Anyone have a problem of looking down while riding? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:06 PM Thread Starter
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Anyone have a problem of looking down while riding?

I had a great lesson yesterday. The owner/riding instructor said that I had a good seat, but I always look down while riding. So the horse kept slowing down and stopping. Towards the end I got better at looking forward. How can I pratice this at home? I'm not the most confident..so maybe that's why? Does anyone ese have this problem?
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post #2 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:13 PM
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Of course. That's why it's a known thing for the instructor to watch for.
My old instructor used to say "be like a Princess, look down your nose" . So, I think of keeping my face forward but can look down my nose. Develop this habit early, if you can. Think more of feeling your horse, and looking at him down your nose and more with pereferal vision rather than directly.

Sally Swift wrote a great book for riding called "Centered Riding". IT's probably the single best book for learning how to ride. She uses what is called "soft eyes", wherein she sees all around and doesn't focus hardly on anything.
This book is one you really should consider buying and keeping. It is very useful.
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post #3 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:13 PM
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I have a terrible habit of doing it. I don't even look at anything in particular, I just do it when I am concentrating on a particular thing. I'm fine if I'm just mucking around.

I think the only way to do it is to practice. Having someone on the ground to yell at you when you do it helps me too because I don't even notice. I just have to really concentrate on looking where I want to be going and remember I never want to be going on the ground
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post #4 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:16 PM
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I do it all the time - it's a bad habit! As David O'Connor says "It takes 1,000x of repetative work to fix 1 bad habit" and ain't that the truth!

I have no idea what I am looking for down there? A pot of gold? Money? No clue....but I hate it. I have to make a concious effort to not stare down....I keep telling myself "look up"

What I like to do, is imagine your horse is a train, your the engineer and you both cannot go any further until the tracks have been set down infront of you. So I look ahead, and imagine tracks being placed down so that we can continue on our path - being a circle, a serpentine, down the rail, across the diagonale - whichever.

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post #5 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:21 PM
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I tend to do this but have gotten better esp when im working with others in the ring or in lessons. When training green horses I tend to look at them to see what they are doing rather than feeling it lol.

I tell myself the same thing I say to my students.
Me: look down at your horse
Student: ummm okay?
Me: what color is your horse?
Student: brown
Me: right, and he's going to be that color all day right?
Student: right umm?
Me: great! Now that we got that out of the way, you don't need to look down to check the color of your horse anymore!
Student usually ends up laughing ;)

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post #6 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
Of course. That's why it's a known thing for the instructor to watch for.
My old instructor used to say "be like a Princess, look down your nose" . So, I think of keeping my face forward but can look down my nose. Develop this habit early, if you can. Think more of feeling your horse, and looking at him down your nose and more with pereferal vision rather than directly.

Sally Swift wrote a great book for riding called "Centered Riding". IT's probably the single best book for learning how to ride. She uses what is called "soft eyes", wherein she sees all around and doesn't focus hardly on anything.
This book is one you really should consider buying and keeping. It is very useful.
I'll have to get that book. Thanks :)
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post #7 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
...Sally Swift wrote a great book for riding called "Centered Riding". IT's probably the single best book for learning how to ride...
I hate that book with a passion. Too much verbal imagery. Seems to help a lot of people, but it drove me nuts.

For looking down, I think it helps to be busy doing something else...I tended to focus on my horse's reaction, when I needed to be looking ahead for what is next. And actually, my horse seemed to appreciate it when I spent less time worrying about how she was doing and more on just telling her what to do next. So it helped me to put out cones, and to keep busy doing circles, patterns, thinking about pace changes, etc.
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post #8 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:53 PM
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My instructor HATES it when I do that.....I have too much tendency and it throws off my hroses.

I have been rpacticing looking down my nose too, which is very helpful. My Mom actualy put a stock note on Rebel's neck that says "Look up, stupid!" 8D

Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.
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post #9 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ82Sky View Post
i tend to do this but have gotten better esp when im working with others in the ring or in lessons. When training green horses I tend to look at them to see what they are doing rather than feeling it lol.

I tell myself the same thing I say to my students.
Me: look down at your horse
Student: ummm okay?
Me: what color is your horse?
Student: brown
Me: right, and he's going to be that color all day right?
Student: right umm?
Me: great! Now that we got that out of the way, you don't need to look down to check the color of your horse anymore!
Student usually ends up laughing ;)
That's really funny. Now that's probably what I'm going to be thinking about whenever I look down.
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post #10 of 19 Old 04-14-2011, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies everyone! I'm so glad that it's not just me. :)
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