All posts by wcwdressage

How much will a judge count off if my horse grinds his teeth in the test?

BILL– I’m going to fall back on the “That  depends” answer here. Without any clear-cut guidelines (unlike the blood on the horse rule), how it is treated depends on the judge’s perception of what all is going on in the horse. There are a few judges (a minority) who will punish the first sound of grinding fairly severely. The majority will look at it in the overall context of the horse’s countenance and how he is behaving. This would apply to tail swishing as well. If his mouth is not gaping, if he doesn’t look rigid or locked, if it doesn’t appear to stem from problems with the rider’s hands, then it usually won’t hurt you too badly. Eric Lette, when he was chairman of the FEI Dressage Committee, spoke of “happy grinding” where other than the noise it made, it seemed to imply no other resistances. He pointed to some horses who ground their teeth when peacefully standing in their own stall. He felt it was unreasonable to punish a horse for a harmless habit.

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Difficulties with Leg Yielding

I’m having difficulty in my leg yield execution.  My horse is rushing over and runs through my outside rein.  My trainer is telling me to open the outside rein away from his neck and with half halts, let him lead slightly with his shoulders and KICK him over. This makes him rush.  I half halt outside but he braces.  I thought the recipe for LY was head slightly turned away from the direction of travel but body essentially staying in line.  It didn’t go well and my horse was not happy. I was confused. 

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