Critique horse and rider - western

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Critique horse and rider - western

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    05-07-2011, 11:48 AM
Critique horse and rider - western

This is Sahara, 7 year old 14.3 hh registered dun paint mare. Had 60 days professional basic training as a long 3 year old. Ridden consistently since then on trails and playing in the arena. She is as sweet as they come with a willing attitude and lots of "try". On the ground her temperament is a one. Under saddle I would give her a 3 on a scale of 10.

Currently we are working on alot of lateral exercises, two-tracking, side-passing, backing, yielding the hindquarters, and pivots. We are also working on lots of transitions, softening to the bit, and body control.

I think her posty back leg and steep croup conformation is going to make it difficult for her to get as smooth as I would like at the trot and lope.

Anyway, let me know what we need to work on or just your thoughts in general. Normally, she is ridden in a full cheek snaffle. However, we are transitioning to a curb bit for 4H shows so in this video she is working in a low port, short shanked curb that offers independent side movement.

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    05-07-2011, 04:38 PM
You are over bending her a lot in your lateral movements. Try and keep her as straight as you can. I understand there are time when you are trying to soften her neck up but that is something to be worked on before lateral movements, not during.

I also see a lot of asking for movement and direction with your reins first rather than your legs, seat and upper body. Always ask with your legs first! If you always ask with the reins first or don't take the time to use your legs, your horse will always require you to ask with the reins first.

Starting around frame 3:05, what is going on here? Your legs are off her but you're asking her to back up? I know western is different from english, but if you want to back up with no leg pressure or rein pressure, you need to use your seat. You are leaning forward here. You're also using your reins to back up? When I was training western, you used your seat and legs to back them up with only reminders with the reins.

Otherwise, I really think you're doing a good job! I like that you are mixing it all up. Lots of activities for her to think about. Good job with working each of her body parts!
    05-09-2011, 10:29 AM
I can see what you mean about overbending her. In some portions of the video it is my fault, as I have all the slack out of the reins. In other portions, she is overbending herself. I will have to be more conscious of where her head is at in the future. So far, I have been more concerned with getting her shoulder and hip moving in the right direction.

At 3:00 in the video, she was trying to anticipate what I was going to ask her to do. I have legs off of her because I wanted her to stop and stand still for a few seconds before the next cue. She was trying to back up. Whether that was anticipation or evasion, I don't know, but I wasn't asking her to do anything other than stand still.

When I do ask her to back up, I pick up the reins and block forward movement, roll back a hair on my pelvis and squeeze with my legs.

I don't know about asking for movement with reins first. I try to always ask with seat and legs first but I will be aware of that the next time we workout.

Thanks for taking the time to give me your input. I appreciate the insight.
    05-09-2011, 11:18 AM
Ahh, okay. The 3:00 frame makes more sense now. If it were me, I would of gave her a little bump with my leg to make her stop backing up and have no pressure on the reins. But use the reins when she walks forward. Just how I would do it, although I understand you were giving her the chance to figure it out herself.

Good job, though!

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