please critique my horse and I

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please critique my horse and I

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    02-12-2014, 02:03 PM
please critique my horse and I

Hello horseforum,

I would really like to get feedback on what we need to work on and perhaps have a starting point my girl and I can work from towards becoming a functional team. She has only had a handful of rides under her girth (mostly walking) however, she has spent a good deal of time ground driving and also has a bit of experience actually driving.
My riding is piss poor, I know my hands are all over the place as am I but, if anyone has any specifics they can point out so I can try to improve I would greatly appreciate it.

Please be as detailed and specific as possible so I can have a better understanding of what I'm doing wrong.

Thanks in advance.

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    02-12-2014, 02:19 PM
It's pretty hard to see. A zoom in would have made it easier to see, and it's hard to see you leg, being dark pants on a dark saddle.

Anyway, all my whining aside, your posting does not look well timed with the push of the horse's hind. Even at the very beginning, you actually take your first rise in posting before the hrose has even started trotting, so you are posting from your leg, rather than from the push of the horse.
The effect is that you post off of your knee, as a pivot point, with you leg seeming to be not carrying the weight it should . Any time you have a pivot point at the knee, the body weight does not travel down into the lower leg. It makes you less stable and prone to lurch forward if the horse stops suddenly.

I couldn't see very well, but I think your stirrups might need to come up one hole.

I know that her trot is probably rather hard to sit, but you might do some sitting trot work, so that you start to feel the push better and allow it to move you in the posting trot, rather than trying to create the posting on your own.

Also, the contact you have on her mouth is a bit "dead". I mean, you are not really achieving anything from it. She is not flexing at all to the rein.
I would probably give her more rein for awhile to just work on getting her more forward (which will make posting her easier), then, work on getting her accepting of contact and giving in her jaw and poll, but do that at the walk.
    02-12-2014, 02:21 PM
Also, what can I do to improve the stability of my leg? I have difficulty not posting from my stirrups/gripping with my knees and have no clue how to post without stirrups lol. What exercises can I do to improve this

thanks tinyliny!

I have been having the exact problem you described with the falling forward. Oddly, I have an easier time sitting the trot than posting it. However, I will take my stirrups off and give it another go!
    02-13-2014, 03:44 AM
Im not an expert by any means, but You appear to be working too hard at the trot, bring your leg back from the hip, relax you knees and get your weight into you heels. Maybe work in some 2 point position.
    02-13-2014, 04:39 AM
She looks like a very, calm, sweet girl!

I agree that you should try your stirrups up a hole...if they are a tad long it will contribute to your instability. It can make a huge difference having them the right length.

You working on your balance will also help her with her balance. A good exercise for getting your leg where it belongs is to practice some two point. If you fall forward your legs are too far back and if you fall back into the saddle your legs are too far forward.

When you are two pointing let your weight travel all the way down your leg and into your heel...don't pinch with your knee, work on keeping it soft and loose. When you sit back down don't let your lower leg move out of position, two point is a great way to check and see if your leg is where it should be.

When you pick up the trot you can sit for a beat or two and let your horse's thrust push you up out of the saddle. Also check your diagonal as it will help her be more balanced if you are on the correct diagonal when you are working on circles.

Think of your feet just resting in the stirrups rather than pushing from them. Push out of your heel and let your horse's thrust and your thigh help with the posting.

It would help your horse to do walk trot and walk halt transitions as well as the trot work. Make sure that when you ask for your down transition from the trot that you stop posting first and use your seat as well as stretching up and closing your fingers on the reins to help her. That way it will be a smoother transition.

You basically have a nice position and are actually pretty soft with your hands considering that there are balance issues right now. Best of luck!
    02-13-2014, 11:22 AM
Thanks so much everyone!

I rode my gelding yesterday who is a little more forgiving of my mistakes and we had a splendid time. I have a long ways to go however, we had a few a ha moments yesterday which, felt great.

Thanks so much for the pointers and exercises, I will be trying them all for sure over the next few days.
    02-13-2014, 01:40 PM
^ Great critique! Karla's way of explaining is so much better than mine. I need to try that two point for balance,too. It's hard to two point in a dressage saddle, though.
    02-14-2014, 05:00 PM
Also, I wanted to add that we have been doing w/t t/w and halt transitions however, my trainer felt she should work on trotting consistently (at a consistent pace) as her inclination is to go as slowly as possible.

Thanks so much again everyone!
    02-16-2014, 10:49 PM
Your horse is ADORABLE!

I agree you look unbalanced and it's hard to tell but the little white dots that might be your hands were moving around a lot..

I'd suggest just going on a loose rein around the perimeter of your arena in a nice, relaxed but still forward manner for a while, until you get your seat together and stay in a balanced position in all her gaits. Teaching her to evade the bit and hollow the back at this point would be bad :(
    02-17-2014, 11:05 AM
Diagonals. The only time you got on the correct one was when she stumbled and bumped you into it. And refer to Karla's wonderful post as I could never explain it that elegantly.

But, diagonals and forwardness in the trot, especially through your changes in direction as she kinda poops out on you there most of all.

Really cute girl.

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