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Riding critique? (dressage)

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        04-08-2013, 05:31 PM
    So that's not a stretching frame you're showing in all the pictures/video??

    I would actually disagree with other critiquers - your seat is actually in a better place than most. Leaning forward is a bad habit to get into, and right now I would say the position of your seat and leg is the best thing in your riding.

    Overall I see a lack of positive tension in both horse and rider. The picture is one of a horse who bumbles along passively and a rider working on getting her balance through use of the reins.

    What I think is going to benefit you the most is shortening your reins a good 8" each, and then pressing your hands forwards and towards the withers. On a horse who is so behind the leg and tends towards on the forehand, the hand needs to be extremely passive, pressed forward and never used in a backwards fashion.
    From there, really ride the horse forward into a working trot. If you are sitting, your abs should be burning. If you are rising it should be at a far quicker pace than what you are accustomed to. The trot you are riding now resembles more of a jog, and with the length of rein, how much you fuss with your hands and how little leg you are using, the horse is falling further and further behind you. You can see, every time the horse tosses her head, your elbows come out and back and then you are pulling. That is riding front to back. Back to front riding dictates that is the point at which the hands soften forward and you kick the horse forward.

    Overall I think your seat is quite good, and now it is learning how to ride correctly and getting the horse going forward in a more positive way.

    Good luck!
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        04-08-2013, 08:12 PM
    Thanks Anebel! Always enjoy your words.

    Well, like I said, I wanted him relaxed due to the circumstances so I was riding him in a longer frame than normal, but I am in a terrible habit right now that I let him suck me into a longer frame at all times... oops.

    Today I had a lesson and guess what we worked on??? Lol just what you said! "shorten your reins/close your fingers!" "stay in your box!" "get more out of him!" "don't let him stretch yet!!" <-- this was repeated far too often. I think I had forgotten what a working trot was like, oops.

    He LOVES to stretch, and I guess I've always been afraid of tensing him up, but I know now I've gone to the other end. He really sucks me into letting him do so.

    Ok, me. Time to get serious again. Let's see if next week's video shows a little improvement!!
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        04-09-2013, 12:51 AM
    I hope you get some videos and pictures next time! I'd love if you could keep us updated, if anything for my own learning, lol.
        04-09-2013, 03:01 PM
    Well, I think the combination of my lesson with a particular comment of Anebel's seemed to do the trick, I think.

    I got him going so forward today its not even funny the difference I felt. It wasn't just a faster tempo, but there was an odd feeling too. Like he was.about to kick out or maybe throw a light buck any second.

    He was a bit finicky, but when he rose his head I simply did as I was told: hands forward and tap him forward. So at first it seemed strange since he didn't seek out contact as he usually does, but then he did and that's when the buck-y feeling arose, in addition to REAL forwardness.

    Don't know if that was correct, .but I was happy with the fact I actually managed to get him in front of my leg. That difference was huge.
        04-10-2013, 12:28 PM
    You two look nice together! I agree with what's been, said but just one more thing... ;)

    Eyes up, chin up like you're the queen of that arena, shoulders pulled away from your ears (down and back, which you do in a few pictures!). Best of luck! Is the horse yours or your instructor's? He's a cutie!
        04-10-2013, 02:41 PM
    Absolutely! Not sure when I developed the bad habit of looking down, I wasn't always like that! Fix one thing and break another. XP

    And he is indeed mine! My pride and joy :)
        04-19-2013, 09:29 PM
    Your horse has a great neck, especially on a looser rein! It's obvious that you two work well together.
        04-20-2013, 01:21 AM
    Thank you! We work very hard (although sometimes I think I work harder than him, lol).

    Can't take all the credit for his neck; he's got a really nice neck that looks good even when he just stands around looking like a fool, hahah.

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