Critique flatwork and tiny bit of jumping

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Critique flatwork and tiny bit of jumping

This is a discussion on Critique flatwork and tiny bit of jumping within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        07-05-2010, 02:10 PM
    Critique flatwork and tiny bit of jumping

    I have some videos I will try to post soon but I don't have the time right now, plus my computer isn't to keen on allowing me to put the videos on here. So video stills and pictures are all I've got. Do the best you can but when the videos come I'm hoping critiquing will be easier and better for you all. The videos will have some more canter in them too (what I need to work on). Thanks!
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        07-05-2010, 03:21 PM
    Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that you need to shorten your stirrups for jumping. In the second to last picture, you look like you are standing up, not in 2 point.
        07-05-2010, 06:30 PM
    Overall looks great. Love that 3rd pic. If his poll were a tad higher, that pic would be perfect. Your position is nice, your line from elbow to bit is text book, and your horse is clearly responding by coming through from behind and tracking up in a nice working trot. He does appear a bit heavy on the forehand, but nothing that cannot be fixed by throwing in some half halts during your trot work.

    Jumping pics look good. Your back is a smidge roached, and your seat could be a little further back toward the saddle, but the overall effectiveness is great. I hope more people look at your pics, if for no other reason than to see what good contact looks like.
        07-05-2010, 07:42 PM
    Thank you! I do think I need to shorten my stirrups a hole or two more but my pony is still having balance issues in the canter so I am thinking of keeping them the longer length that they are at right now just so I can support him with my leg. I will shorten them more when he begins to be more balanced before and after the jump. He does have the issue with going on the forhand and I've tried doing transitions and shortening/lengthing the stride to get him off of the forehand but I'll try half halts too, they are a good idea.
        07-05-2010, 07:59 PM
    Wow, looks really good!!
        07-05-2010, 08:00 PM
    Although, your heels could be down more, and you're looking down in a couple of the pictures
        07-05-2010, 08:04 PM
    Although your position is "nice", you are riding very defensively and it is most evident in your shoulders, arms and wrists. I would be tempted to put you on the lunge without reins on an older horse to get your upper body more relaxed and your seat swinging through instead of locking in a driving position (as it is in many of the pictures). Some exercises on the lunge that would be good for this is reaching down to your right foot with your left hand and your left foot with your right hand, doing windmills, airplane arms, etc and lots of half seat to get your muscles to relax.
    Otherwise, you need to sit more to the front of your saddle in order to encourage your seat to swing and allow the horse to really carry you forward. Your shoulders really need to come back to open your chest and you should not have chicken wings for arms - elbows in! Physically place your elbows onto your hips - it will also help your shoulder posture. Beyond that you always need to be relaxing your forearms and wrists. Unkink your wrists, put your thumbs ontop and shorten your reins so that you aren't tempted to put back or tighten the elbows and restrict the horse infront. You need to be very light and quick in the contact - keep it alive and feeling - have an interesting conversation with his mouth.
    Training wise - I feel like your restrictions upfront are having some consequences. He is moving downhill, BTV, heavy in the hands and far too slow. As you are able to lighten your own contact, work to really get him pushing forward from his hind legs to actually cover some ground. His poll needs to be the highest point and your conversation is all about not letting him get hung up on the bit - you are bouncing energy back to the hindlegs with the contact.

    In the canter I'm betting you feel like he is running and you want him to go slower. Resist the urge to pull him up infront and sit up and ride at the speed he wants to go. As he is more balanced and learns to step under himself he will naturally come back to you. Grab mane if you have to and keep the contact soft and feeling without pulling back.

    Good luck! And like I say, there are no glaring errors - just details, and the devil is in the details.
        07-06-2010, 11:23 AM
    I agree with anabel. Also, (though hard to tell from one pic) at the canter, he looks a bit strung out. My trainer tells me to imagine i'm on a ball and to use my leg to push it forward, while maintaining light contact on the mouth. That should make your canter rounder. In the jumping pictures you take a very long spot. Concentrate on riding all the way to the base of the jump. Nice trot on your horse, though. Nice horse, good riding overall.
        07-06-2010, 11:34 AM
    Your eq is lovely on the flat and o/f but there are a couple things that need tweaking.

    1. Thumbs on top! I have the same habit. XD
    2. When jumping, I'd suggest going 1-2 holes shorter on the stirrups.
    3. Look up! Your head is heavy and the horse can feel you looking down. :)

    Overall I really like how you both look. You have a nice straight back and a good seat. Keep up the good work!
        07-06-2010, 04:15 PM
    Thanks for all the tips. I would love to go on a lunge line and have a lesson or just practice like that but my pony really wouldn't benefit from that, which is an issue. I feel like I do have some issue with the contact between his mouth and my hands so I'll try to relax more and push him forward. I'll also try putting my elbows in onto my hips, since I have been told before that my outside elbow flaps out in the canter. An annoying habit that is caused because he loves to drift out of his outside shoulder (especially on the left lead and in the canter). I know my elbow only makes it worse so I will try to be more conscious about it.

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