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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

This, I am proud of. I really really liked my heels! So critique away, I wasn't happy about my hands being that high, but I was focusing on my heels a tonne!


Canter! Can't see to much of him but HEELS!:p



^^ Thats a little messed up, he threw a buck in when I tried to turn him into the centre line and well I pulled his head up to try and catch him, but to late :O



Happy Snap!



Trotting, heels look great again!



Showing off my high hands, usually they sit nice and low. I guess I focused on my heels to hard.




He wouldn't put his ears forwards

He earnt his run!

Critique away!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=926323&id=1271516909
 

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good apart from your hands, you look like you riding a motor bike not riding a horse! your thumbs need point up not toward each other :) good heals though and lovely horsey.
 

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I would have to say that your heels look okay in the pictures. You could still ask for more heel depth than that, though.

Some other things to work on that I noticed is that you are chair seated. Your lower leg is way in front of the line that should be drawn straight down your body. An example of that in your own pictures is picture #5. Your whip makes a "round-about" statement of where the line should be down your lower leg. Well, that line should be going through your upper body too but instead, your legs are way out in front of you. To correct that, first check to see that your stirrup bars aren't already forcing you to keep your lower leg that far out in front of you. If not, you need to do LOTS of two pointing, riding with no stirrups, or if you're on a lungeline lesson, ride with no reins. This will help you to develop a secure leg that is directly underneath your upper body.

Another thing to change is to fix your stirrup iron. It should be angled across the ball of your foot so that the outside stirrup bar touches your pinky toe and the inside stirrup bar is on the ball of your foot. Doing this allows you to flex your ankle more, get that heel down, and have more softness in your heel and lower leg. It should also help you correct another thing I noticed...

Your left leg and foot point way out to the side more than your right one does. Most people have this issue to some degree and I am one of them (and I'm still working on it). Your right leg is nicely wrapped around your horse's body with even contact throughout, while your left leg is having some difficulties ;) Your left leg is gripping with the back of your thigh and calf muscles. This opens up your knee when there should be even contact throughout your leg. Fixing your stirrup irons should help a little bit but doing the exercises listed before should really help too, especially riding with no stirrups.

Another thing to fix would be your hands. Thumbs up!

Otherwise, I really like your upper body! Nice flat back, shoulders are good, you're looking where you're going, and you keep a good bend in your elbows. :)
 

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your heels are looking better ! i would suggest some posting at the canter to help get your leg under you =]
 

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You can't post to the canter. ;) You can post to the trot, though! :)
 

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LOL i knew someone was gonna say that !

you can post the canter, one stride up, one stride down. its not correct in the show ring, but its a great exercise for leg strength. also when posting the trot to sit one beat then up two beats.
 

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your saddle looks really crooked in some of the photos . other than that i think every one else covered it =]

i had to add, the posting up up down up up down works wonders. took me a while to be able to hold myself up aha but its a really goot strengthening and leg position workout =]
 

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Actually the photos in which you were picking on your 'high hands', you are actually more ideal in those than the pics that your arms have no bend in them; having bend in your elbow allows you more room to correct your horse if he does dip his head, or anything like that, because your arm actually has somewhere it can go. You also have more strength over all to handle the horse with, with your elbow bent.

You have definitely improved ALOT since the first pics I have seen of you and Chinga...keep up the hard work.

I agree, too that your heels can go down just a bit more, that way you are really anchored to your seat. But definitely a huge improvement I'm seeing!
 

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On 2nd, 3rd, and 4th pics your toes point outside quite noticeable (especially the left one). From what both my trainers keep telling me the iron should be perpendicular to the horse's side and the foot should be in parallel sort of. And yes, at some pics your hands are very high. :) But other then that I think you have a nice balanced seat and look really good together. Do you jump as well?
 

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Ins ome of the picturs your toes are pointing out. When your toes are pointing out that usually means there is too much weight in your stirrups or your are gripping too much with your lower leg. I can speak from experience because this happened to me. Good job with the heels though! And in the fourth picture you are leaning back too far and your legs are moving forward too much. This could be beacuse you are concentrating on your heels, which is good. But remember to sit up and have it seem like you could draw a straght line from your head, elbows, to the heels. You do have the correct position in some of the other photo's so it may have just been a mistake that was made while the photo was being taken. Good job though, and I like your horse!
 

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Havent read the other posts so probably just repeating everything =P
But Most important that i see is legs! they should be far more underneath you. Also hands should be thumbs on top =D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks guys, hopefully I can have my jumping/flat lesson with Amelia on Thursday and we will be able to work on these things. If it doesn't rain that is.
 

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First off I would like to say good job in your improvements!!

Heels: Keeping your heels down is great, but giving up the rest of your position just to jam your heels down is counterintuitive. I actually liked your leg the most where your heel was almost parallel to the ground because you had a deep thigh on your horse and you were really perpendicular to the ground with your whole body.

Your high hands are not a problem to me right now, you don't want to get in the habit of riding right from the pommel. Make sure you keep your thumbs up and i would suggest keeping your wrists a little more firm and using your elbows to give and take. Move your whole arm forward and back, up and down (think of how a jockey rides only less exaggerated). You want a straight but elastic line from your elbow to your wrist to your horses mouth so you want this \ and not this \_ to the horse's mouth.

I think instead of concentrating on your heels alone you need to work on balance to fix your seat and position. I would first off drop your stirrups one hole as it looks like your knee is too high on the knee roll and it is allowing you to poke your toes out and get rocked back into a chair seat. Also, you need to learn to post to your hands and not bring your hands back to your hips. The key to riding is to move each part independently but in sync with each other. You will eventually be able to move each hand, each leg, and each hip independently to get your horse to do something.

Here are three exercises I would suggest.

1. Try going from 2-point (jumping position), to sitting trot to posting trot. Start with 10-10-10 and work down to where you can switch ever stride if you need to. Make the one you find easiest your go to. If you can sitting trot like a pro and can't hold 2-point or find your post as easy then do 10 sitting, as many posting as you can well. If you can only do two good posts and then you get unbalanced, go back to sitting and re-balance. Then try 2-point and same for that. Don't practice ok, make yourself practice well. Even if you can only do one or two good ones, don't let yourself just post around the ring regardless of how it's going. Stop, rebalance and try again. Transitions will also help you and your horse so don't think stopping and starting are a waste of time =)

2. Get a friend to lunge you on your horse at the trot and try posting, sitting and 2-point without reins and once you get good at that drop one stirrup and then both stirrups. This is nice because you can work on you, and don't have to worry about pesky things like steering.

3. Think of posting as coming from the muscles above and below your knee. You want to use your thighs and upper calves to post, not your knees and ankles. Think of the post as just moving your hips up to your hands when they are above the pommel. It is not an up and down motion. More of a / motion. So you want to make sure you are going more forward and less straight up. Unless you are riding a short strided pony, then you just look like you're riding a pogo stick!! =P

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank-you, I will try EVERYTHING suggested. Apart from the lunging part, I'm still working on getting my boy to lunge well, so I don't want to mess things up for his lunging.
 

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looks good except for your hands and elbows. as sooon as you get your hands in the right position usually the rest of the arm falls into place and looks less stiff and sticky-outie. but looks good! cute horse!
 
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