Thursday, January 5, 2017

"You need to be more demanding"

Hubby and I are attending another clinic with Alfredo this week. As usual, Alfredo insists on good work, and in our first session, about halfway through he said something that really stuck with me.

"You need to be more demanding."

He's right. At second, judges want to see a sharp, workman like test. The halt needs to be trot-halt-trot, not trot... walk a step... halt... stutter back to a trot, like was acceptable at first. When I work on my own, I try to make my movements correct and precise, but there's a whole 'nother level of accuracy when someone is yelling at your in a lesson. Everything needs more bend, more expression, more obedience, more precision.

Take our walk-canter transitions, for instance. I thought they were decent (I mean, we didn't have one like 3 months ago), but decent - with a step of trot - is not enough. THIS is what he wants:


Ignore the part where I push his haunches to the inside the step before the depart and look at how awesome my horse is.

We also worked on improving his gaits, especially the trot. We did a lot of renvers on the circle (ok, I tried to do renvers on a circle, but it's hard and I'm struggling with timing and body position).

I really need to step in the direction I'm going and get my hands right. But Taran is trying hard and the sky is so pretty!

But when we go straight after a few steps of renvers, this magic happens:

All the time like this please.

But riding that uphill, balanced, expressive wave is hard, and it's all too easy to get a little quick and on the forehand:

Half-halt needed. 

So, I gotta be more demanding, of both myself and my horse. Maybe that's my mantra for 2017?

What about you? What's your biggest struggle right now?

32 comments:

  1. I've been riding this train for a while. It's hard to constantly be readjusting your brain to push for more.

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    1. It really is. I think 90% of it is *me* setting *him* up for success... so really, to be more demanding of him means I need to be more demanding of me.

      Damn I hate it when that's the answer.

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  2. Look at Taran. LOOK AT HIM!!! wowza! Second level here you come!

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    1. Mind you that was our best w-c transition in a slew of w-c transitions, so it's not like we get that all the time. We have a long way to go before we can do 5 of those in a test.

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  3. That canter depart is bangin'! Our biggest struggle right now in dressage is mostly me learning to give the pony the space to do his job without nagging him with my leg or taking backwards with my hands. Also re-learning how to bend him without cramming his neck up. Going forward. You know. Everything.

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    1. Learning not to pull is basically the hardest thing ever. I feel your pain.

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  4. More, more, more. That's all it is from here on out. LOL! You got it. Looking great!

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    1. Your enthusiasm leaves me nothing to hope for. ;)

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  5. Pictures aren't working on my phone :( but video looks great!! And yea I basically always struggle with asking for more instead of settling for good enough.

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    1. Whoops sorry about the pics! I think I've got it working now.

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  6. Replies
    1. Now we just need that every time...

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  7. He looks gorgeous! Push for more is a constant struggle. How? How much? How much is too much? Oh did I overdo it again? Gah, I hates it.

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    1. Yes, it's a fine fine line between too much and not enough. Either way the wheels come off. Ugh!

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  8. I feel like I push for enough at home, but forget it once we get into a show ring. I'm so spacey and blah it's horrible. "Oh, you're still in the ring sort of doing something resembling the required movement? Good enough for me!" Not wasting money by actually riding in tests this year would be great.

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    1. Haha yeah I've gotten told that I "stop riding" in the arena... so then I do too much but just end up tense and stiff. WHY is it so hard to find the right balance!

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  9. Replies
    1. Thank you! Now I just want that all the time!

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  10. That's one of our goals this year too. No more "good enough" and no more "my horse doesn't do that." Time to just do!

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    1. Hahhaa I'm the queen of excuses. "But I've never ridden a half-pass before!" Well there's no time like the present...

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  11. Replies
    1. Even better on the carefully cherry-picked and curated blog content. ;)

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