WTC Riding Critique (videos) - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By tinyliny
  • 1 Post By SteadyOn
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-01-2017, 11:02 PM Thread Starter
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WTC Riding Critique (videos)

Hi all,

I just got back to the US 2 months ago after studying abroad for 9 months, so my riding is a little rusty. I've been riding riding a LOT in the past 2 months trying to regain my leg strength and balance, but I still feel like I'm not really getting the hang of it.

I think my trot is okay most of the time, but I feel like my legs are swinging and I'm not really in sync with my horse. At the canter my whole position feels really loose, like I can't balance properly. It's hard for me to maintain my lower leg position while bending around the turn.

If you have time please take a look at the video below. I've included some slow-motion on some of the clips and zoomed in on some. It was hard for me to get good long shots of me riding by myself, but I hope it's clear enough! Feel free to point out anything you notice in the video + suggestions for how to fix it/improve :)

Also, sometimes Maggie (my horse) kind of bulges out around the turns when we trot or canter circles. She bulges out in the direction of the gate, so she's still bending around the turn but drifting to the outside. Any suggestions for how to ride through this and get a smoother bend?

Thanks in advance!

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post #2 of 9 Old 09-02-2017, 01:58 AM
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I think you ride very nicely, and your mare thinks so, too.

the only thing I could see was that your may be able to follow the motion of the head a bit better if you bring your elbows in a bit, and get those thumbs more on top. It's a bit harder to get the inside bend with a bitless bridle, but you DO have a willing and happy horse, and that says a lot.
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post #3 of 9 Old 09-03-2017, 10:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your critique! I'm going to the barn today so I'll think about my elbows and thumbs when I ride :)
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-03-2017, 10:34 AM
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I think your saddle is sitting a bit too far forward. Not much, but just a few inches -- which can still make a difference to her movement and your own balance and position. I think it might feel better for both you and your horse to move it back a bit. A shoulder-relief style girth would probably help a lot, given her build and the fact that the girth IS in the right place on her belly right now with this placement.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-03-2017, 07:13 PM
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I just noticed your note about her bulging towards the gate on your turns. Your riding aids won't fix that; what will is making sure the gate is associated with work instead of rest. Don't dismount or stop or rest near the gate. Wherever she tends to pull or drift towards, you need to go out of your way to make that the place you work her hardest, until she views the whole arena more neutrally. It's very difficult to try to get the best performance and attention from your horse if they're constantly trying to edge towards a destination, so if she's doing that, you need to eliminate that desire. Warwick Schiller has some fantastic videos on "destination addiction" in horses, and how to go about fixing it. I recommend checking those out on YouTube. But that's the gist.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-04-2017, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your advice! I think my saddle was a bit too far forward too. I moved it back a little bit when I rode today. I'm thinking about getting a new girth anyway since hers is too long, so I'll look into shoulder relief girths.

Lately I've been getting off in different parts of the arena, facing away from the gate, and sometimes mounting and dismounting during my ride (which she really doesn't like). I'll try working her harder when she pulls to the gate too. I think right now she still knows it's the place she leaves to go back to the barn, so maybe I can try riding her through the gate, around the property and back into the ring to work, so she stops associating going through the gate with being finished. She's also more forward to the jumps going toward the gate, which I really don't like for jumping, so I definitely want to make this one of my goals!

Thanks for your recommendation about the videos as well. I'll check them out!
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post #7 of 9 Old 09-04-2017, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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I just posted a video of my jumping today for critique ~~ if you have some time I'd love some advice on that too! Thanks!
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post #8 of 9 Old 03-01-2018, 04:10 AM
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your lower leg looks solid but toes could come in just a smidge!

What is happening at the canter is that your reins are too long causing your elbows to be brought back past your sides just to be able to control the horse. This in turn causes your upper body to fall too far forward. I'd like to see you sit up a little taller through the spine, shorten your reins and bring your hands more up and in front of the pommel of the saddle.
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post #9 of 9 Old 03-01-2018, 06:37 AM
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My eyenwent to the way you are turning your toes out. This means that every stride you are using your spurs. I have said this many many times, when you first get on put your hand under your thigh from behind and pull the muscle to the back, this puts your thigh flat on the saddle, knees and toes will be pointing forward. To start with you will have to do this many times through your ride but it will become natural.

As. Tiny says, your hands need to be a bit steadier, thumbs uppermost and your thumb should be pointing to the diagonal ear of the horse. Thumbs kept straight to the horse's neck give a bend and fixation in the wrist.

You ride very nicely and are obviously trying very hard to do as has been taught to you - one of those things would be to keep your hands still, this is not necessarily so! There are times when your hands are still but you loose contact because of the natural movement of the horse's head. Think of your upper arm as being made from elastic, as the horse moves its head that elastic gives and takes, maintaining a steady contact.

All in all you are doing well, keep trying and most of all, keep learning. Well done.
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