Thoughts about how I can improve - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
 20Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #11 of 22 Old 09-30-2015, 09:45 PM
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 12,076
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
...I have been told it should be more from the thigh and not pressure on the stirrups but is that correct?...
Depends on who you ask. VS Littauer, a jumping instructor, wrote:
" To see whether he is really in balance with the horse, the rider should try the following experiment; without increase in inclination in his torso and without any lurching up or forward he rises slightly in his stirrups and stays up while the horse walks, without toppling forward or collapsing backwards. The rider's weight is then supported by the stirrups, and this attitude is given stability by the tension in the three springs...This incidentally, is also the rider's position during the upward beat of the posting trot and at the gallop..." - Common Sense Horsemanship
Notice he equates the top of the posting trot with having the weight supported by the stirrups.

I gather others say no, it should all be in the thighs and you should not have pressure in the stirrups.

I'm a backyard rider with backyard horses, using western and Australian saddles, so take this with a big cup of FWIW - but I think the truth is in the middle. The horse's motion should lift you, not pushing down with your feet against the stirrup. Some will lift you a lot, and some barely at all - accept whatever it is the horse gives. The LIFT comes from the horse.

At the top of the motion, you WILL have weight in the thigh - but if you have weight in the heel, then you also have weight in the stirrup. It is not evil to accept the help from the stirrup to keep you up for a beat, but you are not totally relying on the stirrup. It helps, and we normally use stirrups because they help. Then, having paused a beat, you settle back into the saddle - settle, not drop. The stirrup can be an aid in that, too. At least, it helps me.

If you want the stirrups to aid you, then they need to be beneath your center of gravity. Western saddles, contrary to popular opinion, don't put your feet vastly farther forward than English one. IIRC, my English jump saddle was 7" from stirrup bar to the lowest part of the seat. That figure is 6" for my English AP saddle, IIRC. I've sold both saddles so I cannot double check. However, the figure is about 5.5" for my Australian saddle and 6 inches for both of my main western saddles.

A difference of 1-2 inches will not give anyone a significant chair seat. However, I have noticed that as I shorten my stirrups, my feet are brought forward, and as I lengthen them, my feet tend to drift back. I think that is the result of the tension always present in my legs, even when relaxed. As I go shorter, my relaxed leg position drifts forward so my ankle doesn't get scrunched up beneath me.

At least, that is my guess.

Note: one of my western saddles DOES have a groove for the thigh. The Circle Y Mojave is shaped so the thigh relaxes at a certain angle. This is true of some western saddles. It is caused by the "ground" (I think that is the term) - how the saddle is built up from the tree. I have 4 western saddles (Martin, Abetta, Circle Y & Southern Trails), and only one is like that.

In any case, I certainly find it easier to post if my stirrups are roughly under my center of gravity at the seated position. In your case, they are out in front. You might try lengthening your stirrups a hole or two and see if that helps. Speaking for myself, I can only change my stirrup length about a hole a week without feeling weird, but I think you will find a longer stirrup in that saddle will let your feet drift back and help your balance. You don't want to rely on the stirrup posting, but you don't want to fight it either.

All IMHO as a backyard rider who doesn't teach anyone. If this didn't help, please feel free to ignore it all. In any case, you are doing GREAT for 2 months!
elle1959 likes this.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #12 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 12:46 AM Thread Starter
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
Posts: 1,552
• Horses: 0
Thank you, everyone. I had a lesson tonight with a different trainer, different horse, COMPLETELY different feel in the trot. I did not post, felt no need to with this horse. We did weaves around cones and worked on my leg aids. I am having problems with using my whole leg; it seems I tend to want to use my calf only. I'm sure there will always be something to learn. Thank you again. All of this is very helpful!
tinyliny and enh817 like this.
elle1959 is offline  
post #13 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 02:17 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Cariboo, British Columbia
Posts: 13,917
• Horses: 3
Excellent Elle! I forgot to add, just keep riding regularly, and more improvement will come.
elle1959 likes this.

I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
waresbear is offline  
post #14 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 02:52 AM
Showing
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 47,514
• Horses: 2
I remember taking my first lunge line lesson and the horse trotting, and me thinking, "how in the heck am I ever going to stay on?".

now, I can post on and on without really thinking about it. it will come.
tinyliny is online now  
post #15 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 04:29 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Neverland
Posts: 535
• Horses: 0
I too think you are doing AWESOME for such a short time in the saddle. You ride better than many people I've seen, who have been at it way longer.

I agree with much of what has already been said in replies.

I believe it was bsms who mentioned allowing the horse to push you up into a post and then using your muscles to lower yourself back into the saddle. To really get a feel for that, try posting without stirrups or bareback. When you don't have stirrups to use, your muscles with get really tired quite quickly, if you try to make yourself rise. If, instead you relax your muscles and allow the horse's movement to rise your seat, you can do it for quite a bit longer. Of course, ideally there is a middle road, where you use a little bit of stirrup, a little bit of muscle and a lot of the horse's energy, to post. I want to caution about gripping or using too much muscle in your legs to help you.

Further developing your strength and balance, will help you improve :)
A good exercise you can do, to help you get a good feel for what I mean ---

Find yourself a set of stairs with a railing (preferably not a tall staircase, as you'll be working on balance and you don't want to worry about falling). Keeping your upper body as tall and straight as possible, stand facing 'upstairs' with just your toes on the step (this is your stirrup), so that your heels are hanging off. Allow your weight to sink into your heel. This is good for stretching your calf muscles and ankles and will help you develop a better heel, over time. Notice how this feels... you aren't actually putting a lot of weight onto the step (your stirrup), all the weight is sinking into your heels. Now see if you can let go of the railing and balance there. This is the equivalent of standing up in your stirrups.
If you want to strengthen your calves and ankles, try slowly raising your self from the described position, to tip toes and back down. You can do repetitions of this for a good calf workout and stretch. Work up to being able to do it without holding onto the railing (remembering always to keep your posture as tall and straight as possible).

You can also practice posting like this. Slowly bend your knees to about as bent as they would be when you're sitting a horse, somewhere between like 150 degrees and 110 degrees (less bend than 90 degrees), being sure not to let your body lean forward. Then return to standing straight. If you really want to get good at posting, get to where you can do this without holding onto the railing. If you can't find the balance on a stationary object, you can't expect yourself to be able to do it on a moving creature ;)


I used to practice these exercises standing on the bottom railing of the arena fence, while watching other people ride. I kind of forgot about this until I saw your post. I really need to start doing this again, as I think it helps tremendously with riding balance and strength :)
Hopefully I explained it well enough.
bsms, waresbear and elle1959 like this.
enh817 is offline  
post #16 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 04:37 AM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Neverland
Posts: 535
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
Thank you, everyone. I had a lesson tonight with a different trainer, different horse, COMPLETELY different feel in the trot. I did not post, felt no need to with this horse. We did weaves around cones and worked on my leg aids. I am having problems with using my whole leg; it seems I tend to want to use my calf only. I'm sure there will always be something to learn. Thank you again. All of this is very helpful!
Some horses just have much nicer, smoother gaits than others.


As for the leg aids, try to think about is as reaching down wrapping your leg around the horse, instead of just pushing or applying pressure with the leg. Visualizing it like that has helped me ;)

Sounds like you have good instructors! You're lucky! It took me many years (and many bad habits) before I found an instructor that was worth a darn.
elle1959 likes this.
enh817 is offline  
post #17 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
Posts: 1,552
• Horses: 0
Yes, I think this is very helpful enh817. Thank you. Part of my problem, I think, is that I don't have a lot of strength in my legs yet. Exercises like this could help. Someone also suggested a thigh master or working the legs while sitting on a yoga ball. I think anything that can also help me practice how the moves go when I'm not riding will help, too. I did that in the beginning to help coordinate reining while moving the outside leg. This way I can practice the motions between lessons and apply and correct them when I'm with the horse.
enh817 likes this.
elle1959 is offline  
post #18 of 22 Old 10-01-2015, 01:07 PM
Weanling
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Neverland
Posts: 535
• Horses: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by elle1959 View Post
Yes, I think this is very helpful enh817. Thank you. Part of my problem, I think, is that I don't have a lot of strength in my legs yet. Exercises like this could help. Someone also suggested a thigh master or working the legs while sitting on a yoga ball. I think anything that can also help me practice how the moves go when I'm not riding will help, too. I did that in the beginning to help coordinate reining while moving the outside leg. This way I can practice the motions between lessons and apply and correct them when I'm with the horse.
:yes:
I tried it yesterday, after I typed the explanation, and let me tell you, I wasn't very good at it! Looks like I definitely need to be doing these exercises regularly. It's something I haven't done since I was much younger and riding hunter/jumpers. I often wonder why it seems like I had better balance and was able to stay on when I was younger.... perhaps this is why!?

You see, no matter how long a person has been riding, we all need to continue working on these things!
enh817 is offline  
post #19 of 22 Old 10-05-2015, 04:25 PM Thread Starter
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: North-Central California
Posts: 1,552
• Horses: 0
I just bought a large balance ball so that I can work on improving my seat between lessons. I have finally retired so should have a little time each day that I can spend working on sitting in a correct position, getting toes up, and bouncing around a bit. I'm also going to be doing the other exercises in this thread as well as strength building with free weights. Feel like I have a long way to go but everything I can do to improve I will try to do.
enh817 likes this.
elle1959 is offline  
post #20 of 22 Old 10-19-2015, 05:49 PM
Foal
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 197
• Horses: 0
The problem with being a musician is that we work so hard not to let the tempo change, especially if you have conducted or played percussion. Here is kind of the same, you need to keep your horse responsible for maintaining the pace you set. Admittedly it won't be perfect but beside that live on the wild side and let the tempo change, don't resist it because, as you have learned, you not changing doesn't mean your horse isn't going to.
A thing that could help you maintain the tempo you want is to count it out loud or under your breath and work to keep him moving at that tempo. Just to be clear by count it I mean 1+2+3+4+1+2+3+4+ or 1+2+1+2+ works nicely at the trot. Or you could go for 16th notes, whatever works.
Saddlebred11 is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.



User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Any help to get me to improve? madyasmkey Natural Horsemanship 8 10-06-2014 07:31 PM
Tell me what you see and how to improve :) Klassic Superstar Horse Riding Critique 7 04-08-2012 10:52 PM
How can he improve? Skyseternalangel Horse Nutrition 10 12-11-2011 01:02 AM
What can I improve?? Phantomcolt18 Horse Riding Critique 24 06-12-2009 01:30 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome