Anyone Fancy Giving a Novice Some Gentle Critique?

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
9,616
1,493
113
Perthshire, Scotland
I had intended on attending a local dressage event this Sunday with Flip. They are offering the opportunity to do a walk trot training test, so not actually competing and what we wear wouldn't have to be dressage legal (which would have worked out well as we still use a driving bit at the moment).
Unfortunately I have a lame Flipo and its not going to happen.:cry: I did, however, have a couple of practice attempts last month and one was video'd. Unfortunately, the cameraman had a bad case of the shakes and I had to improvise a tiny bit because of two jumps left up in the school. I wonder though, would anyone be willing to give a novice some friendly critique and advice? Please appreciate that I have no aspirations and am not living in dream world, but what do you think? Please be gentle!!
P.S - the test we were attempting was the B.D Intro A Walk Trot. If that means anything to anyone.:unsure::redface:
 
Last edited:

carthorse

Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
9,707
5,640
113
There's actually not a lot to critique for walk trot level, it looks pretty good to me! I must admit I didn't watch it all because the camera work was making me a bit queasy, but I watched bits all the way through so hopefully I've got a good taste of it.

The only two things I'd say are try to keep your hands steadier in the trot work - not that it seems to be bothering him - & can you get a little more inside bend on the corners & turns? I know the latter isn't easy with his build, but even a tiny bit would help as there are times when he almost seems to look to the outside & pivot. But overall it's nice :smile:
 

kathyt1

Active Member
Jan 4, 2003
1,087
0
36
52
Bracknell, Berkshire
Visit site
On the whole I don't think you are doing a bad job at all. He is very wide so getting your position is not going to be easy.


The main things that I would comment on are that you are "pushing" with your seat in walk and you are rising too high and upright in the trot.
You also need to try to get your lower leg further back although this is not going to be easy (but IS possible!) due to your saddle and both yours and Flipo's conformation.


The easiest way to explain what I mean would be for you to have a look at these youtube vids. Give it a go, and although I can understand the temptation to use your seat to push a horse forward, it generally just slows them down more. In walk try to use your legs seperatly to move the belly of the horse away from the leg. Think of the belly like a swing and your legs as two people trying to get the swing to go higher.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbbm_U9MdPc&feature=player_embedded
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
9,616
1,493
113
Perthshire, Scotland
Thank you carthorse, i appreciate it's a bit long and bumpy in places, and don't worry you won't have missed anything by skipping bits, most of the same. I do wonder about my hands and general position so thank you for the feedback - and yes, we have a lot of work to do with bending, lots of carrot stretches and more circles and spirals and flexing - until were sick of it! We will never be super bendy but I agree there needs to be an improvement.
Thank you for the feedback;-)
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
9,616
1,493
113
Perthshire, Scotland
On the whole I don't think you are doing a bad job at all. He is very wide so getting your position is not going to be easy.


The main things that I would comment on are that you are "pushing" with your seat in walk and you are rising too high and upright in the trot.
You also need to try to get your lower leg further back although this is not going to be easy (but IS possible!) due to your saddle and both yours and Flipo's conformation.


The easiest way to explain what I mean would be for you to have a look at these youtube vids. Give it a go, and although I can understand the temptation to use your seat to push a horse forward, it generally just slows them down more. In walk try to use your legs seperatly to move the belly of the horse away from the leg. Think of the belly like a swing and your legs as two people trying to get the swing to go higher.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fbbm_U9MdPc&feature=player_embedded

Hi kathy, thankyou - I am awful at saddle polishing during walk, my RI has been concentrating on getting me to encourage flip to have more impulsion but not necessarily more speed, that seems to help steady me. I spend a heap of time with my eyes closed relaxing out and just trying to move with him but I think it is all to do with our ploddy way of going - I'm trying to encourage him along with my bum which is just awful. I think I read the explanation you've given about feeling the belly swing on here before and have tried it once - I need to persevere, I just don't want to end up nagging him with my leg but I guess that's what I'm doing here with my butt?!
I do have a tendency to lock my heels down, no flexibility. It's a bit of a defensive move I guess, from a few bad experiences of being tanked off with, but yes absolutely I think it's my weight for the most part - Ive had other people on him and they don't look as out of line as I do. That's something I'm working on - the size of my thighs lol!
I hadn't considered my rising and will have a look at the videos you suggest, thank you. I think i might need to go back and get some lessons on a more trustworthy stead at some point over the winter to help improve my seat. Thankyou for the suggestions, very much appreciated!
 
Last edited:

sbloom

Active Member
It helped me to think about each hind leg picking up my seat bone in walk - it means you allow an up and down movement to come through, rather than trying to drive a forward back movement with your seat bones. I do wonder if your saddle is a little low at the back - it might be worth trying to lift the back a little with a wedge of gamgee or similar and see if it helps your leg position - I think the saddle is currently sitting you too far back and allowing your leg to drift forwards. You'll always need to ride shortish on such a wide horse but you should find it easier to get your leg underneath you.
 

kathyt1

Active Member
Jan 4, 2003
1,087
0
36
52
Bracknell, Berkshire
Visit site
It helped me to think about each hind leg picking up my seat bone in walk - it means you allow an up and down movement to come through, rather than trying to drive a forward back movement with your seat bones. I do wonder if your saddle is a little low at the back - it might be worth trying to lift the back a little with a wedge of gamgee or similar and see if it helps your leg position - I think the saddle is currently sitting you too far back and allowing your leg to drift forwards. You'll always need to ride shortish on such a wide horse but you should find it easier to get your leg underneath you.

The above is all good advice. Especially "picking up my seat bone". I suppose that is the crux of the matter! Every thing should be "up" not "down" :biggrin: The saddle is definatly not helping you.

Using your legs with the swing of the belly is only done until you get a walk you are happy with. Then you leave him alone. What you are aiming for is for him to maintain speed/rythem until you ask for something different. That way you won't be nagging.

I have no idea about geography in Scotland but it might be worth you trying to have a lesson with Lisa Avery. If she can't come to you she might be able to recommend someone. You would not need many lessons as really a few adjustments will make a big difference.

http://www.enlightenedequitation.com/teacher_findSCOT.htm
 

''Ria

New Member
Nov 10, 2009
127
0
0
Leeds - Yorkshire
You look absolutely great together - very comfortable - he totally loves you.

Loving your shoulders and elbows!

Obviously you have your stirrups where they are for a reason, but do you think it might be very uncomfortable taking them one lower?
 

Jane&Ziggy

Jane&Sid these days!
Apr 30, 2010
19,269
7,236
113
61
Surrey Hills
OK, here goes, from someone of a similar standard! :biggrin:

You sit lovely and straight and your back looks straight (mine tends to hollow). This is great as it means your seatbones will make good contact with Flip's back muscles.

Flipo looks content, responsive and obedient, which is about all they are looking for in a walk and trot test. He looks to me to have a lovely length of rein for a horse of his type, and I bet once you get him with a bit more impulsion he will begin to make a really good shape.

I see what you mean about pushing him forward with your seat. It has taken me 2 years of lessons to stop doing this! Good luck with that!

The thing that I noticed most is that your lower leg is a little far forward so you aren't "ear, shoulder, hip and heel" and also that your lower leg around the ankle tends to move a lot. I don't know if this is because you are trying to encourage Flip on or if it just moves, but perhaps getting the lower leg further back might make it easier to keep still?

My RI is Mary Wanless rather than Enlightened Equitation and she tells me to sit as still as I can and think of using my underparts to suck Ziggy's back towards me, so that he lifts himself into a better frame. This is hard to do, but gradually I'm getting it.

:inlove:Flipo:inlove:
 

bitsnpieces

Active Member
Aug 22, 2007
6,625
10
38
echo kathy1, I would also comment that your lower leg moves a little, you maybe just need to focus on keeping your heel down and nudging with the inside of your calf (not easy when they are wide like the gorgeous Mr Flip!)

But might I also add that the difference in both you and Flipo since you posted a vid a little while ago (think it was one of you having a lesson in an indoor school?) is amazing!!!!!!!!! I know you have said that you're still a bit nervous but your position is so much better and you look so much more confident!
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
9,616
1,493
113
Perthshire, Scotland
Thankyou for the lovely constructive feedback, I've got a lot to work on, will just need to pick one thing to start with - and I think that has to be our walk. It does feel as if we've made an improvement from last year - yep BnP, there's a thread on here from last year when I was asking about my bum shuffling from a lesson I had at my RS - that was actually about a year ago this month. (Yikes, how time flies!) I'm trying more consciously to stop moving but there's still space for improvement.
I think I could work on lengthening my stirrups and it might help me not look so chair like but the size of my thighs (and everything else for that matter) just work against me. More dieting over the winter required....for both of us. I think the key has to be some more no stirrups work. Something I'm not confident doing on my own horse. I think I might indeed investigate the instructor you have suggested kathy, I was planning on some canter lessons to improve my balance anyway and hadn't decided where to go - I wonder if the instructor you have suggested has other horses I could ride. Will find out.

I'm gutted today as I went along to support a friend while she did the training test - I read for her and I really wish we'd been able to do it. I think we wouldn't have faired too badly - Flip is coming along with his schooling...slowly, but then his rider has a LOT of work to do.:wink:
 

kathyt1

Active Member
Jan 4, 2003
1,087
0
36
52
Bracknell, Berkshire
Visit site
There certainly has been a big improvement since your last video's. I had not remembered that was you until bitsnpieces reminded me :smile: I really hope Lisa can help you and that you keep us up to date on your progress.
 
Similar threads
Thread starter Title Forum Replies Date
M Anyone fancy a bit of horse shopping? Cafe 3
Star the Fell Anyone fancy a bit of horse shopping? Cafe 7
squidsin Anyone fancy critiquing my novel? Cafe 16
Flipo's Mum Anyone Fancy a Quiz? Cafe 14
T Anyone fancy this? Cafe 21
candyflosspot anyone on NR fancy a chat? I am bored Cafe 24
ladywiththebaby Fancy dress ideas anyone?! Cafe 10
N Anyone Fancy Having A Go At This-No Tack Cafe 13
Melrose Anyone fancy holiday hunting? Cafe 8
candyflosspot anyone fancy working for the queen? Cafe 15
Flipo's Mum New Year Weight Loss Thread - Anyone Fancy Buddying Up? Cafe 74
S anyone fancy horsebox shopping Transport and Travelling 0
notpoodle Fancy rats anyone? Cafe 17
rtk Anyone fancy an Italian rescue Cafe 7
Remmy Anyone fancy doing some detective work? Cafe 0
R Anyone fancy cleaning my house for me ? Cafe 18
Sarah_Sayers Anyone fancy a shopping challenge? Cafe 6
D Harry Potter fancy dress - anyone have pics? Cafe 0
H anyone fancy shopping for long riding boots for really wide calves? Cafe 8
sprollie Anyone fancy meeting up for a hack - Chester le street/Durham/penshaw areas??? :-) Older Riders 2
EquineCompare Anyone fancy IH training this year? Training of the Horse and Rider 4
Kc.. Does anyone with a camera fancy... General 1
FelineWolf Anyone fancy a 'driving disciple'? (I've thrown in some pics too, so have a peek lol) Other Disciplines 7
G Does anyone fancy doing trec with me? General 6
Mary Poppins Anyone experienced with Fell Ponies? Cafe 40
Jessey Has anyone done a photoshoot at home? Cafe 13
diplomaticandtactful Anyone in France near Coutances Cafe 4
D Anyone Want To Write For My Horse Care Site? Cafe 5
Jessey FOR ANYONE WITH A WELSH COB Cafe 3
Doodle92 Does anyone else do this? Cafe 10
H does anyone know of a equine physiotherapist in the Cambridge area? Veterinary,Injuries and Therapies 3
Trewsers Didn't know where else to post this - can anyone id this please? Worried / curious / weirded out lol Cafe 15
Corey Hi, new here - is anyone else older AND disabled? Older Riders 26
M Anyone got a Mucky Mare? Cafe 1
L buying used pants , anyone know if its good? First Timers 14
Ale Has anyone dry cemented a post in? Horse Care 3
Doodle92 For anyone needing a distraction Cafe 0
Doodle92 Did anyone watch the Yorkshire vet last night? Cafe 1
Huggy Anyone remember the "Win a pony" competitions in comics? Cafe 14
P Has anyone heard from newforest? Cafe 2
Kite_Rider Odd things happening, anyone else? Forum Technical Help & Site News 6
Ale Anyone stacked it yet? Cafe 7
Jane&Ziggy Can anyone identify this weed for me? Cafe 6
Trewsers Anyone else struggling to get on to New Rider on and off today and yesterday? Forum Technical Help & Site News 17
T Does anyone know how to remove hair on the side of the face of a young Gypsy Vanner? Older Riders 18
Ale Would anyone like to be part of my dissertation? Cafe 35
N Anyone else feeling a bit rundown, no motivation? Cafe 22
Trewsers Anyone know which beast this tooth came from? Cafe 7
N Anyone feed the wild birds? Cafe 31
Bodshi Anyone got these Ariat boots? Cafe 18

Similar threads

newrider.com