Critique Hunter Thoroughbred on Flat - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 03-16-2015, 10:09 PM
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For exercises when trotting down the long side I would leg yield a 2 or 3 steps off the track and 2 or 3 steps back to the track but gradually and with clear bend for the leg yield. I'd then walk the corners but keep it an active walk, then trot the long side and do a shallow loop but very shallow, maybe 3 or 4ft from the track at the steepest point then back and gradual. The challenge of some bend is good for them but without the pressure. You can also try posting bigger with your hip on the side that is injured, you have to compensate for that weakness, stiffness, lack of elasticity they have to make them appear more even. I had a hanoverian gelding I rehabbed (I didn't own him) and in a clinic that was one of the things the instructor emphasized quite a lot but he was also on month 8 or 9 of being back to work and he could use his left hind more than he thought he could.

I'd also try to do some stretches (don't go for how deep the stretch is but just a little bit and listen to them). I found it very helpful, I'd also massage them but if you don't feel comfortable doing that, I wouldn't because you can hurt them if you don't know what you're doing. But doing a little more currying and extra grooming is helpful too, helps with circulation, blood flow, it's relaxing and good for them.
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-16-2015, 11:03 PM
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it looks to me like you are still getting to know his feel and his rythm. he might be stiff, but he's got a good consistent rythm in the trot, and seem to have a good work ethic. I think he will mature very nicely, as you will become more stable in time, too.

I feel like your stability is a bit iffy at times. it looks a bit like you lean forward, or fall forward some times. and since you have your hands angled downward, you are pullin down on the rein when he is reacting by going up . this sort of position, where the elbows become locked in too open of a position, the thumbs are rolled down and there is a downward orientation and rolled forward shoulder and body over the core , and you often looking down, too . . . all lead to the horse hollowing out more, and reacting defensively to the downward pull of the rein.

I know that in parts of the video you were riding on a very loose rein, so I'm not trying to say that you are being harsh on his mouth. but, rather that it seems you are tryin to get him to keep his head down by putting your hands down to counter that. He will only counter THAT by raising his own.

I would suggest that you radically raise your hands, and maintain a supportive contact, especially on his outside rein. or, give him a super loose rein and put your own hands on either you stomach, or on his withers so that you can resist the temptation to pull them downward.

also, would you feel ok/better with stirrups down one hole?
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-16-2015, 11:21 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
it looks to me like you are still getting to know his feel and his rythm. he might be stiff, but he's got a good consistent rythm in the trot, and seem to have a good work ethic. I think he will mature very nicely, as you will become more stable in time, too.

I feel like your stability is a bit iffy at times. it looks a bit like you lean forward, or fall forward some times. and since you have your hands angled downward, you are pullin down on the rein when he is reacting by going up . this sort of position, where the elbows become locked in too open of a position, the thumbs are rolled down and there is a downward orientation and rolled forward shoulder and body over the core , and you often looking down, too . . . all lead to the horse hollowing out more, and reacting defensively to the downward pull of the rein.

I know that in parts of the video you were riding on a very loose rein, so I'm not trying to say that you are being harsh on his mouth. but, rather that it seems you are tryin to get him to keep his head down by putting your hands down to counter that. He will only counter THAT by raising his own.

I would suggest that you radically raise your hands, and maintain a supportive contact, especially on his outside rein. or, give him a super loose rein and put your own hands on either you stomach, or on his withers so that you can resist the temptation to pull them downward.

also, would you feel ok/better with stirrups down one hole?
My equitation decline is due to not having anyone correct me in a long time. I don't pull him into contact, I push him into it, but my hands are WAY too low and I agree with everything you've said. After seeing this, I'm much more aware of it and have been trying to fix it.

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post #14 of 18 Old 03-17-2015, 12:44 AM
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consider "inviting " him into contact. my feeling is to invite a horse into contact , you start where he is first. if his head is high, you go up with him and continue asking, becuase he thinks that going up is a way out. so, you keep inviting him at the same angle , meaning you raise your hands so that him raising his head does not give him a release, nor change the angle of the elbow, to rein to bit line.

I realize this sounds kind of woo-woo. but, it can sometimes be helpful to keep such words in your mind when YOu are working with him, more for your own attitude, to keep it friendly and positive. instead of thinking of pushing and forcing him forward, thinking of it as inviting him has a whole different feel. horse pick up on this, I guarantee you.
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-21-2015, 10:55 PM
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I noticed that you look a little off balance. When you turn, you lean into the circle with your upper body, your shoulder drops, and so does your chin. I always found that a centered rider makes for a well balanced horse. Also it would make you look more confident with a higher chin and straighter back. The horse looks a little stiff and I think if you did some slow seated trotting and had him stretch down it may help him, gradually increasing speed to where you want every week.
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-22-2015, 05:31 PM
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Your equitation is really not that bad, I would just try to work on your hand position and heels position by stretching it out. I've just started working on stretching my heels and it has helped a lot with my balance and such.
Also just a tip I've picked up while riding is when trying to get a horse to stretch down to open your rein a bit and try to push them into it and if they refuse with going into the bit and are resistant to your hand to resist back and make a fist and raise your hands until they are soft again in the mouth accept the bit and stretch forward into the contact.
I have seen way too many people ask their horse to move forward into the bit and the horse resists so they drop the reins which teaches the horse that resistance equals release. It may take a while for a horse to learn that resisting won't equal release but it is well worth it after they learn. This is just something I see riders at my own barn do and that I used to do but it will really help with your flatwork.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-24-2015, 05:16 PM
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He's not terrible for not being in shape or ridden for a long period of time. I would recommend getting him to bend around turns, this means I would do a lot of circles and serpentines to really start getting him to be more supple. About 3 min into the video his head got better at the trot. To work on the trot, I would lift your hands and upper body up, maybe widen your hands a bit, slow your posting, and push slightly asking for a bigger step to maybe get his head and neck to go into the more relaxed state. It will just take time and build up of muscling. Again with the canter I would work on just getting him to loosen up.

An exercise I use is to work on a figure 8 not changing directions each time, but after doing a circle where the horse is bending properly then changing direction and trying to get the same response. By doing this 1. you always have the attention of your horse and 2. your horse becomes more supple.
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-25-2015, 07:13 PM
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what I saw (stopped and started video many times):
  1. hands too wide apart. That means the bit has a more severe action on the horses mouth.
  2. Sometimes arms "moved" during posting. Instead open elbows as you rise and close them as you sit. Once you do this you'll experience less head tossing (pulling on reins) and you'll be able to establish more contact (i.e. shorter reins with constant "feel" of everything you tell horses to do and how horse reacts). Reins too loose now but before you shorten them you need to learn the elbow thing to establish a steadier contact.
  3. Rider looking down (at times), and rounding shoulders
  4. Rider too far forward at canter and "pumping/standing in stirrups at times (saw this when I stopped and your but was in the air). Once your butt leaves the saddle you can no longer effectively use that part of your body to influence the horses movement/actions.
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