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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 13, 2003
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    Default Riders Leaning Back

    Is it just me or have others noticed in various photos and videos on websites or horses for sale sites that many of the riders are leaning quite far back with their body position. Drawing a line through shoulder - hip- foot results in a completely slanted line. And in many photographs it appears this also relates to heavy hands on the horse's mouth. I'm seeing this on horse for sale adds from lower levels all the way up through FEI.
    While this was something that was seen once in a while - it now seems to be more and more common. I often wonder if the riders or owners or trainers don't consider this position is unacceptable.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  2. #2
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    Default

    I've seen it too and it makes me go "Huh?"
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."



  3. #3
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    Default

    I believe it's the dressage-yoga position called "the water skier".

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


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  4. #4
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    Jul. 14, 2003
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    Default

    I don't think that it is necessarily related to heavy hands, although it can be. I have mostly seen riders leaning back in the trot--usually at the lower levels before the horse has begun collection. It is also not unusual at the upper levels in the medium or extended trot.

    These gaits can be hard to sit --many riders are simply not flexible enough to absorb all that motion through the hips and lower spine. By leaning back it is possible to keep the body anchored in the saddle by locking it against the pommel of the saddle-- and that avoids the horrible bouncing that would otherwise result.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  5. #5
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    Aug. 14, 2004
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    Default

    well.... maybe they are still learning..... or don't have very good trainers.... but i doubt they are doing it and thinking it is correct.

    it is hard to learn to ride well... it takes time, effort, lots of riding time and most importantly - a good trainer.

    even then - we ALL go thru stages of learning and so all of us will lean back at some point in our riding.

    its those that just continue to work on it - continue to get better and not worry and fret that will get to be good riders.



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  6. #6
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    May. 25, 2006
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    Default

    Unless its done well it causes the back to stiffen and the stride to shorten--not attractive or correct in my opinion.



  7. #7
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    Apr. 1, 2003
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    Default

    Drives me nuts.

    I had one gal wanting to ride my older mare, and this gal always leaned back. She took a "lesson" on my mare and poor mare was trying to go forward but knew not to run - so was trying to do extended trots the entire time since leaning back = pushing the gas pedal to the floor.

    And she wondered why she constantly had to use whip and spurs to get her mare to move forward. Her poor mare had just "turned her off" (tuned her out). More clinicians (trainers) should tell riders that and help them get horse in front of their leg.
    Sandy in Fla.



  8. #8
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    Nov. 5, 2011
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    Default

    Leaning back with a wobbling head does seem to be leaving dressage in the UK - thankfully! It does not have much to do with 'classical' dressage. Hester et al do not do it and people are learning



  9. #9
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    Dec. 23, 2010
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    Default

    Believe it or not, it's actually far less common now than it was in the late 80s/early 90s. At that time every aspiring dressage rider seemed to be imitating that famous scene from Man From Snowy River. I remember seeing even very young junior riders leaning back at ridiculous angles. We seemed to get past that for a while, but I agree it's creeping back. Mostly overdone and incorrect, but can be used effectively in some circumstances.
    Proud COTH lurker since 2001.


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  10. #10
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    Mar. 24, 2010
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    Default

    I think most of the time leaning back is purely from incorrect tendencies to try to control the bouncing or lack of balance and leaning on the reins.

    However, there is an aspect of it which can come from correct riding as well. A lot of riders haven't heard (ahem, those of us who did breed shows/hunters for decades) "knit your ribs" or any other similar explanation of using the upper abs prior to dressage. When you use the abs correctly it slightly shifts your ribs/torso just behind your center of balance and allows your hips to more correctly absorb the horse's movement. While leaning back is most definitely incorrect, getting the feeling of it helps those of us who have a lot less ability to absorb motion than we want to free up movement. I can see where that would lead to ACTUALLY leaning back, too.

    Lost_at_C: I remember in the 80s thinking I wanted to learn to ride a horse so they looked like those horses, but being horrified by the positions I saw on so many of the riders!
    My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.

    Quote Originally Posted by katarine
    If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed


    3 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
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    Default

    I see it in many of the photos and videos on the Horses for Sale websites. I keep wondering why these people posted them. In some - I can't tell if the horse if the horse is going forward or backwards.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
    "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"



  12. #12
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    Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
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    Default

    If it's a sale horse pic and the horse is green and not collected, but they want to show reach and stay with the horse for that ├╝ber trot that is full of back movement, they lean back to tip the pelvis to follow. They are not driving, but following a trot that is not soft, but just huge. It is showing off the young, disengaged horses future potential--and it's kind to the horse's back.

    On an upper level horse, it might be ammies doing it because the are trying to follow without getting in the way since they don't ride enough horses and hours each day to have uber abs. It happens. Not all cases are people without skills driving through a horse's back. Some are, but many are not. It's better than following form over function that is often seen, where a rider points the toe dead forward, locks the hips, grabs with the thigh and does not allow the horse to come softly through the back.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"


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  13. #13
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Wink A lack of strength.

    I see it in the YR classes. They are riding UL "made" horses, but don't have the core muscles or conditioning to hold it all together.

    They are young , talented and will get stronger.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
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    Oct. 30, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lost_at_C View Post
    Believe it or not, it's actually far less common now than it was in the late 80s/early 90s. At that time every aspiring dressage rider seemed to be imitating that famous scene from Man From Snowy River. I remember seeing even very young junior riders leaning back at ridiculous angles. We seemed to get past that for a while, but I agree it's creeping back. Mostly overdone and incorrect, but can be used effectively in some circumstances.
    Agreed. You used to see a lot more of this position. In fact, I remember a magazine article (with a young, male rider) in which the rider was leaning so far back it looked like he was trying to lay down, face up, on the horse's rump. I also remember the mag got numerous comments. I think rider's saw a few top names doing this and they thought it was correct. Especially when drilled to keep the shoulders back and not to lean forward.



  15. #15
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    Default

    The few lessons I had with a classical trainer (before she kicked Fella and me out of her barn) addressed this. She observed that when she fixed people's leaning forward issues they often over-corrected by leaning back to far, but it was a process that, with work, fixed itself.

    Paula
    He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012
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    210

    Default

    I struggle with leaning back on my mare. Exhibit A:
    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot...16265553_n.jpg

    She has huge, springy gaits. I've been riding her for years, and I ride five days a week. I literally do p90x ab ripper without getting sore. You can see my six pack and I still am not strong enough in my core to hold my shoulders above my hips. I know it's not pretty and it's not correct and I try my hardest not to do it but I just can't get my hips to have the relaxed but positive tension to absorb all that dang medium trot. I mean look how far off the ground we are!

    If I try too hard to sit straight then my hips and thighs tighten, which make my mare tighten and not correctly medium. If I'm bouncing around I can't half halt. I try to keep her moving the way she should and maybe one day I'll sit that medium. Until then I just keep trying and this is what happens.


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  17. #17
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    Sep. 13, 2008
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    Ohio
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    Default

    I don't see the leaning (a little) back for extensions as nessessarily a bad thing. Like a previous poster said, certainly better than bouncing.

    What bothers me is what I see at shows. The WAY leaning back rider, with a horse that is pushing down it's back, (those seatbones are digging in!!) and is curling it's neck because of the ungiving hands.
    Amazingly enough, judges around here are rewarding those rides with very decend scores!!! What....


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  18. #18
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    Oct. 7, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Eclectic Horseman View Post
    I don't think that it is necessarily related to heavy hands, although it can be. I have mostly seen riders leaning back in the trot--usually at the lower levels before the horse has begun collection. It is also not unusual at the upper levels in the medium or extended trot.

    These gaits can be hard to sit --many riders are simply not flexible enough to absorb all that motion through the hips and lower spine. By leaning back it is possible to keep the body anchored in the saddle by locking it against the pommel of the saddle-- and that avoids the horrible bouncing that would otherwise result.
    Too bad it doesn't avoid the horrid bouncing of the boobs! And the nodding of the head!
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
    People Who Hate to Rush to Kill Wildlife Clique!
    "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique



  19. #19
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    Oct. 13, 2006
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    Default

    Some dont have flexibility in the hips to the degree that their horses needs up and down and use the leaning back to let the hips come up up up in a forward way with the movement instead.

    I dont think its a big deal if the horse looks happy.
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/


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  20. #20
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    Oct. 13, 2003
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    Eastern Pacific coast
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    Default

    I've noticed well known professional riders doing it. Anky on Salinero for one. And recently watched a video of another pro doing it, even though in past years he never would have (his coach wouldn't have permitted it). There's a top pro in my area who does it too, no matter which horse he's on.

    It looks awful and as someone else said, it "drives me nuts."
    -Amor vincit omnia-



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