Saturday, 20 October 2007

Official Show Photo

This is the photo taken by the photographer at our show today. I haven't yet looked at my own photos, but I will put some of them on and write a proper post about the day as soon as possible. She was SUCH a good girl - she behaved beautifully and we had a 4th and a 6th.


Wiola said...

Well done :) You both look very smart. How big is she?

In reply to your comment on my blog:
No, it's not Assouline. I think her surname is Pettersen, she's a Dutch lady who has ridden up to Medium in the UK and has had some training with D.Trott but not sure about anything else - she was recommended to me by Wilastra's owner.

I am very keen to learn more from dressage point of view. My background is mostly in show-jumping and all the youngsters I have worked with in the past were ridden with very little or very light contact. I understand the principle of the better contact though and have noticed the difference in other horses I ride as well. I think you are right about this whole misconception and a lot of people think that taking stronger contact will hurt the horse's mouth. I hear this almost every day when out and about teaching.
If I could, I would have lessons every day too!

Echo said...

Thank you! I haven't actually measured her recently and I am notoriously terrible at judging horses' heights! I measured her about a year ago, and she was just under 15 hands. I think she is now about 15.1hh which hopefully means that she will end up as 15.2hh. I must find a measuring stick from somewhere!

Contact has to be one of the most discussed areas in dressage. However, I think almost all good quality trainers BASICALLY have the same principle. In order to be able to give with the hand and have a light contact, the horse has to be soft and giving in his poll. Usually, the horse does not naturally go in this way, and has to be shown how to carry himself. It works on a kind of pressure-release system which most people find very successful in all areas of working with horses.

You ask the horse to be 'on the bit' with your leg, seat and hand, then when he softens and accepts the contact, you release it a little. The horse then learns that carrying himself correctly, means that he is rewarded with a light contact.

I think it's worth having lessons with a few people, until you find someone whose ideas you understand and are able to believe in. I fully believe that a dresage lesson should leave you mentally exhausted, but fascinated. Maybe that's just me though!

Daily adventures while training my young horse.