Western Pleasure crit! (VIDEO)
Comet and I both ride English primarily, and we started doing western pleasure so that I'd have more fun and could do more at the local open shows. It's a nice break from English on days when I feel a bit lazier, and Comet LOVES it.
How do we look? Critique heavily on both of us. I need to know what to work on for the show season!
(I rode with two hands in this, but I have to ride with one for showing. I usually just practice with two hands, and switch to one when I'm not training as hard.)
For 4-h or open level not too shabby!
The biggest thing I saw was with you. Your legs are way too far forward, it looks like you are almost pushing yourself back into the seat with your feet. Sit in the center of your saddle instead of leaning against the back. Bring your legs underneath you.
I thought I looked a bit chair-seated too!
I would like to look better than 4-H or open level, though. What else should I fix?
You can tell he's a hunt seat horse because he moves on at both the jog and the lope. For him...he needs to tighten up at the jog and the lope, slow down a bit and shorten his strides. Getting him to lift his back will help....because he was hollow and hocks trailing behind at both the jog and the lope.
For you....bring your lower leg back from the hip. At the lope especially...you need to be quieter in the saddle, as you were pushing him forward with your seat and pumping you upper body. That brought you behind the motion which then in turn...pushed him on. You want to be centered right over his back on your seat bones and NOT on pockets (as many people say). Your posture should be the same as a Dressage rider.
But, he certainly looks quiet enough....everything just needs to slow down a bit.
Only think I could think of was to make sure when your riding to imagine a straight line from the shoulder, to the hips, down to the feet. just bring your feet a tad bit forward. Also to make sure you break at your hips, and relax a bit there to work on steadying your hands.
At the lope his head goes up from the position it was in at the trot. Work on maintaining a steady headset.
I like how his gaits look fluid and natural. Too many western pleasure horses have really unnatural looking gaits so they can go slower
I love the swing in his bag at the jog. That indicates a relaxed horse. His lope may improve as you bring your hips forward and heels back. The saddle you are using may be causing this. When your weight is on the cantle he is stringing out a bit as his back hollows. It appears you are continually tapping his ribs with your heel. Perhaps it's just the video but it's his job to maintain until you ask him to change. You need to get his speed consistant, neither slowing down nor speeding up. Have someone pass you at the lope then have them stop. He will want to speed up and slow where the other horse has stopped. It's not his choice. These things happen in the show ring.
Leaning too far back at shoulders/upper body, which in turn leaves your legs with too much movement.
And hands need to be quieter too, elbows maybe too stiff/locked? Might try walking around house with two full cups of coffee?
Cute horse for what you will be doing.
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