Quick, One Picture, Flat Work Critique :)

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Quick, One Picture, Flat Work Critique :)

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    05-24-2011, 11:05 AM
Quick, One Picture, Flat Work Critique :)

First, no comments on my lack of helmet. I was done riding and my hair was falling out of my helmet, so I took it off to fix my hair while my horse walked around and relaxed. Then, my boyfriend came down and I decided I wanted a quick picture.

Anyways, about the horse... This is my 8 year old OTTB, Bean. He just recently got over a suspensory issue, and was declared sound to begin work by my vet. We're taking everything very slowly and have been working from the ground up with his training. At this point in training, we're only doing W/T work. So, the picture is of us trotting.

Tell me what you think.

(Also, I know my heel should be down, I'm not sure why it isn't...)

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    05-24-2011, 11:48 AM
Well i'll jump in. You guys overall look pretty good. Your a bit tipped forward which is probably why your heel came up a bit. The whole picture looks a bit tense to me, which is understandable with your boy coming back into work. But I would say instead of you putting him in a frame, ask him to stretch down and into the bit. This will also help him use the muscles along his top line. In this pic he just looks like he's a bit behind the vertical and not engaging from behind. Your wrists are a bit bent and it makes his frame look very forced and as if your 'holding' his head there......
    05-24-2011, 12:00 PM
Love the purple and don't sweat the helmet issue! I concur with Tamibunny. Nice looking fella, good luck with his progress.
    05-24-2011, 12:02 PM
Yeah, I'm not really fighting to hold his head there, (but I see it too!), I was kind of playing with the reins with my hands, I know, I should be using my fingers, not my wrists, to get him to bring his head down. He's a huge fan of going with his head held high. Not like spazzy high, but just has a naturally high set head. We do spend our warmup time going long and low though (well, his version of long and low) I'll post a picture of how he used to go...

But he's actually really soft in the mouth and doesn't pull or hang on my hands until he starts to get tired.

Thanks for the critique though! I'll try working on what you said.

I know he doesn't have a bridle, but that's the best picture I have of how he naturally holds his head.

    05-24-2011, 02:04 PM
To get him to bring his head down and relax try flexing him from side to side instead of fiddling with your hands, if he still doesnt give sponge your inside hand and inside leg to push him into your outside rein and relax. And remember you have to have him pushing from behind before you can ask him to go into a "frame"
    05-24-2011, 04:22 PM
He looks really sweet I like him, Did you get to do much with him before he got injured?
    05-24-2011, 09:06 PM
We do that as well. :) I really just do everything to play with the reins to keep myself from tensing and remind him that relaxing is better than hanging and pulling.

Thanks for liking the purple! We always match. Haha.

As for the progress before, we were schooling 2'3 courses and just doing basic loose rein flat work. I know it's horrible to say, but it took until he got hurt for me to decide to make him learn how to work like a real horse. He was just my play around pony before.
    05-27-2011, 05:34 AM
Your whole body is kinda scrunching together your leaning forward and looking down, your hands are too low and you need to push your heels down a bit more.
Think push those heels down, lift those hands, sit up straight and look up, you look like you have a nice long body for riding so show it off!

In terms of the horse, I think he needs a bit more activity, he is round through the neck but it looks more like he is leaning into your hands and on the forehand, rather than pushing with his hindquarters and carrying himself. Make sure your pushing him forward into your hands. Your better off pushing him into firm but giving hands (not holding, but contact), asking with a bit of inside flexion through your wrist and bending with his inside rein. Its good to be light and playing with your hands, but watch you don't go too far in this direction and end up 'snatching', that is giving and taking jerkingly, it might get him to drop his head but it will never get him firm and steadily on the bit. I only say this because its a very nasty habit I've gotten into that I *just*can't*break*!

I hope that actually makes sense, I don't think I explained it very well:)
And sorry if it sounds mean, I feel like I've been really critical! He looks like a lovely horse and if you just straighten up you'll have a really nice position

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