Need help with eq!! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 08-20-2017, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Need help with eq!!

Hey can some of you look at this and give me ideas as to whats wrong with my stirrups/legs etc? It may be right but it looks wrong to me and I'm finding it hard to rise at the trot. Any ideas welcome thank you :)
(Note the horse is going up a small hill in the photo)
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horseloveforlife is offline  
post #2 of 14 Old 08-20-2017, 10:28 PM
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Saddles looks like it doesn't sit level on the horse's back, looks like it's too far forward on the horse's shoulders. This affects your balance over the horse's back and how the pressure sits on the horses back. Your elbows are a bit locked and you're not allowing youre pushing your stirrup out in front of you with your shoulder hunched.

Think of the stirrup iron falling in a straight line from the stirrup bar and your leg neither pushing forward nor pushing back with weight down your heels for stability and to take weight off of the horse's back. Soften your elbows, allow them to follow the horse's mouth. When you post perhaps grab the front of your saddle so you post through your elbows and you hands don't jump up and down with your body (which I suspect if you're rigid in your elbows) and will allow you to be more consistent and smoother in your contact.

When you're at halt practice rising out of the saddle like you're posting with your reins dropped. See if a friend can lunge you so you can hold your hands out, do arm circles, etc. Also when off of a horse stretch your hips, legs and chest muscles, practice sitting on your knees with your ankles under you and practice posting. Slowly bring yourself up and slowly bring yourself down. Whenever you land in the saddle think of yourself as landing on eggshells, you want to land as softly as possible on the horse's back.

Chest up like your stretching your spine to the heavens, engage your core, do planks on your free time.
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post #3 of 14 Old 08-20-2017, 10:36 PM
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Yeah, that saddle is definitely not doing you any favours. I realize there's a hill, but it sill looks like it's sitting too low in back, too high in front. You'd be fighting against that angle constantly to maintain your balance forwards and back when you try to post, so it may be a big contributing factor.
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post #4 of 14 Old 08-20-2017, 11:53 PM
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Till you sort out the saddle issue I think you will be unhappy with much else you try to improve.
I look at the saddle and feel like it is to small in size for your body frame.
If you sat where you are supposed to in the deepest part of the saddle, your knee would be protruding way in front of the flap.
When your leg is positioned correctly because you sit in the right spot in the saddle your leg is going to not fit....
I was taught a comfortable, easy 3 - 4 fingers put behind your butt on the saddle when you are sitting where you should be is a good rule of thumb for saddle fit... I don't think you have that.
To me, that picture shows you sitting on the saddle cantle not the "sweet spot" that would be offering you balance and security...
You don't sit on your butt, but you sit down in the saddle more on your crotch and should feel the seat with your seat bones...straighten your pelvis so your back can be naturally straight.
You do not use the fleshy part of your anatomy to anchor the saddle. You use your seat bones to feel, to give cues and receive information from the horse through their back they send you.

I would make sure that saddle though fits you and fits that horse properly first though....then once that is addressed then you can start on you, yourself and your positioning of your entire body to work with the horse not against him.
If your body was brought forward and down in to the saddle your arms would have a soft angle at the elbow, your shoulders would relax, square up and align to the spine, your head would stop the un-natural angle and you would fall into align...all because your saddle works with you not against you.
You would also have a much happier horse too.
Right now you are sitting in a pretty iffy spot that can make him sore and cause irritability issues in some.
Be careful.
....
jmo...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 14 Old 08-21-2017, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone.
I have been told to use a front raiser on this saddle (apparently to allow the horse to use her shoulder better?), would taking this out balance the saddle better or am I better to get someone to come out and take a look at it/me riding? Or do I just need a new saddle, no question about it...?
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post #6 of 14 Old 08-21-2017, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseloveforlife View Post
Thanks everyone.
I have been told to use a front raiser on this saddle (apparently to allow the horse to use her shoulder better?), would taking this out balance the saddle better or am I better to get someone to come out and take a look at it/me riding? Or do I just need a new saddle, no question about it...?
If anything I'd think you need a riser for the rear of the saddle, not the front. If the front goes any higher you'll be sliding off the back!

Definitely get someone knowledgeable to to take a look at it, but I think you're going to be a lot better to replace the saddle if that's within your means. If you can get a saddle fitter, all the better, but in the meantime I'd recommend at least checking out some English saddle fit videos to give you a sense of what to check for. There are some excellent ones on YouTube from Schleese.
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post #7 of 14 Old 08-21-2017, 10:04 AM
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I think you need a new saddle too. I know it's hard - I've bought about 8 saddles since buying my first horse almost two years ago. I still have 5, lol. You can pick them up cheap sometimes, if you know what you're looking for. I buy synthetic Wintecs because they're cheap, they fit my horses, and my daughter and I can achieve a half-decent position on them. I know some people will disagree - if you have tons of money, buy yourself a high-end saddle, but if not, the Wintecs are ok. This one is definitely too small for you. There are some useful guides out there for figuring out what size saddle you need, and Wintec has gullet measuring devices you can use on your horse (even if you don't buy a Wintec, they are useful to give you an idea of how wide you need the saddle). You can also do a wither tracing, photograph it, and email it into a saddlery that will tell you what size you need for your horse.

Your position is indeed way off, and this is likely caused by the saddle. Your shoulder, hip and ankle should line up so if the horse is removed out from under you, you would fall on your feet. This takes some practice, even with a good saddle.

It also looks like your horse may be somewhat difficult to fit, but we'd have to see conformation photos on a level plane. Looks like it has a very underdeveloped hind end to me, but maybe it's just the angle.
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post #8 of 14 Old 08-21-2017, 11:37 AM
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I'd get a good saddle fitter out to take a look at what you have and see if anything can be done to make it work better and failing that find you something that does work
Other than that I don't know how much is the saddle and how much is you - you're sitting too far back in it and your legs are too far forward so the leathers aren't hanging perpendicular to the ground - that could be happening because you're putting too much weight on your stirrup to try to force your heel down rather than allowing the heel to sink down - you're using the stirrup rather like a pedal on a bike

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #9 of 14 Old 08-21-2017, 11:46 AM
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I also believe it's a saddle issue- it doesn't look like it fits you properly. Before I got my first saddle (recently!) I had to use other people's saddles when I rode their horses & some of them just fit me terribly, and made my position REALLY terrible...I'm not saying your position is terrible, but in general if your saddle fits you AND the horse, it'll make a heck of a difference.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #10 of 14 Old 08-31-2018, 05:05 PM
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I’m not going to talk about the fit of the saddle, as everyone else is doing that and I feel it wouldn’t really add anything to the conversation. A few major points: your leg is VERY far forward, you’re leaning too far back to be walking up a hill with her, and you seem to be looking down. To move your leg back into position, think of wrapping it around your horse and getting your heel aligned with your hip and ear to better your balance. Your leg seems to be braced out in front of you, and in that position it serves no purpose. Moving on, you’re leaning too far back. I can see that the hill is minimal, but you need to at least sit straight up to help her out a bit. The more steep the hill is, the farther you must lean forward, and vise versa when going downhill. You also seem to be looking down. Just simply look up and ahead when riding and SEE where you’re going. The reason you might find it hard to post is because of the combination of these flaws. I would also like to see you giving your horse more slack. Think of your arms as rubber bands; giving with the horse’s mouth as he moves his head. This was probably an unfair critique as he saddle fits incorrectly, and you aren’t on flat ground. If you would like a better judgement of your equitation, I would post a video of you riding your best (on flat and maybe over jumps) and then a pic of you on your horse on flat ground in your best position while the horse is standing square. I’m sorry if that seemed harsh, as I don’t know your skill level and etc.
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english riding , horse riding , leg position , legs look weird , saddle

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