After my first lesson... - Page 3 - The Horse Forum

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post #21 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean19 View Post
That's because it's center fire rigging - it frees up the movement in the shoulder and eliminates interference and is popular amongst endurance riders. I'm new to using it, though, and it did seem farther back than it needed to be. I'm going to be be having someone more experienced than I coming out to check the saddle for fit and helping me figure it out, and then I'll need to decide if I want to use the center-fire rigging or the 5/8ths rigging. Either way, that cinch is going to be farther back than "typical" because I want it well out of the way of his movement.
Okay, ty I never knew about a center fire rigging..
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post #22 of 27 Old 02-12-2013, 11:05 PM
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Take this with a grain of salt because I'm so late in responding!!

I'm trying to figure out (haven't read other replies) WHY your horse was being so lovely in the first 5 seconds and then after you "checked" on her.. he began to fight with your hands a bit.

I'm going to suggest this is due to you "interferring" with something that was fine as is. I hope that didn't come across rude.. just puzzling to me.

For the most part you follow the horse nicely.. your hands drop too low at times, almost forcing your horse to put its head farther down.

I think you need to sit up, shoulders back, and stop watching your horse as you ride. This is throwing you slightly off balance, which is making things more difficult for your horse.

Why are you turning with such a large open rein? I don't think (from my perspective) that is necessary. It seems like your horse may respond to leg aids or smaller rein aids.

Otherwise not too shabby :) I see potential for a better pair in there. You said you're taking lessons?

I like that you are gentle enough with your horse, and take time to plan where you will venture rather than yank at the last minute.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #23 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 12:53 AM Thread Starter
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Nope, you're right on Sky.

I'll have to go back and watch the video again to see what you mean about the first 5 seconds, but here's our overall issue:

I can ask him to go different directions, stop, go, turn, etc. just fine. However, anytime I ask him to adjust how he's moving we run into issues. He's just a little overly alert as arabs can be lol. However, he hallows out his back, which contributed to a sore back after our endurance rides last year. I want to learn to ride better and want to teach him to carry himself correctly and be more refined in our riding technique and skills. I was trying to replicate what we did in our first lesson, but haven't been able to do so very well so I'm actually not going to really ride him until my instructor can make it back out. Unfortunately, our schedules and the weather haven't aligned, but we should be starting back up soon. I'm positive a lot of his bit issues are coming from my technique or lack thereof ;)
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post #24 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 02:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean19 View Post
I'll have to go back and watch the video again to see what you mean about the first 5 seconds, but here's our overall issue:

I can ask him to go different directions, stop, go, turn, etc. just fine. However, anytime I ask him to adjust how he's moving we run into issues. He's just a little overly alert as arabs can be lol. However, he hallows out his back, which contributed to a sore back after our endurance rides last year. I want to learn to ride better and want to teach him to carry himself correctly and be more refined in our riding technique and skills. I was trying to replicate what we did in our first lesson, but haven't been able to do so very well so I'm actually not going to really ride him until my instructor can make it back out. Unfortunately, our schedules and the weather haven't aligned, but we should be starting back up soon. I'm positive a lot of his bit issues are coming from my technique or lack thereof ;)
I think with the help of your instructor, you shouldn't be too far off in getting him to a good place :) Just watch that you aren't interfering by bending over slightly and looking at him. Watching where you are going is very helpful! :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #25 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillybean19 View Post
...I'm having a hard time with the stirrups because I'm trying to figure out how to get my ear, shoulder, hips, and heel to line up. We talked about it with the other saddle I'm using, so I'm curious to see what my instructor will say about this saddle. I was taught to ride in a "chair" position, which is evident in this video despite my efforts to get my body in the right positions...
For western riding: Outside of Western Pleasure, having a shoulder / hip / heel alignment isn't important. In many western disciplines, it is wrong. You won't see it much in reining, cutting, or riding horses outside of an arena.

The tree of a western saddle goes well behind the cantle. That means the center of the weight-distributing frame of the saddle is farther back than in an English saddle. It is pretty hard to get your weight way far back in most western saddles:



Second, western riding assumes a flexible lower back. This is a video I like about cantering, but riding is about MOTION, not sitting. If you move WITH the horse, you don't INTERFERE with the horse:


Third, how you distribute your weight depends in part on what you are asking the horse to do. If you want a more collected motion, or want to do a sharp turn, getting your weight back helps the horse. If you want to go fast in a straight line, getting it more forward helps. Since you hips stay in the same part of the saddle, you distribute your weight by moving shoulders or leg as needed. There is no one right position for your shoulders and legs. It depends on what you are doing and about to do.

Having a vertical line from shoulder to hip to heel is NOT right for all riding. Don't import a different style onto a western saddle. If you are on your pockets with your legs forward - the way the saddle encourages you to do it - your center of gravity will be at the center of the saddle tree. If you move with the horse, then that will work well for both of you.

"There goes Earl!"
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post #26 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 02:23 PM
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I'm just going to pipe in here about the contact issues because there is a bunch of misinformation being strewn about on this thread.
First of all, lunging in side reins is going to be beneficial to getting the horse to accept the bit. And not floppy side reins, they need to have a nice contact to them, and be adjusted such that the horse will always be looking to the inside, regardless of anything.
Once you are in the saddle, your hands are actually too busy. They need to be either rooted onto the neck, holding onto the saddle pad or resting onto the saddle. Your reins need to be short enough that you have a good contact (a few lbs) and can steer and adjust without moving your hands. I know there are people who disagree with me about this - but our goal is to have the head and neck still in relation to the withers in all gaits. The only way to develop this is with a hand that does not follow the head or neck - but follows the withers. The big pumping motion you see by lots of riders trying to "follow the mouth" and "be soft" is actually more disruptive and incorrect than a hand which is too stiff. On the contrary, the way you are using your hand to pull down and be moving in that direction is putting too much pressure on the bars, and causing the gaping. However, if the horse raises the head, your hands must stay rooted to the neck/saddle pad/saddle and not move.

Once you can keep your hands still and in one place, then and only then can you take them other places. And that is also only once the horse is consistent in a contact.
If you keep moving your hands (yes, even under the guise of following the horse's mouth) you will create a hard mouthed horse who is ridden front to back. Every movement you make with your arm is an aid, and it rides the horse from front to back and desensitizes his mouth. Your arm does not move, your upper arm is a part of your upper body and your elbow should always be in contact with your sides, and as an extension your hands should be quietly following the wither, which is by all accounts relatively still as well.

Good luck!!

PS it is also very hard to develop a contact in the walk. The horse has an easier time coming into a contact in the trot and canter, and also play with transitions!!
Remember the hands do nothing unless you need an aid, just like the legs and the seat. Only ask for what you want if you mean it and otherwise be still :)

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
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post #27 of 27 Old 02-13-2013, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
For western riding: Outside of Western Pleasure, having a shoulder / hip / heel alignment isn't important. In many western disciplines, it is wrong. You won't see it much in reining, cutting, or riding horses outside of an arena.

The tree of a western saddle goes well behind the cantle. That means the center of the weight-distributing frame of the saddle is farther back than in an English saddle. It is pretty hard to get your weight way far back in most western saddles:



Second, western riding assumes a flexible lower back. This is a video I like about cantering, but riding is about MOTION, not sitting. If you move WITH the horse, you don't INTERFERE with the horse:

Craig Cameron Explains How To Ride The Canter On the Equicizer & Horse - YouTube

Third, how you distribute your weight depends in part on what you are asking the horse to do. If you want a more collected motion, or want to do a sharp turn, getting your weight back helps the horse. If you want to go fast in a straight line, getting it more forward helps. Since you hips stay in the same part of the saddle, you distribute your weight by moving shoulders or leg as needed. There is no one right position for your shoulders and legs. It depends on what you are doing and about to do.

Having a vertical line from shoulder to hip to heel is NOT right for all riding. Don't import a different style onto a western saddle. If you are on your pockets with your legs forward - the way the saddle encourages you to do it - your center of gravity will be at the center of the saddle tree. If you move with the horse, then that will work well for both of you.
BSMS I just read your first line, shoulder, hip, heel is super important for reining too......just thought I'd let you know
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