Green rider here..need help

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Green rider here..need help

This is a discussion on Green rider here..need help within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • How to stand up in english stirrups easily
  • What kind of saddle does manolo mendez ride in?

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    07-23-2010, 03:27 AM
Green Broke
Talking Green rider here..need help

Hello. I'm a green rider and I'm learning english although I do ride western. Let me start off as saying I love the english saddle and I like how it looks. My horse has never been taught english...she's a gaming horse..a stubborn one. Anyways,the lesson horse I use is soooo easy to post with.I have no problems posting with him but with my horse it's a rollercoaster. She has a bumpy trot compared to my lesson horse. When I post on her I lose beat so I sit twice and do it again to get back on track. I wore sneakers today because I forgot my boots..yes, I know ..bad. I noticed my feet sometimes will point down instead of having toes up...I want to learn to post on my horse. Sometimes I feel like I am about to fall because my horse will trot and stop and eat! And I have to kick hard to get her to stop because I can't pull her head up sometimes....anyways,I NEED TIPS! I haven't seen my trainer and would like some help!
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    07-23-2010, 11:13 AM
Ok first thing will be to get your stirrups at an appropriate length. What type of english saddle are you riding in? In a dressage saddle, the bottom of your stirrups should bump against your ankle bone when you allow your legs to stretch down out of the stirrups. Any longer and you will not be able to ride with the heel as the lowest point of your body and will be tipped forward over the front of the horse and forced to grip with your knees. You can start with them a little shorter though, but not over done.

With your stirrups shorter, you'll find it easier to sink your heel down and your toe will come up. If you are riding on your toes, it will simply tip you forward all the time and you'll lose balance, it's like fighting an uphill battle!

A good exercise to do is standing in your stirrups without rising at all. So stand up out of the saddle, with your crutch of the pommel, sink your weight into your heels and stay upright just at a halt. You can hold onto the saddle cloth with a finger if you like when you're starting out. Once you can stand comfortably in your stirrups, maintaining a straight back and not having to hold onto the saddle cloth or lose your balance, start doing the same thing in walk.
Again, same deal until you can stand in walk, then progress to trot. When you can stand up in trot, you will find you will have a million times better balance on the horse! Your rising will improve dramatically as you sound to just be having balance issues :)

Key points are :
-shorten your stirrups to a comfortable length in which you can easily weight your heels rather than your toes without having to grip.
- learn to stand in the stirrups to improve your balance and allow you to find your centre of gravity. When you can stand without having to hold on, or without getting the wobbles, you are in perfect balance. Just keep that same feeling while you're doing rising trot and you'll be just fine.
- Practice practice and practice. Avoid slamming down on your horse's back, if you feel that you're loosing balance and you're going to fall back, hold onto the saddle of a chunk of mane so you land lightly
    07-23-2010, 11:34 AM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
ok first thing will be to get your stirrups at an appropriate length. What type of english saddle are you riding in? In a dressage saddle, the bottom of your stirrups should bump against your ankle bone when you allow your legs to stretch down out of the stirrups.
Another easy way to measure your sturrips is to get off your horse. Then, grab one of the sturrips and angle it towards you. Slide your hand to the very top of the sturrip strap. Basically, your using your arm as a unit of measure the length of the sturrip. The actual sturrip should be right in your armpit and your hand should be at the top of the sturrip strap. If it is not, your sturrip is too long and you need to shorten it until it is :)
    07-23-2010, 11:45 AM
Sorry BLFC, but using arms, although a common 'myth' is not actually an accurate way of measuring stirrups. Peoples arms are not necessarily a length that will give an accurate length of stirrup. The former head rider of the Spanish Riding School, Manolo Mendez, has arms so long that his finger tips are at his knees!
If I measure against my own arm, I always find the stirrups are too short and I have to drop them a hole or two.
    07-23-2010, 04:22 PM
Green Broke
Thanks guys!
I will shorten my stirrups and go practice tonight. I really want to become a neat rider and not unbalanced where I'm leaning forward. So maybe it's not my horse's trot but the fact my stirrups are too long. My trainer's saddle is amazing. The saddle I am using is an AP saddle :)
    07-23-2010, 04:39 PM
Everyone has given you great pointers on the stirrups and on how to post. I think what you need is a horse that has and maintains a good rhythm at the trot. Lots of gaming horses are inconsistant at the trot because they never needed to work the trot that much. My horse definantly needed some work on his rhythm!

If you can ride in a two point, its best. Get your horse moving and look for that one-two beat you are looking for. I try to think of music when teaching this...or a ticking clock. Get up in your two point at the trot and try your best to stay off your aids and her mouth. They will find a rhythm they like and stick with it. Once she settles in to a beat drop yourself back and try to post. It may be that she's just not used to a rider posting! Lots of western horses don't understand it and can sometimes confuse it with a cue to canter or in your case, a cue to stop.

I think you just need more time. I am no professional but I know that posting a horse without rhythm can prove to be very difficult!
    07-23-2010, 05:01 PM
Green Broke
Thank you :)

It can be hard. I actually post in a western saddle also and I can find the beat fairly easy but western saddles are more secure feeling. I find it easier to post in an english saddle cause the pommel isn't there as a barrier..i guess it does help...but with my horse posting is veeerrry difficult.

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