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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2012
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    135

    Default I have a hot seat!

    Hi guys and gals, I am actually an eventer, but I figured I could use some of your advice. I have two problems: I have a what my coach calls a hot seat and I am losing grip on my reins quite often. While my hot seat works well for the lazy ponies I sometimes ride, it is a disadvantage for the speed demons. I am not sure what it is exactly that I am doing. My breathing is fine and I try really hard to control my posting. With my second problem, letting the reins slip, I have been struggling with this for a long time. It has gotten better, though, but still not where my coach and i want it to be. Any suggestions? I don't want my hands to clamped together. Thanks for your help!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2012
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    210

    Default

    Can you describe what this "hot seat" means? Like you make horses hot via your seat?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2012
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    135

    Default

    Sorry, I should have clarified. But yes, horses tend to go faster when I ride them because of my seat, I guess.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
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    972

    Default

    Are you sure its YOUR seat? Some horses have a hard time learning to accept any seat in the saddle. They feel the contact on their back and they try to evade by going forward. Short of a having a back problem, they have to learn to accept it. Just as they have to learn to accept contact in the mouth.

    Now, ask yourself this - is it really your SEAT driving them, or is it pressure from your legs holding you deep in the saddle that's sending them forward?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    10,955

    Wink Better hot than not!

    It is also called an "electric seat" . It "simply" means that when you , for example, ask for the canter, you not only give the leg aids, and lift your hips into canter rhythm, but you simultaneously drive with your seat. So, instead of stepping quietly into canter, your horse leaps into canter, you continue to drive with your seat, and the horse continues to leap.

    Try to sit lighter, and stop driving forward with your seat.
    When asking for canter, "think" canter, allow your body to relax into it.

    I'm not much into mental riding, aka: zen, and "riding out of your mind", but you almost have to do this.

    The same goes for any of the other gaits. Slow your body down, think soft seat, think slow seat. You may need to work to find a happy medium but be assured, it is there.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,553

    Default

    Learn something new every day.

    I apparently do not have a hot seat as I've never heard that term before



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2003
    Location
    Deep South
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    14,935

    Default

    You have to learn to relax all your butt and thigh muscles,(only use them when you need them as aides) and maintain a moving balance with your core muscles.
    ... _. ._ .._. .._


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2006
    Posts
    3,505

    Default

    A lot of times it means you do not "keep" with your seat either when you half halt you do it from the hand keeping your seat open or forward and kind of sending messages that are opposite.

    On a TB I have to remember to really keep so they dont get ahead of my seat because my own seat is a bit "hot" or open and undisciplined.

    The seat also halt halts and does downward transitions and you should learn to start there before the hand to help keep them a bit with you !
    ~~Member of the TB's Rule Clique ~~
    http://www.off-breed-dressage.blogspot.com/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    14,870

    Default

    I think it also has a bit to do with a person's personality - the more excitable, quick, pumped up people seem to have these so called hot seats. A quiet, laid back person not so much. I have two people in mind who cannot ride my horse without getting her to react, and yet I find her very level. There is a middle ground between that and being such a passenger the horse just slops along.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2000
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    Proud owner of one Lunar acre! (Campanus Crater, The Moon)
    Posts
    14,174

    Default

    We used to call it an " electric a**."

    It takes learning to listen. You have to learn that less is more on certain horses. Listen (with your body) to what the horse is telling you about your seat, leg and hands. Do as little as possible to get the desired response and then learn to let them do what you just asked--and just ride it and don't ask for anything until you want to change things (change of gait, movement, etc.).

    Keep the electric backside for the truly lethargic horses that need to be trained to be light.
    "Relinquish your whip!!"



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
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    2,313

    Default

    As for your 'slippery' reins, I have the same problem. I have a 'grab strap' the pommel of my saddle, and practice using that with one or both hands at a canter, or in a bend. The horse settles down and moves into the bit, because I am not letting go of his "handshake" when he is accepting it. I also bought gloves with a really sticky, grippy leather. I also put a piece of tape at the third rein stop to visually give me the place where my hands should be and should stay. Rubber reins and colored rubber reins also help to be coached where to put hands and keep hands at different gaits. You know and have probably been told that letting the reins slip is like being a ballerina, and your partner, as you hold his hand, balancing and say he walks you around on point in a circle, isn't steady in his grip and lets you fall. You are leaning on him, and its a balance act, you aren't leaning hard, and he isn't holding you up, its a gentle, light balance and you rely on his steady support. Your horse is going to fall on his face everytime you let go of your support. One or some of that may help.
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/


    3 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2006
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    1,395

    Default

    Your problem can stem from any, or all, of several problems. I cannot tell you which unless I see a video of you riding your horse.

    There are two fairly common problems, the first of which is a saddle that does not fit either you or the horse, or both of you. That can range anywhere from a situation where the size of the saddle is incorrect, the shape of the tree is incorrect, the stirrup bars are not hung correctly. The second problem is that you have been taught that in the posting trot, you get the horse to move by slinging yourself up off the saddle as quickly as you can. Doing such, actually puts you posting ahead of the horse, which tends to put the horse on the forehand and out of balance. It is as your seat pushes down into the saddle as you come down from the post that you can direct the horse forward into your hands.

    Now, taken that one or the other of the above is the root cause, it means that your balance in the saddle is not correct and you are falling forward with the horse falling forward as well. This pulls the reins, slowly but surely through your fingers because your shoulders/upper arms lack stability as they move forward away from your body.

    If you can post a video, I can better give you an idea of what is happening.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
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    6,947

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by angel
    Now, taken that one or the other of the above is the root cause, it means that your balance in the saddle is not correct and you are falling forward with the horse falling forward as well. This pulls the reins, slowly but surely through your fingers because your shoulders/upper arms lack stability as they move forward away from your body.
    This makes sense to me. No matter what the cause is, though, if you keep your fingers closed on the reins, with your thumbs up and placed like a little "tent" on the reins, it will help keep them from slipping.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2012
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equibrit View Post
    You have to learn to relax all your butt and thigh muscles,(only use them when you need them as aides) and maintain a moving balance with your core muscles.
    THIS! I tend to have a "hot seat" as well. (The term is new to me, but it is what you describe.) It means that you are tense through your butt and thighs, which makes more high strung/fast horses nervous because you transfer the tension on them. It hinders relaxation and impulsion. I've been working on relaxing my seat and legs for about 4 months now and it's finally working! I am able to put the legs on my horse now to get impulsion and she doesn't run through my hands anymore. Magic!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2012
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by angel View Post

    Now, taken that one or the other of the above is the root cause, it means that your balance in the saddle is not correct and you are falling forward with the horse falling forward as well. This pulls the reins, slowly but surely through your fingers because your shoulders/upper arms lack stability as they move forward away from your body.
    Oh yes! Balance is of course the root cause. Thanks for the reminder. I used to always fall foward. Think more of balancing on your "relaxed" butt.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2009
    Posts
    992

    Default

    A tip about slipping reins:
    the "root" of the grip on the rein is supposed to be the pinch between thumb and index finger...not the lower fingers. If you have the grip correct, the reins never slip AND the lower fingers are free to talk gently to the horse. Also, your arms will stay relaxed and better able to follow the motion.

    Get yourself a pair of the dressage reins with stops on them (even temporarily).
    Place a stop IN FRONT of your thumb, so that the stop "runs into" your thumb if some one were to pull on the horse end of the rein. Laced reins work the same way...you fit your thumb into the V formed by the lace...but the stopper reins are better for retraining yourself.

    Keep a bend in your thumb's joint closest to nail. Put the rein between thumb and index finger (not out by the end of the finger...close to the middle of the finger) and really push down on the rein. It should feel as of your thumb is "stapled" to the rein (what was told to me by German trainer). CLOSE your hands. That's important. You can carry a little object in your hands to remind you to not drop it...a chunk of wood, a rock, a tack sponge. All work well.

    Have some one pull on the horse end of the reins so you can feel that you have the stop working correctly and you feel that the grip originates in the thumb.

    This was very specifically taught to me when I had slipping rein issues, and it fixed it. I hope it helps you!



  17. #17
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    Jan. 10, 2002
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by arlosmine View Post
    Keep a bend in your thumb's joint closest to nail. Put the rein between thumb and index finger (not out by the end of the finger...close to the middle of the finger) and really push down on the rein. It should feel as of your thumb is "stapled" to the rein (what was told to me by German trainer). CLOSE your hands. That's important. You can carry a little object in your hands to remind you to not drop it...a chunk of wood, a rock, a tack sponge. All work well.
    That's what I was trying to say -- arlosmine said it much better.
    Quote Originally Posted by SuzieQNutter
    The whip is held across your thigh so as you can still hold the reins without spilling your coffee!!
    SillyHorse adds: Or your wine.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    10,955

    Default

    QUOTE from Arlosmine post---Keep a bend in your thumb's joint closest to nail. Put the rein between thumb and index finger (not out by the end of the finger...close to the middle of the finger) and really push down on the rein. It should feel as of your thumb is "stapled" to the rein (what was told to me by German trainer).

    Absolutely right!


    CLOSE your hands. That's important. You can carry a little object in your hands to remind you to not drop it...a chunk of wood, a rock, a tack sponge. All work well.

    Here a little disagreement. the fingers do need to be closed, but no more so than if you were holding a baby bird, or a pom-pom you didn't want to crush. the pinky and ring finger are your subtle conversation areas. If the head goes a little too far one way or the other, a tiny vibration of those two fingers will ask gently for it to come back. If they close softly simultaneously, depending on what your body is doing they are your front end support system. Your legs and seat are responsible for the body. But we've already discussed your seat.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2012
    Posts
    135

    Default

    I have never made that connection before, Arlosmine! Whenever I heard to close my hands, I closed all my fingers, which would last until I half halted or such. That REALLY helped!



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2009
    Posts
    992

    Default

    Merrygoround: I agree, and should have been more clear:
    For sure the fingers should not be closed in a super tight fist...More like how you would hold a saturated tack sponge without squashing all the water out of it or dropping it. To use the hand, squeeze water out of the sponge and be sure to "let water expand it again" as a release of the aid. I have been told that Hand aids should not last longer than the time a hoof is on the ground.

    The thumb grip is the main thing that makes the most difference.



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