New Horse... How bad am I?
Hey I would really appreciate some critique on me and my horse. I know i am not the best rider but really appreciate some help. I have trained this horse myself so I would like some feedback on him as well! My horse is a 16.2 HH, 10 year old OTT.
The white pony is also mine but ridden by a friend and she would like to some feed back to help her jumping position.
What are some exercises that could improve our riding?
The best thing to improve is really to get a good riding instructor or a friend on the ground to make suggestions:-) From the photos you might want to work on bringing your leg back under you (no stirrups might help).
your elbows and wrists are in the wrong position... I'm not very good at describing how to fix it sorry but your elbows need to be at your sides and palms facing each other (not facing the ground).
hope that helps! :)
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Your legs are a little too far forward, bring them back a little :)
Also, think about opening your chest, by making your wrists "open" idk how to explain either, ummmm, thumbs to the sky kinda thing.
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put a little bend in your elbow, think obtuse angle. not enough your at a ninety, but less than straight. for your hands, act like your reins are ice cream cones, dont let the top fall off. keep the backs of your thumbs and the hole made by your fists pointing up into the sky.
your leaning forward quite a bit in most of the photos, which is helping your leg slide forward. sit up, like theres a ruler in your spine from the point between your shoulders, down to your lower back. let your hips move, but keep your upper body straight and tall. imagine a string pulling from the top of your head, pulling you up and up and straight. with your seat correct, you can bring your leg back, so your foot is underneath of you with your heel hip and the back of your head making a straight line. this may help.
I would suggest seeing a trainer. I see a couple of issues that need to be addressed.
Firstly, your hands/wrists are not angled properly. And they need to be more spaced. Your elbows need to be brought in closer to your sides to make more of an angle (This was already mentioned).
Also... HEELS. You need to sink your weight into your heels. This will help with your leg position.
I'm not sure if anyone else will agree, but it appears that you are sitting on the rear end of your saddle, and leaving the extra space in front of you. When, in fact it should be the opposite. You want to sit, as much as possible, in the center of the saddle, not at the rear end of it. I think that will also help with getting your legs more underneath you.
Like Zexious said, heels are crucial for balance, and will help you stay on your horse if he should suddenly decide to spook/balk at a fence/stop unexpectantly, etc...
As for your friend on the pony, she obviously has the basics of a two point. Pretty decent release and position, but, again, heels! This will help make sure that she stays on that pony should he decide not to jump. She's a bit ahead of the horse in the photo. The horse hasn't even left the ground yet, but she's in a full two point, and might make the landing harder to balance. Let the horse's movement and body push you into the two point, instead of forcing it. If that makes any kind of sense. That's the best way I think about it when I jump, I let the propulsion from the horses jump almost launch me into the two-point. You want to be "one" with your horse over a jump.
Other than that, I'll just say, that your critters are adorable!
All your problems seem to stem from your awkward arms, which are causing you to come off of your seat bones and arch your back.
Your arms should be softly bent at the elbow, but still loose. Once you sort that out, you can actually use your seat bones to your advantage, and your leg would likely not slip forward as much. Thumbs on top, like you would hold a mug
Sit up nice and tall, keeping your butt underneath you, not jutted out like beyonce.
I agree with the group that your main problem is shown most vividly by how your arms are positioned: too far forward, elbows out and rolled upward, with correscpondingly rolled downward palms. This is a very weak position and will invariably result in the hrose being even more on the forehand. It also means that you have no access to your core muscles , and you must post off your knee. The weight of your body goes forward and onto your knee, and stops there, not going dodwn through the calf and out the heel. It's a precarious balance if you were to try and do jumping, as you'd b e more likely to be pivotted off that knee point.
SIT in the saddle. horse standing, maybe someone holding him for security. legs out of stirrups and just hanging down. lift them straight out away from the horse, (make a wider V with your legs ) and let them fall back onto the horse. now, lifting your toe, pick up your stirrup. YOu should be in a better alingment now. this is just one excerise for that .
let your arms hang down by your side. now turn your palm as far outward (away from your body) as you can. now, anchor your upper arm against your rib cage, and slowly , without moving the upper arm, bring your hands up into "reins" position, thumbs on top. keep the upper arm firm against your rib cage. think of having a million dollar bill tucked in your arm pit, and you will drop it if you let your elbows creep out. Now , no butt pouching and feel how strong you are there!
another vote for elbows being the biggest problem! you've got puppy dog/piano hands, the horse will be able to respond a lot better if your thumbs are up (not like thumbs up but they should be the highest part of your hand) arm position as few beginners realize is super super important for example I was on a trail ride at camp and the kid behind be was on a pony who will eat a lot, if you let him but if you pull his head up, he listens. However all our horses (save for a few) are trained to neck rein so your reins are in one hand and over the neck, but this kid had his reins in both hands and in his lap, the horse had no idea what he was asking (or even that he was asking at all) so he continued to eat while the kid pulled and pulled on basically nothing. I pulled him out of the grass and explained how he needed to hold his reins (this was the third time he'd been told "reins in one hand, once at the intro and I'd told him at least once on the ride) I got back on my horse and looked back a few strides after, again his hand were in his lap and each had a rein. Luckily we had a walk along on the ride who stayed next to him for 99% of the ride pulling him out of grass and telling him over and over where his hands needed to be. Long story short he just didn't get and blamed the pony (and I rather bluntly informed him that he was the only one not listening) and he didn't have fun. And ALL of this could have been avoided had he just used the proper arm position he was shown a dozen times.
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