Leaning forward on a very "up" horse.

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Leaning forward on a very "up" horse.

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    03-04-2011, 02:35 PM
Leaning forward on a very "up" horse.

So I am riding a new horse now. She is different than any other horse I have ever ridden. She is spunky, feisty and full of energy. I am used to riding my old, lazy TB (incredibly lazy, might I add), who I did huntseat with (so my body is used to leaning forward slightly).
Cat doesn't have an issue with my leaning forward, she is just fine with it actually (I am light on her back at the trot, I half seat the canter). I am riding her in a dressage saddle, which is why it is irritating me. I KNOW I can sit back and ride like a "dressage rider".
I think the main issues are, I need to go see my chiro. My body is so out of line that one of my stirrups should be a hole longer than the other. Also, I think my stirrups needed to me lengthened at least two holes for dressage.

I just wanted to see if you guys had any tips for me to work on. I don't feel nervous or insecure on her, I am smiling half of my ride actually. I'm just irritated with MYSELF, as I know I can do better. I will try to get pictures/videos of my ride on her this Sunday.
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    03-04-2011, 03:49 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question lol but the chiro sounds like a good idea!
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    03-04-2011, 03:54 PM
And this is why I should proof read things. LOL!

I wanted to know if you guys had any tips that might help me sit back (stop leaning forward).
    03-04-2011, 04:04 PM
Super Moderator
Think of your breast bone , your heart to be exact, as the first thing to break the air that you will pass through. Before your nose or head, your proud "D" shaped front line, lead by your brave heart, will go through space. Kind cool image, no?
    03-04-2011, 05:16 PM
Being consious that your leaning forward is the first step to fixing it now you'll just have to try to remain aware of it until it becomes natural to keep yourself tall. I like tinylinys imagery :) think of sinking down in your heel and keeping your legs long and your chest and hips nice and open. It helps to have someone on the ground reminding you everytime you start to close up. Sometimes it takes those constant reminders from a friend or trainer to keep you thinking about it, I used to joke about making a tape of my instructor to play in the ring on a loop "heels down, shoulders back..." Lol!
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    03-04-2011, 06:10 PM
Thank you tiny and rosie! It will be interesting trying to figure out how to train this mare. I had dressage lessons for four years, but really, they were just flat lessons in a dressage saddle.
It needs to be this summer so I can go to my aunts and be in boot camp for a week or two. LOL! Gosh, if I could work under her and be a working student.... That would be so great. Sorry for the mini rant, hehe.

I think my problem is, I don't feel as secure when I am leaning back. I think it is just because she is so forward that I feel the need to perch. If I were in my ap I don't think it would be as much of a problem (I feel incredibly secure in that saddle haha).

So I will let you know how things go when I get home from riding on Sunday. Let me know if you have any other tips! :)
    03-04-2011, 06:29 PM
I tend to lean forward for reasons that don't apply to you. However, I've made progress the last few months by really lengthening my stirrups. I'm riding in an Australian style saddle and not trying for dressage, but I wanted to stop leaning halfway over the horse's neck!

With my stirrups very long (to me) and my feet homed to keep from losing the stirrups, I find leaning forward becomes unnatural. With a near vertical leg, the weight of my legs pulls me into the saddle and leaning forward feels as awkward as it would if I did it while jogging.

The photo below both defines what I mean by long stirrup. With my saddle, my heel ends up in line with my belt buckle. No one would mistake it for dressage, but you can see some common elements, and I don't know how anyone could feel right leaning forward while like this:

"A day herder, Bert Killion, on a knoll overlooking the grazing herd. LS Ranch, Texas, 1907"


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