So... I suck at riding. Help? lol
K so basically.. I got to film me riding my horse for maybe the 3rd or 4th time... but the first time *for real* because before I was using a saddle that apparently didn't fit him and he would throw his head high in the air, wouldn't listen, etc. But he's good now.
Anyways, so I video taped myself and now I realize how much I SUCK LOL. I can't afford a coach so this is all I've got for now.
The thing is it didn't feel like it was that bad when I was riding... but my hands are so bouncy and... I just look horrid. I'm all over the place!!! Poor horse. LOL
UGH the canter... nasty. K I didn't mean to be so harsh on his mouth... it was just a mess ejaitgodhae giodag lol.
My expertise is in working with young horses on the GROUND lol. That's all I've done with horses in the past 3 or so years... I haven't rode.. so yeah, I suck. But both me and my boy are lacking in a lot of muscle.. we both need to go on a diet LOL.
Anyways, I'd love to get as much critique as I can get... as again this is all I have lol. Oh and also, ideas on how to FIX my problems are appreciated as well. :)
EDIT: I forgot to mention he's barn sour so he acts up towards the left corner sometimes... so yeah. :P IM GOING TO SHUTUP NOW.
Hey Nancy! Honestly, your video is a bit tough to critique because I can't get a good side view of your equitation for more then a second at a time (when you're farther away from the camera it is just too dark to see your dark pants on your dark horse).
I DO see the hands issue and it even looks like you may have a bit of a chair seat habit. If you're not familiar with the term chair seat it just basically means your feet are too far forward which moves your knees too far forward and you appear more like you are sitting in a chair rather then being able to draw a straight line from your ear, through your shoulder and hip all the way down to your heel. I usually ask my students to think about keeping their heel down and leg long while pulling it back so the ball of their foot is about equal to the girth. Rocking your hips forward just a bit so you're not sitting where the pockets of your jeans would be can help. If you feel like being picky you could point your toes a little more towards the front instead of out at a large angle.
I fix heavy hands with lots of riding while on a lunge line but that would require someone knowledgeable on the end of the lead who can also be supportive.
ETA:is there anyway you could post an uncut version? There are a couple times when you approach the camera and just before you become parallel to the shot you disappear!
I've always thought my bouncy hands were due to something wrong with my seat? I don't think my hands would be caused by the chair seat though? What do you think? I just have heavy hands? If so, awesome! That's easier to fix haha!
I can definitely post and uncut version! I'll try and post the best ones of me closest to the camera lol. :)
No, I wouldn't think your hand issues come from the chair seat, mostly because I've seen plenty of riders with a chair seat that also have steady hands.
Bouncy hands...bouncy hands...I'm trying to rack my brain on many causes. The biggest cause I've found is due to a weak seat (which would make sense with your time off). Without a strong or steady seat, many riders end up using their hands for balance which would cause lots of bouncing in the hands. I also noticed your hands are a little higher at the canter, do you by any chance feel your horse is going too fast for comfort?
ETA: ALSO....when we ride we have to remember our hands should be independent of our seat, this comes with building up your leg muscles, therefore our body moves but our hands should not. I know that may sound like a "DUUUUH!" but it's a slightly different way to look at it.
I don't -usually- have my hands higher in the canter, but with this canter yes.. haha. It was the first time I've ever cantered him and he really LOVES to do it haha. I didn't show the clip of cantering the other way because he practically took off on me! I spent the whole time trying to slow him down but he wasn't listening much... again, I probably should spend more time working on my seat. But yeah he really loves to run. :)
And yes I know about the independent seat... I've read up on it soo much, gotten a couple lessons specifically just for achieving it.. and I have, sort of. At least with my legs.. I can do anything with my legs without moving, but my hands are another story ahah.
When I started english I had these problems, I still have them slightly and I still have to think about it. But I'll let you know what has helped me.
For the leg being very forward. Tons of standing at walk/trot. Two-point work, remember to grip with you knees and calves to keep them back. Remember you sitting on your crotch more than leaning back on your butt.
For the hands, at all gaits put your hands on your horses neck, feel how to keep your hands still while your body is moving with the horse. Figure when your posting up and down, your hands should not be. With them on the neck you should be moving slightly at the elbow and shoulder to allow your body to rise and fall but keep your hands still. When you feel like you know the movement go ahead and lift you hands and try and keep the same stillness, if you forget put your hands down again and feel it.
Someone correct me if I'm wrong as I am not a trainer, but I know it has helped me.
Tips for keeping hand still. Try it at walk and trot first. Once you get the contact that you want grab a little bit of mane. So that when your hands try to go up they wont be able to because the mane will pull them back down.
You might also put a strap on the front of your saddle. I forget what they are called but I have one on my dressage saddle. Its just attached to the D rings. Same principle as above though.
Something I did while I was schooling was to keep my pinky finger out and touching my horses neck at all times. Not a good habit to get in but it severed as a good aid for me for a while. After a bit it was just second nature to keep my hands still.
And remember its ok to master everything at the walk and trot first. You dont HAVE to canter. Keep everything a postive experience for you and your boy. :)
Good luck to you
Bouncy hands generally originate from a tight upper back and tight arms and especially elbows. Will reply more later.
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Bouncing hands, like DressageIt said, can be from stiff arms. You could relax your arms a bit. Another trick is to just put your hands down on the horse's neck and feel how they naturally move, then try picking them up when you're ready. Try and worry less about where the head is and just focus on following it. Will follow with exercises to improve seat without chair seat.
For your hands, you need to remember that they should be following the horse's head at the walk and canter, and remaining still at the trot. At the walk and canter, your horse's head will naturally move up and down, or rather, the motion will be back and forth. So keeping a light feel on your horse's mouth and having elastic elbows, practice moving your hands with his movement.
You can practice your two point at this time as well. You can grab a small bit of mane to get a feel for the motion (without putting weight on his neck) if that makes you feel more secure. At the trot, keep in mind that your hands will stay in the same spot, but your arms will still be moving. When you post up and down, your hands will want to follow up and down, but by bending and straightening at the elbow, you will be able to keep your hands still, and should help prevent the head-throwing.
I had a few students that had a similar issue with sitting back and having a chair seat. I found that getting them to rotate their pelvis forward (or in simpler terms, pushing your bellybutton forward), as well as opening your hands a little wider than apart than you would normally hold them, that seems to automatically make them sit up and open their chest. As for the leg, you'll need to just practice holding your leg back underneath of you, and do a lot of two- point and no stirrup work to strengthen it.
I really suggest working only at the walk and trot with him until you feel you are both strong enough to work at the canter. If he is having trouble keep his head and neck still at the trot, especially through transitions, that could indicate strain from lack of muscle.
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