10-27-2009, 08:38 PM
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Maybe try working up to it gradually. It is a very odd feeling to be out of the tack if you're new to it. My suggestion would be to pick up a posting trot, and instead of posting every stride, stay up in 2 point for a few extra strides and then go back to posting. Post a little more and then do it again. Stay up only as long as you can without tipping forward or back. Don't feel weird about grabbing mane to help you balance. It can only help you and doesn't hurt your horse. It gives your mind the security that you're not going to be out of the tack that long, and it works wonders for your balance and lower leg strength.
Also have your instructor show you how to bridge your reins. Some riders hate it, but some love the additional security it provides for things just like you mentioned, when your horse lowers his head for whatever reason.
Go at your own pace. No reason to rush it.