Please give critique/advice on my seat & position? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-18-2011, 09:24 AM Thread Starter
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Please give critique/advice on my seat & position?

I really know no one else knowledgable with horses, and I live in a very small town where lessons aren't really feasible. I ride. A lot. And I try to remember to sit up straight, keep heels down, keep the reins "elastic" to some extent, and never pull on her mouth unless I'm TRYING to tell her something. I try to steer with my leg pressure, and it's getting better but thats all I know on my own. SO...PLEASE CRITIQUE..

1.)How is my position?
2.) Is my saddle too small? Are my stirrups too short or just about right (I have this debate, and since I've never had someone show me waht "right" is, I always wonder.)
3.) My position with the reins (obviously..Im sort of posing here, but still?)?
4.) Am I doing anything glaringly obviously wrong?
5.) As far as my horses barrel vs my leg, etc, am I too big for her or just about right?

I only have still photo. I WISH I have a video of myself riding, but every time I ask anyone to take a video while I ride (so I can watch it and learn what I'm doing wrong before ti becomes complete muscle memory) my family says I'm a narcassist and self centered :( Getting them to take a still photo every few months is tough enough.
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Last edited by poultrygirl; 06-18-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-18-2011, 10:51 AM
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Overall, your design of position is good; you're sitting directly on your seat bones, with an flat, relaxed, upright back, and the correct line through your ear, shoulder, hip and heel.

To my eye, you're riding at the correct stirrup length for english hunt seat, and a little short for western. If you're going to be sitting the jog and lope, you may find this shorter stirrup pushs you up out of tack and makes it harder to maintain a deep seat. If you spend a lot of time out of the tack or standing in your stirrups, regardless of the type of saddle, then your stirrups are a good length. Pay attention to the amount of bend in your knee; and then look at other good western riders - you'll see that their knee angle is more open.

Can't tell about saddle size from these photos; but here's a general guideline. If you feel locked into the saddle, and there's no room to comfortably slide your seatbones forward and back with the horse's motion without bumping into the saddle swells, then yes, the saddle is too small.

I'm not going to critique your hand position as I'm not really sure what is correct in western equitation. In the second photo, your hands are high and artificiall looking, but I'm sure that's not where they are when the horse is moving.

For English equitation, you're slightly large for this horse. The height of your upper body is disproportionate, adn your leg is slightly too long for the horse's barrel. For Western eq, I think you're fine. For pleasure and trail riding, absolutely fine.

Nothing glaringly wrong.
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-18-2011, 11:15 AM Thread Starter
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She's mostly arab, and when I went to look at her she was advertised as "14.3". I think she's more 15 even. I'm 5'8". I weigh under 140. But I'm tall. Too tall! This (my height) sucks, because I don't like bigger horses, but I worry I'd be too big for most smaller horses. I'm seriously looking at a mare who's very talented, great conformation and bloodlines, shows a great deal of potential and jumps (something this mare cannot do due to an old injury) BUTTTTTT is 14.1 (supposedly). Should I give up on her, based on my height? it makes me want to cry! haha.

Last edited by poultrygirl; 06-18-2011 at 11:21 AM.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-18-2011, 01:07 PM
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Depends on what you want to do. If you mostly trail and pleasure ride, as long as you and the horse are both comfortable, then you're fine. If you plan on doing most western performance events, you're fine. If you want to show Western pleasure or western equitation or horsemanship, ehhhhhh, then you have to consider size and suitability.

I am 5' 7" and stout and I frequently ride a 14.2 bulldog-type QH. Not a pretty picture for the show ring, but for pleasure riding, it's just fine. The horse and I are both happy, and he's eager, forward moving and sound.

At 140 pounds, you're not too heavy for anything bigger than a light bodied medium pony. (Medium is 12.2 - 13.2) Whether or not you'd be comfortable or balanced riding something that small is a different questions.
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-18-2011, 03:45 PM
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You look pretty good for just riding by yourself! I had to do that for many years.

1) Although you do look good, I'd rather see some photos of you with the horse moving. Anyone can sit pretty on a still horse. ;)

2) I think the saddle fits you fine. Lots of room. For your horse though, it looks like it sits a bit low on her withers, but that could be from the angle of the photo. I think you could lengthen out your stirrups a good 3-4 holes.

3) Your hands and reins. I like the first photo better with the thumbs being on top and your hands/wrist/arm look more relaxed than in the second photo.

4) I don't notice anything glaring out at me that is wrong. With your seat, hip, or pelvis, it kind of looks like you're "perching" in the saddle. Try relaxing a bit at your lower back. Again, I could be misled by the angle of the photo.

5) I think you look okay on her. You're a good weight to match with her smaller size. If you let out your stirrups more, your legs might seem long on her but if you are in balance with her, you should be okay.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #6 of 8 Old 06-21-2011, 01:55 PM
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I would lengthen your stirrups for sure and put some weight and muscle on her but other than that looks good :) It's hard to tell from the photos but it looks like she could stand to gain some pounds she looks to be about a 4 on the BCS scale building muscle with help with this!

I wouldn't say you are too tall for her at all! Once she puts a bit of weight and muscle on it should be just right I would say. I'm 5'6 and a half and my mare is 15hh and here is what we look like and also here's a photo of me riding a friend's pony in a show.

So the paint is 15hh and the grey is only 14 hh hopefully this will be a good frame of reference for you...the fact that I look fine on a 14hh pony means that you should be fine on your 14.3 mare. Especially once she gets more weight on her.
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post #7 of 8 Old 06-22-2011, 02:19 AM
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Your position is good, except hands a bit rolled over. You could lower your stirrup one or two notches, probably one. Because the hrose does not have a deep chest and you have a long leg, you may not want to lower your leg TOO far because it will come below the place where it can be most effective for giving the aids. One notch maybe.

Your position is nice and uprgith and I think you are easy for this hrose to carry. Sorry, it's too late for me correct my typing errors.
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post #8 of 8 Old 06-24-2011, 12:31 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2010
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Im trying to fatten the lil critter up. Its a work in progress.

She looked like a tick when I got her, obese, then I had her teeth done and feet trimmed and we started riding..and she slimmed down, more than I woulds liked. I think equine senior may be a good idea? Anyone have an opinion?

I brought my stirrups down two notches the other day..and I can't believe that I actually feel better..posting seemed more natural and my feet stayed more where I wanted. Im trying to just give her turning aides with my calves, and its seems to be improving as she remembers what I want and I can focus on position and not hurt her mouth. Now if fixed her fits, that would be magic too!

Thanks you guys!
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