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cowgirlfitzy 03-22-2009 01:06 PM

English Equitation Video Critique - Beginner
I juat started riding english on my gelding less then a month ago. I was hoping you guys could give me some advice and tell me how I'm doing what I can improve on. I recorded these for an online horse show so I'm not really correcting my horse or anything. He is more of a western horse but I enjoy doing it all and want to be more well rounded.

Jubilee Rose 03-22-2009 04:27 PM

You two make a beautiful pair! I definitely see potential for English. And for only riding English less than a month... wow!

You have nice leg position. The only thing I really see is that your hands are too far apart. Think about keeping your thumbs to the top... otherwise, good work. I like how you have soft, "giving" hands. :wink: I noticed though you kind of torked a bit in your seat, in the second video, when you asked for a trot, I'm not sure why. But try to post up and forward. Think about moving with him and closing that gap between you and the saddle. Posting should be subtle.

Your horse seems to respond very naturally and easily to your leg cues, which is great. I don't see any resistance there, except for a slight head toss when you ask for canter. Try making a wider circle and look well before you turn (eyes always planning out where you want to go) before cuing the canter, allowing for a smoother transition. It seemed he kind of popped into it, because you asked him a bit suddenly.

Another nice thing is that your horse carries his head long and low, which is actually what you want when you first start a horse English. Since he’s already accepting your contact and flexing at the poll, you can start working him through the back end now and begin achieving a bit more collection.

I’d like to see a little bit more trot out of him. The western jog can be a good starting point for the English sit trot, but at the posting trot, he should be extending a bit more and “tracking up.” This means his hind legs should be moving underneath himself and hitting where the front legs have first hit ground. Ideally you want his hinds to hit exactly where the fores have been. For more trot, push him forward with your legs and open up your seat to allow his back to lift. Some people ride in a "half seat" to create an more extended trot, but that's a little more complicated.

Anyway, once he’s begun tracking up and working through his back end, impulsion happens and you will begin to feel his back lifting and working as you ride. This is what you want. When you see English horses with a pretty “framed” head, this is how they eventually get it (if they’re doing it right). I hope that makes sense. :? The "frame" isn't important right now though, just think about working through that back end.

I hope that made sense, if I didn't, let me know and I'll try to explain it better. :D

Stepher 03-22-2009 07:13 PM

I agree with what Jubilee Rose said, you guys look great!!

I just wanted to ad that you could sit a little bit softer in the saddle when posting. You're not banging on his back or anything, but just think of landing nice and lightly. Keep up the good work!

cowgirlfitzy 03-23-2009 11:01 PM

Thanks guys! He is my baby! I have never found a horse that I get along with so well. I'm working on trying to get to extend more. English is so hard for me. I'm more of a western girl but I'm enjoying learning this and I think he is too :)

Equuestriaan 03-24-2009 07:25 AM

Saddle is quite squeaky!! You look great, though! I like how you aren't a "loud" rider... you're soft and quite through your seat and hands. Your heels are nicely down, too. That was always a problem for me when I first tried English, but it looks like you've got the hang of it!

I'll start with your hands. Rotate your wrists so your thumbs are on top. This is not only good equitation, it also helps with your control. For the best control, you want a straight line from your elbow to your hand through the rein to the bit.

Your posting doesn't need to be so high. As you post more and more and work on strengthening those legs, pushing yourself into the air won't be so much of an effort, and you will be able to post more gently. It looks like you're at the point where you can start posting with your bum closer to the saddle and not as much flinging yourself up.

One other thing I notice about your posting is that you seem to be pinching slightly with the inside of your knee, which is why your lower leg is swinging slightly when you post. See how when you push yourself up, your lower leg is sliding around? Focus on loosening up through the knee and sinking your weight deep into your heel.

That's all I got from the first video. I don't have time to watch the 2nd video, but when I do I'll see if there's anything else.

Hope this helps!

wanderlust 03-24-2009 06:51 PM

Keep your head and eyes up, looking to were you are going.

Flyinghigh12 03-24-2009 07:07 PM

I agree with equestrian about the posting.. I think you're forcing your self up, just let the horse bounce you up so you're not posting as high.
Also your hands don't move with the horse and you're elbows need to be bent more.

You're doing great though, keep up the work and you could be showing soon! haha

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