Crit Me English
So I feel like I look absolutely awful!!! This was the first time I rode in about 2 weeks, and the first time I rode English in at least 3months! I grew up English, but since getting my own horse have switched to mainly Western....but I want to ride both. What I see, is my heels are awful, Ive always needed to work on them, and still do. I need to look up, and not look down at my horse, and I think I need to possibly lengthen my stirrups, as I feel like Im too "chair seated" as I guess you would call it.
To add to even more awfulness, my horse, is a 2.5year old PaintxTB gelding that has been under saddle for about 6months now. I ride him maybe 2 times a week if that, and we mainly just trail ride, so when we start getting into the technical stuff, hes still very very green to it all! Not to mention, this is the first time he has had a bit in his mouth in the past 3weeks, as he is still teething very much.
Okay, done with the excuses, here are the photos....let me know if you see anything else that I need to work on, and any tips on working with him are always appreciated! Thanks
Please excuse all the ridiculous looks on my face as well :D
The saddle looks a bit small for you and you have a pretty bad chair seat in some of those pics. I would try to drop the stirrups a hole as well. You guys are looking good though!! I went from English to Western lol I know how it is hahah
That saddle is NOT doing you or your horse any favors. It's sitting too low in the pommel and is tipping you forwards. The knee is all wrong and the saddle is too small for your leg. It's sitting uneven so I'm sure it's not feeling too good on your horse's withers either.
It looks to me like you need to work on your leg - again, keeping in mind that the saddle is not helping you at all. Ditch it and get something that fits you and your horse. Anyways, you need to start at your base and work up - for legs, that's a lot of two point (because when you take away the seat, what are you left with? Yep!) and sinking into your heels. Lots and LOTS of no-stirrup work, too - take them off the saddle entirely if you're tempted to use them. Transitions, circles, you name it - do it without stirrups and in two point.
Close your fingers, keep those wrists straight and elbows in by your side. You're tipping forwards as well - again, saddle plays a big part in that - so think of opening your chest, rolling your pelvis into "neutral" and bringing your shoulders back in line so you have a straight line shoulder-hip-heel.
Keep in mind that you cannot expect to be perfect at something if you haven't practiced. English riding (riding in general of course, but I find our skimpy leathers and saddles particularly so) is very unforgiving; if you don't use it, you lose it! I love the smile on your face - that tells me so much right there. Keep up with the work and you'll see it pay off.
I should post pics of me and Ro from the first day I owned him, compared to now, 4 months later. I cannot believe the difference.
My input, it should be Criticize My English:-P
Apart from that JDI has it nailed
Well, I agree with all that JDI said. (it's so easy to just come along after she's done all the work and go along free for the ride!).
Rodeo is pretty downhill by nature. You may find that a western saddle will ultimately be more comfortable for you as a rider, since they tend to have more of a lift in front (on the seat portion) that can counteract the downward slope of the horse's back. you can still rein him like an English horse, but ride in a W saddle.
I agree saddle is too small and kind of "wonky".
Agree with everyhting JD said. I also think you are hollowing out the base of your spine too much making you look stiff. Get a new saddle which fits you and the horse then RELAX. Heels need to be well down and your weight pushed into them, not your toes. Keep practising. Took me a while to get my position right and even now, I still need to think about what I'm doing. Also bear in mind that every horse is different and what may work on one horse, may not work on another. Biggest piece of advice is to enjoy your riding and always, always WEAR A HARD HAT.
your stirrups look a hole too long and remember to put your heels down. If you put your stirrups up a hole it will help with your leg swinging forward like in picture 11. It also looks like you're carrying your hands too much, relax and try to make them look more fluid and natural.
All of these are minor and are corrected with time and practice (: other than that i think you look great and your english eq is coming along nicely (:
I don't know if what I am going to say has already been said because I havn't read the other comments, I'm just going to write down what I see. I am training to be an instructor so this is good practice :-)
You really need to lengthen your stirrup and that will allow the leg to fall down and around the horse more, at the moment you are perched on the stirrup rather than allowing the weight to fall down into the lower leg. Once you have the leg longer, you can learn to wrap it around your horse and keep it underneath you instead of having it swing way infront of where it should be. It should be on or just behind the girth.
It also looks like you need to roll yourself backwards almost, sit back onto your seat bones rather than sitting on your inner thighs and, ehem, "lady area" :oops: That will allow you to have a better seat.
I also think you look a bit tense so roll those shoulders back, loosen up and really open up through your chest. Relax the arms but maintain a bend at the elbow, allowing a straight line from your elbow to the horses mouth.
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