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  • Equitation!

    This is my first post in a while! But anyway, I have been working a lot on my horse, and I feel like now that he is very broke and quiet, that it is time to take off the irons and work on myself!

    I'm posting a video from an equitation class on the first weekend of February, that I won under both judges out of 11.

    I know I really REALLY have to work on my legs being still over the fences, not being stiff in my 2-point (probably has to do with my weak legs..), and keeping my rhythm around the rollbacks.

    Now this is a video from this past Sunday:

    I still need to work on all of the things that I have listen before. But what do you think? Anything is greatly appreciated!

  • #2
    The first video was a bit dark and with the dark colored horse it was hard to see your leg position. Sweet horse.

    The second video was clearer and the biggest problem I can see is that your legs (especially the left one) are too far behind the girth...all the time. It may be because you are pinching with your knee.

    Also, you look advanced enough that you should not need to look down to check your diagonal in your closing circle. It's a little thing but it matters.

    Work without irons to increase your leg strength. You have an excellent build for equitation which is a great advantage.

    Good luck to you


    • #3
      I agree, with Addison, that you need to keep your legs a bit farther forward. use your lower leg more than your knee. I think you are ready for some higher jumps!


      • #4
        I agree with the no stirrup work. Just remember, if you look down, your toe should be directly under your knee. Your stirrups look a tad bit long too

        Another thing I saw was the lack of consistent contact to you horses mouth. Work on steadying your hands and start feeling your horses mouth.

        Good luck!


        • #5
          I haven't seen the video, but as for the knee pinching thing, I can tell you that its a habit which breaks down your performance and you'll never understand why until you feel some jumps without knee pinching.

          Practice two point with your weight distributed evenly in your thighs and lower leg. Just get your knee a scoach off the saddle, or lying against it, but no pinching, no pressure with the knee. Practice sinking your weight down into your heel and lower leg. Trot towards a cross, rail, focused on never using your knee over the jump. Think about your lower leg, and at that crucial moment coming off the jump, let your weight go into your lower leg.

          Man! Suddenly, your jump is smooth, your leg stable, no tipping forward or back, you flowed!! Have a friend read the above paragraph to you as you trot some crossrails, starting with "Trot woards a cross rail, focused..." etc. and coach you - no knees, use your lower leg and sink into your leg over the jump.

          Good luck. If you are becoming conscious of what you are doing, you are well on the path towards changing it. See, I was brought up with the adage: "Grip with your knees!!" And so I did. Until recently, when I was coached about my lower leg, and no pinched knees, and my jumping has imrpoved dramatically.
          Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


          • #6
            First, I love your horse. He looks lovely. I think you guys look pretty good! Although your leg does seem awfully far back under you, maybe like you're riding on your crotch a little too much, just a bit too perched forward, if that makes sense.


            • #7
              Your stirrups are too long. Raise them now. You will be amazed at how much easier it is to distribute your weight into your lower leg and stop the knee pinching. If a hole feels too much, punch a half hole.


              • Original Poster

                Thank you guys SOO much for the feedback and the compliments on my horse! It is all greatly appreciated!

                I am going to take the stirrups off of my saddle completely.. It worked great for me last summer, so why not! I really think I am pinching with my knee too much as well.. I never used to half problems with my leg until my horse started taking care of me and I started slacking off on the equitation work. I have a lesson today, so I'll try and get my friend to video tape me without my stirrups, and you can maybe give me some pointers then!

                My horse, Moose, this past week was actually "telling" on me! I love him for it. Even my trainer said he's getting sick of being the baby sitter, now it is my turn to step up to the plate and start riding and not being the passenger. I actually did shorten my stirrups from how they were last time.. I'll shorten them another hole though just in case.

                I will also ask my trainer to start setting up poles in front of the jumps to get me to focus. I do get WAAY to impatient to fences which probably causes my entire body to go out of whack, and my horse to think "uhm, what do you think your doing?". Oh and on my last video, they never moved the fences up from novice youth height because they wanted the show to go faster.. They did not even move them up for the jumpers which is supposed to be 3'3-3'6!

                My senior year, I am planning to quit AQHA all together and do the 3'6 hunters on the A circuit.. We jump bigger at home and he seems much happier and willing over the bigger fences, so maybe he will do better on the A circuit? Who knows!

                Here's my working hunter course:

                As you can see, right after my first fence, I pulled him to the outside causing him to change. I didn't even realize I did it! I did it 2 times before in my first two classes! UGH my bad habits! Also, to my first inside line I almost got too impatient and did not keep him in the bridle, also causing him to hit it. I'm really thankful that he's FINALLY telling on me and not being a babysitter.

                Once again, thank you everyone for the great tips and critique!