Critique my arms/contact? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By MyBoyPuck
  • 2 Post By ~*~anebel~*~
  • 1 Post By bsms
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 8 Old 07-19-2013, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Subtropics
Posts: 244
• Horses: 1
Critique my arms/contact?

Here's us this month:

We're in a grid there, about 5 trotting poles and then a low jump, canter pole, lastly a cross rail, then a corner where we practice bending in a circle. I'm still figuring out the *feel* for the distance and two point Just gotta keep doing the grids and paying attention to get it down. She's doing great, I'm proud of her :)

This is from January:

Some things to consider: I have a hip acebulum issue, and she has a lumbar stiffness issue along with a badly set head/neck that make it practically impossible to appropriately ask her to lower her head or take a "correct" contact, so I have to hold her more. It's a kick in the butt to have to focus on keeping the contact and my body upright. She can flex and bend laterally on cue. Any vertical flexion comes and goes when she feels absolutely comfortable giving it because it is very difficult to do so.

If you can crit my mare, too, please do not crit the back or poll, and do not critique my hip.
TerciopeladoCaballo is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 8 Old 07-28-2013, 09:34 PM
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 127
• Horses: 0
Honestly, I don't think you can critique contact really and even hand position its different for every horse. Warming up I always have a loose rein but when jumoing etc you should not be pulling but have a feel for there mouth and control. For me on my horse, it varies day to day on how shes feeling. So go with what feels best, but make sure you are not pulling or hanging on her mouth !

People say to hold on tight to what you love-
especially when it's trying to buck you off
konikirule is offline  
post #3 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 06:10 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
Bend your elbows. Your upper arm should hang down and rest at your sides, but you need to bend your elbows and carry the weight of your own lower arms. That's what ultimately creates the straight line from elbow to bit.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #4 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 06:13 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 8,157
• Horses: 0
Holy cow I'm such a dope. I was looking at the bottom pic like it was the after pic. Sorry! Contact is better and you did establish the straighter line. Still looks a bit tense in the shoulders and elbows are not hanging at your sides, but she looks like she's pulling on you a bit in that pic.

You just have to see your don't have to like it.
MyBoyPuck is offline  
post #5 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 06:21 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: In the saddle.
Posts: 5,157
• Horses: 1
So you will make excuses as to why the horse can't possibly be expected to put its head down.... But then you jump it??

Correct muscling of the neck is possible regardless of where it is set. You do not need to ask on an internet forum to see how your contact is developing - look at the muscles on the horse's neck... It seems quite obvious to me...
bsms and waresbear like this.

They say money doesn't buy happiness -- well happiness doesn't buy horses!
~*~anebel~*~ is offline  
post #6 of 8 Old 07-30-2013, 10:17 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 9,534
• Horses: 4
In one of VS Littauer's early books, he said all horses should be ridden with contact, and a horse was not in control if you did not. Decades later, he changed his view. He said "elementary control" was appropriate for a rider learning position and balance, and at that level of riding, he recommended using loose reins. He said decades of schooling students on his horses had taught him that riders trying to ride 'on contact' when they were not completely stable in their seat resulted in sour, hard-mouthed horses.

He also said that relying on loose reins indefinitely was a primitive approach and lacked finesse...which has both an element of truth and an element of error to it, depending on the horse, the tack, the rider & their goals.

If he was right, then a rider ought to be pretty comfortable in riding two-point, half-seat and full seat before asking the horse for constant contact via the bit.

I don't jump, and consider myself primarily a western rider, although my Australian-style saddle is English in origin. I ride some two-point almost every ride, which is atypical for a western rider. Although I like slack in the reins, my mare prefers contact any time she is nervous or excited - so I'm in the odd position of having my horse push me to ride with some contact even though I don't want it! Oh well...horses get a vote.

Bottom line - if you are not comfortable with the strength and steadiness of your position, two-point, half-seat and your hands, you MIGHT consider Littauer's approach. But I'm not an instructor, a shining example of riding skill, a competitor or teacher, so you are also welcome to totally ignore this post!

If you are interested in reading his opinions:

"Make the right thing easy and the wrong thing...well, ignore it mostly."
bsms is offline  
post #7 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Port Augusta, Down Under
Posts: 301
• Horses: 4
I can see one thing that is wrong and that is your toes are pointing out. I have hip issues and I can keep my toes in. my instructor once told me if I cant keep my toes in due to my hip I should not be jumping. also if your mare is unable to put her head down when jumping she should not jump. having its head down helps the horse get the required elasticity and power in its hind end that a horse needs
donovan is offline  
post #8 of 8 Old 07-31-2013, 05:13 AM
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Florida
Posts: 37
• Horses: 1
I agree with everyone about the arms. Your toes are pointing out, but it looks like the iron is slipped into the heel. Should be at the ball of the foot.

Your horse's head in the before picture looks more appropriate, less tense and more down.

You are making progress, keep it up! Don't let health issues get in your way, just make sure both of you are having fun. I had a dog with bone issues who did agility, and she LOVED it, but as soon as I saw her refusing, we stopped. No questions asked.
HorsesRForever is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tricks to Achieve Soft Arms livelovelaughride English Riding 9 02-08-2013 10:53 PM
locking arms while asking for downward transition Favonian654 English Riding 12 12-02-2012 01:19 PM
In the arms of the ocean <3 *Watch and sub to me ;)* PintoTess Horse Videos 5 08-02-2012 09:14 PM
Trouble Keeping My Arms Down Phantom Horse English Riding 7 11-29-2010 11:20 AM
Kanasas People You should be up in Arms over this RegalCharm General Off Topic Discussion 2 12-03-2008 04:54 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome