Critique my riding please

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Critique my riding please

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    01-19-2013, 07:57 PM
Critique my riding please

First of all, before you watch the video, I know I am not that good of a rider. I am 100% self taught. I live in a place that is 200 miles from anywhere, and getting riding lessons are absolutely impossible. I consider myself good enough to not hurt my horse's back and mouth, and that's a start. I am going to move in a year, and have every intention of getting lessons the first chance I get. I'm not expecting you to tell me, I'm good, because I'm not. I'm just looking for constructive criticism.

What the hell! Why do you pull on your horses mouth like that? You shouldn't own a horse. Ever.
Easing up on the reins looks better and your horse will be easier to handle if you aren't constantly pulling on his mouth.

Same message, but the second one is what I'm looking for.

Anyways here is my most recent video (a few months ago, I've sold my horse since):

The issues I notice, is I should have my reins a bit tighter so they aren't flopping around everywhere. I should sway less in the canter, and not rise as high in the trot. My stirrups should probably be longer too. Most the time, my heel position is good, but there are a few parts that it was pretty bad.

Also, is there anything you like about my riding? I personally try to focus on my hands and legs staying quiet, so those are the things I am best at. Not trying to make excuses, but my horse was in a bad mood that day, and wanted to keep his head held high. My hands are usually a lot more quiet than that.

Thank you.
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    01-19-2013, 08:08 PM
Nice horse and with proper instruction, you could be a dandy rider. What I see is your leg is a mile to far forward, your hands, arms, shoulders all out of whack. Despite all this, you sit that horse very nicely. With a some instruction, you could collect her energy and look great doing it. All her energy and weight in on the forehand because you are giving her all the cues to encourage it. Even a once a month lesson will help you, in the meantime, I would ride bareback and try posting, pull your legs back, sit deep and keep your elbows at your sides & stick your chest out. Good Luck and thanks for posting the vid.
    01-19-2013, 08:14 PM
You're forcing yourself up when you post the trot, instead of letting the horse kind of bump you up.
Also your horse seems to be distracted and not really listening to you.
Your horse is super gorgeous though!
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    01-19-2013, 08:47 PM
I feel like you're pretty good for being self-taught =] The only thing I really noticed is your leg being too far forward, and it's throwing you off balance. Your leg should be lined up with your hips. Try some double posting up-up-down, up-up-down, and maybe some 2-point but the double posting should definitely help you get your leg to better balance you. Also, try having softer hands and not having your down-transitions be as dramatic. Other than that, you looked pretty good =]
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    01-19-2013, 09:31 PM
What I notice is that your hands are much TOO light. As you can see, you kind of "flap" your arms and you break at the wrist. Reel your reins in a bit and hold them with as firm a hand as you would hold a pencil. Position your hands so you have a straight line from "bit" to wrist to elbow, and keep your elbows in at your side, without pinching/tightening up. Your thumbs should be on the top of your hand rather than side to side (called piano hands, which you don't have but I wanted to make that distinction).

This is a great video:
How To Practice Your Classical Seat In Horseback Riding - YouTube
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    01-20-2013, 10:56 PM
You're doing a great job for being self taught. You have a nice, quiet seat, naturally good posture, and you did a good job in recognizing some areas that could use some improvement.

Starting at the bottom, for hunt seat, you will need shorter stirrups. I might be telling you things you already know, but it's better to be given too much information than not enough! To figure out a good stirrup length, take your feet our of the stirrups and let your leg hang loose by the horse's side. Adjust the stirrup so the bottom of the iron hits right at your ankle bone. As others have said, you should pull your leg back a little, so that your heel, hip and shoulder are in a straight line. If you look down while riding, you should not be able to see your toe in front of your knee. You would also, ideally, have more weight in your heel. Think of this as letting your weight sink into your heels, as opposed to forcing your toe up and heel down. Let your ankles be your shock absorbers and flex, letting the weight sink down through them.

You're right that your reins would benefit from being a bit shorter. Also, make sure that they're even, that you have the same length of rein between hand and bit in both hands. Even more important than rein length right now, those, is keeping your hands closer together. You want a straight line between the bit and your elbow. You do a good job keeping a good amount of bend in your elbow, but be mindful that your hands don't drop too low or too wide. You don't want your hands getting any further apart than your shoulders.
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    01-20-2013, 11:01 PM
See, everyone is being really nice with their suggestions. It takes courage to post for a critique, and I think you're getting some great ones here.
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    01-20-2013, 11:10 PM
Thanks everyone. My main problem is I don't notice these problems until I am out of the saddle, watching the video. I guess that's the entire reason for having a trainer, but unfortunately that is impossible until I move.

I live in a little town, 200 miles from anywhere (Wendover, on the Utah/ Nevada border). I planned on doing online lessons, like I'd post a video like this, then try everyones' suggestion, post that video, try out the suggestions, and so on.

I had to sell my horse though because of sadistic monsters who would beat my horse, throw rocks at him, splash him with water in freezing temperatures, let him out of his stall at night, steal food from his dish leaving me to wonder why he is loosing weight, etc. Even with $1500 worth of stuff stolen, the police and animal control would not help me.

After I sold my horse to a safer home, I've been trying to get help down at the stables for the emaciated, neglected, and abused horses here. Turns out, people at the stables aren't very happy with it, so riding their horses is not an option anymore xD. They have every right to be mad, but it's not like I'm doing this just to piss people off. These horses seriously need to be in better hands, and Nevada law doesn't see a skin and bones horse with elf hooves as an issue, as long as it's still standing.
    01-20-2013, 11:14 PM
Watching videos of yourself riding is always a huuuge help; sometimes you just don't realize you're doing something until you can see yourself =]
I'm really sorry that you had to sell your horse, too =[ That was a very selfless thing to do to make sure that he was happy and well taken care of.
It's horrible, the things that can happen to horses when people don't care about them. They're so brittle =/
Jalter likes this.
    01-20-2013, 11:18 PM
If you want to discuss the horse abuse , could you start another thread.? Perhaps either in Horse Protection?

Also, please take care not to post names of businesses and such, because this is a public forum, so it's open to anyone's viewing, ok?

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