Friday, October 22, 2010

Riley and me, the video

I my second post-Devon ride, Riley was a little pokey. Bob was on hand to video - footage to last for all Eternity and for all of  the Internet masses.  The pressure was on. I was hell bent on getting a lot of movement.

Problem is, I meant his movement.  Not mine.

Movin' and a shakin'
This is the bad habit that emerges -- or worsens --  when I'm trying to create energy. It's called the jelly belly. It's called rider working harder than horse. It's called Settle Down Up There! Riley doesn't look half bad, although I think he'd appreciate a little steadier hand.  I know what I need to do. Tighten that core! Lengthen that leg. Steady with the outside rein!!!!


  1. Lookin' good!

    Push ups. Seriously. If you can't do guy pushups, do girl ones, and if you can't do girl ones do wall pushups. It's counter-intuitive since most people think of pushups as an arm exercise, but nothing strengthens your core better and faster. There's a site called "100 pushups in 6 weeks" or something which will just about kill you, but even if you don't keep up it's a good way to improve quickly.

  2. Never fear, you are being too hard on yourself. Young horses without years of training are hard to ride and you are doing an excellent job. Remember too, Riley is still finding his balance, especially with a new rider on his back. Impulsion will be easier to develop when he finds that balance.

    Yes, you have to be steady, but also, you have to be super quick with any corrections, both in giving them and then releasing, particularly with an athletic horse. He's quick and smart and you have to be quicker and smarter. That takes time for you to get the hang of it.

    You look great together! And you have a great coach, so you are going to be just fine.

  3. Agree with Jean. You are being to hard on yourself. Problem is, you can still have a strong core & not know how to use it in the saddle. I started private pilates lessons which helped me with muscle control as well as strength. Also, read Mary Wanless & Centered Riding. Visuals are so valuable - for example, Sally Swift says to think of your middle as a thick, column of rubber--strong, but still able to flex enough to absorb shock.

  4. Go easy on yourself! Riding well is easier said than done. It's easier to read books, watch videos and critique others than it is to do ourselves. I often think that most of us *know* how to ride a lot better than we are *able* to ride.

  5. I give you lots of credit for riding your young horse and posting it on the web. As always, he is gorgeous and do not be too hard on yourself as you get accustomed to a new riding partner.

    I am also a fan of Centered Riding learning techniques, as one commenter suggested. My Connected Riding Instructor (which is centered riding influenced)would say to just "post with your bones", let your skin stay in the saddle so your horse can move under you.

  6. You look fine! I have to say that I just love your trainer; what a wonderfully encouraging person she is (works so much better than the constant criticizing that most folks do). One of the best things I ever did for my [english] seat was to ride bareback for an extended period of time; I couldn't believe how nice and deep and secure my seat became because of it (it was one of those happy accidents, actually :o)

  7. Don't be so hard on yourself, being aware of what you need to work on is most of the battle. I'm also prone to getting really frustrated and critical when watching my riding on film, but you just have to force yourself to step back and realize how much progress you've made even if there's always more to go. I am also guilty of trying to do all the work for my horse and it's a hard habit to break.

    It's wonderful that you've struck such a good balance between continuing to ride Riley yourself and having a great trainer bring him along for you. I'm sure it will make you guys an amazing team in the future since you'll be familiar with all his quirks. Plus it's great to feel like you contributed to the process of developing such a great horse.

  8. You're looking really good – and he's looking A-MA-zing!
    I think, tighten your core, yes. But also, post off of his thrust.

    Dea (Reader, but silent mostly:))

  9. I really enjoy these videos!! I have a young dressage horse who's at the same stage in training as yours, and I'm learning how to ride him. Your videos make me feel so much better that someone else has bad days and great days too, and that we're doing alright. Your boy is beautiful!!!! -Jen


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