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Pekoe 03-08-2009 04:12 PM

Critique my riding
Hi everybody! I finally found a friend willing to take some videos of me riding on Saturday. I am the one in the green sweater, riding the black horse. This is during a lesson.

Sitting trot over poles.


I was having some difficulties with a pretty wiggly leg on this horse. I usually ride a different horse and don't have this problem as much, but I worked hard to correct it during the lesson.
I think that I sometimes seem to drive with my upper body during canter, perhaps. I noticed in some of the videos I looked behing the vertical.

This is my first time having my riding critiqued by somebody other than my instructor.

Thanks for the input in advance!

bilyeuamber 03-08-2009 05:10 PM

There are a few things that I see that could use some improvement. You need to sit deeper in your seat when you canter. Sit a little more forward because you are letting the horse throw you backwards a little bit. Also, try to work on keeping your hands together and down. If you have to grab some mane so that you will know when your hands are getting too high again. Hope it helps!

~*~anebel~*~ 03-08-2009 07:51 PM

Who is your trainer?! (PM me if you want)
This is such a huge contrast to what I am used to seeing. From what I can tell in the videos you are swinging well through your lower back, your elbows are pressed down into your hips and overall you are very quiet.
I can't tell what your hands are doing so I cant really agree/disagree w/ #2 post. But from what your horse is doing it looks like you have a nice soft hand to go along with your seat and back.
The only thing that is really a problem for me is your leg. Your toe is pointing out, this is really allowing your ankle to lock in a bad way. We want to keep our toe pointing forward, or even a little in and locking the ankle so that it has no lateral movement, only longitudinal. Because your toe is out, your ankle has locked all movement, leading to a swinging leg.
Another thing that might help is shortening your stirrups. Because you are in a cc/all purpose (I can't really tell) saddle, and your leg doesn't necessarily have the power and strength yet, your leg isn't as solid as it could be. Once you shorten the stirrups ad straighten out your ankles, the energy should flow much better through your leg and you should be able to keep it on and quieter in all gaits.
Good luck!

Pekoe 03-08-2009 08:24 PM

Thank you for the input!

~*~anebel~*~ - We did some no-stirrup work that day also to help with the lower leg, as my instructor was getting after me about that as well. I really agree with what you are saying, it makes a lot of sense. It didn't occur to me that the outward-pointing toes might be contributing towards the swinging leg. Definitely food for thought. I'm just about to PM you w/ the name of my instructor.

bilyeuamber - I'll definitely keep an eye on my hands next ride, as well as my seat! Thank you. I really appreciate the critique.

Pekoe 03-08-2009 11:35 PM

Just adding this picture of the same day.

LacyLove 03-09-2009 08:39 AM

this picture^^^ heels down is all i think needs to be improved =]

MIEventer 03-09-2009 10:30 AM


Also, try to work on keeping your hands together and down. If you have to grab some mane so that you will know when your hands are getting too high again. Hope it helps!
How low do you think hands are supposed to be?

The posters hands are actually pretty good. Her elbows are at her sides and she isn't loud with her hands at all. Her hand carraige is very nice, just where it should be.

Due to that, her elbows are soft, they move with her horses motion. Her shoulders are where they should be, her upper body is where it should be and so is her head.

You risk faulty riding form when you allow your hands to be carried too low. If you ride with your hands on or close or near the withers - way to low.

Hands have to be effeciant - reason being is because if you carry them too low, you now have too opened of an elbow angle, your hands are dropped and guess what else follows? Your shoulders, then your head and upper body.

When hands are too low - you have no where to give, no where to take. No where to soften, no where to be softened. You end up stiff, locked and non supportive.

You must learn to carry your hands, so that you can aid your horse. Aid your horse by lifting them up *through seat and legs....hand carriage aids* off their forehand. You have room to give, you have room to take. You have room to ask, be asked. Soften, be softened. Also, your hands don't drop, your elbows don't stiffen, your shoulders stay back and your head and upper body follow.


I agree with Anebel - and well said!

Your coach is doing an excellant job with you! Your seat is lovely! I love how soft your hips are, and how you allow your seat to move with your horses motion.

Your upper body is just where it should be - over the center of your horses gravity.

I love how soft you are and how you are staying out of your horses way, while remaining supportive and aiding with your form. *seat, lower back, upper body, hands*

I have nothing to add, anebel covered it all :)

Skippy! 03-09-2009 12:47 PM

Anabel covered the bulk of what I wanted to say, but I wanted to add that the sitting trot over the ground poles was very, very well done. It takes time to get a seat as nice as yours is. I always had trouble sitting the extended stride and did a lot of practice work over poles until I finally got it... You're lucky you got it so fast!

Great job for the whole team, you, the horse, and the instructor! =)

Pekoe 03-09-2009 07:39 PM

Thank you LacyLove, MIEventer and Skippy for the critique. It really helps to get feedback on my riding! That is one of the most important parts of learning, I think.

IheartPheobe 03-09-2009 09:47 PM

Ask your instructor to show you where your foot should be in the stirrup- it's much too far forward but it's hard to explain verbally where it should go.
Keep your leg back and your heal down..
Keep your hands off his neck and bend your elbow up, not down. (: If you feel like your being pulled so your hands have to be on his neck, let your reins slip through your fingers.

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