Have I improved?

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Have I improved?

This is a discussion on Have I improved? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    02-16-2011, 02:13 PM
Have I improved?

So I was wondering if I improved any in 5 months.
Also please feel free to critique the most recent pictures.

These pictures are from September...

And these pictures are from last weekend 2/13.

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    02-16-2011, 02:26 PM
Green Broke
Your leg has come back under you more in the newer pics Erika, which is good....but it looks like you have more bend in your elbows in the older pics. Thumbs on top!

It looks like your mare was jumping over the pole instead of just cantering over it, so you should get off her back just a little bit more and give her just a smidgen of a release. Is she still being really excitable?
    02-16-2011, 02:33 PM
She was actually being well behaved that day, she was jumping the poles with her back legs for some reason.

I was practicing shortening and lengthening strides in between ground poles, and trying to keep her straight down lines. I never thought to treat ground poles as jumps...so I'll remember that for next time.

I don't know if you can tell, but I've developed this habit of dropping my inside shoulder...I can't seem to get over it. Any advice for that?
    02-16-2011, 02:43 PM
Green Broke
Well....if she was just cantering, you could just sit over them, but she looked like she was jumping over it.

Thats actually a very good excercise for both of you, and will be good for shows. If your goal is to be practicing for lines at a show, then pretend its a jump...but just staying slightly out of the saddle would be sufficient for it, since really....it is just a pole on the ground.

I didn't notice it, and after looking at the pics again, none of your shoulders seem down further then another. Is it more in the corners, or is it over jumps?

In the corners, just remember to stay in the center. Over jumps, just think about keeping your back straight and chest open.
    02-16-2011, 02:48 PM
She was cantering over the poles, but then would jump up with her back legs.

I usually drop my shoulder in the corners...I have a picture of it, and when I saw it I couldn't believe how titled I looked. I'm OK when I think about keeping my shoulder up, but I have to constantly think about doing it.
    02-16-2011, 02:51 PM
Green Broke
Put weight into your outside heel, and it *should* help you stay more in the center of your saddle, and help prevent dropping your shoulder.
    02-16-2011, 03:02 PM
Great! I'll try that.
    02-16-2011, 03:49 PM
Like mentioned above, your leg looks much better! The first few pictures showed an obvious chair seat, while in the other pictures your leg is nicely underneath you and looks much more stable. I agree on your arms, it looks like you're pushing your hands out in front of you. Work on softening those elbows.

As far as the leaning thing, you will have to constantly think about it at first until it becomes habit to keep that shoulder up. It may be something where your horse is more off balance and you're just following the motion. (just trying to think of why it may have developed) Just really think of staying straight up around every corner, and try to keep your horse balanced as well. You balancing will help with that, though. Dropping your shoulder will only cause your horse to also lean in.
    02-16-2011, 04:02 PM
Thanks Amlalriiee...you're right..around corners I drop my shoulder and so does the horse. So the two of us are tilted all over the place. She is off balance, I think that is why I started leaning...now I'm trying to get her to balance around corners and me dropping my shoulder is hindering her. Now when I ride I have to think..shoulders up.
    02-16-2011, 04:15 PM
If you put a bend in her around corners by lifting her inside shoulder (get her to flex her jaw on inside and put more inside leg on) she won't feel so unbalanced and you won't mimic her with your shoulder.
Get your elbow more connected to your core, get some softness in her jaw.
Your leg postiion is better. Head too.

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