Riding in the saddle? How to ride properly - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2009
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First off I gotta say; your avatar is awesome, it gives me a good laugh.

I'm taking care of my cousins horse right now. I picked him up from his dads place a few days ago. I have a friend that says she'll come out and give me riding lessons. So I need to ask her to come out and let me know what I'm doing wrong.

This sounds like good advice. I'm anxious to try it actually. I know that when one rides bareback the motto is, "be the noodle", but I think I just tensed up trying to figure out how to ride him. I tried to keep my legs stiff and out from his body at one point and that didn't work. Adjusting the stirrups so I could stand higher away from the saddle didn't work. I also don't understand what you mean when you say "hollow, or leaning on the forehand", any links on where to clarify that for me? I'm gonna google it and search here for it to try to learn too.

And it does seem like I remember him striding along with his head high in the air. If I had a digi video camera I would get some video of it. I hope it's something that I can train with him so he learns to stride in a way that isn't so bone jarring.

Also he isn't bone jarring while doing his fast walk which has a hoof beat of 1-2-3-4. It only gets that way when his steps come into the 1-2-3 range. I also seem to do allright on my other horse. He is just so much smoother to ride. But he is in his 20s so I don't know how long he can go, or even if it's nice of me to ask him to climb all the mountains we have here. I've been trying to find a young arabian that can go all day. But I'm beginning to wonder if it's certain breeds that have bone jarring gaits or just the individual horse because of the way they carry themselves? Much to learn.
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post #12 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 08:39 PM
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Honestly, having a trainer is the best way to learn correctly. Everything happens so fast when you ride that you really need someone to be right there with you to point out how you need to position yourself, etc. Then you can fix it and start to develop the correct feel for what you need to be doing.

Also, I do not suggest buying any young horse if you are still learning to ride. Older horses are great to learn on and you can just have fun during the process ;)
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post #13 of 15 Old 12-01-2009, 08:41 PM
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Happy to help.
A horse that is hollow and tense looks like this:

A tense or hollow horse holds his head high up in the air. When their head is up, they hollow their backs and spread, their hind legs trail behind them and their neck sticks up. Gaited horses are naturally hollow because they are bred to kick out with their front legs and hold their heads high, they will need help from the rider to make them rounder. You stated that the horse had a 1-2-3 beat which is called walking laterally (two feet step at once, the beat is not an even 4) this is usually caused by tenseness. Notice that both the riders in the pictures are tense- the first one leans too forward, the second one is jamming her pelvis into the horse and hollowing her own back. Also notice that their horses and their facial expression show tenseness. To correct this, the rider must become what they want their horse to become-relaxed and collected, going with the movement at a comfortable pace.

Leaning on the forehand:
Here the horse's conformation usually comes into play more than the rider. Horse that are built "downhill" are naturally inclined to lean on the forehand, hence why downhill horses are usually less desirable. A horse that leans on the forehand is putting the weight of himself and the rider onto his shoulders when it should be more behind. Thus his shoulders become locked and not easily moved, to balance he must run his legs under neath him making him walk quickly. Just like a unicyclist juggling must rush to one side when the balls lean to one side, a horse that puts weight on the shoulders will lean forward and rush. To correct this, the rider will need to push the weight off the shoulders by doing sharp turns and turns on the haunches.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are certain and the intelligent are full of doubt"
-Bertrand Russel
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post #14 of 15 Old 12-02-2009, 11:09 PM
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Roro, that first picture almost had me peeing in my pants with laughter. The look of horror on the woman's face, and the look of indifference on the guy... priceless.

Hopefully your friend can help you out, these things are much easier to explain in person with a pair of eyes on the ground. My horse tends to hollow out, you can find lots of threads on here about how to work on that. Once you get to know your new horse and have some miles on the saddle, you'll be able to feel him hollow. It feels a bit like there is suddenly no horse below you where there was once a nice soft back rising to your seat. I have also been reading a lot and watching lots of videos (started riding again after a many year hiatus) and then in my lesson when things look right- here's where the eyes on the ground come in, I try to remember how it felt and equate it to the things I've read and seen so I can try to find that position next time I'm riding. Best of luck!
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post #15 of 15 Old 12-03-2009, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pictures, it really clarifies things. I would say he strides hollow and tense. He keeps his head up and back like that. It feels like to me that he is kinda nervous about being in a new place and without his well known friends.

That first picture was hilarious. It cracked me up too. I just kept laughing at it, and I bet my grandpa was wondering what in the heck I was laughing at.
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