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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    359

    Default Why does my riding position look so weird?

    I never actually have the opportunity to see what I look like when I ride, but after going to a show this past weekend (our first!), the show photos made me a little cringey. I feel like there’s something off about my position, but I can’t quite put my finger on it. It almost looks as if my hip and leg have too many angles when compared to other riders. Something about my hip angle, maybe. Or maybe it’s just all in my head, like hating how you sound when you hear your own voice...

    Thoughts? Critiques? Thanks!

    (Please let me know if it’s inappropriate to link to the proof photos of the show photographer’s website and I’ll delete the links. I did buy some photos, just not the ones that illustrated my position.)

    Photo 1
    Photo 2
    Photo 3
    Photo 4



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2012
    Posts
    2,128

    Default

    I could be wrong but it looks like you're tilting your pelvis forward and down which is making your back arch a little and your butt stick out.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2016
    Posts
    109

    Default

    ^ Yeah.

    In cruder terms, you are sitting on your crotch. Think about opening your hips and sitting more on your back pockets and that will help with this.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 1999
    Location
    Shangri-LA
    Posts
    3,918

    Default

    I'm not sure but the saddle might be a part of the problem, it looks small for you, stirrups look like they could be dropped 1 hole also. I would also agree with what the other posters said also.
    "My treasures do not chink or gleam, they glitter in the sun and neigh at night."


    6 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    19,586

    Default

    I thought you looked more natural and relaxed in two of the pics, with your arm somewhat bent and your chin down a little. In two of the others, your chin is up and your arm straight out.

    Actually, nice horse and overall nice picture.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


    1 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2008
    Posts
    1,719

    Default

    Since the previous three have said exactly what I was going to say, I will just say "What they said."

    And I will add -- lovely outfit, lovely horse, and I absolutely love your hair.

    ETA: On second look -- is that the correct rein-hand position for your discipline? I would prefer to see your elbow bent, your hand closer to (or over) the horn, so you won't look like you're "reaching." Overall you look kinda tense and posed rather than softening and riding.
    Rack on!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 10, 2015
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I think it might be a saddle problem too. Looks too small for you - tilting you forward on your crotch which puts heel out of alignment.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2011
    Location
    Waaaaay back Slaughter Holler
    Posts
    2,054

    Default

    Saddle is too small. It is pushing you forward on your crotch, causing you to arch your back, and not allowing you to sit back on your pockets.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2007
    Posts
    573

    Default

    I'm not sure what class you are riding in but I think you need to loosen the reins so that you can bend your elbow and relax your arm. I agree that the saddle might be a bit small. I was told to "tuck your but under you" lol. Nice horse and turnout.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2015
    Location
    toodling along in the fast lane with my left blinker on.
    Posts
    2,297

    Default

    Love your horse!!

    Your hand needs to be much closer to your saddle horn - elbow bent, soft relaxed arm. Your hand should stay in a small box in front of the horn. You do look like you are somewhat posing - arched and stiff in the back.
    Outlaws, in-laws, coolers of beer... Now, ain't we livin' the dream.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 22, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    359

    Default

    Thanks for the replies, all!

    Pelvis position: Thanks for articulating what I couldn't figure out! It sure does look like my pelvis is tipped forward, which would account for the weird angles I see. Funny, I like to think I'm pretty cognizant of sitting deep and square, and keeping my hips loose and flexible to follow the motion of the horse. It sure doesn't look like it though. If I tuck my tailbone under any more, my legs start to jut forward and I lose any lateral maneuverability in my legs. Hmmm... I've been toying with the idea of seeing a chiropractor for some hip issues...and now maybe to address anterior pelvic tilt.

    Saddle size: Nooooo! I've been trying to ignore the possibility that my saddle is too small. It took me forever to find a saddle that fit both me (back when my butt was smaller, I guess) and my horse, and, ugh, I really don't want to go through the saddle hunting misery again.

    Weird hand position: Still getting used to this whole riding with one hand thing! I think I choked up on the reins so much as a security measure to maintain pleasure paces. I hope I don't ride like this most of the time.

    Pony turnout: Awh, thanks for saying such nice things! She's a pretty good nugget of a horse.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 16, 2006
    Location
    SE Coastal NC
    Posts
    1,727

    Default

    Were you (are you) a huntseat rider who's now riding western? Because that's how I sit in a western saddle -- it's way hard to retrain my huntseat position into a more relaxed, sit on the pockets, long leg, type position
    "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower

    Boston Terrier Rescue of NC - www.btrnc.org - Adopt for Life!


    3 members found this post helpful.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2007
    Posts
    573

    Default

    Saddle shopping sucks!! Can you find that same saddle in a larger seat?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2009
    Location
    CA to Costa Rica to WI
    Posts
    1,857

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sirbeastmom View Post
    If I tuck my tailbone under any more, my legs start to jut forward and I lose any lateral maneuverability in my legs. Hmmm... I've been toying with the idea of seeing a chiropractor for some hip issues...and now maybe to address anterior pelvic tilt.
    Warning: I am NOT a western rider. But when I did ride for a western trainer for a short time, I struggled with this because I have tight hip flexors. So religious stretching may help too.
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    Fourteen Months Living and Working in Costa Rica


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 2014
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    1,067

    Default

    I don't know that I would say your saddle is too small, but I agree you should "sit" more with your pelvis. Push your tailbone down.

    Personally, I'd also take your feet out of the stirrups just a smidge. Have it a little more on the ball of your foot.

    And bring your rein hand closer to the saddle horn. It looks like you are REACHING way forward for some reason with the reins.

    Otherwise, you guys looks like a very nice pair!
    It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    54,578

    Default

    Before you get a new saddle, try this, fold a bath towel a few times and put it in the front part of the saddle under the blanket and see if that raises the front some, without making it too narrow for the horse.
    Seems that the saddle is sitting down on the front too much, which could be what is tilting you forward.
    Generally that could be the saddle is too wide for the horse.

    If that helps, you can use built-up pads made just for that for now.

    I have the opposite problem with my reining saddle, it is too large for me and so sits me a little too far back if it sits right on the horse and I have to fight to stay up over his center of gravity.
    You want a reining saddle a little larger to have room in there to compensate as the horse moves, but mine is just too long for me and tend to sit a little too much with the opposite of your problem.

    I am looking for a shorter reining saddle now because of that.

    All of us are merely guessing, the proof is always what you feel and your trainer tells you in person, pictures can lie from moment to moment.
    Videos are better.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,822

    Default

    First of thanks for posting your pictures and requesting feedback!!! I am not a western rider but here are my thoughts.

    Photo one. You look a little stiff. When your rein arm is out straight I think it makes your upper body prone to twist which may effect balance and load up more weight on one seat bone than the other. Sit up straight and tall. Imagine riding with a book on your head. Work on sitting more "on your pockets." And also engaging your abs. This is a little graphic but it creates the right idea, its' a tidbit from my dressage trainer... "fart forwards." ha ha but it works.
    photo two- I thought your leg looked better to me in this one. I'm not sure what they want in the western world but it looks like your toes are out (sticking away from horse) more than necessary- and stirrup should be more on ball of foot- looks like your foot is too far in the stirrup- I hope a western person can comment on this.

    Photo three- work on sitting more straight and tall and looks like you could have more weight in your heel (or think of bringing your toe up).

    I was taught to keep my shoulders, hips, and heel lined up. This is an athletic stance that I also taught to skiers. The idea is that if the horse suddenly went poof and disappeared you would land balanced on your feet. But I don't know how what western disciplines teach.

    I think these are all little fixes that you can correct. And do have someone take a look at your saddle as that may be making it difficult for you. Best of luck and again thanks for requesting feedback. All of us have things we need to work on.

    Also watch videos of good riders in the disciplines in which you are interested.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 3, 2016
    Posts
    53

    Default

    Definitely loosen your reins a bit.

    Lengthen your stirrups a hole.

    And yes, you're sitting on your crotch. Practice some posterior pelvic tilts while you're sitting in a chair. You'd be surprised how we lose the muscle memory to perform this. Then practice in the saddle.

    In photo 2, if you had your reins lengthened, it'd clean up that arm that's sticking out there like a sore thumb You want to keep your elbow bent and hand in front of the horn, and like a little joystick, all of your direction is kept in a small box.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2015
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    toodling along in the fast lane with my left blinker on.
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    2,297

    Default

    It might help to just lope around on the rail a bit with one hand reached around behind you holding onto the back of your saddle.
    Outlaws, in-laws, coolers of beer... Now, ain't we livin' the dream.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun. 21, 2016
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SkipHiLad4me View Post
    Were you (are you) a huntseat rider who's now riding western? Because that's how I sit in a western saddle -- it's way hard to retrain my huntseat position into a more relaxed, sit on the pockets, long leg, type position
    Same! Last time I showed western (albeit quite a while ago), the judge told me to stop riding like a huntseat rider. So you're definitely not alone!



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