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Horsesdontlie 03-31-2011 10:33 PM

English EQ Critique
I feel like I've been posting too much, but I haven't really been able to communicate and hear other people's opinions for a while. So I hope people aren't thinking I'm too post happy. =)

Anyhow I would love to here any and all critique on Jake and I. We have come far from the crazy barrel racers. I know Jake will never be a hunter, so I am aiming more for EQ and jumpers. I have not shown yet as we are not ready, but we are getting up there I believe. I am sorry for the fixed camera, I don't have people willing to video tape me. But I have a few stills and slow motion shots.

I know I am on the wrong Diagonal at the trot, I have a bad habit of always picking up the incorrect one. Anyone got advice on that?

Also Jake is very forward and rushes normally so I am stiff, I have been working on calming him and me down and relaxing.

ashxcx 03-31-2011 10:38 PM

you are very stiff in your upper body mostly in your arms, your hands are also very high and far apart - you have a very nice leg though. as for the diagonal, how long have you been riding? you should grow to just feel when you are on the wrong one if not just do a quick check before as soon as you start posting - it can be very uncomfortable for the horse if you post on the wrong one.

good luck!

justjump 03-31-2011 10:49 PM

I actually really like your position! You have good posture! But your legs need to be just a little more forward. I like to keep my feet by my girth because I used to have my legs too far behind me and it would throw me off balance. So really push your heels down (your heels aren't bad BTW) and push your leg a little more forward, but don't over exaggerate(:

For your diagonal, sit trot. Get someone to sit out there with you who knows diagonals. Sit the trot and close your eyes. Start trying to feel for the diagonal. Once you think you feel it, post. Get the person to tell you whether your on the correct diagonal or not, and just keep practicing both ways. Once you get this down, getting your diagonals will be second nature! Also, when you begin the trot, you don't need to post right away. Sit the trot a few steps; if you have to, look down while your sitting, then pick up the correct diagonal. It doesn't need to be rushed, just allow yourself to check before you pick up the wrong one. My friend used to have the same problem!

When you canter, sit back. It looks like a bad habit of leaning forward to almost "help" your horse to get the lead. Sit up straight like you do at the trot, if you need to tighten your inside reign so you can see the corner of his eye, and apply pressure with your outside leg. Keep practicing! It will all resolve in no time!

Generally, your eq is pretty good. Good posture, your already dropping your stirrups which is AWESOME, and you have good hands, elbows and heels. Like I have said before, start waiting for the diagonal to come to you and start feeling for it, and bring your leg a little more forward. I really like your horse actually, I think he's cute! And with hard work and practice, you'll do great in the jumper arena! Eq might be a little to quiet for your horse, but then again, anything can happen! I bet he will be a really nice guy in no time(:

Good luck!!
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tinyliny 03-31-2011 11:11 PM

Very cute horse , very tidy rider! I dont' think you need to bring your leg more forward, nor your heel more down. To do so would come off as forced and ruin the nice drape of your leg. I do see you lean forward a bit for the canter and at the down transisitons you fell forward a tad. Step into it a bit slower. Not reining stop, more of a collect, compresss aANNNNNND stop. (pause for the and). Bring your hands together and thumbs on top. I know people say this all the time but it really is important and you are really, really close to having IT!

Remember to relaxe a bit and pet him and give him a loose rein sometimes or he'll think English sucks.

OH< and as for taking always the same diagonal, your circles were pretty big and sometimes it's hard to feel if the circle is nearly a straight line. In the case of a straight line, the diagonal matters not to the horse. i'ts only beneficial to the horse in a curved situation.
Some horses have a tendency to "throw" their riders onto the diagonal that they find easiset to carry you on. When you post a right diagonal, it's the horses right hind that "pushes" you up. IF the horse is a bit off in that hip or hock or back, they will rather push you off the left hind, so they move in such a way that almost forces you onto the left diagonal, no matter what.
This is something to think about. If it is habit, then look to be sure you post on both diagonals equal amounts of time. If it persists, could there be a discomfort issue?

Horsesdontlie 04-01-2011 04:47 PM

ashxcx - I have been riding almost all my life. But I have done mostly western, with focus on barrel racing. So When I starting doing posting I didn't ever specify which leg I posted with, I just did it because Jake had a rough gait and I didn't want to put the effort into sitting. I've been riding english (Well, at least, with some actual effort to my eq) for about a year now.

Just jump - Thank you. I think it may be my saddle, if you look my knees are not in the rolls, if I was sitting forward more my heels would be closer to the girth. I don't want to just bring my heels forward, I've spent the most part of the year getting rid of my armchair position. x.x Sounds like you have a good diagonal exercise, I'll try that. I do have a habit of leaning forward when asking for the canter. Its a bad habit that I've taught Jake too, he expects it and waits for it. I'm trying to get rid of it. I have been working a lot on lateral work, and he is having trouble (Or I am having trouble...I feel like I'm differentiating between the two though) with the difference between asking for lateral movement and picking up his canter. I'm hoping time will work that out. We'll see if he calms down for the eq, I guess its more of my own desire to try and compete in eq so it keeps me working on myself.

Tinylily - Thank you too for the comment. I noticed after you said it, that I am falling forward in the downward transitions. I guess I'm just looking for a reaction from him, as his downward transitions have been hard to teach him (I blame years and years of bad riding and training, 14 years of other owners that just ran him and then 4 years of being a kid and not caring enough, its only been the last 3-4 years that I have really focused on his training) and get a good response, he used to be such a giraffe and it would take him forever to slow down. I guess we're at the point that I could ask for slower transitions. I wish I could ride on a loose rein more, but without firm contact he keeps accelerating, we won't break gait (Expect from canter into gallop) but he excellerates until he is going as fast as he can at the gait. I want him to just relax and be able to have his head and stretch, but he just takes advantage. Though he does get lots of pets and releases, I just didn't show it in these edited clips. Its also funny that you say the stuff about the diagonal because I find that I pick up my left one 70% of the time and when I switch I can't ever find my balance. I know he gets stiff in his back legs, and the vet has also said his back and legs are fine, its a stiffness due to older age thing. Could it be a balance thing or might he be in pain that the vet didn't catch?

ashxcx 04-01-2011 07:10 PM

i believe you are off to a great start, and it's hard to break old habits - i think you just need to relax your hands and arms :)

PumpkinzMyBaby22 04-01-2011 11:45 PM

You look like a very neat and tidy rider. Like ashxcx has said, I do think you look stiff in the upper body. You have lovely leg position and I do not think that has to be altered. When you canter and come to a downward transition, you do seem to lean forward. Like tinyliny said, collect, compress then stop.

You two look like a lovely pair and will go far! Old habits are heard to break but you look like you are coming along well. I know what you mean about no one wanting to film you.. it can be hard sometimes!

Good job and keep up the hard work! :D

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