Critique rider and horse at walk please.
Due to several (large) unexpected car bills (it has been in the shop three times this past week argh!), I cannot have my trainer out until may :/ on the bright side I have found people who don't mind video taping me about twice a week. I am only doing the walk right now (due to various reasons) but I would like a critique on my position and how effective you think I am being, as well as on the horse (Lucy). This is was taped today and is pretty much at the place my trainer left me at. Thanks!
Looks pretty good! I personally like to see good posture when it comes to riding, so try bringing your shoulders back! It's not bad by any means, but that's the only thing that could use a little work when it comes to posture(:
Your elbows are moving a bit, I don't know much about dressage so maybe it's just a hunter thing. Try loosening your reigns a little because it seems like your arms are being pulled slightly when the horses head moves.
Otherwise, looks pretty good to me! Keep it up(:
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With the elbow thing I am trying to follow her head, am I doing it incorrectly?
I noticed that your arms were moving quite a bit because you look a tad stiff in the saddle. I do this too. It's almost as if you are trying too hard to be correct/right and are therefore not relaxing into the ride. I don't mean relax as in slouch around, but more like allow your body to go more with the motion of the horse. You do look quite a bit more relaxed in some parts than others and you are doing a great job of trying to sit up correctly!
You seem to be sitting a bit far back in the saddle and perching a bit on your girlie bits. Your backside should be in the deepest part of the saddle. Try sitting more on your seatbones.
If anything I think you should shorten your reins a tad and carry your hands forward more (not too much though!), but still without breaking that bit, hand, elbow line (which I thought you generally did a good job of maintaining!).
I quite like your leg position, wish my leg would just hang like that! :)
I agree with justjump about bringing your shoulders back too.
Can I suggest encouraging her forward more with your legs and holding more with your hands? She's currently not tracking up in the walk - let alone over-tracking. She's lovely and calm though.
Here's something different to think about - I recently had an excellent dressage coach teach me that you shouldn't physically look ahead for your next movement (I know, I was shocked too!). By all means, prepare for the next movemet though. You should know exactly where you are in the arena, know the test extremely well and be able to prepare without looking too far ahead. I lost track of how many times I had "WHERE ARE YOUR EYES!? LOOK BETWEEN ZE HORSES EARS! YOU ARE NOT SHOWJUMPING!" yelled at me, haha!
I hope that helped a bit and that I wasn't too confusing/nit picky for you - I tend to get carried away when doing critiques! :) I do think you are a lovely rider with a really cute horse :D Great work!
First off thank you! I was able to folow what you were saying! andf I definitely agree with it!
I was rather shocked at how stiff I looked since I FELT relaxed lol, it also made sense that if my body is stiff it will affect my arms (they looked off to me but that explained it :D).
I think one of the reasons I am stiff in the saddle with her is because the reason you said and because she is an extremely forward sensitive horse and has a tendency to walk as fast as she possible can (this was after we finally taught her walking was exceptable) and when she gets really nervous she breaks into a pace (breed trait) or breaks into a jig (bad previous training). So in my overthinking I tighten up (my trainer yells at me so bad for it! "How can she relax if you aren't! "You won't die if she goes faster! work her out of it!)
I had a problem sitting to far back, I think that is overcompensation :D I will work on it!
Thank you about the legs :D
I have been trying to figure out the correct buttons for that, she only speeds up if I try to ask for lenghening :/ any suggestions? Also, my trainer equated riding Lucy to something like riding "energy" and the opposite of calm :D she said that Lucy can (most of the time she doesn't) look calm on the outsite but once you get on her you can feel
the tension and energy. So I like the fact she is looking much calmer!
Haha! My trainer told me the same thing! (except without the accent :D) however it is a leftover habit from hunters :D trying to work through it, you should have seen me a couple of months ago, I looked like an owl!
Thanks! your post was very helpful!
I'd agree on the shoulders. You're alignment isn't bad, and it might be your physical make up, but it looks as though your shoulders are slumped / slouched. Not really rolled forward, but perhaps too loose? I also agree with thinking of pulling your shoulder blades together, as this will give you a bit more self carriage in your upper body. It might also be a result of shallow breathing. Take nice, regular deep breaths that go all the way down, past your belly button. That should give you a bit of lift in your chest & shoulders. I'm far from an expert, just throwing out a few ideas!!
great position, keep it up!
All I have to say is your position looks great. You should put your hands down a bit tho and relax your arms. You could put your shoulders back a bit more as mentioned about, but great start!
well matched horse and rider
I watched your video and reread the other posts. I agree with some and not with ohters.
First of all, let me say that you are a very good rider with a very good position where it counts. and more importantly, you are well matched to that horse. I can immediately see what you are talking about with Lucy being energy thinly contained under a veneer of calm. For that reason, you are well suited to her. Another rider would have a lot of trouble keeping Lucy from worrying. She is just barely not worried with you.
She goes along on the edge of thinking that she will have to do something defensive. It is evident in the shape of her neck and her head carriege. she also strides a bit short in front and might even be the tiniest bit off in her front right foot.
Back to you. You are not too far on your girlie parts. You can, however, scoot a half inch forward in the saddle and breathe out and relax your buttock more so that the flesh can ease you down deeper into the saddle. Currently you ride very lightly, as if you were riding a green hrose. I think you can ease a bit more weight onto Lucy. In fact, you can use this kind of "heavyness" to slow her down if she even thinks about pacing or jigging. You will breathe out long and slow, think of dragging your heels on the ground and anchoring her in deep mud and think EASY. So, while using this to slow her a bit, you can ask for more engagement of her hind by the tiniest bit more leg AND start taking up more rein.
I think you have done a tremendous job of following this flighty horse's mouth in a very simpathetic manner that has built her trust in your hand. That was and is essential. NOW, you can start building her trust in you having more contact so that you will better be able to create impulsion with push from behind INTO your hand.
Start taking up the rein and seeing if you can get that flexion in the Poll we all want, When you get it, release. Start working on getting her to stretch down and forward, then back up into a medium walk frame, then on a free walk, then medium, then halt, then drop the reins. What that is is (and do it in any order you like) is just longitudinally stretching and compacting and releasing, so that she gets used to the rein contact becoming more, then less then more and then loose. All points of contact become ok because she trusts that none will last forever and none will be painful.
You have the hands and seat to go far.
I would squeeze your legs and push her up into the bridle and getting her stepping under herself and walking out. She looks like she is stepping short and this should help her relax, collect and round up.
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