Critique request - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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Critique request

Hello there, this is a quick video of me riding my new mare Rya. I have owned her since February. Prior to that she was a broodmare for a while. She has had some training before but I'm not exactly sure how much or how long ago that was. The first couple months of owning her I was unable to really ride her consistently due to timing, so she was really only being ridden about 3 times a week. I have had her at a new barn since the beginning of May and I feel we have been making some progress now as I'm able to ride her more like 5 times per week. She is an 11 year old Dutch Warmblood/Arab cross mare.

I have been riding semi seriously for about 5 years with an instructor, with a few off and on periods. I'm a little nervous to post this video, I feel I know what some of my faults are but am just hoping for some alternate opinions. Also, feel free to critique Rya as well.

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 04:18 PM
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She is really a nice looking horse and you are a capable rider.

I think she might be looking for a more meaningful contact. I can see that you are being pretty soft on the contact, and it looks pretty steady to me, though you might be doing some "fiddling" with your hand that is making her drop her head, then put it up,then drop it.

You might want to see if you can get a bit more forward from her, and take the reins a bit shorter so that the contact is more consistent. She can decide how to deal with that, instead of you repeatedly asking for her to put her head down.

It will be easier for you to get her connected to the bit and moving with a bend in her body if you are on circles, which I am sure you do plenty of, right? Instead of following the rail.

Ton's of potential here!
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 04:27 PM
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I agree! I really like the way she moves but it seems she is looking for just a little more contact with your hands. You two seem to be a good fit, your posting looks effortless despite what her head is doing.
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you very much for your thoughts.

I do try to keep the contact pretty soft as I don't want to push her to hard while she's building up muscle. Forward is no problem for this girl, so I will try to take up a bit more contact. I do try to ride a lot of circles and serpentines as I have to keep things changing to keep her mind in the game, but I probably still spend to much time on the rail, so will adjust that.

Thank you very, very much for taking the time to have a look.
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 05:10 PM
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I hope you don't think I am saying to hold her in. You don't want to kill forward, for sure. She looks like she is sucking back a little, so if you give her a very solid, steady contact (which you have the steady enough seat/hand to do), she will feel more confident about really GOing when you ask her to lengthen her stride and step out a bit.
Sounds like you are bringing her along nicely with great conisideration for her development.

Also, from time to time, do work where you ride her on the buckle, but ask her to move forward nonetheless.
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post #6 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 05:15 PM
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No real critique from me because it looks its pretty much been covered, but what a pretty little mare! Just enough refinedness, just enough bone. Your matching polo and navy blue saddle pad really look nice combined with her, which gives you a very pleasing 'look.'

Don't come looking in Texas if she disappears!
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post #7 of 11 Old 06-11-2013, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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tinylily - I think understood what you meant, just take up a steadier contact while encouraging more forward with seat and legs. She loooves to stretch her neck right down, so I always try to work in periods on the buckle, but I will make sure to retain forward. Thanks.

Endiku - I'll be keeping an eye on you. :)
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-20-2013, 10:29 AM
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Beautiful mare you've got there! There's only one thing I can point out that others haven't, and it's a problem that I'm also working on, which is working on keeping the toes pointing forward. Your feet point out, I understand this habit completely, and it's taken a good few months to even get mine almost normal!
I've been very conscious about them when riding, stretching down the outside of my calf and ankle, also gripping the horse with the inside of my calf instead of the back.
I've also been paying attention to my feet when not in the saddle too, and trying to keep my feet pointing forward when I walk. It's all muscle memory really
Hope this helps

To ride or not to ride? ... What a stupid question!!
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post #9 of 11 Old 06-20-2013, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for the critique. It's such a hard habit to break, especially when I forget to take my time and just want to get her going NOW and so I default to trying to use my heels instead of my inner calf. My coach often tells me "Toes pointing in the direction of travel!"
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-20-2013, 10:15 PM
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One thing that helped me with my legs is think of them as wrapped around te horse's barrel. Think bow-legged :)
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