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Riding Videos: Critique/advice -THANK YOU!!

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  • Riding Videos: Critique/advice -THANK YOU!!

    First three are trot videos, last two are her first little grid from last weekend! In the flat videos I was really trying to work on my posture as I get very slouchy through the shoulders (as you can see in the jumping videos). Flat was taken during our warmup so I know my reins are long and my hand position is a bit wonky but now that she is starting to relax under saddle I have been trying to get her to stretch down a bit because she can get very bottled up.

    Background: She is a 5 y/o ottb, had a year off before I got her and have been working with her for about 3 months, so basically she is an angel! I haven't had a lesson in forever and can use all the help I can get!

    Any advice, tips, etc appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by ClassyJumper; Jul. 8, 2019, 09:12 PM.

  • #2
    For the flat, shorten your reins about 4 inches. Watch that you don't get "puppy paws" or allow elbows to angle out away from your body. I'd do a lot of transitions in 2 pt, without using reins or neck for balance. Do w/c/t/c/w/t...uou really need a good base of support to not fall back at upward transitions, and not fall gorward at downward transitions. It will help get your leg under you and actually allow your weight to drop thru your leg. I get the impression that you aren't really balanced over your leg...looks almost like you are on the verge of a chair seat or posting behind the motion.
    Also need to move outside leg back a little on turns and support her body so she does not fall out behind. Keeping her body straight will help her when you start cantering corners to a jump. It will also make it easier to find distances, as if they fall out with their hips on corners it will change your distance you see.
    The good...You seem to be a very soft rider, and did a good job keeping your eys up over the jump. Your horse is very cute, and seems very willing to please.
    Last edited by jetsmom; Jul. 7, 2019, 04:20 PM.


    • #3
      Sit up and sit back. Not just your shoulders, your hip angle is a little too closed for flatwork and it's causing you to sit too far back in the saddle when you post. It's hard to tell if it's a saddle fit issue but it very well could be. Leveraging your upper body rather than just using the reins will help tremendously when she starts to get quick. Also thumbs up and carry your hands a bit more. They're a little low and kind of back in your lap.

      You are a lovely soft rider and your horse looks like a lot of fun. She looks great for three months of work!
      I love my Econo-Nag!


      • #4
        My observations are that your lower leg in all the flat vids is out too far in front of you, this leaves you placing your seat to the back of the saddle and then playing catch up with your upper body, overworking your rise. Getting your lower leg back will allow your hips to initiate the rise. Overworking your upper body leaves you with unsteady hands, that rise and fall with your hips.

        Your hands need to be carried over the withers with softly curved wrists and thumbs on top, rather than down and spread.

        Getting eyes on the ground is a good idea, because until you retrain your perceptions your brain will insist that a corrected position is all wrong, and will insist on putting you back to where you are now.
        Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

        Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


        • #5
          I agree with the position comments. When she gets a little quick—on the flat and especially in the grid work—think about slowing your posting. You post too fast and it just makes her quicken more. For a grid set as you have it, you should be very very slow going into it, and I’d consider giving her a little more room on the out with a square oxer for now since she is landing pretty far into the combination. Once she and you are more relaxed, you can start working on compressing her.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks for all the advice. I for sure feel the chair seat/behind the motion on her (but not on my older, slower gelding) so I think it is a bad attempt on my part to slow her down without getting in her face.

            I do think opening my hip angle will help back her off a bit. The arena has a bit of a grade side to side, and when I sit back and raise my hands it helps her slow down/balance better going downhill but I am sure it would work on level ground too .

            I have been doing a bit of 2 point at the walk to get my leg stronger, but it makes her nervous like we are going to the races haha. But I will keep at it and try to do some trotting and transitions too.


            • Original Poster

              Rode tonight and seriously y'all are the best!!! Literally scooting my bum forward in the saddle made ALL the difference. My leg came back under me and felt effective again, my knee came away from the saddle. My hip angle opened and I had way more leverage to slow her down. I think my shoulders still need work but thats always been an issue for me.

              The shorter reins are going to be an adjustment for her, she wasnt too pleased. But now that all three gaits are workable it was probably time for more contact anyways. And by the end she was starting to get used to it.

              So thank you everyone!!!


              • #8
                Now YOU need to learn to slow her down from your body. Shortening the reins should make no difference in the weight she feel if you are properly using your elbows.

                You really do need lessons with someone who can help you with these things.
                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                • #9
                  Glad to hear you have adjusted sitting too far back in the saddle! Sitting in the middle of your saddle and lifting your chest will definitely help your equitation and help you find a good balance.

                  Other than that, I'd personally like to see your hands a little higher and upright. In line with your belly button with your thumbs on top. Try to also keep your hands even.

                  She's super cute! Very willing. Lovely team!


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                    Now YOU need to learn to slow her down from your body. Shortening the reins should make no difference in the weight she feel if you are properly using your elbows.

                    You really do need lessons with someone who can help you with these things.
                    I understand, lessons are in the plan. But I need to get her off property a few times to make sure she is ridable off site before l waste time and $ trucking out a hour or so to a quality trainer. Baby steps. She is happy and willing and learning fast so I think I am doing something right.


                    • #11
                      I agree with the opening your angles more, which it sounds like you worked on! You looked like you were riding defensively and anticipating something bad happened (not that you WERE anticipating anything, just what it looked like to me), or possibly bracing your body to keep her slowed down (which above recommendations of slowing your posting will help more with that, it feels sooo weird doing it at first but it really helps). You look like a very soft rider though! And a super lovely horse!


                      • #12
                        1st video: Shorten your reins ALOT, tweak them to get her head down, SIT BACK christ, and when you turn turn your shoulders with her to get more of a bend out of her body.

                        2nd video: Same thing, keep your shoulders and butt back, turn your shoulders with her body, and stop pulling on her bit( keep your hands still .)

                        3rd video: Same thing, sit back you look like your about to take a jump.

                        4th video: your jumps look good but you need to sit back before she stop abruptly and you fall over her head. not sitting back tells the horse to stop and its a matter of time before she does.

                        and the same thing with the last video.


                        • #13
                          where do you live? I might be able to hook you up with an AWESOME trainer for cheap prices.