walk/trot - walk/jog
I didn't get any canter/lope pix. There was one but it wasn't really good.
Please be fair to Riley since he is only a three-year-old. I notice in english that I don't have quite the extension that I need at the trot. Any suggestions?
In my western I'm almost too embarrassed to post the picture because I had the reigns so tight. That was taken in August and ever since I saw that picture I have worked really hard to ride in a loser reign so I'm hoping that the next set of pictures I get will look better. I only use the port bit for shows, I use a snaffle with either draw reigns, a training fork, or nothing for regular work. Lately I've been using the draw reigns.
Anyway, here are the pix. Any suggestions for improvement would be great.
very cute horse! looks like you are doing well with him :)
Overall for a three year old he is looking very good. What size is your English saddle? It almost looks too big for you since your knees don't actually meet the knee rolls. If you could find a saddle that maybe fits you a bit better then you could sit taller. I noticed in the second picture that you are hunching your shoulders a bit and he is on the forehand. If you sit a little taller and roll your shoulders back then your hands will come up a little bit and his front end should come up into your hands which will give you that nice extension that you want. Don't forget that when you add hands you need to also close your legs to keep him going forward. As for the western, the best way to get them going nice and slow on a long loose rein is to really sink your seat bones down into the saddle and slow the movement of your hips. It will feel really weird at first but he will slow his movements to match yours if you're doing it correctly. It takes trial and error though because it's all about feel and that needs to be developed on your own. Good luck and looking good!
If I do drop my reigns western I'm thinking he'll drop his head as well... I can't believe I had them that tight!
In the first western pic your topline is really un-level, he has that sad "peanut roller" headset.... he looks like he isnt liking you being on that port bit at all, which i guess you already know since you said you need to work on it a bit....
I dont know much about english riding so i wont comment on it, but i will say just BE CAREFUL you keep his frame ROUNDED, you might want to do some topline work to help him keep his head and neck level, and keep him flexed at the pole while he extends oh, yeah and you need to work on your posture a bit, your shoulders look a little hunched in all your photos... all said as a 3 year old he looks good! Good Luck
Got it. Posture, round, get out of his mouth... and topline work? Do you have any suggestions?
For topline you want to work at the extended trot a bit, making sure to keep him in proper posture, this will help build up his muscles properly to allow him to keep a good frame. When you allow him to hang his head too low and stick out his nose, he is avoiding the effort that it takes to stay rounded, so just keep on him and practice practice practice,.
Some other things you can do to help build him up enerally so he has a better foundation which will allow him to carry himself better would be cantering in a collected frame, hillwork(slow and steady walk builds better than just running up them, it forces him to pul himself, to get his butt under him). Also, though i dont tout using contraptions, using side reins when longeing with just enough contact to get a bit of a flex at the pole, can also help him to build the muscles necessary to have a nice level topline, plus with you on the ground you will be able to see for your self what you need to improve... Extended Trot Exercise this is an exersize i found that could be beneficial too.
You guys look great, you just need to build a better foundation and you wont believe what an improvement it will make!
Im not a pro or a trainer but I have been working with horses my whole life and these are just things Ive found that help with topline...Hope this helps!
See doesn't that horse look soo much more well muscles and conditioned on his topline, sure his headset is a little over the parallel, but he is more round and relaxed looking as well...
Firstly the enlish saddle you are riding in is a jumping saddle, a GP or general perpose saddle would be better for you as you can do both dressage and jumping in it. thats why your knees arnt meeting the knee rolls, because the saddle isnt designed for the type of riding you are doing.
your leg position (from a british horse society point of view) is quite good. But you are making one BIG mistake. your reins are way to loose. they arnt allowing for a good contact on the horses mouth, leaving your horse flat down the neck and not rounding into the contact. you need to pick your contact up by a good foot so that he brings his head and neck into a more rounded outline. from an english riders point of view you are riding on a long rein, something you are probably more used to from western riding.
By picking up your rein contact your horse will become more rounded and his trot more elevated as he will be carrying himself better.
As for the reign contact, I'm not riding hunt-seat, I'm riding AQHA, it's a different style. But since you mention it I'll watch and see if anyone else mentions my reign contact. I actually thought I had a little more then neccessary....?
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