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Other Pets Share pictures and stories about your non-avian pets
Thread Description:Dressage, Liberty, Trick Training

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  #41  
Old 04-09-2019, 08:09 PM
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I'm in total awe of both you and Tessa, Katie!
So many things to learn, remember and practice.

I loved seeing the pictures of Tessa with Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome and completely enjoyed the videos.

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  #42  
Old 04-09-2019, 11:17 PM
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I'm honestly fascinated by the fact that you're developing a way to ride with +R! I rode for years but after realizing how much better that method of training is and how -R/+P riding is that it made me a bit sad to think about. Maybe you'll be the next great dressage rider who changes everyone's mind on it!
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Old 05-17-2019, 05:41 PM
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Sorry it's been so long, it has been one of the craziest times of my life! Finals, AP tests, I graduate in a few days and have lots of party planning and family things for the occasion!

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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
I'm in total awe of both you and Tessa, Katie!
So many things to learn, remember and practice.

I loved seeing the pictures of Tessa with Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome and completely enjoyed the videos.
Thank you! We're always learning, there's no definitive end, that's for sure!

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Originally Posted by Hunterkat View Post
I'm honestly fascinated by the fact that you're developing a way to ride with +R! I rode for years but after realizing how much better that method of training is and how -R/+P riding is that it made me a bit sad to think about. Maybe you'll be the next great dressage rider who changes everyone's mind on it!
Everyone I've talked to that's switched to +R came from a traditional training background (-R/+P) for similar reasons. I think there are so many wonderful equestrians out there who truly love their horses and want to do what's best for them, but are simply unaware of how certain methods affect horses. There's a big movement toward understanding the science behind it all, and I think many people are switching to +R and enjoying it (and the horses especially are too!)

SO because I haven't updated in forever, this one will be a bit lengthy.

It was miss Tessa's birthday on April 24- she turned 13! Crazy that I have a teenager on my hands now I made her a little cake of oats, molasses, honey, carrots, & apples, and let her graze and enjoy getting pampered.



She's also made a lot of progress with her haunches-in. On the circle it's more of a "haunches-out" since it's easier for her to do. Regardless, she understands the concept of moving forward, yielding her hindquarters, and tracking the two targets (one is for her nose, the other is for her haunches).

Tessa is doing absolutely wonderful and is still so eager to ride. It warms my heart that she meets me at the gate as soon as she sees me (it used to be she'd run away or just wait until I "retrieved" her). The goal is to make it fun and not "work" for her...I mean, moving correctly feels good for the horse, so dressage ought to be intrinsically rewarding. I still use the clicker and treats while I ride to affirm that she's understanding my cue correctly. If I completely took it out of riding, she would never know what the right answer was, because there would be nothing to mark it!

I've always wanted to do musical freestyle with Tessa and, since this is my last summer before heading to college, I figure it's now or never. For those of you who don't know...I'm a complete Broadway and music nerd. Dressage is supposed to be like a dance, even coined the nickname "Horse Ballet" so combining my two favorite things is a win-win. I'm looking at a show in late June and one in early August to prepare. Musical Freestyle is very difficult because you have to ride in exact time with the music. If you have no clue what it is, I'll link a video of Charlotte Dujardin's world record with Valegro (obviously Tess and I will look quite different )


So, here's a bit of "dressage"y stuff we've been working on. I just got a GoPro so I'll be able to get some better video of our rides. I'm super excited! For now, here are a few short clips.

I like riding bridleless because it shows any errors in riding. Sometimes you can be using too many rein cues and not using enough of your seat without realizing it. Take away the bridle and you're left with nothing but your seat! I also like doing it to periodically check Tessa's balance. If she's relying on the bridle for balance and to help her flex, I want to get rid of that. You can see she gave me a nice downward stretch and she actually flexed on a circle for me. Her transitions were perfect as well; sometimes she lifts her head and hollows her neck during an upward transition, so I'm elated that she's keeping herself in frame. Very very proud!




She's like a big dog. She knows the routine


A couple of other quick clips...
"At centerline, halt, salute"...and give a treat. For those unfamiliar with dressage, every test begins with a halt and salute at centerline. In the ring I couldn't give a treat, but at home I do!


Look at those transitions! Walk>canter>trot>halt (and another treat)


And here's some progress with Sioux! I'm so pleased with how happy and eager she is to play. I love seeing her energy.

This is something I've been experimenting with to gain her confidence. They're called start signals. Essentially, I won't move forward in training until Sioux tells me she's ready for it. In this video, the "start" signal is her touching the saddle, pad, girth, etc. Only after she gives me the start signal do I make a move to tack her up, and then I click and reward. She's not rewarded for touching the saddle (the start signal), it only means that she's initiating the opportunity to do something (hold still for saddling) to earn a reward. This has done wonders to improve her confidence! As a rescue, people bullied her into things and she easily gets frightened of it happening again. This way, she has a say and-amazingly-chooses to have a saddle put on her back. I'm also working with her on start signals with mounting, but I haven't gotten video yet.


I've been starting some other horses on clicker training too. This is Zoe, another one of the boarders at my stable. She's very mouthy, so I'm using clicker training to teach her some manners. Whenever she holds her head away from me, she gets a treat. Simple as that and she caught on very quickly. I always love seeing the different personalities and mind processes emerge.
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Last edited by BooksBudgies; 05-17-2019 at 05:53 PM.
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  #44  
Old 05-18-2019, 05:54 PM
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This is seriously incredible. I think you need to write a paper or book on your experiences using +R with horses.
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Old 05-18-2019, 08:22 PM
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I love your videos and pictures.
A happy belated birthday wish from me to beautiful Tessa.

Also, thank you for including the video of the Dressage World Record -- OMG I was in SUCH awe of that rider and horse, I've never seen anything like that before in my life!
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Old 05-18-2019, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunterkat View Post
This is seriously incredible. I think you need to write a paper or book on your experiences using +R with horses.
Aw, thank you! And my senior project was actually on this, so I did a presentation in front of a Panel and wrote an essay. I also submitted that essay for a scholarship. I'll be writing for my college's newspaper, so I'm sure I'll be able to sneak in a few articles about this topic

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Originally Posted by FaeryBee View Post
I love your videos and pictures.
A happy belated birthday wish from me to beautiful Tessa.

Also, thank you for including the video of the Dressage World Record -- OMG I was in SUCH awe of that rider and horse, I've never seen anything like that before in my life!
Thanks! I'll pass the birthday wishes along Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro are my dressage idols. Isn't it crazy how well he moves?! Fully captures the idea that it's a dance--glad you liked it as much as I did.
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  #47  
Old 05-19-2019, 12:13 PM
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Katie, I always learn so much from your posts on this thread! It’s amazing. You’ve accomplished so much with Tessa. Sioux too!

Happy belated birthday to Tessa as well!
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Old 06-29-2019, 03:57 PM
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I am loving summer! My time is pretty much spent at the stable all day every day. I'm a working student under my trainer, a "stablehand" in that I do some chores for pay, and I'm continuing work with my autistic student (soon to be two). Additionally, I'm almost done with the classwork for my massage therapy certification and am discovering new muscles as I'm massaging horses.
I have never been in better shape!

Since none of the shows I found had musical freestyle (I live in a primarily western state so english and especially dressage is hard to find) so we decided to hold our own performance at my stable at the end of the summer! I'm going to do a freestyle with Tess and (hopefully) team liberty with Tessa and Sioux. I can ride Tess tackless and she knows a few tricks. I've been working with the two of them to get them in sync in doing movements as well as two separate tasks (i.e. Tess stands still while Sioux circles around her). It's been tricky since for awhile they were resource-guarding treats and are finally at the point where they know they'll both get one so they can stop chasing each other away. They are friends since they're kept in the same pasture and their personalities balance out nicely.


I brought them both into the indoor arena (which is especially huge for Sioux) and I got them both trotting with me and even over a small jump! Then they all ran around for awhile and were in perfect sync with each other. They'd both rear, stop, run, buck, etc at the same time. Wish I got all of that on video but I didnt' have my phone on me. I did catch the last seconds with all 3 mares playing, though.


I also brought my little dog out with me to the stable a day...yeah that'll be a one-time occurrence. She has ZERO horse sense and nearly got trampled by Tess in the first few minutes. Tess, for her part, was an absolute angel to her and was incredibly gentle and didn't spook at Bella's barking. Bella did, however, cause a stampede by her barking when I went to feed the horses lunch. It was so stressful having to halter a horse, close the gates, and lead them around with Bella in one arm (since she apparently can't be trusted on the ground). She had a blast running around the arena though- funkiest dressage pon I ever did see!




As a working student, I get to work with lots of different horses! In the clip is Fernando, the stable's only pony! He is part Andalusian.


And quick Tessa update: She has finally embraced self-carriage! This frees up her front end and means she has finally settled into her core to balance without help from me. Doesn't she look elegant?! She is also able to do spanish walk and school halt with me on her back; she lacked the strength to do this last summer so I'm incredibly pleased! It's just going to get harder and harder to leave her in two short months though
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Old 06-29-2019, 04:28 PM
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Great pictures and videos of all. How in the world are you going to deal with leaving , will you be close enough that you can come home once in awhile?
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Old 06-30-2019, 03:40 PM
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Great pictures and videos of all. How in the world are you going to deal with leaving , will you be close enough that you can come home once in awhile?
It's going to be rough, that's for sure! The college I'm going to is halfway across the country...but I'll be home for all the breaks, which ends up being roughly 4-5 months out of the year. I've looked into starting a club or riding team in the college area, and I've made several horse contacts there as well. I'm also looking into a program to train mustangs, so that could be my saving grace. It'll be interesting, that's for sure! I'm hoping to keep writing and updating this thread, though it may be more of a horse training journal than one for just Tessa.
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