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Spastic_Dove 11-04-2009 09:26 PM

Critique if you can!
So I went out and rode Sunny tonight and I recruited the boy to take some pictures. Unfortunately the battery died before we actually got to work and most of them are at strange angles but I thought I would post them anyway just to see what you guys could see.
Ignore my goofy helmet and bulky clothes :oops:

I have NO idea what I am doing in this one...trying to hide my neck? seeing how scrunched up I can get? Who knows...

And just for fun...His cute face!:

Thanks in advance!

MIEventer 11-04-2009 09:42 PM

Awww, what a beautiful boy! You both look great together!

I think you look pretty good, my only beef is your hand carraige. It's ok if you want to ride with long reins, but you need to teach yourself to have effective hands,arms, elbows, shoulders.

Pick up your hands, and bring your elbows to your sides. Right now, your elbow angle is much too open for my liking - at this point, you have no where to go. You cannot take, you cannot give, you cannot lift, you cannot support, you cannot ask or be asked - you have nothing.

Teach yourself effective arms.

I have a habit of doing this myself, and I have to constantly remind myself to pick up my hands.

I like to ride with a longer rein myself. I find that I am not only softer, but Nelson is able to open up and move under himself better *and he learns to carry himself and stretch out and lift*

I will have contact with his mouth, reins are not flopping, but they are long - so that's ok if you want a longer rein, just teach yourself to be effective with your hands/wrists/arms/elbows/shoulders.

When you start your ride, before you move into the trot - *I spend 20 minutes at the walk* try to start out with a nice forward, rhytymic walk. Get it to the point where you can feel yourself swing through his strides.

When you get that, start doing circles, and serpentines, figure 8's. Walk around those trot poles, use them as guides if you want. Walk around fences that are set up if there are - use those as guides.

Never stay on a strait line.

Try getting him to reach down when you are at the walk, that way - that back can lift and strengthen.

I think you're looking great :) Scrunched neck and all :)

Spastic_Dove 11-04-2009 09:49 PM

Oh yes, that's definitely something we've been working on. Im constantly getting told to shorten the reins. I shorten them and then she tells me to shorten them even more! I suppose that comes from a western background maybe. Those shots are from warm up... I was trying to get him to move forward (he tends to get quite lazy if he can) on a loose rein but now that I look at it, I see what you mean.

So if I am understanding right I should have more angle in my elbow, right? Looking at the pictures with that in mind, it seems that would give me a straighter line from my elbow to his bit?

MIEventer 11-04-2009 09:58 PM

Maybe this will help you get an idea?

Here are a few more for you:

Spastic_Dove 11-04-2009 10:08 PM

Ah I see it now, thanks! :)

MIEventer 11-04-2009 10:40 PM

You are most welcom my dear.

kerplop 11-04-2009 11:26 PM

Another thing I didn't see MIeventer mention, but always keep your hands closed too. I don't mean clenched fists, but just in a nice and relaxed way. Not only is this a good habit to pick up for safety reasons, (reins slipping through hands, horse yanking reins, etc) but when feeling your horses mouth it's much easier to do through your ENTIRE hand rather than your finger tips. I'm sure there are countless other reasons for why to keep your hands closed, but that's all I've got for now. :lol:

MIEventer 11-04-2009 11:31 PM

Ah good eye! I didn't see that at all.

I have that same habit though, the reason being is that I have too taught of arms. My Coach says I have stiff shoulders, which results in stiff arms, wrists and fingers.

If I close my fingers, I tense up. I tell myself to relax, and before I know it, my reins are slipping through my fingers and I've opened them up.

Spastic_Dove 11-04-2009 11:39 PM

Good eye, thanks!

I spend all this time working on my lower body and neglect my arms and hands. Gives me something to work on! keep it coming.

riccil0ve 11-04-2009 11:54 PM

To add on to the hand thing, keep your thumbs up. =]

I have the same habit, my instructor always told me to quit perching. I would bring my hands down, which would bring my upper body forward, and screw up my seat and legs, and I just couldn't ride worth a darn. =P Do you ever have problems sitting the trot or canter? Or feel that it could be more comfortable? It's entirely possible that if that's the case, it's because you are leaning more forward than you think, and by simply bringing your hands up, you can better straighten your back and ride with a deeper seat. =]

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