Roached back while cantering *tears hair out*
   

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Roached back while cantering *tears hair out*

This is a discussion on Roached back while cantering *tears hair out* within the Dressage forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to have a seat while cantering
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    07-20-2009, 06:20 PM
  #1
Yearling
Roached back while cantering *tears hair out*

I never used to do this, but about three months ago I picked up the new habit of roaching my back to help me sit the canter. It's really annoying and is an ugly habit. I don't like slamming down on my horses back (when im riding a choppy horse), so for some odd reason I started to roach my back to hold me to the saddle. Though it does work it's ugly to look at and I know i'll get marked down in shows for doing it.

Yes I know this means that im not using my seat properly, you don't have to tell me, haha.

Any tips to help me break the habit?
     
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    07-20-2009, 07:27 PM
  #2
Trained
Put your elbows physically onto your hips with your shoulders back and ride the canter half a beat faster. Don't follow the motion with your seat - regulate the tempo with your seat. What will hold you in the saddle the best is a good seat and a lot of muscle - riding properly should end up in sore muscles and you being sweatier than your horse. Not in the way that you're doing work for your horse, but in the way that you are staying out of your horse's way as much as possible by staying with him every stride.
Good luck!
     
    07-20-2009, 07:39 PM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
Put your elbows physically onto your hips with your shoulders back and ride the canter half a beat faster. Don't follow the motion with your seat - regulate the tempo with your seat. What will hold you in the saddle the best is a good seat and a lot of muscle - riding properly should end up in sore muscles and you being sweatier than your horse. Not in the way that you're doing work for your horse, but in the way that you are staying out of your horse's way as much as possible by staying with him every stride.
Good luck!
Thank you! I will make sure and try that :)
     
    07-20-2009, 09:56 PM
  #4
Trained
Perhaps its time to go back to the bare bones basics; have someone longe your horse, or a good old school horse, starting with a walk, then trot and canter; sit them all deep; don't use stirrups or reins. Have your coach there, so she\he can coach you on your roach position; this is really the best way to get rid of the bad habit...returning to the basics! It's so much easier to focus on your seat when you don't have to worry about the horse, where he's going, rating him, etc...Do this until you feel like you're consistantly NOT roaching your back anymore; that and your coach says you're doing well again too.
     
    07-22-2009, 10:56 AM
  #5
Yearling
Try stretching down to your stirrups and following through with your elbows more so your not bracing on his mouth and him pulling you out of alignment.

It may sound silly but just try it! Bend that elbow a follow through and you will be amazed how quiet yet effective your seat is. Don't forget to sit up! Its harder to roach if you sit back.. Try on a circle and maybe even think lean back if that helps you sit up. I know it does for me especially coming from a hunter back ground.
     
    07-27-2009, 02:06 PM
  #6
Weanling
If the horse has a bouncy canter and is not "through" (in other words using it's back) the rider bounces more. So to compensate you have roached you back - let's fix the canter instead.

As you start your warm-up get the horse using it's back by going long and low. This means (to look at) the nose is on the vertical and the neck is arched on a long rein while the horse is marching forward in a steady rythmn. Once you have that start with the outside rein WITHOUT LEANING FORWARD, and shorten the outside rein by squeezing (like a sponge) the outside rein until horse brings head up. When head comes up (even partially) shorten outside then inside rein so you have contact with the horses mouth (horse should NOT be heavy - if so push forward with legs/seat then repeat rein squeezing ).

Repeat until reins are normal riding length and back remains UP under your seat. If at any time you loose the back go back to long & low and repeat this sequence until you can perform a working walk while keeping horses back.

Next you'll ask for trot. Keeping outside rein (with riders elbows ON your waist) lightly squeeze horse forward into trot. Do not allow head to come up during trot transition - if it does go back to walk, get back and repeat until upwards transition is good.

Once you have a decent trot with back connected (you should easily be able to sit it if you have the back and do NOT lean forward), then perform same exercise at canter.

I doubt the lack of having the horses back is just in the canter - probably just worse there. If at any time in any gait you loose the back return to long & low to getthe back then use the same exercise to bring the head up as described above, only this time in the gait (Walk, Trot or canter) that you're already in.

6 months of this and you'll have a different horse and won't feel the need to roach your back.
     

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