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Tips on the seat, posture etc, please (walk, jog, Western)

This is a discussion on Tips on the seat, posture etc, please (walk, jog, Western) within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        01-25-2014, 02:29 PM
      #41
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horselessmom    
    Interesting, thanks! Actually it was an English trainer, an eventer, who told her to sit on her pockets. I wonder if it was to just get her more secure in the beginning, when she was learning to canter. It was also said when she was cantering without stirrups on a lunge line.

    Thank you for the tips!
    Ok, that explains it, popular misconception by instructors from other disciplines. Does she get lessons from a western instructor? She will actually be more secure with a balanced seat and not sitting that far back. Sitting on your back pockets too far causes the leg to go forward and the rider is "behind" the motion. You then have no "anchor" to stay balanced....the anchor being on your seat bones and the leg right underneath you.

    Here's my trainer showing my horse....notice how he's pretty much lined up in a straight line from his shoulder down:




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        01-25-2014, 02:36 PM
      #42
    Foal
    Oh, I also remembered that they somewhat follow Equine Canada Western levels program, and the ability to post the trot is required for level 1.
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        01-25-2014, 02:40 PM
      #43
    Yearling
    ^learning to post is a good thing for anyone to learn, so that's awesome she knows how! I can't wait to see more vids, when the weather gets better! I live iin MA and it's just too darn cold to ride....LOL.
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        01-25-2014, 02:46 PM
      #44
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
    Ok, that explains it, popular misconception by instructors from other disciplines. Does she get lessons from a western instructor? She will actually be more secure with a balanced seat and not sitting that far back. Sitting on your back pockets too far causes the leg to go forward and the rider is "behind" the motion. You then have no "anchor" to stay balanced....the anchor being on your seat bones and the leg right underneath you.

    Here's my trainer showing my horse....notice how he's pretty much lined up in a straight line from his shoulder down:




    Thanks! She's had the Western trainer for almost a year now. But that tidbit of information she saved from her English trainer (she had English lessons for a year before switching to Western).

    She prefers Western now.
         
        01-25-2014, 02:48 PM
      #45
    Trained
    There is a lot of variation in western riding. If you ride Western Pleasure, being on your pockets is wrong. If you do not...well, lets just say a lot of western riders say it is right. Based on the design of the saddle tree, I'm not sure how being 'on your pockets' is wrong...unless your horse has a history of sometimes jumping forward. In that case (mine), a forward body tilt seems more comfortable...particularly since my personal background was riding a forward seat.

    A lot depends on what you are doing or about to do, your horse and your saddle. I don't remember who is in this screen capture, but he was in a top level reining competition:



    This was the old style western riding, in Texas in 1907:



    The saddle in the B&W picture probably had a 6" cantle, which would be huge on a modern saddle.
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        01-25-2014, 02:50 PM
      #46
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
    ^learning to post is a good thing for anyone to learn, so that's awesome she knows how! I can't wait to see more vids, when the weather gets better! I live iin MA and it's just too darn cold to ride....LOL.
    She still rides. I just don't stay in the barn long enough to videotape. Even my enthusiasm has its limits.
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        01-25-2014, 02:58 PM
      #47
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by horselessmom    
    Thanks! She's had the Western trainer for almost a year now. But that tidbit of information she saved from her English trainer (she had English lessons for a year before switching to Western).

    She prefers Western now.
    That's great......she has the makings of being an all-around rider....western and hunt seat. I was taught both when I started 52 years ago, then showed all-around (hunt seat and western) for many years. Did dressage and saddleseat too! I believe in being a well-rounded rider and your daugther is so young with a big future ahead of her to get experience in all disciplines.
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        01-25-2014, 03:00 PM
      #48
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    There is a lot of variation in western riding. If you ride Western Pleasure, being on your pockets is wrong. If you do not...well, lets just say a lot of western riders say it is right. Based on the design of the saddle tree, I'm not sure how being 'on your pockets' is wrong...unless your horse has a history of sometimes jumping forward. In that case (mine), a forward body tilt seems more comfortable...particularly since my personal background was riding a forward seat.

    A lot depends on what you are doing or about to do, your horse and your saddle. I don't remember who is in this screen capture, but he was in a top level reining competition:



    This was the old style western riding, in Texas in 1907:



    The saddle in the B&W picture probably had a 6" cantle, which would be huge on a modern saddle.
    The top pic of the reiner looks like he was in a run down before a sliding stop. They DO get on their back pockets in a "driving seat" to drive the horse forward in the run down.
         
        01-25-2014, 03:11 PM
      #49
    Super Moderator
    In the lope video, she is leaning too far back. In order to hold herself in a position that is behind vertical balance, she has to make her core muscles rigid. She becomes rigid, including her shoulders and elbows, and she is moving as a "block". In the very slow motion you can see how none of her angles (hip or knee) open or close to match the movement. Therefor SHE moves, back and forth, as if she is made of wood.
    She is behind the motion, so you will see , again in the slo mo, that she is coming down with her butt against the cantle, just as the horse is coming up.
    If she were with the motion, she'd be down into the cantle right as it changed from downward to upward movement. To do that, a rider must follow from the HIP, with the upper body straight up, and the shoulder and elbow allowed to flex a bit so that the forearm floats at the same angle over the ground, whether the horse is in the upward angled part of the canter, or the downward. (the canter having a bit of a rocking horse motion)

    One thing that has helped me when cantering seated, is to think about the downward beat of the canter. It's a three beat cycle, with a moment of suspension, and then three beat, and suspension. So, the third beat is when you horse is landing on his leading foot, and has the most downhill oriented position. Thus, the rider will have the must "uphill" (as a tree grwoing on a slope always goes vertical). But her leg and seat must go down with the saddle and the horse. So, I say count the beats, 1, 2, 3 with 3 being the last one, the leading leg hitting the ground, and really think "1, 2, Down, . . 1, 2, Down, . . ." . With this "down" thought, think of your own knee as going down , as if you were going to kneel down, and your pubic bone going down with the saddle. Then, a split second later, just LET the horse carry you upward.

    For some reason, thinking about this downward beat , instead of the upward beat, can help a person feel adhesion to the saddle during the seated canter.
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        01-25-2014, 04:16 PM
      #50
    Trained
    Take this with a huge steaming cup of FWIW, but it helped me with cantering:

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Riding the canter correctly and well in a full seat is difficult, and many more riders do it badly than do it well. As Allison stated above, it requires a degree of abdominal fitness, as well as correct position, relaxation and a good understanding of gait mechanics and how the horse's back moves. That's out of reach for a lot of recreational riders. I would much rather see an elementary or intermediate rider cantering in half seat, allowing the horse to move freely, than someone attempting and failing a full following seat and punishing the horse's back in the process.

    There is nothing inherently insecure about riding the canter in half-seat or two point as long as the rider is in balance.
    Riding the canter in half seat

    That is from an English riding thread, but most of my riding until recently was done in either an English or an Australian saddle, and I preferred riding with a forward seat. I also have a stiff lower back from an injury shortly after I took up riding. And I found it very hard to truly follow the motion of the horse's back so that I was cantering with the horse instead of "bouncing the canter".

    So I started entering a canter in a half seat, and riding it that way. My 1/2 seat slowly progressed, depending on the day and my ability, to a 5/8 seat, a 3/4 seat, etc. In truth, even now in a western saddle, I probably enter the canter in a 3/4 seat, so to speak...and sometimes stay there.

    For western riding, that is utterly untraditional. But it works for me, and it saves my horse's back. Some days, when my lower back is OK, I even ride the canter in a full seat. But I honestly think many people do not ride a full, deep seat canter well enough to allow the horse to use its back to the best of its ability.

    No REAL western instructor would make that recommendation, but it worked for us.

    A big part of what has attracted me to western riding is that it generally allows a rider and horse to do what they need to do to get the job done. With my background and my limitations, that was a good way to ease myself into a canter, particularly since my mare was trying to figure it all out at the same time I was! I didn't want her to dislike cantering, so I did what I needed to canter without hurting her and we've worked our way slowly forward ever since.

    Also, on the same thread, Allison posted this good video - English riding, but so what?

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