Critique western rider

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Critique western rider

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    02-28-2011, 09:11 AM
Critique western rider

To start off this thread… Please give me your honest opinions on things that I need to work on. I will not get defensive though I may try to explain certain things. This critique is for me and not for the horse though if you have constructive things to say about her please go ahead. I know there are lots of things I need to work on with her but I also know that most of those things are a result of me doing something wrong. Which is why I want you guys to pick at me so I can get better. I am working towards training for barrel racing but will not actually be barrel racing till next year as my horse is only 4 this year.

The next thing is that the saddle I am using in this video is not the one I normally use but I have noticed that my saddle is crooked on my horse so I tried out my friends barrel saddle to see if it made a difference which it did.

Some details about where me and my horse are at. For spins, we haven’t worked much on getting her faster as I am just happy if we get them right. The next thing in the video I was trying to do was get her to give her hip and cross over in the back. This is something that we have just started working on so by no means are we pro at it haha. As for my awful posting the trot please give me tips on how to stop bouncing so much. My horses head was high the whole time which I know is due to the fact that I can’t stay steady, which is why I don’t correct her headset at this point (plenty of time to work on that once I am riding correctly). When I sit the trot she and I are much more relaxed but then again we are going a lot slower. For the lope departures, I am working on staying back in my saddle when I lope off rather than leaning into it. Because I was always leaning into it my horse has started to brace herself by having her head up. Again, I will fix that once I am consistent. For flying lead changes, we are to the point where we get them all the time but now I have to work on my own body control as well as hers to get the lead changes more fluid and relaxed.

Some of the things that I know I need to fix… My feet need to be straight forward and I have a tendency to have my feet stick out sideways. Speaking of feet I do realize my stirrups are a bit short but as I said, this was my first time in this saddle. Another thing I need to work on is to look up and the direction I am going. Easier said than done haha. I know there are alot of other things to fix just can't think of them right now.

So as I said in the beginning, please do not hesitate to be completely honest in your critique. I promise to listen to everything everyone has to say but if there is something I just don’t agree with I will not try it.

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    02-28-2011, 03:13 PM
One big thing I see is your stirrups are too short. You where a bit too fare back on your turns. Other then that not bad. However if you change your stirrup length it would give you a better look.
    02-28-2011, 03:25 PM
Ya, while I was riding I didn't realize just how short they were but after looking at the video I saw right away they were too short. When you say I was too far back on my turns do you mean in the spins or while I was loping around?
    02-28-2011, 03:30 PM
I was going to say the same thing. Saddle is too small (I know you were borrowing a friend's) and the stirrups are too short. Fix this, and your posting will improve. You have all of your weight in the stirrups when you post, so you aren't letting her bring you up on the bounce. You should only have to control when you come down in the saddle. Let her lift you up.

Also, when you were moving her hindquarters over at the corner of your turns, you were turning your upper body to watch her hips come over. That was shifting your whole balance in the saddle. It also seems like your spurs are touching her really high on her barrel. She is responding very well, but at this point I would think your cue should be lower and more subtle. Do you always go straight to the spur for the cue or do you use your heel first and then add spur if she doesn't respond? Do you ever ride without spurs?

Looks like you have alot of fun with her!
    02-28-2011, 03:38 PM
Originally Posted by Sahara    
Also, when you were moving her hindquarters over at the corner of your turns, you were turning your upper body to watch her hips come over. That was shifting your whole balance in the saddle. This may seem weird (and it is probably wrong) but it is easier for me to tell if she is crossing over if I look towards her hip. It also seems like your spurs are touching her really high on her barrel. She is responding very well, but at this point I would think your cue should be lower and more subtle. Do you always go straight to the spur for the cue or do you use your heel first and then add spur if she doesn't respond? I try to use my leg first then my spur but again it was harder because my stirrups were too short plus because I naturally want to toe out it is really hard for me to use my leg then spur. But I am definitely getting better. Do you ever ride without spurs? I have tried without spurs but as this is something she is just learning I can't get her to actually give her hip. I would like for her to respond to just leg with spurs for backup but alot of the time I am touching her with my spur first. I am really working on my leg control but it sure takes a while.

Looks like you have alot of fun with her!
Most definitely. I love her to death and really don't deserve a horse as forgiving as her.
    02-28-2011, 03:40 PM
Yes your spins. You are leaning back a bit much. If you move your shoulders a bit forward it will help get a bit better turn and some more speed.
    02-28-2011, 03:52 PM
Ok a couple things that I see that people didn't mention. Your posting, wasn't so good. I think you started off on the wrong diagonal and then it messed you up and you were trying to get back on and then you ended doing a forced kind of thing. I suck at posting too, so don't worry :) Its hard. Just practice practice practice. But I thought that western you didn't post you did a sitting post? Sometimes you were a bit left in the dust by her. Like your spinning. You were on one side and she was on the other. As you work with her more, you will probably expect her movements better and be able to stay with her more. This happens in the last bit too, when you are doing your leg yielding stuff. You are on one side while she is on the other and that is probably making her unbalanced. I noticed too that you looked at your feet and the horse a few times, keep your eyes forward. My instructor always said when you look there you are going to end up there. Um, I think that is about it. It is mostly really fixable stuff with practice :) Good Luck.
    02-28-2011, 04:03 PM
I think you ride very well. One of the better Western riders I have seen post on this forum. Your horse is a very nice mover and has a correct lope and good jog. Don't mess it up by slowing her too much .
She's a doll!

You just need those stirrups down. Your posting was actually not bad. You moved in rythm with the horse, which has a slightly choppy rapid stride at trotting out, and that's what is important. I didn't see you bopping the saddle at all, in fact the horse looked pretty happy and comfortable with you on her. You seem to have a very trusting relationahip.
The ONLY thing you really need to work on, already mentioned, was the overtwisting of the upper body. You ride so quietly overall (a little too noticeaqble spur work , keep it lower and try for ankle movement only) so you need to quiet the upper body in that lateral work.

I could not ride half as nicely as you do, and that's the plain truth.
    02-28-2011, 04:22 PM
If I did western, I would base int horsemanship off of a rider like this:
Vimeo, Video Sharing For You

I think she has great posture, nice solid leg, looks where she's going, and just rides beautifully. Also, look up carry nowacek! She has AMAZING horsemanship with a capital A!
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    02-28-2011, 04:32 PM
Green Broke
^^ The link doesnt work, and riding a reiner and riding horsemanship are 2 different styles of riding.

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