Trot & Canter photos. I see improvement!!
Been chipping away day after day with the little boy:wink:
It was so nice to get photos from my friend! I really feel my body is continually improving and Oliver is catching on more and more. We did shoulder fore in canter and trot. One thing I did notice is my spurs are inhuman in most of the pictures...I amnot digging them in but he requires tons of leg and iv been working on my hips and knees staying open and relaxed...now indeed to focus only toes forward and getting that leg off of him and making him hold his own more.
This first first picture is my favorite.
This is my favorite trot photo:wink:
I feel if I could sit up more and get my lower leg under me,it's pretty far forward so I am not using my core...:oops:
Not collapsing my belly, had a side ache and was actually in a halt. He had drone it rather duly so Ida's softening his poll....just had gotten done flexing and bending to both sides :-|
Not sure about these photos...input would've great:wink:
Last photo is stretchy trot.
I like the first and last photos of you in trot the best. You have your shoulders pressed down your back and your hands are very clearly pressing forward.
Don't worry about your lower leg right now. For where everything is right now, you actually want the leg up at the girth. Leg too far back is not correct, but too far forward is acceptable.
Now, in the canter, in every picture, you are tilted forward, collapsed in your body and pulling. In the last canter picture it is clear how far behind you your elbows are. You need to really sit up and back and think about "letting go". Dont hold him in the canter, dont try to make it pretty. Pretty is not functional. This is where a lunge lesson or two would be great for you. Don't worry about anything but cantering and following the canter with your seat. Dont worry about speed, or where his head is or anything. Once you get your back in the saddle, you will have speed control, with your back and core, and then your hands can be out in front of you, like they are in the trot. And tuck your elbows in. Tuck them in hard enough that it's not possible for them to get behind you. Yes it will feel tense for a while, until you are used to having your elbows squeezed in, then it will be normal. Think about giving yourself a hug - this drawing of energy to your midline will also help your core engagement.
In the halt photo when you are flexing him from side to side - pick a side. I see a collapsed rider with too wide hands that is pulling on both sides of the mouth. Very confusing to the horse and is all saying "go backwards" - which is not the purpose! Even in a halt (the horse doesn't care if you have a cramp - what happens if you get one in a PSG test - ride through!) sit up properly with good posture and keep your hands in front. If you want to flex left - use the left rein, then give. If you want to flex right use the right rein, then give. He is not in a place where you can pull on both reins and expect a reaction.
ETA in the stretchy trot, you want the horse to be more actively engaged that he is not on his forehand, and the reins are a bit too long. Yes, the judges will like this one, but for the training, and for the trot after the stretch, you really need to have the horse more engaged and plugged in. The reins only come maybe a few inches longer than normal in a stretch (in training). When schooling a stretch, think that the body does not come any longer and the neck telescopes out only as much as he can balance back onto his haunches. The key is stretching to a round frame, not a flat one.
Looks really good, the two things I suggest you work on are 1) your arms. I suggest maybe riding with pop bottles or something as I see your elbows sticking out. But its nothing that can't be easily fixed :) and 2) when riding the canter or just riding in general, try to tuck your seat under and find your "balance" point. It'll help your overall riding. Until you figure out how to sit up straight with your seat tucked under it will feel like you are slouching. But it is much easier for you to move with your horse and for your horse to move ! Those are my simple suggestions :)
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