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Its Been a While [English Flatwork Video]

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    12-07-2011, 02:19 PM
  #21
Yearling
Clava - Unfortunately I rode bareback so much that I have habits that are hard to break. He used to be so sensitive to any leg cues so I always rode bareback with no leg on him at all. I found balance in my seat, I did my best to not grip with anything. A few trainers think its rather odd that I'm able to ride bareback well enough to stay on without any lower leg contact. But who knows. I just know as soon as we start going within a minute I'm back to that position and I can't find out how to get under myself again, have to go to a walk then start again. Though I don't know, I've never watched myself with a saddle without stirrups. Maybe I should try and video tape that next time.

I have very short calf muscles/tendons. Years of walking on my toes...I'm getting more flexible but just not quite there yet. So in order to keep them from riding up I feel like they have to be shoved down. If I just relaxed my foot is parallel to the ground and I can not keep any sort of balance.

[[I'm not trying to say your wrong...just explaining what I feel when I try]]

Corporal - If he looks calm then we did a good job! He isn't a calm horse, and he was tense this day. But thank you so much for the compliment on him. I love to hear that he looks calm and knows his cues, because it means all of my training is starting to pay off. He's come a long way from the hot greenish 14 year old I got nine years ago.

I am hoping to be getting some lunge lessons eventually on a different horse. I agree that I need to work on not depending on my hands. Unfortunately Jake can't exactly be rode on a loose rein in a snaffle. He gets nervous without feeling the bit, and eventually would be galloping full out around the arena. He also tends to run into things/side swing things and motorcycle around turns enough that he has fallen more than a few times. He runs himself into the ground, there is no tiring this horse out. He would run until he collapses, I've tried it a few times and had to give up when he starts tripping at a gallop because he refuses to slow down but couldn't bring his legs high enough to clear the ground.

Posting with my hands in front of the pommel created more problems then they solved for me. I had a trainer have me do that for about 5 months. Since then I've been spending many months trying to get rid of my habit of leaning forward, and I still bounced when I raised my hands. So I just have to work on it some other way.

I'll try the relaxing walk thing, sounds like it would be good for us anyways. EDIT : I agree with Tiny about the straight elbow thing though. Its already straight enough as is, that's something I have to get rid of.

If I'm not thinking about it I go back to bad old habits. I'm a western/barrel rider gone english. So going back to old habits is bad bad bad. Lol But what do you mean by cross-training?
     
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    12-07-2011, 02:27 PM
  #22
Super Moderator
Did you used to do barrels on Jake?
I ask because it occured to me that riding him western for a while might be a good change for the two of you. You'd be riding with a longer leg and more on your seatbones, less in a half seat position, and he'd be encouraged to drop his head and (whenever possible) ride with a loose rein. Riding western helped me a lot. I learned how to ride a horse without having constant direct contact to the mouth, and not clamp with my legs.
BTW, I don't see a real issue of you jamming your feet forward so very much into the stirrup. It's not obvious to me.
Wallaby and Corporal like this.
     
    12-07-2011, 02:28 PM
  #23
Green Broke
You won't be able to maintain totally straight arms bc your arms will get tired, but you'll get the straight elbow through the reins to the bit if you straighten your arms by thinking "totally straight." I see hands pulled towards the chin with bent elbows as a major riding fault. It makes it impossible to check your horse if he suddenly breaks. It's really a physics question. You need to have leverage and bent elbows take this away. Also, it softens your feel of the horse's mouth. When I direct rein my 5 yo's I am constantly adjusting my rein length according to what my young horse is doing. Try this, too. =D
     
    12-07-2011, 02:33 PM
  #24
Green Broke
"Cross training" is just finding a fun activity to do with your horse to either strengthen muscles on both of you, or break up boredom, or just break a cycle where you've both hit a plateau. International athletes cross train. Skiers swim in the summer, runners play soccer--YOU get the picture. Does anybody at your barn have one of those huge horse balls? If so, you could get 3 others together and teach your horses "horse soccer."
     
    12-07-2011, 02:40 PM
  #25
Super Moderator
I understnd the need to feel balanced with you heels rammed down, but you need to find balance without doing that, by pushing your leg forward you in a braced off balance position and what you need to be in is a relaxed neutral balance. I too have ridden a lot bareback and I also take up a chair seat when bareback, but you have to consciously bring your leg back, no gripping or tensing to avhieve a good position. TBH until your position is balanced you can't really work on hand position or the horses collection. You are so nearly in the correct place, it wouldn't take much to transform how you and your horse goes, find a good dressage instructor and you'll be away
     
    12-07-2011, 02:43 PM
  #26
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
You won't be able to maintain totally straight arms bc your arms will get tired, but you'll get the straight elbow through the reins to the bit if you straighten your arms by thinking "totally straight." I see hands pulled towards the chin with bent elbows as a major riding fault. It makes it impossible to check your horse if he suddenly breaks. It's really a physics question. You need to have leverage and bent elbows take this away. Also, it softens your feel of the horse's mouth. When I direct rein my 5 yo's I am constantly adjusting my rein length according to what my young horse is doing. Try this, too. =D
Sorry, but bent elbows are not a fault (although hands at your chin is lol), there should be a direct line from the elbow to the horse's mouth but not straight arms. Hands should be carried unless opening wide to school a young and green horse. Totally agree that you need constant adjustments though of the rein length.
     
    12-07-2011, 02:47 PM
  #27
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny    
Did you used to do barrels on Jake?
I ask because it occured to me that riding him western for a while might be a good change for the two of you. You'd be riding with a longer leg and more on your seatbones, less in a half seat position, and he'd be encouraged to drop his head and (whenever possible) ride with a loose rein. Riding western helped me a lot. I learned how to ride a horse without having constant direct contact to the mouth, and not clamp with my legs.
BTW, I don't see a real issue of you jamming your feet forward so very much into the stirrup. It's not obvious to me.
I did. I do ride western every now and then as a nice break. It fixes a lot of my issues and is a nice relaxing progress, but they don't seem to transfer back and forth between the two. He also likes his western bit more than the snaffle. I use a wonder bit on him for western and he actually does pretty good on a loose rein on that, but its a different finesse for a snaffle and keeping the contact. The wonderbit has a lot of give and take with the large sliding mouth piece. I'll try and get western video too, its hard to explain between the two.
     
    12-07-2011, 02:54 PM
  #28
Yearling
Quote:
You won't be able to maintain totally straight arms bc your arms will get tired, but you'll get the straight elbow through the reins to the bit if you straighten your arms by thinking "totally straight." I see hands pulled towards the chin with bent elbows as a major riding fault. It makes it impossible to check your horse if he suddenly breaks. It's really a physics question. You need to have leverage and bent elbows take this away. Also, it softens your feel of the horse's mouth. When I direct rein my 5 yo's I am constantly adjusting my rein length according to what my young horse is doing. Try this, too. =D
I'm sorry but personally I'm going to have to disagree. If you don't have a bend in your elbows (I fail to how to be soft and move with the horse) For example when you post you elbow should be folding/unfolding (slightly) to keep your hands in place while your body moves. I have straight arms, and I have troubles keep soft hands while I post and moving with the horse at a walk/canter. Not super bent, but I agree with the straight line from bit to wrist to elbow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporal    
"Cross training" is just finding a fun activity to do with your horse to either strengthen muscles on both of you, or break up boredom, or just break a cycle where you've both hit a plateau. International athletes cross train. Skiers swim in the summer, runners play soccer--YOU get the picture. Does anybody at your barn have one of those huge horse balls? If so, you could get 3 others together and teach your horses "horse soccer."
Horse soccer - YouTube
Jake is a beast at horse soccer. Just gotta say that. Unfortunately no big balls at this stables.
     
    12-07-2011, 02:58 PM
  #29
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clava    
I understnd the need to feel balanced with you heels rammed down, but you need to find balance without doing that, by pushing your leg forward you in a braced off balance position and what you need to be in is a relaxed neutral balance. I too have ridden a lot bareback and I also take up a chair seat when bareback, but you have to consciously bring your leg back, no gripping or tensing to avhieve a good position. TBH until your position is balanced you can't really work on hand position or the horses collection. You are so nearly in the correct place, it wouldn't take much to transform how you and your horse goes, find a good dressage instructor and you'll be away
Makes sense, I'll see what I can do about relaxing more. I'm somewhat hoping its a time thing to. I have to work to establish the habit, then relax into the habit with time. I've just started establishing my lower leg control and balance recently. So we will see.

I've been trying to find one! Unfortunately I've been unhappy with most I have come across, or can't afford the ones that look spectacular or they won't travel to my stables. I'm going to keep looking.
     
    12-07-2011, 03:08 PM
  #30
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by Horsesdontlie    
Makes sense, I'll see what I can do about relaxing more. I'm somewhat hoping its a time thing to. I have to work to establish the habit, then relax into the habit with time. I've just started establishing my lower leg control and balance recently. So we will see.

I've been trying to find one! Unfortunately I've been unhappy with most I have come across, or can't afford the ones that look spectacular or they won't travel to my stables. I'm going to keep looking.

My RI is Mary Wanless trained (Ride With Your Mind) and she is fantastic, make sure you get someone who gets you to sort and balance your body so the horse can perform not someone who just says " make the horse do this or that". Once your body is doing the right things then the horse will want to move into the correct shapes
     

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