Flat work with Junior from the other day.
So I will be Junior's main rider now. I am very excited to "re-learn" to ride on him. I think we will have lots of fun. So here are some pictures from my first ride on him since he came back. I started him on joint supplements and flax oil and he is doing awesome on those. Anyways, here are the pictures:
Please mind that this was his second ride back in 4 months and that I havent ridden much in the last year.
Please critique both of us. :) I posted some conformation pictures too. The last two are just because he is so fricking cute. ;)
*cough*Piano hands major girly!*cough*
Other than that you two look good.
Ugh, I know! *sigh* I will fix them soon, I promise. Atleast my elbows are starting to get a tiny bit better. -.-
I'm going to assume that since you are riding in a dressage saddle, you are schooling some form of dressage or good flatwork.
Shorten up your reins - there's only one picture where you are actually maintaining contact with his mouth. Ride from your seat to your hands - if you attempt to ride this horse from your seat without your hands, his front end is going to fall apart.
Thumbs on top, but that's already been mentioned.
I'd like to see your entire foot change. I'd like to see you place the stirrup straight across the ball of your foot. Right now it's a little too close to your toes, and sideways. I have always been taught this is jumping position, to keep a locked leg on the horse. For dressage, you're going to want it straight, allowing you to smoothly rest your leg around the horse like whipped cream, and apply aids as they are necessary.
I like that you keep your head up and your shoulders are nice. Your horse looks pretty bored - I bet he has a lot of talent though :)
I won't touch conformation critique as that is not my area whatsoever.
Looks good, keep it up!
To be honest I'm not so sure that saddle is doing your seat justice.. Your legs seem too far forward, not underneath yourself like they should be. ie you've got "the chair seat" going on. In the 4th picture, your knees look like they are overshooting the knee pads.
Do you feel balanced in this saddle??
ah! you have motorbike hands (or piano as said above), im glad you said you will work on them. also your toes need to point forward!
you need to ride your horse more up-hill and by the photos he looks as is he needs to be a bit more forward too. outline is good though, just needs to be raised a level.
good luck x
Thanks for all of the replies everyone!!
I deff. agree with everything you said. Great reply. :)
Yeah, the saddle is a bit small for me and I was being sloppy that day. ): I am going to possibly either ride dressage or western today and I will work on my lower leg. I normally have a pretty nice seat (in my opinion)... I do feel pretty balanced, but I havent been able to ride much at all in the last year (esp. in the last 8 months), so I am very out of shape. Junior isn't that easy to ride, so I have been having a hard time staying balanced.
Thank you to the other two, too (speedy and horserlife). :)
This horse has a too-low headset, and is behind the vertical in almost every photo. He is not tracking up at the trot and his back is sunken in. He is not taking up any contact with the bit. He has really nice conformation [Good shoulder, uphill build!!], but his muscling is poor due to the way he is being ridden. If you want to ride true western pleasure, this is not the horse to do it with!
First off, encourage him to move forward with purpose. He needs to have his back hoof fall into the print the front hoof made when he is trotting--this helps engage the back. As you push him forward, do NOT hold contact with his mouth. [Also, take off the flash noseband.]. You need to let his energy come UP and OUT, not down and backwards as it is doing in the photos. Correct contact is taken when the HORSE takes up the slack in the reins--not when you grip them tighter. Until he wants to take the bit and create contact, you want a really light, following contact and encourage him to be relaxed at the jaw, but with his neck up.
This horse will do beautiful long and low for you once he is muscled up to do so--and this will build up his non-existent topline. He is very angular and his muscling shows inconsistent, incorrect work.
It kind of sounds daunting, but I've done it too. Here's my TB when I first got him, in five days a week of INCORRECT work:
Very angular. Note this horse was not thin, just angular.
Here he is, several years later, with MUCH less feed, only three or four days of work, but it actually being correct:
I show these two pictures often because people often say 'oh my horse is just lean!' when really, the muscling is just incorrect.
Here is a good picture to show you what correct contact looks like, also with this horse:
His head is in front of the vertical, his poll is the highest point, you can not see a break in his neck behind the poll (which indicates a 'break' in the flow of energy!), and he is tracking up and lifting his back. Your horse here reminds me of mine--a lot of potential, just needs the right tools!
Just let me know if you would like me to elaborate on anything.
^ Great post! :D
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