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laurapratt01 04-17-2013 08:21 PM

Horse and Rider Critique Please! :)
I have had Jack for a little over a year. He is a 17 y.o. grade QH.
The first 6+ months I had him I only trail rode him as a simple way to get him into some sort of working condition. He had been sitting in small paddock for about 7 years prior to me getting him, and before that he was used as a trail horse. He was sooo incredibly out of shape and obviously had very little "proper" training.

Recently, we've been working on picking up the correct leads at the canter, beginning some lateral movement (turn of the forehand and haunches), consistency of tempo and speed at the trot and canter as well as balance at the canter, encouraging him to seek contact with the bit (he had never used a bit before I got him- only hackamores) and other basic exercises. I also took him to a few small cattle sorting competitions this past winter, which was a blast.

It's obvious from the video that I have not worked with a trainer in a loooong time. I haven't taken a lesson in about 10 years and my position is terrible because of it (I'm also pretty out of shape). I would LOVE to take lessons again but it's not in the budget for now :( Please let me know what I need to improve on. I take criticism very well and would appreciate any advice that you can give me!
I'm hoping to take him to a couple of local shows this summer... what classes should we enter? Green horse? Adult walk/trot? I wouldn't be expecting to place in these classes but I don't want to embarrass myself or my horse either.
Thank you in advance! :)

waresbear 04-17-2013 09:00 PM

384 Attachment(s)
You ride very well, just a bit of tweeking here and there for position. Your horse is pretty steady as well, he just needs to get more softer in the poll, and shift more of his energy from his forehand to his hind end, but he looks very willing. Only pointers that I can help you with over the internet, is to keep your elbows in and make them heavy at your sides (relax them). Also when you turn, turn with your whole upper body, both shoulders, not just the inside one & the inside arm.
As for classes, I think you are beyond the walk/trot stage but I am only going by what I see at the shows I attend. Here, walk/trot is for someone who has not shown before, and that is the only riding class they can show in, no cross entries but your associations' rule could be different, this is Equine Canada I am referring to, so I will just state their rules. Here, green means first year under saddle, cross entries allowed, then we have age divisions, and skill divisions, no cross entries. Example, if you show Adult Novice (first 3 years showing, person, not horse!), you cannot show in the open Senior division, you pick a division and ride within that one. Sometimes we have open novice classes based on the horse, which means the horse entered cannot have won more than 3 firsts in that division, like english pleasure, huntseat eq, etc. Some horses complete in those classes for their whole show career, lol!
If there is anyway you can swing lessons with a good instructor, even if it's once or twice a month, definately consider it. I need eyes on the ground watching me when I ride, otherwise I get really good at doing the wrong thing.

tinyliny 04-17-2013 10:02 PM

For some reason , the video keeps quitting when only the first 20 or 30 seconds have shown. must be my crummy internet service.

laurapratt01 04-18-2013 08:03 AM

Thank you so much for the critique Waresbear! I am definitely going to be focusing on keeping my elbows by my sides and relaxing my arms. I'll also try to remember to turn my body with my horse :) I'm going to be taking a lesson at the beginning of May but unfortunately I won't be able to do it regularly. It's only a half hour and costs $40 which is about the going rate around here. My husband doesn't understand the need to take lessons as he thinks I already know how to ride... Ugh.
As far my horse is concerned, how do I get him softer in the poll? I've been doing exercises on the ground starting to get him to flex laterally... I've heard that he needs to learn to flex laterally before he can flex vertically? Does that sound right? I would also assume that he needs to have a soft poll before I can help him work more from behind? Let me know! Are there exercises that I can do to get him to work on these things?
I have no idea what classes to enter! This is a list of all of the classes if you wanted to help me decipher it :)
Don't give up Tinyliny! I would love your input!

laurapratt01 04-19-2013 08:47 AM

Friendly Bump :)

updownrider 04-19-2013 11:49 AM


Originally Posted by laurapratt01 (Post 2270073)
I have no idea what classes to enter! This is a list of all of the classes if you wanted to help me decipher it :)

I think you are better than just walk/trot. If you can work on picking up your correct lead every time you might want to consider Pleasure classes. Your horse has excellent manners and a nice way of going. There is a Hunter Pleasure division with this description:
Open to horses/ponies of hunter type ordinarily used for pleasure purposes with no limitations as to status of rider. To be shown at walk, trot, canter. Light contact with horse’s mouth is required. To be judged on manners, performance, quality, presence, substance, and soundness.

I thought of pleasure classes for a first show even before I looked at the list of classes. This is just my personal suggestion. Good luck!

laurapratt01 04-19-2013 12:24 PM

I was thinking of a pleasure class too.. but it's nice to hear it from someone else.
He's been very consistent picking up his leads until I went to make this video! Silly pony. We are definitely still working on it. Although, I like that in the video you can't see us change to the correct lead... I like to pretend that we did a flying change at that point. Someday maybe :)

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