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Sarahbalou 04-12-2012 04:20 PM

Dressage pictures
So I was wondering if I could get some critique on my riding.
I ride competitions with Libella on beginner level. Last summer was my first dressage season and this summer I will also start jumping. Perhaps jumping pictures will follow later.
For more information about the horse, just go to her page.

My own critiques:
- My hands are often too low and not straight up
- I have to look ahead of me instead of looking to my beautiful horse
- I have to keep my heels down
- Many more things I'm not thinking of right now...
Here my hands are way too low, I know. I was trying to let her stretch her neck and then I always loosen my reins unintentionally.
My hands are way too low again, and not straight up.
I'm leaning too much forward here.


DressageDreamer 04-12-2012 04:33 PM

Well you see your own mistakes so that is wonderful. These are things I see. I am not an expert, but these are things to work on. And yes, look forward where you are going to balance yourself and your horse. When you look down on the horses head it shifts your balance and affects the horse.

Your toes are pointed out - roll your thighs inward against the horse. You need to pull your shoulders back as well as sitting up straighter. Your elbows should be bent and flexing - closer to your sides. Your hands are low but also not in the correct position. Your thumbs should be up higher if that makes sense. Your leg comes forward at times instead of creating the invisible line from your shoulder, hip and heel.
Hope this helps!! I am not trying to pick on you....I swear. Just trying to be helpful.
Your horse looks a little behind the vertical in some of the pics.

Sarahbalou 04-12-2012 04:50 PM

Thank you for your reaction!
I know about my toes and hands and that I have to sit up straighter. It's just hard to work on everything at the same time :-P. But on some points I've already gone forward a lot since 2 years ago I think, but there is still a lot of work on me, I know. I don't like my posture at all.

On which pictures is she behind the vertical? I guess you mean the last one, but there are some pics where I'm not sure.

crimsonsky 04-12-2012 04:51 PM

i think the two of you have a good base to start from - your working together well i'd say. i agree with all of the things you've pointed out for yourself as well as what DD has stated. what type of saddle are you riding in? something with more of a dressage "influence" or "persuasion" might help you along as well.

also - if you think about bringing your shoulders back/shoulder blades "together" so to speak, you will find you have an easier time keeping your eyes up, elbows at your sides and a good contact to your horse's mouth. head up typically will help with dropping weight in your seat and heels (at least i've noticed it does) which will help with keeping your toes up instead of down.

the thigh on your horse part - literally pick up your leg/thigh and roll it so that the inside is on the saddle/horse. once you get a good feel for how it should be you'll eventually sit that way naturally. ;)

DressageDreamer 04-12-2012 04:55 PM

DressageDreamer 04-12-2012 04:56 PM

The first picture the horse is behind the vertical which is what I am seeing your horse do quite a bit in the pics. The second pic shows the horse on the vertical.

DressageDreamer 04-12-2012 05:02 PM

This might be more helpful to explain :-)

Sarahbalou 04-12-2012 05:07 PM

Thanks, I know what you mean, I just didn't realize she was actually too much behind the vertical. I know it's a big mistake to ride behind the vertical and I when I saw the pictures for the first time I did see she was a little behind it, but I figured I wasn't that bad because no one had ever actually said that was the case with me. But thanks for pointing it out to me!

Also, I 've been thinking about buying my own saddle (this one is the riding school's, because it's only a lease horse, not my own), but I don't really want to buy a dressage saddle because I also do some jumping, and I don't want to buy two saddles for a horse that isn't mine.

DressageDreamer 04-12-2012 05:18 PM

Well it is MUCH easier to look at pictures and critique than it is to do all the right things at once. I struggle myself. I know what it is supposed to's just getting me and my horse to both do it at the same time that I have trouble with. LOL
Yes, I wouldn't want to buy a saddle for a horse that isn't mine either!!!

Sarahbalou 04-12-2012 05:35 PM

Well, I'm glad the summer season is starting again, that means more lessons, so the instructors can remind me from time to time. My regular riding instructor is very good but he doesn't say very much about posture (maybe because he doesn't have a good posture himself, although that shouldn't be a reason).

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