Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Sweden - the land of carrots and apples
Don't seesaw. Ever. Well, ok, if the horse bolts and you fear your own life then perhaps you may seesaw to regain control..
It's incredibly hard to describe IRL and near impossible on a forum.
First I'd need to see how you ride to know what to correct, and then I'll have to explain in a way that you know what I mean rather than think you know and yet miss that detail.. so I'l have to see if you got it right etc.
I'll try. What you need to do is to ride a lot of circles and figures, by this you can collect one hindleg at a time which is easier for the horse. When it's strong enough it will step under with both hindlegs equally and you get yourself a piaffe ;)
However it's most important how you ride the figures. First, make sure you don't yield in your side (i.e. Dropping a shoulder or something). When you turn, don't just twist your waist, you need to get everything with you in the turn and still sit straight. First turn your head, let the shoulders and hands folow, your hips (and since the horse is turning with you, it's outer side will be longer when it bends and your outside leg will move a tad back, which means your inside leg will be a tad in front of your outside when the horse bends), make sure your outside knee is firmly to the horse, it's what's telling the horse to move the shoulder and turn, and your outside foot should be paralell to the horses side. The inside shouldn't stray away too much but rather gently drive the inside horse-hindleg forward and under you.
As for the reins, the outside rein should be stretched and in a light contact. The horse will drop the nose if it works right through the body, but you can help it by taking the inside rein out from the horses body and in again softly in a leading way, as if a rubber band was fastened between your hands. As soon as the horses nose drop, you stop.
Make sure the turns are good in both directions and don't ask for a drpped nose untill they constantly are good. Make sure you sit straight over the horse and use the right cues. If it doesn't work, check your own seat first, that's where most of the problems come from.
Always keep your head up, but be careful to keep your nose at a friendly level.