Critique me western! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-22-2012, 10:01 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Michigan
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Critique me western!

I mostly ride english, but am now leasing this gelding who I plan to show in western and english. I am curious to get a critique of me riding western. Please critique me only, poor Amigo has only been back to work for about two weeks now after two years of only getting ridden occasionally. He is my friend's former show horse, and she has given me permission to ride and show him next year. Very exciting. I have been working really hard on quieting my lower leg as Amigo has a lot of buttons and one wrong twitch and he's doing something! The first time I rode him was pretty comical, I was seeing what he knew and asked him to leg yield, well he ended up pivoting on my so fast I just about flew out of the saddle. Then I was asking him to lope, put both legs on him and he stopped so fast I just about had the saddle horn up where the sun doesn't shine. Been working on getting my hands up too, a big flaw of mine, even though I think in western pleasure I should have my hands more down?

Also any suggestions for a color to show him western? I have a bunch of dark pink stuff in this shade:

But to be honest I really don't like that color on him. I never thought I would see the day when I actually didn't like pink on a horse as its my favorite color! I was thinking maybe teal or lime green?

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #2 of 10 Old 09-22-2012, 11:13 PM
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Western -

Really think about sitting up really straight, and just rocking your hips at the lope. Act like your shoulders are stuck, and only your hips move. You really don't want this to be the literal picture, but the visual helped me into getting that more easy, relaxed look the judges liked.
In Western, your head-hip-heel line is super, super important. Make sure you don't have a chair seat, or aren't leaning to far back, which you seem to be good and clean with from the video.
Keep in mind I USED to do Western. And the only reason I did it was because the Mules were like Breed Shows - you do everything or you don't go. I did pretty well in my classes, but that doesn't mean that I, by any stretch of the imagination, am a Western rider that could tell all. So there's my disclaimer :p

As for his color - something really nice and bright, I would think :) He would look really cute in a nice teal, as long as it isn't too dark. Maybe not green - I'd go more into the blue shades with Mr. Amigo :)

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post #3 of 10 Old 09-23-2012, 02:14 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Location: SW Michigan
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Thanks for the response! I am getting use to riding a horse with an actual lope, it is much different than anything I have ever ridden before.

I am thinking teal for sure, though my friends at the barn think I should just go black from top top bottom, apparently the trend is moving more towards very muted colors, but I don't want to blend in with the crowd either!

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #4 of 10 Old 09-23-2012, 03:36 PM
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You are looking good to have just started riding western!
I used to ride western pleasure and horsemanship, now I just show in reining.
Try to sit deep and keep your body straight and tall. Western pleasure is about making your horse look smooth and pleasurable to ride. You don't want to be moving your shoulders or upper body very much because it can make the horse appear that you have to really "work" to be able to ride him.
If I were you I would start working on riding one handed in split reins as soon as I could. Work on keeping your hand as low and as close to his neck as possible. If you get used to two hands and contact on the reins for control then when you get in the show ring and you have a long rein you might feel as if you don't have any control.
When you come to a fast stop you need to sit deep and rock your hips forward a bit, you must brace with your feet and NOT with your knees. If you brace with your knees then you will fly up out of the saddle.
When you pivot or spin, get your balance in the middle of the horse and then as he begins to spin around focus your eyes in front of you on any object and just keep focusing on objects as he spins around. This will help with balance and posture.
Most of all just get out in the arena and mess around with him, try to figure out his precise buttons and cues. Good luck and HAVE FUN!
I think he would look great in colors such as turquoise or navy blue.

This video is older but it is still informative. Be sure to pay attention to the rider's body position at the lope and jog-
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post #5 of 10 Old 09-23-2012, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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I had a crash course from a friend that use to show him yesterday and she had my totally pitch my reins away, and he was a much more consistent horse at the jog and lope which helped me a lot. He slowed himself down even more while lifting his back and dropping his head almost entirely on his own. It sure was hard wanting to give up that rein control!

Thanks for the video, I will have to check it out.

RH Queen O Anywhere "Sydney"
2009 Sugarbush draft
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post #6 of 10 Old 09-23-2012, 05:03 PM
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Looking very good! Just remember; keep your heels down! :)
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post #7 of 10 Old 09-24-2012, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HorseGirlFive View Post
Looking very good! Just remember; keep your heels down! :)
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-09-2012, 09:07 PM
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I always tell my students to think of sitting on their pants pockets. I was trained huntseat and then ended up showing WP for 8 years because thats what my mare was best at and it is a big change in your riding position. you are sitting up straight but its still a very english look, try to relax a little bit. its hard to tell with the glare but you want your thumbs on top twards the sky(not giving a thumbs up just on top lol) and try to imagine a box around the horn of maybe four or five inches and keep your hands in that box and elbows intwards your sides. very good for a switch, its hard to break some of the english habbits it took me forever to stop sitting so forward.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-19-2013, 08:23 AM
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You guys look great! I would say that you should try not to "rock" as much in the canter, and even though it is WP to sit up a little straighter. Think about keeping a straight line from your shoulders to your hips. Also to maintain the straight line from your elbows to the bit. You both look awesome and ready for the show ring though!
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-19-2013, 08:36 AM
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I found the transition from 2 reins and slight contact to one handed and loose reins to be the most difficult! I totally agree with practicing that and getting really comfortable! The other issue I have had is where to put my other hand! No matter where I put it it feels funny and sometimes looks even funnier when I look at pictures. I seem to either look like I am holding myself like I am in pain, or holding a cup of coffee......Still working an that one! You look great-enjoy!

Oh-and many folks I know love purple a horse like yours.......

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