Critique Me Riding Maverick Please? *read ALL of description before critique*
So I'd really like a critique on how I've been riding lately...I'm riding my 6 year old Arabian named Maverick who is very inexperienced but I've been working with him a LOT and he's starting to get there! I mainly ride him english but I've been taking him western too lately. He's an amazing jumper, and I'd like to one day (far away) do some eventing with him.
Anyway...In this video we're in a Road Hack class in a show. In case you didn't know, in a Road Hack class you're supposed to be doing movements in a forward way with no spooks as if you were on a road going to the store and wanted to get there and back quickly. Unfortunately, Maverick decided that this single class was going to be the class that he spooked at something in the stands. Thanks Mav, thanks. The judge told us later that we would've been placed first but got third because of the spook. But that's beside the point.
So I wasn't too worried about Maverick at this show because it was only his first show. That's why I wasn't too nit picky about his headset in this video. These past couple weeks I've been working on his canter transitions and his headset so if you REALLY wanna comment on his headset you can but I figured I'd tell you what's going on with that anyway.
Friendly critiques please! Be honest but nice about it please, I'm not one to get overly defensive but still! Anyway please tell me about my position, the way I handle Mav, etc!
Thanks a lot!!
Well you have just come a LONG way~! i remember some videos you posted like a year ago, or such, and you've matured a lot as a rider. a lot.
I think you handled that horse well and I dont' have a lot of specifice advice. I think your trainer can help you with that. Well, I can say that you need to set down a little more heavily , sometimes it looks like your horse hollows out and rushes and your position, as much a result of the horse hollowing and rushing, by hollowing your own back and leaning forward, you join the horse in the "run out". So, by leaning more upright and sitting more solidly, you might anchor her a bit.
As for the transitions. I can say that you need to prepare the hrose a bit more for the down transitions.
All in all, you really did VERY well. Good for you, Cheyenne girl.
Awe thanks so much, that means a LOT!! :D I totally agree with you on the down transitions, you're very right! And the hollowing I didn't really specifically notice before so thanks for pointing that out :) The rushing I did notice lol But yeah thanks a lot, I appreciate it! :)
I watched it again, and you are doing super! I am honestly impressed. you ride much better English than Western and your horse is really cute. She is still very young, so she can only get better.
Awe thanks so much!! Yeah I used to ride Western better but I'm definitely better at English now that's for sure! I have a pretty bad chair seat in western and I can't neck rein very well because the past few horses I've ridden weren't neck reiners.
And lol yeah Maverick's a cutie! He's 6 but he looks younger and he's pretty immature because he had never seen outside for the first few years of his life and he was trained by a young girl so he was pretty fresh when we got him just over a year ago. He's come a long, LONG way! But I've been riding him 4-5 days a week lately so he's VERY fit and is getting all the attention he needs and we're both improving really quickly which is SUCH a great feeling!
Here's a picture of me riding Maverick too...this is my natural position. Usually his head is much farther down in his collection though but here's where my body position is :) This was in the warm up arena in September at Maverick's first show :)
I would love to see the horse go in a plain snaffle. Because you are a bit of a hand dominant rider, the kimberwicke has created a lot of contact evasion issues in the horse. (ie what Tiny has pointed out - the hollowing and running)
I would also really like to see you with a shorter rein and far, far quieter hands. It is really evident in the spook how much you rely on your hands and not your body to ride. You threw yourself right forward onto the neck, raised the outside hand, pulled and took your legs off. Were you on your seat and riding from your body in the first place, the spook would not have happened, and any little jump or scoot forward would have been half halted through your body being strong.
Your hand position is good, now they need to become quiet. Press your hands into the neck, use a strap if necessary to keep you from being too active with the hand. Have a short enough rein to have a good contact and then ride to the bit. The horses "headset" as you call it, will come naturally once he trusts the riders hands and is ridden forward into a contact. Sit on your seat, press your stomach forward between your hands and press your shoulder blades down your back.
With the transitions, in general, the preparation is lacking. Once your position is in a better place and your hands are not doing all the riding, it will be much easier to communicate with subtle and accurate aids what you are wanting from the horse. Use your seat to ask him to wait, position your legs, apply the aid and then allow with your seat what you are asking for. Count 1-2-3 for your aid. The aids should not be quick, they should not be hard. Give the horse time to know what you want, set him up to do what you want (the half halt - asking him to wait with your seat) and then let him execute what you have asked.
Overall I think you are a good general rider - however, there is always room for improvement. Equitation goes far further than thumbs up, flat back and heels down. Now it is time for you to learn the subtle things which will really teach you to ride and train.
You seem to be doing well! I agree that you ride too much on your hands. Try sitting deeper (heavier) in the seat, and raise your hands a bit. This should also help your horse's "headset", or get him into frame. You guys really looked great though! Keep it up!
I re-watched the spook part a couple times and realized that in the video you can very evidently see me take my outside leg off Mav when I turned him around but the reason I took it off so much is because I gave him a big boot (so that he'd focus more on me than whatever spooked him) as I turned which you can't see because I turned him. And I'm not sure that my position caused the spook because he never saw the out doors until he was 5 so he was VERY fresh when we got him and spooks at EVERYTHING. Although he's come a LONG way, even lunging him in the arena at home he'll take off bucking sometimes when a tarp blows or he hears a funny sound. So I don't think I CAUSED it, but you're right, it's possible that it made him more nervous. I'm used to him doing that though so.
Thanks for the comment on where my hands are, that used to be a BIG problem that I just got over. My hands would be lying on the horse's neck or lower which brought me WAY forward in my seat. I also had a horrible chair seat which I've corrected for the most part but I sometimes find myself getting lazy and my legs will creep up again. I've been told that my hands are too far apart though, is that true from what you can see?
Also thanks for the tips on transitions, I've been watching it more lately.
Thanks a lot for the reply :)
So I'm not exactly an expert, but I am just going to mention one thing that I noticed in both the photo and video. It's something that Tiny touched on. Granted, you are at a show so a strange environment and its only natural for your gelding to be a bit more 'up'. I don't know how he is at home, but I will just comment on what I see.
I think that (just looking at that one photo) if you took a deep breath, and sat down on your seat bones a little more, and lengthened your leg a little more into your heel, your gelding might feel a little more 'grounded'. You both look like you're going to take flight! I think this may help with your transitions a little bit too.
That may have no worth to you at all but you can take what you want from what I said. :)
Your gelding is adorable, and he looks like a lot of fun:)
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