Stiff Rider Hips = Short Hind

The biggest challenge with Valiosa now is to instill that wonderful forwardness.

We’re not free-flowing.  She’s not going to be hot, ever; my plan is to come to where she has a good work ethic and will stay reasonably in front of the leg.

It would really help if I could swing more with her from the seat.  I don’t have mirrors, and that plan with getting video somehow never materialized.  Instead, I see in the pictures how the trot looks a bit short.  Not enough movement from the hind.

riding with stiff hips

That’s what you get when you sit there clamming up in the hips like that.  We get the same results in posting trot, even with very soft contact.

behind the leg even with no contact

This is such an incredible difficult sport.

Even the little Scandinavian  trainer got bored with our tight little trotting and slumped down in the chair.

Overbent CenterlineGrumbling to himself over by A   – “Argh, now she’s completely overbending on the centerline.”

OK, so we need more relaxation.  More swing.  More forward.  Less hand fiddling.  Less restriction in the hips.  I have no idea how to get there, but we’ll do our best.

better contact better tempo

 

22 thoughts on “Stiff Rider Hips = Short Hind

    1. I’d love to incorporate cavaletti into the training. Not seeing it happen at our facility though. I try with some ground poles here and there, but of course, it’s not the same.
      If possible, I’ll see if we might be able to have just three of them somehow. (Thinking maybe my boys could be enlisted to build, but it’s a long shot…)

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      1. If you have access to a band saw and a jig saw I can send you a pattern to cut out of 3/4″ plywood that works super to hold the cavaletti poles, and you can set them up at various heights. The supports look sort of like cookie cutters with a hole in the middle for the pole. They’re lightweight and so freakin’ portable it’s unbelievable. If you know somebody who’s handy with wood they should be able to whip 8 of them out for you in short order. I made my own. Herr Klimke maintains that you need four cavaletti. Less is not enough to accomplish your purpose and more is too many and will needlessly fatigue the horse!

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        1. Ok, so 4 of them… wheels turning.
          Possibly could enlist my scout son… I really like the lightweight part. It’s THE only way this could work 😦
          Wondering if I could use tree stake poles. To keep weight down.

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          1. Hehe. Yeah. Flimsy little planks. All we got. As you can imagine they go all over the place. Sigh.
            Today I tried something new. Riding to intense Dubsteb Techno on Pandora. It’s fast and unpleasant. Grey mare and I flew around and transitioned all over the place during the strange rythms. I think it worked 🙂 At least as a test.
            No more Enigma music!

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  1. Good article but I think you are a bit hard on yourself. Your pictures actually look pretty good for a horse at her stage of training. Her legs look pretty diagonal (in pairs) most of the time and your position is good although your leg could be relaxed down a bit more sometimes. But that’s nitpicking. You are doing a good job with her. Keep it up! I do agree that caveletti are a great for horses, but realistically, many of us don’t have access to them. Wish we did!

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    1. I hear you on the cavaletti problem. I’ve been to facilities where there’s space for them, and a place to easily store them. But most of the time there are some heavy and dilapidated ones that break as soon as you move them. Sigh. I’d love to have some in a line outside the arena somehow, but we can’t have them there. Maybe one day.

      Love all your encouragement!
      The thing with relaxing the leg is so difficult for me. I understand the theory so well, aid on, then off, but in practice, I sit there with it on, and on, and on. This week I’m really going to focus on trying to be quicker with the leg, it would help. It’s a huge challenge for me!

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      1. Yes! I tend to put my leg on and forget to take it off. PRESSURE all the time on poor Finn. Then I suddenly realize it and release the pressure. What an idiot I can be. Too many things going on in my brain and I can’t track them all. As for the caveletti, we have tons of jumps and poles at my barn, but we’re not allowed to go over even a pole on the ground unless we’re in a lesson – can you believe it? No touching the poles without an instructor…Humph.

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        1. Ugh. Well. Nothing like putting off an accomplished rider by telling then they have to stay on the leadline. Or, in this case, pay extra money to be able to limber up over a few low twigs. Sigh.
          I know your pain. I’ve been to a barn where NO jumping was ever allowed. Forget trot poles. Siltch nada. Must have seen one too many go down.

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          1. Yeah, I can understand no jumping without supervision. But I can’t even trot over the poles which are already set up? Seriously. Even if I don’t move them, I’m not allowed to trot over them without a lesson. It is SO ANNOYING. And ridiculous. Just a way to generate more $$$$, I suppose.

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          2. Wow. Well I’ll say, that IS interesting. Not understanding the logic here. Unless they’re afraid of the pain wearing out 😉
            Think you’re right: It’s for the trainer to keep going I suppose.
            I think I’m going to call off ALL grooming in the crossties at our barn unless supervised or preparing for lesson. That will teach them! 🙂

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  2. I too have terribly tight hips and — womp womp womp — a complete inability to sit the trot! My (does Germany count?) pseudo-scandinavian MIL prescribed MUCH sitting trot for my future so that a) I get better b) Murray gets used to it c) we progress together.

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    1. The more we both do it, the better it will get. Still, I am protective around Valiosa’s back . She’s so young. I feel restrictive clamping down in her up there, so I post most of the time. .. still…
      I’ve heard very different schools of thought. Sure your MIL has yet another theory, too. I’m just not convinced I should be sitting long periods until she’s 6.
      Perhaps I’m wrong… oh, I feel a BAD need to go to a clinic

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