Thursday, April 12, 2012

Videos of Pie, with Commentary

Now, in response to requests made by some of you, here are some videos of Pie - once you start a video, if you double-click on it, the video gets larger.  My video assistant (the long-suffering husband) is still learning the ins and outs of the camcorder, but I thought he did a pretty good job on his first try using it.  So, without further ado, here are the videos - I'll give you a video and then my thoughts on what it shows.

Pie walk:

Not too much to see in this very short clip - he's moving well and relaxed through his top line, and staying soft while he steps up under himself.  Heather and I aren't too worried at this point about where he's carrying his head - his natural tendency is low, but so long as this doesn't put him on the forehand it's just fine and keeps him comfortable at this stage of his training - he's very green.  Sometimes he also tends to over flex, but he's learning that he doesn't have to do this and it's starting to go away on its own.

Pie trot:

This is pretty nice for his stage of training, and I particularly like how he's stepping under himself with the inside hind on the turns.  I could be providing him with a bit more support with my hands, and my tendency to look down instead of upwards is showing - I'm working on this but it comes and goes.

Pie trot to walk transitions:

The second one is far better than the first - note how he braces in the first one - I could have prepared him a bit better as I did in the second one.  I like how he uses his hind end in the second trot/walk transition.

Pie short to long trot:

This is something we've been working on a lot - shortening and then lengthening and back again within the trot.  I'm aiming for the quality of the transitions between short and long, and I'm pretty pleased with how he looks here, but it would help him a lot if I weren't looking down, which tends to drive the energy down.

Pie canter:

For a green horse who hasn't done much cantering under saddle, this is pretty nice.  There are moments of softness - he's only just starting softening work at the canter, and the transitions are pretty decent for a green horse.  Note the moments of alternate softness and bracing (sometimes with open mouth).  I like the way he's moving and trying to offer softness.  This was only the third time or so I've cantered him under saddle - Heather did do some canter work with him but not that much - and it was the first time we'd cantered at the new barn.  He found the size of the arena a bit of a challenge - it's a little small in width for cantering at his stage of balance and carriage.  For a horse at his stage of training and physical development, I should be allowing him to use his head and neck more freely - he's not really ready for softening work at the canter - and just defining the "box" with my hands so he doesn't invert.

Pie canter to trot transition:

He's making a good effort here, but is hampered by my leaning forward and then giving the contact away as he transitions, which leads him to fall a bit on the forehand.

I'm very pleased with where we are at this point.  For a horse that was inverted and stiff moving, he's really come a long way already and I see the potential for lots more.


  1. Wonderful! thanks so much , he really is a lovely horse, and seems to be doing well. I like the way he moves

  2. He looks fantastic! He's calm and willing and is sure to make a lot of proress the more you ride.

  3. I love videos, they show exactly whats happening, good or bad. I have a tendancy to lean forward and I think it affects my horses too. He does look good, I like his trot ones they look good.

  4. Pie is looking good. He's such a nice horse. Videos are great to see where you are in your training. Thanks "long suffering" for the recordings.

  5. I do not think that you leaned forward too much in the canter to trot. I think that it is always better to go with the horse, especially a green one learning to carry his rider. In my opinion, dressage riders tend to lean back too much, which I see as an invitation to brace.

    Pie looks wonderful and soft in these clips and I really like how you ease him into the canter. I am impressed!

  6. Props to your video assistant! He deserves a raise ;o) I agree with all the commenters--the snippets show exactly where you are with each horse and what potential awaits. You're correct about the looking down. Lots of us do that.

  7. Thanks for the video--it's always nice to see what's actually going on. Looks like he's doing very well with softness. It is hard not to look down. I find myself wanting to watch my horse and ride at the same time--bad habit--but hard to break.

  8. Pie looks good, very relaxed. Sounds things things are coming along nicely :)


  9. I like Pie's relaxation. Slight disagreement with some posters here that you do need to sit up and look up. Young horses need the rider to be in balance so the more you can help by staying centered the better for him so he does not fall on his forehand.

    But, you are riding him really well and asking for all the right qualities from him--and, for the most part--getting them. The little bobbles will all sort themselves out with time and experience. He is really looking like the lovely horse you wanted him to be from the start.


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