Sharing my progress (after 8 or so lessons?) - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 08:27 PM Thread Starter
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Sharing my progress (after 8 or so lessons?)

I crawled myself back to my original barn I started riding 15 years ago, and I'm fairly certain that I will stay here. I like my trainer , not my absolute favorite out of all, but overall, I like this barn and her the best.

My legs are coming back, or I should say rebuilding the strength. I'm not flopping like a rag doll anymore, I'm pretty sure it can use more work, but it wasn't as horrible as before. I pretty much have my left leg under great control, my right is still quite a disaster, but I'm working on it.

I know people here say stay away from a barn that let you canter the first lesson, but I guess I've done it before, so they let me, and I looked balanced and not like I was about to get booted off? I actually cantered in a group lesson and that might be slightly dangerous because you really need to be able to slow down, make circle , cut across arena etc. I quickly remember how to do all that in one lesson.

So far, I've been working on keeping my right heel down, left is good,
Trainer said my body is still a bit stiff, working on making it relax, smooth, but strong. She said like a ballerina , soft and fluid, but they are strong.
Transition- I was riding on an excellent horse today, very responsive and I don't need to squeeze squeeze , whip , every 5 seconds, so I can concentrate on learning my aids. She wants my trot to canter transition to be more smooth, and don't want that crazy trot thing going on. So I practiced on trotting on a smaller circle on one side of the arena, and ask for a canter coming out of the circle by sitting a few beats and then sit up tall and deeper and slightly slide outside leg behind girth. I need to work on applying pressure on my inside leg at girth too (what is this for?)

She also had me canter on two points. I love this!! I'm not sure what this is for either

Trotting: up up down down. Seriously, the up up was kinda hard, but once I find the balance point, I love this exercise! I've only heard of people doing down down up or up up down, I've never seen down down up up before, anyone know what this is for?

One dumb dumb question I have is change direction thru the diagonal. I kept doing it wrong, she said the way I'm doing it, I'm ended up making the turn really sharp, which is true, but it's a rectangle so I can't figure out why this is???
If anyone know what I am talking about, can someone help me? She said to help me with that, picking the point to make the diagonal change, I should pick the second corner and ride directly across.

I also worked on my downward transition, I'm using a bit-less bridle today, so that's new. Really trying to slow down her trot, smoother transition from canter to trot and to stop with primarily my seat, not reins.

What do you all think? I think she's a pretty awesome trainer!!
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post #2 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Oh also, is it bad to be riding a horse that is so good? Unlike the usual lazy lesson horse. This one response to just light squeeze. It was amazing.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 09:34 PM
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It is not bad at all riding a great horse when you are first getting back into it. I used to ride an Arab that was older, and a really good girl, except, she would challenge you every once in a while. And when I became past the point where she could teach me much, I took off the tack, and learned to ride her bareback, and later without even a halter. So, it isn't bad.

I think its great that you found a nice barn, trainer combination. Really good trainers are hard to come by, and you really have to appreciate them when you find one. I think that your progress is great!
Oh, and when I started riding western, I cantered in the first lesson, because I have done it in English a million times, and my trainer could tell I was ready.

"People who say riding isn't a sport are just intimidated...because in OUR game, the ball has a mind of its own."-Unknown
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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So it's really not an automatic no no when an instructor lets you canter and makes you canter every lesson as a beginner right?

I was never uncomfortable or felt unsafe. It puts me on my toes though when I have to try something new.

Like the airplane hands when trotting, straight line I'm okay, but turning really freaks me out especially that horse trips around the cone every time.

I'm also used to grabbing mane at two point and trainer told me try to avoid that. I notice that once I find the balance point, and relax my ankle and let it act like a shock absorber, it feels very good.
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayewokf View Post
So it's really not an automatic no no when an instructor lets you canter and makes you canter every lesson as a beginner right?

I was never uncomfortable or felt unsafe. It puts me on my toes though when I have to try something new.

Like the airplane hands when trotting, straight line I'm okay, but turning really freaks me out especially that horse trips around the cone every time.

I'm also used to grabbing mane at two point and trainer told me try to avoid that. I notice that once I find the balance point, and relax my ankle and let it act like a shock absorber, it feels very good.
It does feel great when you finally get the two point right. Grabbing onto the mane can eventually hurt your horses mouth, and you. So don't do that. I used to do it too, though, when I was first learning.
I used to hate jumping with out reins, because I didn't trust my horse to do it right. There we have my biggest issue, TRUST. I am afraid of trusting I guess. I guess its a long term thing, that involves humans too, but my issue is, that I am not afraid of the horse, I'm afraid to trust. Within reason though, because out of the six horses I ever really connected with and trusted, one died, and two betrayed that trust terribly. I trusted them both again one day, but it took a while. The one that passed, well that's another reason im afraid, because I know that when you trust a horse you connect with them, and then loosing them becomes harder.

I wouldn't go so far to say that I have trust issues, I would say, that its just hard to gain my trust. And not just with horses.

Anyway, sorry for going on, I think the cantering thing depends on the student, most students aren't ready, but then some are. Canter can sometimes be easier than the trot, because it is less bouncy. So as long as you are comfortable, go ahead.

"People who say riding isn't a sport are just intimidated...because in OUR game, the ball has a mind of its own."-Unknown
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayewokf View Post

A. So I practiced on trotting on a smaller circle on one side of the arena, and ask for a canter coming out of the circle by sitting a few beats and then sit up tall and deeper and slightly slide outside leg behind girth. I need to work on applying pressure on my inside leg at girth too (what is this for?)

B. She also had me canter on two points. I love this!! I'm not sure what this is for either

C. Trotting: up up down down. Seriously, the up up was kinda hard, but once I find the balance point, I love this exercise! I've only heard of people doing down down up or up up down, I've never seen down down up up before, anyone know what this is for?

D. One dumb dumb question I have is change direction thru the diagonal. I kept doing it wrong, she said the way I'm doing it, I'm ended up making the turn really sharp, which is true, but it's a rectangle so I can't figure out why this is???
If anyone know what I am talking about, can someone help me? She said to help me with that, picking the point to make the diagonal change, I should pick the second corner and ride directly across.
I've attached a photo for point d.

For diagonal changes, always come straight out of the corner before picking up a soft change to the straight before a corner. You don't ride middle of corner to middle of corner because that isn't enough time to have your horse nice and bent softly around your inside leg.

Make sense?

For point c, you're working your core, thigh, muscles while also learning to absorb movement by sitting down two beats in a row.. similar to how sitting trot is done.

Point b, Two point is known as half seat. Hunter/jumper disciplines ride their horses this way to free up their back in preparation for jumping. It also helps to strengthen your legs and teach you to balance over the horse.

Point a, inside leg on the girth keeps the horse from yielding/drifting from pressure from your outside leg. It also asks the horse to continue forward. It can also help to straighten the horse in preparation for canter depart.

A true bend is to have a horse wrapped around your inside leg, with the corner of the horse's inside eye seen from the saddle. Shoulders aren't leaning over, horse is stepping under itself. Having a horse correctly bent will help the horse pick up the correct lead when it comes to cantering. Also you should ask when the inside hind isn't on the ground (so since in the trot opposite diagonal pairs of legs move in unison, as the front L is coming forward, you know that the back R is also coming forward. Same goes for front R and back L.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 11:16 PM
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I need to work on applying pressure on my inside leg at girth too (what is this for?)
To keep the horse in canter. :) I use my inside leg as the driving 'forward' aid and my outside leg to ask the hind to strike off. Think Inside leg = Energy, Outside Leg = Hind quarter control.


She also had me canter on two points. I love this!! I'm not sure what this is for either.
It will help you with your balance and it will help you establish a good jump position.

I've only heard of people doing down down up or up up down, I've never seen down down up up before, anyone know what this is for?
Another balance/core type exercise. Similar to the other ones you mentioned, just a little different.

One dumb dumb question I have is change direction thru the diagonal. I kept doing it wrong, she said the way I'm doing it, I'm ended up making the turn really sharp, which is true, but it's a rectangle so I can't figure out why this is???
It shouldn't be a sharp movement, it should be smooth and flow easily. Look at the below diagrams, the change of rein isn't a jerky angular movement.
School figures.jpg
School figures1.jpg

I hope that helped answer your questions :) Good luck with your lessons!

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys

http://www.eventingdownunder.wordpress.com/
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-20-2013, 11:32 PM
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Whoops my image didn't attach



The blue line is a chance across the large diagonal. See how it's coming out of the corner and then gently turns to go across the school arena, meets before the corner giving plenty of time for the horse to wrap around your leg and be prepared for the straight side.

The green line is the small diagonal.. changing directions diagonally across one half of the arena. Same principal applies

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-21-2013, 02:32 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NaeNae87 View Post
I need to work on applying pressure on my inside leg at girth too (what is this for?)
To keep the horse in canter. :) I use my inside leg as the driving 'forward' aid and my outside leg to ask the hind to strike off. Think Inside leg = Energy, Outside Leg = Hind quarter control.


She also had me canter on two points. I love this!! I'm not sure what this is for either.
It will help you with your balance and it will help you establish a good jump position.

I've only heard of people doing down down up or up up down, I've never seen down down up up before, anyone know what this is for?
Another balance/core type exercise. Similar to the other ones you mentioned, just a little different.

One dumb dumb question I have is change direction thru the diagonal. I kept doing it wrong, she said the way I'm doing it, I'm ended up making the turn really sharp, which is true, but it's a rectangle so I can't figure out why this is???
It shouldn't be a sharp movement, it should be smooth and flow easily. Look at the below diagrams, the change of rein isn't a jerky angular movement.
Attachment 262226
Attachment 262234

I hope that helped answer your questions :) Good luck with your lessons!
I just can't see what I did wrong, unless I completely lose my sense when im in the ring. So if I am tracking right, I would go from the corner between c and m diagonally across to corner between a and k , change direction to track left, this is still correct, right!? I wondered what I did to make it incorrect??
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-21-2013, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayewokf View Post
So if I am tracking right, I would go from the corner between c and m diagonally across to corner between a and k ,

Yes, but you need to go right around to m and straight for a short bit then across to just before k and straighten up before heading around to a (as in the diagram above from NaeNae but flipped)
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