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Equuestriaan 12-03-2008 10:41 PM

Please Critique - Cantering Dakota
 
Hey everyone!

I rode Dakota tonight and was hoping to get some jumping videos, but my camera died right after one clip of me cantering. So here it is, for critique!

Please let me know what I need to work on and what I'm doing right that I should keep doing. I already know that my legs are too far forward, my hands are planted on the withers, and I'm slumping, so if you notice anything other than that please tell me. I need to know what sorts of things to work on in my next lesson.

Thanks. =]

*If it says it's not available, try again in a few minutes*

equineangel91 12-04-2008 02:33 PM

hmm not bad
you are too foward in that saddle, thats most likely because you are very very slouchy. Straighten up and bring your shoulders back so that you aren't rocking foward out of the saddle. Sit deep. It looks like maybe your arms are too far in front of you, also because of your shoulders not being back

Equuestriaan 12-04-2008 03:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by equineangel91 (Post 204363)
hmm not bad
you are too foward in that saddle, thats most likely because you are very very slouchy. Straighten up and bring your shoulders back so that you aren't rocking foward out of the saddle. Sit deep. It looks like maybe your arms are too far in front of you, also because of your shoulders not being back

Thank you for the critique!

I'll definitely work on pushing my shoulders back and sitting more deeply. The problem is that at least once every time we go around the ring, Dakota gets ridiculously heavy on my hands and he slowly pulls me forward... do you have any suggestions for how to get him to lift his head? I think if he didn't get so heavy out front it would be easier to roll my shoulders back and sit deeper, but when his head goes down I kind of pitch forward. =S

SonnyWimps 12-04-2008 04:08 PM

definately too forward in the saddle.
Also you have a death grip on those reins. Loosen up the reins, you're probably hurting her mouth!
Also your legs are moving just a tiny bit.

mayfieldk 12-04-2008 04:32 PM

Here's one suggestion--you can't hold a 1,000 pound animal's head up!

So stop trying.

He's basically just leaning on the rein pressure, which brings all of his weight onto his forehand. Try lighter to almost-barely-there contact. Bring his head up with one rein, and leave him alone until he puts it down. Then fix. You'll probably have to do this 100 times, but he'll get it eventually.

And before and after you ride, LET him stretch his head down (even during--horses love it.). It may sound counter-productive, but how would you feel if someone rode you for 30 minutes to an hour and never let you move your neck out of a cranked position? Horses were built to spend their days with their heads on the ground eating, or horizontal. It helps lengthen and stretch their neck and allow their back to swing, and come up. Also, move your hands with his head as he canters--he's no grand prix horse, and doesn't have the collection required for stable hands.

I would work on getting your leg underneath you before you try to sit back--you probably sit forward because you feel more secure; if you sit back it's just going to push your legs further out in front of you. Push down and back from your hip and thigh, and your leg will find it's position fairly easy. From then, you can sit back--and then you won't pump with your shoulders anymore.

Equuestriaan 12-04-2008 04:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SonnyWimps (Post 204423)
definately too forward in the saddle.
Also you have a death grip on those reins. Loosen up the reins, you're probably hurting her mouth!
Also your legs are moving just a tiny bit.

Thank you for critiquing! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. :D As I watch the video again I realize I am pulling on his mouth and his ears are back. I feel bad... I had no idea I was pulling so much while I was riding! :-( I'll have to remember next lesson to loosen up the reins, I don't want to hurt him.

When you say I'm too forward, do you mean I'm leaning too far forward or I am actually physically sitting too far forward in the saddle? I was planning on dropping my stirrups one hole for my next lesson, do you think that might help keep my legs from swinging so much?

Equuestriaan 12-04-2008 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mayfieldk (Post 204444)
Here's one suggestion--you can't hold a 1,000 pound animal's head up!

So stop trying.

He's basically just leaning on the rein pressure, which brings all of his weight onto his forehand. Try lighter to almost-barely-there contact. Bring his head up with one rein, and leave him alone until he puts it down. Then fix. You'll probably have to do this 100 times, but he'll get it eventually.

And before and after you ride, LET him stretch his head down (even during--horses love it.). It may sound counter-productive, but how would you feel if someone rode you for 30 minutes to an hour and never let you move your neck out of a cranked position? Horses were built to spend their days with their heads on the ground eating, or horizontal. It helps lengthen and stretch their neck and allow their back to swing, and come up. Also, move your hands with his head as he canters--he's no grand prix horse, and doesn't have the collection required for stable hands.

Thanks for critiquing. What you said makes a lot of sense. I'll definitely let him stretch his neck out before and after the lesson, and in the walking breaks between trotting, cantering, and jumping, too. I see what you're saying about how I am not moving my hands with his head. I'll have to work on that so I'm not bopping him in the mouth every stride.

Quote:

Originally Posted by mayfieldk (Post 204444)
I would work on getting your leg underneath you before you try to sit back--you probably sit forward because you feel more secure; if you sit back it's just going to push your legs further out in front of you. Push down and back from your hip and thigh, and your leg will find it's position fairly easy. From then, you can sit back--and then you won't pump with your shoulders anymore.

I'll work on getting my leg underneath me, like you said. It helps that you explained how to do it... it helps to visualize "pushing down and back" from my hip and thigh. Thanks for the suggestions. Do you think lowering my stirrups will help at all?

mayfieldk 12-04-2008 05:05 PM

I don't think stirrup position (high or low) will help... (it's dark in the video but the angle between thigh and calf looks alright). But if you're riding in an old 'economy' saddle that might be doing a number on your legs! Just make sure when your leg is out of the saddle and resting that the stirrup hits your ankle--and stick with that length for a while.
A good exercise is when you're walking around, take your feet out of the stirrups and point your toes DOWN and stretch your thighs down as best you can. Then, when your foot is back in the stirrup, imagine the feeling of your thigh pressing down. :)

Good luck!

Equuestriaan 12-04-2008 05:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mayfieldk (Post 204471)
A good exercise is when you're walking around, take your feet out of the stirrups and point your toes DOWN and stretch your thighs down as best you can. Then, when your foot is back in the stirrup, imagine the feeling of your thigh pressing down. :)

Good luck!

That sounds like it would be useful, I've got to try that one in my lesson next Wednesday! Thanks!

mayfieldk 12-04-2008 05:13 PM

No problem! Get some video too. ;)


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