Critique English - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 06:04 PM Thread Starter
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Critique English

Hello :) My horse and I had our very first horse show on Saturday. Critique away, both horse and rider please. I have tough skin, so don't hold back.





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post #2 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 06:14 PM
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The biggest thing that jumps out to me is your elbows. They are locked and not very forgiving. Raise your hands up a few inches so you have a straight line from elbow to the bit, let you elbows hang at your sides and let them follow your horse's motion. The rest of your position looks nice. Just relax those elbows and you will quickly find a big difference in the way your horse moves.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 17 Old 07-16-2014, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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I noticed that too. I think I was just tense because that was our first class. I will definitely concentrate on that next time I ride though :)
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post #4 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 11:09 AM
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Sorry I didn't watch the whole video, but I'll post from the first few minutes.
First off, I'm also noticing what MyBoyPuck said.
Some other things I noticed don't have so much to do with your position, but it will help you get much better scores in the ring.

Make sure you are keeping a consistent pace. Get that cute little pony moving! He seems like he will really move on nicely for a minute, but then suck back. Don't let him! If he's got the energy, make him move out and stretch out that stride. If he's tired, hold him to a more medium pace, but don't let him go fast/slow/fast/slow/fast...
Also, you should never pass a horse as close as you did the chestnut in the beginning. You basically cut the chestnut off and then slowed down, which is a big no-no for safety reasons. Remember ring etiquette!

Other than those few issues, your position looks very nice, and your pony is quite adorable! Looks like you had a great first show, keep it up! :)

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post #5 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 11:17 AM Thread Starter
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I will work on that :) it was our first show so I just wanted to make sure it was a good experience for him. The footing was pretty deep too which didn't help. He is still pretty green and tends to be on the spooky side, so I was just happy there were no explosions :)

Also, that chestnut we passed in the beginning was his buddy. He was excited to catch up and then didn't want to pass. He was kind of ignoring my aids at that point. Another thing we must work on :)
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post #6 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 11:28 AM
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The horse is strung-out aka on the forehand, but I'm not sure if that is judged in this type of show?

Overall, not bad for your first show! Congrats!
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post #7 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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It was just a schooling show, so I don't think so.

Thanks :)
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post #8 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 12:52 PM
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I agree that you need to bring your hands up to maintain a straight line from the elbow to the bit. I also suggest lunging the horse with V reins. He/she seems hollow in the back and above/evading the bit. Lunging with v reins helps develop topline (over neck and back) muscles and encourages flextion at the poll. You can look up youtube videos on how to use v reins. Most videos you will find will probably use surcinges, but you could easily replicate it with a saddle and rope. You want to run the rope from the billet strap above where the girth buckles through the bit to a ring (or twine loop) in the center of the girth between legs, through the bit on the other side and to the billet strap on the other side. You will end up with a sideways v on both sides. Don't put the reins tight you want to allow the horse to choose the height of head carriage while still maintaining forward contact with the bit. The horse is a lovely mover just needs some more topline muscling so he will carry himself better.
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post #9 of 17 Old 07-17-2014, 01:30 PM
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the aforementioned hands/arms issue is the first thing one sees. there is too much downward angle to the forearm, and often a break in the wrist. it looks like you are trying to pull the pony down into a frame. I also see you at times using the outside rein to try and move the pony back out onto the rail.
if you have the mentioned straight line from elbow/wrist/bit, you will better be able to get an inside bend (which your horse is often actually counterbent) and PUSH her to the outside rail instead of trying to lead her there.

your leg is too short for a flat class. drop your stirrups one hole.

I think those two things will help a lot. the horse is cute, and you two have a good relationship, as can be seen in the film.

the arena is tiny for so many horses!
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post #10 of 17 Old 07-18-2014, 06:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enc0410 View Post
I agree that you need to bring your hands up to maintain a straight line from the elbow to the bit. I also suggest lunging the horse with V reins. He/she seems hollow in the back and above/evading the bit. Lunging with v reins helps develop topline (over neck and back) muscles and encourages flextion at the poll. You can look up youtube videos on how to use v reins. Most videos you will find will probably use surcinges, but you could easily replicate it with a saddle and rope. You want to run the rope from the billet strap above where the girth buckles through the bit to a ring (or twine loop) in the center of the girth between legs, through the bit on the other side and to the billet strap on the other side. You will end up with a sideways v on both sides. Don't put the reins tight you want to allow the horse to choose the height of head carriage while still maintaining forward contact with the bit. The horse is a lovely mover just needs some more topline muscling so he will carry himself better.
I actually have a surcingle and lunge him in side reins a couple times a week. His top line is weak because he had time off and a weight issue over the winter :/. We also have been doing a lot of hill work. Do side reins work similarly to v reins?
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