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Critique of horse and my riding

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        02-08-2011, 07:39 PM
      #21
    Foal
    Thanks, yes I do have a problem with keeping my fingers closed. I don't really jump. The video had to be the 5th time I jumped and have never been taught. My lessons gear towards dressage
         
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        02-09-2011, 12:16 PM
      #22
    Foal
    I think you need a bit more of a connection, it looks a bit like your horse is just doing it without much aid. Try doing some different things to keep you both engaged :)
         
        02-10-2011, 02:37 AM
      #23
    Foal
    Two things stuck out to me: 1) fingers. Your arms seem to want to do the right thing, and generally you seem to provide a soft ride, but you tend to fiddle with your fingers. Every adjustment is a nip, and that's what I saw causing your horse to toss his head. (I chalked it up to that or bugs that I couldn't see.) Also as previously stated you are turning your thumbs in, "puppy pawing" or "piano playing." Even if your arms are soft, this is still a bracing feel. Thumbs should be up, pretend that your wrists and fingers don't exist. 2) I notice particularly in the video during the canter that while your seat is good, you are lacking a connection with your stirrup, and hence way too much foot is slipping through--the heel comes up, you end up sitting on your butt, literally without a leg to stand on. I understand that you are working with a dressage trainer who most likely adheres to the longer-leg style of riding, but at least until you master the canter it might be worth asking to put them up a hole.

    I also notice that a lot of reviewers are commenting on how you seemingly "lack a connection" to your horse. This may come across as a rant, but I think that sometimes on this board people feel the need to express their highest level of understanding, or the most sophisticated change that could be made for whatever reason--probably on the assumption that it would help the most. However, I think that you shouldn't concentrate on trying to find this connection. For someone at this level, I think you are doing a bang-up job, and while grasping the key ideas, you're stuck in that position of waiting for your body to catch up; to find the muscle memory, strength, reaction time, etc. That is to say, you won't find this connection until your position is solid. Keep working on your basics, and it will come. And keep riding bareback!! THAT, more than anything, will teach you to sit the trot! :o)

    As for the horse, flipping adorable. Seems like a super solid citizen, willing to push you just far enough that you have to work for it, but not so hard that you would give up on him. I like him. Seems like a comfy ride too.
         
        02-10-2011, 02:54 AM
      #24
    Weanling
    Something I notice, it may just be me though, you're stirrups seems a little long. Maybe try shortening them a hole or two? In some of the photos, it looks like your reaching for them.

    I also agree that you may want to strengthening your calves as well. You should be using your calf muscles to post, not the stirrups.
         
        02-10-2011, 08:23 AM
      #25
    Foal
    Thanks everyone! He is way cute and exactly what you described, Macktheknife. I do understand the connection thing as I have been working with my instructor quite a while on it. Severl years. The main issue was my lssons were too far between to make it a habit and since I am not riding with her here (except with the dark bay/ black) I forget to focus on keeping the contact. This summer is the most riding I've had ever. I have been riding for about ten years, but extremely infrequently. I do understand the concepts and have worked with them, I need to make them a habit more than anything I think.
    I also have been riding bareback since september and rode through november that way. I still ride bareback all of the time but havent been riding in a while. Planning on starting with the saddle again but stirrupless.
         
        02-13-2011, 08:59 AM
      #26
    Foal
    Quick comments...

    Be careful not to grab on with the back of your thigh. You tend to tense in the transitions from canter to trot. Whether it's in attempt to slow down and rebalance or just hang on, you need to prepare for the downward more and then ride the transition rather than do the transition and then try to fix it. Legs are otherwise decent.

    You are pushing yourself up in the post. You need to let the horse do it for you and if you only come out of the saddle a tiny bit, that's Ok. Posting shouldn't be work. It's a break for both the rider and the horse.

    Hands. You are learning to balance your body with the horse and you are trying to keep your hands still. It take a long time to learn to truly be "with your horse" when you no longer have those tiny wibble-wobbles. While you are perfecting that balance, be mindful to keep your fingers closed and try to feel his mouth with an elastic contact rather than a still, dead-fish contact.
         
        02-13-2011, 12:03 PM
      #27
    Foal
    Thanks Equinesalways =, I will keep working on those things. I can feel my hands getting better when I ride allowing them to move with his head. I'm sure how they look now, but I know they feel better.
    From cantor to trot yes I have problems. Those also are getting better. At hte time of the video I had just started cantering with him and the bumby trot after he stopped cantering always got me. Still does but I am getting there.
         
        02-13-2011, 12:46 PM
      #28
    Weanling
    Everyone pretty much said everyhting I was going to.... I do have one suggestion for your posting. As equinesalways said, posting shouldn't really be work, per say. What I find is an easy way to find the correct "bounce" in your post is to sit the trot (in a saddle with stirrups.) It's much easier on a horse with a bouncy trot, so if you ride a horse with a very smooth trot try picking up the pace a tad. The horse will naturally bounce you out of the saddle (plus, you should end up on the correct diagonal!) Try not to post much higher than the horse naturally sends you out of the saddle. Hopefully that made sense... Great job working on bareback though. Bareback is the best
         
        02-13-2011, 01:51 PM
      #29
    Foal
    Thanks! That did make sense. So say the horse is trotting faster and bouncier the post should be more exaggerated (naturally bounced higher) than a slower smooth trot?
         
        02-13-2011, 02:05 PM
      #30
    Super Moderator
    [QUOTE=macktheknife;923505]
    I also notice that a lot of reviewers are commenting on how you seemingly "lack a connection" to your horse. This may come across as a rant, but I think that sometimes on this board people feel the need to express their highest level of understanding, or the most sophisticated change that could be made for whatever reason--probably on the assumption that it would help the most. However, I think that you shouldn't concentrate on trying to find this connection. For someone at this level, I think you are doing a bang-up job, and while grasping the key ideas, you're stuck in that position of waiting for your body to catch up; to find the muscle memory, strength, reaction time, etc. That is to say, you won't find this connection until your position is solid. Keep working on your basics, and it will come. And keep riding bareback!! THAT, more than anything, will teach you to sit the trot! :o)

    QUOTE]

    This is an excellent thought, and one that I have often felt was appropriate for the situation. It is true that a connection cannot come until the seat is decent.

    She could, however, work on getting that connection at the walk only. Especially since she has 10 years of off and on riding experience she is probably ready to feel and experience this state, at the walk.
         

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