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Critique me and my Rio please!

This is a discussion on Critique me and my Rio please! within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    10-12-2011, 03:14 PM
Defo lunge lessons and getting your instructor to work on those hands you will be amazed in the difference you see in your horse when your hands arent so harsh and more steady :) I am doing the same myself at the mo, my hands were bobbing all over the place as I struggled to balence on a much bigger horse with a huge movement so great your keen to progress :) what a lovely horse youve got xxx
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    10-12-2011, 03:50 PM
OP, I'm curious as to how old your horse is and how well-trained. Is he young and greenbroke, or is he older and a "been-there-done-that" kind of horse...or somewhere in between? I ask because you having to constantly be on him to check his speed (especially at the trot) makes him sound rather green. My gelding is about as green as they come (he has ten rides on him) and we're starting to work on speed regulation now. I taught him voice commands on the ground and he responds to the command "Easy," which means to slow down whatever gait he's in. I've found that it transfers to the saddle extremely well (I just have to put a little pressure on the bit, tell him "easy" and then I can release the pressure on the bit and he'll stay at the speed I just asked for...if I want him to go faster, I give a small squeeze and say "walk on" and he picks up speed).

Also, do you have to fight with him about his speed when you have your lessons? If so, maybe ask your trainer about it.

As for getting sloppy at home when you're "practicing"...I'm going to tell you what my piano teacher told me when I first started with him: "Your performance reflects your practice." So, if you practice sloppy, that's the muscle memory you're going to have and your performance (whether in a show or at your lessons) will be sloppy. You should practice like you have your trainer standing there watching you. If you notice yourself starting to stiffen up, think of your trainer telling you to relax. If you notice yourself starting to get sloppy in your riding, picture your trainer getting after you for it.
    10-12-2011, 06:47 PM
Well, I was told that he is 11 years old and he has been used as a trails horse. When I bought him, the lady that was selling him had him as an extra horse and he hadnt been ridden a lot with her. His lack of muscle showed it. I have been riding him 3 or more times a week since I got him. I am starting him on the voice commands- easy to slow in the gait, walk to get him back to walking. I am teaching him to side pass on the ground, and using "over" as a command for that. He is very smart and keen, but I don't think that he has formally been taught a lot of stuff. My goal is to use less and less aid from the reins to ask him to do anything.
Its funny... when I have a lesson, or I am trying to work in the arena at all, he will almost refuse to trot and canter. Sometimes he kicks out with his back legs even when I am asking him.
    10-13-2011, 02:34 AM
Hmmmm...have you had a chiropractor look at him? Does he seem sore? Generally speaking, bucking or kicking when asked to go faster is a sign of pain. In fact, rewatching your video, I wonder if there isn't some issue going on with his back, which is another reason he's so fidgety with his head (he looks kinda pissed when you're sitting the trot).
    10-13-2011, 09:19 AM
You know, I sent him to my trainer for a week when I first got him, and she has a chiropractor come out and look at her horses. I asked her if she thought I should have the chiro look at my horse too, just to make sure he's alright. After having ridden him all week and looked him over, she said that he doesn't seem to be showing any signs of having pain. However, I've noticed what you are talking about and its still been on the back of my mind since then. Is there a possibility I am just so bouncy, It is causing him pain? I still don't think its a bad idea to have a chiro come and take a look at him.
    10-13-2011, 02:06 PM
The things I noticed were your hands, your upper body looks stiff so maybe this is translating into "loud" hands, and your heavy with them, on his mouth lots and heavy asking for the turnaround, If he trots too fast and you feel like you constantly need to bump him that's probably making him more nervous, try going in a round pen or corral and just trotting trotting trotting on a loose rein if he wants to trot fast let him, he will eventually get tired and "relax" his trot but constantly babysitting his face will never let him learn to relax his gates on his own. Mind you if you ask for riding critique on this forum you will get different answers as there are many disciplines! Keep working at it, it will come !
    10-13-2011, 02:25 PM
Thanks RookieReiner. I am taking all of this in. I like your idea! I hate micromanaging his face.
    10-13-2011, 02:40 PM
Keep in mind this might take longer than a few minutes!, I've worked with a few horses that didnt want to lope quietly they liked to gallop around at full speed, I pulled and pulled on thier face but that just made them more nervous and want to run faster, I finally just said ok you want to run, run, let the reins droop ( make sure you still have control if you get into trouble) and let them go, finally after a couple minutes they were relaxed. But do it at a trot for now so your safe and try not to bump at all if you can he should eventually relax even on the departure.
    10-13-2011, 05:03 PM
Hey fastjessie, I ride an excitable lesson horse all the time. To quote my instructor "She thinks everything in life is so fun she needs to do it at top speed". . I also hate half-halting constantly and pulling on her rather soft mouth, so when she gets dancey I slow down my posting and try to slow her down with my seat more than just with my hands. If she gets really bad I will circle her until she decides this isn't fun anymore and slows down. From consistently working with me she's working with me a lot better and trotting at a more consistent, slower speed that's a lot easier to work with. Just some advice and sorry if I sound obvious, I just want to help :). I agree with what everyone else said, too.

Practice makes perfect, and remember that everytime you ride a horse, wether you realize it or not you are training it!
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