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Discussion Starter #1
How do I ride in a saddle without being ejected from it? My cousin gave me a horse that has a real fast walk. So while we're going along at the fast walk I'll do the up down with my body to be in rythm with the horse. But when the horse accelerates beyond that I'm lost. I don't know what to do. I tried changing the stirrup length and different stances. I tried to hang onto the saddle horn so I'm not jostled around so much. But I just think I don't know how to properly ride. When he gets going beyond that fast walk I'm thrown all over the place and it feels like I'm gonna fall off the saddle.

Can you all offer me advice on how to ride and videos on how to ride. I watch the videos in here but unless someone is talking and says what they are doing correctly or wrongly I don't really learn from it. The difference is subtle in watching those videos and I typically can't see it unless someone points it out. I've read and also heard on a video or two to keep my heels down, and also to keep a rythm with the horse. But once I reach that speed it all goes out the window and I don't feel that what I'm doing is correct.

Also I don't know for sure how long to adjust my stirrups? Should I have a bend in my knees, should my legs be almost straight, when I stand in the saddle how high should I be able to bring my but off it? You know all those good things. Gimme some tips and advice, I know that I could figure it out with enough movement, but if I know what to do from the get go I'll learn how to do it properly without having to unlearn bad habits.

I remember when I rode as a child of like 7 yrs old or so I never thought of how to ride a horse. I just did it. Also when I got older I remember riding horses on a friends horse ranch and I could run on those horses without any thinking on how to do it. It just felt natural. But with this horse I seem to have lost that natural riding feel. Could it just be the gait of the horse too? I've read of people saying that their horse is just so rough at certain speeds.
 

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Would your cousin by any chance have given you a gaited horse? May explain that horrible walk :p Really, all you can do is just use your legs to hold you in and act as a buffer.

Stirrup-wise, it depend on your personal preference. However, for safety's safe, you are supposed to be able to fit a fist (when you stand) between your crotch and the saddle.

I'm sure others will be able to give you more detailed advice.
 

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You should not be posting at a walk. No matter how fast the walk.

How to ride properly? Well, that's a pretty big question. May I suggest that you have a buddy post a video of you just at a walk? If you can't get a video, even some stills taken while you are on the move will give people more to work with. Pretty hard to give you suggestions on improving. The basics of how to sit you can find in any good horsemanship book. Must be a bizillion articles on the net about it. Just avoid blogs, expertvillage, and wikipedia. In other words, if you're reading on the net, be very aware of where the information is coming from and weight it accordingly. Then you can try some of these things and come back to ask us why it did or didn't work, preferably with pics.
 

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A tip just that people havn't mentioned in here yet, push your weight into your back pockets, and hold on with your legs, I know it will be hard but practice doing that, even with a gated horse this will work, work with putting gloves where your pockets on and concentrate on keeping them there. If the horse starts going too fast for you while you are learning, do a couple circles till it figures out that you want him/her to slow down. Try that, I use to have a really bumpy horse too : )
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the tips. Keep em coming if you have em. I didn't try anything out today, but I will next time I ride him. Good to know the stirrup length thing. I kept trying to adjust my stirrups trying to figure it out.

I don't know if he's a gaited horse or not. But I also thought that a gaited horse was smooth? Or are they only smooth at certain speeds? Next time I talk with him, "prolly christmas", I'll ask him what kind of horse he is.


I use to have a really bumpy horse too : )
Did you need to teach your horse something to not be so bumpy anymore? Did you do the circle thing until he began to be smooth?

I noticed today while riding my other horse that he is pretty smooth, even while running he is smooth, he's also overweight but I dunno if that makes a difference or not. I had a fun ride with him today.

But my cousins horse is one bumpy boy. It's a bone jarring ride. Collection? Maybe that is something I need to study? Or perhaps I just need to learn to ride a horse that is bumpy?
 

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bumpy walk? I dont really think there is such thing, unless the horse trips a million times :p

Maybe he was trotting?
Even if he is a gaited horse... they are supposed to be super smooooth at the walk.
 

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I suggest seeing if you can borrow or rent the Parelli DVD Fluidity. It is a great DVD that will explain how to move with your horse, to have an independent seat but also stay on your balance point. There are some horse movie rental places online that have that where you can rent.
That DVD helped me alot with my one horse's bumpy trot
 

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I'm going to go against the grain here and say don't use your legs as these are the things you use to make the horse go faster. If you grip with your legs you are tense and if you are tense you will bounce around on a fast walk like a rock. Rather, you should let your legs hang down but do not allow them to flap about. Open your chest and sit deep- think of sitting IN the horse rather than ON the horse. Let his movement flow through your seat. Once you tap into his movement, try to slow him down. Lean back gently and grip slightly with your core (abdominal muscles) to slow him, you will probably need to use the reins. With the reins, use a half second to one second long pull to slow him down; a jerk will make him tense and he can ignore and lean against a steady pull. Chances are he is walking quickly because he is hollow or leaning on the forehand, can't really tell from the given description. If he's hollow, he is tense. He needs to have his neck in long and low position and relax his back. If he's leaning on the forehand, he is trying to counteract his forward lean by rushing forward. A gentle bump up on the reins is a temporary fix, learning to move his shoulders around with a turn on the haunches is better.
 

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I'm sorry, but no matter how much good advise you will get here, you are going to need someone who can instruct you in person. What people say and how you interpret it can be 100% different. When the horse does something different then what you expected, you will end up back asking another question - which is fine but you if you just take 2 or 3 lessons from a qualified person, you will get there so much faster and safer. Obviously the more lessons you take the better rider you will become but you need to learn the very basics the right way.

BTW, who is taking care of the horse your cousin gave you?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
iridehorses
First off I gotta say; your avatar is awesome, it gives me a good laugh.

I'm taking care of my cousins horse right now. I picked him up from his dads place a few days ago. I have a friend that says she'll come out and give me riding lessons. So I need to ask her to come out and let me know what I'm doing wrong.

roro
This sounds like good advice. I'm anxious to try it actually. I know that when one rides bareback the motto is, "be the noodle", but I think I just tensed up trying to figure out how to ride him. I tried to keep my legs stiff and out from his body at one point and that didn't work. Adjusting the stirrups so I could stand higher away from the saddle didn't work. I also don't understand what you mean when you say "hollow, or leaning on the forehand", any links on where to clarify that for me? I'm gonna google it and search here for it to try to learn too.

And it does seem like I remember him striding along with his head high in the air. If I had a digi video camera I would get some video of it. I hope it's something that I can train with him so he learns to stride in a way that isn't so bone jarring.


Also he isn't bone jarring while doing his fast walk which has a hoof beat of 1-2-3-4. It only gets that way when his steps come into the 1-2-3 range. I also seem to do allright on my other horse. He is just so much smoother to ride. But he is in his 20s so I don't know how long he can go, or even if it's nice of me to ask him to climb all the mountains we have here. I've been trying to find a young arabian that can go all day. But I'm beginning to wonder if it's certain breeds that have bone jarring gaits or just the individual horse because of the way they carry themselves? Much to learn.
 

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Honestly, having a trainer is the best way to learn correctly. Everything happens so fast when you ride that you really need someone to be right there with you to point out how you need to position yourself, etc. Then you can fix it and start to develop the correct feel for what you need to be doing.

Also, I do not suggest buying any young horse if you are still learning to ride. Older horses are great to learn on and you can just have fun during the process ;)
 

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Happy to help.
A horse that is hollow and tense looks like this:
http://www.brazilista.com/gallery/ann%20scared%20horse.jpg
http://www.paradisestablesllc.com/images/horses_gaited_photo.jpg
http://haltsalute.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/02/dressage.jpg

A tense or hollow horse holds his head high up in the air. When their head is up, they hollow their backs and spread, their hind legs trail behind them and their neck sticks up. Gaited horses are naturally hollow because they are bred to kick out with their front legs and hold their heads high, they will need help from the rider to make them rounder. You stated that the horse had a 1-2-3 beat which is called walking laterally (two feet step at once, the beat is not an even 4) this is usually caused by tenseness. Notice that both the riders in the pictures are tense- the first one leans too forward, the second one is jamming her pelvis into the horse and hollowing her own back. Also notice that their horses and their facial expression show tenseness. To correct this, the rider must become what they want their horse to become-relaxed and collected, going with the movement at a comfortable pace.

Leaning on the forehand:
http://www.ringappaloosas.com/images/Success Stories/Hanna_and_iz_web.jpg
http://www.hollandbrookstable.com/images/lessons/louie walk.jpg
Here the horse's conformation usually comes into play more than the rider. Horse that are built "downhill" are naturally inclined to lean on the forehand, hence why downhill horses are usually less desirable. A horse that leans on the forehand is putting the weight of himself and the rider onto his shoulders when it should be more behind. Thus his shoulders become locked and not easily moved, to balance he must run his legs under neath him making him walk quickly. Just like a unicyclist juggling must rush to one side when the balls lean to one side, a horse that puts weight on the shoulders will lean forward and rush. To correct this, the rider will need to push the weight off the shoulders by doing sharp turns and turns on the haunches.
 

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Roro, that first picture almost had me peeing in my pants with laughter. The look of horror on the woman's face, and the look of indifference on the guy... priceless.

Hopefully your friend can help you out, these things are much easier to explain in person with a pair of eyes on the ground. My horse tends to hollow out, you can find lots of threads on here about how to work on that. Once you get to know your new horse and have some miles on the saddle, you'll be able to feel him hollow. It feels a bit like there is suddenly no horse below you where there was once a nice soft back rising to your seat. I have also been reading a lot and watching lots of videos (started riding again after a many year hiatus) and then in my lesson when things look right- here's where the eyes on the ground come in, I try to remember how it felt and equate it to the things I've read and seen so I can try to find that position next time I'm riding. Best of luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
roro
Thanks for the pictures, it really clarifies things. I would say he strides hollow and tense. He keeps his head up and back like that. It feels like to me that he is kinda nervous about being in a new place and without his well known friends.

That first picture was hilarious. It cracked me up too. I just kept laughing at it, and I bet my grandpa was wondering what in the heck I was laughing at.
 
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