dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Flunking Geometry



For the longest time I have not really paid attention to the shape of the figures Carmen and I were doing.

I was more interested in whether she was soft and listening as opposed to whether we were riding an actual circle.

But now those chickens are coming home to roost and I need to address the issue of geometry. The judge at our last show made the point a few times that I needed to work on accuracy. Which was totally fair. I wasn't really worried about that at the show but it is important and it's stupid to give away points like that.

Carmen is definitely ready for me to be more clear on this, so in my last few rides I've been really focused on making sure I hit my tangent points on the figures.

Turns out that if you don't work on this regularly your horse gets the opinion that the octohexazoidgon pyramid thingy is perfectly okay. And she is resentful that  I would think otherwise.


my head hurts

I'm trying to keep it simple: circles and serpentines. But it's becoming clear to me that I need to work on this quite a bit more.  This is me crossing the diagonal with the full intention of hitting S with our shoulder.
me: we totally have this!
Carmen: maybe. maybe not. 
 This is us missing S.
also, what am I doing with my right side? 
That we missed S should not be surprising. This is going into Troll Corner after all and Carmen has it well entrenched in her brain that she needs to be looking out for things to run away from, not listening to my leg.

And while it is true that we spend at least some time every ride discussing our right bend along this side of the ring, it is also true that we can should fix this.

I think it's time to dust off this book:


And start using poles and cones to find our way.

The frustrating nice thing about riding is that there is always something new to work on.

Right?

Do you have some favourite exercises to work on geometry? Feel like sharing?



24 comments:

  1. One would think making a nice round circle should be easy given the shape of the horse and flow of the gate... And yet, the hexagonaltrapazoidmid is definitely the more likely outcome.

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    1. LOL, you are right! It's almost like the horses don't care about circles at all.

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  2. Oh good, so I'm not the only one who struggles to make circles round, hahah. No helpful tips, but I am looking forward to seeing what kind of exercises you utilize to help you out!

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    1. Circles are hard. Which is why we ride them, right?

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  3. My old trainer would ask me "how many corners are in a pizza?" to which I would answer " a lot if you cut it into slices". Har har har. But the point was that my circles were awfully angular.

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  4. Lol geometry is the one thing we are actually decent at! At least at training level which is easy - I haven't quite figured out how a 15m circle at V or P should work. And to be honest I'm just good at using the ring and markers, not going off of feel.

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    1. Good for you! I am good at knowing where to go, just not actually, you know, hitting the mark.

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  5. I absolutely LOVE that book!!! I reference it constantly.

    I had a judge ask me once if I'd failed high school geometry. (The pony scored a 70+% despite my apparent inability to steer). I struggle with depth perception and relative size in general so it's extra hard for me in a dressage arena.

    With that said, I always tell my students that there's no point in throwing away easy points by not riding precisely and doing things like going straight and riding all the way to the letters. It's such a little thing, but it really adds up!!!

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    1. It really does! I used to be pretty good at it, so I'm hopeful that with some focus i can get that back.

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  6. best advice is to make a proper width dressage court in your arena and practice x a lot. Might help if you drag your arena first so you can see where your tracks are exactly.

    My achilles in dressage tests was always corners. My corners sucked. Geometry should really be the EASY part!

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    1. Check and check. My ring is regulation and I am obsessive about dragging. It really is, I think, a matter of paying more attention.

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  7. There's always something to work on!

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  8. I really enjoy working with cones for precision in both my aids and execution. They are good markers for circles too and you can set up a double circle of cones at 15 and 20 meters and practice going inside the inner circle, between both circles, and on the outside of the circle.

    For me, however, I practice understanding the angle of the bend, and try to maintain that angle always keeping my outside eye to my marker (cone or imagined). It's always a work in progress, but my many hours practicing patterns for english equitation with short patterns (vs dressage tests) helped hone my precision. Tons of tests available online that might change things up for the two of you.

    http://showhorsepromotions.com/equitation.htm

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    1. Thanks for the link- I will definitely check it out! I love the idea of the double cones. I can do that.

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  9. I used to think that geometry was at least the one thing I could 100% totally do in dressage, hands down. Haha. Used to.

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  10. I have absolutely nothing to add. My instructor always had me keep my eyes on the letters around the arena and she'd shout them out to me as I went around--Ride to Q--Ride to P--etc. I was directionally challenged.

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    1. The letters are there for a reason, lol but can also be a distraction!

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  11. It's been so long since I tried these tings, I can't remember much. So I will just applaud you for your dedication and hard work, which will, of course, pay off.

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  12. Geometry on paper is my worse subject haha so I wish you luck in your shape lessons ahead!

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    1. LOL, it's been getting better. I think. We'll see in my next lesson.

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