Monday, February 15, 2010

Self Critique

So Mr. Q and my two sons accompanied me to the barn on Saturday. I was meeting Jodie for my weekly lesson on Rosie.

I contemplated not posting the video that Mr. Q captured - it's embarrassing. If it could be done wrong, I was doing it. Jodie told me it wasn't that bad because I was getting what I wanted from Rosie, round, through and on the bit consistantly. Good side passes off my seat.. but forward movement was horrible as you will see.

My self critique:

1) My seat is not deep enough. I'm bouncing way too much; no shock absorbers
2) My heel is high which is directly contributing to my not so deep seat
3) Because my seat and legs are bad, my hands are HORRIBLE
4) Elbows out like flapping chicken wings
5) Hands high and bouncy (ugh)
6) I look "tense" all over not relaxed at all, especially in my lower arms.
7) All of this and the fact that I may also be loosing my balance moving forward over her shoulder would explain Rosie's sudden stops and reluctance to move on.

So to fix these things:

Seat and legs:
After warm up I'm going to loose the stirrups. This should cause me to plant my butt and absorb. I can post without stirrups too if need be for short periods. This will build my muscles which will help keep Rosie moving forward.

First I'm going to have Jodie start my lesson on a lunge line. I'm going to drop the reins or go off buckle with a dixie cup of water. As the hands steady I'll move to egg and spoon. That should help with steadying them. I think they are too high in the video as well, but it's hard to gage because of Rosie's head carriage. I'll lower them a bit and try to relax from elbow to wrist while keeping my fingers closed very tightly on the reins.

What do ya'll think? I'm very open to helpful criticism or any ideas to try

By the way that's Jodie riding Bonnie western. Jodie does not ride western so I got to give HER a lesson. That was way fun.


  1. I think you're being too tough on yourself. I don't think you looked too bad. It was hard to tell, though because most of your riding was on the other side of the arena. But sounds like between you and instructor you know what you could work on to have a better ride.
    I just think it's great that you're riding and wanting to perfect your techniques. Kudos for you!

    Rosie sure ia cute little girl in a big package :-)

  2. I too think your being a bit harsh on yourself! You are totally on the right track and I think your plans of what to do to improve are great! Can't wait to hear about your progress!

  3. Aww thank you! You guys are too kind. I guess because I used to show and compete, and I want to be there again but in a completely different disipline that it should just be there. I have to remember I'm riding a young horse, who is learning right along with me, and I've only been doing this Dressage thing seriously for a year.

  4. WOW...she is amazing your mare..nice rhythm .
    I have to commend you my dear! I have never gotten to have a sitting trot lesson yet on Wa that was not on the lunge line. Last time I rode the arena..she tried to kill me and I had to just put my strong"I am staying in the saddle" attitude on. My sissy lunged me, stirrup less and rein less...and I was to be like butter, melting into the saddle and it was really awesome to feel that..she still tried stuff...but I was to be fluid and not react..and it helped to think of not being in control, but creating balance and fluid movement. I think everyone should have lunge lessons like that. Makes the leg longer, seat deeper...then add the stirrup on and off.
    I like all your ideas for yourself too!...exactly what I would do as well.

    Looks great Jeni!!!Remember..this is FUN and we LOVE lessons! "~'

  5. I admire people like you who have the determination to learn to ride different styles and ride properly. You look like you are doing a good job. I am the type that just rides -- if you saw a video of me riding you would probably never stop laughin.

  6. Kacey - Thank you! Rosie's movement was the first thing I noticed about her. She does not move like a heavy draft at all. Very athletic. She's a trip to ride. I have yet to canter her only because I'm not strong enough to hold her yet.

    Regina - I've always liked the "look" of Dressage, formal and relaxed control (when done right). It's extremely difficult to do in my opinion. Having said that.. I like the just sit and hack down a trail all day type of riding too =)


Happy Trails!