Critique from Today's Lesson - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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Critique from Today's Lesson

I focused on releasing today and my overall equitation today :). Thumper was pretty good (kind of silly but nothing horrible). So critique away!
Thanks in advance :).

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post #2 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 07:03 PM
Green Broke
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You r alloking better, but you are taking the reins back to fast after the last jump, and really pulling on him to fast after the jump, you should let him go forawrd after the jump and if need apply half halts. I also noticed you need to have more bend in your elbows, its hard to really tell with her thick coat on though. I think you lwoer leg can go bac a bit furth but if I remebr correctly its that saddle causing that?
When you canterd over the line, I think you did better, but your back was tense maybe really try to think about breathing when going into the line or next fence and that way your bodey will relax more. He looks ike he is having alot of fun in the line and I can see your improvements from the last video you posted. You look like your enjoyng it as well :) Good job!
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post #3 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 07:04 PM
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Agreed. The stiff back really stuck out to me the most and that is something that can be easily fixed with relaxing. Looks good tho!
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 07:07 PM
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One thing I noticed is that your shoulders and elbows tend to get pretty tense...sometimes you catch your horse in the mouth over the jumps (sometimes your hands go down rather then up), and your hands go up and down with you as you post. You want your hands to be steady, right over your horse's neck, as you post. Try some no-hands exercises...either tie your reins in a knot and hold your hands out to the sides (or some other position not on the reins!) or grab them with your thumbs on top and all your fingers closed around the reins like a fist, and hold your hands really wide as you go over the jump. This helps you balance over your feet, without having to let go of the reins. Also just think about keeping your elbows at your sides, soft and following, and when you ask to slow down, think about pressing your elbows back into a wall behind you instead of locking your whole arm.

Also, your toes were pointed pretty far out sometimes, and your knees looked braced...think about using more the side of your calf and not the back, and point your toes forward rather then out. That will help with your knees, too. A couple of longe lessons wouldn't hurt to loosen you up! :)

Other then that, though, you really looked good...You have a very secure lower leg, something I am working really hard to achieve! You were obviously focused...your heels were down and your eyes up, and you weren't getting left behind or trying to jump for your horse. Keep working...just don't let yourself focus so much that you get stiff! :)
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 07:10 PM
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Overall, your jumping position looks 10X better than in the last video. A lot of the gymnastics you guys did were awesome, you look like you get in just enough of a jumping position, not too exaggerated, but it's there - unlike last time where you just kind of let him bounce you over the jump. Sometimes you land a little hard on his back and sometime he surprises you and you catch him in the mouth, but overall it's SO much better.

Cantering on the flat you're still really behind his motion with your upper body. Basically, your seat is following your horse, but your upper body isn't, so it looks like you're being dragged along a bit. Try sitting up super straight, and stiffening up your upper body. I don't mean tense up, but just try looking and seeing if your hips are aligned with your shoulders.

As a side note: One thing that I would try to work on with him is more flatwork to try to get him rounded up, he likes to run around with his nose up in the air and he's already developing some unsightly under-neck muscles. Once you do that, he might be able to jump more effectively. I have a similar problem with my mare, I don't have an indoor arena so I can't work with her on it now, but basically, what I'm planning on doing is riding her forward with contact, and rewarding any attempt at dropping her head with a release. Maybe someone else can come up with better some better suggestions. I'd ask your trainer about it.
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 08:38 PM
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Tip* When you are doing bounces like that, since the jumps are the same height, and they arn't very big, try doing a little half seat thru it, it will look better than doing 2pt, lean back, 2pt, lean back, ETC. (The 18in you are doing it fine, the 2ft is where you are over doing it a little.) Losen your lower back, it will help your position stay steady, You are almost going against the horses stride pumping your body, (i had this problum) losen your lower back and flow with the stride, what really helped me get it was to half seat, then ease back and hold that position. Hope this helps!!!:))
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post #7 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 09:31 PM
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Don't go by my critique really because I don't know much about jumping.

I think you were on the wrong diagonal once in the video. Idr though.
I think you needed more of a release in the beginning. As the video went on you got much better about it.

I think you should do some flatwork on getting your horse rounded and putting his head lower. I think with his head being so high his canter in short and choppy looking. If he lowered his head and rounded himself he might be more comfortable. At least it looks as if he would to me! He doesn't quite have that floaty look about him as he canters.

If my horse doesn't like you then I don't either.Deal with it!
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 09:43 PM
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I'm only just gonna critique that you should stay in a half seat or a little 2pt so you don't slam on his back between jumps and you will look nicer :) Cute horsie

"Life is like a vampire"
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post #9 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 09:45 PM
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I've been a fan of Thumper since I started on this forum, he's an amazing looking animal! Personally though, I think he could benefit from more flat work and getting him to relax. He's tense through that entire video, which makes you tense.

I noticed your hands are moving with your body instead of with the horse though...I think you could close your hip a little more and try the half seat idea - you're landing a little hard on his back. I like your leg overall, could be a little further back, but it's stable.

I think the biggest thing is getting Thumper to relax so that you can too.

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post #10 of 11 Old 01-23-2010, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone! Getting BOTH of us to relax is a work in progress, haha. He's still getting the whole contact with the reins thing down because he is a lesson horse (I only part lease him) and many people who ride him (including me, sometimes!) don't have a consistent contact because he tries to run away from the contact and they're worried that he'll take off (which I have seen him do with other people). Right now, we're working on getting a consistent rhythm before asking him to begin to round and use his back more. I probably need to do some more long and low with him; I haven't done much for a while and it really seems to help him... Thanks for the critiques, everyone! I'll definitely work on all of those things the next time I ride.

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