Critique my riding please (english riding)

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Critique my riding please (english riding)

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  • English riding professional trotting
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    12-16-2010, 08:44 AM
Critique my riding please (english riding)

So, the background story. I've started riding 2 years ago, but I rode rarely, like 1-2 times a month in the summer. I've started more seriously this summer. Now I ride more often but I don't have a fixed schedule. I ride when I have the occasion. Working at a horse shelter gives you the opportunity to ride a lot of horses. But the bad part it's that they are not really broke. All the horses that I've ridden were green broke. They are very tolerant so they put up with my awful riding all the time. They didn't throw me off deliberately yet. But they tend to be stubborn, they often try to do what they want because they can. I can't fight with them all the time because I don't have a solid sit yet and I don't really know how to make them do what I want.

This is a photo from this summer. You can see how incorrect was my posture in the saddle at a trot.


Those are 1-2 months old



Those are recent, one week ago. I've started to take lessons at a riding centre. The mare that I ride it's very well schooled, she knows her business and she's very calm. She's a lipizzaner. Holly (her name) is the first broke horse that I've ridden so it's a big difference for me. Everything seems to be very easy.





I don't really understand why I can't post the trot without rising so much from the saddle. When I'm in the saddle I have the impression that I don't rise from the saddle so much, but in the photos my moves seems to be exaggerated.

Galloping - I have yet a lot to work at it. I can't find out how to keep my legs in a correct position. I tend to grab the horse with the legs. And I loose the stirrups all the time. I can't understand how should I keep the stirrups. If I try to do it I put pressure in the stirrup and I tend to bounce on the saddle a lot. If I don't keep the stirrups it's more easy for me to maintain contact with the saddle.



Thanks a lot.
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    12-16-2010, 09:29 AM
Well I would just like to ask where is your hard hat? It is so dangerous to ride without one! Especially if you ride dangerous horses.
    12-16-2010, 09:30 AM
Since you already know what you're doing wrong in the older pictures, I'm just going to do the ones from a week ago.

Picture #1:It's hard to critique this one because it looks like she's putting her head down and pulling against the reins. For future reference though, your elbows should be by your sides.

Picture #2: Your hands should be thumbs up, not flat like that. It looks like you are bracing against your feet and that's why your legs are splayed out like that.

Picture #3: Once again with the hands. You're also posting on the wrong diagonal. A simple way to remember diagonals (in a ring) is to "rise and fall with the leg on the wall". You don't have to rise that much out of the saddle. In this picture you are just standing on the stirrups.

Picture #4: Wrong diagonal, hands. Very nice straight back though!

Picture #5: You already know about the posting. Now get those thumbs up and close your fingers.

Picture #6: You really shouldn't be cantering or galloping until you can master the lower gaits first. You lose your stirrups because you put your legs back and your heels come up. Working alot in two-point will help you balance on your irons more and keep those heels down and your leg in the correct position. Your body hasn't figured out how to move with the horse yet. If you are cantering and you don't have a solid lower leg, you will bounce all over the place. Riders just learning how to canter should always do so from the two-point position first until they get a feel for the rhythm of the gait.

Good luck!
    12-16-2010, 10:00 AM
Okay I'm not going to critique anything. Just wanted to give you some advice on your legs and losing your stirrups when galloping.

I'd be willing to bet when you canter/gallop that you are gripping with your knees for balance. When you grip with your knees you lose your shoulder hip heel line, and you can't maintain keeping your heels down and ball of the foot in the stirrup. That is why you are losing your stirrups. You need to push that heel right down and stretching out your calf muscle to make it strong, and by doing this you correctly you wont be able to grip with your knee and you wont lose your stirrup :)
    12-16-2010, 10:23 AM
Sarahandlola: You're right about the helmet. I use one only when I'm trail riding. And I don't have my own helmet yet. This riding centre didn't asked me to carry one so that's why I don't have one.
kcscott85: Thanks a lot. The information is very useful. I've found out some new mistakes with your help.
Picture #2: The advice with the thumbs up is very simple to fallow. I didn't even noticed how my hands are.
Picture #3: This is harder to understand. I will ask my instructor about it because it seems to be hard for me to understand how to find out the corect diagonal while posting. I've never thought about this.
Picture #6: I feel the same. I know that I can't sit and post the trot properly but my instructor tells me that it's time to learn the canter. He said that I should practice the sitting trot next time because it will come easier for me to canter after I sit the trot correctly.
I've saw that the 2 point position isn't very used here. It used only when you want to do some jumps. Then they'll teach you that position. If you don't want to jump they don't explain it to you. I've done by myself some trotting in 2 point position and it seems to be ok. But I'm scared to try it at a canter .
    12-16-2010, 10:30 AM
Becca93: You're perfectly right about this one. I'm gripping with my knees to maintain myself on the horse. This is what they've told me to do. When I'm concentrating to hold my knees I can't find out how should I keep that stirrup. If I'm putting pressure in the stirrup I lose the contact with my knees. So I don't know what should I do.
    12-16-2010, 10:38 AM
That's strange that they don't teach you two point. Its not only used for jumping, it's a great way to solidify your lower leg. When we sit in the saddle it's easy to sit there and not put much weight on our irons, but that will cause you to bounce around and lose your balance. You want to not only be sitting on top of the horse, but all around it and you can only do that with your legs. I would ask your instructor to teach you two point. Once you build up enough muscle to be able to stay in two point, then I would canter. Another reason to begin cantering in two point is that's its easy on your horse. If you don't know how to sit the canter, then you're bouncing all over his back, which hurts. While all instructors have their own style of teaching, I think that this one is really rushing you. Sadly, alot of these places are in the business to make money and because alot of beginners quit when it's not "exciting enough", they don't teach you the proper way to ride, they just let you go faster and faster. I would suggest finding an instructor that can teach you the proper way to ride without worrying that every ride is more exciting than the last. It worries me that they are letting you canter without even knowing diagonals at a trot as that is the first thing you should learn when posting.
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    12-16-2010, 10:43 AM
I just read your post to Becca and you should NOT be gripping with your knees. They told you wrong on that one. Gripping with your knees hinders your ability to communicate with your horse, and, as you've seen, causes you to lose your stirrups. Your entire leg should be softly against the horse, following the movement of it's barrel as it swings from side to side. Your heels should be down, which will prevent you from losing the stirrup.
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    12-16-2010, 10:54 AM
kcscott85: You're right. But in the area we don't have a lot of great instructors. The instructors from the horse shelter where I'm volunteering had explained me this thing with the diagonals. I've read now on the internet and I've understood what you said, to look at the outside leg of the horse and rise when that leg is forward and sit when that leg is back. They explained it to me but every time while I trotted through the arena they said nothing about me being on the wrong diagonal. So I thought that what I was doing was right and I didn't thought about diagonals. I'll be more careful next time.
I have the same problem with the diagonals at the canter too. I don't understand how to look for the corect lead so I'm often counter cantering. But this is another thing. They tell me when I'm in counter canter but they don't tell me when I'm on the wrong diagonal while trotting.
    12-16-2010, 11:04 AM
I really wouldn't be worrying about canter leads right now. I would focus on being able to trot on the correct diagonal. In the beginning it's ok to watch the shoulder to check to see if you're on the correct diagonal but you want to be able to feel the correct diagonal. While at the sitting trot say "up" every time you feel your outside hip go up. Then begin rising when you say "up".

The reason diagonals are so importan is because it helps the horse balance through turns. Posting on the incorrect one can unbalance your horse.
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