View Full Version : equitation problem

06-21-2003, 09:54 AM
I've been riding horses (hunter/jumper) for 5 years, but my equitation sucks! My toes turn out and my legs move too far forward in the saddle out in front of me. My hand carriage sucks cuz I give too much to the horse. I ride too much with my hands and not enough with my seat. So... does anybody have any tips or exercises I can do to improve this? I get along really well with the horses and have no problem controlling the horse or getting it to do what I ask it to, it's just that it's not really "show" material as I would like it to be.

06-21-2003, 03:16 PM
try to point your toes up next time! thats what i did! i had the same problem.. lol.. i pointed my toes up and improved my posture.. try setting ur self a certain amount to give the horse.. Especially if u are giving to much! ;) :p hope i was of some help if u dont understand what i mean u can pm me and ill talk it out! :D

06-21-2003, 03:50 PM
Oh yeah, I forgot to add, I don't put my heels down enough either. They tell me to relax in the saddle, but then all I end up doing is bouncing up higher at the canter!

Desert Arabian
06-21-2003, 05:00 PM
When you ride English, you need to make sure your shoulders, hips, and heels make a straight line, they are even with eachother. Your heels need to be cranked down as far as you go, and your toes need to be pointed inwards, not outawards. Your hands should be about 2-3 inches above the withers, never touching the horse. Your reins should be snug, and even, with no slackage. Move your hands forward and back with the horses neck, your hands should not stay in one place.

When you go into a canter, you want to be sure your heels are extremely far down, helping you to not bounce around. When you post, post from your knees not your feet. Your feet should stay glued in place, and not move around back and fourth. Remember to make sure your shoulders, hips, and heels are all in line.

Make you sure are not too stiff, yet not to loose in the seat. Sit up straight and don't slouch.

06-21-2003, 08:49 PM
*sigh* easier said than done. *sigh* how tight should the snaffle and the curb be if you have double reins? I know they're supposed to be taught and even, but what's the purpose of the snaffle and curb?

Desert Arabian
06-22-2003, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by Luka-pop
*sigh* easier said than done. *sigh* how tight should the snaffle and the curb be if you have double reins? I know they're supposed to be taught and even, but what's the purpose of the snaffle and curb?

Well, a snaffle bit and a curb bit give you different points of control on a horse. The tongue, poll, bars, and curb groove are the points of control for a curb it. The tongue and corners of the mouth are the control points for a snaffle bit. A curb bit gives you more control of a horse than a snaffle bit.

I can't help you with the double-reins, I never used them before.

06-22-2003, 11:57 AM
I know the feeling Luka-pop, I am not a very stylish rider myself!! I ride like a duck - toes out, and only last year I noticed that I ride with my arms completely straight - not bent at the elbows!! However I get the "job done" and my horse responds nicely to me (probably used to my "style" after 8 years!).

Lunge lessons may help you learn to ride more from your seat and rely less on your hands because the horses head will be controlled by your instructor on the ground.

I hack Ross out in a pelham with double reins (in the school he has a loose ring french link). I use the double reins because that way the curb only comes into play if I need it and the horse is not being constantly "punished". I keep both my reins even and as the snaffle rein goes outside your little finger when I ask him to slow down by squeezing the reins the snaffle is pulled more than the curb. If he gets excited I shorten both reins and the curb comes into play more. The curb should have little ill effect - tightening of the curb chain on the jaw or effect on the poll - on the horse if fitted correctly unless it is specifically used when it is needed.

Here is a good site about using double reins:
This explains that there are many ways to use them and you may use them a different way to myself (British style with the snaffle rein below the curb).

06-22-2003, 12:57 PM
You have already gotten some good advice from Cam, YLL and Shell. I have just a few things to add.
Some exercises you may try are when you are off the horse
try walking on your heels or stand with the balls of your feet on a step with your heels hanging down lower to get the feel of how your heels should be down when you are on the horse.

One exercise on the horse that always worked for me was riding without stirrups at a trot or even canter, then you are forced to have the correct leg position or else you risk falling off. You would just cross your stirrup irons over the front of the saddle and start at a walk then a trot and focus on keeping your heels down and your legs in the correct position. When you get the stirrups back on then it should feel better to have them in the correct position.

I have a question, are you in a group or private lesson? You will get one on one attention in a private one but if you are in a group one make sure you keep asking questions of your instructor, it is part of her job to answer it and show you the correct position of your hands, legs etc.
Finally practice, practice, practice, there are a lot of things to remember but keep thinking in your head about your legs and hands etc, it will get easier. Good luck!:)

06-24-2003, 11:21 AM
A good way to get into the correct position is to get into two point position or jumping position and then sit down again.it is a good way to position your legs and get your heels down.

06-24-2003, 12:07 PM
Is the two-point position the same thing as a half seat?