Critique - 3 yrd old on flatwork
Hi all - here are some videos of me and Luc, my 3 yr old Belgian/QH cross. We've been working on the flat mainly - bending, suppling, transitions, etc. I'd like to hear a critique on my position (I know I need to bend my elbows and relax my lower back so it's not so stiff). I'd also like to hear how Lucius looks, based on our training thus far.
I'll start with you: It's a little hard to see since you're wearing dark clothes, with dark tack, on a dark horse, but you look generally good. As you said, your elbows could be bent a little and then follow Luc's neck movement. I like that your eyes are up and you're looking where you're going.
And Luc: He's looking very nice for just 3 years old! He's trotting along comfortably and seems to be listening to you. I would encourage him to really engage his hind end and keep up his tempo. In the first Canter video, he broke into a trot a couple times. Be ready to encourage him forward before he breaks gait (especially in the corners). Also, after he broke into trot, and you asked for the canter again, he seemed to kind of rush into it. Since you said you're working on transitions, might as well make each one as perfect as possible (even if he's the one who is causing the need for a transition!)
And my biggest piece of advice...wear a helmet! You're on a 3 year old! You never know when he might do something to accidentally dump you off. Like, for example, jump half-sideways over a blue barrel on the edge of the arena,,, :wink:
Think Equina covered it. One thing I notice with you (aside from the stiff arms, which you already know about) is that you are very stiff and tense in your body and leg at the rising trot. You look like you are working at posting, when it should be much easier...the horse should be the one lifting you out of the saddle. Also, from the way your leg is swinging back and your body is swinging forward, I think you are pinching too hard with your knees. I see this stiffness at the canter as well, but it was more obvious in the trot.
Your horse is working nicely at the trot, seems very relaxed and balanced. Things break down at the canter...which is to be expected at this age. I'd work more straight lines at this stage of training. And more impulsion and energy at both gaits! But I think you are doing a good job with him, he seems very willing.
And yes, helmets are your friends ^_^' Just my two cents.
Thank you, to both of you! Yes, I forgot my disclaimer of accidentally wearing dark clothing on a video day. As for the helmet, yes I agree, I should be wearing one. I wear it in the outdoor arena and on the trails, I think I get too comfortable in the indoor arena...thanks for pointing that out. Yeah and the half barrel jump was a surprise!
I agree with what you've both said - and I'll work on all of it! I'll post some more videos next month to see how we're doing. I've mainly been doing trot work and try not to focus on cantering, until we've gotten better with balance at the trot. But, I like to video it to see where we are, so usually at the end of the session we'll do a couple canter circles. I'm also going to work on doing some work without stirrups, for my position and relaxation.
I think Luc is doing well so far, and it really helps me to have you all evaluate him - I'm trying not to push too much for his age, and level. I am partially concerned about him leaning on my hands and his forehand, which I think I need to do more suppling and concentrate on releasing so he doesn't lean, and shift my weight back.
Thanks again! Any more comments are welcome, too. Will post again later!
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