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Riding Critique Please

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    01-02-2011, 11:47 PM
Riding Critique Please

Hi, Im interested in what you have to say about my position. Im afraid the pictures arent at the best angle because the photographer wanted to be "artistic" and was reluctant to do complete side views.. but I hope you'll be able to tell me something! If not ill just have to get some more pictures next time.
So, without further ado, feel free to nit-pick and criticize. Thanks for any comments in advance!

Again sorry for the viewpoint!
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    01-03-2011, 12:04 AM
Too bad she wouldn't at least get you one jumping pic from the side. All I can see is that you have a nice generous release. I like your horse. A little heavy on the forehand in some pics, but it looks like he's built slightly downhill, so it is what it is. That 3rd pic is fantastic. Nice position, straight line to bit with soft rein contact, and horse is stepping into the bridle nicely. You do have puppy dog hands. Try to keep them in the same position, thumbs up. For even rein contact, try holding a crop with your hands while holding the reins.
    01-03-2011, 12:05 AM
Cute horse, cute rider. The only negative thing I could see is that you seem to come up rather high in the up swing portion of your posting trot.

It wasn't slippery there? Wasn't the ground frozen rock hard? Here the ground is frozen rock hard, so every place where the ground was made uneven by horses walking in mud, is now frozen into that rough shape. It is ankle twisting footing here, and concrete hard.
    01-03-2011, 12:27 AM
Thanks for the adivce, I really need to work on my hand position, its one of those habits that I have to constantly remind myself for it to stop.
The high posting is probably a result of me working hard to get my butt out of the saddle when posting last year. Now it seems I have the opposite problem. Yet another thing for me to work on. Oh well :)
Tinyliny - the ground was actually quite nice, these photos were taken last week before all the freezing rain got here.
    01-03-2011, 01:24 AM
I probably am all wrong here and I have nothing to say about your actual riding as I'm not a jumper but I did notice that in almost all the photos you're looking right between the horse's ears.. I remember being YELLED at by my trainer about doing the same thing.

Sorry I couldn't be any more help but I do like your horse
    01-03-2011, 10:53 AM
Thats definetely something I need to work on, heh, I always look at my horse instead of where im going.. Im better when im jumping though, I think its because I actually have somewhere Im supposed to look.
    01-03-2011, 11:36 AM

I'd like to see your legs come underneath you a bit more on the flat. Do this by opening your hips and relaxing your lower back. You are focusing on your horses head set too much. I can tell because I have the same problem. Focus on not just looking up, but looking ahead as well. In most of the pictures you don't have enough of a contact on the reins- nor is it even.
You have very soft hands, which is always good, but there is such a thing as too soft. It's when you barely have any contact at all and there is a loop in the reins.
As previous posters said- you swing too much with your posting trot. My guess is your posting from your lower legs and heels rather than thighs and stomach. Posting correctly will be extremely beneficial for you and your horse.
You also have puppy dog hands, but I will not go into this, since you stated that you know.
Your shoulders-not your back- are hunched. This may sound (and probably will) sound very.. inapropriate, strange, awkward, and your probably going to wonder what's wrong with me. Here goes: try and remember to "flash those headlights" as my instructor says.

Also if you wear a polo: put a needle, tak, etc. in the back of the collar. When you feel it poke you, you're straight.
I'd also like to see you putsome more weight into your heels.


You get ahead of the horse's motion just a bit. Think about sliding your butt back to the edge of the saddle. Not standing up in the stirrups, but folding at the hips. You stay in the same position, and as the horse jumps it comes up to you, and back down. This is where confusion comes in when teaching yourself, or if you don't have many jumping lessons. You see tops riders, and they stand up out of the saddle, and it looks like they do so much with their jumping posistion. Well once one gets to the higher levels of jumping, you do shorten your stirrups even more. But not until well after 3'6". Also you tend to 'drop' your reins when jumping. It's good to give a generous release. If you drop the reins, however, it will often lead to the horse refusing, running out, or a very slopping jump (cause from rushing it because of dropped reins) and a very sloppy landing (caused by dropped reins in the landing), and speeding up after the jump. This will lead to a bad second jump.
    01-03-2011, 12:56 PM
I think I understand what you mean by me using my lower legs to post, how would I go about using my thighs and stomach instead?
I think the different rein length comes from the fact that my instructor has told me to form a wall with my outside rein and use my inside rein for light half-halts. Though I suppose I could do this with both of them at the same length. I think I let it slip a bit.
Don't worry, I've heard the "headlights" comment before, I don't find it creepy!
    01-03-2011, 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by PrettyBlueOverYou    
I think I understand what you mean by me using my lower legs to post, how would I go about using my thighs and stomach instead?
I think the different rein length comes from the fact that my instructor has told me to form a wall with my outside rein and use my inside rein for light half-halts. Though I suppose I could do this with both of them at the same length. I think I let it slip a bit.
Don't worry, I've heard the "headlights" comment before, I don't find it creepy!

Well my guess is you are gripping with your knees to some extent as well, although I can't really be sure without actually seeing you ride.
(meaning in person)
Really relax your legs, and open your hips- again I know that sounds weird. Really it sounds much harder then it is. Just try it next time you ride, trying things I suggested to see if they help/apply to you. If you still can't figure it out, feel free to message me with more specifics on exactly what you do when you post. Goodluck!
    01-03-2011, 03:44 PM
You need to bring your hands and eyes up. Point your thumbs up. Also you need to bring your leg back and hands up. When you jump, it looks like you are standing on your toes instead of putting all your weight in your heels. Your pony is very cute.

critique, riding

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