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GeminiJumper 08-11-2011 10:16 AM

1 year break from riding!! Please critique!!
Hello everyone! I have not been on here in a while. Just enjoying my summer, although it has been quite horse-less.

I haven't ridden in over a year but while I'm staying with my friend for a bit, I was able to get my first dressage lesson! :D Yay!

So if you can critique my position, I would greatly appreciate it. I love to hear comments, good and bad.

Small picture first.

Circling. Concentrating on twisting my body to help guide the horse.

Trotting circle left.

Cantering circle left.

He tripped and I was readjusting myself. lol.

And down the long side.

Gidget 08-11-2011 03:59 PM

what I noticed is that you are holding your hands too close together. You want to hold your hands a part and create a straight line from rein to bit.

PintoTess 08-11-2011 04:38 PM

Give your elbows a little more bend in them ;)

Nice horse !

Jamzimm101987 08-11-2011 06:17 PM

Roll your shoulders back, keep your thumbs up and fingers closed. If it's dressage you're learning then try not to "cram" your feet so far down in the stirrups. That is a hunter jumper way. Bend your elbows and keep your arms and elbows tight against your body. There should not be a gap that makes you look like you have wings from the backside.

Overall, decent position for not riding at all in a year!! Good luck!

tinyliny 08-12-2011 02:27 AM

YOur hands are not too close, but the thumb does need to be on top.
The saddle looks really large for you. YOu seem to be pretty far behind the knee pad area. or maybe the stirrup is too long? Not sure.

I think for a year off you are doing marvelously!
Cute horse. Does he need the martingale?

GeminiJumper 08-15-2011 09:48 AM

Thank you everyone!

I was quite surprised how my position came back so quickly for me while I was riding. I thought my lower leg would be horrible! But believe me, I paid for it all afterwards. I was so sore and pretty much stuck in the riding position. :P

My upper body has always been an issue for me, especially my shoulders. Any ideas on how I can keep them back?

This was a lesson horse so the saddle fits him, not me. But yes, I agree, the saddle seemed a bit big, especially the flap area of the saddle. For the length of leg that was asked, it would of been nice to have a more straight flap like that of a dressage saddle. And again, he's a lesson horse so I didn't have a say in his equipment--the martingale. I didn't think he needed it; he wasn't a head tosser.

So I'm posting all this because I really, really want to get into dressage. Do you think I have the capabilities?

Jamzimm101987 08-15-2011 04:41 PM

For your upper body and shoulders, pretend you are a puppet with strings attached to your head and shoulders....that will help you to sit back. Also you could stick a dressage whip behind your back and through your elbows. That will MAKE you sit back....but it's tough. Lunge line the first few times

Dressage10135 08-15-2011 04:44 PM

I'm not the best rider so I'm not going to get into a detailed critique, but I just wanted to say that if your instructor is telling you to "twist your body to help guide the horse" you should be finding a new instructor!

GeminiJumper 08-15-2011 06:00 PM

I have done the exercise of riding with a dressage whip behind my back and through my elbows. THAT was interesting! I should probably give it another go since I need to work on i t.

As for the twisting my body comment, she wanted me to move my upper body to the direction I want to go. It helps to rotate your body and help cue the horse rather than relying on reins. Legs are included but trying to use less rein for guiding. I'd take continuous lessons from her any day if I could afford it. Lol.

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