Muddy Day

The rain came as promised but it wasn’t as bad as we’d all thought it was going to be. The rain had eased by the time I left for riding this morning. The lake however at our yard was huge. My socks were soaked through by the end of the day.

I rode Shadow twice today and we had a lot of fun. He was a little slow in walk, not as quick as usual in trot but by the end of our first ride we had a brilliant canter. I did lose both stirrups but did not feel phased at all and just sat there in the canter, loving it.

My second ride, I asked if someone could film some of my riding as I am taking an HTML course and my class project requires I have some video media and seen as I have chosen to do a riding website for practice, I thought it’d be fun to get some videos. And now you can all see what a terrible rider I am.

So the second ride was good, a lot of road work. And the one canter we tried, I slowed him out of the canter as we nearly knocked my RI and I got hit in the head by a branch so I tensed up sadly. Kind of wish, we had video of the previous canter and not this one but here are the videos below. Not much, in fact there’s more walking than anything, should have done the video on the farm hack but there you go.

Walking part 1

A lot of traffic work here and just walking. Lots of voices too. I’ll give you a clue, I’m on the big white horse.

Some Trotting, Part II

Here is how badly my rising trot is. 😉

A Little Canter

Not my best, as I said but I wanted to be safe.

So that’s my riding videos. Please feel free to judge me. 🙂

Thanks, Marie

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. You and Shadow look so good together Marie 🙂 It’s great to see him being hacked out in an exercise sheet in such cold weather! I love he has his own shadow too: a little grey mini-me following him 🙂 Shadow looks lazy in the last one: two strides or so of canter before trotting off, but you look a beautiful pair 🙂 I do hope you usually get longer trots stretches than that to enjoy! Lovely to see your riding at last 🙂

  2. He really does look like in the canter he just can’t be arsed, wouldn’t say there was anything you were doing wrong as such. The trot looks great too, I wouldn’t worry about it! You sit up nice and straight and don’t slouch which is good 🙂

  3. Shadow looks like Spencer does when he can’t be arsed. I know Spencer needs a boot and a tap to get him going at times. The videos were good. Although like Maddi and Debz have said, Shadow looks like he couldn’t bothered with canter on that occasion. I’ve not forgotten the whack I got in the face from Winnie when she took me into a tree back in April in Silverstone woods. Its just one of those things and you can’t help but tense. You still cantered though. You’re doing great from what I can see x

  4. I am in total awe of your brilliance! And I honestly really mean that! Your position is as good as any rider I know. You’re completely balanced and straight – and upright. OK there are things to work on but when the basic structure is so good nothing is unachievable 🙂 Can I also just add – just so you know – there is absolutely nothing to see from your riding that makes you any different from a sighted rider. This of course means you get no sympathy votes from me with my critique … 😉

    The one thing you need to do is become more effective. Everything looks great but it isn’t really helping you to motivate the horse. Whilst Shadow is obliging I know that a few tweaks in your style could really help.

    What’s happening at the moment is your whole body is very still. Your legs are constantly on his sides all the way to your heel. This is good to see but now you’ve moved up a level you need to relax from the hip down.

    Imagine your legs are like an old jumper – they skim the sides but don’t really cling. That way when you do use your lower leg to ask for more energy or a change in pace it comes as more of a surprise.

    In halt you should be able to feel the saddle or the horse down to just below your knee – then let your leg drop straight to the floor. Then when you walk on nudge it on to the horse’s side every step and let it come off again. This is like someone nudging you on and off – you’d feel it far more than if they rested a hand on you and just kept pressing – right? That constant pressure is far easier to switch off to.

    Last week I guessed at your shoulders being a bit tense – which was why they opted for Bella in the school – especially in bad weather. This is true but not really bad. You’re just trying so hard to sit perfectly that everything is a bit static – just like your legs but now I’m talking above your waist! 🙂

    Before you move off tighten your shoulders up under your ears until they’re burning. Then breathe out and let them drop down and back. Then tighten every muscle in both arms. Hold them tight until you can do it no more and then relax. Your shoulders and arms then feel really soft and floppy. That’s how your rein contact should feel to the horse. Although it’s there it’s not too restrictive. When you walk allow the horse to pull your hand and arm forward. Then slide your elbows back to keep the contact with his mouth. But the minute you feel pressure stop going back and wait for him to take you forward again. This allows him to move and actually makes him feel he can too. You’ll find his head moves forward and back a lot more in walk.

    You’ll also find he feels that you really mean it when you ask for canter. I think at the moment he’s looking for an excuse not to canter for you and you’re just giving him one by being a bit still with your hands.

    As a rough guide – you can allow your hands to move about three inches further forward without losing the contact. Put your hand in front of the saddle and run it along his spine – withers. You’ll feel where the bone becomes soft – that’s the base of his neck, where the mane usually starts. (This is because his spine drops down underneath a load of muscle – it’s why you can’t feel it) That’s where you want to position your hands. You’re so well balanced it won’t affect you but will have a huge effect on him 🙂

    What’s happening at the moment is Shadow isn’t going forward enough from your legs and so his head stays very still. It’s not easy when you’re in a group ride but try to relax everything a bit more – your position is perfect so don’t try so hard! – and he’ll start to take you forward a bit more. Get this feeling right in walk and trot and you’ll soon be asking me how to stop the little cherub!!

    Bring on the videos – I’m unbelievably proud to have you as a friend. I can’t believe how great you look on a horse and how straight you are! Don’t ever put yourself down again! You have it on good authority now that you’re a pretty good little rider 🙂 Lorraine

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