Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
That saddle is NOT doing you or your horse any favors. It's sitting too low in the pommel and is tipping you forwards. The knee is all wrong and the saddle is too small for your leg. It's sitting uneven so I'm sure it's not feeling too good on your horse's withers either.
It looks to me like you need to work on your leg - again, keeping in mind that the saddle is not helping you at all. Ditch it and get something that fits you and your horse. Anyways, you need to start at your base and work up - for legs, that's a lot of two point (because when you take away the seat, what are you left with? Yep!) and sinking into your heels. Lots and LOTS of no-stirrup work, too - take them off the saddle entirely if you're tempted to use them. Transitions, circles, you name it - do it without stirrups and in two point.
Close your fingers, keep those wrists straight and elbows in by your side. You're tipping forwards as well - again, saddle plays a big part in that - so think of opening your chest, rolling your pelvis into "neutral" and bringing your shoulders back in line so you have a straight line shoulder-hip-heel.
Keep in mind that you cannot expect to be perfect at something if you haven't practiced. English riding (riding in general of course, but I find our skimpy leathers and saddles particularly so) is very unforgiving; if you don't use it, you lose it! I love the smile on your face - that tells me so much right there. Keep up with the work and you'll see it pay off.
I should post pics of me and Ro from the first day I owned him, compared to now, 4 months later. I cannot believe the difference.
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com