Riding critque - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 02:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Riding critque

Hi there,

I've never really done this before, but I am curious. I would like a critique of my riding! (and of the horse, to an extent, as she is only a schoolhorse, but my way of riding has a huge effect on her movement)

I've been riding not quite three years yet, two days a week for the past two years. (one of those days is a one-day lease with a schoolhorse)

I'm interested in getting into dressage, if that helps at all. =)

So be kind, but also be honest. The video is slightly out of date, it was taped back in April, so I like to think things have gotten a little better, but this is all I have! And yes, I'm aware of certain things I need to work on, especially a couple particulars, but I want to hear it all from you. =)

I'll see if I can hunt down a canter video.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 07:08 PM
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Overall, you look quite nice and the horse you are riding is very cute.

Although, I noticed that when you rise your moving your whole body. Like your creating your own motion instead of going with the horses. Try to feel the horses movement and little bit more and you might find it a fair bit more comfortable. Pausing a few times, I noticed that you could drop your heels downwards - you've got them very flat and you have your toe pointing out. Instead of thinking out, try to think that you want your toes facing the way you want the horse to go - forwards.

To help you with your heels, try and think to put your heels down and toes up. Visualizing things can help some more. Try to sit back the slightest bit and keep your hands from moving up and down as you rise -this is going threw your reins into the bit. Therefore, your horse can feel it. If you stop moving your hands you'll find your ride more enjoyable. Goodluck!!

Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 07:45 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, yes, forgot to mention that this schoolpony does not want to go anywhere! I'm actually working extremely hard to get her going with any sort of forwardness... (if I don't push her, she will literally stop) But even then, I need to learn to get her going without moving my whole body! It's even worse in canter. =( But it is something I am very aware of.

Her trot is super smooth and you barely feel her moving you at all. Super easy to sit to, which is why I still have trouble not exaggerating my posting with her as I try to drive her forward. =(

Thank you for your advice! =)

Last edited by xeriarider; 10-02-2011 at 07:54 PM.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 08:24 PM
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I thought that Chingaz comments were right on. Overall, you are doing very well and should not be shy about showing yourself for critique because you ride well. It's obvious that the horse isn't giving you a lot to post off of and you look like at times the posting is a bit forced. But better that than making your posting so small that pony will only mathch that. Keep your posting energetic, and insist that pony go up to meet it! Get a whip and show it to her?him? Just seeing it out of the corner of the eye may be enough to do it. You don't want to push him/her out of the natural rythm, just get a bit more umph.

open up your chest a tiny bit more by feeling as if your elbows drop down toward your hips. You'll feel a bit of "pull" at your collar bone . It helps you to bring your core into more engagement. minor, but might help bring the horse up under you.

REally, you are doing quite nicely.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 08:31 PM
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I personally feel you are posting a tad too high, but this could definitely be what tinyliny was telling you about on how the horse really isn't giving you much to post on.

The other comments I believe were spot on other than that. Your position is actually quite lovely and you seem to handle him/her well! You should feel proud of that!
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-04-2011, 02:45 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your kind comments and helpful advice!

Anything else? Even if it's relatively minor?
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 01:48 PM
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Just two things I wanted to bring up.
When you go up and down, your hands should remain steady so, like someone else mentioned, everytime your hands move, they don't pull on the horse's mouth. This is what's causing her to move her head out of that nice flexed position sometimes. Try to relax your shoulders and rise between your arms, keeping your hands as still as possible.
Also, I know you said she's lazy, but I noticed your feet were moving back and forth while you post. Getting your feet to be still is a result of two things: position and strength. Even though you said you want to ride dressage, try standing in a two-point position while you ride for a little bit to get your foot back just a hair more underneath you. This will give you the balance you need to make that posting action less effortful, and also help to get your heels down. It will also help improve your leg strength, as you should not be posting from the stirrup, but from your knee, so when you rise and come down, your inner thigh muscles will be what you are using to do that, and your foot will be still.
You are doing very well for the experience you have, and I personally think that horse is very good for you. Great job!

Last edited by hennisntacanibal; 10-05-2011 at 01:48 PM. Reason: grammar
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 04:38 PM
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My biggest thing was wanting to see more forward movement from the horse as has already been mentioned. May be weird, but I like to just take them down the road and ask them to extend and collect down long straight lines. She should be responsive to you rating her speed and I find this a good way to practice that.

As far as equitation, I thought you looked overall very nice. Good job!
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
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Ah, yes, the hands/elbows! A continuous battle for me. I'm very good at keeping them absolutely still in relation to MY body, but then I don't let them move with the horse. My coach keeps telling me, 'flexible elbows' but then I end up moving them too much! But yep, am currently working hard on that issue.

Forgot to mention that my coach is an eventing coach, so we do LOTS of two-point! We also some standing straight up and various other position and balance exercises.

I probably spend about half my time riding with no stirrups in all gaits, both in sitting and posting trot! I find myself a lot more comfortable and correct (including hands) when I'm sitting her trot with stirrups; and when I post without stirrups, it no longer seems so forceful and is a lot more natural. I just can't seem to pass that knowledge to when posting WITH stirrups! My coach says I simply think too much about it. =(

Yep, we do lots of that, Spastic Dove! This mare is very very stiff (to get to where we got to in the video usually takes at least 30 minutes, but my hands tend to make it a lot more difficult than needs to be) so we do lots of things that get her to extend and stretch as well. But the only time I don't have to fight to have any semblance of forwardness is in the middle of a jump course.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-05-2011, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by xeriarider View Post
Ah, yes, the hands/elbows! A continuous battle for me. I'm very good at keeping them absolutely still in relation to MY body, but then I don't let them move with the horse. My coach keeps telling me, 'flexible elbows' but then I end up moving them too much! But yep, am currently working hard on that issue.
If you ever find the secret to the happy medium between too little and too much elbow movement, please share! That will be one heck of a lightbulb moment when that is solved won't it?

I have nothing to add to the other critiques other than to ask for more transitions within the trot along with mixing in some suppleing exercises. Something like shoulder-in on a circle for 8 strides and then asking for a lengthening the remainder of the circle and back to shoulder-in again. Anything that plays with her trot gears. Overall you two are a lovely pair.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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