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Correct movement - engaging his back

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        11-18-2012, 09:00 PM
      #31
    Green Broke
    Also I do alot of driving and I gave you some pointers on your ground driving on your utube video
         
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        11-18-2012, 09:06 PM
      #32
    Trained
    I'll type some stuff, but I'm not a trainer or very good rider and I don't do any horse sports and cannot IMAGINE riding 50 miles at a shot, so take it with a big steaming helping of FWIW:

    1 - We had a little Arabian mare who was broken for us, and then I rode her out. We sold her a couple of years ago, but I rode her a lot when she was very green. It worked OK because she was a good-natured and forgiving mare.

    Anyways, when I first started riding her 750 lbs with my 180 lbs + 30 lb saddle, she rode head high the whole time. Hmmm - 28% of her weight and an inexperienced rider who bounced too much. Could I blame her for hollowing her back?

    So I started riding her in two point, even in my western saddle. The horse's hindquarters powers up thru the loin and eventually hits the shoulder, but the withers is like the fulcrum point. It is the place were the back moves the least when functioning correctly. The change in her movement was almost immediate. The saddle was free to pivot around the point where the stirrups attach, and my inexperienced butt wasn't bouncing on her loins. Once she started using her back, she began to understand and use it even when my weight was in the saddle. But she needed to get stronger to move her back with my weight, and she had no incentive to do that while I was putting pressure on her loins and back.

    2 - Tried it again with our Appy/Arab and cantering. We learned cantering together. I'm sure he had done it, but he had gone several years without cantering when I first asked him to on MY first attempt at cantering. I was trying to 'sit the canter' like a person might sit the trot, and I ended up flying in loose formation with him. The picture below was taken about 30 seconds into our first attempt, and is embarrassing:



    Doesn't get much uglier than that!

    It was enlightening to realize that some people learn to canter without first sitting it all the way:

    Riding the canter in half seat

    When I started using a more forward seat and cantering in my *******ized half-seat in a western saddle, Trooper started moving out a LOT more willingly. Gone were the pinned ears. And when I rode like that, he would cheerfully canter 4 times as many laps with my 180 lbs as with my daughter-in-law's 100 lbs!

    I like the western style of riding, but one of the points that Littauer makes in http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/0668057912/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used is that a traditional seat, whether in dressage or in its western variation, requires more effort from the horse than a forward seat does. The weight is carried further back, so the back has to work harder to move properly.

    Based on a whopping sample size of 3 horses, none of whom are ever ridden in true collection, using a forward seat is a good way to get them using their back. When our weight is off their back, they KNOW how to move. They do it all the time, when we aren't on their back. So minimizing the way our weight hinders their back from moving allows them to move more naturally. With practice and as they get stronger, they can learn to move that way WITH our weight.

    3 - Posting. Once your weight is off the saddle, posting higher only means you have further to come down. Maybe it is my own lack of skill, but I find the higher I post, the more likely I am do come down hard on the horse's back and negate the value of posting. So my goal in posting has become to post without getting a visible gap between me and the saddle.

    It is also very important for me to get in balance with the horse. If my weight is behind the horse's motion, then I end up putting more pressure on the back. I do this intentionally with my mare sometimes. When Mia gets a bit rowdy trotting on a trail, I'll kick my feet forward and shift my weight back. It tends to have the same effect on her as encountering a section of extra rocky trail - she slows down.

    As I said, I cannot imagine riding 50 miles nonstop, so feel free to ignore what I wrote. However, the book I linked to is an excellent book on riding forward. Used copies aren't too expensive, and it might give you food for thought. Good luck in your riding!

    Oh - and foot position. As a ROT, shortening my stirrups seems to pull my heel further back. But a forward seat is different from a traditional seat, so I recommend reading a good book about it and/or getting advice from the jumpers. And I wouldn't worry about the head position. When the back can move, the head will follow. The head position needs to be the RESULT of the back, not a means for TRAINING the back. I can say from personal experience with my mare Mia that she could canter with her head inches from the ground AND a stiff hollow back!
         
        11-18-2012, 09:14 PM
      #33
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by churumbeque    
    For dropping his head I have heard of 2 methods. 1 which I like is you hold 1 rein steady and (strong halfhalt) pull and release the other(if going in a circle pull the inside rein) till he drops. The key is when he drops you have to go with him so that you follow him with out loosing contact and not pull back to bump him. The other method is seesaw and doing the same thing when he drops.
    When stopping you should be sitting with your seat and if needed pull back with both reins or some horses are trained to stop when the reins are actually dropped. Also pay attention that he doesn't over flex and if he gets his nose out just push him forward with seat and legs to get him to round up in the bit.
    Yay! I think I have a good idea of what to do and how to do it now :) The see-saw method is what I was taught when I was younger, but he doesn't seem to respond to it very well and gets frustrated. However, having steady pressure has seemed to work well. I'm trying to do better on releasing but still maintaining my contact. Thank goodness timing isn't an issue, and I think I can do pretty well maintaining contact. However, I never really got a clear idea of what a "halfhalt" is, though I'm sure I do it. In addition, I'm going to work on pushing him forward into the bit rather than pulling his head back to him. I think I've got a pretty good idea of what overflexion looks like now - just need to get that back end to work with the front!

    He usually stops really well, though on the forehand it feels. Maybe it's because I'm just to QH's, but I think he plants his front feet and I get thrown forward if I'm not ready for it. If I am though, sitting down with my seat is habit and I stick pretty well. I definitely want to stop him from stopping on the forehand though.
         
        11-18-2012, 09:16 PM
      #34
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by churumbeque    
    You could also do it free lunging in the round pen and get him walking good.
    He moves out very well free-lunging - I think he begins to overthink things when I'm on him, though. I'll pay attention to this, however, when I go out tomorrow and get something on video if I can.
         
        11-18-2012, 09:19 PM
      #35
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by churumbeque    
    Also I do alot of driving and I gave you some pointers on your ground driving on your utube video
    Haha I was confused since I was thinking about riding and wondering about how in the world I was hitting him with reins. That horse is much better now, and I noticed and adjusted exactly what you were saying. He succeeded with ground driving and has now graduated for riding and is a wonderful and responsive horse. I've broken him 100% on my own and had him since he was 18mo, plus he's what I'm used to. We have a very strong bond and are able to figure out what each other wants and needs. That video was on a bad day for us and I was frustrated with myself for what and how I was doing stuff. I'm so glad he's excelled so much since then!
         
        11-18-2012, 09:39 PM
      #36
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    I'll type some stuff, but I'm not a trainer or very good rider and I don't do any horse sports and cannot IMAGINE riding 50 miles at a shot, so take it with a big steaming helping of FWIW:

    1 - We had a little Arabian mare who was broken for us, and then I rode her out. We sold her a couple of years ago, but I rode her a lot when she was very green. It worked OK because she was a good-natured and forgiving mare.

    Anyways, when I first started riding her 750 lbs with my 180 lbs + 30 lb saddle, she rode head high the whole time. Hmmm - 28% of her weight and an inexperienced rider who bounced too much. Could I blame her for hollowing her back?

    So I started riding her in two point, even in my western saddle. The horse's hindquarters powers up thru the loin and eventually hits the shoulder, but the withers is like the fulcrum point. It is the place were the back moves the least when functioning correctly. The change in her movement was almost immediate. The saddle was free to pivot around the point where the stirrups attach, and my inexperienced butt wasn't bouncing on her loins. Once she started using her back, she began to understand and use it even when my weight was in the saddle. But she needed to get stronger to move her back with my weight, and she had no incentive to do that while I was putting pressure on her loins and back.
    It was great to have this explained by a fellow beginner! That all makes perfect sense. Since I don't have a trainer at the moment, I'm going to take your advice and just stay off his back as much as possible. Riding in two-point sounds like a fantastic idea, and I can work on him and not feel like I'm pounding on his back. Plus, it'll help with my balance I'm sure.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    2 - Tried it again with our Appy/Arab and cantering. We learned cantering together. I'm sure he had done it, but he had gone several years without cantering when I first asked him to on MY first attempt at cantering. I was trying to 'sit the canter' like a person might sit the trot, and I ended up flying in loose formation with him. The picture below was taken about 30 seconds into our first attempt, and is embarrassing:

    Doesn't get much uglier than that!

    It was enlightening to realize that some people learn to canter without first sitting it all the way:

    When I started using a more forward seat and cantering in my *******ized half-seat in a western saddle, Trooper started moving out a LOT more willingly. Gone were the pinned ears. And when I rode like that, he would cheerfully canter 4 times as many laps with my 180 lbs as with my daughter-in-law's 100 lbs!
    Cantering for us seems fine because his movement isn't that different from what I'm used to and I tend to move pretty freely with the saddle. However, since I don't have a saddle that fits like I want it to (yet), I'll keep it in mind when we do canter. We don't do it very often, though - the best conditioning comes from a good working trot and that's generally what we stick to on our rides.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    I like the western style of riding, but one of the points that Littauer makes in my favorite book about riding is that a traditional seat, whether in dressage or in its western variation, requires more effort from the horse than a forward seat does. The weight is carried further back, so the back has to work harder to move properly.

    Based on a whopping sample size of 3 horses, none of whom are ever ridden in true collection, using a forward seat is a good way to get them using their back. When our weight is off their back, they KNOW how to move. They do it all the time, when we aren't on their back. So minimizing the way our weight hinders their back from moving allows them to move more naturally. With practice and as they get stronger, they can learn to move that way WITH our weight.
    Again, perfect sense. I'm going to try to ride more forward and off his back, then have a trainer put me back in the saddle again lol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    3 - Posting. Once your weight is off the saddle, posting higher only means you have further to come down. Maybe it is my own lack of skill, but I find the higher I post, the more likely I am do come down hard on the horse's back and negate the value of posting. So my goal in posting has become to post without getting a visible gap between me and the saddle.
    I'll keep that in mind if I post, but I think you've convinced me to stay in 2-point lol

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    It is also very important for me to get in balance with the horse. If my weight is behind the horse's motion, then I end up putting more pressure on the back. I do this intentionally with my mare sometimes. When Mia gets a bit rowdy trotting on a trail, I'll kick my feet forward and shift my weight back. It tends to have the same effect on her as encountering a section of extra rocky trail - she slows down.
    I'm still trying to understand exactly what "behind the motion" means. It sounds fairly explanatory, but I'm not sure how to transfer that into my riding.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    As I said, I cannot imagine riding 50 miles nonstop, so feel free to ignore what I wrote. However, the book I linked to is an excellent book on riding forward. Used copies aren't too expensive, and it might give you food for thought. Good luck in your riding!
    Haha, actually, a lot of endurance riders do ride in 2-point, and now I think I'm understanding better why! Many of us aren't "English" riders, but ride in English-style saddles since they're lighter. That or something along the lines of treeless. Either way, I think I'll adopt that for now and check out that book :)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsms    
    Oh - and foot position. As a ROT, shortening my stirrups seems to pull my heel further back. But a forward seat is different from a traditional seat, so I recommend reading a good book about it and/or getting advice from the jumpers. And I wouldn't worry about the head position. When the back can move, the head will follow. The head position needs to be the RESULT of the back, not a means for TRAINING the back. I can say from personal experience with my mare Mia that she could canter with her head inches from the ground AND a stiff hollow back!
    I'll do some research and adjust my riding as best as possible until I start my lessons. That's a good point about the head being down and the chicken-or-the-egg issue about whether the head position corrects or is correceted by the back. My trouble is I can't tell when or if he's hallowing out, so I'll keep posting pictures and videos.
         
        11-18-2012, 11:41 PM
      #37
    Super Moderator
    Before I type anything, teach me how to use "mulitquote". I STILL can't use it correctly. I am the least technically adept mod here.
    churumbeque likes this.
         
        11-18-2012, 11:48 PM
      #38
    Green Broke
    Someone needs to help tiniylily. This thread has been useful for me and my Arab! That and I need to sit down and write her questions in a PM one of these evenings!
    Posted via Mobile Device
    tinyliny likes this.
         
        11-18-2012, 11:56 PM
      #39
    Super Moderator
    [QUOTE=jillybean19;1763494]Yay! I think I have a good idea of what to do and how to do it now :) The see-saw method is what I was taught when I was younger, but he doesn't seem to respond to it very well and gets frustrated.


    See sawing is a bad shortcut. Don't go there. It will create a resistant horse. YOu are "asking" nea, "inviting" the horse to lower his head and stretch forward, Not sawing on the bars of his mouth so he gives tot he bit (which teaches bit avoidance). As for a physical way to invite the horse to reach forward and down, consider the softest "milking" of the inside rein while the outside rein is steady but not frozen stiff.

    As another poster said, you must learn to follow the horse down and not bump them inthe mouth. That's why you do a ton of this at the walk before ever doing it at the trot.

    In the beginning, do your L and L only at walk, then when you trot, do as bsms and go light on the seat to encourage forward movement and let the horse move out as pleases them. Work on doing that and after a bit, take up the loose reins and ask them into a stop THROUGH a walk.



    However, having steady pressure has seemed to work well. I'm trying to do better on releasing but still maintaining my contact. Thank goodness timing isn't an issue, and I think I can do pretty well maintaining contact. However, I never really got a clear idea of what a "halfhalt" is, though I'm sure I do it. In addition, I'm going to work on pushing him forward into the bit rather than pulling his head back to him. I think I've got a pretty good idea of what overflexion looks like now - just need to get that back end to work with the front!

    He usually stops really well, though on the forehand it feels. Maybe it's because I'm just to QH's, but I think he plants his front feet and I get thrown forward if I'm not ready for it. If I am though, sitting down with my seat is habit and I stick pretty well. I definitely want to stop him from stopping on the forehand though.

    Yes, practice having him stop from a trot THROUGH the walk. And work on getting him to come to a stop , but be ready to go forward again.

    This involves having him soft on the bit, and ever so gently rocked back on his haunches so he is ready to accelerate to a walk or trot from a halt.


    That's a whole 'nother post, though.


    QUOTE]



    This is a bried video that has some good visual info in it regarding lifting the hroses back by use of Long and Low.

         
        11-19-2012, 12:15 AM
      #40
    Super Moderator
    Just read my post. Not only can't I used multiquote, I can't type worth dirt.

    Really, it's the typing. I can spell very well. Really. Believe me . .
         

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