Critique my second ride on Blitz, please.

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Critique my second ride on Blitz, please.

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    10-21-2012, 07:01 PM
Critique my second ride on Blitz, please.

Hey guys! I haven't ridden in about 2 years but have a free lease on my friend's horse now and have been so happy to be back in the saddle! I'd like some pointers to get me started again, as well as exercises to get me and him back into shape. I'd also like to hear some good warm-ups to get him bending and stretching. He's getting better every ride. :) I'm really proud of my equitation for so long out of the saddle, and Blitz is a great ride. Very willing and happy to please. He's really resistant to bending tracking to the left, and i'd like some tips to get him loose and bendy.

I remember a lot, and have been riding and taking lessons since I was 6 years old, so I know a lot, but you can never know enough! My only goals for us right now is to hack comfortable, and correctly. I love dressage, and might head in that direction with him, but for now I just want to get him stretching into the contact, and lifting his back, and well as carrying a proper bend and all that.

Anyway, have at it! Please provide explanations on the exercises. :) What I would be looking for as a response from him, and well as where my body should be to accomplish these things.

Warming up with a nice forward march.

And into the rising trot.

I like my position here for sure. :)

Sitting trot. Can't quite sit his forward trot yet. My abs were killing me!

And posting again.

We had a beautiful canter, which is his best gait, and I could feel him lifting his back and rounding up, but no photos. Next time!

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    10-21-2012, 08:13 PM
Looking pretty good! I would like to see a little more bend in your elbows in some of the pictures, your arms look a bit stiff. Also keep your shoulders back and avoid perching on his withers, especially in the trot photos.

Mostly though, you look pretty stable. I like your leg although your stirrups look a little short to me, but that's probably a personal preference on my part. =P Blitz looks like a lot of fun!
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    10-21-2012, 08:31 PM
Oh and I'm an idiot and forgot his riser pad that day, so the saddle started slipping forward onto his withers during our ride. I noticed and ended the ride short that day. With the riser pad his saddle stays in the correct place. He is VERY downhill with a relatively short back. It definitely got in his way that day. On our next ride I had it, the saddle stayed in place and he definitely moved out more.

Thanks Leigha! I wish I had photos from the ride after this (my most recent ride). We both get better each time! I will remember to keep more of a bend. I'm doing well with following his head at the walk and canter, but sometimes don't know what to do with my hands at the trot it seems.
    10-21-2012, 08:55 PM
The trot's always hard, there never seems to be much movement to follow, lol. Mostly, I just think you need to sit back. And even then, you don't perch anywhere near as much as I do. =P
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    10-21-2012, 09:35 PM
You ride really nicely. I can tell that even without a video. Once can see that you know what you need to do to ride correctly, just need to do more of it so it all becomes automatic. What I mean is things lke : look up, keep that straight line from elbo to bit, close your hands and keep the thumbs on top.
Same old Same old. You really look great and I bet you can bring the best out of the lovely horse.
    10-22-2012, 08:00 PM
Anyone? Hoping for some good bending exercises, and some other pointers.
    10-23-2012, 02:48 PM
I didn't see your post tiny! Thank you!
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    10-23-2012, 04:55 PM
Well, the horse looks like he is pretty forward by nature, and maybe wants to lean into you hands and be on his forehand? He is nicely muscled and does not show any evidence of being bracey or resistant, but might not be as light as you can make him.

You might work some on getting him to make good stops, and to come off the bit and back up nicely. Seat, then hands into a good stop, and if he leans on the bit, don't release until he softens and rocks back a bit. Then release.

Do this and work into having him stop, soften, and back up with softness in the poll, and bringing his legs back in pairs, not dragging, but lifting them.

Do this on the flat, and if you have some hills, do it halfway down a hill. (making him come to a stop while descending, then back up the hill a few steps, then continue on his way).

This is just one small excerisize to encourage softness to the bit and build the abs (backing up a hill is super for this) and get him willing to rock back on his hind.

However, don't overdo this. He looks like a naturally forward horse, and overdoing backing up can really sour a forward horse. ONe or two times where he does it lightly and willingly, and then go back to forward movement.
    10-23-2012, 05:26 PM
Your position is pretty good, but I'd like to see your reins a little shorter and your hands a little lower so you can create some contact with your horse. This way the circle and bending exercises will be more beneficial. Ideally, your hands should be over and in front of your horse's withers with your knuckles at a slight degree inside the vertical to create a straight line from your horse's mouth to your elbow. Close your fingers so your reins do not get too long quickly and you will not have to adjust them as often (ask me how I know this happens!).

I love short stirrups, but I think yours could come down a hole, especially for flat work. It will lengthen your leg. I notice you have super long spurs on. Be careful how you use them; in a few of the pictures you are raising your heel to use the spur instead of your leg. The spur should work with your leg, not instead of your leg.

Look at the difference between your lower leg in your sitting trot and rising trot pictures. Your rising trot pictures are much better because you stretch down more into your heels. In your sitting trot pictures you crumple a bit with you upper body and your heel is raised. If you relax and go with your horse’s motion, try to make your lower leg as long as possible by stretching down into your heels and your upper body as tall as possible, it will be easier to sit the trot comfortably.

As for exercises, you can work on transitions, shortening and lengthening strides, serpentines, figure 8s, poles on the ground (which is a helpful and fun way to work on shortening and lengthening strides), circles and bending and reversing your bend, etc.

I hope you post more pictures again, and have some fun with flat work.

    10-23-2012, 05:55 PM
I agree with the above EXCEPT the hand position. I think her hand position is appropriate for the horse. YOu don't lower a horse' head by lowering your hands. The horse lowers his head, THEN you lower your hands.

She is maintainging a pretty good line to the bit, whatever the horse does with his head, and for a horse coming back into riding, this is great.

People who lower their hands way down onto te horse's neck trying to "pull' him down are doing one of my pet peeves.

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