Rider & Horse Critique Please!

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Rider & Horse Critique Please!

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  • Fat rider on horse

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    03-22-2011, 04:34 AM
Rider & Horse Critique Please!

Our back story...
Horse: Honey, a 7yr old NZ Standardbred mare who has spent basically the last two years in a paddock getting fat after a freak riding accident. I realised my blunder with her health/weight management late last year and tried to rectify without riding as I was on/off crutches at the time.
Before the accident, she was just learning how to school/work in a frame and was backed to saddle 6months earlier. Started to ride again in Jan 2011. Has recently had three weeks off from the earthquake here in NZ and is returning to work now.

Unfit, and partially disabled with ongoing issues with my right leg. Shattered it in the accident in 2009 and also have a dodgy knee cap. Have been told by doctors that I should continue to ride my horse as it may benefit rather than impact my injury. Finding it hard to lose weight due to on/off crutches all the time. Working on doing so still, with going for a long walk every day, and using a skip rope as well. The gym I belonged to has been severely damaged in the Earthquake here in Christchurch last month and so due to being under contract, I haven't the means to go elsewhere currently. I am a nervous rider, but regaining my confidence well.

I am aware that both of us need a weight management plan. Thus, I also am aware that Honey's saddle is forward on her back. I am trying to get a new saddle, and also get it fitted to her presently. Her saddle is a wintec 500 dressage and in extra wide (white), but due to lack of much of a wither, and a porker belly, we kind of have to just make do. I have noticed no discomfort before or after rides and even sweat marks under where the saddle sits on her back. She is not showing any signs of soreness through her back.

The critique I'm after is advice on how to fix some areas of difficulty I'm having, namely in the trot. I find our walk is getting better and more active (she tends to suck back when I put leg on) but I do want to get her off the forehand too. We're both returning to work after a long period off and I really want to help Honey, as well as myself become fit and healthy again. I have noticed improvement in my hands (thumbs on top) and since getting new stirrup leathers (pics in the blue top and grey pants) that are also down a hole, I struggled to post in the beginning but feel like my leg is more effective now.

Please be honest and constructive, but no slandering, especially about the weight issue. I'm trying, she's trying, and her waistline has improved over the short period. She is also on a strict diet to help her. These photos are from her first few rides, as I didn't get as many after that. Will hopefully be riding again tomorrow if weather permits.

Second ride back in, second time trotting in 2yrs.

Third ride.

Slightly angled, sorry.

Fifth ride, with stirrups a hole longer.

Speeding a little.

Thanks heaps in advance. I will not reply to those rude about my weight, as I have had in the past on posting here. Thank you.
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    03-22-2011, 04:51 AM
Since you said you have leg and knee issues, I won't comment, you cannot help it

LOVELY MARE!!! I think you need a little more bend in your elbows.

Keepin' it sweet and simple.
Good work!
    03-22-2011, 04:57 AM
PintoTess, I'm aware my right leg is a mess! But if there's anything you can say to help, I'll be happy to take it in.
Thanks for the elbow advice... I have noted that myself as a flaw... I was once told by my instructor that I can't have as much of an effective bend because my arm has to go around my belly as well. I guess that makes sense... but thanks, will try and focus on my elbow as well :)
And thank you for the compliment on Honey, she's a sweetheart.
    03-22-2011, 05:46 AM
I have nothing that will not hurt your knee. But maybe try to turn your toes in a little?

Also in the second last pic, your stirrips are WAY to long. It puts your posting out of wack.
    03-22-2011, 05:56 AM
Thank you!
See I asked all my friends to correct my stirrup length, if they were too long... they told me it was effective... I wasn't so sure... and that's why I specifically POSTED that photo, because my leg really shouldn't be that straight haha. Will be taking them up tomorrow :)
    03-22-2011, 06:08 AM
Ok cool. BTW, I see you said you had the Wintec 500 dressage. What do you think of them? I am getting one. Just wanted to know what they are like to ride in
    03-22-2011, 06:21 AM
Comfortable. Had mine for the last 5 yrs and only really needed to get the girth straps fixed. Could do with being repacked now... but I'm in the market for a Wintec Isabell Werth, as I have ridden in my friend's one a few times and instantly my position becomes a lot better, and my injury doesn't seem to hold me back as much. Expensive, looking at taking out a loan for it, but hey, if it helps me and Honey, I'll do it lol.
    03-22-2011, 06:30 AM
I find the Isabell bends my back too much. It kind of felt better in a way and we did look at it but mum said "You say it bends your back. Your 15 and you don't need back problems" So what she says goes lol.
    03-22-2011, 06:35 AM
I find after you ride in the Isabell, you end up sore everywhere after the first ride... but all of the best rides I've had have been in one. The wintec 500 is a good saddle, mine has done me well and I have several friends who love my saddle when they ride my horses... have you looked at the dressage pro? I had a look at it last night when I found out the new Isabell is ugly as. If I couldn't get an Isabell, I'd probably look into the pro :)
    03-22-2011, 10:50 AM
You have nice posture, your shoulders are back, try and lift your chin up more. Also I think your hands are too low. Bend your elbow and carry your hands...keep your thumbs up.

Your legs look OK, I think your saddle has too long of flaps for your legs. I know it's a dressage saddle, but have you tried and AP saddle with short flaps? It may help your leg so you aren't posting off your toes. You need to really sink your weight into your heals and post off your leg and use the horses movement.

Just some minor tweaks and you should be fine. Good luck!

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