my riding officially sucks. when i rode my ex trainers horse Ginger i was the best rider at the farm (not bragging) even my trainer said so but now i have switched to a new farm and i am now leasing another horse. i havent been taking lessons and wont be able to until it warms up. so i need major help. my new lease horse is VERY VERY VERY slender like its crazy, she's a national show horse, and im used to riding fatter horses. but when i ride her my legs are in chair seat at all gaits, and are always swinging at trot+. i think the problem with the chair seat i that my saddle is a courbette arosa so its very forward seated, any way to fix it? would a riser pad work for chair seat? when i jump my form is perfect! how can i work on my legs being perfectly still (i cant really grab to keep it still cause she just speeds up), no chair seat, feet forward, heels down, and all that stuff. i really need help guys!!! OH and also my canter is quite bouncy and i cant sit it now
Last edited by equineobsession6; Feb. 3, 2013 at 12:14 AM.
Well, part of being a good rider is being able to ride on all different types of horses. Sometimes that means learning new skills or refining old ones. You probably did a good job with Ginger because you were used to her and knew what she was like and how she would respond. Now you get to learn to do that with another horse. Every horse will teach you something.
As far as your saddle goes, it is possible it is causing your position problems. Usually chair seat is caused by the stirrup bar being too far forward for your leg. If the saddle doesn't fit well and tilts back so you are sitting more toward the cantle, that could contribute. Have your trainer look at the fit of the saddle on the horse to recommend if you need a riser or other special pad. If you are going to ride this horse long term and the saddle doesn't fit well, you might consider buying a different one or having a saddle fitter out. You could also just be out of practice from not riding as much. Lots of riding time once you can take more lessons will help build your leg muscles, as well as doing no stirrups work.
It does take awhile to learn how to ride different horses. You fix the things that you can fix, like the saddle fit and where it puts you on this horse. Your new trainer should be helping you fix your position by giving you exercises to practice to improve your position. Go out to the barn and spend time with this new horse. Like Deltawave said, go have some fun with him. It takes time, with any new horse, to figure them out.
If your horse is trotting inverted, then you will have difficulty sitting the trot. Since you are having trouble with a "chair seat" position, then I imagine that he is inverted. Do not try to sit, until you have him wanting to stretch more through his back. When you bounce, it will make him more hollow, which will make it even more difficult to sit. When you bounce, it is just as painful for him, as it is for you.
If he lunges well, have your new instructor give you a lunge lesson, without stirrups. You can work on stretching your leg down and underneath you, without having to worry about anything but your position. If your saddle is a forward flap, then your leg may hang off of the back of the saddle. Can you see if your new instructor has a saddle, which puts your leg in a better position, that you might try?
Remember that every horse is part of a life long journey. Take the time to enjoy and learn from your journey. When you take the time to enjoy the small victories, then your life with horses will become much more fun.
I know this really wasn't the topic you asked about, OP, but what about taking regular lessons instead of leasing right now? If you want to develop the ability to ride a variety of horses with tact and effectiveness, there's really no better way to accomplish this than riding a variety of school horses and others' horses. Small, large, all different breeds and types, with a motor, kick rides- all will teach you something.
I am by no means a perfect rider (far from), but I sometimes think the thing that benefitted me most as a young rider was what I liked the least. Never having a horse of my own as a kid forced me onto anything and everything with four legs. I still have a "preferred" type of ride, but I figured out how to adapt my skills. If you have $x/month to spend, I might consider seeking out training for you from a trainer who has a variety to ride rather than a lease right now.
Agree with lmlacross -- the best thing that ever happened to me (although I didn't think so at the time) was that I grew up riding school horses, never owned a horse and rode school horses even in college. Every different type there is. It is far harder than just riding one. Now that I do own my own, it feels a bit odd to get on someone else's, but the skillset I have is in large part due to the 100s of horses behind me.
Try to see if you can become a working student somewhere. I can't tell you how much that has helped my riding. I've gotten on school/lesson horses, horses in training, the quieter greenies, sales horses, you name it. It has really helped my riding! I can go from a 18.0hh Hanoverian gelding to a 13.1hh pony gelding in one day, then to a 15.2hh Hungarian WB mare and a 22 year old 16.3hh TB gelding. Variety really helps to solidify your riding style.
"One reason why horses are happy is because they are not trying to impress other horses."
"Never approach a bull from the front, a horse from the rear, or a fool from any direction"
Well, some of the saddle seat trainers teach their horses to be ridden with no leg contact at all. A National Show Horse might have that training.
If this is the case, putting your leg on the horse is going to signal FORWARD to the horse So, if this is indeed the case, there is no way you can have your leg properly on the horse for a hunt-seat or dressage position, without signaling 'go faster' to the horse.
The best solution is going to be asking the owner/trainer of the horse, and perhaps a lesson now is going to be necessary, so that you will be able to get to know the horse better, without misunderstandings by both horse and rider, from past training.