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[RC] /re: need help - ladurgin

    Mel. I ride my horse like that (at least for years on trails). I took H/J and Dressage lessons--and western. Trailriding especially for hours is different. My Daughter is a H/J instructor. She rode a forward seat once with me at a clinic for about 15 miles and liked to died. Her lower back was really hurting,k because they  lean forward--hence "forward seat".
     H/J and dressage people often use the reins as part of  balance. Just like the  Western sort of jam themselves into  their stirrrups and up against the cantle.
     My arab doens't like  tight contact either-- I  ride a modified english, in a hybrid saddle now.(have used , endurance, western, and aussie)
     To help with your posting and balance, get in a ring of sorts .(can use rope or tape on trees or  posts) (for safety) .Don't TRY to post with a big T. Let your horse push you up.  try to post with as small a lift as possible. You usually need a hands width between your fanny and the saddle standing in your stirrups . But  you don't have to post  this high. Say "up, down" as your practice till the rhythm is natural for you and you don't need the words. You want to go up on the outside shoulder as the leg reaches forward, and down  as it goes back. You can put a spot or piece of tape on the horses shoulder to help. Practice  10 times one direction , then 10 times the other direction. Your horse will catch on to the lap thing fairly quickly. You can do this  on a fairly loose rein.
      Next  try to drop your stirrups and do it without  stirrups, This will really help your balance. Many people shove  from  their  stirrups , but it should actually come from the  the upper leg /hip.Post forward and  up slightly , let your horse push you up.Straight up and down will make you fall behind the rhythm most likely in the beginning. Don't lock your hip  or lower back. Think of being  JELLO there. Don't hold your self up too long.  Try to get with his  rhythm, it helps if  you can keep him a specific speed trot, (a good working trot helps).  And different horses have different  posts. Mine is quick and low, which I like, but get me on a long, tall horse and it takes me a  while to adjust.  I once rode a X dressage horse, and   they made me  use  about  25 lbs. of pressure on the reins and he bounced me  so  hard , I had to  get off and go the bathroom , frequently;0()    -- This was not a fun horse to ride!!!! He also took a  2.4 jump at  about  3.6", (my only 3.6" mind you!!!)--
   Try not to  be stiff or lock  any joints. Clinton Anderson was just saying that the riders with the  best balance were english riders, because they had to  learn to post  and posting will really  help your balance.
     Also the "kick in rhythm " thing.Call it  "lets annoy the horse ".  This is one of those carry over things everyone does, cause everyone does. No , not all h/J trainers teach this.  Often it is for a plug or school horse, I rode a couple of those, (really didn't like them, no go, no sensitivelty) who won't keep moving. Or they think it will keep them in rhythm. Or  "it is always taught this way".-- All you are doing , is nagging the horse, till they are "dead sided". Since my horse was trained that leg  bumping means  something like move  over  or go forward, that is what  he does, I stop (release pressure, when he does what I want). Otherwise you burn the cue, and it is no longer a cue, it is a meanlingless aggravation. Hanging on his mouth will make him less sensitive to real cues, so you will have to  use more pressure etc. and on it go.
   Trail riding  lots is different from ring riding. Some methods an't be sustained comfortable  on long rides. You can do a lot  of things for  5-15 minutes that won't translate  to the trail.
     Have fun!

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