Ahhh! Why??? Help!!!!! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 23 Old 07-05-2009, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Michigan
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Here are some photos. They are probably not the best for evalutating but its something.

Please do laugh at the ones with the my whole outfit on and jeans lol! I won a photo Shoot thing and I totally forgot my breechs lol! My horse wasn't cooperating that day neither. She is a baby tho so can't get made at her.
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File Type: jpg June Sunset Show 055.jpg (60.2 KB, 58 views)
File Type: jpg June Sunset Show 056.jpg (56.9 KB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg I R Awesome Enough 209.jpg (78.9 KB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg I R Awesome Enough 255.jpg (75.0 KB, 60 views)

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post #12 of 23 Old 07-08-2009, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by upnover View Post
First of all make sure that you are in the correct position. I have a lot of students who started off western and switched to english and almost all of them have a few position changes they need to make. Most of them want to ride with their leg out in front of them a little, in more of a "chair seat". That makes posting much more difficult since it's harder to get "out" of your saddle. There should be a vertical line from your hip bone straight down to your heel. As someone said, make sure that your stirrups are the correct length (when your legs are out of the stirrups and hanging relaxed on your horse's side, the bottom of the iron should hit the middle of your ankle bone). Make sure that you are riding with the iron on the ball of your foot (the squishy part behind your toes) and not too far back.

Your saddle may be making it more difficult for you, not because it's a close contact but because some brands do not put you in the correct position. I completely disagree that close contact saddles are for more experienced riders. I start every kid in a CC, even the kind without knee rolls and they do just fine. I personally hate AP saddles but that's your call. Use whatever fits your horse and puts your leg in the right place.

Anabel made a great point about making sure that your horse is going forward with enough impulsion! It's hard to post a jog!

I would really disagree with whoever told you that you should try jumping to get more in shape! you should already be in shape with a solid leg before you attempt any kind of jumping. It's hard to do well (meaning without hurting your horse by hitting them in the mouth or slamming them in the back because your position isn't strong or balanced enough) and posting should definitely be a basic you have down pat before you attempt it.

Videos and pictures would be really helpful for us to give you more specific pointeres!

Thanks. I don't think I have any of the chair seat things going on. I think all those things you mentioned are bad in western riding as well so I don't do that. I do think my stirrups were a little to short.

It seems that ones with no knee rolls or anything give me the most problems. I seriously can not post in them. My cheap little saddle that I'm riding in the photos actually works really well for me. I rode today and had no problem posting in it what so ever. The thing is it really is a very cheap saddle and was fine when I was showing at open shows. I'm going to be showing at some breed shows now and really think I should find something at least some what of a nicer quality.

I actually just tried one of those M. Toulouse Saddles from a tack shop and it was took bulky with the calve pads and knee rolls and what not.

Also I don't my friend was telling me to go out and jump. I think was thinking that if I took some lessons with a jumping instructor to help get balanced and what not. I don't think any good instructor would let some one jump before they were ready anyways.

Well here is my cheap little saddle haha :)

Oh I found a video as well but its a show in dust cloud and my camera man kinda sucks. I will try to upload that up tonight.

Thanks again everyone.
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post #13 of 23 Old 07-08-2009, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cowgirlfitzy View Post
It seems that ones with no knee rolls or anything give me the most problems. I seriously can not post in them.
Here's a thought, if you have trouble posting in saddles without knee rolls, maybe you're pinching with your knees/thighs too much and need to open your hip angle and sink into your heels. Whenever my position feels discombobulated at any gait, I usually go into two point for a rail to reposition my leg/seat and I feel much steader/balanced when I get out of it. It's also nice because when I stop two-pointing I KNOW that I'm using my leg correctly (assuming my position doesn't change). Just because a rider's heel is down or leg is at the girth doesn't mean they're riding effectively. Just a thought. =)

- Jules
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post #14 of 23 Old 07-08-2009, 09:42 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks that makes sense. I found a new instructor so hopefully they will be able to help.

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post #15 of 23 Old 07-08-2009, 10:01 PM
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I'm sure everyone posted everything I could think of, but I felt I needed to add something

Jumping should only be started when you can securely walk, trot and canter in an english saddle (including posting). Jumping is something you do AFTER you have the proper muscles, not to gain them. It's a pet peeve of mine seeing people who have ridden only a few months/1 year jumping. It drives me crazy! I know you case is different because you have already been riding western, but still
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post #16 of 23 Old 07-10-2009, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Yea I understand what everyone is saying. I guess I maybe should have worded it different. She advised me to take lessons with a jumping instructor that would push to ride proper, then helping me get into shape. I have been taking lessons with just pleasure people. I don't have a horse that would be competitive jumping so I wouldn't really get into it that much but I would like to learn the fundamentals.

Thanks again for your thoughts tho.

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post #17 of 23 Old 07-10-2009, 02:45 PM
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practice doing two point stirrup less a lot. do a lot stirrup less, because if your legs aren't strong enough to post, then you'll have a difficult time staying on a horse thats bucking or spooking or taking off.

“Have fun - Stay on top.”
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post #18 of 23 Old 07-10-2009, 03:40 PM
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Looking at your pics, the first problem I see is that your heels need to come WAYYYYYY down. Right now, not only are you not pushing them down, they are actually higher than your toe. That means you have NO support for your lower leg...no wonder it is hard for you to trot! Your stirrups are your base of support and to use then correctly, you need to let your weight sink down and into your heels. They need to be at least an inch or two below your toe.

The second problem is that your leg is actually a little far back (not a lot, but enough). When your leg is too far back, not only does that mess up your aids to your horse and make it harder for you to encourage good forward propulsion, it also undermines your balance and support, again making it difficult to trot and even to sit properly upright. That's why when a rider jumps and they let their legs slip backward, their upper body falls forward and they can lose their balance. I actually think that if you fixed your heel, your leg will naturally shift forward into a better position.

My thought is that your saddle is on the small side. Your knees are almost coming off the front and your seat is actually on the very back of the saddle. That is forcing you into a somewhat tilted forward position that, along with your heels, is probably contributing to your leg position. One that is an inch or two larger would likely fit you better.

Coming to your upper body, it is tipping a little forward, about in proportion to how far your leg is too far back. So, you fix your heel, your leg will fix and I suspect your torso will follow. So now, voila, you'll find that you are vertical and sitting on your seat bones, your knees will stop pinching and you'll be able to post from your legs, rather than, as I suspect you are doing now, from your knees. That should make the trot much, much easier to post. Isn't it amazing how one little thing, in your case your heels, can throw everything else off?

Finally, roll your shoulders up, back and down. Think about making your shoulder blades touch. They're kind of hunching up and rolling forward in a couple of the pics, although they look pretty good in the top one.

I suspect that when you get to this position, you will find that close contact saddles suddenly are much easier to use. In fact, I would almost suggest you use a close contact without knee rolls, because that will take the crutch that is the knee rolls away and force you to make sure your legs are in the right place.

Hope that helps. I know it's a lot, but basically, just concentrate on getting your heels down, down, down and the rest will likely follow.
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post #19 of 23 Old 07-11-2009, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you soo much pooh! That made sense. i have been working on my upper body, keeping my shoulders back and not leaning forward. I do this when I ride western as well. I do agree that my saddle is to small and it is such a weird design. I have been test driving several saddle since I posted this and I am doing much better. I found a collegiate that I LOVE but it doesn't fit my mare the best. It fits my gelding and they both moved out beautifully in it but I'm worried it might be a tad to narrow at the withers on her. So I'm going to try to find one like it with a wide tree or go back to the drawing board. She is only 3 tho so its hard because, she is going to change so much as well. I was thinking about getting one with a changable gullet system.

So for flat HUS classes should I get a close contact saddle or all purpose. I think I see more people use cc but just curious if it was a preference or one was more proper.

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post #20 of 23 Old 07-20-2009, 12:53 PM
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Stirrup length.
Sit on the saddle and let legs drop down.
Point toes parallel to body of horse
Turn toes up so that heel is down.
Pop stirrup iron over foot and adjust stirrup length to fit.
Stirru[p bar should be under ball of foot
Make sure both stirrup leathers are equal length.

At the beginning this length might feel too long because the muscles may not have developed in which case take the leathers up a notch or two. But too short will also feel uncomfortable. Suck it and see,
It is important not to have the stittups too long at the beginning otherwise the learner rider will lose the iron off the foot.

The muscles which lift you are the under thigh muscles - which for a non english rider will take a little time to develop. A western rider is taught to put weight down into the stirrups - the english rider eventually puts only enough to stabilize the foot in the stirrup iron. The posting action comes off the upward thrust of the horse's back , aided by a little push from the under thigh muscle. The rider's knee is is the focal point of the movement. For practice sit in an upright chair and try posting - you should feel the muscles moving. It is wrong to thrust off the ball of the foot but at the beginning you might find yourself doing just that.
When you are ready try trotting up a slight incline - it feels easier. You'll probably get back ache at the beginning but it will come right with practice.
Buy riding breeches with a padded inside knee. Jeans have a seam which annoys
Getting the length of stirrup right is the key.
Practice, practice - if you can with a knowledgeable friend lunging the horse at the beginning
Tie a shoelace loosely across the saddle at the front where there should be two rings either side of the wither. Slip your thumb under the lace to give help with balancing. Make sure your thumb doesn't get jammed. At the beginning always trot holding the reins with two hands.
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