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I usedacould and if you give me a chance, I might could again. Help!

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  • I usedacould and if you give me a chance, I might could again. Help!

    Okay COTHers, I've lurked for years and more recently (as I've gotten a job with more time sitting aimlessly at the computer) I'm becoming a more regular poster. Well I need some help/advice on becoming a more regular and in shape rider... Brief history of me:

    I started taking lessons when I was 10, showing 4' jumpers by 14, got my first horse when my trainer's 4' jumper sold, a Hanoverian mare who I showed successfully in Green Working Hunter with many champions and reserves... Blah, blah, went to college, gave mare back to previous owner, and absolutely mangled my shoulder, had two surgeries, fast forward a few years and here I am. I live on a guest ranch where I have been riding babies and starting them over fences. I have two horses - a cute paint gelding that is really just my pet/toy (but does pretty darn well at shows) and a fancy Hanoverian gelding that I sort of fell into. He's extremely nice, but extremely green.

    Okay, so the issue: I feel like I have an abundance of knowledge from my past years of showing heavily and working with greenies. I have noticed though that my equitation has gone down the tubes, my heel comes up, and I have caught myself falling on my horses's necks over larger jumps because I pinch my knee and jump ahead... I am working with a trainer with my hanoverian gelding, but most of our lessons consist of working on him. What exercises would be good for me to do to work on me and only me? I'm starting to feel like my... lack of fitness maybe?... is holding up his potential... When I ride my other horse, I can concentrate on myself, so what exercises would you recommend to bring me back? It's frustrating to look at pics of myself now and compare them to old ones.
    Southern Cross Guest Ranch
    An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia

  • #2
    I would say to take a lot of lessons on your easier Paint so you can work on yourself me. Lots. Once it's more engrained (muscle memory) it'll be easier to do on your green one. Make sure your trainer knows your goals for working on yourself sometimes too.


    • #3
      Personally, I think green horses are great to learn not to jump ahead on. It's just that the learning might be painful. I am pretty sure I broke my tailbone a month ago and it is just starting to feel okay again. I leaned, horse jumped huge, we landed and I bounced on my a$$. Horse was like Errr, why are you down there? Here's the thing, I don't lean any more. Although I probably will again once the painful reminder is gone.

      I was so paranoid about giving a big release to reward her effort that I sacrificed my position. And my a$$
      Trinity Farm LLC
      Quality hunters and jumpers at Midwest prices
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      • #4
        Check your saddle

        You may be beating yourself up needlessly...try a few different saddles to see if they support your position. I once bought a brand new custom fitted (I went down to Tad's place and he personally fitted my saddle to me) Tad Coffin A5 when they were just becoming all the rage. I thought I was losing my mind - couldn't ride in the thing to save my life. Was blaming myself for being unfit or sloppy or just a bad rider when I was really getting NO support from the saddle and it was in fact making me pivot on my knee leaving my lower leg very loose and also making me exhausted from "gripping to hang on" so much. I sold that darn thing and got a saddle that supports me and riding is easy, easy, easy, jumping big is easy, flatting no stirrups no problem, trails, xc, galloping all good. Play around with some different saddles and you might find that you are not the problem you thought you were.


        • #5
          Ditto on the saddle fit. Your green bean may have changed and you may be being pitched forward. If it's not your saddle, how about asking your trainer to help you with your position while you're on the green one? It will help you both and you can really only improve and work on yourself.... all the time! The other thing to do is weird...

          Recline your car seat back a few inches more than usual and drive while sitting up straight, not leaning back in the seat. Use your core to hold yourself up every time you sit down: in your car, at your desk (get an exercise ball to replace your desk chair), when you eat, watch telly, etc. Give it a go and see how much more you rely on your core strength to sit up; your riding will improve a lot! Have fun and don't be hard on yourself!


          • #6
            Weight train concentrating on abs/chest/back/shoulders/butt.


            • #7
              Originally posted by PugetSounder View Post
              Recline your car seat back a few inches more than usual and drive while sitting up straight, not leaning back in the seat.
              Don't have anything to add only that this is such a super idea!
              \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River


              • Original Poster

                Thanks guys!

                I'm actually pretty excited to try the car seat thing And I totally agree about how some horses can teach you not to jump ahead. I used to ride this 13.1 hand POA until we sold her. I would school her 3'6 and I'm 5'8... You can only imagine! Not only was my torso as long as her neck, but she had the ROUNDEST jump ever so I would literally nose dive if I jumped ahead... However, it's much easier for me to jump ahead of my horse.

                I'll show you a pic of said pony, but please don't crucify me for not wearing a helmet. I swear I know better now!


                ETA: This pic also kinda shows my issues. I have bad shoulders ever since I had surgery on my left shoulder and my heels are crap... And I duck
                Southern Cross Guest Ranch
                An All Inclusive Guest Ranch Vacation - Georgia


                • #9
                  Originally posted by OveroHunter View Post
                  I'll show you a pic of said pony, but please don't crucify me for not wearing a helmet. I swear I know better now!


                  ETA: This pic also kinda shows my issues. I have bad shoulders ever since I had surgery on my left shoulder and my heels are crap... And I duck
                  Oo! Oo! I "know" you now (based on the picture.)

                  Something else to add is you could buy one of the large balls used for Yoga exercises and do some balancing exercises with the ball. It helps you find your "center."
                  If wishes were horses then beggars would ride...
                  DLA: Draft Lovers Anonymous
                  Originally posted by talkofthetown
                  As in, the majikal butterfly-fahting gypsy vanners.


                  • #10
                    Make yourself do all the exercises the beginner riders do to get in their heels/stretch their legs down. Go back to the basics.

                    Double posting, vertical far, two point, etc all concentrating on getting down into your heel.
                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"