Rec Rider Critique
 
 

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Rec Rider Critique

This is a discussion on Rec Rider Critique within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category

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        10-06-2013, 09:07 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Cool Rec Rider Critique

    Hullo, folks.

    Recorded this ride today to assess a potential lameness issue in my horse and realised I would like some feedback on my own self. Please mute your computers as my men bicker and add commentary that's for my own amusement, the Wonderful Turds.

    It's been well over a year since my last lesson, which was geared more toward the training of my horse. I don't feel that coach really worked on me at all. I did have some feedback from a dressage friend recently that included bringing my shoulders back and engaging my core, not collapsing my chest.

    Cue osteopathic session and my shoulders are back in place! I think my horse had more pep because of my entire-body adjustment, actually.

    Looking at this video, I'd say I'm still tipping forward quite a bit at times, need to really connect my seat & core, trust my wonky lower back! Am I also seeing some breaking at my wrists? I have the horrible habit of pointing my thumbs at each other, rather than the sky - which would help me roll my shoulders back better, I think.

    I also notice that I ride him incorrectly at a couple of points, pulling him where I want rather than pushing. Grrr!

    Oh, and it's been well over a year since I've donned the English gear at all. Eeek! Note the western bridle... as it was to be a lameness test, I was too lazy to tackle the kimberwick... and these reins are SO much softer, lol.

    Okay. Explanations and excuses outlined, please have at it :

         
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        10-06-2013, 09:22 PM
      #2
    Super Moderator
    Number one:

    Get your elbows back connected to your body. This is super, super important because it has everything to do with riding with your seat. Hard to explain, but take my word for it, it's one of the strongest things you can do for your riding. Get your thumbs on top, so that your forearm rotates correctly, HELPing you get your elbow in. Let your upper arm hang down more vertically, and feel that your elbow and your core belong to each other. This is where your true strength lies.

    Shorten your stirrup one notch. You are rolling too far forward, into almost a half seat. In fact, at the canter you did a lovely half seat, and if that is what you want, then there can be a time for that, such as with a green horse that is not used to the full weight of the rider, especially at the canter. You do it well, but I think it is more an accidental by product of the fact that you are rolled too much onto your peepee and fishing for the stirrup a tiny bit, thus my suggestion to raise the stirrup one hole.
    At times , I see your outside leg rolled outward and pressing the back of the calf against the horse's side. Is it because she is not listening to your leg and is drifting out of the circle? If so, (at some time in the future) address that issue by getting her honestly responsive to a lateral leg.


    Edit:
    If you had your elbows out becuase you were trying to open your hands wide, then be sure that you do this without letting the elbow rotate so that it comes up and you are in a "bear hug" sort of position. If you do widen your hands for whatever reason, keep them such you could carry a tray ON TOP of your thumbs, not on the backs of your hands.
         
        10-06-2013, 10:01 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    Thank you very much!

    Thumbs Up. Thumbs Up! This is my worst issue. I started out thinking it today and obviously lost it. Grrr.

    I will try shortening the stirrup, too. I'm battling a knee issue and may have to accept it.

    I started this boy's riding education and realise by your words here that I still ride him like a starter. Had the same issue with my last horse. My own hang-up - one worth obliterating!! Time to amp it up and expect more!
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        10-06-2013, 10:16 PM
      #4
    Super Moderator
    Isn't that always the case? I mean, we don't expect enough of our horses then someone else will get on and expect more and get more? Believe me, I know how that feels. This is not to say I could ride him better. Your seat is sympathetic, but it comes off as the way someone might ride a green horse or one who is coming back off a sore back.

    I was rereading my Charles De Kunfy book "Dressage Principles Illuminated" and he says " the rider's seat is defined to the horse by the position of the elbow"
    Interesting thought, huh?
    existentialpony likes this.
         
        10-06-2013, 10:19 PM
      #5
    Weanling
    ^Love^
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        10-07-2013, 05:59 PM
      #6
    Weanling
    I love what everyone else has said! Soft elbows, bent and at your sides.

    The other thing I noticed is that you brace a little bit with your lower leg, and don't relax it to "drape" around the horse. Think about raising your knee just a centimeter off of the saddle (this really allows you to sit into the saddle) and allowing your knee to bend and relax under you. This will help you resist falling into a "chair seat" if you maintain that bend in your knee. Shortening your stirrup (as suggested) will help!

    I never realized how important relaxing the lower leg can be until my trainer spent a lesson working on it-- the change in my seat was fantastic! I hope I've explained this concept decently... I most likely haven't.
         
        10-07-2013, 06:26 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Thank you very much! Going to try a shorter stirrup for sure!
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        10-07-2013, 09:17 PM
      #8
    Trained
    Raise your hands. If you pause the video at any time, you will see a broken line from elbow to bit. This puts pressure on the horse's mouth. Yes, your elbows should hang relaxed at your side. But from the elbow to the hand, that needs to be an extension of the mouth.
         
        10-07-2013, 09:57 PM
      #9
    Super Moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by existentialpony    
    I love what everyone else has said! Soft elbows, bent and at your sides.

    The other thing I noticed is that you brace a little bit with your lower leg, and don't relax it to "drape" around the horse. Think about raising your knee just a centimeter off of the saddle (this really allows you to sit into the saddle) and allowing your knee to bend and relax under you. This will help you resist falling into a "chair seat" if you maintain that bend in your knee. Shortening your stirrup (as suggested) will help!

    I never realized how important relaxing the lower leg can be until my trainer spent a lesson working on it-- the change in my seat was fantastic! I hope I've explained this concept decently... I most likely haven't.
    Ive never heard that. Do you mean off the saddle, like away from it (straight out) or off in the way like lifting upward?
         
        10-07-2013, 11:46 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    Ive never heard that. Do you mean off the saddle, like away from it (straight out) or off in the way like lifting upward?
    My trainer had me lift them upwards (literally a centimeter; it's more a change in your seat and muscle use)-- for whatever reason this TOTALLY relaxed my lower leg and helped me sit better! At first I'd exaggerate the knee lift and it put me into a chair seat, until I learned that the whole point was to sit on my seatbones, lift only a teensy bit and bend my knee to put my heel back under me. I don't know, my trainer is (in my eyes and humble opinion) a genius so I just do what he says and jawdrop when it works.
         

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    critique, english, fjord

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