Instructing a male rider
 
 

       The Horse Forum > Riding Horses > English Riding

Instructing a male rider

This is a discussion on Instructing a male rider within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

    Like Tree5Likes

     
    LinkBack Thread Tools
        11-18-2013, 11:20 AM
      #1
    Weanling
    Instructing a male rider

    So, my husband is learning to ride on my semi-retired gelding. He's ridden a few times since we've been together, but he recently decided he wants to get more into riding and ride with me every time I ride. Since we're a little tight on cash at the moment (after buying him his own saddle), I have been giving him some beginner lessons. Things have been going really well. He's improved a lot within the past few rides, but I need a little help...

    My husband is having trouble balancing in two point. I think the root of the problem lies in the fact that his anatomy is different than mine and our centers of gravity are in different places. I don't know what to tell him to help him out. As a woman, my center of gravity is in my hips. As long as my hips remain above my heels, I can lean forward and backwards, ride in two point, post, etc. and not lose my balance. My poor husband is not so lucky. He is top heavy. If he gets his shoulders out of hip/heel alignment, he can't balance himself.

    He is a beginner, so he doesn't quite have a feel for everything yet, and his lower body strength is lacking. In time, these things should improve, but does anyone have any tips on how to instruct a male rider to find his balance and center of gravity? Does anyone have any other tips on instructing a male rider as related to their structural differences?

    Don't worry, in the spring we will both pick up lessons from a professional again, but for now, we're trying to get as far as we can on our own. I have been riding and taking lessons for about 14 years, and I have given a few informal lessons before, but only to other girls.
         
    Sponsored Links
    Advertisement
     
        11-18-2013, 05:29 PM
      #2
    Showing
    I'm pretty sure that everyone struggles with two point at first. I was a right nutter up there, not even trying to get 'over my hips' helped me, and I'm female.

    Just have him hold mane and stand in his stirrups, then sit. Stand for a bit longer, sit. This will start getting him to get weight down his leg, and balance for a little.

    It's going to be a process of muscle memory and conditioning.. not a magical "this angle will have you in a perfect two point"
         
        11-18-2013, 06:30 PM
      #3
    Started
    I think it's probably just saddle time and working on it that'll help remedy the problem! It's slightly different for everyone, male or female. As far as finding the center of gravity for a male I would start watching videos of well-balanced male riders in two point and see what you can find in common between them. Otherwise the best advice that I can give is to just have him practice! Don't expect him to pick it up too quickly, and let him find his own two point spot! As he gets more experienced then correct him if he's doing something wrong, but for the most part it's about him finding his own balance point. As always, it's easier said than done!

    Also if I'm not mistaken, he's just started? If he's only had a handful of lessons then he probably doesn't quite have a handle on balancing when not in two point yet! Be patient, and let him figure himself out
         
        11-18-2013, 07:37 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    He pretty well has just started. He's had probably about 20 lessons but spread over the course of 4 years. It's tough for anyone to make progress if they're not getting any consistent practice.

    He's doing pretty well just in the saddle. He can walk and trot on our appaloosa gelding, who is built more like a TB, with long, extremely springy strides. The horse also has a very long neck and he knows if he puts his head down or throws his head around, he can rip the reins out of a beginner's hands. Anthony (my husband) is doing a great job of gaining control of Rags (the horse) when he throws his little fits, and he is doing very well with his posting trot, though it is much easier to post on this horse than it is to sit because of his springiness.

    I've been having him do some stirrupless riding at the walk, to find his balance and feel the horse. He's not ready for stirrupless trotting, and he's not ready for a canter yet. He has cantered, but on a western lesson horse with a very easy lope. He's working on making round circles at the walk and trot, instead of squashed ovals. Lol. He's also been working the gate and side passing logs, since Rags is really good at obstacle trail.

    Overall, my husband is taking to riding very well, and his progress has been dramatically sped up with the purchase of a saddle that he's comfortable in. His biggest downfall is the two point. I don't recall having that much trouble with it. I do remember getting fatigued, but I don't remember being completely all over the place and unable to balance myself. Of course, it has been 14 years since I started riding, so maybe I'm just not remembering everything.

    I will certainly follow your advice and look for pictures and videos of balanced male riders in 2 point and see if I can figure out a way to explain it to Ant.
         
        11-18-2013, 08:25 PM
      #5
    Started
    Glad to hear that he's progessing so well and quickly! As long as you make sure he has solid basics before you go doing anything too exciting then he'll be just fine!

    One thing that I do remember hearing at some point in life is that to be a balanced rider you should be able to remain standing if the horse evaporated from beneath you. If he's leaning too forward in two point then he'd fall right on his nose if the horse disappeared. Maybe have him try to visualize it from the ground? It may help him to find his balance point, since he'll literally fall over in one direction or the other if he isn't properly balanced :P
    kiltsrhott likes this.
         
        11-18-2013, 08:58 PM
      #6
    Green Broke
    I never thought of two point as something you learn in the beginning, usually after you've already got the basics pretty solid.

    It's a two part thing to me - the first is balancing the position, the second is working with the horses strides. Both require work.

    The way I see it, which is probably no more simple (or correct) is that the shoulders are related to the knees, with the hip as the pivot point. Where-ever the shoulders go the knees have to go in relation to the pivot. Which means if you want your knee to stay still when you move your shoulder your hip has to move. So you can't keep your knees straight down in a dressage position then lean into a deep jump position, and you can't stick your legs out the front and ride in a light two point because your parts aren't equal/balancing each other. Each person is a bit different, so he has to work out how his top half is balanced by his lower half. As long as each part of the body is balancing itself you should be fairly secure in that position, regardless of what it is. I've noticed beginners tend to put their should too low because they think that's where they're meant to be, and they collapse towards the neck, or they are upright but push the hips too underneath themselves, falling back. They just have to find their balance in relation to the rest of their body.

    I'd just start slow, getting him up a few strides at the walk etc. Building on it. Twenty lessons is really not that many at all.
         
        11-18-2013, 09:07 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    I'm certainly not comparing my situation to his, but I am an older beginning male who is trying very hard to master the many elements of English. I have found that without a doubt my largest problem is stretching, stretching and stretching. It affects my seat, my stirrup control and especially my balance.

    It may help him as well. Good luck !
    bsms likes this.
         
        11-18-2013, 10:16 PM
      #8
    Weanling
    Bkylem, I do think my hubby can relate to that! He is a bit rigid in the saddle. I think this may be a big part of his issue. This is why I've had him riding without stirrups at the walk, telling him to just ride on a loose rein, relax, and feel the horse. And I decided to introduce him to two point to get him stretching and start to build some lower body strength. He's only done two point at the halt at this point. He falls over if the horse takes a step. We're lucky Rags is a tolerant horse! He's been a great teacher!

    I know a beginner rider has to start somewhere, but Anthony's looking to me for advice on how to place himself, and I just don't know what to say. I don't want him to get frustrated with it, as I really enjoy his company in the riding arena, and I want him to stick with it. He actually asked me, earlier this evening, if there are any exercises he can do at home to help. I recommended squats and some stretching exercises. When I first started riding, I would stand with the balls of my feet on the edge of a stair and press my heels down to stretch my calves. We don't have stairs in our house, so Anthony was standing on the edge of a cake pan stretching his calves. It was kinda funny!
         
        11-25-2013, 08:44 AM
      #9
    Weanling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kiltsrhott    
    bkylem, I do think my hubby can relate to that! He is a bit rigid in the saddle. I think this may be a big part of his issue. This is why I've had him riding without stirrups at the walk, telling him to just ride on a loose rein, relax, and feel the horse. And I decided to introduce him to two point to get him stretching and start to build some lower body strength. He's only done two point at the halt at this point. He falls over if the horse takes a step. We're lucky Rags is a tolerant horse! He's been a great teacher!

    I know a beginner rider has to start somewhere, but Anthony's looking to me for advice on how to place himself, and I just don't know what to say. I don't want him to get frustrated with it, as I really enjoy his company in the riding arena, and I want him to stick with it. He actually asked me, earlier this evening, if there are any exercises he can do at home to help. I recommended squats and some stretching exercises. When I first started riding, I would stand with the balls of my feet on the edge of a stair and press my heels down to stretch my calves. We don't have stairs in our house, so Anthony was standing on the edge of a cake pan stretching his calves. It was kinda funny!
    The stair stretch really helps me and it's easy to do virtually anywhere (even on a very strong cake pan). :)
    I also find that stretching in the shower is good as the steam and heat loosens up the muscles. I just step out and do the old toe-touch and it is surprising how much more flexible I am as a result.

    My best to you and Anthony !
         
        11-30-2013, 02:49 PM
      #10
    Banned
    Being top heavy isn't always a male vs female thing. I'm a guy and I'm somewhere in between. There are plenty of top heavy females. Just have him improve his balance and work him like you would a female rider.
         

    Quick Reply
    Please help keep the Horse Forum enjoyable by reporting rude posts.
    Message:
    Options

    Register Now

    In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

    Already have a Horse Forum account?
    Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

    New to the Horse Forum?
    Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

    User Name:
    Password
    Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
    Password:
    Confirm Password:
    Email Address
    Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
    Email Address:

    Log-in

    Human Verification

    In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.


    Old Thread Warning
    This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

    Thread Tools

    Similar Threads
    Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
    Instructing flicka filly Horse Riding 8 06-19-2012 10:24 AM
    Beginner adult male rider.. mind Horse Riding 141 04-18-2012 10:37 PM
    Instructing SorrelHorse Reining 1 08-09-2010 06:51 PM
    Male Rider Release The Hounds English Riding 13 06-16-2009 05:34 PM



    All times are GMT -4. The time now is 01:46 AM.


    Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
    Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
    Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0