"Proper" Way to Ride in a Western Saddle - Page 8 - The Horse Forum
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post #71 of 78 Old 05-13-2013, 09:02 PM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
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Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
Oh my....
So, is it you not feeling " right" or is your instructor insisting in a certain way?
It's just my past instructors took my riding flaws and helped me to get a better position... and I'd ride Sky in my own time and I began to develop my own seat but then as lessons continued it just kept getting too picky. Now I have a better riding instructor who is increasing my confidence by asking me to do what feels right and I'm able to be less stiff... but it's a huge issue for me to stop being in a "perfect" position. When I first started lessons again in NZ I felt very insecure at times on a horse, but have improved since then.

Originally Posted by palogal View Post
Bummer...What's fun about that?
It's not fun at all, hence why I'm always struggling with confidence.


And partially it's me. I am a perfectionist and I try not to be but it's a hard transition. I have begun to feel at one with a horse cantering but trot is still a problem (stemming from bad experiences that I can't let go of) and I've gotten a taste of lateral riding which is better.

But yeah too stiff hurts. I'm young but I feel as though my body is pretty beaten up from this bad ingrained habit.
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"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-13-2013 at 09:04 PM.
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post #72 of 78 Old 05-13-2013, 09:08 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
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That is why I like my signature line. "Position" is too often taught as static, and too often taught without regard for the individual rider and horse. Learning how to feel the balance, how your balance affects your horse's balance, how to 'dance' with your partner - to me, that's riding!

"...there are only two criteria of your position;
a) are you in fluid balance and rhythm with your horse or not?
b) does your seat enable you to control your horse efficiently?"
- V.S. Littauer
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"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
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post #73 of 78 Old 05-13-2013, 09:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Chula Vista, CA
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What has REALLY helped me...and only as of lately....is riding bareback at liberty!

I, not long ago, took my first lessons and I was more confused with each lesson feeling like my instructor had lost her mind. I think she was throwing too much information at me all at one time. I had to pick it apart on my own time. For what 'felt' like I was already sitting straight, in a correct position....was so far from just that. I saw myself riding my horse when I rode past a window and couldn't believe what I saw! I thought my seat bones were on my pockets....like I've heard a million times....sit on your pockets!!! Well....after I went back to basics in the arena bareback....I found my seatbones....even under all of my extra padding on my butt. After I improved my posture, some of the other stuff that I thought was insane started falling into place on their own. Then, when I started ridind at liberty....it took all of my crutches away...just me and my horse and a string on her neck. I had one of those special moments where it now feels like I'm riding 'with' my horse not 'on' my horse.

All of this has built my confidence and we just keep going forward. My stirrups have even dropped two levels...where when I took lessons and she lowered my stirrups one level, I was appauled and could not function...lol.
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post #74 of 78 Old 05-14-2013, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by gunslinger View Post
Why is it that so many think you need lessons to ride a horse?
This is just my 2 cents and worth every penny you pay for it. I'm not really huge in taking lessons. I do always try to improve what I'm doing and look at pics of myself and any video my wife may take or what have you to try and improve. That being said sometimes a lesson is a good thing. Even it is just for someone on the ground with a different perspective . A fresh set of eyes if you like.

An example. I was having a problem for a while with my horse dropping his left shoulder in the canter to the left. Of course i try to adjust myself and not drop my shoulder and think i have accomplished this but he still keeps dropping that shoulder and almost diving into the left turn. I'm getting frustrated and so on. My mother in law comes to town to visit and she is a dressage instructor. I alway take a lesson or 2 with her when she comes to visit. In 10 minutes she has my problem fixed. it was exactly what I thought it was. i was dropping my shoulder and causing my horse to drop his. However I thought i had fixed it but i didn't. it took a different set of eyes that doesn't see me ride every day to pick up the little bit of dropping I was doing.

Again just my opinion but if I'm presented with the oportunity to improve, most times I'll take it. Its especially easy if the lessons are free from my wifes mom.
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post #75 of 78 Old 05-14-2013, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Feb 2012
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I agree Fort. I have said, quite a few times now, that it would benefit me more to pay someone to ride out on a trail with me than pay someone to give me a lesson in an arena. I want someone to tell me what to do or be my 'go to' when I am having an issue while I'm riding...whether the horse is doing something I don't want to do or I need someone to boost my confidence during the moment. Sometimes, just having someone there as a second set of eyes is worth millions! Just someone telling me....."You are fine, she is NOT bucking, just being a tart...continue on." Sometimes seeing someone else ride through a 'non-existent' problem on my horse too helps...showing me that the reaction will not be as horrible as I'm imagining.

This is exactly where I am at right now. I have taken my first four lessons here recently. At each lesson, I felt more confused and actually like I was not worthy enough to even ride my horse. I took what I was told at those lessons, along with advice of others, and applied those things on my own, in my own time and ways of thinking....and I have learned some things now.

My initial 'want' from taking lessons, was to be able to ask my green horse to canter without me confusing her. I paid for $200 in lessons and got walking around the arena, discouraged, in pain and feeling old and fat. I understand there are some basics to get through, but I don't think the time that was spent during all of this to walk around on my horse was worth it all and was waaaaay drawn out. So, I'm now still in that same situation...wanting to canter my green horse and learning the best way I can to do this with her. I've read many posts, books etc.....and even those will give you different ways to ask for the canter....making it even more confusing....then combine that with the fact that I overanylize everything is not a good combo...lol. So, if you move your outside leg back to ask for canter...how does the horse know not to canter when you use that same position to move his haunches etc????

Anyway, I will be the only owner of my horse and I can teach her 'my way' of asking for things...she doesn't know that the fancy dressage rider doesn't ask for things that way.

The biggest lesson for me as of lately, that was free, was watching myself ride by a window where I saw the reflection of me riding and what I THOUGHT was me sitting up in a good position....my perception was very wrong. So, I fixed it!
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post #76 of 78 Old 05-14-2013, 12:04 PM
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I also have a bad habit of pushing my feet out forward and rounding my back when things start getting faster or I'm insecure just to brace in the stirrup or just be lazy. it's nice to have someone snap me out of it before i really get braced and mess things up andget out of wack. That is just one of my many problems I work on every time I ride. I could list a bunch more.

Boy I suck!!!!
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post #77 of 78 Old 05-14-2013, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Fort fireman View Post
I also have a bad habit of pushing my feet out forward and rounding my back when things start getting faster or I'm insecure just to brace in the stirrup or just be lazy. it's nice to have someone snap me out of it before i really get braced and mess things up andget out of wack. That is just one of my many problems I work on every time I ride. I could list a bunch more.

Boy I suck!!!!
Me too.....but you know what???? I have great horses that are very accepting and tolerant...lol.

I decided this morning that my next ride teaching canter to my mare I am just going to ride in a halter instead of bridle to be sure I am not holding her back by accident in the mouth.

Riding my horses are teaching me how bad my usual posture really is in everyday life. I have been finding new muscles.

It takes a strong person to see and admit to their faults. Good for you!!!!
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post #78 of 78 Old 05-16-2013, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Texas
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Originally Posted by Fort fireman View Post

Boy I suck!!!!
No you don't, you know what you are doing wrong and that is half the battle, you need miles, that's all
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