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Can we have an adult re-rider support group?

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  • greys- your post made me smile! I'm glad so many things are looking up, you're overdue for a big dose of happy. Mochi sounds awesome.

    fox- glad you are okay. I would have been nervous to remount. great job powering through.


    • Greys- not familiar with higher end leases, are these still month to month lease or you have to do it by the year? Horse #1 sounds like a dream to ride, and to get you where you comfy with the jumpers!


      • Hey everyone, I think about you all every so often and pop on to read all of your riding adventures. This group is incredibly supportive and I feel safe asking for your advice.

        Our Equestrian Association holds four jumping shows for the year, and I've entered the 50-70cm category.
        On Sunday I entered the second leg with Rebel, who loves jumping and zooming around the course - not for the faint of heart! He did wonderfully and didn't take off, but we did use a slightly stronger bit for our rounds. In the first round there was an awkward turn to the last jump, and he stumbled quite a bit. We were able to recover and circled back to the last jump. Unfortunately this put us in 4th place, but I am still happy with how we performed.

        I would like to share a video of our second round and hopefully get some feedback.


        My main concern for this round is the second to last jump. He took the long spot which caught me by surprise a bit and pulled me forward. It took me a second to recover, making us miss the turn for the last jump (again). When he pulled me forward he also took the opportunity to zoom off Truthfully I don't believe I was counting my strides towards this jump so I know it's my fault that I was caught by surprise. I would like a bit of advice on how to keep my position if my horse pulls my body forward like this. When Rebel begins to get tired, he jumps and lands heavily on his forehand, or he will really yank his head down. Sometimes I will just lose my contact or I will land on his neck like I did on that 7th jump.

        My coach also tells me that I tend to sit too deep in the saddle which pushes the horse forward. I think I am confusing sitting deep with waiting and making sure my horse doesn't rush towards a jump.

        Any bit of advice would be deeply appreciated!


        • skitten I think you need to make sure you are not sitting behind the vertical, that tends to be a more driving position. Next time you are riding, try to locate the feeling of being right on your sit bones, in front and behind. This is all about understanding your hip angles.

          When I watch your video, you are a little behind your sit bones, almost like your lower back is a little soft and your hip bones are pushing in a diagonal direction towards your horses shoulders. If you can sit with a more closed hip angle, you will be more stable.

          When you need to wait for a distance, you keep your hips closed but you bring your shoulders back and away from the horse. That is enough of a change to tell the horse to wait but keeping your hips closed keeps you in the motion and if the horse leaves early, you will likely stay with him and not get off balance. If also means your hips have less work to do when you go into two point, they are already semi-closed, you just have to let the horse come up to you.

          But it also prevents you from driving your horse forward. I think the driving seat is a less a function of what your upper body is doing and more about what your hips are telling your horse's back.

          I think it would help too if you had more weight in your heels. That way you are less dependent on your seat for balance and you weight is more evenly distributed through your leg. Maybe practice trotting in two point, and think about keeping your belly button close to the pomel but your shoulders and upper body tall and open. Hope that's helpful!!!


          • I can't add much more to Greys' really wonderful analysis. I agree on all her points.

            I'll add that Rebel is switching his lead a lot over the earlier jumps causing you to counter canter the turns. He's very balanced in his counter canter so you may not have noticed when riding. I can't tell in the video but if he came off that 7th jump and switched his lead. But it's really likely on a longer spot. If so, he may not have been balanced enough anyway for an inside turn to get to the last jump. It might be beneficial to practice going over jumps with a little outside leg so that you maintain your leads.

            As far as the rooting down and pulling you out of position, the best thing for those horses is to close your leg. You need to make it really instinctual so that every pull on your arms results in your leg tightening. Then the horse doesn't want to do that anymore and you also aren't moved out of position as much. Also try to make sure that you are balanced yourself in two point and not leaning on his neck at all over jumps. This will mean on the back end that you might land in a heap with the horse rather than prepared to help him out of something goofy.
            When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes.
            -William Shakespeare (Henry V)


            • Greys, I'd love a "drop fence" class! I'll have to start lobbying for that soon. Sounds like Thermal was fun and productive -- in my current situation I'd probably try to pursue Mochi as well, sounds like a great "for now" fun option.

              Foxglove, horses can really take you from peak to valley -- the best of days and then the "regrounding" I tried a horse once that absolutely didn't suit me and my trainer tried to convince me that the fact that he didn't run away when I fell made him perfect. While that is a good feature (especially on trail!), having suitability beyond that like you have with Rigel is really the best.

              Tigre, so sorry about the dog. That would haunt me for a while too, but sometimes things are unavoidable.

              PF, love the jump photo and the great progress updates. I aspire to 3'6" one day with G, but we're sure not there yet so I'll have to live vicariously.

              Dewey, I love Penny and the picture with the cat is adorable. I hope that she has many great years with your family.

              So, the saga with the leased large pony, C, continues. Our trainer starting singing "I hate you, I love you" every time my daughter jumped around on her in her lesson this weekend. The pony really is perfect at home in all situations, never a hoof out of line. While we look for a replacement the owner has offered to school her at an upcoming show and also do some "road trips" with her to neighboring facilities to try to simulate the show atmosphere to see if we can rehabilitate the herd bound issue. She hasn't had this problem in her past show career which was mostly outdoors, so we shall see if we can address the issue.

              My horse has been really responsive lately -- meaning that she will whoa when asked -- and I'm enjoying her adjustability and wondering if I've gotten better, or she's gotten better, or if this is just a phase before we go outdoors again in the spring. In any case, I'll take it!



              • Faye The right horse will turn up for you. I think its wise to think through what you are doing, and decide how much you can take on board. Having a horse is not just a hobby, it is a lifestyle. It takes a lot of time and energy, and money, and you want to enjoy it, not stress about it. I really admire how honest you are being about the whole situation. And so glad to hear that Toffman is doing better-- poor fellow, he has been through a lot.

                Greys Fingers crossed it all works out for you. It all sounds very exciting.

                Paradox You look amazing I love your seat over the fence. And your horse. It all looks so fab, smooth, and effortless.

                Fox-- yikes, what an adventure, so glad your horse kept his head and you are both OK.

                I know I am missing tons of people...

                PH and I did another lesson at the new barn. What they are doing is basically ground work with good old fashioned cowboy stuff for riding-- yes, you could call it NH but that term is so loaded it makes me want to run a country mile. And this is not silly magickal unicorn gimmicky stuff... I grew up around cowboys and Western riding and recognize this for what it is... The trainer is not selling majickal sticks or DVDs or anything... he just about gives away his time, in fact, he will give it away if you need something for a few minutes and you are not in a lesson, no pressure to sign up for another lesson, just, whenever I want to again, no worries.

                Anyhoo, long story short ( sorry, I am somewhat defensive in my own head about all of this-- and trying to reconcile all of it, but the thing is, trainer assesses PH as needing to come off his forehand, yes, he does, of getting him to build up his rear and use it more, and thus build more topline, yes, yes, and everything I have done up til now has made some progress but... only to a point, so if this works.... well.. then, it is worth trying...) I was riding PH in a halter, with the lightest of contact, and he had such a lovely fluid stop off my seat, like I barely wiggled, and boom, stop. Amazing. Talk about feeling with your horse. And his face-- he is happy. He was relaxed, soft, he looked amazed at things, in a good way, he looked happy. No tense, anxious, fussy argument. And the look on my horse's face did it all for me-- wow. We are going to keep down this road-- and see where we go. So far, so good.
                A canter is a cure for every evil. ~Benjamin Disraeli


                • sun- fluid stops are magic, I agree. I felt like supergirl when Pony stopped without reins, just a tad of seat and thinking to close my upper thighs.

                  skitten- do you do suppling exercises with Rebel, like leg yield, side pass, collection/extension at the walk/trot or even canter? Learning to balance the horse can help set him up for success and decrease the stumbles and increase your center of balance/ability to use your core to support Rebel.


                  • Went to another B show this weekend, was 3rd and 7th over fences (in the a/a's) out of 12 and 3rd in the under saddle--even though we stopped for a potty break in the middle of trotting the 2nd direction. We have our first A show together April 1st. Which braiding for should be interesting since his blanket hoods have rubbed his mane down to a couple strands over the winter. Attached a pic from last weekend

                    Will hopefully be moving up to the 3'3" A/O's sometime soon.


                    • Thanks everyone for the feedback. I will definitely work on the hip angles, I can see it clearly now that Greys has pointed it out. Can you suggest any riders that I can find videos of that can give me a nice image of how it should be?

                      Foxglove, he does seem balanced in the counter canter once there are nice big turns and tends to favor his right lead. In lessons we work on getting the correct lead over jumps and we only get it about 70% of the time. I will try using my outside leg like you suggested, because opening the rein over the jump doesn't seem to be a clear enough sign for him.

                      Originally posted by luckymaverick View Post

                      skitten- do you do suppling exercises with Rebel, like leg yield, side pass, collection/extension at the walk/trot or even canter? Learning to balance the horse can help set him up for success and decrease the stumbles and increase your center of balance/ability to use your core to support Rebel.
                      Maverick, in our warm ups we do a lot of collection and extension in the trot and 10m circles and serpentines. The day before this competition we spent an entire lesson doing this type of work along with spiral ins and he became so rounded and relaxed. If I can translate what we've learned from those exercises into cantering between jumps, it would be a lot easier for him!
                      All of this is in the trot, I will ask my coach what canter exercises we can do to help. We would only really do nice big canter circles to get him working through his hind.

                      I have also recently started doing a bit of low level dressage so I hope this will help us with balance and improving my aids and my seat.

                      Rebel has taught me a lot and I value our partnership. I think I've made a lot of improvement within the last year but I still have quite a ways to go I wish I could lease him and do a lot more work with him!


                      • RRB: I vote for both you and horse getting better!!

                        Hunter: Congrats!!! Super cute picture, looking forward to more of your adventures!

                        Skitten: Nice round! You've come a long lots from your first video, i forget, about a year ago? Rebel seems like a fun horse to learn from! Greys and Fox gave you some really good feedback, and I'm not at a level where I can really see what went wrong, only thing i noticed were the wrong leads (or cross cantering). My pony seems to land on the right lead if I can get my act together and look where I want to go, have you tried that? I am not coordinated enough to open my reins :P Also, can you do a simple change to correct the lead? Just my thoughts.

                        Toffee seems to be doing well. There are some foaming stuff coming out of his wound almost like hydrogen peroxide and he was like this from the clinic so I suppose it's okay. I continue to clean his shoulder so that the discharge won't bother his skin. He is trying really hard to be a good boy.


                        • Skitten, great advice so far! I will also comment on the pulling thing. How old is rebel? I ask because when my older horse, Chico, started pulling after jumps, I had his hocks injected. That helped a lot. I think he was maybe a bit sore. Seemed to help, so maybe it's something to consider.

                          Keep at it!

                          Tiger, oh, so sorry about the dog! Of course you had no control over it, but I know how hard it is. I get distressed over hitting a squirrel, or a bird, so hugs!!

                          H*H, congrats on a very good show. Love the pic!

                          Sun, all good horsemen/woman, no matter the "discipline" can teach us something! Enjoy it.

                          RRB, I hope you're able to find the right pony match soon. In the meantime, it's probably good the owner is helping school the pony! Fingers crossed.

                          Faye, I agree with your decision to pass on the horse. I would have as well. There will be others when the time is right. Or when the time is "more right"....as we all know, we tend to find the right horse when we're not looking!


                          Thanks, all, for your kind words and your advice on lead changes. I think I *KNOW* the concept, just can't get the timing. I'll work on it and as for help next lesson. When I worked on them with other trainer with Chico, he just got upset about it and would eventually start bucking. So I backed off. I figured at his age (it may have been physical), he deserves not to be drilled. But now with my youngster and with Katie, I need to get them.

                          Haven't ridden since Sunday due to weather. Today might be a good day to ride, though.
                          “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”
                          ¯ Oscar Wilde


                          • Hey Faye, I sure have! My confidence went up but I'm trying to get all of the little details right. Other coaches tell me I need to look where I want to go; I seem too engrossed in the jump I'm approaching. I'm getting better at it but it's all about timing and I haven't gotten it down yet. I need tons of practice and have only really started cantering courses in January.
                            I don't think Rebel can do flying changes very well but I'll ask my coach if she has any horses that can, so I can practice the aids. She's more concerned about me keeping my rhythm than trying to change things up in between jumps just because I'm not that experienced yet.

                            Paradox, Rebel is about 15 years old if I remember correctly. He is very stiff on his left side from his racing days. The riding school has a Dutch trainer working with him and he seems to be improving so far.


                            • No updates from me here. We have been working on canter departures for the past 2 weeks lol. I have now another ugly habit to break: tilting forward when giving aid to canter....and not sitting up and on my butt! We added a bucking/grab strap to the saddle for my to hold on to with my outside hand to keep the outside rein straight and connected. I haven't ridden since Monday only because work has been giving me lots of overtime and I just feel dead tired Hopefully I can muster up the energy to drag myself to the barn through rush hour traffic after work tomorrow...

                              On the upside: Dover has a $25 off $150+ purchase (until this Sunday) with free shipping on orders over $100...So I snagged a pair of Tredstep Donatellos for $175. These will be my first ever pair of tall real-leather field boots...Sooooo excited!


                              • Paradox - Wow you and Katie look great!! Amazing progress in the last year.

                                Greys - Mochi sounds adorable! I may be biased (first, because Cupid has cute tiny ears too, and second, because I love mochi the dessert), but I hope a short term lease works out.

                                Faye - I'm glad Toffee is on the mend. The last time Cupid had a bad wound I remember the "foam," I was a little alarmed at first but the vet said that's just the body keeping debris out.

                                Foxglove - Falling alone on the trail sounds scary, big props to you for getting back on and finishing the ride! And what a good boy Rigel was for standing still. We have a lot of deer around here too - so far I've only had a nasty run in with one in my car :/

                                HH - Looking good! Lol about the potty break, Cupid used to be bad about that and my former trainer said I need to get after him because it's bound to happen at a show if I don't.

                                Tiger - Glad to hear things are going well with Dodger, giant spook aside. I guess some things never change. Sorry about the dog incident, I know how terrible that must feel even though it was totally out of your control. RIP doggy.

                                Skitten - Good job riding a quick horse, that kind of scares me! Since Cupid is still green to jumping he sometimes takes long spots, so we've really been working on me staying in the saddle and getting him right to the base. For me, it helps to focus on 1) shoulders back, 2) hips forward (I think [my] belly button to [the horse's] ears), and 3) pushing my feet out in front of me. But I have pretty specific bad habits so this just gets me back in a more normal place, not sure if it helps everyone.

                                YG - Yay on your boots! I got a new pair for myself for Christmas but I've been saving them for when the mud goes away, lol. I wore them for the first time last weekend, it's kind of perfect since right now I'm just riding Cupid about 15 minutes at a walk around the property, good opportunity to start breaking them in!

                                Cupid's wound is looking great, and closing up! We are looking forward to getting back to work in April, with maybe a dressage schooling show in May as the target if all goes well. He has been handling his stall rest so well, and been such a champ about me cleaning and wrapping his wound daily. <3 But he'll be very happy when he can go back out and play with his buddies (hopefully without hurting himself again!!!!)

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                                • sunflower I'm a very big fan of all the ground work...I know there's lots of baggage with some of it. But I think if you are getting such good results and by good, I mean a happy, responsive and thus safer horse, you are doing right by PH.

                                  I keep thinking of the limited cowboy ground work I did with Bravo when he came from Europe. At first, I was intimidated to hand walk him, he broke by BO's ankle spooking right onto her when she was working with him. Fast forward a year later, and I trusted him to behave when Bitsa's daughter took him for a handwalk at a busy Thermal.


                                  RRB I think it's a good thing to keep your pony options open. I do hope the offsite visits help with the herdbound behavior but as you know, your responsibility is to your daughter. As for you, I bet it's a combination of your riding her better is making her a better horse and the promise of spring is making all of less depressed!!!

                                  Skitten There are so many incredible riders to watch. McLain really stays so in the center of his horse, his balance just seems to never waver. He will roll over his hip bones and drive when he has to, but for the most part, it's all very still.

                                  Luciana Diniz also stays admirably with the horse's motion with her hips. I actually saw this ride at the Saut last year (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F2BKmBeyIqY), this arena is very small, very crowded with giant jumps and spooky. It takes a lot of work to keep the horse's momentum through the class, but despite this, she never really rolls over her hips, despite at times being very vertical with her body. It's always a little hard to tell with a hunt coat, but I'm impressed how deep she stays in her hips.

                                  This is actually something I personally need to work on. I like to bring the whole of my hips forward over jumps rather than "folding" with hips closed. The ONE exception is the horse I tried that was a bit too strong at thermal last weekend, (see photo). For me, this is better heel and hip depth than what I usually do. I'm still a little too far out of the saddle and my hips are too open, but generally, but Rome wasn't built in a day!!

                                  Also, I agree with PF some of that lunging for the bit could be an indication of soreness. Sometimes I think my signature line should be: What Dewey and Paradox Farm said

                                  Faye I think Toffee's good behavior is a reflection of the care and patience you have shown him. Any idea on timelines for when you could ride him again. Can you email me about your trainer's response by the way?

                                  YG Exciting news on the boots!!! Would you consider doing your canter transitions without stirrups. Sometimes that really helps with leaning?

                                  Hunter Great news on the show, so great how confidently you are moving right up and delivering. That feels so good! I was giggling over the potty break in the flat, I've had quite a bit of luck in flat classes where "mistakes were made" that the judge didn't catch. Definitely easier to sneak those in the 2nd direction when the judge has already pinned those top horses. Congrats! Can't wait to see how it goes in the low AOs, super exciting!

                                  Cupid LOVE that picture, the surroundings, the horse! Beautiful! I am really looking forward to the dressage show adventures. I think it will be so powerful for Cupid's development!
                                  Last edited by greysfordays; Mar. 22, 2017, 02:57 PM. Reason: Cupid posted at the same time as I did!!!


                                  • greysfordays I have been thinking about that but I'm super scared about falling off! BUT now that I have the grab strap attached, the transition to no-stirrups could be less scary. I know whenever I let my legs hang without the stirrups my body naturally corrects itself to sit up straight and have that neutral spine

                                    I really wish my trainer would do some lunging on me, though. Only because I want to try to do no-stirrups but doing no-stirrups while still having to steer is so hard at the moment lol. I've never really bought the topic up because I've felt that she would do it if she feels like I need it, but because she never brought it up maybe she feels like I don't need it??


                                    • ygsoul I wouldn't worry too much about what she thinks. I would ask her for it. You know in your heart it would help. You've heard from others it would help. Why not at least find out what she thinks? Maybe she hasn't considered it, maybe she's never found it useful, maybe she doesn't have the ideal horse for lunging. But I would at least ask. You're well within your rights. And honestly, everyone could benefit from it!


                                      • Faye, it's goof to hear that Toffee is healing and allowing himself to be treated. Please keep us posted--I always liked him and thought you two were a good pair.

                                        TC--gorgeous picture and great news about Cupid!

                                        YG--what Greys said.

                                        Greys--what a happy memory. I remember when you and BITSA met up and you posted those pics originally. So sweet! Beautiful pic of you jumping--I wish I could look half as elegant.

                                        Saturday is the first show of the year for our little local circuit, and it's at home, so it will be the perfect venue for Penny, who makes her debut in the blue-red class as "My Two Cents." It's absurd how excited I am. I jumped her down a few crossrail lines yesterday under the trainer's eye, and she was so good! She was a little too eager and really took me to the jumps for the first time. Once I jumped her into a line and she grabbed the bit; I had to turn her away from the second fence to get her attention back on me. And guess what: when I turned her aside, she did a perfect lead change! She's going to be an easy one to teach. The next time down the line, she waited for me. Trainer was very impressed! I did maybe three lines and called it a day. DD did some flatwork with her, and she is so cute, I can't stand it. She is also going in the pleasure class just for the experience of being in the ring with others. Her leads are still a little iffy, but she needs to be in the ring.

                                        I am going to ride Sky in the adult eq and the medal class since we actually have enough people to have one. Sky's retired from the hunter/pleasure divisions in the local circuit, so that's all we'll do. DD will groom for me--I'm looking forward to that. After all the shows when I groomed for her, I guess she owes me one! I hope she will take some pics as well.

                                        I heard a neigh. Oh, such a brisk and melodious neigh as that was! My very heart leaped with delight at the sound. --Nathaniel Hawthorne


                                        • ygsoul I think I'm right with you there. I've never done a trot to canter with no stirrups, but I'm sure it will help because i tend to lift my heel too much when I am asking for the transition. But, I have lost my stirrups over jumps and during the canter before so I know I can at least sit the canter without stirrups
                                          I will ask my coach what she thinks about that as well, since we have a dressage show coming up. You and I are of similar age so it's always nice to have someone understand what you're going through on your riding journey.
                                          Out of curiosity, how many times have you fallen off since you started back riding?