Hunter/Eq flat critique *pics*

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Hunter/Eq flat critique *pics*

This is a discussion on Hunter/Eq flat critique *pics* within the Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Hunter on the flat pictures
  • English eq on flat

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    06-16-2012, 09:32 AM
Hunter/Eq flat critique *pics*

I'm planning on trying out for an NCAA riding team for college (I'll be a junior next year) so I switched to a great hunter trainer a couple months ago. I just thought I'd get a little more critique on my flatwork, because she's completely changed the way I ride so it's still a little weird to me. These are pictures from my two shows last weekend. The one in a tank top was schooling the day before. The first show I competed in the pony medal and large low pony hunter. The second (in the obnoxious polo...) was Open Eq. If you guys could give me any pointers I'd really appreciate it. I know sometimes my heel isn't deep enough and I ride in a bit of a chair seat. That's the way my dreadful saddle puts me, so any suggestions on how to work around a bad saddle would help too. Thanks! :)

(Excuse Roxy's lovely expression. That's just her typical mare face. She's not in pain or anything.)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg BCHSA Featherdown @ Garrison 068.jpg (94.3 KB, 324 views)
File Type: jpg BCHSA Featherdown @ Garrison 505.jpg (77.9 KB, 331 views)
File Type: jpg BCHSA Featherdown @ Garrison 555.jpg (70.3 KB, 316 views)
File Type: jpg Lehigh June 2012 138.jpg (75.9 KB, 311 views)
File Type: jpg Lehigh June 2012 145.jpg (61.1 KB, 314 views)
File Type: jpg Lehigh June 2012 158.jpg (75.4 KB, 315 views)
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    06-17-2012, 11:49 PM

Good for you to be trying out for an NCAA riding of luck with that!

As far as critique, there are others with WAAAY more experience (practically EVERYONE HERE), but I'll give it a shot on a couple of things!

First of all, to simply address the issues you brought up...your heels look great, I see them as being perfectly far down! I also don't see you as riding at ALL in a "chair seat" position. I think overall, everything looks quite good, and the only thing I would question is the fact that you are leaning rather forward...although, I get the feeling because that is basically your position in ALL of the photos (except where you appear to be standing still) that the forward leaning position is what is required for proper Hunters?

Again, others would be the better judge of that than I, so definitely wait on better critiques! I personally see your riding, in terms of the two issues you brought up being concerned about, as looking quite good!

Again, best of luck to you and keep up the hard work!!!

P.s. Your mare is lovely! :0)
    06-17-2012, 11:55 PM
I won't go into depth because this isn't my area but you need to make sure your reins and arms make sense. In some of these, your arm is too low or too high so it isn't really working for you.. just creating resistance in your horse.

Your overall position is pretty good. But sort out your contact. She looks a little stiff in the "hunt coat" pictures too. In the others when your arms make sense (as in follow the bit, using your body correctly) she seems very happy and put together.

Well done :)

I also think I like the saddle fit better (from what I can tell) with just the baby pad, not the shaped fleece pad. It just looks like it's tipping slightly back with that fleece pad.... which of course makes riding even more challenging.

But you look good. Love your open chest, how you look up, and you look relatively comfortable :)

Back2Horseback, she's riding in a half seat and two point at times. That's typical of hunters and show jumpers. Dressage is more deep seated and everything more lined up. But evenso her saddle doesn't fit (as she said) so she's having a few position issues but they're not bad at all.
    06-18-2012, 12:12 AM
You're leaning forward at the trot.
Try to keep your shoulders over your hips.
Your heel to hip is nice, and you have deep heels.

I, personally, prefer to keep my shoulders back and butt down at the canter because it frees your horses front and allows them to pick up their front legs.
(i noticed an improvement in my mares canter, she is gaited so it's awkward anyway, but it helped her)
Anyway, you may have been trained to half seat at the canter, just my opinion.

Also pick your hands up a bit

(I just recently fixed all these habits! Haha)
    06-18-2012, 09:22 AM
Thanks so much guys! I really appreciate your critiques.
Back2horseback: As sky said, the forward/half seat is a hunter thing. Some judges hate a forward seat, others prefer you be practically laying on the horses neck. I try to change it up a bit when I'm schooling at home so I can adjust my position on show days to fit what the judge wants. But it was definitely weird for me going back to a more hunter position after 6+ months of strictly dressage lessons ;)

Sky- I didn't even notice my hands being out of place! That makes perfect sense though. I've always noticed my hands bounce a little when Roxy gets out of balance, but I didn't realize just how much. I'll work on that!

Lexiie- I've been experimenting a bit with how deep I sit at the canter. My trainer keeps having me switch between a deeper and lighter seat. We've actually found that she prefers a half seat on the straightaways; if I use a full seat she just runs through the bridle and doesn't want to collect herself up at all. I definitely agree with you about my hands and shoulders though as I have a tendency of curling up into a ball when I ride haha.

Thanks again everyone! :)
    06-18-2012, 09:27 AM
You're very welcome! Glad to be helpful
    06-18-2012, 12:18 PM
Well, I should thank You!

It's funny...I rode hunter/jumper as a kid, and now I'm essentially getting my first taste of Basic Dressage as sort of a re-starting point after all these years...I'm VERY FAMILIAR with the mechanics of two-point/half-seat, but I apparently didn't have anything near my brain in gear when I looked at your photos, as all I was thinking was..."Holly (my trainer) reminds me a lot to sit back when I feel inclined to sit forward (obviously throwback from my youth!) So it must be better not to EVER SIT FORWARD."
It literally didn't even OCCUR TO ME until I read Sky's post that those photos were taken with you in 2 point! Serious duh on my part...apologies.

I think that you do look very good though, and especially realizing the mechanics of WHY THE FORWARD POSTURE, you look GREAT! :0) Lol!

Keep up the good work! And I'm VERY JEALOUS OF YOUR HEELS!! :0)
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    06-18-2012, 01:25 PM
Haha no worries! And thank you :) My heels and leg used to be my strong point, but dressage plus a few months off because of Roxy's injury caused me to lose it. I've been working my butt off to get back in shape now, so I'm glad it's paying off!
    06-18-2012, 09:42 PM
I think your legs look pretty secure and you have good depth on the flat in your heels. Not sure how you look when you do jumps (not my area lol) but you look very comfortable compared to some of the other critique threads I've seen.

You'll bounce back, you're already pretty good though!
    06-18-2012, 09:54 PM
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Could you point out which picture you think her hands don't make sense? I am curious. The only thing I see there is at times the elbow comes away from the body, so if one looked at her from above, they would see a broken line to the bit, where the elbow stuck out.

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