Thursday, March 17, 2016


Inside hind leg = ACTIVATED. Now to get that pesky outside hind to keep up!

So on Wednesday, I dragged Husband out to video Penn. I wanted to compare my view to the ground view. So I slapped on my helmet cam, he recorded from the ground, and I'm going to try to smash the two videos together so they play next to each other in a "what Jan sees and what people from the ground see" experiment.

The ground video is good, the helmet cam video is a little too high even though I had husband check it, oh well. It is a large field of view (170 degrees) and Penn is little, so his head and neck take up a tiny amount of the frame, haha.

I know there's more to dressage than what the head and neck are doing. But right now I'm enabling Penn to drop his poll too low and having trouble finding when he has enough connection to the bit, and when he's behind the vertical and too deep, because everything that isn't too deep feels above the bit to me, even when I glance at his neck and make sure the top muscles and base of the neck muscles are crunching evenly. I figured a compare video would do!

But I couldn't get the video editor software working last night, so you all will have to make due with the couple still pictures I had husband get after we videoed. We videoed for about 16 minutes? Then I rode for another 15-20, picking at the shoulder in a little. We started to the right since that's easier, and Husband got lots of great shots. By the time I was ready to go to the left, Husband had filled an 8GB memory card (between the video and still shots) so these are single direction shots, haha.

The left was more exciting- I wanted to use shoulder in to find my bend again. While that worked, it also made Penn a little edgy and excited. I worked the pattern of shoulder in down the long wall into canter on a circle. This worked out well to the left with some jumpyness, but when I went right to try to make the canter transition better, Penn just about zoomed out from under me and we had a big fight about being behind the bit and running away. Then we had to discuss holding the trot- he'd hide behind the bit and then try to canter off instead of bending properly.

I made an effort to relax and give, Penn relaxed, we got a little bit of quiet trot before I asked him to lengthen across the diagonal, which he seemed to relax into, we recollected and walked and called it quits for the day.

You might have to turn up your brightness on whatever device you're viewing on- sorry! When I edited these pics on Husband's computer, I guess his monitors are super bright so they all looked fine to me... and when I uploaded them to Facebook, they all came up dark on my phone... sorry!

Reaching in the shoulder in!

More shoulder in.

Look at that neck muscle, nice even bulging!
FYI, he did not have this nice round arch in his neck at the last show. It was flat as a board.

More shoulder in, though this looks more like shoulder fore... and some loss of bend.

Definite three tracks here, but again, more bend I think.

Gee, it's like the same picture over and over again!

Can I get an AMEN for that neck muscle working double time?

Hoppy canter! I need to learn to get my butt glued to the saddle and keep my lower leg from swinging.

He needs to find a better uphill balance in trot (aka, please sit), and I think shoulder in is the way to go. As long as I don't let him drop his poll and bear down (which is not his tendency in lateral work), he holds himself relatively well and light in my hand. I only need to encourage more uphill at that point. Only, haha. I think that will come with time- I'll fry him if I say "SIT MORE NOW!" Also, the shoulder in needs better bend. It comes and goes. He's on a three track for sure, so I have to be careful how I get more bend. His three track isn't that far off the rail- he's a little guy! Either way, most of our early work was on tempo and firming up his steps because his legs moved like wet noodles!

His canter is naturally very hoppy, so the biggest issue was clearing up the diagonal pairs and his tendency to 4 beat when the canter got too slow. Now I need to clear up the little bit of a head bop he gives in the canter, so I need a more effective halt halt. Or I can just learn to sit his canter properly. Or both.

Anyway. I'm hoping to work on the video tonight so it's ready for viewing soon!


  1. He is so cute! And I think you guys are on the right track and it will just take a bit of time to get everything that you want to fall into place.

  2. That first canter photo is drool worthy. :)

  3. he's lookin great! love the idea of combining the two views into one video too - tho i have not a clue how to do so lol