Help! My equitation is horrible - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 28 Old 02-23-2019, 09:49 AM
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It isn't your leg being floppy as much as it is the motion is originating from the wrong part. That was mentioned in a couple of posts. A floppy leg is one that is doing none of the work and being tossed around. That isn't pretty to watch. But preferable to a frozen or as an instructor called it a wooden leg that never moves with the horse but is instead frozen in place while the seat slides all around in the saddle as the body is tossed to and fro by the movement of the horse.
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post #12 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 01:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Jolly101 View Post
If you have a safe horse to work with, I recommend warming up stirrupless walk, rising trot and canter. I always do this with my personal horses and I find It helps muscle memory in the long run. Stirrupless work in general really helps tone the proper muscles for riding.

For your hands, Iím noticing a few things you could fix. Your hands need to be lifted and together. Your elbow also has the tendency to stiffen at times when you post ( causing your hands to come up and in opposition of the horseís head movement).

Try hooking your index fingers under the pommel and keeping them there while you rise the trot, so you are able to feel how much your elbow needs to open and close.

Occasionally, I noticed your hands became uneven, although It was hard to tell in this video. Iíve used a crop under the thumbs in the past for this. You wonít be able to move one hand higher or lower than the other, but It is a good exercise for awarness on when hands get uneven and makes you steer with your seat and leg.
I took your advice about my hands, tried all of those exercises mentioned. I think that helped a lot with getting the feeling of my elbow opening and closing.
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post #13 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
this is not your horse, right? it seems that you are struggling to find your 'place' in that saddle. I think that it probably has a balance that is totally foreign to you. It looks like it might have a downward slope feel to it, and this is making your balance a bit tentative; struggling against a feeling of falling foward. Thus, your lower leg comes back, and your upper body has to be sort of 'held' back, which makes you stiff and then your hands are not independent.


I have found that some saddles are so different in balance, (and this can be due to stirrup bar placement, or the fit of the saddle making it oriented uphill or downhill) that my riding skill drops down several notches , just like that.


I had a lovely saddle that was SO comfy at the walk, was beautifully made. But, darn it all, I could not for the life of me post well in it. It turned our my friend, who is also fat like me, had the same issue. I figured out that the wide twist, which made it comfy to just sit in, pushed my knees outward, and made it hard for me to get up and over my knees for posting. I sold the saddle to a thinner person, who loved it.


so, the twist can also be a factor in how easily a person can adapt to any saddle.
This is not my horse, Im being paid to exercise him tho! Seeing the video of my riding had me thinking "**** she saw me ride like this and was willing to pay me to do it?!" He is a QH and built downhill as well.

The saddle is new to me too. I bought it a few weeks ago because it was adjustable and a really good price for a Bates. I'm definitely getting used to it. But I can stand up straight in the stirrups quite comfortably without falling forward or back. I think I have a tendency to "fall forward" and try to get into a jumping/galloping position.
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post #14 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by QtrBel View Post
It isn't your leg being floppy as much as it is the motion is originating from the wrong part. That was mentioned in a couple of posts. A floppy leg is one that is doing none of the work and being tossed around. That isn't pretty to watch. But preferable to a frozen or as an instructor called it a wooden leg that never moves with the horse but is instead frozen in place while the seat slides all around in the saddle as the body is tossed to and fro by the movement of the horse.
As someone surrounded by Hunter riders, I'm used to seeing a stable lower leg and thats what I aspire to have I guess. I'm glad to know its not as big of a deal as I thought tho!
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post #15 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 01:44 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for all the feedback guys!

So this is unusual. As it turns out these exercises worked, but my knees don't even touch the saddle anymore when I put my heels down and calf on the horse? My friend at the barn said my lower leg was barely swinging at all.. but is my knee supposed to be off the saddle entirely?

Letting the horse "bump" me up to post felt very strange. I felt like I was barely getting off the saddle at all and it was a wonky feeling for sure. I'll work on it more.

I need to buy shorter leathers I think for my jumping saddle, they've stretched very unevenly. Something I've been working on myself for the last few months as ya'll know from a previous post.

I rode both horses (the bay from the video and my own) yesterday. I actually feel more secure than I thought in my jumping saddle. Haven't ridden in it in a few months. I can sit quite easily provided I let Hawk horse jog rather than extended trot. It was much harder to stand up in the stirrups like some others suggested in my jumping saddle. I felt like I was being pitched forward and couldn't really stand up straight, but was in more of a jumping position. I suppose a jumping saddle would be inclined to put me into a jumping position tho, right?

I did the same exersise in the dressage saddle on the bay horse from the video I posted. I was able to stand up straight quite easily. Both horses are downhill to some degree thanks to their QH lineage. The bay horse is rather sour overall, especially to strong leg contact, I'm trying to ride him "tactfully" since I don't really want to know what happens when he explodes. Its a work in progress. I definitely don't feel 100% safe on him, he's already pretty nasty tacking him up. Quiet enough to ride but I feel like theres a ticking time bomb underneath me and I don't want to pick a fight with him. Likes to be ridden off mostly voice and seat, gets ear pinny and "sticky feet" when I apply more leg than he likes.

The saddles I have are a Circuit "Full contact deluxe" close contact saddle, and a Bates Caprilli dressage saddle. Being name brands I'd expect them to be decently balanced, no? I'm not sure, I'm new to English riding. I've been a western rider all my life.
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post #16 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AndyTheCornbread View Post
Don't knock on yourself so hard, I would give body parts to be able to ride that well. My right leg is partially paralyzed from being in the Marine Corps so certain muscles in it that control fine movement don't work correctly. You can't tell so much when I walk but you can definitely tell when I ride for a while as my right leg gets floppy. I have had to teach my horses to ignore things that aren't truly queues coming from that side and to keep there trots to a level at which I can sit them vs post them. It's great you want to ride better but don't forget to celebrate what you already do well.
Thank you so much! As an aspiring "pro" rider I guess I'm harder on myself than I need to be. I don't show currently, but I'd like to ride and train professionally down the road.

Thank you for your service to our country. You guys certainly don't get thanked enough for what you've done for us all.
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post #17 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 02:23 PM
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could the Bay horse have a saddle fit issue?
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post #18 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 02:44 PM
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Yes, it's normal for your knee to be off the saddle when your lower leg and thigh are on. Eventually your body will relax into the correct position over being forced into it and your knee will relax to the side of the saddle.
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post #19 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 05:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
could the Bay horse have a saddle fit issue?
Possibly. But he pins his ears about everything. Kicks when you brush him. Tries to bite when you walk past him on crossties. Bites when you have a treat. Breaks crossties for fun. Tries to get away when you try picking his feet. Rears when you ask him to step back before you grain him. Etc etc. I think it’s mostlt attitude. He is better when you’re confident. If you act at all afraid of him he gets worse. He’s gotten a lot better on the ground with me. Also, he’s not that nasty as long as you scratch his neck and take your time doing up hid girth. I think it’s a learned behavior from when he was a school horse.
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post #20 of 28 Old 02-24-2019, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by SKB1994 View Post
As someone surrounded by Hunter riders, I'm used to seeing a stable lower leg and thats what I aspire to have I guess. I'm glad to know its not as big of a deal as I thought tho!
I disagree that your leg isn't that bad. You aren't star-fishing, but your leg is not under control. Each post, your leg is bouncing and your toe is down for a portion of the stride while your heel draws up. That is bumping the horse with every stride and gives them a good reason to be sour to the leg. It is also not a secure leg.

The leg shouldn't be braced and never moving, but it needs to be still in relation to the horse. You have a leg like that on a sensitive horse and you will be on your butt quick. It's also going to dull an already dull horse. You also can't give subtle cues when the leg is moving constantly. How is the horse to know what's a cue and what's an aid?

Some hunters might ride with a braced leg, but they shouldn't be. You also don't want the jelly ankles you see on some dressage riders. Watch some videos of Big Eq riders. You can see their leg is still on the horse's side, but still moves to accommodate changes in gait and position.
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