Frustrated with a lesson problem

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Frustrated with a lesson problem

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    07-02-2010, 03:44 AM
Frustrated with a lesson problem

I started taking lessons in april and have been taking them every other week since to improve my equitation and so I can learn more about technical stuff my horses aren't trained to do.

Anyways, I am really frustrated with one problem I am only having during lessons. What is happening is when I am posting the trot and the horse suddenly slows down I fall forward. I also have a hard time keeping my posting steady and my seat correct. I don't have these problems at home 99% of the time.

So my theories are that I ride in a CC saddle for these lessons but I ride in a dressage saddle at home. The two saddles are pretty different for me, could this be causing it? Also the lesson saddle is WAY too small for me. I feel like I am sitting on the pommel (or like right up against it). My guess is it is a 16" saddle. My saddle is an 18" and its about the right size, maybe slightly too small. Could this be the problem? Or maybe its just that its a different horse with very different gaits?

I'm just really frustrated because I was taking weekly lessons on my horse for atleast 2 years from a girl who wasn't a professional trainer but knew what she was doing. I know I am not AS horrible as I come across in lessons. Part of it is I have adapted to working with my horses that are definently not calm really well trained horses. Another part of it is that since april 2009 I have had about 6 months where I couldn't ride (including 2 1/2 months where I couldn't walk), so I have lost a signicant amount of muscle and gained a fair amount of weight.
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    07-02-2010, 08:14 AM
It is hard to master anything only taking a lesson every other week. So I think that might be part of your problem.

If the lesson saddle is too small why not just ask the instructor if there is a larger saddle you can use?

Tipping forward when the horse slows down at the posting trot usually means your base of support is not there. You are gripping with your knees and your heels are not down and underneath you. That allows your knee to act as a pivot and when there is a sudden stopping of forward movement your body is not able to correct its position easily, you just pivot.
    07-02-2010, 10:08 AM
I think the saddle could definitely be part of the problem; and certainly the easiest to address. You won't be able to adquately diagnose the other parts of the problem until you're in a saddle that fits.

Switching styles of saddle and adjusting position between them can also be a real challenge; and even tougher when you're not fit. Try to find a lesson saddle that's 1.) big enough and 2.) allows you to use something closer to the position you normally take in your dressage saddle.
    07-02-2010, 04:42 PM
You could also ask if you can bring your saddle to the lessons and try it on the horse. If it fits the horse, you could ride in your own saddle.
    07-02-2010, 05:05 PM
You need to do the above re: saddle fit & physical fitness, but also do the long-term work it requires to develop a deep seat, before you can expect to post without mishap. Also, you need to have a following seat: the horse is properly a fraction of a second ahead of your going with him.
    07-02-2010, 08:58 PM
I think she only has one lesson saddle at this barn. She originally was going to teach me in a dressage saddle that she keeps at another barn (she teaches lessons at multiple barns, and this one is not her main barn) but she never brought it.

I highly highly doubt my saddle would fit the horse I ride. He is a wide draft cross and my saddle is a medium tree that fits my arabs.

And its not that I've only been riding since april when I started these lessons, I've owned my horse for 5 years, I know how to post. I can post on my own horse without any mishap. Actually I don't ever remember having this much trouble posting, even when I was learning.
    07-02-2010, 09:51 PM
It must definitely could be the saddle. I recently tried my first close contact saddle and instantly watched my rock solid seat turn into a mess of wobbling legs, pitching forward at every odd step, and just couldn't sit right. It wasn't so much the fact that it was a close contact as it was that this particular saddle just didn't balance me well, but CC's are about as far from dressage saddles as you can get in my opinion. I find an easier transition saddle from dressage to jumping is an all purpose with a forward flap.

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