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Nuclear NightShade 04-10-2012 05:39 PM

Off Day becomes Off Month :[
Ok, i'm unsure of where to start but here goes nothing . . .

I'm 16 and i've been riding at my local stable once a week for the past eight years.
I ride all sorts of school ponies big/small , fast/slow , young/old . . . anything and everything.
I'm not by any means a competitive rider. I've jumped courses of 90cm and occasionally 1metre single fences. I would much prefer treking and maybe bare back riding but unfortunately this is all my stable can offer.
Well thats the breakdown of my experience, i should get down to the dilema :[

Four weeks ago i was having a wonderful time , i felt more confident in my riding skills then i ever had before.My lesson went great and I could'nt wait for the following week to come.
The lesson came as normal , only something was'nt right. I was off on everything i did. But i dissmissed it as an off day. I mean everyone has them,right?
The next week was worse , i just could'nt co-ordinate myself like before. Once again i dismissed it as an off day. That I'd been exhausted after school.
Another week passes and Again , a terrible lesson. I got really upset too. I feel like i'm regressing rather the progressing these past 3 weeks. It's really knocking my confidence.


The past week or two i've found myself putting my stirrups much shorter then normal . So much so that my instructer commented on them and suggested that i try dropping them a few holes as my knee's are too bent.
The problem with this is that they feel way too long and i find it really difficult to keep my heels down and my feet from sliping when i'm jumping.

Could anyone shed some light on my mess ups? I'd be forever greatful for as much as a few tips on what to practise during my hour lesson to straighten myself out , even just alittle.

To anyone who read this entire thing, Thank you sooooo much and i'm sorry for my waffling :-|

nucks93 04-11-2012 04:41 PM

hmm. I've had pretty awful rides before too. What usually was the case for me is I was just too tired. But, I do know of a few exercises/things that help me ride and hopefully they can help you..
1. Stretch before I ride
2. when sitting on the horse, keep feet out of the stirrup and reach forward to touch the horses ears, then lay all the way back on the horse. That helps me kind of find my center of balance.
3. ride without stirrups
4. Put both feet in the stirrups and stand completely up out of the saddle. It can be tricky lol.

Hope those help!!

flyingchange1991 04-11-2012 09:55 PM

sounds like your having trouble with your seat, this has happened to me before, in fact I just went through a bit of a seat relapse last week! The stirrup and lower leg issues is a big tipoff, I did the same thing because I wanted to rely too much on my legs to keep me in the saddle rather than my core and seat. If you are able to, practice on some flatwork in between lessons and try and focus on your seat as much as possible. Here are some exercises I do when I'm having seat issues.
They're a bit strange but they do work! Also I know it focuses a bit more on dressage but its good to review this foundation seat.

Skyseternalangel 04-12-2012 05:14 AM

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Hmm honestly if you're feeling different for an entire month (4 rides, right?) has anything in your life changed? Have you been eating well? Lost or gained weight? Has there been stress?

Maybe you need some private lungeline lessons to get focused on your body and how it affects your horse and riding?

Also, if you want to do bareback and horse trekking, find a stable that offers that and take a few lessons? It could be your body is burnt out or you've being overly critical of yourself. It happens!

Lynnie 04-12-2012 05:55 AM

This sounds crazy but i think you need to relax. Try not overthink what your doing so much and tune into the pony/horse your riding if that makes sense. I also agree with the no stirrup work always a great idea to do every so often x
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Valentina 04-12-2012 04:38 PM

Agree with others. You need to relax, open your hips to sit deeper and keep your legs nice, long and relaxed. To help before you get on the horse try exercises like this: Yoga Poses for Hip Opening - Yoga Poses to Open Your Hips

I also do one where I grap the pommel (for support and keeping leg against horse straight and supporting my weight, I lift the other leg first:

1.) Knee straight up until top of knee is oparallel with my waist
2.) While in that position I move my ankle on that leg to be parallel with my waist (ankle moved in the direction away from my other leg) with thigh at waist level perpendicular to my body (like a male dog that's taking a pee). Then I move leg back behind me and infally down. Repeat with other legs.

This "opens" hips (can give you cramps too) thus when you sit on the horse you'll now sit more deeply in the saddle. Allowing your legs to hand long once you've done that then you can slip on your stirrups and voila - nice deep seat, long relaxed legs in the correct position.

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