got a trainer -- and lots of "homework" - Page 5 - The Horse Forum

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post #41 of 56 Old 02-27-2014, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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post #42 of 56 Old 03-01-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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got in 2 hours today -- mostly slow because I still hurt a lot -- might have gotten in 5 minutes of trotting

Started off on the ground and me showing her how I want her to move off my leg -- used a hog stick to press her side where my foot would be until she moved off it it -- we did about 20 minutes of the (10 on each side)

Got on and side a lot of walked -- at one point I was able to lay the reins down and squeeze her in and out of cones -- anytime she would forget to turn, I would lift the reins, lay one side against her neck and then start a slight pull with the inside rein

She did the drifting when we were moving faster --- she is pretty good slow, but gets pretty bad slow --- I need to consider if I am doing something to make her drift when we are trotting --- I don't think I am, because I am pretty good about not doing stuff that I know I shouldn't and there is not a whole lot I am doing different when trotting ----

The only thing I can think of off the top of my head is my seat, and I really do not have much seat control at this point in time

She did phenomenally well stopping with little to no rein cues --- I now squeeze my legs, and suck myself down into my seat and lean backwards -- if she doesn't stop, then I lift of the reins and pull back --- if she keeps walking I stop her harder and then make her back up to where I think we should be
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post #43 of 56 Old 03-09-2014, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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I got to do lessons at the same time as my daughter --- that was the highlight of the week. It was really great doing it at the same time.

Dixie was an absolute dream while we were walking, she was listening to leg cues, and turning off of my leg before having to use the reins -- she kept her head low so her back wasn't hollowed out, everything was near perfect


... and then we trotted

She turned into a nightmare, she was running to the side, ignoring my legs, ignoring my reins, and I thought for sure I was going to fall off again (i so was not ready to fall off in front of my instructor)

She stopped the lesson, told me to get off, get my lunge line and lunge whip -- first she lunged the horse, then I lunged the horse, we ran her pretty good

Then she told me to get back on and trot .. so I did

At first there was some drifting and stubbornness -- but that gradually went away

She told me I need to try to spend some time with dixie every day -- even if it is only 30 minutes -- lunge her -- then tie her up for 2 hours before letting her go

She needs to learn that go means go, turn means turn, and she is going to work whenever I want -- and her drifting, and stubborness is only going to make things harder on her (plus it is safer for me to lunge her than risk falling off again when she is being a butt)

The tieing up is so the lesson can sink in and she learns that just because I am done riding, does not mean she goes back to doing whatever she wants.
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post #44 of 56 Old 03-10-2014, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecasey View Post
I just "mastered" the sitting trot. Yay. Here is the technique my trainer taught me:

1. Keep your feet very light in the stirrups (it actually helps to use none because too much pressure on your feet encourages bouncing in newbies).

2. With the reins in hand, grab the horn if riding Western or saddle pad if riding English, and lean waaaay back in the saddle. This is to encourage a very deep seat. It's not "proper" riding posture; it's just there for training purposes and temporary. It really works, I promise, and it doesn't develop bad habits. It's actually safer and nicer for the horse's back too than a person banging away in the saddle.

3. Breathe in and out regularly. It's normal to hold your breath when you're stressed.

4. If you're still bouncing, lean back more.

5. Relax those butt muscles.

6. Keep your eyes looking out far. "Soft eyes", looking in the general direction where you want the horse to go, not laser-focused on one thing out in front. Definitely don't look at the ground below you or the horse's neck. It can throw off your balance.

7. After you're comfy and balanced doing this, practice letting go of the reins with one hand and holding that arm out laterally, for about 50 beats (horse steps). Then reverse and do the other arm. Then drop both reins and do both arms (harder). Once you can do the seated trot (with no stirrups) with both arms out to the sides comfortably, you know you have decent balance.

8. Do the seated trot without stirrups. Also practice putting your feet in and then out of the stirrups while the horse maintains the trot. You will learn that if you don't do it keeping your seat and balance, your horse will pick up the cues and stop. It's a delicate balance to sending the go signal while also messing around with the stirrups.

9. Make sure to do both directions around the riding ring/arena every time, so you don't get to leaning one side or the other and so your horse doesn't get stiff. Plus you'll find it's easier sometimes going one direction or the other due to the horse just naturally preferring one side over the other, so being good when it's tough is good practice.

10. After you've done a ton of miles with these exercises, you'll be able to sit up in a normal position, have your feet in the stirrups, and actually feel the rhythm of the horse that you can ride the trot to. Before then, I wouldn't worry about the rhythm.
I may have missed it in here, but I did want to add one thing. Remember to keep your lower back relaxed! That's my issue, when I trot on horses other than my own. I forget to relax my lower back, and end up bouncing and very sore...lol. When I sit the trot, at first, I have to remember...relax, breathe, relax, breathe, in time with foot falls.
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post #45 of 56 Old 03-10-2014, 01:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmike View Post
i got to do lessons at the same time as my daughter --- that was the highlight of the week. It was really great doing it at the same time.

Dixie was an absolute dream while we were walking, she was listening to leg cues, and turning off of my leg before having to use the reins -- she kept her head low so her back wasn't hollowed out, everything was near perfect


... and then we trotted

She turned into a nightmare, she was running to the side, ignoring my legs, ignoring my reins, and I thought for sure I was going to fall off again (i so was not ready to fall off in front of my instructor)

She stopped the lesson, told me to get off, get my lunge line and lunge whip -- first she lunged the horse, then I lunged the horse, we ran her pretty good

Then she told me to get back on and trot .. so I did

At first there was some drifting and stubbornness -- but that gradually went away

She told me I need to try to spend some time with dixie every day -- even if it is only 30 minutes -- lunge her -- then tie her up for 2 hours before letting her go

She needs to learn that go means go, turn means turn, and she is going to work whenever I want -- and her drifting, and stubborness is only going to make things harder on her (plus it is safer for me to lunge her than risk falling off again when she is being a butt)

The tieing up is so the lesson can sink in and she learns that just because I am done riding, does not mean she goes back to doing whatever she wants.

Just seeing this part. Sometimes, a horse will "act up" at faster gaits because of a discomfort. Have you had your trainer check saddle fit? Has the vet been out to do a good, thorough exam? May be something worth looking into.
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post #46 of 56 Old 03-10-2014, 02:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFull99 View Post
just seeing this part. Sometimes, a horse will "act up" at faster gaits because of a discomfort. Have you had your trainer check saddle fit? Has the vet been out to do a good, thorough exam? May be something worth looking into.
definitely worth looking into

Thanks
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post #47 of 56 Old 03-10-2014, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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no time to deal with horses today

Kids took priority, we went for a hike through the woods with our machetes widening the trails that the horses had already started for us (soon we will have real trail rides on real trails) -- thehorses have been back there eating the new shoots that are popping up


Then we jumped on the lawn mower to run over the young tree's and blackberry bushes as well as the ant hills and dead mounds of grass to make room for new grass

Was great -- had a lot of fun
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post #48 of 56 Old 03-11-2014, 09:40 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AFull99 View Post
just seeing this part. Sometimes, a horse will "act up" at faster gaits because of a discomfort. Have you had your trainer check saddle fit? Has the vet been out to do a good, thorough exam? May be something worth looking into.
I thought about it a lot this morning on my drive into work (1 hour is a long time to think on something)

I do not think it is pain:

When I want to turn left, she wants to turn right
When I want to turn right, she wants to turn left

(ends up being a compromise of straight since I do not believe I can turn her hard enough at that speed without her taking a fall and taking me with her)

Everything that I know about pain and discomfort tells me that if it was pain or discomfort, she would try to go straight, or to one side -- instead of the opposite direction that I want to go regardless of whether it is right or left

I think Dreamcatcher is correct in saying that it is a character flaw.
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post #49 of 56 Old 03-12-2014, 09:05 PM Thread Starter
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got in some "homework" time today -- maybe about 45 minutes

I left the other 2 horses free instead of tied up

We walked, I was able to steer with my legs -- had a little bit of an aha moment

Seems she turns better when I squeeze my outside leg, shift my seat a tad, and put some weight on the inside stirrup

Is that the way I am supposed to be doing it?
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post #50 of 56 Old 03-12-2014, 09:56 PM
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Whatever works. Horses don't have any books to read, and unless the person who trained her is available, it is a guessing game as to what, if any cues she knows.

Good Luck!!

Nancy
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