Getting there?
 
 

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Getting there?

This is a discussion on Getting there? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

     
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        02-22-2011, 03:43 AM
      #1
    Weanling
    Getting there?

    I feel like Caleigh and I are doing so much better the more I ride her. She listens to me really well, but we are still working on the hanging on the bit issue. Some days she barely does it and some days she is bad, just depends.

    But anyway what do you think?

    She has filled out a lot too, looks so much better weight and muscle wise. She is getting bred next month! I can't wait.


    ^^ I was gathering my reins :]

    ^^ I actually have no idea what happened here. I am assuming she probably dropped onto the bit really hard which pulls me forward in the saddle because I am not expecting it. But I am not really sure lol.





         
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        02-22-2011, 10:23 AM
      #2
    Started
    I have to say, you guys make a great pair! :) You look very confident riding her.

    The biggest thing I notice (besides her...lol) is your upper body and arms. In the first few pictures you are sacrificing correct upper body position and arm angle for short reins. As you can tell in the later pictures, the reins have slid out for a more appropriate length and your arm position has returned more normal.

    From your elbow through your hand, you want a nice straight line from your elbow to the bit. From your elbow to your shoulder, you want a more natural position. Not so it looks like the horse is pulling you out of the saddle. I vertical line to more in front is good. Doing this allows there to be some give in your arms. If you elbows are locked and your whole arm is straight, it is very easy for the horse to pull on you and pull you out of the saddle. Having a bend in your elbow allows the horse to mess with the bit and for you to have control without losing your position.

    Get those thumbs on top and close those fingers! :) A nice quick stop and you could jamb your fingers into her neck. Believe me, I've had it happen.

    I really like that you are trying to be tall and keeping your head up. I say keeping you head up because it still looks like you're looking down in most of the pictures. Not sure how you're managing that one because for most of us, when we look down, our head goes down too. ;)

    I have to say, your leg position is great! You are keeping your leg underneath you and your posting looks really natural and you are using your thighs instead of your whole leg to post. I would still practice keeping those heels down just a touch more because they look really nice in the first picture when she's standing still. :)

    Otherwise, great job! Can't wait to see more pictures.
         
        02-22-2011, 11:09 PM
      #3
    Banned
    BEND ELBOWS!!! I have the exact same prob. LOVELY HORSE!!!!!!!!
         
        02-23-2011, 01:58 AM
      #4
    Started
    Hey girly!
    Just wanted to let you know Caleigh did really well today! She only hung a little bit but once she woke up a bit (I found her sleeping in the sun with Legacy), she was light in my hands and worked under me. When you're out next you shouldn't have any hanging problems. I think she was just feeling really lazy on Sunday! I'm going to work with her a bit more this week and next time you're out I'll bring that extra camera for you!
         
        02-23-2011, 02:31 AM
      #5
    Weanling
    Thanks so much drafts :] I love riding her no matter what though lol. She could pull on me till I fell outta the saddle and I would still love her lol.

    My elbows don't bend anymore...I try but if she is having a heavy day it is impossible to keep them bent all the way. What is the reasoning behind it anyway? If there really any significance other than the fact that some snooty english rider somewhere decided it was proper to ride that way? I mean it isn't like I ride with my elbows locked straight, I ride with a slight bend but not overly exaggerated.

    Thanks Gemini :] I am working on my hands issue. It is like I will start off gripping the reins with closed hands and then I will glance down and notice they are opened again lol. As for heels I am working on those too. Thank you a bunch for the critique though, I am able to notice the things you pointed out when I look at the pictures as well. Also thank you for the compliments :] Always makes it easier when someone points out the good and the bad lol. Overall thank you though, your critique was helpful in solidifying some of my thoughts.
         
        02-23-2011, 03:04 AM
      #6
    Started
    Between the first pictures ever and these new ones there's been huge improvement. I think she needed those few weeks off. She planned that abscess silly girl. Just kidding. Haha.
         
        02-23-2011, 11:24 AM
      #7
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NordicJuniper    
    My elbows don't bend anymore...I try but if she is having a heavy day it is impossible to keep them bent all the way. What is the reasoning behind it anyway? If there really any significance other than the fact that some snooty english rider somewhere decided it was proper to ride that way? I mean it isn't like I ride with my elbows locked straight, I ride with a slight bend but not overly exaggerated.
    Actually, there is a reason why there should be good bend in the elbows. Especially for you since this horse seems a bit heavy on the hands, you should keep this in mind. Having good bend in your arm/elbows is kind of the same concept as shock absorbers on anything. If there is bend in your elbows and the horse pulls the reins out of your hand, it isn't going to effect your upper body position very much. The same way shock absorbers on a car allow you to have a somewhat steady and comfortable ride over potholes and other various bumps. Bend in your elbows allows you to use your muscles to your advantage, allows you to have a give and take feel on your horse's mouth, and helps keep your upper body position stable. If your elbows are locked or pretty close to it, it is very easy for a horse like yours with a heavy head to either pull the reins out of your hands or pull your whole body forward.

    Sorry if I sounded mean, but I was told this ALOT because when I first started riding, I had horrible bend in my elbows. The more though that I actually listened to what people where telling me and the more horses I rode, I really came to realize that bend in my elbows is very important.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by NordicJuniper    
    Thanks Gemini :] I am working on my hands issue. It is like I will start off gripping the reins with closed hands and then I will glance down and notice they are opened again lol. As for heels I am working on those too. Thank you a bunch for the critique though, I am able to notice the things you pointed out when I look at the pictures as well. Also thank you for the compliments :] Always makes it easier when someone points out the good and the bad lol. Overall thank you though, your critique was helpful in solidifying some of my thoughts.
    With the issue of your hands starting closed around the reins and then later through the ride you notice they are open, I think I might know what's causing that. You said this horse is heavy on the hands, right? Well, I think its either from the horse always pulling the reins out of your hands or because she is so heavy, you are trying to keep a light contact on the reins (open fingers) in hopes of her staying light in your hands.

    Keeping light contact on the reins doesn't really make a horse light on the forehand and light in the mouth. There should always be a slight weight in the reins but she should never be pushing against the bit. To get her off your hands, you need to help her along with your legs. Its hard to practice this while posting so if you want to give this a go, so you'll want to sit the trot. Use your legs and seat to drive her forward--no pumping with the seat--into the bit. Tickle the reins a bit with your fingers to loosen the bit up in her mouth. Do not seesaw the reins or jerk on her mouth. If this isn't working for you, try talking to your trainer about it. ;)
         
        02-23-2011, 02:08 PM
      #8
    Started
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GeminiJumper    

    Keeping light contact on the reins doesn't really make a horse light on the forehand and light in the mouth. There should always be a slight weight in the reins but she should never be pushing against the bit. To get her off your hands, you need to help her along with your legs. Its hard to practice this while posting so if you want to give this a go, so you'll want to sit the trot. Use your legs and seat to drive her forward--no pumping with the seat--into the bit. Tickle the reins a bit with your fingers to loosen the bit up in her mouth. Do not seesaw the reins or jerk on her mouth. If this isn't working for you, try talking to your trainer about it. ;)
    See here's the thing.
    I've had Caleigh for two years and she has ALWAYS been heavy. I've had her in full training with two different trainers for the first year I had her as well as taking lessons every day to improve on myself with my horse. These trainers are well known in my area and have trained and ridden extensively in every dicipline of riding and they cannot get her on the bit. At a show, it's a completely different story. She's on the bit for me, picks herself up and moves under me.

    I myself have been riding for 19 years. Caleigh is just a very heavy horse and her body build alone makes it hard for her to get on the bit. Her previous owner said the same thing and her breeder said the same thing about her even in cart and harness.

    When she is having a great day or at a show she lightens up but at home, no. I've had numerous people tell me, drive her with your seat, use cues. I have invited a few out to give it a try and they couldn't do it. She is EXTREMELY stubborn and believe me we have tried all options of getting her on the bit.
    I think she pulls on others more than me because I'm Mom and she gets in a lot of trouble if she's hanging consistently on me. However she is just a very heavy horse.

    Also take into consideration she is relatively long backed for a Clydesdale and in whole drafts have not been bred to be light on the forehand. For drafts that are in the show arena for dressage and some for jumping I've noticed have a slightly shorter back and more upright build. I'm guessing this helps with getting on the bit. However in general drafts are not built to be fancy dressage movers and because of size alone it is generally harder to get them on the bit. That is A LOT of horse to get underneath. They have been bred to pull and use their body to their advantage. Before riding she was strictly cart and harness and I'm the only owner she's had so far that has had her strictly under saddle. She's 11 years old now and has only been under saddle for the two that I've had her. She was barebacked before I bought her but was never worked, just ridden around at a walk and jog.

    Between now and the first time NordicRider rode Caleigh there has been a huge improvement. There's always room to improve with everybody but other than the straight arms Caleigh was relatively light the day the pictures were taken.
         
        02-23-2011, 02:19 PM
      #9
    Started
    Ps: that wasn't meant to come off as know it ally or rude.
         
        02-23-2011, 08:38 PM
      #10
    Started
    I didn't take offense to it at all. You were just letting me know more about the horse and that's fine. More info the better. I understand that draft horse are harder to get light on the forehand but that's no reason for her to be heavy in the bit. If you and NordicJuniper aren't concerned about making her light on the forehand, that's fine and up to you. Every horse responds differently to different riders and apparently you can get her going well, but for the OP, I was giving out advice on how to get the horse off her hands. :)
         

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