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post #21 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 05:31 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Missouri
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You are in this horse's mouth sitting still. You are not setting her head, you are pulling it almost behind the vertical and that is why she is unhappy. And the halter, if you would trouble to look? Is choking her when you have her head yanked back in the still photo.

You have horrible hands, and are not a good rider either. She is not lazy as much as she is trying to protect herself from your riding mechanics, or lack of them.

You don't need to be loping her, or even trotting her until you get your hands softer AND quieter too. And get a better seat.

For that matter? You don't need to be riding any horse without some lessons. You have good length of leg, and sit a horse well in terms of being over your hips, but the hands and the bouncing are ruining that. Until that is addressed? You will never get to be any better.

This is a nice mare and you are ruining her. Any other horse would have unloaded you by now, or just taken off and run through the fences.

And what is with the yanking her head around at every opportunity? Shame on you. And can't see either why you would be trying to get her in lope when you know you are going to have to yank her to a stop in a few feet.

Just so many things wrong here, and feel so bad for this nice little mare. No wonder she has her ears back, she is miserable.

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Last edited by Palomine; 10-06-2013 at 05:41 AM.
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post #22 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 10:44 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2013
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I do have to say, if you took the time to read, I set her up like that because I wanted to see how she looked like that. I usually put the halter on the second hole but my friend haltered this one while I did the other. So no. I did not see it. And I do not yank her head every chance. The turn on the way back I used only my feet with a little pressure with the mouth. I usually never pull only pick up that rein. And I love to do that with her because she responds very well. That turning when I started out I was tapping her with my foot and I realize it looks like i'm yanking her head. But she wanted to go to the horse tied up. And I wanted to get a video to see how I am. And not everyone is spoiled with horse lessons. And I think I have been doing just fine. Even though I need a lot of improvement. Please don't say rude things. I would be happy to take lessons, if you were going to pay for them. And she is buddy sour and I just wanted to get a video. I usually lope her all around the fence but the other side was very slippering do to it just raining because it is a low spot. And if I ran through there and video taped it I would be told I don't belong on her because i'm putting her in danger. Sorry i'm a dumb rider. But your commenting saying that I need lessons isn't doing anything. Unless you are helping me and telling me exactly something that could help, please stop commenting on my threads. The only reason I post in here is because I can't get lessons and unfortunately I do and have to learn from people on here.
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post #23 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 11:11 AM
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If money is tight, you might see if someone can give you a set of 2-4 lessons. Or you could see if someone with experience and some well-trained horses will help you for a few sessions, for free. You could also look at some books on riding. Many books are available used on Amazon for $5-15. For under $7, you can buy a nice used copy of "How your horse wants you to ride":


I've got it, read it, and think it is a very good all-round book on riding. It has detailed explanations, good pictures, and while the pictures show an English rider, there isn't anything in it that a western rider cannot put to good use.

Centered Riding is also written from an English perspective, but also applies to most general western riding. It is available for under $5, shipped:

I don't own it, but this one is available for under $5:

I would recommend practicing at a walk and a trot. The book I just bought on riding, from the 1930s, has the line, 'The walk is the queen of the gaits'. What he means is that if you concentrate on doing it well, riding at a walk sets you up for success at a trot, and the trot then sets you up for success at a canter.

I understand not having $40/week to drop on 6 months of lessons. But for $20, you could get 3 good books with detailed explanations and solid suggestions on how to ride better.
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post #24 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 11:30 AM
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I didn't get to see the video but I did see the picture.

If you can't afford to pay a trainer for lessons then you need to try calling around to see if you can work off lessons.
You are extremely tense and gripping harshly on your horses mouth, which to a horse means stop. Yet if you're kicking that means go. And she's getting frustrated because you're sending some extremly mixed signals. I would also check saddle fit

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post #25 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 11:40 AM
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OP....BSMS has some good advice. Books and videos help a lot and are especially valuable when you don't have the option of lessons.
I walk a lot! I won't even ask for a faster gait until my horse is traveling relaxed on a loose rein and responding to cues to stop, turn, move over, etc. And often I have to check my position, hands, etc. Asking for more than your horse or you are ready for is to invite frustration and a possible dangerous situation for both of you. Take it a step at a time. Progress may seem slow but it is worth it.

If you ever find yourself in a fair fight, it's because your tactics suck. ~ Marine 1SGT J. Reifinger
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post #26 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 03:31 PM
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She's absolutely right. Not everyone has the luxury of lessons. I've been riding for 25+ years both English and western and haven't had a professional "paid for" lesson in my life. My experience started with books. I devoured them as a child. I was the only rider in my family and didn't have friends who shared my passion. Everything I learned back then was through trial and error. Self taught stuff. And horse taught. LOL! We all started out somewhere. None of us are born perfect riders and still aren't even after years and years of it. Since then I've learned from other riders and trainers around me, and I still watch hours and hours of Youtube videos and all the trainers on RFDTV. Always tweaking and improving. I think it's unfair to judge someone else so harshly based on a few seconds of video and a still picture. Obviously she knows there is room for improvement in her riding or she wouldn't have had the guts to post a pic and video on here and let me tell ya, as quick as folks tend to jump your case on here, she was definitely brave. I say follow the advice of BSMS and Dustbunny. Inform yourself with every bit of knowledge and example you can find through books and videos. I love videos because you can see an example in action, observe the horse's response and therefore have an idea of what you should expect from your own horse when you go out there and try it yourself. Craig Cameron is actually a good one to follow (the guy in the posted video link). I've watched him on RFDTV and I like him. Others I like to watch are Julie Goodnight and Chris Cox. Just about all of today's TV trainers have something to offer. You just pick and choose. And then like Dustbunny said, start at a walk. This way you're observing your outcome in a nice contoled manner and you can slowly build on it. And, this gives your horse a chance to relearn your improved riding like I mentioned in my last post. Start from scratch. Neither you nor your horse are ever too old to start from scratch. And no you are not a "dumb rider". LOL! I think you actually have very nice posture. You just have to learn to feel your horse in motion and balance with your seat and core instead of your hands. Even at a walk, your hips should move with him. We never just sit and hang on like the movies. It's like learning to post. Suddenly you make the correct move for a few seconds and it's like "WOA, THAT'S IT! That's what it feels like" and then it's not long before you're riding a different horse because the horse feels the change too. Hang in there and don't let anyone get you discouraged. I like to come on here too for advice, but I tend to think about every single post I put up on this board because it's not hard to get torn to pieces on here. BUT. Harsh or not, ultimately I guess you can still learn from it. Just don't let it get to ya.
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post #27 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 04:12 PM
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FWIW - I just finished a 30 minute session of doing 2-point and half-seat with Mia at a walk, trot, and canter...and I'm pooped! The cantering made up maybe 2-3 minutes out of 30. She stumbled and almost fell on an invisible pothole in the arena, so I insisted she canter over that spot again. Otherwise it would have been 1 1/2 minutes out of 30.

Maybe it is my total lack of natural ability, but after 5 years, I still can find things to work on at a walk, let alone a trot. Cantering is fun, but the work I was doing on my seat, balance and legs during the first 20 minutes are why I didn't hit the poleys when she stumbled, and my staying balanced helped her get her legs under her and keep her from falling.

Also, I was doing that work based on some stuff I read in my newest old book, Riding and Schooling Horses (1934) by (then) Lt Col Chamberlin. His advice on how best to settle your weight into the saddle when first mounting plus the first few minutes of riding seems to work well for me.

Lots of us don't have $1000 to set aside for 6 months of weekly lessons, but books plus watching your horse and how you feel when riding can help a lot.

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #28 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MsBHavin View Post
I didn't get to see the video but I did see the picture.

If you can't afford to pay a trainer for lessons then you need to try calling around to see if you can work off lessons.
You are extremely tense and gripping harshly on your horses mouth, which to a horse means stop. Yet if you're kicking that means go. And she's getting frustrated because you're sending some extremly mixed signals. I would also check saddle fit
THIS. 100% this. If you can't pay for lessons, work for them. and the pulling back thing, that = brakes when riding so you're essentially stomping on both the gas and brake pedals at the same time, tons of horses would just buck you off. If you tense up (and you do) you're gonna flop around like a fish out of water. You want to be like jelly, let gravity keep you on from the waist down and balance keep you on from the waist up. My coach explained it to me really well imagine a golf ball on a trampoline, if you were to jump the golf ball would be everywhere but jello would move with the trampoline and absorb the shock of the jumping. Don't be a golf ball. You seem really determined to ride, so working off lessons shouldn't be a problem at all.

Equestrianism; 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember you're absolutely insane to be riding a beast that big.
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post #29 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 08:33 PM
Green Broke
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Like others have said there are a few issues here.

I get that you can't afford a trainer, they can be really pricey, but I still think that you really need to take a look at how you ride and work out a plan.

As others have said, you had her head pulled up pretty tight and it was not good at all. You never want a headset like that when you're riding. Even if it was just a once off thing, each time the horse moved you were thrown about, inadvertently yanking on the reins. Starting out lots of people don't have strong, independent hands, and that's fine, it's a learning process but something you have to consciously work on.

As far as your canter, it's a direct result of not having a secure seat. You are bracing your legs in front of you which gives you no stability, each stride your leg is moving back, which is throwing you forward. Again - this is common, and something you just need to work on.

Even without lessons there are some things you can practice on your own. First, stay out of your horses mouth until you actually ask for something. If you're asking for a turn, ask with your seat, then legs, then hands and release when you get what you want (full release - not contact). When you need to slow down, ask with your seat then back up with your hands but release when you get what you want.

The proper contact that english riders use has to do with collection. They start off asking for long and low, where the horse stretches their frame out, then as they get stronger they slowly collect them in. It's got nothing to do with pulling their heads down. So start offering your mare a longer rein, a chance to stretch out. Unle

That's where I would start, walking on a long rein, making sure turns and stops are really good. If she's buddy sour or won't turn, then work on it by correcting her behaviour, not by riding aggressively the whole time. Bring your hands back a bit so you don't have to have contact with the reins, and you can easily release, but not so far that you don't have anywhere to go.

Second thing to work on is your seat. Bring your leg a little more underneath you so you're not braced behind it. It probably doesn't feel as secure - but long term that's how you're going to ride the canter properly. Resting your foot in the stirrup (not jamming) your legs should rest there without moving. You should be able to bend forward and back at the waist, and twist your shoulders each way without really moving or affecting your legs at all. So no pivot action - not muscle stiffness. Practice two point (standing up in the saddle) for a few strides, then back down. Move your hips with the horse. When you're comfortable in your new position, practice riding without stirrups, keeping your legs where they were, your heels still down. Then try your two point, keeping moving with the horse. Make sure when you do two point etc, you're hands are balancing without contact and without resting on the main, they need to carry themselves.

Later you can move onto the trot, practicing without stirrups, moving at the horse at a sitting trot, keeping your hands still without a contact, and eventually rising without stirrups. Working on all this you'll seat will become more independent and secure, and you'll find you'll be able to sit the canter and stop your hands flying about.

There is heaps online though, exercises for hands, feet. I'd slow down, and not be so worried about a good canter but get a real good walk, and a real good trot.
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post #30 of 45 Old 10-06-2013, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the nicer and helpful comments. I use to be a really bad rider (still am). But I have learned so much from watching others and the internet. I am going into 4H next year which will help me a lot. I just come on here for advice and ways to improve. Not to be chewed out on how my riding is terrible and that I dont belong on a horse. It really kills me inside. I have worked so hard to have these horses. I payed for everything (having no job) including the horses. I help bale hay to get it for free. And I have trained these guys. Not very well but I got them where I can ride them. I got them free green broke. And they are trained to understand me. And they have taught me to understand them too. And to get her to put her neck in I do not just yank it in like some. I bump each rein back and forth. I leaned that from a horse I boarded. I like to make sure they know septate ques for everything.
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