riding horses and advice

post your problems and any advice that you may have for people

please don't get this one deleted like the last time
 
apple rosa
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Sorry, I didnt mean to put the quiz rally part on there... sorry xd
bananaboohoo
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bananaboohoo wrote:

So I’m an unrated pony club member. Would I take a certification test on my first quiz rally?

I saw your amendment to this statement, but I'm a pony club member in the US so I can give the American take on certifications and rallies default smiley :)

In the US, certifications and rallies are always separate. At your level, the certification would be handled by the club you are a member of. Talk to your DC about the standards of proficiency for your D1, and see what you need to study.

A rally in the US is a formal competition. They are held at the regional level in most cases, except for Championships. Quiz rally has 5 phases of competition: Classroom, Megaroom, Stations, Barn, and often a written test (sometimes this is optional if no one attending is interested in qualifying for Champs). Your fellow club members can tell you all about what will be expected of you and how to study. Since you are unrated, the questions will all be fairly simple and experience-appropriate.
emeraldhillsfarm
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Forgot how to make new equestrian choice
cajunlady
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Have any of you ever encountered teaching a new rider with the reins feeding in through the top of their hands, instead of through the bottom?

When Frozen first came out my instructor joked about how she was annoyed that Anna held the reins wrong, as in they fed in through the tops of her fists. I laughed about it too, but just now I was watching a video of an Olympic show jumper teaching someone else to ride for the first time, and she was holding the reins "wrongly" and he wasn't correcting her. In his solo shots, he himself held the reins "correctly."

I always thought Disney had done uncharacteristically shoddy research about how to hold reins, but is that actually how one of the field researchers may have been taught?
foxydancer
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Have any of you ever encountered teaching a new rider with the reins feeding in through the top of their hands, instead of through the bottom?

When Frozen first came out my instructor joked about how she was annoyed that Anna held the reins wrong, as in they fed in through the tops of her fists. I laughed about it too, but just now I was watching a video of an Olympic show jumper teaching someone else to ride for the first time, and she was holding the reins "wrongly" and he wasn't correcting her. In his solo shots, he himself held the reins "correctly."

I always thought Disney had done uncharacteristically shoddy research about how to hold reins, but is that actually how one of the field researchers may have been taught?
foxydancer
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I had to watch a video of Anna riding her horse to understand what you meant haha, but I get you now.
A lot of riders hold the reins wrong/differently, some who have been riding for a very long time. I see quite a few beginners go to hold the reins as you said, and always correct them almost automatically. I know once I started learning to ride at a higher level and with consistent lessons, my trainer corrected the way I held the reins to have my thumbs on top of the reins, rather than around them. This is sort of a form of bridging your reins to have more control to stop them sliding through your hands, and also gives more control over fine movements.

When I was young my mum also taught me to have the reins running through my ring finger and little finger, which was strange at first but now natural to me. A pony club instructor once taught us all how to properly bridge the reins for extra security and for riding with one hand, but that isn't very practical for everyday riding. An analogy that helped a lot is that you're not pushing a baby pram or a shopping cart, and that you are holding icecreams. If you tip your hands in or out, you would drop your icecreams.

I think to ride with them the way you said, or normally but with your knuckles facing upwards, both give you a lot less control and movement and basically the only thing you can do is pull straight backwards. No half-halt cue, no small flexion and balance adjustments, nothing like that. Just harsh pulling back.

To be honest though, Disney doesn't exactly research horseriding or horses in general all that well, they just chuck the character on a pretty pony and go default smiley xd
bonfire.
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In several western disciplines (especially gymkhana/barrel racing) you ride knuckles-up. All three ways of holding your reins do allow for precision (you need a lot more precision than most people think for barrels, especially when you’re training), as well as half-halts. Tbh I think it’s probably a regional/discipline thing or personal preference/tradition. Like mounting from the left.
mistandmagic
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Good idea about the regional preference, I'm sure that's definitely a thing around the globe, but in this case the showjumper himself was holding the reins the usual way, up through the bottom of the fist/ring finger and thumb pinching on top, so for this situation it wasn't a case of regional diversity in rein holding.

I agree it makes the most sense that this was just an unconfident novice rider holding the reins in the way that felt the most comfortable (and to make sure the horse had more give with someone with nervous tight hands, since that grip is less secure than the traditional way as mentioned). And possibly why Anna also held the reins wrong, if a novice field researcher was put on a horse for just one lesson and allowed to hold the reins that way. Or maybe the animators saw someone holding driving reins and assumed people commonly rode that way too. Or maybe they just flat out assumed from nothing default smiley (lol)

(Sorry for the double post, by the way!)
foxydancer
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MistAndMagic wrote:

In several western disciplines (especially gymkhana/barrel racing) you ride knuckles-up. All three ways of holding your reins do allow for precision (you need a lot more precision than most people think for barrels, especially when you’re training), as well as half-halts. Tbh I think it’s probably a regional/discipline thing or personal preference/tradition. Like mounting from the left.

I would imagine you aren't able to do the same light cues by holding your reins with your knuckles up. I've always been taught to ride with thumbs on top like you're holding icecreams and never done barrel racing or anything like that but just thinking about it, some of the light instructions that need to be giving by squeezing the rein or flexing your wrist inwards wouldn't be as easily achieved?
Perhaps it depends how short your reins are, as a lot of western riders have a very loose rein and rely more on their seat.
I'm curious as to what the reason is for the differences, as for me it's always been very strictly told to hold the reins this way and not that way, but perhaps like you say, it's more of a stylised tradition than a practical reason.
bonfire.
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You use your pinky/ring finger to give light, subtle cues when you’re riding knuckles up. It’s really not hard.
mistandmagic
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You still have the same amount of softness and subtlety that you would riding the “traditional” way, you just have to alter your finger placement a bit, and be a bit more conscious of exactly how much force you’re applying because it’s easier to use too much.
mistandmagic
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So I'm a new rider on about my 12th lesson. Ive been struggling with my knee after riding lessons and since its not healed-during subsequent lessons.

Now for background Ive had a knee injury on my left knee for around 2 years however that knee is okay- its my right knee that is painful to bend and straighten. I think I've figured out that it is from me trying to have my feet straight rather than sticking out like a penguin. Any advice for avoiding this?
crazychaos
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CrazyChaos wrote:

So I'm a new rider on about my 12th lesson. Ive been struggling with my knee after riding lessons and since its not healed-during subsequent lessons.

Now for background Ive had a knee injury on my left knee for around 2 years however that knee is okay- its my right knee that is painful to bend and straighten. I think I've figured out that it is from me trying to have my feet straight rather than sticking out like a penguin. Any advice for avoiding this?

How is the rest of your balance? Is there a straight line from your head to your hip to your heel? (Or the slightly more forward position if you are learning to jump.) This pain could be coming from your body trying to compensate for crookedness or instability somewhere else in your body. Since you're trying to correct your position in one place, you may be falling out of place in others. Talk to your trainer about your position and the pain you're feeling.

If you've had knee injuries in the past, you may also be one of those unfortunate people who are just prone to knee pain now. I have some friends who have dealt with it by riding with a thin knee brace on. Some also use jointed stirrups which are made to reduce pressure on your joints. However, since you are at a lesson barn using their tack, that might not be an option.
emeraldhillsfarm
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Your toes aren't supposed to be absolutely straight forward, despite what some instructors preach- they should be out at a slight angle. And honestly, if it's more comfortable for you to ride toes out and it's not interfering with the horse, there's no reason why it shouldn't. A knee brace while riding may help as well, and definitely talk to the instructor about it. (As a note: anyone who tries to force you to "ride through the pain" when you have an old injury after you've told them about it is a terrible instructor and I would recommend ditching their barn ASAP.)
mistandmagic
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Also, make sure you're posting primarily off your thighs, not pushing up with your feet and calves. That will make your ankles and knees really, really hurt.
mistandmagic
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Could someone who’s done saddleseat possibly PM me please? I’m thinking of showing my TWH x in the gaited classes on the local show circuit this spring but I have no idea what I’m doing.
mistandmagic
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Does anyone in this forum have any experience with haunches in (travers)? I'm working on it with my 17 year old OTTB, who has competed up through 1st level (in the UK I think that's Novice). I have schooled up through 3rd level (around Medium-Advanced Medium in the UK?) but am by no means an expert.
The trouble my horse is having is primarily to the left. This is his bad direction and he has a lot of trouble getting into position, even coming off of a circle or corner. To the right he is much more receptive to the aids.
I have been working with a trainer once a week, but now that the snow and ice are in full swing, trailering out won't be an option. I can still ask the trainer for advice and kind of "report back", but the lessons themselves will be on pause.
Anyone here have any tips/tricks/experience with troubleshooting this movement?
emeraldhillsfarm
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When working on travers, most horses will have a worse direction, and it’s important to make sure they’ve built up enough strength to support themselves. It’s a surprisingly difficult movement, as I’m sure you well know, and offering enough support- via rein and leg- is also important. If he really, really can’t get it, I’d maybe see if you can get him adjusted by a chiropractor- when they’re out they can get “stuck” and it’s hard for them to place their feet correctly.
mistandmagic
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I'm a new rider, and I'm learning how to post. I will be going for my second lesson in posting soon and my instructor said she would have my horse on a lunge rope. I feel like I'm not quite ready for posting because I'm not very strong, and I also feel like I'll fall off. Can anybody give me tips on how to balance? default smiley ^)
staywithus9
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STAYwithus9 wrote:

I'm a new rider, and I'm learning how to post. I will be going for my second lesson in posting soon and my instructor said she would have my horse on a lunge rope. I feel like I'm not quite ready for posting because I'm not very strong, and I also feel like I'll fall off. Can anybody give me tips on how to balance? default smiley ^)


I would say focus on keeping your heels down, use your thighs when posting, not your lower leg. Your lower leg should be loose and able to give leg aids to your horse while your posting.

Try and imagine that your thighs are hinges that move up and down, but your upper body and lower leg are staying in basically the same position. Keep your core engaged and your back straight. If you've ridden without stirrups before, you probably won't need to worry about falling off. It's just a matter of controlling your body.


I feel like I may have made this sound super complicated, but once you practice, you'll find it natural. Posting is tough to learn, but once you got it, you can't really forget it.default smiley ;)
raya_sunshine~*
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@Raya_Sunshine~* be careful when you say the lower leg should be "loose". I think you're trying to say that your balance shouldn't come from your calf/lower leg, which is correct, but a loose lower leg can cause different problems. You shouldn't be "gripping" entirely with any one part of your body-- balance requires your whole body to be engaged!

And another note for people learning to post: don't grip with your knees and sit up!
emeraldhillsfarm
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So I am working on controlling my horse when he’s cantering. He is faster no that he knows I can take it as he’s a very experienced lesson horse, and if you’re a little off balance he’ll make the ride slower until you’re balanced. I feel overwhelmed when he starts cantering quicker and I grab for the saddle. How can I work up my confidence in his faster canter?
bananaboohoo
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STAYwithus9 wrote:

I'm a new rider, and I'm learning how to post. I will be going for my second lesson in posting soon and my instructor said she would have my horse on a lunge rope. I feel like I'm not quite ready for posting because I'm not very strong, and I also feel like I'll fall off. Can anybody give me tips on how to balance? default smiley ^)

A really useful tip is to think of going forwards and upwards, and just moving your pelvis in a rhythmic motion. A lot of new riders think posting is going up and down, and use the stirrups to push themselves up. Use your thighs and core to get up, and make sure you control the movement on the way down. It also helps to count out loud the beats of the trot, just counting 1,2,1,2 etc. as you rise and sit. Your instructor may do this for you or ask you to say it out loud.
It definitely takes time to get used to it, but once you have it you will never know any different!

bananaboohoo wrote:

So I am working on controlling my horse when he’s cantering. He is faster no that he knows I can take it as he’s a very experienced lesson horse, and if you’re a little off balance he’ll make the ride slower until you’re balanced. I feel overwhelmed when he starts cantering quicker and I grab for the saddle. How can I work up my confidence in his faster canter?

Remember to breathe! Breathe using your diaphragm and sink your shoulders down towards your seat. Relaxing your shoulders should, in turn, relax the rest of your body, including your hips. Convince yourself to completely relax, and even take turns releasing one hand from the reins and then the other. You will soon realise you really don't need to do much in the canter, and you definitely don't need your hands to balance! Having someone lunge you can be really helpful, and then you can practice taking your hands off the reins and the saddle. But most importantly, remember to breathe!
bonfire.
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bonfire. wrote:

But most importantly, remember to breathe!
This was my bad habit when learning to canter, that and leaning forward. My instructor had me recite the alphabet out loud when cantering, or a nursery rhyme, or the Happy Birthday song, or anything. That sure forced me to breathe!
riverdancer12
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bananaboohoo wrote:

So I am working on controlling my horse when he’s cantering. He is faster no that he knows I can take it as he’s a very experienced lesson horse, and if you’re a little off balance he’ll make the ride slower until you’re balanced. I feel overwhelmed when he starts cantering quicker and I grab for the saddle. How can I work up my confidence in his faster canter?


Another important thing to add on to the great advice above is you should be the one asking him to speed up, not him deciding to. As someone who was very scared of bolting because of an incident when I was just learning, I'd be very similar and tense up when they decided to get speedy. A lot of the time, they compensate for a lack of balance - theirs or yours - by speeding up. If you feel him start to canter faster before you're ready, give a half halt and slow back down to a pace you're comfortable with. It's a lot easier to get used to a fast canter when you're the one asking for it! Whilst my favourite thing after a while was having a good gallop down the bridlepath, I never let the greenies go any faster than I was comfortable with and they learned to wait for me to put my leg on before we went and had some fun. It'll click in to place the more comfortable you get!
ᴄᴀɪɴ
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