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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, awhile back, I put up a couple of critique threads because I started riding english at the beginning of the year. I just wanted to pop back in and show y'all the improvement so far! Of course, would love your input! I still feel like I'm far from where I need to be, but I know I've come a really long way! Exercises to help me gain more balance would be very helpful at this point. I am going to take up the No Stirrup November challenge, though, so maybe I'll come back with even better pictures at the end of the month!

What I began with...
Horse Bridle Equestrianism Rein Mammal

Horse Mammal Vertebrate Rein Bridle

And tonight! :)
Horse Mammal Bridle Rein Trail riding

Tear me apart! I feel like my hands are too far forward, but I think I was adjusting my reins right then... *sigh* I WILL get a perfect EQ shot someday, haha!
 

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Since the riding critique section seems to be rather dead, Imma give it a shot!

I would love for you to sink into your heels a bit farther, as well as bring that heel a bit closer to your girth.

About your hands, I'd say take a little bit more rein and/or lift your hands a little.

But I will wait for someone who knows more than me to chime in :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you! I will definitely work on it... as soon as No Stirrup November is over... :? :lol: I am determined!
 

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What an improvement! I actually like that your weight isn't so much in your heels... it feels like you're really trying to sit and allow your seat to become independent. If you can open your hips a little more and draw yourself up through your rib cage, you can get there-- but then again, this posture is probably better suited for a dressage saddle. ;) Girl, when are we getting you out of that jumping saddle?!

In addition to putting a little bend in your elbow, you should start trying to take up a little more contact with your horse. You two look good!
 

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^I think this is a perfect critique. Exactly what I would have said.

You're looking great <3
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks y'all! I have one question: What exactly do you mean by opening my hips? I hear it all the time, but I've never quite understood exactly what it means or even how to do it for that matter.

ExistentialPony: At some point I will get into a dressage saddle! :lol: I just have to find a trainer first!
 

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Opening your hips is something I just kind of figured out myself. It comes along with thinking of wrapping your leg around the barrel of the horse. I can't explain so I will wait for someone to do so...
 

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To be fair, opening your hips isn't always something that you can just do. It's a flexibility issue (if you google it, you'll find approximately one billion yoga exercises for "hip opening!") that needs to be developed over time.

I can't think of a good way to describe the biomechanical opening of hips, so here-- sit on your chair. Then, tilt your pelvis up while opening your thighs and letting them drape down. You'll probably feel some stretch! That's what I'm talking about. It's when you can sit on your seatbones but still allow your legs to "drape" down alongside the barrel of the horse. It's tough! I will admit... for a few months, I did a lot of yoga and (this is embarrassing!) put my velcro knee/thigh blocks in a very aggressive position on my saddle just to force my hip angle open, because I was so tight! I'm not recommending it, but man did it feel good to stretch that out while I was riding. I find that the flexibility of your hip angle is very important when it comes to sitting the trot, since the motion requires your hips to open (close a little) open (close a little) open with every step.

I hope that helps a little bit! Think of it as more of a long-term goal rather than something you can fix in a day. :) It's tricky to keep open hips considering how sedentary our lifestyles can be!

ETA... if you look at your most recent EQ picture, imagine if your leg stayed in that exact position, but your pelvis tilted up so that you are sitting more on your seatbones. *That* is opening the hip angle!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Heading off to google now.. :wink: Is it weird that I get super excited when I have something else to practice? Seriously, though, thank y'all so much for your help!! The closest trainer *of any english discipline* that I can find is 45 minutes away.. :? Super frustrating!!
 

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Opening your hips.. basically when you flex your leg up under neath you *so your toes touch your bum) and reach behind to grab your ankle, that pull is you coaxing your hip to "open"

You can do this in the saddle or standing up as long as you hold onto something to be safe.

This allows you to really sink your seat bones into the saddle versus sitting all perchy.

However, it could also be due to your saddle and the way it is built.

~~~

Now for my critique

I love the soft straight back, brilliant! Ear shoulder hip heel line is pretty good... though it looks as though you're clamping or tight in your knee. See the swing instead of the drape? You need to get your weight down your leg without any clamping going on.. Think of your leg stretching down with your toes up, instead of jamming heels down. Pull your knees off of the saddle, so they are barely touching.

Very nice improvement :)

Hands are slightly too low, see the break in bit to forearm line? It should be nice and straight. Roll your shoulders back and open up your chest more.
 

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I think there is a huge improvement between the first and last picture.
Some things I noticed, was I'd like to see your heel down just a tad bit more.
Think about really sitting deep in your saddle and sinking into your stirrups.
I like the middle picture in terms of your position as a whole, slightly forward, nice bend in your elbows. Your back might be a little too "forced" if you get what i'm saying. Also would like to see shorter reins and hands forward a couple more inches.
Your horse could be a little bit more on the bit, as that would help your overall position as well. Some things to work on but you're doing a fantastic job!
 
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