Crit horse - NOT RIDER PLEASE - and where to from here?? - Page 3

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Crit horse - NOT RIDER PLEASE - and where to from here??

This is a discussion on Crit horse - NOT RIDER PLEASE - and where to from here?? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    08-23-2013, 03:56 PM
Foxhunter, that's what she does when given enough rein for long and low. If I drop all contact she will stretch forward and down but it's a very flat forward and down and isn't doing anything either. Sure she's not as engaged as she could be but it's a lot better than the alternative. She likes to hollow when given her choice on how to work.

I'm not a dressage rider so I'm under no illusions here - there's no way I'm going to get this right without help!! Definitely need to get back to regular lessons...

Thanks Tiny!! I'm definitely lucky to have her. I do worry that her physical issues, the bad stifle in particular, are the reason she isn't working as well as she could/should... time to have a bodyworker out again methinks.
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    08-23-2013, 05:07 PM
I would get her checked over.. Funny, we have a guy coming in to our area nicknamed the bone breaker.. Supposed to be amazing!

If you really want to see how she should be working, but also build her up to do so under saddle, lunging is the way forward. Lunge roller and side reins. Tight enough that she doesn't look like a giraffe but loose enough to stretch down. You may need a couple of sessions a bit shorter so she realizes what they are for. Lunging is great if done correctly and not over done. If she has a bad stifle try and use whole school as much as possible, not just a 20m circle.
    08-23-2013, 05:30 PM
Super Moderator
Any chance of a video?
    08-24-2013, 12:40 AM
Thanks Duffy :) will do that today I think.

Foxhunter I have a few short videos on my phone... don't know that they're enough to actually be able to see anything of value though. I won't tell you which is the bad stifle ahead of time so as not to skew your perception. Let's just see if phone will upload to youtube...
    08-24-2013, 03:41 AM
OK we have these, only about 20 seconds each:

Sorry, they're a bit dodgy! She's not working nearly as well as she can in the trot video.
    08-24-2013, 04:01 AM
Super Moderator
First off, I like the way you are riding and I do like the horse.

Here's my take on the short clips.

First off, at the canter, you need to have her more forward, I would not be, at this stage, sitting in the saddle so deeply but have my weight more forward to allow her to use herself.

Secondly, I think the problem is arising from the fixation of your hands. This stems from you not allowing your elbows and wrists to be supple. I would bet that if I took hold of your wrist whilst riding alongside you, they would be as stiff as a board.
Carry your hands higher, so that your thumbs are on top and each thumb pointing to the diagonal ear. The only pressure on the rein should be from your thumb and forefinger the rest of your fingers are there to active movement when wanted.

It is a common misconception that people think they have good hands with a light contact when they are stiff in the wrist and elbow.
Think of being a piano player, arms supple!
When working youngsters I will usually carry my hands a lit higher than I would on a schooled horse..
Clava, blue eyed pony and Teekin like this.
    08-24-2013, 05:20 AM
Thanks :)

I really REALLY struggle with my bloody hands! It's stupid, I have a REALLY strong core [I get told to DISengage it because my core muscles are on too strong!] so I don't know why I struggle so much. My old coach, the first one to point out my hands as an issue, told me I did it because my core wasn't strong enough... so I worked on that. Crunches... so many crunches...

My other horse is REALLY heavy in the hand and likes to pull you down and forward so he doesn't have to work properly. He's 18 now and mostly retired though so that won't be an issue anymore. I wonder if that's why I brace through my arms? Because I attempted to get him to lighten up for so long? The other thing is that while I've been 'riding' most of my life, I've only been RIDING for about 3 years. So I'll have a lot of nasty habits from my 'hang on and pray' years. Either way whatever the cause I need to fix the problem. I mean we're only doing show hack classes and low-level dressage in the near future but still, if I want her to get to 1* eventing, she needs correct dressage work. Which means I need to learn to ride properly.
    08-27-2013, 02:13 PM
So I've been working on the hands thing, am yet to get fresh photos/video though, and I've been doing more long and low work with Magic, or rather, trying to. She likes to plonk along all flat like a trail horse, but we are getting flashes of what feels like decent long and low. Which is sort of highlighting how much muscle she doesn't have. She doesn't LOOK like she's lacking muscle but if she can't hold any form of roundness for more than two strides [any form other than the false frame I've trained her into] then clearly that muscle isn't actually there.

Within the space of one ride I realized she wasn't working correctly at all and was, rather, dropping behind the contact. Due to my fixed hands I couldn't feel that. But since working on my hands she has started to take up the contact a little better. I'd like a bit more weight in my hands but I'm not sure if that's just because I'm used to a heavy-in-front horse or because she's actually still too light...
    08-27-2013, 03:56 PM
Super Moderator
See if you can get more video. I will see if I can pick up on things.
    08-28-2013, 06:36 AM
Will do as soon as I can :) I don't often have anyone to video, it's hard enough to get photos!! But should hopefully have some shots from today shortly...

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