I have this HUGE problem. I will lean forward a little instead of sitting straight up. And the faster we go, usually the more forward I lean. But, I have no clue why. Today was the first time I fell off just cantering. Even though Bee was acting up a LOT and swinging her head all over the place. I would stop her and we would start over and try to canter again. I have cantered on her before without the huge problem of leaning forward, but it seems to be getting worse and worse. Do you have any tricks, excersiecs, or reasons why I do this? After I get over this huge problem I will be able to start showing sometime soon depending on if we have the money for all the show cloths and fees. Please help!
I have seen several of the videos of you on Bee, ones that you have been so kind to share and so brave to open to critique. I think you will be a dandy rider, soon, but there is some real stability missing. I think that it is that you are not really letting hyour weight sink well down into your legs, letting them drape down and around your horse, and you are stiff in the hips, so your upper body has trouble remaining free from the motion of the horse becuase your hip is not moving enought to absorb it before it moves up into your upper body.
I would really recomment that you spend some time riding either bareback or stirrupless with your leg draping down. to be able to ride this way you absolutely must be able to balance on your seatbones. Grip alone will not save you from falling off. Grip of the knee or worse, the calf, is what ends up flinging you forward when the horse stops or changes direction suddenly.
Another possiblity would be to ride western for awhile and work on riding with that long, draping leg and sitting right over those seatbones. Once you get this down you will be a really cute rider!
I do a lot of work without stirrups and sometimes ride bareback, always thinking about balance, low center of gravity. What should my lower legs be doing?
When you ride bareback your lower legs should be basically flopping with relaxation. If the horse is trotting your lower leg will flop. Flopping means that energy is passing through them. If you do not allow the energy to pass THROUGH , it must move somewhere else. That is why you need to have loose hips/pelvis ; to allow the energy to move through and out of your body before it moves up into your upper body and makes your upper body have to flop to absorb the energy. If you don't absorb the energy, then your entire body is moved around by the waves of energy generated by the moving hores and eventually the energy is enough to break your connection to the horse, and off you go. Kind of like skiing. If you absorb the energy of going over the bumps in your knees, you will stay over your skis. If you lock up, anywhere, you will be left behind and your skis will go out from under you.
I know that jumpers must put a good grip on the horse, but I think if you grip solely with your calves your knees will tend to come off the saddle and isn't that a no-no? You can see this kind of riding quite evident when you see a jumper whose knees come off the saddle when viewed from behind because you can see air between the bent knee and the saddle, while the calf is in pinching in and the toes pointing out. I think this total riding by the seat of your pants and works if you are lucky, but who wants to ride by luck.
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