Bandit, Cowboy & bsms...muddling through together - Page 61 - The Horse Forum
 6564Likes
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #601 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 11:23 AM
Yearling
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: SE Spain
Posts: 1,270
• Horses: 4
I enjoyed your videos. You both look good and I second gottatrot's comment on how nicely Bandit moves. As for you, for sure, you can pick yourself apart at the canter - but can't we all? Or at least, those of us who aim for functional riding rather than winning ribbons for elegance. Staying balanced on top of the horse and enabling him to do his stuff is that first consideration.

I tend to lean forward myself, and I am aware of this and try to not do it; but it's very hard not to at times. I think I could use my stirrups being a bit further back, so then I wouldn't need to lean forward to keep my centre of gravity in the right place. So your ruminations on saddle trees are most interesting. Are the stirrups actually placed further back on a western saddle? (never having met one in the flesh).

Have you come across Jean-Luc Cornille and his website The Science of Motion?Horse Trainer,Lameness ,Dressage Jumpers and 3 day event Horse Training I Have barely dipped into it myself as it is enormous and full of information on equine biomechanics. I really like the articles he writes called 'Chazot thoughts', about the world seen through the eye of a retired racehorse Chazot. Well worth a look.

A little quote from the first page which caught my eye, and reminded me of what you say about spending several years digging yourself into a hole with Mia.
Molly Ivins says, “The first rule of holes: When you’re in one, stop digging”. Walter Zettl wrote, “Ride your horse into heaven and not into the ground”. When your horse is in the hole, stop digging his grave.
bsms, gottatrot, egrogan and 1 others like this.

There is nothing more peaceful than watching a horse eat.
Bondre is offline  
post #602 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
I wasn't thrilled with my riding, as revealed in slow motion, but I do think I've been being too hard on myself. For now, I'm breaking it into three sections:

1 - Hands. Score: B+. For an A, I would have needed to have the exact same amount of slack in the reins at all times. I failed. But I didn't do bad, and have seen far worse. I didn't quite manage to follow the motion of his head while compensating for my own motion...but I wasn't far off. And since I rarely canter, and usually ride with one hand, I did better than I had a right to do.

2 - Matching my balance to Bandit's. Score: C+. I intentionally try to stay a little behind my horse, because that gives me something to play with if my horse acts unexpectedly. But I was too far behind Bandit in the canter. Not gross, but needs improvement. Still, I don't think I was throwing him off balance. I had enough balance to mostly follow his mouth, and that couldn't happen if I was too far off in balance. I don't think you can follow with the hands if you are not also following with the seat - or stirrups, since I was mostly out of the seat.

A lot of our riding is done at a walk, off trail. I do need to practice more in the arena. Maybe do 5 minutes at the end of a trail ride, so Bandit won't get bored.

3 - Protecting his back. Score: A. Not because of my riding, but because the saddle fits him pretty well and is well designed to protect him from my problems as a rider. At 1:07 in the cantering video, I come down more against his back than I like to admit. But it wasn't gross, and the saddle offers him good protection from what was there. For me...maybe a B. After all, I was riding with my Buck Ranger knife folded in the bottom of my rear pocket. It isn't a tiny knife (Internet picture):



It was closed, of course, but I couldn't have been slapping down into the saddle if I forgot it was there.

So I need work, but that is a given. Bandit also needs some work, and we'll try to get it in - a little here, a little there. Maybe more cantering, because he likes the speed even if he has problems with maintaining it through the egg shape pattern.

Jean-Luc Cornille's website was where I first read about how horses actually move. What he said differed from most people, but he backs it up with studies and reason. The idea that the primary function of the back is to transmit power from the rear so that it moves the front, the idea that horses do not round their backs, that they do not support weight when bringing their hind legs deep underneath them - and most of all, that horses will find a way of moving that pleases us, even if it hurts them to do so. But if you horse lifts his back (rounds) by increasing the peak impact on his front legs so he can vault you higher - how in the heck is that helping the horse? True practices never violate true motion, but false practices do - and we have many false practices because we don't try to understand how a horse really moves!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"

Last edited by bsms; 11-07-2016 at 01:10 PM.
bsms is offline  
post #603 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 01:32 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vermont
Posts: 5,836
• Horses: 3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bondre View Post
As for you, for sure, you can pick yourself apart at the canter - but can't we all? Or at least, those of us who aim for functional riding rather than winning ribbons for elegance. Staying balanced on top of the horse and enabling him to do his stuff is that first consideration.

I tend to lean forward myself, and I am aware of this and try to not do it; but it's very hard not to at times. ...
I so agree with this! In my favorite picture I have of me riding, I wish I could just reach through the screen and just puussshhhh my upper body/shoulders backwards a few inches.

bsms, gottatrot, Bondre and 1 others like this.
egrogan is offline  
post #604 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
FWIW, Anne Kursinski recommends leaning forward about 30 degrees at a posting trot. Less at a canter.
gottatrot and knightrider like this.

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #605 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 07:52 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 4,524
• Horses: 2
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
But a western saddle has a very wide twist, so to speak. Keeping lower leg contact is easy in my Australian saddle. Rarely happens with my western one. Which then raises the question: Why do so many people say they can ride a Western and English saddle the same? I try to, so I know it CAN be tried. But the western saddle does NOT fit me anything like the Australian (and English) one.
Which is my dilemma. I want the balance of the western tree on my horse's back, but I want the narrow twist of the english seat. I want the english stirrup leathers that help me adjust my leg position easily to what the horse is doing. But I know that my horses' backs have been good only because my saddles fit very well and I am very light. My poorly fitted or cheaper english saddles were very unforgiving and the horses could not do long, fast rides without getting sore backs.

My friends that are large and ride fine-boned horses have had to go to western trees.
But when I sit in their saddles it is uncomfortable to be so wide. I do keep riding in two point and off the saddle, but my body has to do a lot more work to not bump around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
I wasn't thrilled with my riding, as revealed in slow motion, but I do think I've been being too hard on myself...

1 - Hands. Score: B+. For an A, I would have needed to have the exact same amount of slack in the reins at all times. I failed.

2 - Matching my balance to Bandit's. Score: C+. I intentionally try to stay a little behind my horse, because that gives me something to play with if my horse acts unexpectedly. But I was too far behind Bandit in the canter. Not gross, but needs improvement...

3 - Protecting his back. Score: A. Not because of my riding, but because the saddle fits him pretty well and is well designed to protect him from my problems as a rider.
I honestly didn't see anything in the videos to critique. What I find amusing is that all of you thoughtful, studious riders (@Bondre, @tinyliny , @egrogan , @bsms ) lament about leaning forward. I've noted for several years how many very good riders say "but I lean too far forward." This has made me dismiss the idea that I lean too far forward. Every good rider I know leans forward? Perhaps leaning forward is good riding. Do you really want to be galloping on this horse (Nala) and not leaning forward to match her motion?


The point in #1 about following hands...I don't see pressure put on the sidepull, so it doesn't matter if the reins change in the amount of slackness. In my mind, a rider with an independent seat does not cue the horse unless he means to. What the reins do when "neutral" is a non issue.

#2 I can't comment on because only the rider can feel where the balance point is and if they are behind the motion, with it or in front of it. I do believe there is no rule except to stay with the horse's motion.

#3 If the rider contacts the saddle gently enough to not to give the horse a sore back, rides efficiently enough to not get sore before the ride is over (losing the ability as a rider to stay with the horse and out of the horse's way), does not throw off or restrict the horse's balance, then it's all good.

I do see some riders that start out well and then get tired and flop all over the horse. Our riding style needs to be efficient enough that we can keep it up for the entire ride.
gottatrot is offline  
post #606 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
Just had an excellent ride on Bandit! A short one. 30 minutes. The weightlifting I did last night left my lower back tired and I almost skipped riding. Glad I didn't, but 30 minutes left my eyes bugging out. So I decided Bandit needed "End of Lesson". Had nothing to do with the gasping I did while dismounting...

In the "poop or get off the pot" category, I decided to repeat having my stirrups up short, to the length I used in the videos. That is the shortest I've ever ridden with. I also gave Bandit's new bit a second try.

In his mouth with the throat latch too tight...got that corrected before mounting:



End of Lesson...yeah, Bandit got to eat some today:



It seems to work really well. He doesn't have much of a wrinkle, but the design keeps it well away from his teeth. Given how forward he acted bitless, and in the last two rides with the new bit, could his previous bit have sometimes given him trouble? Maybe. Because El Bandito was ready to go!

We did some trotting, but someone put his "Auto-canter switch" to on. Spent the ride trying to convince him we didn't NEED to canter. Went for a short 1/4 mile trip on pavement. He trotted part of it. Cantered briefly. When we turned around, he wanted to canter home. I insisted we walk, because I don't want him to start thinking about racing home.

As we entered the arena...120 feet straight ahead. He noticed. I figured what the heck, so we cantered. Only 40 yards, but it was straight. He liked it. A lot.

Instead of trying for a half seat, I tried to stay in the seat. Wasn't great at it, but not bad. And I couldn't have been too bad a couple of days ago, either, because I don't think he'd have been so eager if it had bothered him before. He would trot at the very thought, and wanted to canter more often than I did. I took to bribing him: "Here's some grass...come on, eat some...(pant, pant)...go ahead, grab another bite..." We'd walk, he'd chew, and then he was ready to go again.

We did one of our first stop to canter transitions. We were stopped, he was thinking about it, I said, "Do you wanna..." - and at the "w", we started a canter. We even powered through the small part of the egg shape several times. By the end, I was going, "No, easy, you can trot...nothing wrong with trotting, you know..."

I think the shorter stirrup is going to be my new standard. It was feeling pretty good after 10 minutes, and by twenty I was thinking about shortening it a hole. I didn't, and don't plan to anytime soon. But by End of Lesson, MY lesson was that it was feeling really good. Heels were getting down and (interestingly) my feet were creeping back out of the stirrup, from the normal "home" position to almost ball of foot. I've been using the home position for 8 years straight, so that was very unusual.

But it was FUN. WE had FUN. Bandit didn't complain about being in the arena.

I don't know if it was the change in my position, or the change in bits. I really think, tho, that it was mostly bit. I got to thinking. At a canter or trot, wouldn't any sagging in a snaffle be emphasized by the downward beat? Could some of those downward beats have pulled the regular snaffle far enough down to hit his teeth? That has been my struggle with him - how not to pull his lips back like The Joker but still not hit his teeth. On a trail ride, with him mostly walking, maybe it wasn't hitting his teeth. But maybe, with the downward momentum at a fast trot and canter, it was.

I don't know. I do feel pretty good now that, as much as I disliked how I looked riding, it wasn't bothering Bandit. From the moment I mounted up, he was ready to GO. And I think that is really cool! Even if I do need to take 800 mg of Motrin...

Quote:
Originally Posted by gottatrot View Post
... Our riding style needs to be efficient enough that we can keep it up for the entire ride.
That, or we make sure our ride ends before our body does???!!! The over 50 crowd understands...

BTW - Did I mention what a great guy Bandit is?


Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #607 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 08:09 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 2,490
• Horses: 1
I like the looks of that bit. My mare also prefers a French link snaffle over a regular snaffle. I've tested both on my own arm and personally think that the French link is more comfortable, but I've ridden horses who liked the regular snaffle better (D ring).

Isn't that an amazing feeling when you figure out what was wrong and all of a sudden your horse is just so happy and he wants to go? When I finally found a solution to Shan's saddle fitting issues, all she wanted to do was canter on that trial ride! She was just so happy to be comfortable, which made me happy too.

Their joy is so infectious

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
horseluvr2524 is offline  
post #608 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 08:12 PM Thread Starter
Showing
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: southern Arizona
Posts: 11,691
• Horses: 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by horseluvr2524 View Post
...Their joy is so infectious
Worth repeating. Worth my renewing my friendship with Mr Motrin tonight! When your horse is excited about being out and riding, it is just incredible - Their joy is so infectious!

Riders ask "How?" Horsemen ask "Why?"
bsms is offline  
post #609 of 1971 Old 11-07-2016, 08:16 PM
Started
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Virginia USA
Posts: 2,490
• Horses: 1
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Jean-Luc Cornille's website was where I first read about how horses actually move. What he said differed from most people, but he backs it up with studies and reason. The idea that the primary function of the back is to transmit power from the rear so that it moves the front, the idea that horses do not round their backs, that they do not support weight when bringing their hind legs deep underneath them - and most of all, that horses will find a way of moving that pleases us, even if it hurts them to do so. But if you horse lifts his back (rounds) by increasing the peak impact on his front legs so he can vault you higher - how in the heck is that helping the horse? True practices never violate true motion, but false practices do - and we have many false practices because we don't try to understand how a horse really moves!
Interesting point, I will have to check out his website. I am still figuring out my own views on collection and whether, when done truly and correctly, it is actually beneficial to the horse.
gottatrot and knightrider like this.

"You can do something wrong for thirty years and call yourself experienced, you can do something right for a week and experience more than someone who spent thirty years doing the wrong thing." ~WhattaTroublemaker
horseluvr2524 is offline  
post #610 of 1971 Old 11-08-2016, 08:49 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Central Hill Country Texas
Posts: 5,550
• Horses: 5
Before some of the hell fire discussions on the forum, I guess I just never got into the whole collection thing; never really thought about it a whole lot. I can just feel when the horse hits a point where he is freed up in the way he/she is moving every part and then that is collection (I only know because I’ve had instructors yell “there it is!”).

The thought of “asking for collection” never occurred to me (being a western rider) it is just something that happens when everything you are doing is right for the horse and the horse finds it for itself.

IME, if you have to ask for it, then something isn’t quite right and you have to fix something with you; balance, position of weight in the seat, head position, maybe consider that something else is making the horse uncomfortable…something, so that the horse can find that sweet spot of movement not because you ask but, because moving that way is the most comfortable, most efficient for the horse. It might look a little differently for different conformations of horses.

To me collection is an efficient, comfortable and natural way of moving that benefits the horse and so he will seek it; not an artificially created thing that we "ask" for.

Collection might be a bit of the chicken and the egg situation. It is something that happened naturally when all things were right and then in an attempt to prove that they were riding correctly, people tried to create collection instead of just letting it happen......
bsms, gottatrot, Bondre and 2 others like this.

“You spend your whole life with horses and just about the time you think you have them figured out, a horse comes along that tells you otherwise.” –quote from my very wizened trainer



Last edited by Reiningcatsanddogs; 11-08-2016 at 08:55 AM.
Reiningcatsanddogs 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










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



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Critique my new QH Prince Bandit/Bandit! Bandit4flea4leah Horse Conformation Critique 22 04-11-2014 06:25 PM
Flashy & adorable pair of Size 1 cowboy boots...brown/snakeskin pattern. $25 shipped. Seattle Tack and Equipment Classifieds 0 01-28-2010 07:23 PM

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