View Full Version : Critique Please?

Sep. 29, 2009, 07:42 PM
So my mare and I are getting ready for our first event (both of our first official events!), we'll only be going Elementary (which is good, because our jumping is essentially non-existent). I'd love a little bit of constructive feedback. I'm very proud of how far she's come, and I know we both still have a long way to go.

Little bit of background- she came off the track a few years ago, moved around a bit and had nothing really consistent, and most recently was and expert field-sitter (for 2 plus years?). She's a pretty serious headshaker, it's currently under control although in the past couple of weeks she's been showing some symptoms. We've been working under saddle since mid/late July, so this is somewhere around week 9 for her. I only began riding again after an injury induced year off this past May. Thanks a ton!

Coming out of a turn to the centerline:

Sometimes we try to stretch down, and just get kinda heavy.

Heading to the scary corner! (Scary because some horse peed over there yesterday )

Going paaaast the scary corner (she ended up going between the barrel and the wall, which is suuuuper scary- everyone knows white barrels are TB mare eating)

She's prettier than me. And I'm okay with that.


Sep. 29, 2009, 09:14 PM
Pictures (esp of flatwork!) are difficult to critique because it is a fraction of a moment in time.

My first impression is that you need to SIT UP!! :D I know you're in a jumping saddle, and that automatically tips you a bit forward over your knee. But bringing your shoulders back, in line with your hip, will help her lift her forehand. And, help you engage your seat for a more effective aid. :) You don't want to be "driving" with your seat/shoulders (unless needed), but lifting your chest will improve your position. It may feel like you are *leaning back*, while you are just barely vertical... it takes some getting used to if you've been brought up in h/j style (ask me how I know...!). Especially in your stretchy trot, keeping your shoulders back and "swinging your hips though your shoulders" will encourage the horse's hind end to stay active, and your sitting tall prevents overweighing the front end.

Your hands are a bit low, but look to be fairly soft and forgiving. Don't be afraid to pick your hands up-- yes, her head may come up, but your hands shouldn't be holding it down in the first place. ;) Easier said than done, I know!

Your last picture is my favorite-- she looks much more "up" in her shoulder, and working from behind. In the other ones, she appears to be ducking behind the bit and on her forehand. I understand sometimes you have to take what you get, especially in "scary corners;" occasionally sacrificing balance for rideability. That's why pics are hard to judge-- maybe she was just low for a moment, but that is what's captured on film.

Good luck! You seem to be making good progress, keep working hard. :)