Riding in the saddle? How to ride properly - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 11-29-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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Riding in the saddle? How to ride properly

How do I ride in a saddle without being ejected from it? My cousin gave me a horse that has a real fast walk. So while we're going along at the fast walk I'll do the up down with my body to be in rythm with the horse. But when the horse accelerates beyond that I'm lost. I don't know what to do. I tried changing the stirrup length and different stances. I tried to hang onto the saddle horn so I'm not jostled around so much. But I just think I don't know how to properly ride. When he gets going beyond that fast walk I'm thrown all over the place and it feels like I'm gonna fall off the saddle.

Can you all offer me advice on how to ride and videos on how to ride. I watch the videos in here but unless someone is talking and says what they are doing correctly or wrongly I don't really learn from it. The difference is subtle in watching those videos and I typically can't see it unless someone points it out. I've read and also heard on a video or two to keep my heels down, and also to keep a rythm with the horse. But once I reach that speed it all goes out the window and I don't feel that what I'm doing is correct.

Also I don't know for sure how long to adjust my stirrups? Should I have a bend in my knees, should my legs be almost straight, when I stand in the saddle how high should I be able to bring my but off it? You know all those good things. Gimme some tips and advice, I know that I could figure it out with enough movement, but if I know what to do from the get go I'll learn how to do it properly without having to unlearn bad habits.

I remember when I rode as a child of like 7 yrs old or so I never thought of how to ride a horse. I just did it. Also when I got older I remember riding horses on a friends horse ranch and I could run on those horses without any thinking on how to do it. It just felt natural. But with this horse I seem to have lost that natural riding feel. Could it just be the gait of the horse too? I've read of people saying that their horse is just so rough at certain speeds.
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post #2 of 15 Old 11-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Green Broke
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Would your cousin by any chance have given you a gaited horse? May explain that horrible walk :P Really, all you can do is just use your legs to hold you in and act as a buffer.

Stirrup-wise, it depend on your personal preference. However, for safety's safe, you are supposed to be able to fit a fist (when you stand) between your crotch and the saddle.

I'm sure others will be able to give you more detailed advice.

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post #3 of 15 Old 11-29-2009, 08:37 PM
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You should not be posting at a walk. No matter how fast the walk.

How to ride properly? Well, that's a pretty big question. May I suggest that you have a buddy post a video of you just at a walk? If you can't get a video, even some stills taken while you are on the move will give people more to work with. Pretty hard to give you suggestions on improving. The basics of how to sit you can find in any good horsemanship book. Must be a bizillion articles on the net about it. Just avoid blogs, expertvillage, and wikipedia. In other words, if you're reading on the net, be very aware of where the information is coming from and weight it accordingly. Then you can try some of these things and come back to ask us why it did or didn't work, preferably with pics.
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post #4 of 15 Old 11-30-2009, 07:55 PM
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A tip just that people havn't mentioned in here yet, push your weight into your back pockets, and hold on with your legs, I know it will be hard but practice doing that, even with a gated horse this will work, work with putting gloves where your pockets on and concentrate on keeping them there. If the horse starts going too fast for you while you are learning, do a couple circles till it figures out that you want him/her to slow down. Try that, I use to have a really bumpy horse too : )
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-30-2009, 09:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips. Keep em coming if you have em. I didn't try anything out today, but I will next time I ride him. Good to know the stirrup length thing. I kept trying to adjust my stirrups trying to figure it out.

I don't know if he's a gaited horse or not. But I also thought that a gaited horse was smooth? Or are they only smooth at certain speeds? Next time I talk with him, "prolly christmas", I'll ask him what kind of horse he is.

Originally Posted by Hunter View Post
I use to have a really bumpy horse too : )
Did you need to teach your horse something to not be so bumpy anymore? Did you do the circle thing until he began to be smooth?

I noticed today while riding my other horse that he is pretty smooth, even while running he is smooth, he's also overweight but I dunno if that makes a difference or not. I had a fun ride with him today.

But my cousins horse is one bumpy boy. It's a bone jarring ride. Collection? Maybe that is something I need to study? Or perhaps I just need to learn to ride a horse that is bumpy?
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post #6 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 01:28 AM
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bumpy walk? I dont really think there is such thing, unless the horse trips a million times :P

Maybe he was trotting?
Even if he is a gaited horse... they are supposed to be super smooooth at the walk.

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post #7 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 11:58 AM
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I suggest seeing if you can borrow or rent the Parelli DVD Fluidity. It is a great DVD that will explain how to move with your horse, to have an independent seat but also stay on your balance point. There are some horse movie rental places online that have that where you can rent.
That DVD helped me alot with my one horse's bumpy trot
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post #8 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 12:41 PM
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I'm going to go against the grain here and say don't use your legs as these are the things you use to make the horse go faster. If you grip with your legs you are tense and if you are tense you will bounce around on a fast walk like a rock. Rather, you should let your legs hang down but do not allow them to flap about. Open your chest and sit deep- think of sitting IN the horse rather than ON the horse. Let his movement flow through your seat. Once you tap into his movement, try to slow him down. Lean back gently and grip slightly with your core (abdominal muscles) to slow him, you will probably need to use the reins. With the reins, use a half second to one second long pull to slow him down; a jerk will make him tense and he can ignore and lean against a steady pull. Chances are he is walking quickly because he is hollow or leaning on the forehand, can't really tell from the given description. If he's hollow, he is tense. He needs to have his neck in long and low position and relax his back. If he's leaning on the forehand, he is trying to counteract his forward lean by rushing forward. A gentle bump up on the reins is a temporary fix, learning to move his shoulders around with a turn on the haunches is better.

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post #9 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 12:54 PM
Green Broke
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youre not suposed to rise to the walk which is probably why...

Keep your feet on the ground when your head's in the clouds.
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post #10 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 01:15 PM
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I'm sorry, but no matter how much good advise you will get here, you are going to need someone who can instruct you in person. What people say and how you interpret it can be 100% different. When the horse does something different then what you expected, you will end up back asking another question - which is fine but you if you just take 2 or 3 lessons from a qualified person, you will get there so much faster and safer. Obviously the more lessons you take the better rider you will become but you need to learn the very basics the right way.

BTW, who is taking care of the horse your cousin gave you?

I'm not arguing with you, I'm just explaining why I'm right.

Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

It's not always what you say but what they hear.
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