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Zimpatico 03-20-2011 09:37 AM

Critique Rider Position Please!!!
Well, Zee has been back under tack for about two - three weeks at the walk. Our vet was out on Thursday and said we can start trotting for one minute per ride starting next week!! YAY!

So, since we've had so much time at the walk, I've really been trying to focus on my position. Even weight in my seat bones, lessening my tendancy to collapse around turns, keeping my thighs against the saddle and toe turned in, proper back alignment, engaging my core, and quieting my hands. It's a lot to keep straight when you have so much time to think about all of it!

Here's yesterday's ride. First 5 or 6 minutes is video at the walk, followed by still shots. I know I look a little stiff while I'm concentrating on so much. But, Zee feels as though he's moving a LOT better when I get it all "right".

Since he is coming back from injury so slowly, we'll be doing a lot of basic, beginner, lower level dressage when we can start working again. I'm actually taking a walk lesson next week to work on my position and getting him lighter off the leg, marching forward and moving into the bit (his biggest challenges).

Zimpatico 03-20-2011 07:45 PM

Bump... Anyone?!

tinyliny 03-21-2011 02:52 AM

I didn't watch the entire video but could see that your postition is really quite good. I see defininte improvement.
The thing which deserves the best praise is that you your are advancing your seat so well with the motion of his walk that I see NO motion of the saddle.What I meant is that if a person is really stiff in the saddle, their motion will be behind the horse's motion and it will interfere with the saddle's ability to just move as if it were a part of the hrose's body, too. So there's this kind of ripple of motion , from horse to rider to saddle, like energy travelling down a whip. By the time the rider moves witih the motion forward, the horse and saddle are already beginning the next phase of the cylcle of the walk motion, so the rider impeeds the saddle, which moves seperate from the hrose, which irritates the horse.
YOU are moving with the horse, and by your loose hips and upright posture, you are on the crest of the wave like motion, rather than behind it. A surfer rides just in front of the crest of the wave. I realize it's not a direct analogy, but feeling like you ride on top of the motion rather than just following behind it is a worhwhile image.

Hand -postioin is good. Lower leg looks stiff. Sometimes it looks like you don't hvae a feel for your stirrup. Try occasionally wiggling your feet and repositioning your stirrups and stuff like that. I know you are holding still for the video, but there's some kind of lockedness there.

Zimpatico 03-21-2011 08:33 AM

When I watch the video, it looks as though my hips and upper body are almost moving too much, but when I'm on him, I feel as though my seat bones are sort of attached to his back and moving with him (if that makes sense). I'm really, really happy with the way I feel so connected to him, and the way his back feels underneath of me.

I have a tough time with my leg right now. He's so wide barreled that I try to keep my thigh on the saddle, through my knee without pinching, but this pulls my calf away from him. He responds better to my thigh keeping contact (stays much straighter), but when I try to put my calf on for forward movement, I end up pulling my thigh away again... Oh, the things I have discovered with so much time walking!! Thank you, now I know what to focus on in this week's lesson!!!

Zimpatico 03-21-2011 08:49 AM

Oh, and it's ok if you don't watch the entire video. The one thing I was most happy about with the ride was consistency with both him and I. We stayed pretty much the same throughout the entire ride until the last few minutes when we were both getting tired!

tinyliny 03-21-2011 08:31 PM

that is one of the tough things about round barrelled horses. YOu'll have to find the happy medium between the form that is textbook perfect for the lower leg, with the thigh on the saddle, and the position that your leg wants to take due to his shape. I mean, one can't hold it forever in a postition that is counter to his shape.
Maybe occasionally dropping your legs out of the stirrup will help them find the best but still natural place to fall.

Your hip and body movement on a few rare occasions looked like you were pushing him, and I saw what looked like him almost breaking into a trot, like he was repsonding to an increase in drive from you. But , being a warmblood, his walk IS big , so it requires a fair amount of movement from the rider to appear motionless.

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