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sporthorsegirl 06-04-2011 03:12 AM

Unlearning Everything, Can Someone Help Me Out With This?
So recently I've been driving to a barn that's two and a half hours away because that is literally the only place I can ride. I live in one of the worst places in the world to live if you love horses. However, previously I had been able to ride at a few different barns (switched back and forth from a few) but that's option isn't available anymore. I don't own or even lease a horse right now because I can't afford it.

Anyway, on to my problem. For the past six years (and most of my riding life) I had been riding western. Of course, I still rode english occasionally, but I just felt western was easier and that's the saddle I started in. Then I decided I wanted to start training for eventing. So now I'm unlearning everything I thought I knew about my seat and such, as well with jumping and dressage.

But here's the problem. My instructor keeps telling me I need to 'bounce' my heels/calfs against the sides of the horse (but not purposefully bouncing, gently). And for the life of me, I cannot get my legs to bounce without trying to bounce them!!!! :evil: I can't explain it very well without demonstrating it (does anyone know what I'm talking about?). She also says I'm posting 'hunter style'. Keep in mind, I've never, ever, ever been in a hunter show or been taught to keep my seat 'hunter style'. The only english shows I've been in have been equitation on the flat classes. I've taped myself riding and watched it back again and personally, I think my seat looks fine...

Also, apparently I have a short achilles heel (I've never had a problem keeping my heels down before?!?) which I'm trying to stretch whenever I can.

I'm hoping that someday soon I'll be able to compete again, this time around in eventing.

I know this is probably super overwhelming, but can anyone give me any advice on this?

Thanks :-)

shelleyb 06-04-2011 03:20 AM

I have no idea about western - but anyway....... if u want to unlearn your western style how about riding bareback for a few lessons, just so you can get a feel for the horses movement and find your balance... you will find it difficult to start with but once you've got it - you've got it! Then when you introduce your saddle you may find your position is much more effective.

As for keeping the heels down and 'bouncing' you may find that doing some work in light seat (bum back and out of the saddle) your heels will naturally stretch down to give you the balance and your legs will naturally 'bounce' to the horses rhythm... just some ideas :)

sporthorsegirl 06-04-2011 10:43 PM

Thanks for the post and the good ideas/advice, I'l see if I can ride bareback in the next instruction and I'll try lightening my seat.

Thanks :)

tinyliny 06-05-2011 03:15 AM

By bouncing, could she mean that you need to have your leg draped along the side of the body so that it would move in and out as the horse's barrel moves? Are you talking about training in a jump saddle or a dressage saddle?
When you rode Western did you have your feet braced forward, kind of pushing into the stirrup and your lower leg totally off the horse? (a common way of riding western). This might be what she is talking about.
Otherwise, I don't understand what she means by bounce.

sporthorsegirl 06-05-2011 05:48 PM

Yes, I'm pretty sure that's what she means. I think maybe when I used to ride western I didn't have my heel in line with the rest of my body. I'm learning jumping and dressage at the moment :)

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