• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.



Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

What are you doing to become a better rider?

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • What are you doing to become a better rider?

    I want to become adept at no stirrups work but do not just want to lose the stirrups cold turkey (I'm 49 and don't want to kill myself- or develop bad habits like a pinched knee). I am working on dropping my stirrups for short amounts of time with the goal of working up to at least 20 - 30 minutes no stirrups. I have no problems riding bareback and have a fairly independent seat and leg. I also want to correct my tendency to "jump ahead." I don't do it 100% of the time but I want to completely lose the habit. I have been working on jumping with no hands on neck, looking ahead or to the side (not down!!!!!), planning to move up to jumping with no stirrups. Hoping to find someone to make me do no reins on the lunge line!

    So what are you doing? Let's give each other positive feedback and support!

  • #2
    I'm learning a new discipline.

    I'm at school out-of-state and my horse (hunter) is back home. I met a girl wanting to start a collegiate stock horse team and I said, love to join but don't have a horse here. She got me in contact with the lady whose place we'd be practicing at and who had horses available for lease. So now I'm riding a 3 y/o registered AQHA, nice little horse (well, coming from HJ land, I think he's little!), very well trained for his age. I'm having a lot of fun. It's so much fun to be just trotting along, then lean back, put your feet in front of you and say WHOA, and the horse just plants their feet.

    I'm getting the chance to ride something green again, since the barn I moved to in January doesn't really offer that opportunity and it's low key fun. We're going to be concentrating on the pleasure and trail classes, I don't know if we'll ever show but it doesn't really matter to me. I'm learning something new and getting to experience a whole new side of the industry. And really at this point, any contact with a horse is appreciated.


    • #3
      I'm riding the types of horses I know I don't ride well! Part of that is prep for IHSA, but a bigger part is wanting to be able to get on anything and feel at least somewhat comfortable. My type of ride is uphill and forward, and I have been trying to ride as many downhill/slow types as I can. I'm really starting to feel a difference, and going back and forth between the types is teaching me how to be a more subtle rider and only use enough aid to get what I need.
      Last edited by Rel6; Oct. 6, 2012, 03:23 AM. Reason: spelling


      • #4
        At 44 I feel impatient at times, often thinking things like "tomorrow I'm going to stop jumping ahead - forever." And I long for the perfect leg. Completely eliminating fear. Never hunching my shoulders.....

        What I do is stay fit by swimming and doing the elliptical trainer. Dropping my stirrups (I can now get around the ring once). I've had my own horse for a year now, and a new arena, so I can ride 5-6 days a week.

        Yesterday I was frustrated after a fairly crappy ride. I try to keep everything in perspective by reminding myself that in only 5 years I've made great progress, and if it was no longer challenging I wouldn't be as driven.
        Last edited by keatssu; Oct. 6, 2012, 09:58 AM. Reason: Typo


        • #5
          I'm also 49 and am trying to make October "no stirrups month". I pulled the stirrups off my saddle Tuesday and am planning it again today. We will see how it goes! I may chicken out as the month goes on.
          ~ Citizens for a Kinder, Gentler COTH...our mantra: Be nice. ~


          • #6
            I am riding a pony! He really needs strong leg and seat aids, as well as a longer rein. These are all things that I have problems with, so he forces me to deal with my problems rather than hiding behind a well-trained horse.

            I also need to just get stronger and bossier with my aids, so the gym is helping with that!


            • #7
              Most of what I'm doing is taking place off the horse's back. I'm not great at dieting, but many days when i hit a slump and am craving something nutritionally worthless, the thing that stops me is my riding. That's the only thing that holds any power, not a bathing suit or whatever- its thinking about how all the candy bars add up to a sluggish, huffing and puffing ride.
              I pass the slow time at work imagining how the typical ride goes and what my aides need to feel like, improving my posture and becoming more self aware. Doesn't happen all the time but I can use all the help I can get!
              Journal keeping after my lessons. I've been slacking on it a little, but I definitely retain more when I spend the time thinking about the lesson and recalling what my trainer has been saying.
              Yoga weekly, and practicing at home too. Helps with isolating certain muscle groups and improving my posture and core. Plus, i feel better after riding!
              I know there are a million other things I could be doing in addition.... :-)


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by snaffle635 View Post
                I'm also 49 and am trying to make October "no stirrups month". I pulled the stirrups off my saddle Tuesday and am planning it again today. We will see how it goes! I may chicken out as the month goes on.
                You're a tough lady!!! I wish you well. I'm still going to use the "ease into it slowly" method. Keep us posted! You'll have legs of steel!!!

                Thanks everyone for your responses so far and for those yet to come. It is interesting to read what folks are doing! The other thing I am doing is taking regular lessons with the wonderful trainer that I started with last April. We have improved exponentially since then!!! But still have a long row to hoe.


                • #9
                  I've lost weight and I try to ride without stirrups every ride. I'm also aiming to ride 4-5 days a week, which is going to be more difficult going into the winter.


                  • #10
                    Lots of admiration for those of you who ride without stirrups. I'm 60 and have decided not to fall off, if possible! Every time I ride I do a quantity of posting down, up, up. I can pretty much do this indefinitely now without losing breath or balance. It has improved my leg tremendously, and I do have my stirrups in the event of a sudden spook.
                    Mon Ogon (Mo) and Those Wer the Days (Derby)


                    • #11
                      Yoga and pilates! A lot of my position issues on the flat (dressage-I'm an eventer) are due to my own crookedness/bad posture.


                      • #12
                        I try to get on atleast 3 a day. I will say I have gotten lax in my no stirrup work (used to have 2 lessons a week that was 45 min of intense flatwork without stirrups).


                        • #13
                          Karosel, isn't that funny how it works?? Once I realized what what my trainer was saying, that my collapsing shoulder was interfering with the horse's inside shoulder, it was much more incentive to get stronger, so that i could maintain that symmetry and lift through my own upper body. The horses don't lie....


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bits619 View Post
                            Karosel, isn't that funny how it works?? Once I realized what what my trainer was saying, that my collapsing shoulder was interfering with the horse's inside shoulder, it was much more incentive to get stronger, so that i could maintain that symmetry and lift through my own upper body. The horses don't lie....

                            Yes! It's incredibly hard to straighten a horse when your own body is a pretzel! If I can't even stand up with out slouching and being crooked how can I possibly expect to ride with good straight posture? <sigh> being a tall female has its downside

                            Speaking of which, I'm going to pop in a Rodney Yee dvd and do an hour of power yoga. Better practise what I preach


                            • #15
                              Weightlifting 2x a week! I've avoided weightlifting for who knows how long but started in July and I am loving every minute of it, and it helps with so much. A lot of the same principles apply (no knees overshooting your toes, flat back, relaxed hip, weight in the heels) and you don't actually get bigger, I've gone down a size in breeches.
                              If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM


                              • #16
                                I ride at least once a week bareback or no stirrups (I only ride 3 times a week).

                                Tomorrow I'm going to start running again. It's finally "cooling off" here I'm SoCal so I don't have any excuses anymore.

                                I've also started being a working student at the barn once a week. It's a new barn for me and the trainer grew up English but now rides almost entirely western. It's great because I get the exposure to a different discipline, I usually ride 2-3 horses that day that I wouldn't normally ride and challenge me a lot, and I learn a lot from just being around the barn (handling training issues, maintenance of horses, listening to the vet when he's out...)

                                What I should do: stop slacking about my weight lifting class twice a week.

                                Go to the chiropractor then get to yoga twice a week to stay even! (I'm so crooked right now it's clearly affecting my riding.)
                                Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                                • #17
                                  30 min of cardio 4 times a week then weights for 20 min after. It has worked wonders for me over the past few weeks! I have been getting so much more out of lessons because I am stronger and more fit.


                                  • #18
                                    I moved my horse to my trainer's barn without any sort of arena. In just a week it has been so beneficial for my horse and for me. He's doing lots of hill work and is no longer sucking back or being resistant every single ride like he was at my old barn. (Old barn had a smaller indoor and an outdoor, but the only decent footing was the indoor unless it happened to rain and we haven't gotten a lot of that this year.) As a result, I'm learning how to ride him differently (more like a "normal horse"!) since I no longer have to worry about pushing him forward as he is now light and forward all on his own. He's also no longer spooky and even though I wear them, I've had no reason to use spurs on him in over a week. It has been the best medicine for both of us.
                                    In a society that profits from your self-doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.


                                    • #19
                                      Things I am currently doing:

                                      1. Keep a riding journal. I log all of my rides in a journal with a few brief notes- how the horse felt, what issues came up, things that need more work, etc. This has helped quite a bit with riding and showing multiple horses (I normally ride anywhere from 4-6 horses at a time). It allows me to go back and review what I need to work on with each individual horse rather than rely on my memory.

                                      2. Show in dressage. Riding in a separate, but very related discipline has been good for my flat work. It has helped me lengthen my leg and develop my seat. It also forces me to be very accurate and has been good mileage for my horses. It's also nice to have the tests to look over for review.

                                      3. Video/photograph myself riding and showing. Obviously I can spot position flaws in myself much better this way. It is a double edged sword though. Often the horse looks much better than it felt while I look much worse than it felt!

                                      4. I have been trying to make my training rides more "intentional" meaning that I don't just go through the motions (especially with my warm up). I ride with more of a purpose, trying to create more quality and consistency. I also have been challenging my horses with new exercises and harder flatwork.

                                      Things I need/want to do:
                                      1. Work more without my stirrups. There is just no reason why I shouldn't!

                                      2. Exercise more off the horse. I am young and thin but I know I need to get into the habit of staying fit NOW before I get old and fat!


                                      • #20
                                        Here are some things I started doing recently:

                                        1) lots of 2-point at a canter and hand gallop. Take one foot out of the stirrup and hold one hand out to the side with other hand bridging the reins. Alternate which foot is in/out of the stirrup and which hand is holding the reins.

                                        2) Go Fox Hunting. Learn to ride over varied terrain at whatever pace is dictated by the group.