how to make myself sit back!

sophie33

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Aug 8, 2004
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I am getting worse and worse at dressage tests! I have done three intro tests on Flicks now and each time have got a lower mark than the one before! I know the reason - my confidence has been knocked and is only recovering slowly...
And today I was proud of us both for doing the test. I have been a bag of nerves for various reasons, and Flicks has been somewhat spooky (not unconnected of course). Today she was outraged at having to leave her mate in the warm up area and go and do a test! She kept trying to nap back to the gate and bellowed all the way through the test with her friend bellowing back from outside! I did the test badly - but we did it and we were in the right gait and approximately the right place all the way through. So that is an achievement.
On the test sheet, though the examiner said 'rider needs to correct her sitting position'. Aaurgh. I will watch on video later in the week but I know what that means - my shoulders had hunched forward with nerves. So how can I once and for all learn to stay sitting upright even under pressure. I used to be able to do it - surely it can't be that hard?
 

Jessey

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Dec 20, 2004
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I hunch through pure bad posture, the more I do in a good posture off my horse the better I sit on my horse :D
In our western shows we say 'tits and teeth ladies' :p it works quite well as it pops in my head at random moments reminding me to sit up and enjoy myself :D
 
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Mary Poppins

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There really is no easy answer. I have always adopted the forward seat position when nervous and when my nerves return, the forward seat returns as well! All you can really do is try and adopt the mind over matter approach and just to make yourself sit back.

Just yesterday I went xc schooling with a few gung ho friends. I wasn't jumping but just came along for the ride, and as soon as my friends horses feet touched the grass they were off. Ben was perfect, we quietly stood in the middle of the field while I watched my friends go crazy. In my head I was saying 'sit back, relax' etc. but my position was terrible. I had short reins and was leaning so far forward I was in gallop position. Luckily Ben knows me inside out and he knows when I go into this position I am nervous and he needs to just stand there. Now when I lean forward he goes slower and when I sit back he goes faster!
 

sophie33

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That is great MP! Maybe if I am beyond hope I can train Flicka to understand that the 'death hunch' means go very slowly and don't spook at anything. Unfortunately I don't think she will ever be as saintly as Ben. Ah well - when I ride tomorrow I will try to think - 'tits and teeth'!!
 
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Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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It is hard and whenever OH tells me to sit back and I do, I feel like I'm leaning waaaay too far backo_O . No advice apart from to just keep reminding yourself and try hard to relax. I am so bad for leaning and going a bit scunched up:oops:
 

Mary Poppins

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That is great MP! Maybe if I am beyond hope I can train Flicka to understand that the 'death hunch' means go very slowly and don't spook at anything. Unfortunately I don't think she will ever be as saintly as Ben. Ah well - when I ride tomorrow I will try to think - 'tits and teeth'!!

The problem is that in dressage tests when I get nervous and lean forward he goes really, really slowly!! I wouldn't change him for the world though, he can sense my nerves and always looks after me.
 

OwnedbyChanter

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Apr 16, 2009
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Sitting trot has a way of making people sit back more I don't know why.

I have the oppersite problem and have to remind myself to sit forward a bit more
 
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