submitted by: anon
Not really, you might feel slight tension but it shouldn’t hurt. It’s hard for me to say what’s going on without seeing a video of some sort, but it could be that you’re overarching your back, which is causing unnecessary pressure in your lower back. You want your back slightly arched, but more to the effect of keeping your shoulders and chest open, not so much to make your back curve under you (if that makes any sense).
It’s a little tricky, but some good signs would be a shiny, well-groomed coat (generally a sign of healthiness), a calm disposition (this indicates security), and a good body weight (not overweight, but you shouldn’t be able to see his ribs…some horses are hard keepers, but it’s pretty easy to tell the difference between a hard keeper and an underfed horse). Muscle definition is something to look out for as well, as are healthy hooves. Hope this helps, and thanks for your lovely compliments haha!
I can try haha!
Sometimes it really does help to take a short break, to let your mind and body relax a little so you don’t get even more frustrated and risk becoming burnt-out. Sometimes your brain just needs a chance to put all the information together, which can take time. You’re the best judge as to what would help you- of course, sometimes there are instances where you just have to work through the rough spots, but if you think taking a break would be the healthiest option then that’s what you should do. That way you come back with a fresher perspective and a renewed love for the sport :)
brb freaking out
you’re all amazing
i wish i had chocolate chip cookies to give you all
Ah, I thought I replied privately to this a day or two ago, I hate when it doesn’t go through haha. I’ll answer publicly this time so hopefully you see it! Personally, my barn is 30 minutes away so I don’t think it’s too ridiculous, especially if the drama is interfering with your ability to learn and enjoy your time at the barn. That said, I know my mom at least hates having to spend a lot of time being “stuck” at the barn, so maybe you could work something out with her where she drops you off for a few hours and you can just hang out or work or whatever after your lesson. That way she doesn’t feel like she’s wasted a lot of time and you can still ride there. Try to see things from her point of view, and then brainstorm a few solutions that could work for both of you. If you recognize her concerns but are still able to prove why switching will be better, it will make her a lot more agreeable to the situation. Good luck :)
She could be thinking about liability issues, especially since your friend wouldn’t legally own the horse (at least to start) so you’d have to look at the contract the owners put forth and make sure you wouldn’t be violating anything. But talk to your trainer and try to get a sense of her reasoning- it sounds like communication is what you need here :)
Hi, thanks! I’d make your flatwork really involved, constantly changing it up and asking for proper engagement so that she’s focused on what you’re asking for. Circles, spirals, serpentines, lateral work, extension/collection, etc., will help keep her mind occupied. Half-halts are a great tool to utilize as well because they rock the horse back on her hind end and collect her as well. Use your seat and leg to regulate her pace, and your hand to check in and keep a feel of her mouth. Don’t let her drag her head down and evade the bit, instead use your seat to rock her back on her hind end and gently lift her head up, then soften your hand immediately after she starts to give. If she still takes off with you, turn her in a small circle pattern until she starts to soften and relax. It might also be helpful to mix in some halts during your flatwork, to check in periodically and make sure she’s respecting your hand. It’s also really helpful to work over some ground poles, because even if you don’t jump it helps to teach her to collect and adjust her striding. If you work to get rid of this habit when you’re schooling, your dressage tests will go a lot more smoothly because she’ll be more accustomed to respecting your cues.
Try desensitizing her to the wash rack/stall, and then to the process of bathing, slowly and patiently. Try to pinpoint what exactly it is she doesn’t like, so you know where to focus most of your time. It helps if you just start by letting her inspect everything in/around the rack and then work up to gently sponging her off (I’d start with like her withers area and then work your way around the body and get to her legs once he’s a little less sensitive), and then finally start to get her comfortable with the hose. It’s a process of repetition, introducing and removing an object from the horse (whether you actually have the horse touch it or just be in close proximity) so she learns nothing there is going to eat her haha, eventually working up to spraying her gently with it. Keep the atmosphere calm and soothing, so she takes cues from you that everything is perfectly fine, and don’t forget to praise her for the slightest signs of relaxation and acceptance. Good luck! :)
Check the length of your stirrups— you might want to consider putting them up a hole because if they’re too long, a sitting trot will make it very hard to get your heels down. When you go down to a sitting trot, keep your hips open and your core and back engaged to help absorb some of the motion and keep your balanced. Then think about stretching through your calves (don’t pinch with your knee) so that your legs are long and wrapped around the horse’s side to make it easier to sink down into your heels. During a sitting trot, having an elongated leg is key- don’t force your heels down, but rather stretch into the stirrup so you have that depth. It also helps if you shift your weight slightly to the inside of your stirrups, to help anchor you further and alleviate some pressure on your ankles as well. You might also find it helpful to practice riding a sitting trot without stirrups, to really get a feel for elongating your leg without losing your seat, that way when you pick your stirrups back up it should be easier.
A general exercise that helps build muscle memory for putting your heels down is this: find a staircase. Put the ball of your foot on the edge of the lowest step, lean back slightly and put the weight onto your heel. This is similar to what you have to do while riding, so practicing will get you the muscle memory that you need. Good luck :)