Diagonals - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 06-25-2008, 12:03 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by kickshaw
when i was teachng equitation lessons (gosh that's been a while now), I would always tell my students when looking at the horse's shoulder that it is easier to sit when the outside leg is back than it is to try to rise when it's forward...

don't know if that made sense...haha
Yeah, that's what my instructor taught me. My first lesson learning about diagonals was easy because she specifically chose a horse with a huge shoulder and long stride, and he was skewbald with the pattern running over his shoulders, making it really easy to see how his legs were moving. Next lesson, on a horse chosen because he had a nice canter, I had to look for longer to see how he was moving.
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post #12 of 28 Old 06-25-2008, 02:40 PM
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To kindof feel what your meant to feel, go into rising trot then feel and guess if which diagonal you are on, then glance down and see if you were correct

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post #13 of 28 Old 06-27-2008, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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I managed to get another lesson today and I definitely noticed that things didn't feel quite right when I was on the wrong diagonal. I also worked on my canter (my back aches like mad after that and yesterday!) and I noticed that when I was coming back into rising trot, I always seemed to come in on the wrong diagonal. But I know I need to work on my timing for that so I don't end up bouncing in the canter or getting a great big jolt from the trot.

Cantering was really fun! My dad came to watch, and filmed me too - I have loads to work on, of course, and the video definitely picks that up - and I had such a great time! Charlie B will drop back into a trot if you let him get away with it, but I had him cantering all round the arena until I asked for a trot. I felt so much more secure in the saddle, too. Yesterday I had a lesson doing the sitting trot without stirrups, just as upnover recommended, and I learned a lot more about my seat. I also felt the difference between a slow walk and a marching one - moving side to side with his hips, and moving backwards and forwards with his back.

Thanks, everyone, for all your advice and help I've been remembering it during my lessons and it's helped me a lot. As final proof of my progress: I'm now aware of it when the horse is going to the loo xD
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post #14 of 28 Old 06-27-2008, 02:24 PM
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Aw glad you're doing better, all it takes is time & practice!!! :)

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post #15 of 28 Old 06-27-2008, 05:12 PM
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Re: Diagonals

Originally Posted by claireauriga
I'm a very new rider (two hours of lessons and counting ...) and having been introduced to the concept of diagonals, I'm told that in time I'll learn to feel which diagonal I'm on, rather than having to glance down at the horse's shoulder. Obviously the biggest help will be practice, practice, practice, but what should I be feeling for?

My seat isn't very good yet, and as I'm still learning the very basics of riding I'm not very good at communicating with the horse via my bum! In my last riding lesson, my friend who was watching informed me that while I was trotting 20m circles, my horse was ... manuring the arena, so to speak. But as I couldn't feel that, I was urging him forwards with my legs while he was trying to go to the loo xD
Give it time. As you take more lessons and put more riding time under your belt you will become more in tune with your horse's movement.
One thing you could do now is to start to pay more attention as to how the horse is moving during your lessons. When you look down for that diagonal pay close attention to your horse's movement.

It's not something you acquire right away, especially when you are just learning to ride. It will come with time.

Good Luck :)

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post #16 of 28 Old 06-27-2008, 06:46 PM
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A hint for when you are going from the canter to the trot. If you are traveling in one direction at the canter on the correct lead, and you stay on the same track, if you rise up on that first trot stride, you will be on the correct diaganol every time. If you are switching directions (going from left lead canter to tracking to theright, or the reverse), if you sit one beat of the trot and then rise up, you'll be correct.

Another thing is that I learned the diaganols by coming up when that inside hind leg hits me from behind (ie when it is coming forward). I spent A LOT of time on the lunge line working on this, some with my eyes closed, and now it just comes naturally. I never have to look, I don't even have to think about it. My body has just gotten to the point that I can automatically feel that hind leg, and it goes with it. It takes a LONG time to get to that point, but it is entirely possible. It just takes work.
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post #17 of 28 Old 06-28-2008, 09:16 PM
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When I was taking lessons, I learned about diagonals too. At first you are bewildered but before you know it, you're auto correcting yourself and picking up the right diagonal without even thinking about it. It used to happen to me all the time, and she would say "Good job! You switched before I could tell you," and I'm thinking "Huh?"
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-13-2008, 02:30 AM
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A little rhyme that helped me learn my Diagonals "Rise and fall with the leg on the wall" in other words when you feel the outside leg rise, your seat should rise as well

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post #19 of 28 Old 07-17-2008, 07:14 PM
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Rise and fall with the leg on the wall is who I was taught also! I stunck at getting the correct diagnol for along time. My horse is realyl smooth and everyone kept telling me you can feeli t, well that is so not true with him!! Then i rode a different horse i was starting englisha dn there it was as easy as could be I could get the correct diagnol every time. Just a different gait or rougher horse! I was so happy and it helped me get it on my horse better! I get it now, that was a number of years ago! Good luck, not the easiest thing to learn!
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post #20 of 28 Old 07-22-2008, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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I'm making progress! I had a lesson this evening, the first in a few weeks, and while I wasn't very good (poor aids => sloppy transitions) I really enjoyed it and worked really hard. I was automatically finding the right diagonal lots of the time (not sure how, most were probably just luck), but at one point I was going walk to trot and right away it felt a little off. I glanced down, saw I was on the wrong diagonal, and switched right away. My instructor told me well done and I was really heartened, because I'm making progress, woohoo

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