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Trouble With Using Proper Aids... Help please?
So lately I've been back to riding my old pony, Jillian. We are a great pair but she's very strong headed and always does the little pony tricks (i.e. bulging out on turns to avoid using her body), but the problem is not that she does it (it's just her personality to test the rider), it's that I cannot for the life of me figure out how to use not my hands, but my seat and legs to repramand and correct her for her sneakiness. I have trouble with keeping one shoulder (right one) back due to a twisted spine, and I also have trouble with my hips being one too far forward and one too far back. Does anyone have any tips or hints on A.) getting her to respond to my cues (i.e. which leg is at the girth and which seatbone to sink into) and B.) any exercises to strengthen/even out my uneven posture so I don't unknowingly confuse the poor little pony! She also has a problem with bending to the inside, but staying on the rail. She likes to cut inside to avoid the contact and once again, my confusion of which aids do what and the fact that my body is out of funk leaves me pretty much helpless when she does this. If you had the patience to read all of this I give you a round of applause and PLEASE help! Thanks!(:
I have some issues with this too (the leaning in or cutting out on the circle). I have a tendency to over work my body in an attempt to straighten out the horse, and the harder I try, the more twisted I get, and the more twisted I get, the more crooked the horse gets.
I have taken to trying to remind myself to ALWAYS stay centered over the horse's body, no matter what I am doing with me feet or legs or reins. This is just one thing that helps to keep in mind.
that is a very good thing to remember! I'll have to keep that in mind more often! Thanks!
Using aids properly
I, too, have had issues with using too much hand. What really works is getting your horse flexible, first, before jumping. Think of patterns you can do. For example, there is a pattern called the traveling figure eight done at the trot. Starting at one end of a ring/arena/area of pasture, do a figure eight. As you complete the figure eight, ride straight and do another figure eight, and so on. Just before you change direction, concentrate on using more of your new inside leg, having the new outside leg holding the shape of your horse. You should start to find your horse getting more flexible and lighter in front. Each time I ride, I do something different. Within 20 minutes, I change direction, change gaits, shorten and lengthen the stride, leg yield, etc. This way the horse is not apt to anticipate what you want to do. I do the same with jumping. As someone else posted, keep centered, use more leg than less (this actually works), and ride inside leg to outside rein. Hope this helps.
Dressage lessons would be great for you two. Work on serpentines and half serpentines at warm up. Also 20 meter circles and spiral into a 10 meter and back out. To answer which leg and seat bone depends on direction. Tracking left in the corner you have to catch before the bulge. If you wait till she starts you are to late and have a harder time. You know it's coming so about 3 strides before the turn but your inside leg which is going to be your left on at the girth. The outside leg should be on but back. Sit into your outside seat bone. And hold the your outside rein. Do not let it slip. Hold a contact on the outside steady so the pony has the rein to push into and use your inside for correction. The correction should be light do not cross your hands over her neck. I little tilt in the risk on the inside rein. If she is that off balance you may actually have to weight your outside iron to help her balance in the turn. So after you do all the above before the turn you continue this in the turn then add extra weight in your outside iron as well. Out of the turn go back to everything normal and start to set up for your next turn. Usually this behavior is from an unbalanced horse and I choir help the balance and learn to carry themselves it will not get any better
Thank you very much Sans that was a great help! My trainer/her owner is a wonderful dressage trainer so I will have to ask her for a few lessons on the basics! Thank you again!
When the horse bulges out on you, are you closing the outside aids (leg and rein) or pulling the horse to the inside with your inside rein? The latter is a common mistake that only makes the bulging worse.
I use my outside leg and hold the outside rein, my problem is how my hips and shoulders get twisted up
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