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Riding Critique

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  • Riding Critique

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hR80XUnBwg

    This is me and the chestnut-Appaloosa-mare Chelsea. I was using spurs for the first time in this video so she was a bit PO'ed at me. Jumping starts at 1:00.

    Things I know:
    -my reins are too loose
    -we are moving WAAAAAAAAAAY too slow (ongoing issue)
    -I'm leaning at a lot of the jumps

    I'm also trying to send her forward with my arms (let me know how that works out, self) with a lovely arm-shakey-pumping thing?

    Any ideas to fix these, or anything else to point out, would be greatly appreciated!

    ETA: A dislike? D: Just thumbs down me on here, it stings less!
    Last edited by PonyPeep; Nov. 10, 2012, 09:14 PM.
    Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

  • #2
    You look fine for your level. Spurs would not be my answer though. You have a stick....use it. If she doesn't move forward....smack behind your leg as you use you leg. She looks like a smart horse...she is slow because you are not demanding more. Almost everything I see...your hands moving too much to steer (see where you cross your hand over her neck at points) all probably stem from her not respecting your leg. So use your leg (not the reins) to keep her straight and forward and if she doesn't respond when you first ask, you need to back up your leg with the stick......this is where riding with a dressage whip on the flat is helpful.

    Good luck. I actually think she is really cute and you look like you are developing a nice base. Just keep getting time in the saddle.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
      You look fine for your level. Spurs would not be my answer though. You have a stick....use it. If she doesn't move forward....smack behind your leg as you use you leg. She looks like a smart horse...she is slow because you are not demanding more. Almost everything I see...your hands moving too much to steer (see where you cross your hand over her neck at points) all probably stem from her not respecting your leg. So use your leg (not the reins) to keep her straight and forward and if she doesn't respond when you first ask, you need to back up your leg with the stick......this is where riding with a dressage whip on the flat is helpful.

      Good luck. I actually think she is really cute and you look like you are developing a nice base. Just keep getting time in the saddle.
      I've been riding with the stick since I started riding her (August) but it is to the point where I am too reliant on it and it's not really working anymore so I'm smacking her behind my leg down the entire long side. So spurs are my next option and this way, my stick can be more of a "OK, you NEED to listen," whereas beforehand I was having to do Pony Club kicks and be beating her (not literally) with my stick. However, I agree with the rest of your points. Thank you!
      Last edited by PonyPeep; Nov. 10, 2012, 09:38 PM.
      Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

      Comment


      • #4
        How much flat work do you do? I'd love to see you working on getting your leg around and working on extension and collection so you're better able to adjust your distances as needed.

        ETA: Think of getting the horse to PUSH from behind and not PULL with the front end. This visual helps me a lot!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by PonyPeep View Post
          I've been riding with the stick since I started riding her (August) but it is to the point where I am too reliant on it and it's not really working anymore so I'm smacking her behind my leg down the entire long side. :laugh: So spurs are my next option and this way, my stick can be more of a "OK, you NEED to listen," whereas beforehand I was having to do Pony Club kicks and be beating her (not literally) with my stick. However, I agree with the rest of your points. Thank you!
          Then I would suspect you are not using the stick correctly....when people say that it isn't working, they are usually just tapping with them. You absolutely should not being having to smack a horse the whole way down the long side. I rarely have to use a stick more than once to get my point across....even on less forward thinking horses You have to think of using aides lightly....you do not want to always be nagging a horse. So the reward when they go forward is you do less....but when they don't go forward to when you ask nicely, you need to strengthen the aid. I do ride with spurs on every horse, but also rarely use them....Even with your spurs...you really never got that horse in front of your leg, that is why I didn't think spurs were your answer.
          Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Nov. 10, 2012, 09:51 PM.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Jo View Post
            How much flat work do you do? I'd love to see you working on getting your leg around and working on extension and collection so you're better able to adjust your distances as needed.

            ETA: Think of getting the horse to PUSH from behind and not PULL with the front end. This visual helps me a lot!
            I think adjusting distances is a tad premature for this pair.

            OP, you appear to be building a good initial foundation. Your lower leg is secure for most of the video and your core is coming to work. The finer points will come in time!

            But since you asked, the one point I have to make is please, please, please, lose the piano hands. That is one of the basics that you have to establish now. Thumbs UP. Holding your hands like that changes the entire dynamic of the bit in the horse's mouth (and it's just plain unattractive).

            Work with your trainer to keep your adorable horse in front of your leg. Forward has to come first. Keep up the good work!
            Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

            The Grove at Five Points

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Piano hands is also a big issue of mine that I'm struggling to work on, I just need to drill it into my head. Thank you guys! I am attempting to really get her in front of my leg but it is an ongoing battle since I'm used to very forward horses. I will keep working at it.

              Thanks for the compliments!
              Proud member of the COTH Junior (and Junior-at-Heart!) clique!

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by ACMEeventing View Post
                I think adjusting distances is a tad premature for this pair.
                Perhaps my phrase was a bit premature, but I don't think it's too early for her to learn about adjusting a horse's stride. Then she wouldn't need to take such a dive over that vertical on the diagonal, because she'd been working on the flat at moving UP or shortening, as need may be.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Forgive me, not trying to nitpick, just giving an honest answer.

                  You're riding the forehand of the horse. Just think about your seat and legs as the gas pedal, not your arms . I think what will help you alot is to sit up, ride a deeper seat, and think about riding from back to front to get a more forward pace.
                  Riding in a half seat is very forgiving for the horse's back, but its only functional if your base of support has the strength to keep the "package" together, while maintaining good contact with the mouth. If you can focus on sitting up straighter, hold a decent contact from hand to mouth, and use your seat and legs, you'll start to see that impulsion from the hind end.

                  Do some no stirrup work to strengthen your legs, they're a little loose. Keep your elbows in.

                  One last thing is your toes...they're pointed outward a little too far. (ok...now I'm nitpicking! Sorry!!)

                  You guys make a great pair! Good luck.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PonyPeep View Post
                    Piano hands is also a big issue of mine that I'm struggling to work on, I just need to drill it into my head. Thank you guys! I am attempting to really get her in front of my leg but it is an ongoing battle since I'm used to very forward horses. I will keep working at it.

                    Thanks for the compliments!
                    Shortening your reins so you have contact will encourage you not to have piano hands. I know that sometimes people think that if they keep the reins loopy, they will be soft, but if you realize that your reins are like a telephone line, where you are communicating with them, having them go from loose to contact, and back is actually losing communication with them. And when you do have to use them to turn or something the jolt that goes from no contact to contact is greater than if you kept a constant contact, and then just close your fingers or lightly pull pack. It's not the "nothing, pull/TURN LEFT, nothing" it's more of a "I'm here, your fine, keep going like that, now turn left a little, good, your fine", type of communication.

                    If you get any free time to work on things, do some transitions in 2 point while not using the reins/neck for balance. If you feel like you are falling back, your lower leg is too far forward. If you feel like you are falling forward, your lower leg is too far back. It almost looks like you are pinching with your knee a little, so your lower leg slides back. Sometimes a saddle with a too narrow twist will encourage that with a slim/flat thighed rider. If they give you the chance, try riding in some different saddles to see if you find one that makes your leg feel like it just hangs in the right place, and doesn't make you feel like you have to pinch with your knee to get contact through your thigh and lower leg.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      When using the whip to ask for forward. I squeeze, if there is no response I give the horse one quick hard smack behind the leg. If the horse goes up a gear or goes faster then you wanted, DON'T TOUCH THE REINS, any forward response is a good response. Thats how most horses get confused is the rider asking for forward but then immediatly asking the horse to slow down because its faster then they wanted.
                      Even if the horse gallops just let it for at least the length of the long side then you can slow it down.
                      If the horse goes at the speed you wanted, don't kick, squeeze, cluck or anything even if you think its going to slow down. If the horse slows down before you asked it to another whack with the stick. You need to teach the horse that you set the pace and that horse maintains it until you ask for something different.

                      As for your riding, I think your doing a great job, nice and tidy on a horse tricky horse. Once you get that horse thinking forward it will be so much easier for you.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I couldn't watch your video because its not set to be viewable on mobile devices (and I only have a tablet). If you want to change that in YouTube I would love to watch.

                        However, my trainer has some slow ones. Plus, she coaches for IHSA where some horses just DO NOT want to go, spurs or crops be damned. The joke is that I can light up any horse, and there is some truth to that. But our trainer will tell riders who can't get a horse to go to "go crazy!" What she means by this is send energy! Get after the horse. Kiss, growl, get up in a 2 point, give them a loose rein (grab mane if you're unsteady), smack her with the crop and get her to MOVE. Any forward canter is fine! It does not have to be pretty, and you do not have to be pretty, you just have to GO. And I think the "go crazy" visual is great for this because it gives you the image of the energy you really need to accomplish this.

                        The nice part is, you don't have to always do this. After a couple rides of starting out like this, she'll get the idea and start moving forward better. The trick then is to be consistent. Decide how much you're willing to leg. If you leg that much and she still doesn't move, she gets one firm smack. Don't fall back into the frantic legging/cow kicking pattern, or she'll just fall back into her old ways too.
                        Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by PonyPeep View Post
                          I've been riding with the stick since I started riding her (August) but it is to the point where I am too reliant on it and it's not really working anymore so I'm smacking her behind my leg down the entire long side. So spurs are my next option and this way, my stick can be more of a "OK, you NEED to listen," whereas beforehand I was having to do Pony Club kicks and be beating her (not literally) with my stick. However, I agree with the rest of your points. Thank you!
                          BFNE is right. If you are using your stick down the entire long side, you are using in incorrectly and she's learned to ignore it. Use it right and you will only have to use it once or twice and she will believe you mean it. It might take a bit to get her believing it again, but it's better than tryin to rely on spurs...especially because spurs shouldn't be a "go" device: you will starting turning your toe out and lifting your heel if you rely on your spurs for go.

                          Your horse is ignoring your leg and you need to teach her that's not okay. As GM would say, "Attack" her with your whip...and when she does go, make sure you do not fall back or pull on her mouth.

                          You sound like you know what your issues are (long reins, piano hands, pumping arms, hands that move A LOT, no respect of the leg) so work on them. Shorten your reins. Stop pumping with your arms. Straighten the wrists and turn those thumbs up. One thing that might address a lot of these is holding your whip with both thumbs. It will be perpendicular to your horse's neck. You will have to keep your thumbs up, you won't be able to use an extreme opening rein and if you want any control, you will have to shorten your reins....AND you won't have your crop to use so you will have to be better with your legs...for both go and steering.

                          I think you make a cute pair with your horse, but you've got a lot of bad habits that you need to address now.
                          Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                          Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I ride Apps a lot. Your mare reminds me a bit of mine, with that "Spanish" head!

                            I have had mine for eight years since he was three. I am going to give you my theory of riding Apps. Mine is smart smart smart and never puts a foot wrong. He is very proud of his job, but can be LAZY! Or maybe I should say, he can find me very boring!

                            Your mare is very cute. She perked up when she was doing something interesting to her, like cantering the little x's.

                            Here is my advice for getting her more forward to your leg. Apps like to be reasoned with and treated intelligently, and IMO do not respond well to brute force. They like exercises that have a point to them. For example, to get her going forward off your leg, try this exercise. Go into your trot, transition to a marching walk for a few steps, trot again, repeat and repeat until she offers the trot from the walk. At that point, you may not even need to go all the way down to the walk. The point is to get her working with you and she will start offering the trot herself. Now you are a team and she finds it interesting.

                            I have resorted to a smack with a stick, and yes it gets his attention. But we have a lot more fun when I try to keep him from being bored and make things interesting.
                            Last edited by ToTheNines; Nov. 12, 2012, 05:57 AM.
                            Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can't see the video on my iPad but i will say to get her forward you have to use the crop at the correct time and correctly. Maybe change to a whip, this way you are getting her rear instead of behind your leg and that may change her a bit since she has probably learned to ignore the crop. Keep a light steady contact sit up and deep and drive from your seat and hand. Leg on and give a squeeze if ignored immediately whip, you have to be quick. A good solid smack on the rear and then release the pressure. Don't hit her in the mouth or slow her down, let her go. If she canters let her canter a few strides and bring her back down and ask again. If you nag with the leg or whip she will learn to ignore it. She sounds pretty dead sided and this is hard to retrain. I would focus more on flatwork until you get her forward and listening to your aids. She also has to learn to move off your leg. Start leg yields and turns on the forehand first at the walk then progress to leg yields at the trot. Work on bedding lines like serpentines and ask for bend off your leg.
                              Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I think you look great OP. I love seeing a softer ride from someone at your level because it is always easier to ride more than it is to "ride less" if that makes sense.

                                A couple of things I would work on is keeping your elbows in; this will also help with the piano hands. After that really really concentrate on your leg. You want to lengthen and wrap your legs around the pony. That will help you get more of a motor and help you sit up.

                                Comment

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