Hunter Under Saddle Critique :)
Hello HorseForum :)
I'll keep this short and sweet :) I have a show coming up this weekend, and it's the first with my new trainer! I'm quite excited! Cowboy has some info at the start of the vid. This is our 4th show together. If you need any more info, I'd be glad to share :) For now, tear us to shreds!!
I'd like critique of the horse and rider both :) We will be in the 2' Beginner Horse division.
Watching this, there is just something I don't like about me. I just can't pinpoint it... but I don't like it. Are me and Cowboy looking good and 'match-y?' Together? This trainer is teaching us a bit differently - I am used to riding super relaxed - very little rein contact. New trainer uses a more 'ride like you mean it,' which I think is good, but I don't know if I like the way it looks. But what do I know? You all are the different eyes :)
You're not allowing him to lower his head. When he raises it his back is hollow. He is lacking the rounded frame. Even with a clean round this is what the judges want to see. Your hips are moving back at the bottom side of your posting. You need to bring them straight down so they remain over your heels. Practice standing in the stirrups. Stand straight up, no not bent forward, straight up. (I am envisioning you doing this and we all do it the same to start). Heels down. Now pull your hips forward and shoulders back until you are straight up and down. Here's the fun part. The goal is to lower your body and sit on the pommel. It won't happen but by picturing this your hip will end up in the deepest part of the seat. Be aware of your position. This is where you want your hips to land when you post, in the deepest part of the seat. This will help him to round.
I agree with Saddlebag. The horse is bracey in the neck, so it's a trick to get him to accept the bit and contact , without him wanting to giraffe it.
First, though, your seat is not really solid. I think this is what you are seeing in the video, and kudos to you for noticing that. some people would not see that..
I see you knee move around a lot and when the horse transisitioned downward, you fell forward a bit. you are doing more posting than he is doing. I mean, he should be lifting you, and you seem to be doing more work than his movement would indicate is right.
I would lower your stirrup one notch. The saddle may be too small for you, if you look where your knee is, it's too high, and too far over the flap. Like Saddle said, you need to come down more onto the middle of the saddle, not against the back, and having a slightly longer leg, which is more solid (less knee movement) will help a lot with this.
Your hand is reasonably steady and you look up really well and look focussed and to be enjoying yourself. gettting that more solid leg will also reduce your tendency to roll forward onto you pee-pee (forgive the kiddie word), and you won't fall forward when he drops down a gait.
He needs a bit more "umph" in his trot. I bet when he gets moving he is a very handsome mover.
Good luck on your show and thank you for sharing.
Tjank you both so much :) I am riding tomorrow, and will definatly drop the stirrups, and practice the excersize Saddle mentioned :) In order to have him drop his neck do I just ease up on the reins? That seems to do the trick most of the time.
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You want to have him feel comfortable being connected to the bit, so you apply some pressure, by kind of tightening your hand, and when he gives, you give equally. Once he feels kind of "safe" with you taking up more contact (because he knows he can get a release from that by giving in the poll) then ask for him to flex a bit at the poll and when he does, you advance your hands forward a bit and put a bit more leg on. your aim is to have him follow your hands (actually, he is following the bit, but how he feels it coming from you hands) forward, and downward. It is important to not just throw your hands forward, and to not let him slow down and just "flump" out of the trot. You want to have more energy to fill up the widening space you are providing by advacning your hands a bit, as if you are stretching a rubber band out more. To do so, you must apply more energy, right?
More energy@! that's the ticket.
The main things that stuck out to me throughout the video was that you are leaning quite far forward in the trot and canter. In the canter it seems to make your hips look a bit stiff?
Also are your hands leaning on your horse? They look like they need to come up a little and your elbows need to move back towards your sides more
You two look great together though (:
Thank You!! I actually didn't get to ride yesterday :( We ended up at the Dentist for an emergancy tooth problem for my dad. SOmething about tar actually going way too deep into his gums and tearing out the tissue. So they called us to get tere. Now.
ANYWAY, lol, thank you for your crit, Elaine :) I have always had a problem with my hands resting on Cowboy :p Thank you for reinforcing it. I am going to work on sitting back on my butt more (but farther up in the saddle) in my lesson today. Then I'll be able to say for sure how I'm doing with everything afterward :)
Get your hands up some. You seem to be resting on his neck with your hands. Also your contact is okay if you just had the forward to go into it. He is not forward and pushing into the bit which is causing the fussiness. Remember your elbows should move somewhat when riding the trot. Open and close the elbows with each stride so your not constantly holding pressure. Forward forward forward is what you need at this point. Remember forward is not speed but impulsion and push from behind not rushing him. He is a little more forward at the canter and he is not as fussy with the same rein contact but he is still on the forehand. Also for you don't lean forward in your transitions up or down. Sit down into the saddle for the whoa he is bracing on your hands. Is he barefoot? Or is the footing out there rough?
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