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Re: [RC] Random thoughts on recent subject threads - sharon1359

I knew I'd forget something.

I wanted to say that when I post, I concentrate on *opening my hip joint* more
than anything else... as one instructor told me, make a crease in the seat of
your pants (otherwise known as squeeze your butt cheeks together)!  It's
similar to envisioning a string attached to your belly button... it's actually
helpful to do both at the same time.

I find that when the movement is initiated by my hips (instead of my knees,
calves, or thighs), my feet stay underneath my hips, my knees stay looser
against the saddle, and I am well balanced.

I think the instructor(s) who taught me this had a Centered Riding
background...?  Not sure.

-Sharon K.

Quoting sharon1359@xxxxxxxxxxx:

Some of the recent topics have got me thinking, and I'm the think-out-loud
so I decided to write to the group to see if anyone has any comments.

I've had Zephyr since May of 2000.  He is a 14.2h Arab / Rocky Mtn. Horse,
short-backed for his height, who weighs around 850#.  He has a nice fast
dogwalk and flatwalk, a slow foxtrot, a fast-tempo working trot, a great big
slower-tempo extended trot (that he didn't do under saddle much for the first
two years), and a wonderful rocking-chair canter.  He has recently started
developing a slow trot / jog.

He's started really getting into the groove these days.  Last summer I
got him a saddle he likes (Marciante), and shoes that he loves (Ground
Control).  Plus, when I got him he was green so his balance under saddle was
fairly poor, but the miles we've put on together have really helped that.

The combination of those three things has allowed him to finally give me that
big trot I always drool over when he's loose in the field.  In fact, my
buddy tells me that in addition to the 12-15" overstride I already knew
he actually does lower his hips a bit, raise his shoulders, and "travel a
little bit wide behind".  Very very cool.  That trot tops out at only about
mph but then again he DOES have shorter legs than taller horses do.

Stirrup length: There is a certain length that is comfortable for walk,
working trot, and canter.  But I've recently discovered that when he does
big trot, I have to set my stirrups one hole shorter so that when I post
upwards I can stay in the air long enough to give him time to take the next
stride.  If I lengthen the stirrups back down that one hole, I end up
on my tippie-toes and I *still* come back down too soon and bounce hard on

Side-note: Has anyone else noticed that one diagonal is infinitely easier to
post to than the other?  For me, when riding the Big Trot, the left diagonal
much easier... I really have to work hard when he's on the right diagonal,
I feel like a chicken with her wings flapping in the wind.

Loin rubbing: When I first got the Marciante last summer, I got a 1" Skito
because I didn't know for absolutely certain how well the saddle fit (I
it used).  Last fall I had a saddle fitter check over the saddle/pad/horse
combination, and she said the fit was great.  However, I've recently noticed
that the hair over his loins is breaking off.  It didn't start until a few
weeks ago, maybe a month at the most.  All winter he's had ruffled hairs
but I'd just assumed it was due to the extra length of the hair.  But when I
saw the actual hair *breakage*, I realized that he has gained flesh along his
topline in the last few months, and thought maybe now the 1" Skito pad was
thick.  However, NOW I'm hearing from Ridecampers that a large number of
have this problem in the winter/spring even with saddles & pads that fit
 I still think I can get away with thinner foam in my Skito (because he truly
has filled out in his topline) but now I'm less worried about a real saddle
issue.  I'll still have it checked out ASAP, but after checking it over
a pad last night, it looks good to me, so I'm going to relax just a bit.

There, nothing like a little Thinking Out Loud In Public to get your mind off
the project the boss wants finished in 2 hours.  :p

Have a great day y'all,
-Sharon Kenney & Zephyr's Elegant Gift
In my experience (22 year worth) most endurance riders are great people who
will go out their way to help and be friendly.
~  Laura Hayes

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Why should I look good if I don`t smell good? 
~  author unknown

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[RC] Random thoughts on recent subject threads, sharon1359