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Old 06-09-2007, 10:43 AM   #1
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Riding. .. . .why am I retrogressing???

Of course. Everybody around me is getting better. I am happy for them!!! They have all made leaps and bounds with their riding recently.

But. . .why am I not getting better??? In fact-I am getting worse.

I used to not have a problem with being in my horse's mouth. Until recently. Now I am. All the time.

I used to be so nice and light handed. Nope, not anymore! I am ripping my horse's face off! I don't mean to!! I even did it in the pleasure ring!!! It's not that I am taking out aggresion on him or anything. I just can't feel myself doing it until after it's done!!!


My instructor told me two reasons of why I am becoming like this.

She said that if she put my riding on a scale of one to ten, one being a total beginner, ten being a complete expery, I'd be about a six. Which I am fine with! I've only been riding for a year and a half!!!! A six would be on the high point of intermediate.

But all of my friends that I ride with (except for her daughter) are probably about fours. Low intermediates, high beginners. She said that I am forgetting to work at what I'm doing and just running around having a good time, which there is nothing wrong with, but because I'm not taking time away from them to work on my riding, I am sort of going to their level of riding rather than my own.

She said that I am also overthinking my riding. I am so worked up over wether or not I am doing something right that I sort of forget to do what feels right.

What can I do to help me with these problems???!!!
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Old 06-09-2007, 03:13 PM   #2
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Thanks for the reply!!!!

I'll clarify a bit. I sort of do both. . .like if I am just goofing off with friends, I am not worried about riding correctly. I should be, so I conciously TELL myself to do something right, and then when I don't, I get worked up over it and start over thinking it. It's like it starts out with me not worrying about the riding, which makes me lose balance and hang in his face, and then I get worked up over the fact that I'm not worrying and I start giving it too much effort (for lack of a better comparison).

I sound like a math problem rider (I hate math though! Lol). I don't see my improvement where my instructor does. I don't think like a trainer, I think like a jockey. I don't see progress where everybody else sees it. I get really hard on myself about it and then I can't even function anymore. I have come out of several lessons in tears simply because lack of what I see as progress. I want to ride SOOOO bad and I want to ride well. But I want it all at once, which is impossible.

I recognize my problems, I just don't know how to fix them.

For instance- last night was Baylor's second show. I dropped him into the first barrel turn too soon and he almost turned on top of it. So to try and leave it up, I slammed on the brakes. But I got SO heavy handed I made him pop about two feet off the ground. Like I said though- I did not know how heavy handed it was until after I did it. . . .HELP?!?!?!
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Old 06-09-2007, 04:34 PM   #3
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In lessons I would take away your reins and STIRRUPS put you on the longe line on a very safe horse. I would then have you work on feeling and breathing. Not just feeling your horse but feeling the way your body is following the horse and how it reacts. What does your body want to do naturally?

When you think too much you stiffen, you need to learn to go with the flow and try doing different things. Try to do different events and disciplines as well. Trotting barrels bareback will help the thinking part of the brain solve the problem and the subconscious to tune your body to the flow of the horse. Doing particulary difficult equitation patterns with a one minute study time, will help you improve your riding skill but at the same time not over think yourself.

Once you get to the point you are at, many riders suffer the same thing, now you need to master your horsemanship and learn to feel and "meld" with your horse.

Just a few ideas!
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:03 PM   #4
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Wow, Sunny, you really know me, I am your ultimate math rider. I would spend my whole lesson trying so hard to think about what I should be doing when, I couldn't relax and enjoy the ride. At the end of a lesson, I could tell you everything I thought I did wrong and nothing I did right.

BornToRide, it sounds to me (and I'm far from an expert) that you might need to relax and have fun when you're riding with your friends and save your "learning" time for when you ride alone. I think you're making it harder on yourself to try to do both at the same time.
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Old 06-09-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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Thanks for the replies!!!!!!!

Eieio- My instructor has not mentioned anything about going without stirrups yet, but she said everyday in the round pen I need to lope for at least ten minutes without my hands on the reins. She said make sure and keep them where I can reach them (duh) and be ready to correct him with rein if necessary, but once he gets settled into his lop, do it with no hands.

Sunny- I agree. Maybe I just should relax when I ride. My instructor just said that I am getting too worked up. I know for a fact that once I get worked up I can't function. She said that my frustration level hits too easily if I'm not getting it right away. . . I'm just soooo impatient!!!!!!!! It's not even that I'm getting frustrated with Baylor. I'm just getting frustrated with myself.

Triangle- You may be right. Maybe I should save work time for when it's just me.

I have all these visions of me being this great rider and great barrel racer, when in all truth I just don't think I've been doing it long enough. . .
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Old 06-10-2007, 08:57 AM   #6
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Lol. I suppose that just takes time. I work at it, yes, but It's not going to happen overnight. I need to get in better sync with my horse. I need to know what he's thinking and what he'll do before he knows he's gonna do it. But how do I learn to do it?
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:52 AM   #7
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Yep!!!

My goal in the end is to be running. Not nessicarily winning but being the most consistent and not knocking over.

I do want to place though, mainly just because if I never place in it then I can't go to state show in it!!!!! AHHHH!!!!
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Old 06-13-2007, 07:58 AM   #8
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Yoga.

I'm not kidding. I tend to overthink and thus get stiff in the saddle. I'm a Type A overachieving tense person by nature--that's why horses are such great therapy for me. THey make me slow down and relax! So I started doing yoga breathing before getting on my horse, and doing some breathing exercises while riding if I feel myself tighten up. The horse can feel it--I can see him put his ears forward and relax himself.
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Old 06-13-2007, 08:07 AM   #9
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seriously the best thing my daughter learned was to ride without stirrups and reins, she has the best balance and seat and soft hands

you should try it, i think you could benefit from it
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