the middle when we were changing things up.

He looks fabulous!
 

Auslander

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Perhaps you need to do a JFTD! She got slated for a Prelim test, so promptly entered a couple of Elementaries and did rather well!
 

smja

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I'm another who is amazed at the low mark - definitely more than 60%, and god knows I've done enough shockingly awful tests to know the difference!
He looks a little 'sticky' with his front end, and seemed to drift left into left canter rather than bending round the corner. You've already mentioned needing more impulsion in the trot, but he could do with a bit more in the canter too.

He is very handsome :)
 

muddy_grey

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He looks so grown up, well done.
TBH it just confirms why I hate dressage! The test looked lovely. Last time I went out I did a horrible spooky test outdoors with a couple of lovely flying changes (prelim whoops) and got a well deserved 58%. Second test indoors was so much better, but different judge and only got 60%! So annoying.
 

_GG_

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Vid is in second post, it was doing a weird flickering thing which I tried to fix but I think that may have just been my dodgy internet connection lol!!!

GG that would be great :) I see problems too but judge didn't really elaborate so I'd love to have known what they were actually marking down for! Like someone else said on the right rein I'm trying to un-crooked him by moving my hands to the left which isn't helping at all lol. I need to sort that, I didn't realise I was doing it until I watched the vid!!

Also re crookedness - he doesn't feel that crooked (or more likely I'm just used to it), so I'm finding it really hard to correct! I need arena mirrors lol! Also possibly more inside bend? I've been doing loads of shoulder in and notice that one way he finds it harder, I'm guessing because of the crookedness!!


Are you sure???

Ok then...here goes and please don't hate me :)

First thing I noticed was a break in the contact...be careful you don't carry your hands too high. Most of the time they are fine, but I think the mouth opening is just a symptom of the hands creeping up and him trying to adjust...but it's just a video, your hands may be creeping up because of something he is doing. Just be aware of it as it breaks the communication down the rein a little bit. He could do with a bit more oomph in all of it really and that would address the straightness issues a bit too but I'm with Auslander...I think you'd have got a better mark if you did Novice or Elementary. Some judges at prelim expect and therefore look for certain things and are quick to mark down for them. Higher up the levels it seems to be more true to the overall picture.


Anyway, a run through from my viewpoint and it is just little things, but they are little things that I think will have a big impact on marks.

Enter A...he never quite straightens from the entry. You have more space behind the boards, so use it and try to get a straight stride in before you enter.

0:30 - You see that you're not quite going to meet the track, so try to "sweep" him over which makes him quarters in down the line. Going into the corner, you lean forwards slightly so he dips onto the forehand slightly...right in front of the judge. If you need to make any adjustments, do them before the corner ;)

0:49 - First half of the centre line looks much more straight, but as soon as you change your diagonal, he becomes a little bent to the left, ready for the turn way before it comes, so the second half of the centre line is not straight and this is what the judge will remember as she gives the mark. Try to wait until the last straight stride before you change your diagonal. If he's going straight...don't change anything until you need to!

1:56 - Canter transition is very quarters in and remains that way as he drifts through the corner rather than bending around it. He's a monkey as he does have good bend so you'll be feeling something not too bad, but from the judges angle, that will look even worse than in the video. Try setting up the transition by riding a slight shoulder fore in the trot before you ask for the canter.
Also, look at your body as you canter past A. You have turned your shoulders and torso slightly to the outside in an attempt to keep him on the track but it's actually allowing the quarters to trail. Try instead to turn your body to the inside a fraction and check him with the outside rein. Use the outside rein and your inside leg & left abdominals to straighten him up and the judge won't notice the correction.

2:11 - Same thing in same corner but even more obvious to the judge.

2:24 - Trot transition a little sloppy but look closely at your body. You sit beautifully then, just as you ask for the trot, you tip forwards slightly. Try to sit back a little for the transition which will allow you to keep your leg on and create a more uphill/forward transition.

2:35 - Going past C in the walk, he goes a little wiggly wormy. Personally, I find that really quite cute, but it's happening right in front of the judge. Now...because the judge is looking from a side angle, what she can see more than anything is you correcting his wigglyness, not so much the wigglyness itself. So...just sit tall, ride forward and don't worry too much if he does a little wiggle...pretend it isn't happening and let the judge see a still and quiet rider ;)

2:38 Your outside leg comes really quite far behind the girth with heel up and toe down. I know why you're doing it, but try to lessen the movement of the leg and keep the weight through the heel as this will keep you straighter. When you proceed across the diagonal, your right leg is still really active and behind the girth as you can see just by looking at the level of your stirrups. Look further up your body and your weight is in your right seatbone, meaning you've collapsed a little at the right hip so what happens next...

2:49 - as soon as you take the right leg off, he leaves the line and you have to use your left rein to try and get him back on his line. All you need to do is keep your right leg on, but on the girth and check him with the left rein. A little more oomph will help his straightness as well so be careful he doesn't switch off in the free walk.

3:10 - Stays quarters in on centre line and 3:14 you try to sweep him to the track with your hands. Try to sit up tall, check with outside rein then ride the line in slight shoulder fore.

Next canter transition could have done with a decent half halt to set it up and make it a bit punchier, but he's clearly happier on this rein and the canter is nice. A little extra energy and it would have been great. Last canter to trot transition is MUCH better. You sit up through the whole transition so it's much more uphill and tidy...and I guess as you turned the corner, you remembered to breathe as the impulsion is lost a little, but you soon correct it. Centre line this time much better with that extra impulsion you created and the halt is lovely for a prelim.

I do think you were harshly judged but I think it's nothing that isn't very easily fixed and another judge could have justifiably scored you a 67-70%.
 

Pigeon

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GG Seriously, you are amazing!! That is exactly the kind of thing I need!!
 

_GG_

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GG Seriously, you are amazing!! That is exactly the kind of thing I need!!


No worries. I just re-read what I wrote and at 2:38 where I say your weight is in the right seatbone I meant left seatbone. Collapsed at the righ hip, right leg back, weight in left seatbone. This is why he moved to the right as soon as your lag came off...you literally sent him in that direction :)

It's all little and easy stuff :)

Where are you based...I still have a few weeks free if you're near to Gloucester :)
 

Pigeon

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Also in the free walk - you can't see much from that angle but you are totally right he switches off - he's like 'OKAY DONE'. :p
 
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