Critique our progress
Neh, I decided I'll lay down all my videos and pictures here for critique instead of making a bunch of different threads ;)
Here we are in January...
The temporary trainer at the time had me leaning forward, and I hated it, so I ditched that and have made the change back to my Equitation posture. Every now and then the forward lean creeps up on me, gah... In January I found out about Genny's hock arthritis. We've both made changes since January, but it's still recent enough to crit on, I think. Does the trot look active enough to be a working trot? Or should I be pushing her more forward than that? I've been finding, the more I hold her back, the more she starts to jig when I ask for walk, so for our last ride this week I nudged her into the most active trot I could get without outright having her practically rack, and she exuberantly seized the opportunity... then after two laps it wasn't fun anymore and she started wanting to slow down xD Haha... It's a pain to post fast and keep my balance, but it looks worth it. She has one bone spavin remaining in her right hock, fusing, so she dislikes being asked to keep a short stride or downward transit often... Sticking with poles and jumps keeps her working that butt and not frustrating.
This is us, waaay back in the day, 3-4 years ago with our first trainer. I had canter issues, but thankfully at that point she had stopped yanking the reins. Now you tell me, I think she looks better in the older video than now. She looks more balanced, and was being cared for/handled/owned by a professional--- she was my primary lesson horse then, for about 2 years, and I bought her about 2-3 years ago, and trained mostly solo on my own farm. (I know I can't measure up to the care she had there, but man, I always feel a bit guilty and envious :?)
I'll be due to upload recent videos! I don't really have a cameraman, so... any tips for setting up cameras? Thanks!
Yesterday we rode in draw reins, as I planned to work on transitions, half halts, and turns, using my reins more than usual to let her know that I am not going to kill her by pressuring the reins and it isn't anything to get fancy about. The draw reins were there for the inevitable positions she would want to fall back on.
It's gosh darned amazing what a repeated, firm cue does. Close my hands by the corner, close my hands before the circle, close my hands each time she tries to speed every few strides, and hold until she gives the slightest bit of slowing. Aha. A few laps in and I offered to let her go extended, and she said "No thanks, slower is good." Haha.... I'm happy she got the message and didn't stiffen up so much at the end, and started turning her whole body, not just her nose, promptly. Viiiiiictory! :D
* On note of the DRs, she doesn't brace against them, and rather keeps herself at a consistent level when they are on. She knows they'll bump her if she jerks her head or tries to over-bend. She's already trained to draws, martingales, and side reins from the ground and under saddle, it helps remind her what I want her to do. I put my standing martingale on with the right amount of slack, and she still rides calmer with it, as it appears that she remembers being corrected by it before. I think it helps for horses to be trained to extra equipment before anyone rides them in it.
I won't comment much on the horse, but I will say that there has been rider improvement from the 2010 video to the January video!
Overall, you look much more balanced and more "with" the horse. In terms of things to work on, it seems like you are pinching with your knees, which is allowing your lower leg to brace and swing around. Try to shake your knees loose and "wrap" your legs around the horse. The issue with your knees makes you look a little stiff and perched, so loosening them should help with your overall position. Also, work on loosening your arms a little and bending at the elbows. Your reins are floppy and you do not really have any contact with the horse's mouth, and having contact will help assist you in asking the horse to move/stay forward at the trot.
I think you might have posted pictures (?), but they are not showing up on my screen. :(
The pictures were in the video, at the end :) (or should be!)
Oi, them knees! I took lessons with a trainer who had pinched knees, and it didn't help my problem xP
Sometimes I like the reins to be looser, as my mare used to be Western years ago and still likes the slack, so it's mainly just to give her something different--- but yeah, there are times when they're too loose! It's my fall back to lose some contact and use my seat while I think about my legs. I wouldn't do that in a show or anything, ha...
If anyone doesn't have time to glance at the videos, here's some stills:
October of last year (note the locked arms)
January of this year
Video from this week (crapped up through download so I made it real short and tried to edit out the lighting and weird stuff)
Looks like my toes are still wiggly, but my calf looks much closer to her than in January. My toes really go out in canter, I grip with the back of my calves. I've gotten used to that, so it's going to be slow trying to right my leg position again; when I point my toes forward and keep my leg close to her, it's exhausting, and if I do it too long at a time my back tenses and then I put us both off. At this point her back is still fairly sensitive, I don't want to sit a trot with no stirrups, so I think a lot of two-point will get my leg muscles up to par.
what is the draw rein thingy? isn't it supposed to have some kind of a breastplate that it goes through? I am not so familiar with draw reins, so I had to ask.
She looks more forward than before, especially the second canter clip.
I would like to see you raise your hands even more. Connect your upper arm more to your side so the elbow is free to open and close as needed.
I love that music!
Ohhh, higher... Makes some sense. I was taught originally to go low 'n steady because my hands used to be pretty jerky, dunno if the 2010 video shows that.
The thingy is a single stretchy cable with a snap on either end and an adjuster between the two ends, it can be used for just about anything. I usually put it on so that the adjuster piece lies at the top of her poll, goes under the place the browband attaches and just a bit in front of the cheekpieces, feeds through the bit, and attaches at the bottom ring of the girth. It works like a standing m that way, except pressuring the poll, but it doesn't put her on the vertical or hyperflex her. It releases pressure when otv or in resting position, but it seems she likes to have it in contact with her... I put it on when lunging and she reaches into it. She likes to be rubbed and pressured on her poll, lord knows why.
Haha, here I thought I had a poor taste in music! It's "Do Ya Thing" - Gorillaz. I think that sort of beat suits her :) "Doot, doot, doot... Just a'doin' my stuff... I'm the queen."
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