Honest, Hard Critique - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 04-05-2017, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
@Apuesto if I ever were to take hunter lessons, I'd love for you to teach me!
I was thinking the exact same thing.
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post #12 of 19 Old 04-05-2017, 12:24 PM
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Oh geeze, I'm not that good.😅
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post #13 of 19 Old 04-05-2017, 12:32 PM
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well, you talk good! I figure if you can talk good, you can teach good.
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post #14 of 19 Old 04-05-2017, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Oh geeze, I'm not that good.😅
LOL, your prior post says otherwise! Your post was clear, concise and nonjudgmental. That is what I want in a teacher.
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post #15 of 19 Old 04-06-2017, 05:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Iíll preface with I donít do the all-around general English riding. I ride hunters, then I ride dressage. To different horses, two different saddles. So the half in between base position isnít my forte, but basics are basics.
I guess this is all I'm really looking for at the moment - basics - so you've been really helpful.

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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Donít let yourself get caught in a mental loop of ďI canít do this because my saddle doesnít let meĒ. I think shortening the stirrup one would help with the rising trot too(going off memory).
Sorry, it just gets really disheartening to go back and forth between lessons and Sam and become unable to do things I should be able to do :s To be honest I'm enjoying the challenge, it can just get frustrating at times!

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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Long stirrup does not a long leg make. The length of the leg is determined by the muscle length, not physical length. This sucks for people with short legs(*cough*Like me*cough*) because when we shorten our legs involuntarily it is really obvious. People gifted with those lovely long Dressage legs get away with having short muscles because their leg appears to be long so no one questions it. It is better to have a shorter stirrup that you are secure in, than a long stirrup that you have to reach and strain for that destabilizes the rest of your seat.
Okay, that makes a lot of sense. I lengthened the stirrups after watching youtube video tutorials of dressage riders saying it'd help me practise sitting a bouncy trot.

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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
You can drop your stirrups(walk or trot), move your leg around, get it relaxed and on the horse, then take back your stirrups and feel the difference. It gets really obvious after youíve been trotting without stirrups, are a little bit tired, and take your stirrups back. They are usually 1-2 holes too short then. BUT, the trick is maintaining that length. So lots of back and forth dropping and picking up stirrups.

BUT, if you decide to trot w/o, you need to watch that you are not gripping with the knees to stay on. That defeats the purpose and shortens the muscles back up. If your horse is reliable and you have a smaller area(or feel you can steer well enough), cross your stirrups, put the reins in one hand and down in the neck(other can go on the pommel or elsewhere when you are more comfortable), and trot a 20m circle while swinging your legs. This does multiple things: helps you find your center through your seat, reduces your reliance on the knees and legs to grip and hold on, and teaches you to move and unlock the hips. This is great to do on the lunge line, but not everyone has that luxury, so you can give yourself a lunge line lesson.
I actually find riding in general a lot easier without stirrups. I lose stirrups easily, I'm guessing because I occasionally involuntarily lift my leg when I come unbalanced. That then throws my concentration off completely because I have to fish around for the stirrup again. Is it just a matter of practising keeping the leg long and keeping pressure down on the stirrup by dropping the weight through the heel? I get really confused by people saying, "don't jam your heel down, you should be able to post in trot without putting pressure on the stirrup" and "you need to maintain pressure on the stirrup." I can post without stirrups so is it just trying to keep that level weight on the stirrup bar to stop it from slipping?

Thanks for these exercise ideas! I'm having my little sister come to practise with me today so we'll try the lunging and really focus on this.

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Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Move your stirrups up and down during your ride(within reason). Work on your flat with the longer leg, then shorten the stirrups when you want to do pole work or jumps.When you are working up in the two point, your toes can turn out a bit to anchor the lower leg. Itís a two point, two points of contact, two calves.
The only thing I'm apprehensive about shortening my stirrups for is sitting the trot - before Sam, the bounciest horse I rode was a TB in the lesson but Sam really takes the biscuit. As I said, I lowered the stirrups to try and sit his trot better, which helps a lot, but without long legs it's even more difficult to sit. Will the stability just come with a better seat and stronger core?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
Itís unfortunate that your instructor hasnít broached any of these topics, but not uncommon. Lots of instructors either donít understand it themselves, or donít think it needs to be part of the foundation. But that being said, Iíve only seen a couple short clips of you ride. Maybe what I am telling you is way over your head and not appropriate. Maybe not. Canít say.
It might be completely over my head at the moment, I'm not sure myself because I don't know how one progresses when jumping. All I can say is I certainly don't feel unbalanced when going over small jumps and I'm getting the feel for when to rise into two-point. It might be that it's above the group generally since we're split into two abilities. On our first jumping lesson half of us went up to a 50cm and the other half remained at floor level. When we practise properly, half of us jump at about a 30cm (which is what the jump in the video was at) whilst the other half are still on the ground (who happen to be the more nervous riders as well). He might just be getting us to work on our position before complicating it further?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
The crest release is where you reach your hands forward along the crest of the neck and rest them there(not weighting them though) for the duration of the jump. I would advise to grab mane as well, to solidify the release and protect your horseís mouth from any missteps. There will be slack in the rein for those moments. Once you get better, you can move away from the crest release, but for now it is the best way for you to learn.

In a perfect world, you give your release as your horse pushes up over the fence, then take it back when they land. At a learning level, you can exaggerate that. Give the release 1-2 strides before the pole, over the pole, and 1-2 after the pole. This reinforces the idea of stillness. Often the release causes riders to throw their bodies around and that is what will cause missteps and rails. Your horse should be steady enough in the canter that you do not need to be holding them for every stride. You can test this on the flat by releasing the inside rein for a stride or two and see their reaction. If they stay the same, great. If they change then you need to work on the quality of the canter.
Thank you, I will practise this! I think his canter is fine but I'll make sure with your suggestions first. I've got a lot to practise on the flat for now :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by ApuetsoT View Post
I wonít say itís futile. I donít have enough information, couldnít unless we were in person(and to a certain degree what you feel). If this is the case, you may have to work harder. Do keep trying to rotate the leg in(from the hip, not just the toes). Just as often it is the hips being tight and not used to being in that position.
I'll carry on trying to force them into the right position then. The exercises you've suggested will hopefully help loosening my hip. Thank you for taking the time to write all this, you've been a huge help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
I did not read all the comments so sorry if there are some repeats here.

I think you both look really good. On your trot work, he has really good impulsion, but I would say you could use a half halt to bring him back to you and and get him to step under himself and use his back more. Cavaletti will help with this, just lay out more ground poles in a grid and trot or walk over them.

I noticed he has a very odd canter in that last video, you can see it at 0:10-0:20. He is on his left lead, but he brings his right rear leg forward with his front left instead of his left rear. He is correct until he goes over the pole, and then his rear legs switch and are off. I think @tinyliny is right. Here is a picture of a normal canter, and he is doing the opposite of this horse with his rear legs.
Thank you! We've been working on upping the impulsion a bit since the owner suggested he was a bit slow (which is completely my fault, he's easier to sit when he's slower)! Once exams are over I'll be making some cavaletti stands and buying some proper poles for a grid (these ones are old fence posts and are only about 2' - 3' long). We can try this after then

Yeah, I see it now. It's really obvious now that you've pointed it out. He doesn't seem to have a problem when he's just doing flatwork. I'll have to try and lunge him over poles to see if I can show the owner. I won't be jumping him for the meantime.
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post #16 of 19 Old 04-06-2017, 02:01 PM
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I've noticed that what can make me lose a stirrup is if the horse needs a lot of leg to get him going, so I end up lifting my heel to try and squeeze him, and poof! I drop my stirrup.

what helps that is to bump him rather than squeeze him. my old teacher said think of it as if you were 'plumping a pillow between your ankles'. use the sharp inner bone of your ankle to bop him and don't let your leg swing back to do it.
you can sort of 'flutter' that ankle, rather than squeeze.

also, if impulsion is an issue, really get after him with a crop if he ignores your leg cue, and get him so he's more responsive to your leg
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post #17 of 19 Old 04-07-2017, 03:08 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
I've noticed that what can make me lose a stirrup is if the horse needs a lot of leg to get him going, so I end up lifting my heel to try and squeeze him, and poof! I drop my stirrup.

what helps that is to bump him rather than squeeze him. my old teacher said think of it as if you were 'plumping a pillow between your ankles'. use the sharp inner bone of your ankle to bop him and don't let your leg swing back to do it.
you can sort of 'flutter' that ankle, rather than squeeze.

also, if impulsion is an issue, really get after him with a crop if he ignores your leg cue, and get him so he's more responsive to your leg
This happens a lot in lessons on the schoolies, more when they don't respond to leg for turning when in a faster gait (I guess it's my panic at a last ditch attempt to say "hey, here's my foot, go that way!" rather than jerk on the reins) or when I'm being yelled at to kick harder. Sam's pretty good with impulsion these days, to be honest, but I know the odd bump will still knock my foot out.

That's a brilliant description! I'll give 'fluttering' a go
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post #18 of 19 Old 04-08-2017, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaiit View Post


Sorry, it just gets really disheartening to go back and forth between lessons and Sam and become unable to do things I should be able to do :s To be honest I'm enjoying the challenge, it can just get frustrating at times!
I feel you 100%



Quote:
Okay, that makes a lot of sense. I lengthened the stirrups after watching youtube video tutorials of dressage riders saying it'd help me practise sitting a bouncy trot.
It can, but it can also make a lot of tension as you struggle to keep the leg down. Bouncy trots get easier to sit as the horse learns to step under and use their backs. Will change from a jarring step to a swinging step. But for them to start to use their backs, you have to sit right.


Quote:
I actually find riding in general a lot easier without stirrups. I lose stirrups easily, I'm guessing because I occasionally involuntarily lift my leg when I come unbalanced. That then throws my concentration off completely because I have to fish around for the stirrup again. Is it just a matter of practising keeping the leg long and keeping pressure down on the stirrup by dropping the weight through the heel? I get really confused by people saying, "don't jam your heel down, you should be able to post in trot without putting pressure on the stirrup" and "you need to maintain pressure on the stirrup." I can post without stirrups so is it just trying to keep that level weight on the stirrup bar to stop it from slipping?
You're lifting the leg when you use it. Eeeeeveryone does that. It's bad, but probably one of the most common faults. Let me know if you ever figure it out, lol. You can make it 10x easier on yourself if your horse is hot off your leg.


Quote:
The only thing I'm apprehensive about shortening my stirrups for is sitting the trot - before Sam, the bounciest horse I rode was a TB in the lesson but Sam really takes the biscuit. As I said, I lowered the stirrups to try and sit his trot better, which helps a lot, but without long legs it's even more difficult to sit. Will the stability just come with a better seat and stronger core?
I learned to really sit by trotting without stirrups. Once you are sitting by relying on your core and seat, rather than your legs, sitting with stirrups becomes easier as your legs tend to just hang instead. Then they can rest down into the stirrups, instead of bracing into them like is commonly done. You need good muscle tone. Not strength, the technical meaning of tone. Passive partial tension of the muscles.


Quote:
Yeah, I see it now. It's really obvious now that you've pointed it out. He doesn't seem to have a problem when he's just doing flatwork. I'll have to try and lunge him over poles to see if I can show the owner. I won't be jumping him for the meantime.
The funky legs at the canter was from you interfering with him over the fence, nothing to be concerned about with him specifically. Once you get better at staying out of his way and feeling your distance, those instances should disappear. I don't see him losing his lead due to physical discomfort or weakness.
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post #19 of 19 Old 04-24-2017, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Update:

I'm much more comfortable with higher stirrups (it's amazing how one little thing can make so much difference). Posting feels much better and I can easily control his speed with it, whereas before it was less easy to control his speed by posting alone. I've worked my muscles more, really keeping that leg still, and find I don't lose my stirrups so much with them being shorter. Ankle fluttering doesn't do much for Sam but it really helps on the schoolies! Still can't sit the trot well but I'm practising without stirrups, usually I have a few minutes at the end of a ride to really knacker my muscles out before I stop.

I've stopped interfering with Sam's face when we jump/go over poles and he doesn't misstep, jump early or jump late - he tends to be spot on. I am very much exaggerating a crest release but it's working and doesn't throw me off balance at all. I've started doing it in the lesson as well and haven't been told off yet, lol. I'm still doing ground work and exercises to encourage Sam to step under more, things like lateral work, leg yields, shoulders and haunches in etc.

Thanks again for all the advice, guys!
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