critique our flatwork please :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 03:55 PM Thread Starter
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critique our flatwork please :)

Me and Frankie have been working REALLLLY hard to achieve where we are now! Please critique me and him. He is a National Show Horse, 7 years old, 16.1hh. if you try to find our video in this group before, we have improved on his headset. We have been working on jumpi[ng latley, and we are schooling 1.5 comfortably ( i know its low) and 2 ft.
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post #2 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 09:16 PM
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What a very pretty boy! I don't know much about National Show Horses and how they work, but I can do my best to help you.

You are on a good start, but if I were your Coach, I'd tweak a few things to help you be more effective of a rider.

The biggest thing that screams out to me, is his false headset.

Yes, it "looks" pretty, but it isn't real. And when it isn't real, it is very unfair for your horse physically. You are now allowing incorrect muscles to form, and are not creating a rounded, balanced mount.

You really need to get him to open up, move under himself and track up. You need to help him lift his back up into your seat and get him engaged from the back end.

The whole picture must be there, not just 1 piece of the puzzle.

Right now, your riding front end first, instead of last. You should be riding back end first, and front end last. When you get the more important factors of the picture in place first, then the last set of the puzzle will fall into place *True Collection*

Do you know anything about the Training Scale?

Your form isn't helping either. Yes, at first glance you look "pretty" just like your horse, but you aren't being effective. In order for your horse to be effective, you must be there first.

First, you need to get your tail bone under you, straiten your lower back and activate that core. Without your core, you are not effective, nor are you balanced.

As the "Great and Late" Sally Swift explained it -

Imagine you have a bowl of water in your belly. That bowl of water represents your balance and effectiveness. The moment you hollow out your lower back, all that water gushes out your front end. The moment you roach your lower back, all that water gushes out the back.

You don't want to spill that water - because if you do, you've lost your effectiveness, your center, and your balance. So - you need to correct that, and start using those tummy muscles.

Secondly - there are times where your legs are in the dashboard, and then ther are times where your leg is where it should be - which is under you. I think you are losing your balance here and there - but you need to engage that core and your seat to help obtain your security in your tack.

Now put the two together - your seat/core and your lower leg - you can then get your horse moving correctly. Right now as I've already said, he's going around uneffective, not using himself correcly - so by you activating your core/seat and leg - you can get him moving forward, opened and under himself.

Thirdly, you need to correct your arm and hand position. Right now they are far too low, and your going around with "Puppy Dog Paws". In order for your seat/core and legs to be effective, your hands must play a part in the play as well.

Shorten your rein, pick up your hands, close your elbow angle - get your elbows at your side, and get your thumbs up. Now - you are able to not only lift your horse UP, but you are also able to aid him to get off of his forehand, and onto his back end.

Also, you are now able to contain that energy you create with your seat/core and legs.

That's the most I can offer at this point, I have to get my Chocolate Chip Cookies out of the oven. :) :)

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post #3 of 17 Old 05-08-2010, 09:24 PM
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Hello there.
What breed is your horse? Do you have another video of before you started all your flat work?
I think I might remember seeing one but not certain. If you do have one can you post that video as well for a before and after too lokk and compare.
I am not an expert but i do agree with some of MIE's comments.
I will have to watch the video again to try and add to what has been stated.
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post #4 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 12:23 AM
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Wow, you honestly said everything I would of said terribly...perfectly. It is so hard for me to explain it to people, but I noticed everything you said and was thinking of the way to say it how you did.

Nice work!
And beautiful horse!!!!!
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post #5 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 09:23 AM
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I watched the video again.
First off your horse is very pretty and I like that your very quiet while riding.

A few things to add to what others noticed.
I went to watch this video and saw there was another video of you trotting this horse.
In both video's I feel the horse is more doing a "jog" then actually trotting.
As someone mentioned it does seem that the horse is on the "forhand" and that it appears your riding your horse - front to back - this is actually backwards riding and as a previous poster mentioned it should be back to front.

How do we achieve this. Lots of how our body is positioned can predict some of the carriage of our horse.
I noticed that you seem just slightly tipped forward in your seat. When I am tipped this much forward it is difficult for me to use my abs and my core strength.
Your hands....look as if your playing the piano ro getting ready to "roll dough" It is difficult to keep an active and "alive" sensation there with this hand set. Even if that sensation is small, it is much less effective when the hands are playing the piano and pulled way downon the side of the horses withers.
Might I suggest you make a fist and have your thumbs pointed upward.
The other thing I noticed about your hands is where they are positioned. There is no effectiveness of your hands in putting them down so low and asking your horse to come round...this is why MIE has mentioned the "false head set"
Might I suggest that you lift those hands a bit and ask your horse to move more into the bridle rather than to ride his/her backwards.
Using your core and seat will aid in this.
The canter- While i like your position i thnk there are some things that can be refined. I like that your chest and shoulders are open. Again with your hands...I notice that in the downward transition you seem to catch the horses mouth.
This canter also seemed more like a slow lope than a canter for your horse.
But...your horse does have nice flowing stride.

You have a lot of potential. Your nice and quiet and you seem relaxed. This is a wonderful thing to start with. I think that with some good instruction in lessons you will be able to refine your seat even more and at the same time begin to understand your own body mechanics while riding as well as your horses body.

Developing a "feel" for your horse and what he/she needs from you is something that develops over time...

Keep practicing and show us some more of you work!

Last edited by HalfPass; 05-09-2010 at 09:26 AM.
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post #6 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 09:31 AM
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I forgot to say...
When you ask the horse to move into the bridle this does not mean the horse will move faster....

Not much will need to change other than his hind end will become more engaged for you. This is something that will also take time for you and your horse as he will need to build the muscles in order to achieve and hold this position. You should notice over time that as he learns to use his hind end that it will become easier for him to move up into the bridle and carry himself and you don't need to carry or attempt to carry his head for him.
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post #7 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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thank you guys so much for the critique. After watching the video with the things in mind, I completley see what needs to be 'adjusted'. :) Tomorrow I will post a video to see if I can apply to what you have told me to him and I. Thank you!
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post #8 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 11:53 AM Thread Starter
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o ya, he is a national show horse, half arab, half saddlebred :)
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post #9 of 17 Old 05-09-2010, 05:07 PM
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I can't add much other than to say, once you get your thumbs turned up, your communication with your horse's entire body will improve. Right now with piano hands, you're blocking the flow. Once you unplug that cork, you should be able to ride him more actively from behind. You two make a very nice pair.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
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post #10 of 17 Old 05-10-2010, 01:23 PM
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MIE: You rock!!! You hit everything on the nail. That was an extremely great explanation. I have nothing to add. lol

Although here is one thing I'd like to add...the horse is beautiful, and you have a lot of potential. Keep on truckin'!!

- If today was your last day, and tomorrow was too late, could you say goodbye to yesterday?
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