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First critique - please help me with my position

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        03-07-2013, 08:10 PM
      #11
    Foal
    Thanks everyone! Just have to reiterate I'm seriously horrified about the diagonal thing. I really do know them, not necessarily to feel that great, but I certainly usually make sure I'm on the right one - and my instructor will yell at whoever is not on the right one so she's all over that. I'm also all about the 'technical' side of riding, so for me to be doing that wrong for that long seriously bothers me! I clearly wasn't paying attention and I can only assume it was because of the video as I was just thinking about position only.

    Anyway, ya, I'm a big chicken about the bareback thing as you can imagine with the nervous Nellie situation. I probably do all the leaning just out of habit from when I first started to ride when I was really nervous and practically in fetal position. This is probably much improved compared to how I used to ride! Nothing like learning to ride as a nervous adult! LOL Now I'm not particularly nervous but can't shake the habit. I also sit at a desk all day long and know I lean forward during the day too with that, so anything other than that feels very odd to me. I'll think about the bareback thing....

    Lunge line unfortunately won't happen even though I know it's the way to go. My instructor just doesn't do it. Maybe just lots of no stirrup work will suffice for now...?!

    Thanks again.
         
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        03-07-2013, 08:13 PM
      #12
    Yearling
    You don't need just your instructor to help. :) any willing person who will hold the line for you can do it.

    My instructor, when he lunges me, just holds it, and I need to control the horse.

    When you rise, the shoulder you want the diaganol on, should be forward. I forget which side of the shoulder to look for (its been years since I had a posting lesson).

    Bareback IS scary... At first. But the more you do it, the more confident you will feel, and the better rider you will be.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        03-07-2013, 08:21 PM
      #13
    Trained
    The major thing that I see is not so much the stirrups or the leaning or the hands going up and down, but the fact that you are actually balancing off of the reins.
    First thing is first, before you can develop a seat or feel more independent and comfortable and confident with your seat is those hands need to come down and rest on the horse's withers. A bucking strap is really useful for you to hang on to and get used to not being able to use your hands to balance your body. Even if you are just gripping the bucking strap, still focus on pressing your hands down and away from your body and then using your core to stabilize yourself. Imagine that your head is balanced on top of your shoulders and not attached, you need to keep it on your shoulders and not let it fall off!
    Once you are more balanced with your body, you will feel more comfortable with a longer stirrup, with sitting in the canter, with riding bareback, etc.. But the first step is to re wire the body to balance itself with no reliance on the hands.

    Good luck!
    Skyseternalangel likes this.
         
        03-07-2013, 08:34 PM
      #14
    Super Moderator
    Your comment about the other person leasing also being in a chair seat is very telling. It can be due to the saddle, AND the build of the hrose. He may be really well sprung in the ribs, with a kind of "groove" in front of his big belly, such that it's really hard to keep your leg down under you , when it is being rolled forward into that groove, time after time.
    Could you take a photo of the horse, with saddle on, squared up on flat ground?

    The saddle looks like it is a little small for you. You saying that with the stirrups down one, you end up banging your ladybits onto the pommel, that tells me that the saddle might be too small for you in the seat. I think the saddle itself is making it hard for you to get out of the chair seat.

    THe upper body will go forward to compensate for a lower leg shifted forward, but sometimes it's viceversa. You know, chicken and egg thingy.
    One can see that the stirrup leather is not vertical, but ratehr angling forward, so you definitely have a forward push to your lower leg, but I dont' get the feeling that you are bracing, but ratehr that the saddle angles are putting you there.

    Being short legged on a round horse is going to make you feel a bit insecure becuase, as you said, you cannot get your leg around the horse at all. Have you ever tried riding him in a dressage saddle?

    IN any case, to ride as you are, you need to have really strong core muscles to have such balance, without being able to get your leg around the belly. It's a bit like being a jocky; you have to balance OVER the hrose and needs abs of steel. Get working! (just kidding. This comes from the woman with the Santa Claus belly; bowl full of jelly.)
    But seriously, you will need to be mentall focussed more on your core.

    Your elbows are a bit rigid in that video, and I guess it's becuase you are so focussed on your position for the filming. I suggest riding for short periods of time with the reins in one hand, so you cannot use the rein for balance at all. Switch out the reins from one hand to the other, while moving the "free" hand to various positions. ALL while keeping your upper body firmly engaged and still.

    Getting more forward out of the hrose will help in all of these things, but I am sure , as a school horse, he makes that a challenge. Can't really blame him.

    You look like a neat rider , careful of the hrose, polite to his mouth . I didn't see the nervous nelly, but I can see a certain air of stiffness . Try to do somethings that are fun enough that you don't have time to worry about falling or ? Like relay races , or other gymkhana stuff. It's great for laughing while becoming braver than normal.
         
        03-08-2013, 12:54 AM
      #15
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    The major thing that I see is not so much the stirrups or the leaning or the hands going up and down, but the fact that you are actually balancing off of the reins.
    First thing is first, before you can develop a seat or feel more independent and comfortable and confident with your seat is those hands need to come down and rest on the horse's withers. A bucking strap is really useful for you to hang on to and get used to not being able to use your hands to balance your body. Even if you are just gripping the bucking strap, still focus on pressing your hands down and away from your body and then using your core to stabilize yourself. Imagine that your head is balanced on top of your shoulders and not attached, you need to keep it on your shoulders and not let it fall off!
    Once you are more balanced with your body, you will feel more comfortable with a longer stirrup, with sitting in the canter, with riding bareback, etc.. But the first step is to re wire the body to balance itself with no reliance on the hands.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for the input - and I'm not singling you out, just realized how I could do the 'quote' thing! LOL

    I'm just not sure I really am balancing off the reins. I work really hard not to do this, I can post just fine with no reins and remain balanced. I usually make sure to do part of my ride either on a loose rein and/or one arm reaching up, etc, just to make sure of that. Maybe I change my position once I take up contact again though?

    Interesting development though for anyone interested, I went for a ride today, lowered my stirrups a hole and really concentrated on pulling my shoulders back and what I discovered is just how heavy my horse is in my hands! I think part of it could be that he really pulls me forward because he leans into the bit. He's not bracing against it but just more being lazy I think. I had to work really hard to stay upright and not let him pull me forward and now seeing it differently, in the past I would have felt like I would have to give him his head more because I'm so conscious of not wanting to pull on his mouth, but this time I wouldn't let him get away with it so kept myself sitting more back than usual, did lots of half-halts, etc. It was hard work though! I may have to lengthen my reins a bit next time. Not sure if I need to demand him to be a bit lighter, or let him have his head with a bit of a longer rein (still contact, but maybe my short arms are making it too short contact with leaning back more). Not sure if that makes sense....

    The stirrups down a hole seemed to help too, but again I'm not sure if that will work for two-point work as I can barely clear the pommel when in two-point with them down the hole. Was much better though in order to be able keep my leg back, as well as allowing me to comfortably sit back more.

    As for putting my hands on his withers, honestly my arms are too short and that makes me lean forward even more when I try to do that. My torso is longer than my arms/legs so I literally can't do that without having to lean forward. I do often use a martingale but I my arms practically are straight along with me leaning forward to reach it!

    Thanks again everyone. Appreciate your time!
         
        03-08-2013, 01:03 AM
      #16
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by tinyliny    
    your comment about the other person leasing also being in a chair seat is very telling. It can be due to the saddle, AND the build of the hrose. He may be really well sprung in the ribs, with a kind of "groove" in front of his big belly, such that it's really hard to keep your leg down under you , when it is being rolled forward into that groove, time after time.
    Could you take a photo of the horse, with saddle on, squared up on flat ground?

    The saddle looks like it is a little small for you. You saying that with the stirrups down one, you end up banging your ladybits onto the pommel, that tells me that the saddle might be too small for you in the seat. I think the saddle itself is making it hard for you to get out of the chair seat.

    THe upper body will go forward to compensate for a lower leg shifted forward, but sometimes it's viceversa. You know, chicken and egg thingy.
    One can see that the stirrup leather is not vertical, but ratehr angling forward, so you definitely have a forward push to your lower leg, but I dont' get the feeling that you are bracing, but ratehr that the saddle angles are putting you there.

    Being short legged on a round horse is going to make you feel a bit insecure becuase, as you said, you cannot get your leg around the horse at all. Have you ever tried riding him in a dressage saddle?

    IN any case, to ride as you are, you need to have really strong core muscles to have such balance, without being able to get your leg around the belly. It's a bit like being a jocky; you have to balance OVER the hrose and needs abs of steel. Get working! (just kidding. This comes from the woman with the Santa Claus belly; bowl full of jelly.)
    But seriously, you will need to be mentall focussed more on your core.

    Your elbows are a bit rigid in that video, and I guess it's becuase you are so focussed on your position for the filming. I suggest riding for short periods of time with the reins in one hand, so you cannot use the rein for balance at all. Switch out the reins from one hand to the other, while moving the "free" hand to various positions. ALL while keeping your upper body firmly engaged and still.

    Getting more forward out of the hrose will help in all of these things, but I am sure , as a school horse, he makes that a challenge. Can't really blame him.

    You look like a neat rider , careful of the hrose, polite to his mouth . I didn't see the nervous nelly, but I can see a certain air of stiffness . Try to do somethings that are fun enough that you don't have time to worry about falling or ? Like relay races , or other gymkhana stuff. It's great for laughing while becoming braver than normal.
    Thanks for all your thoughts, tinyliny. No, we don't have anything other than the all-purpose saddles so this is all I've got to work with. Would be very interesting to try a dressage one though. I rode in one once at a dressage barn (different horse), and OMG, best saddle ever!! Makes it almost tempting to do dressage just for the feeling you get riding in one of those. Totally different experience!!

    Interesting what you said about the core. I really tried to be more aware of it today - had to really in order to stay back and not let him pull me forward. I know I'm guilty of being really lazy in that way - part of the problem I think. I'm quite 'good' at riding in a permanent two-point. It requires very little effort on my part.

    Thanks again. You're right, I do need some 'fun stuff', both for me and him but unfortunately I can't take him anywhere. It's just me, him, and the ring, and the occasional show where I really get stiff and nervous!
         
        03-08-2013, 01:06 AM
      #17
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Deschutes    
    You don't need just your instructor to help. :) any willing person who will hold the line for you can do it.

    My instructor, when he lunges me, just holds it, and I need to control the horse.

    When you rise, the shoulder you want the diaganol on, should be forward. I forget which side of the shoulder to look for (its been years since I had a posting lesson).

    Bareback IS scary... At first. But the more you do it, the more confident you will feel, and the better rider you will be.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Thanks for the idea, Deschutes. I'll see if a friend of mine can do it for me. I did it a few times at a dressage barn and it was really helpful. Then I went back to my old hunter barn and reverted to my old habits!
         
        03-08-2013, 01:09 AM
      #18
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PunksTank    
    I'm madly in love with that horse! I think he must be my mare's twin brother Where is he so I can steal him ^^

    I think you look great. I do agree you're legs are compensating for you leaning forward. Canadians are just about the most comfortable bareback ride (outside of gaited horses) so take that saddle off! That will help line up your leg quite a bit. Try first just walking, focusing on your position and stay up nice and tall. Think of a string coming out of the top of your head pulling you straight up in the air. Roll your shoulders in backward circles to help open up your diaphragm and keep your breathing steady.
    Yes your diagonal was wrong a good deal of the video - definitely have your instructor work with you on that :) I had a terrible time learning diagonals with a saddle, I had to look constantly at the outside shoulder. It wasn't until I took some serious bareback lessons that I really learned to feel the diagonal. Even though it's very difficult to post bareback, the horse's motion really helps you post. :)
    Forgot to say thanks for the comments on my horse - and I'll never tell where he is! I think he's gorgeous too. I do love Canadians - such a nice ride! I can't wait until he slims down some more - but I'm happy to say I can already go up 3 more holes on his girth since that video so he's getting there!
         
        03-08-2013, 01:11 AM
      #19
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by kimj    
    Thanks for the input - and I'm not singling you out, just realized how I could do the 'quote' thing! LOL

    I'm just not sure I really am balancing off the reins. I work really hard not to do this, I can post just fine with no reins and remain balanced. I usually make sure to do part of my ride either on a loose rein and/or one arm reaching up, etc, just to make sure of that. Maybe I change my position once I take up contact again though?

    Interesting development though for anyone interested, I went for a ride today, lowered my stirrups a hole and really concentrated on pulling my shoulders back and what I discovered is just how heavy my horse is in my hands! I think part of it could be that he really pulls me forward because he leans into the bit. He's not bracing against it but just more being lazy I think. I had to work really hard to stay upright and not let him pull me forward and now seeing it differently, in the past I would have felt like I would have to give him his head more because I'm so conscious of not wanting to pull on his mouth, but this time I wouldn't let him get away with it so kept myself sitting more back than usual, did lots of half-halts, etc. It was hard work though! I may have to lengthen my reins a bit next time. Not sure if I need to demand him to be a bit lighter, or let him have his head with a bit of a longer rein (still contact, but maybe my short arms are making it too short contact with leaning back more). Not sure if that makes sense....

    The stirrups down a hole seemed to help too, but again I'm not sure if that will work for two-point work as I can barely clear the pommel when in two-point with them down the hole. Was much better though in order to be able keep my leg back, as well as allowing me to comfortably sit back more.

    As for putting my hands on his withers, honestly my arms are too short and that makes me lean forward even more when I try to do that. My torso is longer than my arms/legs so I literally can't do that without having to lean forward. I do often use a martingale but I my arms practically are straight along with me leaning forward to reach it!

    Thanks again everyone. Appreciate your time!
    Then you have to push your elbows down into your hips. I am 5'3 and have a similar problem. However, you have to figure out how to do it.
    Press your shoulders down, your elbows should graze your hip bones and then your hands will be able to touch the withers. This will also engage your core.
    The reason the horse is heavy in your hands is because your elbows are locked back into a pulling position. They need to press forward and down, along with your hands. Once your back is stronger and you are not using the arm to ride the horse, he will not be "strong" or "pull" on you because you are balanced and anchored and not using the reins to stay on.

    Good luck!
         
        03-08-2013, 03:24 AM
      #20
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~    
    Then you have to push your elbows down into your hips. I am 5'3 and have a similar problem. However, you have to figure out how to do it.
    Press your shoulders down, your elbows should graze your hip bones and then your hands will be able to touch the withers. This will also engage your core.
    The reason the horse is heavy in your hands is because your elbows are locked back into a pulling position. They need to press forward and down, along with your hands. Once your back is stronger and you are not using the arm to ride the horse, he will not be "strong" or "pull" on you because you are balanced and anchored and not using the reins to stay on.

    Good luck!
    Okay, thanks. Will try to do what you say with my shoulders/elbows, etc.
    Just a question though - he's heavy on the hand for all of us who ride him (three in total). Do you think we're all doing the same thing? Our instructor always says he's just trying to go into a frame (she uses draw reins on him herself sometimes) and that's what is causing the heaviness. We're just supposed to stay 'strong' and not let the heaviness pull us forward...

    Thanks for your time.
         

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