Here are some pics from yesterday's lesson. It was the first time my trainer let me ride him without the neck stretcher (I have trouble getting him/keeping him on the bit).
I still struggle with my leg position on him since he's sooo big and my legs are sooo short on his big barrel. My legs tend to stick out - I can't get them to lay flat. Any suggestions?
He was a little spooky yesterday but we managed to get a few minutes of uneventful riding done.
I'm to the point now where I can get him on the bit and keep him there after about 15 minutes of riding. Of course when his owner rides him, he's in perfect frame instantly..sigh.
Okay so I know nothing about dressage and not much about English riding for that matter, but in your first and third pictures it looks like your heels are up and I know in Western you're supposed to have them down.
Not sure if that's the same for English or anything but I thought I'd mention it. It could also just be the angle the pictures are taken from.
Good eye ForeverSunRider. Yes in dressage the heel is supposed to be down or level (depending on who you ask). Definitely something that I need to work on.
I think the second picture is your best. Horse is beginning to use back and really step under itself. The first and last, the horse is merely swanning in the front, not actually being drive forward into the bridle. This is known as false engagement.
It's a lot of work to get a horse to work properly, you'll get there. Don't worry about the horse being on the bit. Focus on forward with rhythm, soft inside bend, and nice relaxed (not stiff) horse.
The second picture, personally, is my least favourite. It shows a very weak rider position.
As this is a horse that already knows its job, whatever you do will directly effect the horse.
You look pitched forward and slightly wonky in the second picture. Try thinking tall, straight, and that your hips and shoulders should be following your horse's shoulders.
I have been riding dressage for the past 5 years, riding in total for 8. I have broken in my own youngster, brought a school master back in to shape and ridden at a very good level (unsure what it is for you guys!) but the hardest thing I find.. is riding someone elses horse. I currently have a horse to ride twice a week, and the darn thing KNOWS and tests me.
It may be less to do with your riding ability, and more to do with that so don't be hard on yourself!
Think less on where the horse has its head. Think more on your own position. Your legs are a tad too far back, you need to sit taller and engage the small of your back and get your hands out of his withers.
As for your legs... after YOU and the horse are warm enough... flip your stirrups up on to his neck. If you can't balance your own hands in a sitting trot, however, I would advise you get a saddle strap put on for the sake of his mouth.
And also, drop your stirrups a couple of holes.. but one hole at a time. You look a bit bunched up!
Remember.. a horse needs to come round from seat and legs, not hands. Correct your seat and legs, and I am sure things will come a lot easier for you.
All great points. Thanks for all the feedback. I will try to drop my stirrup another hole and hope my instructor won't notice :) I do feel bunched up right now. When I first started riding with her 6 months ago I was in a complete chair seat. To remedy the situation she shortened my stirrups and now my legs have gone the opposiste direction...lol
^Your instructor shouldn't have a problem with it--you'll be more correct that way~
I don't have any pointers that haven't already been given, aside from the above. Lovely horse, though~
From another thread I read about you having difficulty I was not expecting these pictures to look so nice. It takes time and from what little experience I think you have you are doing fantastic. Lots of people lean way too far forward. (ME BEING ONE)
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