Rode my first buck/help getting the correct lead

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Rode my first buck/help getting the correct lead

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  • When i ride my horse i tense my buttocks when putting my leg on
  • Horse bucked for first time when ridden why

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    10-15-2011, 10:47 AM
Rode my first buck/help getting the correct lead

I've been riding for 8 years, but it has always been on well-trained school horses. Obviously the ones I've been riding for the past few years are more difficult but they're still trained and know what they're doing and can cover for me when I make a mistake.

It's safe to say I got a little used to perhaps not doing everything I need to because it wasn't absolutely required, y'know?

WELL. For the past few weeks, my trainer has been putting me on Bling for my lessons. Bling is a 7 yr old Hanovarian, and he's still quite green. Welp. Riding Bling has been super frustrating, but I love it. I love that my trainer thinks that I'm a good enough rider to handle him and I love that he's making me work so hard.

Our first lesson was an absolute DISASTER. I wasn't as relaxed and soft as he needed me to be and when we cantered my heels kept coming up which lead to my spurs hitting his side which lead to him bucking which lead to me squeezing more to stay was bad, and completely my fault. Although, in my defense, that was the first time I'd ever ridden a horse who actually BUCKED. Leo does little hop things but they're super easy to sit and Brooke doesn't put much effort into anything, lol. And Frenchie's bucks usually came after a refusal so I was expecting it. But Bling...well, he's certainly agile! We managed to kick the arena wall TWICE haha. I thought we were going to die over the teeny single fences we were jumping.

I rode him again last night (with much smaller spurs lol) and it was sososo much better...I really focused on staying soft and not letting my seat get all tense and it definitely showed. We were even able to canter a small circle without stalling out and/or bucking, which was a first! (I think I've finally figured out how to effectively use my outside aids in conjunction with my inside ones. Maybe). We even got a few flying changes (though I kinda thought I was coming off during one 'cause he bucked and then changed and he already kind of leaps into his lead changes haha). Jumping was also a lot smoother - he was plowing through them at the beginning so my trainer bumped them up to 2'6" and then after that he was fine :roll:

I still have problems getting him to pick up the correct lead, though. I'm so used to horses that will automatically pick up the lead if you squeeze and/or use your outside leg. My trainer has me working a lot of walk-canter-trot-walk things with him so he doesn't lean on my hands but I just can't seem to consistently get him on the correct lead. When he doesn't get it, I bring him back to a trot and ask again but then my hips tense up and I start bouncing and its bad. I've been bending him to the inside and then adding my outside leg (I try to time it but that doesn't always work) and he gets it like 2/3 of the time but I was wondering if there was something else I should be doing? I generally only ask when we're in the corner and/or on a circle because that improves our chances but...y'know...I feel like I'm still missing something.

Also - any tips for staying with a horse with a big jump? Bling pops his butt up after the jump and I'm finding it really hard to get used to, and I'm afraid I'm going to hit his back after the jump! I find myself throwing my body forward and while it does keep my seat out of the saddle for the entire jump, I'm obviously really unbalanced after the jump, and since I usually need to ask for a lead change on the landing side I need to be balanced so I can balance him and get it.

I've also been riding my trainer's horse, an 18hh DWB 1-2 times a week (when she doesn't have time) and he's definitely helping me learn to use my outside aids when turning :p Thanks, Hopper!

Sorry this is so long! Here, enjoy a picture of Bling :) He's super talented and I KNOW he can jump the moon, if I can just figure out how to ride him effectively.

(PS - I more or less swapped my Circuit for this older Collegiate and I LOVE it so much more!)
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    10-15-2011, 11:03 AM
Very cute horse!

To canter I develop a nice balanced (as much as both of us can) trot first on 20 m circle getting her on bit and bend, and only when I'm happy with the trot (or at least OK with it) I ask for the canter. You really want to set horse for success. I first slide my outside leg just a tiny bit to tell the horse canter is coming, and as leg comes back and I ask with the inside one. If the horse rushes into trot instead of canter I bring it back and ask again, not getting nervous, no fuss. I may (although it's rare) give light tap with whip if it doesn't go into canter right away on 2nd try.

Now, sometime they start with the wrong lead. Usually there are either reason for that 1) Horse is tired, and just pick the lead that is most easy for it (my qh does it some time when she doesn't feel like working), and/or 2) Horse is not ready (meaning not connected, no bend, etc.). Then I just bring it back sharply, establish again a nice trot with bend and ask again.
    10-15-2011, 11:25 AM
I feel like one of my main problems with getting the canter is that if he doesn't get it right away, then I tense up when I bring him back to a trot and then neither of us are balanced. :roll: In my mind I know that I shouldn't do it, but getting my body to listen is another story haha.
    10-15-2011, 11:35 AM
Can I ask you why you're riding with spurs on a green horse?

If the horse needs something "extra" to get to canter, why not try a crop instead? I'm not against the use of spurs but it sounds that with your experience riding green horses and overall experience it might not be a good idea.

I'm also questioning why you're being on a more green horse after not really having more experience with more horses that are more difficult to ride but thoroughly trained. It just sounds...odd to me.

It also sounds like you need more experience cantering, without stirrups and even bareback may help you learn to relax. And breathe. I know it sounds weird but many riders hold their breath, and that definitely won't help you to relax. I should know, I used to have the biggest problem with holding my breath and being super tense).

As for riding a horse who jumps bigger, can I see a picture of your two-point?
    10-15-2011, 12:08 PM
I do what my trainer tells me to, lol. My first lesson she had me put on the spurs she uses with him but I think we both forgot that my legs are a very different length than hers and so the spurs would be touching him differently hah. I'm riding him now in a very small pair of prince of wales spurs, it works much better for us both. I do ride with a dressage whip as well.

I have worked with a green horse before but he was a STB and we were teaching him to canter and he was so laid back and awesome about it all, haha.

I'm confused by your statement...I do have experience with horses that are difficult to ride but thoroughly trained...?

I can't do bareback and probably not very much no stirrup work because my hips are messed up. I do drop my stirrups for at least part of my ride when I'm on Hopper because his canter is like a couch haha but on other horses, if I try to do no-stirrup work then it feels like a nerve in my hip is getting pinched and I can't move my feet and the pain is excruciating. I do need to work on relaxing though, I know that. I think part of the reason I get so tense is because of my hip problems but, eh...gotta learn to work through that.

I looked for AGES to find a good picture of my two-point...I don't really have one. No one really records my riding at an angle conducive to clear pictures. This was the best I could find...but I'm not sure it's entirely accurate anymore. It was from a few months ago and I know that I tend to get waaay behind on Frenchie (horse in the picture) because of his issues with fences (hence the small jumps, we were trying to work on that lol). I've been working almost every lesson on closing my hip angle on the way to fences and not getting so far behind and I think I've improved a lot buuut no one is there to record me. Welp, I'm rambling. Anyways, here's a picture:

Here's a video:

But again, it's a little older AND on Frenchie whom I have a terrible habit of sitting too far back on (pretty obvious in the video)
I dunno how much of a help those two are.

The whole 2-point thing is still a relatively new concept to me. For the first 6 or so years that I rode, I rode with trainers who didn't really focus on MY position. When I learned to jump, I was literally just pointed at the jump at told to go. I didn't spent time learning a 2-point or anything. It was only once I started riding with my current trainer that we went back and spent time on a correct position and releasing and looking for distances. It's gotten a lot better but I still want to fall back into that old habit of not folding my hips at all and standing straight up with my hands planted on the withers.
    10-15-2011, 12:51 PM
Oh, ok! With your automatically picking up the lead thing and yeah...I get confused sometimes lol...anyways!

The video and picture aren't extremely helpful, but you look like a good, solid rider from what I can see. Since you can't do much bareback and no-stirrup work, why not have your trainer put Bling on the lungeline for a few minutes and have you work on your no-hand skills for a bit? Sometimes taking the reins away from someone is all it takes for them to learn to relax and move with the horse.
    10-15-2011, 06:57 PM
Lol I have this terrible tendency to ramble and then whatever point I'm trying to make just gets lost in a sea of I don't blame you hahah.

I know - I never have any good videos! The only other semi-good one I have is from last January:
I think that part of why I was having so much difficulty staying with him is our awkward distances. I can see distances but I'm very timid about moving up for a long one. Over the summer I misjudged a distance and it was too long and we crashed and I ended up bailing off the side and we cracked a standard and Frenchie's leg got all cut up :o I tend to second guess myself a LOT now with distances and the awkward distance doesn't really help Bling to jump normally. There was a lesson over the summer where we did simple figure eights and once we saw our distance, we had to look at my trainer (who would be standing off to the side) to ensure that we stuck with our decision and it definitely helped me a lot with riding through whatever I chose but with Bling I don't trust him yet so I'm not sure if he's going to jump it (which he will, as I've found out haha)

(welp...see what I mean about rambling?!)
    10-15-2011, 10:04 PM
Originally Posted by juniormylove    
I feel like one of my main problems with getting the canter is that if he doesn't get it right away, then I tense up when I bring him back to a trot and then neither of us are balanced. :roll: In my mind I know that I shouldn't do it, but getting my body to listen is another story haha.
Then take your time to relax both of you on trot and then try again.

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