Rider Critique! :) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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Rider Critique! :)

Kay, so. I already know that I need to move my butt back deeper into the saddle in my two point. So please tell me anything and everything else. :)

Oh, and sorry most of the pictures are not shot from the side. =/ They are all I have. As of now.
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gabrielstriumph is offline  
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 08:01 PM
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You look great just need to give you reins some slack,
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 08:08 PM
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I disagree. To me it looks like you have contact, but not at all tight. Maybe a bit more release over the jumps, but other wise it's good.

The thing that stands out to me is that you are using the back of your lower leg to squeeze. I'd suggest working on turning your toes in and using your inner calf to squeeze This will give you a more stable leg, and allow you to wrap around the horse
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 08:18 PM
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I'm just going to comment on your pictures on the flat.
Your leg has slipped back, which has caused your upper body to sit at an awkward angle. You need to bring your leg forward so that it's resting at the girth. This will allow you to sit back at a more natural angle. Bring your shoulders back, and lift your hands up so that you can take more of a contact and rock him back onto his haunches, instead of lowering your hands and allowing him to trot on his forehand.
In your last cantering picture, you are leaning towards the inside. Try to sit more towards the middle and keep your weight more in your outside stirrup through turns. This will help both you and your horse remain more balanced.
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-26-2009, 08:24 PM
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If you use a Full Cheek Snaffle, you should have the keepers as well. The Full Cheek was designed to sit a certain way inside the horses mouth with the keepers, when you use the full cheek without the keepers, the bit is not sitting correctly in your horses mouth and not being used properly.


Your jumping picture,

Yes, you are correct - you have thrown yourself up and forward over your horses motion at the base of the fence. See how much space is between your seat and the saddle? See how your crotch is over your pommel - yes, you are jumping ahead.

When you do that, you make your horses job that much difficult because you've now tossed all of your bodies weight onto your horses forehand

It is up to us as the rider, to not only support and aid our horses to the fence, but to stay out of their way to do their job - we must always remain over their center of gravity - we must allow our horses to lift us out of our tack through their motion, their movement.

As already mentioned, you are using the incorrect placement of your leg. You want to be riding on the inside part of your calf, not the outside. You have also lost your lower leg - we must ride wrapped around our horses, not just be ontop. By doing this - we accomplish in aiding our horses and supporting our horses to the base of the fence, over the fence and after the fence.

By being wrapped around our horses girth, we aid our horses to remain round, rhythmic, lifted up into our seats and - it solidify's our form over the fence.

Lots of 2 point work, stirrupless work and - Lunge Line Work with no reins. This will solidify your seat and your lower leg - it is about muscle memory.

Your upper body is drastically over used - again, this is due to the loss of your lower leg, your lower leg flung back, your upper body flings forward. Remember, it is our horses job to close the angle - not yours.

Remain supportive of your horse - it is your horses job to jump, not yours. Your job is to get your horse to the base of that fence in a rhythmic, fluid movement, while keeping them round and engaged - it is their job to do the rest.

You know that fence is there, your horse knows that fence is there - so why focus on it? Focus on what is the most important part of riding - your horse.


Your flat pictures -

Carry your hands, they are much too low. You want to beable to lift your horse up into your aids, you want to have functional arms as well as a functional seat and legs.

When we carry our hands low, we promote horses to move on their forehand, to be heavy and - that energy you create through your seat and legs, gushes out of your horses chest instead of recycling back through.

Our seats are there to ride our horses back end. Our legs are there to ride our horses ribs/spine and our hands are there to ride our horses shoulders. Ride inside leg into outside rein.

Ask your coach about this :)
MIEventer is offline  
post #6 of 11 Old 05-27-2009, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm wow, thanks guys for all the critiques, a lot of this goes against with what my trainer has told me.

1dog3cats17rodents: UGH. yes, it's my worst habit in the world. I will definitely work on pointing toes forward and gripping with inside. :)

Quixotic: I agree with what you say, and let me tell you, I usually do sit back at a very relaxed angle, but my trainer harps and harps on me, to tilt my upper body forward, and it's very uncomfortable to me, and I don't know what exactly and why exactly she wants me to do this.

MIEventer: Thanks for explaining everything and stuff. Question, and please be honest. What level of rider would you classify me as? Beginner, intermediate, advanced?

AND, most importantly, should I be jumping these higher jumps, like 3 ft? Or should I completely go back down to just crossrails? It completely goes against my belief for the rider to be unable/or too incompetant to jump higher jumps and yet they are doing them anyways. I do not want to progress with my riding when I'm not ready?

I DO NOT want to be riding with people saying "Oh dear, she should not be jumping these jumps! Look how far back that lower leg is!" Or should I remain at the height I am at and focus on my problems there?
Thanks! :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-27-2009, 01:56 PM
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It isn't the height of the fence that counts, it is the quallity of the fence that counts.

I would highly recommend going on the Lunge Line - Reinless.

At the Spanish Riding School, riders are put on the Lunge Line for a full year before they are given the reins - no wonder they have such phenominal seats and legs.

GP Level riders go on the lunge line to tweak themselves, I go on the Lunge Line to tweak myself as well - the Lunge Line is a GREAT way to repair, fix, correct, train, re-educate, educate our seats, legs, body position and re-establish the more important parts of our bodies when we ride.

Go on the Lunge Line, reinless - and start working on feeling your horse. Feel his rhythm, feel his movement. Learn to grasp a natural feel for where you are, and where your horse is.

Work on balance, work on your lower leg, work on your seat and the rest of your body - to remain with your horses center of gravity, to remain functional. I promise you, you will quickly find your seat and figure out how it is supposed to work, and your legs in accordance with your seat. You will learn to control your horses tempo and rhythm through your seat and through your legs.

Then, when you establish that - merge to Trot Poles and Cavaletti's. Remain with your horses motion, rhtyhm, movement and learn to allow your horse to move you while you remain over your hoses center of gravity.

Then, move to x rails - same thing. Learn to focus on your horse - where you are, where he is. Learn to ride his rhythm and allow his movement to move you.

When you learn to stay with your horse, when you learn to allow your horse to do his job, when you learn to stay over his center of gravity and allow him to move you - then you are ready to go back to 3'0" and bigger.

That's my suggestion. It works like a charm -and you will become one strongly established rider who will knock the socs off of other riders in the show ring.

I DO NOT want to be riding with people saying "Oh dear, she should not be jumping these jumps! Look how far back that lower leg is!" Or should I remain at the height I am at and focus on my problems there?
Thanks! :)
I wouldn't be too worried about what others think. Believe it or not - many don't know what proper equitation is because they aren't being taught properly themselves.

Uneducated are teaching the uneducated.

Again - it isn't about the height of the fence that matters, it is the quallity of the fence that does. GM Preaches this all the time and I highly agree with him.

Rememer, we are here to represent our sport to the best of our abillites. Our horses as well. We are a team, we must work together. If you are out, so is your horse - you are there to bring out the best in your horse every stride you take.

Focus on your problems.

You know you can jump, your horse clearly can jump - why not make it better. Don't work on what you can do, work on what you cannot.

It'll take time, but when you accomplish this - you will knock the socs off of other equitation riders out there.
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-28-2009, 04:43 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm, ok. So when I'm working on the lunge line, where should I put my hands? Out to the side, or carry them as if I had reins? What will help more?

I had a lesson last night and I focused a lot on turning my toes inward to grip better with the inside of my calf. I also had to keep reminding myself to pick up my hands, I never noticed how low I usually carry them. The hands helped drastically in keeping him collected and forward at the same time.
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-28-2009, 08:04 PM
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You carry your hands is any manner that helps you. Sometimes I ride with my arms out to the side, and sometimes I carry them as though I would when I ride.

When we are not reliant on our hands, we are forced to focus on our seat and our legs.

Give it a go. Figure out what is more comfortable for you.
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-28-2009, 09:12 PM
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I just want to let you know that i love your horse, he looks like an awsome jumper :] what a lucky girl, he uses himself so well :]
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