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This is a discussion on Critique English within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        07-18-2014, 08:04 AM
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    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!
    I really need someone to nag me about my hands! Haha. I will definitely work on that. I wasn't trying to pull him into a frame, I didn't concentrate on that at all. I didn't mess with it because it was our first show and I wasn't too worried about it. Also the top line issue mentioned before, he wasn't strong enough to carry himself properly through that footing.

    Yeah, he didn't want to stay on the rail at all... Thanks for the good tip to start fixing that :) I will work on it.

    I was wondering if my stirrups were too short and have been considering lengthening them. He is still pretty green and very spooky so I have gotten used to riding with them shorter for security.

    The arena was very small! It was a little crazy during warmup. Made me a tad nervous which is probably why my arms were so tense.
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        07-18-2014, 08:06 AM
    Thank you all for your suggestions! I appreciate it. You have all been very helpful. I'm going to ride today and try riding with my stirrups slightly longer and concentrate on my hands.
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        07-21-2014, 10:55 AM
    This is not my horse just an example I found online. V reins are very similar, but I think a little bit better in conditioning the horse to carry themselves. I have a surcingle and use a rope I attach mid shoulder as shown in picture run through the snaffle to the ring in the center of girth between legs back through bit on other side and attach to mid shoulder ring on other side. Side rens give one point of rein attachment and does help topline muscling. V reins have two points between legs and mid shoulder. This teaches the horse some adjustability in head placement while still maintaining correct forward movement. You don't want to make it so tight that the horse is forced into a "headset." You just want to use the reins to encourage. If the horse is bracing his head and neck up away from the reins (above the bit) try tightening the rope a little. When lunging the muscles at the bottom of the neck should be loose, which would mean the horse is using their toptine muscles. I might not be the best at explaining all this... but try watching some youtube video. If you already lunge with side reins I think you will be able to figure it out. V reins are like side reins 2.0

    Here's a picture of reins adjusted too tight.
        07-21-2014, 10:58 AM
    Sorry first picture didn't work. Second picture is just supposed to show loose lower neck muscle. I have some videos of lunging my rescue mare with v reins this winter on my youtube account enc0410 titled Aloria. They are in no way perfect lunging as she messes around and hadn't had alot done with her last year, but it might give you some idea of how the reins work.
        07-21-2014, 11:02 AM
    Straight side reins are enough for some horses and it's possible are doing alot to help your horse. The horse has an easier time avoiding carrying himself correctly with the one point of attachment side reins offer. In my experience, V reins do a little better encouraging them to remain on forehand (not strung out) than straight side reins do. I have used both on all my horses and my side reins now hang in my tack room and I instead use $3 rope I got at tractor supply to replicate v reins.
        07-21-2014, 12:05 PM
    Awesome. Thank you!
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        07-22-2014, 04:31 PM
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    Side reins can make some horses worse - they'll brace themselves against them and end up with the underside of the neck too hard and the top side hollowed out
    Ride him forwards into your hands and use a pressure and release for reward method to encourage him to soften to you
    I know it sounds 'picky' but in a show class even at lower levels and training shows where jackets aren't being worn a plain shirt or polo looks smarter and more 'workish' in an English class

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