Critique Our Outline! :]
I just had my first lesson in a month or two due to the weather, so kinda be lenient on my riding :P But anyways, were working on out outline and getting him on the bit, but what I'm having trouble figuring out is exactly -what- I'm doing that is keeping him in the outline. Ill get him in it, and then even though Ill be trying to hold it together, somehow we will fall out of it, even when I don't change anything I'm doing. It's confusing me! So When your watching, please try to look closely and tell me if my position changes at all when hes on the bit vs. not. I already sense he is a little be on the forehand, so we still have many things to work on, but I think this is a vast improvement, since we accomplished it so many times in one lesson, whereas my last lesson we couldn't at all. It makes me happy :] I just LOVE this horse! I really feel like I have a connection with a lesson horse for once! Yay. :]
Please ignore the glitches, WMM decided to do something weird!
While I apprecitated watching some of that in slow motion, I would also have liked to see some of it in real time, ok?
Ok, now let's see, what did I see?
Well, for starters, I never once saw him either on the bit or in an outline. I did see him lower his head once or twice. Is that what you are talking about?
If he did this, do you remember what you were doing at that time? Was it kind of fiddling with your fingers on the reins?
What I see is a rider who rides very passively. It may be the nature of your lessons, in that you go around and around in circles and you don't have to do much to guide your horse because they know what to do . This may mean that you can work on your seat because you don't have to worry about stearing, but it also means that the horse adn you aren't really connected because the horse is kinda zoned out and you are going along for the ride.
For you to have the horse connected to you and move toward having him onthe bit you will need to start actually guiding him, both with leg and rein and seat. So, you would need to work on doing many changes of direction and speed. In order for you to do this you will need to have shorter reins and maybe lengthen your stirrup one nothch so you can get down around your horse better (you are tall and horse is small, so not easy, I know)
Your reins are so long that I can see them snapping from loos and floppy to tight with each bob of the horse's head. you need to either ride really loose rein'ed ala western riding OR take up enough contact that you can FOLLOW the horse's head and maintain constant and equal contact throught out all the horse's gaits. Once you can do this (follow the mouth) you will better be able to as for the horse to flex a little to the bit and put a littl bit of bend in him.
AND, never to forget the hind end. you then ask for a bit more drive from behind. When you have that; flexion in front and drive from behind you will start having connection and outline.
Ride many changes. Mix it up; speed and direction. Shorten the rein and really follow the mouth dont' let it snap loose/tight. Horse will be happier , I promise.
Relaxe your back a little . You look really tense and poking your butt out hollowoing your back. Horse will mirror you.
longer stirrups. Do some stitting trot.
Your lower leg is good, very quiet and you were looking up really nicely. I didnt' notice the elbows , maybe arm a bit straigth. That is all part and parcelwith riding with the horse unconnected. Looks like driving a wheel barrow. you want bend in elbow . think of holding the bit rings in your hand as you follow his mouth.
I am tired and spacey. Forgive my wierd critique.
Well what I -think- I remember doing is sliding my lower leg back a bit, nudging to drive him forward, and then turning his head to the inside to get him to go Into the contact. When I mean by him going into an outline, it's because I can feel him allowing me to take up contact, putting him at the vertical, and I can physically feel his back raise and not be so hollowed. He naturally caries his head very high, and doesn't want contact. His mouth is so sensitive, that if I have short reins then he throws his head up (BUT-my trainer is showing me some tips on getting him to allow me to have contact with him). And trust me, he isn't just some lesson horse who goes along with the flow, so I'm not just letting him go in the circle, I really am working hard to get him to stay on it and to bend in to the circle.
For us, were asking him to lower his head and take up contact with our leg and seat, not our hands. So I'm not forcing his head down by shortening my reins, I'm asking him to lower it first with my legs, and maybe a tweak on the inside rein, so then when he lowers it for me, we can take up contact. I -Want- him to want to have contact.
Tense, yes, ugh. It's horrible. I really have to work on that, so thanks. And unfortunately I can't lower my stirrups since they're on the longest hole :/ makes sitting trot a little difficult, though we did do some, just didn't get it on camera.
Thank you for your critique :] very useful!
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You are definitely on you way to getting there. While your reins are too long, I do see your horse attempting to stretch into the bit, which is what you want. I think you need to start working on bend more. Every time you come back toward the camera, you can see your horse flexed to the outside. He needs to be "straight". Right now his head and neck are out of alignment with the rest on his body. Just bring those reins in a few inches and concentrate on bending him properly so that you're always seeing his inside eyelashes when on a circle. That bend alone will help keep him in that outside rein where you want him.
As for the bend, my trainer is always telling me to get his head to the inside to see his lashes and to get him to bend to the inside, but by golly it is harder than it looks. There's just so many things to be conscious of! Keeping my outside leg on and back to push him over in the circle (he doesnt like circles), while still using my inside leg to almost get him to wrap around it to achieve that bend, as well as not leaning forward (which is what I unconsciously do when I slide my legs back) and keeping my hands steady, following his head when we take up the contact so as not to jab him in the mouth, losing the consistency we had. And to BREATHE. Haha. Oh well, it's certainly a lifelong work in progress.
Thank you! Right now Ill focus on taking up contact. My trainer had to show me how to -shorten- my reins last lesson XD. I used to just crawl my fist down the reins to shorten them so I dont let go and lose the contact, but she told me to just grab both reins in one hand and physically let go to move my hand down. You'd think I would do that naturally. :P
Don’t mistake going along on a too long rein as being soft in his mouth. You can actually see that you’re bumping his mouth every stride since you’re not keeping a consistent contact. By trying to be easy on his mouth, you’re actually making things worse.
Wait, how can I be bopping him in the mouth when I don't have contact at all? are you talking about when he starts going into an outline? if so then I can see what your talking about.
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Because the whole video is in slow motion, it makes it hard to truely tell if your horse has impulsion.
You dont have to have super short reins to have actual contact, but the length you have now is too long. Even a couple inches would make a difference.
Puck already mentioned this, but I will say it again. Your horse is bent to the outside....he should be bent to the inside. You should be able to see his eyelashes. He should be wrapped around your inside leg. Why are you sliding your leg back? Is that how you were taught to make him move off your leg?
Honestly...I am not really sure I ever saw the horse actually on the bit or in a frame. He was starting to reach for the bit, but not really ever on it.
Hold your outside rein still and think about sqeezing the water out of a sponge with your inside rein....squeeze, release, squeeze, release.
alright, thanks everyone! I have another lesson tonight and will be taking everything mentioned into consideration, so ill probably post another video (in real time, not slow motion :) ) and then we can see if any improvement has been .made.
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