Critique Me Please.
Looks good, Your position is consistent in each photo. It's also good that your eyes are up while going over the poles. In the last picture it looks like you are slightly hunched but it's fixed in the photos of you while hacking.
Looks pretty good, make sure to keep your heels down. I also noticed in the first and last picture that you have your hands in your crotch, move them a little further up towards the withers.
In some pictures,such as the third one, you are lined up nicely, but in others , it looks like you are leaning back, resisting a downward pull, and the horse is very heavy on the forehand. YOur horse is built downhill, so it is not surprising that your position shows a rider "fighting" gravity that way. I am wondering about the fit of the saddle. It looks like it comes down a bit too far in front. Could it be too wide in front , and thus tipped down in front? The cantle looks a bit high.
I don't really have much of a critique but I wanted to say your horse is gorgeous!
You need to sit up, open up your chest, shoulders back and down. See how your arms are almost straight and hands tipping down? Bring those hands level, as though you were holding a hot mug of tea that you don't want to spill. Bend those elbows and get only your toe in the stirrup. You need more leg. Your horse could be moving better from his hind end.
Chin up too :)
With these changes, over time since I can tell your position is a force of habit, you and he will be a much more balanced, lovely pair :)
What a lovely horse :)
I have to agree - you are dropping your hands too low, and not enough bend in the elbow which can result in a very fixed contact because of the tension this creates in the shoulder and chest.
However, I wouldn't say your stirrup position is too bad - the widest part of your foot, just before your toes, should be fully supported by the stirrup as it seems to be in pic 3 (perhaps a tiny bit too far in). Otherwise you will end up either digging your heel down (which usually makes the leg stick forward) or not enough support to allow your ankle to be flexible enough to keep a good foot position.
I would, however, like to see you asking your horse to be a bit more active from behind as he is now very front heavy and not using his hindlegs nearly enough to carry himself. If you shortened your reins a little bit just to make him come up and seek contact rather than fall on his nose, and then ask him to move in a more active walk you would probably find it is not so easy for him to do so without the long rein. It is, however, what he needs to start balancing himself - stepping more with the hindlegs, into your contact.
A lot of transitions will help activate the behind and get more contact in front.
I would let your stirrup down by a hole as now they are a bit short, making your knee come up too high and putting you in an armchair position. The stirrup leathers show this as well since they are stretching forward and not down.
This would also allow you to open your hips a bit more and sit IN the saddle rather than ON it. I like to do quite a bit of lunge lessons for my students to develop and keep an independent seat.
For horses with this type of conformation I find it helps a lot if you begin with riding in a more long and round position, as this really gets them to lift their back and withers, open the hindquarters and relax the neck.
In my opinion, your horse is on the forehand. You need to work on transitions, and making the horse more round and supple.
You have a chair seat in most of your photos. You need to bring your heels farther behind you, and pull them down. Your hands are also a bit low for my liking, and you need to pull your shoulders back a bit.
I don't know if I am going to repeat any other comments but I havn't read previous posts :-)
In most of the pictures you seem to have a bit of a chair seat - this being that the lower leg is too far forwards. There should be a straight line from the ear, to the hip to the heel. A good way to check is if you look down you shouldn't be able to see your toes. I would perhaps put the stirrups down one hole, but that is up to you. To get the lower leg back and down you really need to open through the hip. Do some exercises like no stirrups, leg stretches etc to open the hip and allow the leg to fall back and down into the correct place. Once the leg is further back you can then work on securing the lower leg around your horse and allowing the weight to flow down into the heel naturally.
You look like you are leaning back in some of the pictures. Although you want to be sitting tall, you don't want to be behind the movement.
To me, the arms and hands are not in a good position at all (no offence). You need to carry them higher. There needs to be a slight bend in the elbow, your hands should be carried and the thumbs should be facing upwards.
Your horse is not working properly, he is on the forehand so not using himself correctly.
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