Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Video You'll Never See

I video taped myself riding to see if I could spot what I needed to work on.

Woo howdy.

There's something you won't see on YouTube (unless my daughter decides she has no intention of living to see her 13th birthday).

Seriously it was AWFUL. But the good thing is I was able to get over my horror and get to work. I finally figured out what I was doing wrong with my steering. I was trying to direct rein Smokey toward the rail - sorta. What I needed to do was open the outside rein, pull the inside rein over his neck, push slightly with my inside leg, and make sure I was sitting straight and not LEAN FORWARD OR INTO THE TURN!

Yesh. Where did I pick THAT up?

I haven't had this problem steering, mostly because my horses up to now ignore bad direction. Not Smokey. He is used to doing as he's told.

This is good for me, I realized, as long as I don't take too long to get my act together.

Anyway, yesterday I worked on
  • sitting straight,
  • looking much farther ahead (like we did with the cows),
  • thinking "ride the rails,"
  • use a slight pressure from my inside leg,
  • stronger pressure on the inside rein coming across the neck,
  • open on the outside leg and rein,
  • with an ever so slight little finger pressure on the outside rein when needed to keep the head straight.

It was like full body algebra.

But darn it if we didn't get to riding together! We actually rode the rails, and then, after a bit, we hit the trail.

Alone. We rode out alone. And he was terrific. Not barn sour, willing to get out there and work even in the heat. We didn't do anything too obnoxious - no hard cantering, or trotting in this heat. More mental work, with a few bouts of trot and canter here and there. We worked on turning around obstacles, being precise where each hoof fell, backing and doing hindquarter yields. By the end it was wonderful. For both of us. We actually went where I thought I was telling him to go.

Maybe next week's video will show an improvement. But chances are you won't see that one either. LOL

BTW, the headstall came in with the bit and I have to say, I was thrilled with both the quality, speed of shipment, an price. Seriously - go to Half Circle Ranch. And if that weren't enough, they are doing their best to only stock American made products.

You know you need one of these. And for $35? Woo hoo!

I'll try to take some pictures of Smokey in his and will do more horsey face analysis next time.


Kate said...

Good stuff - that sort of thinking and analysis is where the improvements come from. Very good that you've got someone to video - wish I had that. Nice looking headstall!

Leah Fry said...

What a great looking headstall. Hmm, and Poco's doesn't match our current saddle...

jane augenstein said...

My neighbor and I video tape each other riding. Yes, it's eye opening for sure's good to see yourself, good or bad. It does help correct problems we don't even know we have, but it'll tell you!
Nice headstall!

Grey Horse Matters said...

Nice looking headstall. You're very brave to video yourself riding. I can't do it or I might never ride again! Seriously, it's a great tool for spotting mistakes. Great idea too. Smokey sounds like a dream.

kden said...

I'd much rather see you riding than me! Thanks for stopping by my blog on occasion.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Getting a video of yourself riding is always so helpful. You never look how you think you look. It feels much different than what you see. I had to have a riding instructor constantly correct my let position until I learned how much pain I had to feel to get those heels in line with my head and down in the stirrup. It's all about rolling your thighs from the outside forward to get the feet straight instead of having the toes point out, which is what happens if you sit comfortably.

Jeni said...

aww I posted my horrible ride:

NOW I want someone to video my improvements and I can't seem to get anyone to.

When I'm giving my youngest son lessons on Bonnie I always tell him "Open the door to the direction you want to go". Showing how to open the rein to the direction, with all aids "on" on the opposite side to block any other direction. It's something we don't think about doing right away.

Great that you were able to see the issue, and fix it though =)

Susan said...

Watching myself ride is always a humbling and enlightening experience. But I see good stuff also.

Beth said...

Great way to improve. My trainer wants to video me and I keep saying. . . yup. . .Don't think so. At least not yet. I need to improve a bit in myself confidence before I rip it down again with a video of how poorly I ride and look. lol

Very brave of you to give it go! :)

Shirley said...

Nothing like a video or photo to help you see what you are doing! They are very helpful. I'm so glad you are enjoying your new horse.