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Getting her collected...HELP!

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  • Engaging your core and buttocks with cantering
  • Engaging your core when riding horses

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    10-26-2012, 12:07 AM
  #11
Yearling
9 p.s. We don't use whips OR spurs at my trainer's barn...it isn't necessarily a "rule" or anything, but since Im being taught the BASICS for pleasure riding, I suppose, as well, since her horses seem not to require such...maybe I don't need the added device? Hmmm. Not sure what to think. Maybe I'll ask her about it!
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    10-26-2012, 04:06 PM
  #12
Foal
Well I'd say that since you have an instructor...the best thing you can do is to take lunge lessons. That way you can strictly focus on what your butt is doing up there in the saddle. Also I know what you mean about floating around because I used to have that issue. And when I ride without stirrups I definitely have an easier time sitting the trot and etc. But I learned to really engage my core and have a better position in my upper body. Once I did this...getting the proper position from the waist down came easier and I have a more solid seat because of this. However this will come with time and practice. Just relax and don't worry too much about this. I find if you try too hard then you will actually end up tensing your seat muscles and that pops you out of the saddle.

Also a driving seat is one that is actively pushing in the saddle...I use it when asking for a medium canter or to keep the horse moving if I think he's going to break out of his gait. It should not be overused or the horse will tune it out.

On the note about whips and spurs and etc...only use them if you need them. I wasn't trying to say you need to use whips. In my case, I always ride with spurs and sometimes two whips because I need it. However, I use these with sensitivity...my horse has a lazy side even though he is part TB and when I need to remind him to get off my leg it comes in very handy. But I am not for beating a horse mindlessly to get him moving..not saying that you would ever but just in case someone thinks I do;)
     
    10-26-2012, 09:58 PM
  #13
Super Moderator
I am jumping in May I?
I really cued into the "hard seat" and was wanting to address that but someone else did. I agree that a "hard" seat is the last thing you want. YOu do not want to squeeze your buttocks together and you do not want to drive your tailbone down into the saddle.

With regard to a driving seat, I think you might like this way of thinking of it better:
Think of a driving core. You will be slowing the horse with your core, lifting the horse and steadying them with your core. YOur core will set the pace. Your leg will bring up the energy, and your core (your seat) will determine how much you let fall forward, and how much you bring up into yourself (thus slowing and collecting the horse)

Next time you ride , think about riding your horse from your core.
Let me know how that feels to you.
     
    10-26-2012, 10:35 PM
  #14
Trained
If I can build on tiny's core observation, while I also don't agree with sitting hard in the saddle since it only invites tension, tucking you butt under is actually the end result of engaging your core. You can feel it just by sitting in your chair. Suck your gut in and you will instantly feel your butt tuck under. No tension is there, but you suddenly are sitting deeper into that chair. I'm thinking the person who said "hard" probably meant "deep" The first can only be done by using tension, but the second is a pleasant after affect of engaging your core. While you're warming up on a loose rein, play with it. I'll bet, even on loose contact, you'll see your horse's ears come back toward you in interest as he feels you change your seat. It's really cool how well they can feel that.
     
    10-27-2012, 01:10 AM
  #15
Yearling
Yes, I think that's what my instructor is advising. Her EXACT words are this, "Sit with even contact on both buttocks when moving in a straight line and with your tummy in,[core firmness] and shoulders relaxed and back, breathing UP & DOWN evenly through the upper body raising yourself up, head straight (or looking aroubd turns when needed-just not DOWN), slight pressure between your buttocks as if you have an egg there and you're holding it & don't want to crack OR drop it..." (probably the tucking under result which My Boy Puck was referring to?).

It's possible that there are just so many analogies and one has to simply pick the correct one for them...(?)

Re: riding with spurs/dressage whip, I actually don't think those aids would be necessary for Victory, as she is SO sensitive to slight pressure/position changes/and is very forward naturally...I was ALWAYS riding with both as a child/teen because the schoolmasters I rode for all of those years simply didn't choose to listen without some additional urging. They were in very well-trained and hard working, well behaved horses & they just wanted to know you MEANT IT before they would bother responding to anything...I've never HIT a horse with a crop, nor have I ever used spurs as "weapons"...I always felt that I got better results with those horses of my youth simply by SHOWING them the crop slightly, and with my "tap tap" to move forward, they could feel a snub spur more than my puny heels. Always gentle got the job done.

I found that my worst enemy as a kid, & what the horses took advantage of most was INDECISIVENESS. If I rode toward the jump like I MEANT to ACTUALLY JUMP IT (novel idea!) I'd have very few run outs/refusals. If I wasn't SURE, they consistently said, "No worries, we won't jump that THIS TIME!"

Ah. If only I knew then...I'm very consistent now, and do ride with confidence...it's still a matter of getting my body's quirks worked out.

I am able to do "walk/trot/walk" transitions, serpentines up and down the arena with tight, balanced turns; stop; back, move forward from backing right into a requested gait without hesitation from Victory...thus, we are making progress. It's these terms that really STUMP me!
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