Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I am definitely on the mend today. Brego and I had a semi-serious dressage session today. I asked a little more of him than yesterday, but did not physically push him. My shoulder is much improved. I am able to put my arm behind my back and carry things now. Woohoo!

Walk to Canter Transitions from Eventing Percheron on Vimeo.

I put together a small video of our walk to canter transitions. Not as relaxed or refined as I would like, but definite improvement. To the left, Brego took a big trot step, but he was more correct to the right. To get any sort of transition like this is a huge accomplishment. I remember a year ago when I thought it would never be possible for a heavy horse like Brego, so dead to the aids and with no motor, to perform a walk to canter departure. And now we're schooling them!! I am learning to never say never with Brego. He always amazes.

I am also sitting the canter better although my leg is still swinging. I heard a quote recently that sums up my feelings on dressage:

To truly master Dressage takes five horses and three lifetimes.

Truer words have never been spoken.


Anonymous said...

Nice work! Klein does canter/walk pretty good. Once she understood that cantering was what I was asking for from the walk, a light bulb went on.

Daun said...

Very cool! Do you have a video of her transitions? I would love to see the big girl and action (and pick up some tips!)

I think Klein has so much more motor than Brego. His natural pace is an amble.

Tina said...

I finally rode my new mare Dixie today. We just rode in the rope halter and lead, and she did great. It was fun to ride a horse that'll canter at all, since our other two aren't too good at it. Someday we'll look nice when we do it like you and Brego!

allhorsestuff said...

A yea...I need my four other horses I think ...cause my mare is not likeing the arena much..need an outdoor one I think to change things up some for her...gonna start jumping..that she'll love I do think!

dp said...

When you ask Raven what "canter" means she replies "gallop". When you ask Tonka, he replies "pace". Such is life with race horses, I guess.

While I don't doubt that Brego is a remarkable horse, I think that any horse would thrive under your care and consistency. Just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Very nice! I am mucho impressed to see some one else realizing that walk-to-canter takes strength from a horse, not knowledge. You're giving him plenty of time for him to come through correctly. :)
I watched the video, and to the left your position looked alright, although it was hard to tell from the view. But when you asked him to canter to the right, if you watch it, your first response to his attempt to canter is to tilt your pelvis and lean forward. I'm not sure if you were anticipating it and reaching down to pat him immediately, but either way it makes the effort of him pushing with his hind legs a little harder. I know it's hard though; I reach out and pet the boys too! I just have to remind myself that it makes it harder for them and they would better appreciate mom staying in her seat, Lol!

Daun said...

Thanks everyone! And for those starting with new horses or jumping, create a blog and post pictures! If you don't have a blog already, that is! Get the word out! I get emails all the time from people who say they were looking for horses, couldn't find what they wanted, then say Brego and bought a draftier horse and are in complete love. Sometimes people just need to see big horses doing serious work (not that harness work is not serious, it's just not for everyone).

You are soooo correct, you don't even know. A week ago I figured out that I lean forward on canter departs and Brego did much better when I didn't. Last night, I sat back better, but when he finally got the right departure, I fell apart. He had really struggled with it. Usually his right is his "good" way, so I think it was me. I was crooked or something. He got the left early in the session and when he couldn't get the right, I went back to left and asked for one (the one in the video). He did so well, I praised and turned him around and the next time I asked right he got it (the one in the video) so I was so thrilled. Lots of praise and we're immediately done. So I think I was off with my aids, but it took a bit of brain work for him to realize what I wanted. And yes, I need to stay BACK!

He started offering walk to canter departures on the longe about 6 months ago. So I knew his balance was getting there. But I waited to school for him to build strength and to get balance under saddle (my position needs the most work). So we're just now getting to the point that the laterals and getting us both into balance.

Anonymous said...

:) He looks very content though; like I mentioned I love the way that you don't force him into a head set. He looks like he's right on the edge of getting those smooth departures, and it's not like you have to fix a lot about you either to get there! I used to lean horribly forward when I cantered; and on my TB it still rears it's head because he's so unbalanced, so I know how you feel. Silly horses!