Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Okay... I'm not going to comment on the jumping bit since I don't jump :)
What I see is a lot of leaning.. your arms are kind of just.. flopping around or floating and not FOLLOWING his movement. I see him bracing all over and generally being very sour.
Yes, I notice this too. I will try to follow his movement more :)
I think you need to work on your warm up. Do you have a trainer?
Warm up at the walk, getting him to loosen up. Gentle flexing, bending, circles, and figures (like serpentines, weaving, figure eights, spirals) when he's nice and loose, send him forward and do some leg yields on and off the track. Change direction often. Slowwwwwwwww downnnnnnnnnnn. You're kind of rushing through everything, when he's not really "with you" if you understand what I mean.
No I don't have a trainer. I would like to take lessons but I can't. Thanks for the warm up ideas! My warm up is usually about 10 minutes of walking around. We start by going long and low once in each direction the do some change or reins, then extending on either the long or short sides or the arena, and collecting on the opposite sides, and then do some posting and sitting trot work. Do you have suggestions on teaching leg yields? I have tried this a couple times but I don't think he understands what I am asking.
It's like you're chasing him when you trot, you were posting very sharply.
So relax.. soften your body, and don't trot until he's together and relaxed and loose at the walk.
As for contact, it's not consistent. It's loose-tight, loose-tight. Release.. JAB.. release.. JAB which isn't very nice on their mouths and also causes them to really dislike contact.
Change your arms. Your elbows can open and close. When you rise, they open up and your hands stay just where you left them.. when you sit, they close, leaving your hands just where you left them.
I can see a lot of things that, if they were smoother.. you'd be a very nice team.
If you don't have a trainer, I highly encourage you to find one. You'll improve in leaps and bounds once you target the things that need fixing.
But I really would work more on your walk before you trot.
And just so you know, I am not saying this is all you. Or your fault.. the horse needs a lot of work too but doing what I have advised would benefit you both as your riding directly affects him, and he directly affects your riding.
Thank you for all of your help! I definitely get what you mean and see the mistakes you pointed out. I am really sort of at a plateau right now, I think we will both improve immensely when I can ride him everyday, right now it is only once a week.
After rewatching your video, I would bet he is not only pained in the mouth but pained in the back because you tend to bounce around a lot. My suggestion would be to lose the stirrups for a while and practice riding all three gaits without them. Bareback is even better. When you want to go into two-point, grip with your calves and your thighs. It sounds funny, but when you practice it (at a stand still or walk) it will make sense.
You have a lot of potential, and seem very happy to ride despite the incongruity in communication between yourself and Paradise. Keep up the good work and you two will be stars!
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ETA: I meant inside leg for one rein stop. Use your inside leg back behind the girth to move move move those hindquarters. Outside leg at girth will help hold him up a bit, but inside leg pushing that booty is key.
Thank you RSS you have been so very helpful! He is not a fan of riding bareback but I will for sure lose the stirrups and the jumps for a while. Thank you for the compliments, lately I have felt like I am going no where :)