Horse and Rider Critique please! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Missoula, MT
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Horse and Rider Critique please!

Best shot I could get from my phone of him. Slightly at an angle and not exactly square. I'd be interested to hear what you can from this shot though.

Here's what I see:
  • My stupid elbows which I need to bend more to keep a straight line to the bit. Keep my hands out of my crotch.
  • Piano hands. Keep my pinkies closed and thumbs up.
  • Keep my lower back straighter. Engage my core and sit more on my seat than directly on my pubic bone. It's improved, but still needs work. SIT in the saddle.
  • A bit more release over the jumps. Get power going to them and then give more rather than less release. I'm pretty good about letting the reins slide through my fingers if I feel I'm too tight, but I want this to become more automatic.

I feel like my lower leg is strong. Because of my time off, it slips forward a little sometimes towards the end of my ride, but overall I think it is good. I'd love some feedback though on me and Chelley :)
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Bump. :)

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post #3 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 09:46 PM
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In the first pic you need to have a little more bend in your elbows and turn your toes in alot and stick your heels down hard! You could probably have your stirrups let down a few notches to give a little more lower leg stablility as well. in the cantering pic as a result of your toes, you are allowing yourself to rise up out of the saddle and then letting your core become stiff and tip forward. Try sitting deeper and turning your tos in and your heels down again, sink into your saddle and work on not rising up so much. Again, lower the stirrups a little

Jumping: I see quite a solid position! But your feet are too far in your stirrups and your toes are pointing out. I think your release is good in the first pic but the second one your could have a little more and bend your elbows to help.

Well done for recognising your faults and lovely horse!

Cross Country- The act of hurling yourself and your equine partner at a stationary object with poise and grace while attempting to survive...
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 10:37 PM Thread Starter
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Good catch. On the bay horse my stirrups were a bit to short so I was fighting with them quite a bit. On the red guy I had them at the top hole and was still stretching for them a little.

I'll work on the toes thing as I hadn't caught that! :)
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-17-2011, 10:51 PM
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Cross Country- The act of hurling yourself and your equine partner at a stationary object with poise and grace while attempting to survive...
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-18-2011, 12:42 AM
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Pic #2 Stirrups look super short! But you already mentioned that. Other then that I'd say close your fingers, thumbs on top and look up! Overall you look pretty good to me on the flat!

In your jumping photos - I like the first photo! You're looking ahead and you seem to have a pretty good release, just keep those fingers closed!
I'd also work on getting your leg under you a bit more, and pushing your heels down.

I think in general you've already pointed out what you need to fix/work on. Good job!:)

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post #7 of 15 Old 06-18-2011, 01:19 AM
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I will only speak on the shots in the dressage saddle.

It looks like that saddle might be too small for you, no? Your knee is almost over the knee rolls and somehow it looks like you can't find that spot in the saddle where your seatbones are "home". That may be a factor for why your ARE rolled onto your pubic bone too much.

Try so work just walking and while horse is going along nicely, really think about plugging your seatbones in such that they point STRAIGHT down. Think aobut your upper body riding not your horse, but your own seatbones. In order to not fall off those two little points , you have to be balanced right over them, the same way a circus performer, who carries a long stick balanced on his palm can keep it from falling as long at the top of the stick is perfectly over the bottom of the stck. Ride your own pelvis.

While you do this , think of your elbows as riding right over, I mean kind of hovering over, your hips. Then, think of your heart as breaking the air FIRST as you go forward. When you get this, breathe, enjoy and know that you will need to recapture it over and over again as you move. We all do.

I love how you look up, and seem to be having fun!
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-18-2011, 01:22 AM Thread Starter
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I am certainly having fun! :)

I like the way you described getting me to sit more correctly in the saddle. Neither of these saddles are mine, they belong to his owner (which is why until I can get my own stirrup leathers I may be stuck riding in slightly longer than comfortable stirrups).

It may be partially the saddle, but I do have a bad habit of sitting up on my pubic bone.

I'll give this all a go tomorrow :)
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-18-2011, 09:32 AM
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Looks like you are having fun, your horses are lovely and I love that you are looking up and ahead while jumping!

Just to add to what has already been mentioned:

In the first jumping picture it appears as though you are pinching at your knee which is detracting from your lower leg strength. Your knee should not be gripping in any way over obstacles, all your weight should be in your heels which helps to solidify your lower leg even more and allow your hip angles to open/close quite naturally over the jump itself. Gripping at the knee stiffens your whole lower body and makes it hard to just absorb the jump naturally using your two point position.

Whilst the angle for the second picture isn't ideal, it seems as if you are slightly ahead of the motion, your hip angle is a little too open and I would hazard a guess that this could be helped by releasing at the knee, sinking into the stirrup and allowing the jump to come to you, thus closing the angles rather than trying to do it yourself.

Keep up the good work though, what a mouth watering course you have there!

All horses deserve, at least once in their lives, to be loved by a little girl.

Last edited by sarahver; 06-18-2011 at 09:34 AM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-18-2011, 12:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! I'm headed out in a few hours to try it again so I'll try to put all these things in practice. I think bringing my stirrups down a bit will help my lower leg a lot. Unfortunatly I won't have a photographer today, but I'll see if it feels any better than last lesson.
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