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horse with HUGE stride

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  • My riding instructor is putting me on a 17.2 next week!

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    09-26-2012, 10:37 AM
  #11
Weanling
The best way for me to sit ANY canter, is to pick my feet up just barely off of the stirrups. I can't grip with my knees, I can't brace against the stirrups, and I have to force myself to breathe. When I am in a lesson arena I can turn into myself a little bit and trust that the horse isn't going anywhere. Toes up (remember to sink into the heel but don't touch the stirrups!), relax the belly (I have absolutely no control over my back core muscles, but my stomach muscles have a tendency to stay tense and I have to force myself to let go), exhale! (boy do I hold my breathe bad haha)! Relaxing is much easier when I am not bracing against the stirrups, which I do quite a bit on a smaller horse with their itty bitty daisy cutter trots and canters. Larger horses take such big, leaping strides, it actually feels slower to me, even though the ground coverage means I'm moving faster. I have more time to breathe with the movement of a larger horse.

And yes, for some reason sitting through those huge strides works the core so much more. I will hurt after a few strides if I am not used to it in a while.
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    09-26-2012, 06:07 PM
  #12
Yearling
I am not as strong in my core as I'd like to be, but getting better everyday. I do weekly lessons as well as ride my own probably 2 times a week. I'm doing pretty well about keeping my heels down, but still have times where I catch myself. He's just so much bigger than anything I've ever ridden. It feels like his entire front in comes up with every stride. It was a huge workout for me. I rode him on Monday & here it is Wednesday & my abs & thighs still hurt
     
    09-26-2012, 07:53 PM
  #13
Weanling
I am pretty weak in my core if I really want to be honest. I found out today I have not been using myself as I should. I am going to feel it for the next week. I was riding a near 18hh TB. He's pretty weak working to the right, and we worked so hard today, I think even he is going to be sore for the next couple days. But the canter I got out of him....

First time we cantered to the right, he bottomed out on me so hard I swear my ribs hit my hip. It felt like he was hopping along on his left two legs, that's how much he came off balance. It felt wrong, so I explained to my instructor and she said try this. I braced him hard with my right leg, I crossed my reins way over the left, and drove him with my left leg. He picked up such a collected, slow, smooth canter... I am overwhelmingly pleased with myself. We will both be sore for days but that canter was totally worth it. Just the way he sat back on his rear end, and drove from his rear end. I was so confused at first. I thought we should of been flying just from the power I was feeling, but it was so slow, so smooth.

I might be walking funny for the next few days, but there will be a silly grin on my face the whole time.
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    09-30-2012, 07:04 PM
  #14
Yearling
I am now currently riding a paint who has a huuuuge stride compared to what I'm used to. I was riding him the other day, and as we were going along in a circle, I just found a way that for me just "clicked" when it came to riding him. I completely stopped trying to focus on what was going on, and relaxed. I found my center, put weight in my heels, and made myself ride with his movement. I only got a few strides in before I realized: Oh, hey, I am actually keeping my butt in the saddle! Haha.

Next morning? My poor abs hurt like I've been doing crunches all day.
     
    10-01-2012, 10:26 PM
  #15
Yearling
I chickened out tonight & chose to ride a different horse. My trainer has been putting me on more difficult horses. I was very frusterated & almost upset with myself at the end. My wonderful Hubby came with and videoed me & after I sat & watched, I realised I'm not doing that bad. I can see how stiff I am in my arms & shoulders, but my seat & legs looked pretty good
     
    10-02-2012, 10:34 AM
  #16
Yearling
Relax that upper body!

It's hard to do, I know, but it'll make the ride much better and you won't send mixed signals. And perhaps by putting you on more difficult horses, the trainer is trying to help you grow. If it is at a pace you are uncomfortable at, tell him.
     
    10-02-2012, 10:51 AM
  #17
Yearling
I too prefer a larger horse. The longer stride is easier for me. When I was first starting out with horses (100 years ago) I rode a 14.2 hand Arabian. It was like riding a sports car as she could spin and turn and was just fun to ride. Then my next horse was a 17.2 hand Saddlebred which was also amazing. I rode many other larger horses and didn't have an issue with it until I rode a 17 hand Oldenburg. That horse was a mile long and I felt like I was posting in slow motion. It took a bit of time but I got very comfortable on that horse. Then one day for fun, I got back on the 14.2 hand Arabian and it just didn't feel right. I felt like I was posting at a 100 miles an hour. I felt like I looked as though I was having a seizure, bobbing up and down so fast.

It is all what you are used to. Give it time, you will get comfortable with it. It is a fabulous experience to get to ride many different horses. The more you ride, the more easily you will adapt to different strides, builds and temperaments. You will become a much better rider by doing this. Good luck to you.
     
    10-02-2012, 11:00 AM
  #18
Trained
Glad to see so many people are in the same club, Big Ben has the hugest trot, and I'm still trying to cope with that, I need to be comfortable with that before asking for the canter, and I'm sure that is going to be HUGE as well
     
    10-03-2012, 07:44 PM
  #19
Weanling
I actually find the canter on such a large horse easier to sit than the trot. Especially when it is correct and collected. But, when it is ugly, it is UGLY and hurts like a biatch hahaha. I am still used to trying to move with a shorter, quicker horse though. So it is taking me quite a bit to adjust. But it is fun, so it is worth it.

Littrella, if you're not comfortable, and having fun, speak up. You'll burn out, quick. You should never be afraid, because it causes you to be tense, and when you need to be relaxed you could get hurt.
     

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