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View Full Version : Some show pics :) Critique welcome!



TropicalStorm
Sep. 26, 2010, 08:46 PM
Well, the Big Grey Beast and I made it to Regionals...second time riding First Level. It was kind of a hit and miss for us. Weather was the pits, with extremely soupy warmup arenas, and first day was a disaster of distractions, and I think we broke in every transition we could possibly break in "But mom...do you see those tents moving? I KNEW THEY WERE GREMLINS!!!" (he's only been to 4 shows, and inevitably we are always next to tents that move :cool:)

We progressed as the week went by, and had 1 bad ride, 1 ok ride, 1 lovely ride and I scratched last day due to weather. Overall happy with comments, and got the typical mixture of 4s and 8s which gives us Lots to work on for next year!

(you are more than welcome to critique...and if anyone has brilliant ideas to help strengthen a really weakened ankle that keeps my toes constantly pointed out, I'm open to thoughts!)

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs158.ash2/41256_463770565258_567570258_6884422_7142750_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs690.snc4/63003_480505035258_567570258_7292634_179720_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs675.snc4/61575_480505075258_567570258_7292636_8180310_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs655.snc4/61575_480505080258_567570258_7292637_114520_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs642.snc4/60205_480505180258_567570258_7292644_2383831_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc4/hs683.snc4/62362_480505145258_567570258_7292641_6050066_n.jpg

http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs332.ash2/61262_480505120258_567570258_7292640_752861_n.jpg

rizzodm
Sep. 26, 2010, 09:26 PM
You have a very lovely horse and look great on him. I'm not qualified to critique so hopefully someone will chime in on that.
I would google ankle exercises to find exercises you can do off your horse. While you ride you are always going have to think about your toes until it becomes permanent.

Dawn

ToN Farm
Sep. 26, 2010, 09:50 PM
It seems the toe out problem only occurs at the canter. Is that right? In one of the later shots where you are cantering on the left lead, it shows the problem really well. It is not your ankle that is the problem. The source is much higher up. Look at your knee; it is turned completely out. Actually, I've not seen anything similar to that before. I'm no trainer and since I've not dealt with that problem before, I can't provide a solution.

Somehow, you've got to get your thigh turned inward as you are currently riding off the back of your thigh rather than the inside. Think about keeping your knee pointing forward.

Also, at times your reins look a little too short and restricting and this has you holding your arms straight out rather than keeping your elbows bent and at your hip.

Both you and your horse present well and have good potential to grow.

fizzyfuzzybuzzy
Sep. 26, 2010, 09:52 PM
You and your boy are lovely! The stretch circle looks FAB, especially if he was tense!

For me, the toes come from my loosening my hips, not so much my ankle. If my knee is pointing forward, so are my toes. So I pull the meaty part of my thigh back to rotate my femur in it's socket to point my whole leg forward.

TropicalStorm
Sep. 26, 2010, 10:39 PM
hrm, thats an interesting thought re the knee. Its not something Ive considered...will have to go ride and pay attention to what its doing! and yes it is worse at the canter...it does it at the trot as well but less obviously.

Thanks for the commenrs :) hes a very good boy, and despite being green himself, is tolerating my mistakes very well

angel
Sep. 26, 2010, 10:40 PM
I suspect that your saddle does not fit your horse very well. The stirrup leathers are hanging way too far forward for them to be anywhere correct for you conformation. In addition, you need to put the leathers shorter...at least two holes, and maybe even three.

Because your legs are going too far forward, your torso has a tendency to fall forward as well. Your upper arms need to stay vertical with your torso, so if you have an instructor who is telling you to put your hands forward like that, it is time to find a new instructor. When you straighten your arms forward such as you are doing in all these photos, if your torso already has the tendency to fall forward, the weight of your arms will make that even worse. It will also provide an unstable connection to the reins so that if your horse is on the forehand (it is some), that will also help to pull you forward out of the saddle. My guess is that you can feel the flop of your seat on the saddle at every canter stride, because you cannot keep your seat rounded under you with the rest of the imbalances happening.

You seem to have a lovely, willing horse that could do much better than these photos indicate. That first halt picture was pretty nice.

Petstorejunkie
Sep. 26, 2010, 11:02 PM
angel saved me a ton of typing. to me you look like someone riding in someone else's saddle and had a lazy moment and didn't adjust the stirrups.
I think if you can get yourself a REALLY good, educated saddle fitter to help you pick a more appropriate saddle for both of you, you'll be glad you did.
There's so much I want to correct, it's not fair to list it when you are fighting your saddle and won't be able to use the advice.

TropicalStorm
Sep. 26, 2010, 11:10 PM
I did shorten my stirrups after, so that's one problem down :) (because seeing these pics, I was like "holy crap! they need to go up!")

Now, can you tell me what you think is off with the saddle fit? its a schleese, and they are always willing to work with me.

Petstorejunkie
Sep. 26, 2010, 11:44 PM
I'm thinking that the stirrup bar is too far forward for your conformation. it may be improved with some flocking adjustments to tweak the balance, but without seeing it in person I can't be for certain.

princessfluffybritches
Sep. 26, 2010, 11:46 PM
I think you and your horse are doing a very nice job! What a looker he is.

I know how hard it is, if what you do at home is a "10", most of us get to a show and that "10" in practice becomes a "5" or so. As we show more and more the gap closes. So I think you are doing really well-getting some 8's and all.

Sooo, sit up like there's a string attached to your head pulling up. Put your elbows at your sides. This will make your legs more correct in itself, and longer. "Think" pelvis toward hand.

I used to think that I was the one who had to accomidate the horse's frame , until I realized that I AM the frame, and the horse needs to know how to operate within that frame.

I love love love your saddle! The only thing I can critique is that maybe shorter flaps would be better for your leg length?

Boomer
Sep. 27, 2010, 09:22 AM
I know how you feel about the toe out problem. I have poor conformation on my right leg - I'm very knock-kneed but from the knee down on the right leg it points straight out!

When my Dad and I walk on a beach, we are not hard to find. Both of his toes point straight out like airplane wings, while only one of mine does. My parents said that at the time I was born, the dr's didn't think it was a big deal, so no brace. Guess they didn't know I would want to ride! ;)

I have to be very conscious of what I'm doing with that leg as it's very easy to use spur instead of just leg. I don't know how to fix it tho.

When I did hunters as a kid my trainer used to tie that stirrup to the girth so I had to point forward- it was absolutely, incredibly painful. I really dreaded riding at times and it didn't "fix" anything.

EasyStreet
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:01 AM
So alot of the corrections/suggestions have already been posted. I just want to say the two of you look lovely together and that it being just his 4th time out, you should be pleased. I especially love #3 -trot/diagonal and the stretchy circle! I can only imagine how much nicer the other things are at home...there were lots of "Looky" things there to distract. Do as others have suggested and rotate your leg from the hip socket so that you have "flat lying knees" and before long you will be suprised at how much easier it is to apply your aids from that position as well as making a pretty picture! Good luck and enjoy your lovely boy!;)

TropicalStorm
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:04 AM
When my Dad and I walk on a beach, we are not hard to find. Both of his toes point straight out like airplane wings, while only one of mine does. My parents said that at the time I was born, the dr's didn't think it was a big deal, so no brace. Guess they didn't know I would want to ride! ;)


Jeeze, that could be me and my dad ;)
He's very crow footed on both feet. I'm very much so with my right foot.

Maybe I'll throw myself on the lunge line and see if I can rotate my leg a bit :)

Thank you everyone for the critiques and the lovely PMs I got. He's a lovely boy and tries very hard for me (although I always get a kick at people calling him beautiful, because he was quiet homely when I bought him, and also has a very crooked ear due to an accident and a huge lump on his jaw, so I doubt we'd win any beauty contests LOL. Fortunately, he's flashy undersaddle! )

We're definitely a work in progress LOL

angel
Sep. 27, 2010, 10:19 AM
It is always difficult to attempt to tell someone exactly why the saddle does not fit the horse, especially when there is a rider in the saddle, and the pictures are so far away.

My impression, which might be wrong because of the above, is that the saddle is just a tad too wide through the tree, and is not placed back far enough on the horse. If it started out being placed correctly, then it means the saddle is also bridging a bit, and rocking itself forward. Some of this has to do with stirrup leathers that are hung too far forward on the tree for you, and I really cannot tell how much this is the case.

To get a better idea of just how far forward those stirrups are hanging in relationship to your body, sit in the saddle without using the stirrups, and do some warm-up sort of work at the walk. Remember that as you do this work, keep your toes elevated and your knees slightly bent, though hanging freely. After about 10 minutes, have someone snap a picture of you as you sit in halt. Then, pick up your stirrups and do about five more minutes of walk work, and add in a little trot and canter. Now halt a second time and have another picture taken. Post those two pictures, and let us see what happens. Be sure to wear light colored clothing, and have the picture taken such that you are centered in about 80% of the viewfinder field.

To better see the saddle fit, place the saddle on the horse without a pad and without girthing. Take a picture from the side, and then an angled shot from the point of the shoulder so we can see how the saddle contours to the horse's wither area. Try to have the horse standing square when these pictures are taken.

InsideLeg2OutsideRein
Sep. 27, 2010, 12:44 PM
You guys look lovely together! What a nice horse (in the perfect color says the new owner of a dapple grey mare ;)) !

princessfluffybritches
Sep. 27, 2010, 12:49 PM
4th time out????? That's impressive!

princessfluffybritches
Sep. 27, 2010, 12:56 PM
Try to post a pic here with the saddle about an inch back, or where when you slide the saddle back it feels like it goes "thunk" into the correct pocket. Then sit on the horse with your shoulders, hip and heel all lining up, elbows at your sides. Snap the pic. It will give a more accurate pic of what fits what.

UnoIsMyHorse
Sep. 27, 2010, 01:12 PM
TropicalStorm,
I had the same problem with my Schleese. The seat was too big and the stirrup bars too far forward for me. I was in the exact same position as you! Toes out from the knee and everything. I wonder if your Schleese is a JES Elite? Mine was. No amount of adjusting that saddle could save us.

I had to end up selling it and just bought a new saddle with a smaller seat and correctly positioned stirrup bars. It is being made and should be here in seven weeks or so. However, I have been lent a demo model to ride in, and let me tell you, the difference is amazing! I always thought I was having problems keeping my leg in the correct position, now I know I shouldn't have to keep my leg anywhere! A saddle that fits horse and rider properly will just allow the correct position to happen.

I've also noticed quite a difference in my horse since I'm no longer fighting my saddle.

This isn't meant to be a slam on Schleese, they are great saddles. Just not for me.

Boomer
Sep. 27, 2010, 02:20 PM
He's a lovely boy and tries very hard for me (although I always get a kick at people calling him beautiful, because he was quiet homely when I bought him, and also has a very crooked ear due to an accident and a huge lump on his jaw, so I doubt we'd win any beauty contests LOL. Fortunately, he's flashy undersaddle! )

We're definitely a work in progress LOL

We're all a work in progress - welcome to the club :)

you guys look good to me and no one will notice that lump and crooked ear as you cruise around the ring on that handsome boy!

princessfluffybritches
Sep. 27, 2010, 03:27 PM
TropicalStorm,
I had the same problem with my Schleese. The seat was too big and the stirrup bars too far forward for me. I was in the exact same position as you! Toes out from the knee and everything. I wonder if your Schleese is a JES Elite? Mine was. No amount of adjusting that saddle could save us.

I had to end up selling it and just bought a new saddle with a smaller seat and correctly positioned stirrup bars. It is being made and should be here in seven weeks or so. However, I have been lent a demo model to ride in, and let me tell you, the difference is amazing! I always thought I was having problems keeping my leg in the correct position, now I know I shouldn't have to keep my leg anywhere! A saddle that fits horse and rider properly will just allow the correct position to happen.

I've also noticed quite a difference in my horse since I'm no longer fighting my saddle.

This isn't meant to be a slam on Schleese, they are great saddles. Just not for me.

Absolutely. Too big a saddle is going to make you constantly fight a chair seat-and lead the rest of the body in to a poor posture to compensate, as well.
My new to me, beat up Hopfner may be a tad small for me, but not enough-it plunks me into the correct position, and I would have to fight it to sit poorly. I imagine the right size Schleese would do the same thing.

TropicalStorm
Sep. 27, 2010, 04:27 PM
Thanks everyone. I will see if I can get someone to snap a few pictures on the weekend.

It's interesting, because I always get yelled at that my leg is too far back, not too far forward...hrmmm...

It's a Schleese Infinity, btw

Pennywell Bay
Sep. 28, 2010, 09:10 AM
I suspect that your saddle does not fit your horse very well. The stirrup leathers are hanging way too far forward for them to be anywhere correct for you conformation. In addition, you need to put the leathers shorter...at least two holes, and maybe even three.

Because your legs are going too far forward, your torso has a tendency to fall forward as well. Your upper arms need to stay vertical with your torso, so if you have an instructor who is telling you to put your hands forward like that, it is time to find a new instructor. When you straighten your arms forward such as you are doing in all these photos, if your torso already has the tendency to fall forward, the weight of your arms will make that even worse. It will also provide an unstable connection to the reins so that if your horse is on the forehand (it is some), that will also help to pull you forward out of the saddle. My guess is that you can feel the flop of your seat on the saddle at every canter stride, because you cannot keep your seat rounded under you with the rest of the imbalances happening.

You seem to have a lovely, willing horse that could do much better than these photos indicate. That first halt picture was pretty nice.

Defintiely. Your leg is too far foward ( straight line shoulder/hip,heel). Check your stirrups and then your saddle. Your horse is very cute!