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 Post subject: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Wed Nov 17, 2010 4:22 pm 
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Hi everyone: Sue, Colinde, and I got into a further conversation about the psoas and strengthening your seat that I thought would best fit in this thread, and when I went off to find it, found it buried in the Videos forum. I took the liberty of moving it to the Riding forum because I think there are really important ideas cooking here that lots of us can benefit from and I think it will be easier to find here. Thanks! Leigh

Someone on one of the discussion lists I'm on shared this video of herself, having seat lessons. Nice video to illustrate what many of us work so hard to find...the correct seat!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swgg8Ybqdt0

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 12:54 pm 
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Saw this Karen. Very nice seat. Cool that she can get this. (Driving me mad that, well.. hmm)

Don't know that I would want to do this though, even if it was available to me, and I could afford it. Can't deny the benefit to human, but I can't help but feel sorry for the horse, all tied up and down. I like the way the rider is trying her best to give some positive feedback to the horse though. But poor horse looks so shut down. :sad:

MUST be another way! :)

What I do for myself, and with my students is an adapted form...

In a suitable safe place, with a suitably quiet, affectionate, helpful human loving horse, rider sits on horse with sheepskin pad, with pocket full of treats, and progresses through walking and trotting and finally,if they're up for it, cantering exercises, without reins or stirrups. At first students walk with me till I know that they have their balance, and horse is responding to agreed stop and get a carrot cues. ;) Then I sit and monitor from the fence. In the round pen, the horse tends to go round in circles, but in the larger paddock horses tend to want to gravitate to one corner, and there are all kinds of turns and shapes possible.
We make it a game, and only rule is horse mustn't eat grass, and will stop and go, slow down and speed up according to riders suggestion. But rider doesn't try to control direction. So the exercise has a double purpose, in that it tunes the minds in as well. Or triple, because gradually horse and rider begin to get in sync with turns also, which you can't do on the lunge. I've never had a prob with it - i reckon properly introduced with a reward system, (and suitable horse) it's no more likely to be risky than being lunged.

Riding out on a trail is also a great way to get a free seat lesson, on a quiet relaxed horse. Hold the reins on the buckle, or leave them on the neck, or let someone lead you, and just sit and relax and enjoy the movement and the scenery!

I like her hands hanging at sides! Works the same if you hold one hand up in front with reins loose, and the other hanging. Brings posture into alignment. So you have reins there ready to be drawn up and used if neccessary, but can still get the benefit of "passenger" riding. Sunrise and I do a lot of our outside riding like this.

Going to write more about this in your diary Karen, where you suggested discussion of high hands. Been thinking about it all day. :D

And it does work miracles on seat!

Sue

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:22 pm 
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I feel the same way as Sue, but I don't think Karen meant to do it this way exactly but was just interested in how it is suppose to work, right?

I always shape the rider the way I shape the horse. I simply make them very body aware, give them simple exercises to develop those muscles a rider needs for good riding the same way we develop the muscles with the horse to develop those muscles they need for being ridden safely.

I give the rider small tasks to do with his body and then I make him really sense the effect on the horse (because it effect the horse positiveley, the horse rewards the rider with a great feeling). The same way horses will seek out to repeat that because what we ask feels so good, the same way will the rider seek to repeat the task I've given because it feels good both in horse an rider.
It's engaging very much the same muscles we want to engage with the horse.

The answers are with the old masters, study the drawings of the lessons from De Pluvinel and La Gueriniere and also use the magic of the stirrup to poise your body. That is what they are there for :)

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 2:48 pm 
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Quote:
I don't think Karen meant to do it this way exactly but was just interested in how it is suppose to work, right?
:ieks: :yes: Oh yes, I know, absolutely, Karen's not suggesting it, just examining it with her eagle scientists artist's eye for what she can learn. :D I was commenting more on comments from another list, where the link was first posted. Naughty of me really, to speak here rather than there.. Just like peace!

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 5:14 pm 
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Thanks Sue and Josepha!

I have really begun to find my seat and balance (I can't say I've found it quite yet, but it's improving) through mimicry, trial and error and a bit of hands on help (I have had a couple of seat lessons from Paul over the years).

I've been thinking of trying a bit with Tam if he's amenable. Not to go too long, but he can be lunged on the cordeo. My other thought was to see if he'd be ok to trot in circles if I mapped out an area with traffic cones. Not sure that would work so well. The other of course is to ride as much as possible in walk and trot without rains or stirrups...that is easy enough to do. There are many possibilities of course. The other option is to simply keep doing what I'm doing....slowly working it out over time.

As they say...many roads to Rome! :f:

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sat Nov 20, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Karen wrote:
Thanks Sue and Josepha!

I have really begun to find my seat and balance (I can't say I've found it quite yet, but it's improving) through mimicry, trial and error and a bit of hands on help (I have had a couple of seat lessons from Paul over the years).

If 20 years with horses professionally, as many as 10 to 20 horses a day to work with (and sometimes 40 to 60 students a week), didn't teach me anything else it taught me that no two horses, no two riders are the same.

Especially when it came to anything that involved the dynamic of riding.

Thus I'm always cautious about formulaic solutions for "the seat." Your approach as you describe above is, I believe, the wisest of all for developing the best all purpose "seat."

For special work, yes, choosing and sticking with one instructor who has a proven formula for his or her sport, such as jumping, is a good thing to do. Reining and other competition stock horse work apply as well.
Karen wrote:
I've been thinking of trying a bit with Tam if he's amenable. Not to go too long, but he can be lunged on the cordeo. My other thought was to see if he'd be ok to trot in circles if I mapped out an area with traffic cones. Not sure that would work so well. The other of course is to ride as much as possible in walk and trot without rains or stirrups...that is easy enough to do. There are many possibilities of course. The other option is to simply keep doing what I'm doing....slowly working it out over time.

As they say...many roads to Rome! :f:


Most horses really like identifiable boundaries or goal markers. That's why clicker training works so well. It's not just the treats. :yes:

I hated, when I was training professionally, having time lines of when I would have a horse done. I used to trailer train horses, for instance, in as little as half and hour. I hated it, though I was not cruel, just very bossy.

I took a month and a half with Bonnie, and with haltering, about four months. Such a luxury. I never had to ignore her "no, I don'twanna," and could simply revert to play. So Bonnie and I have a relationship I only had with one other horse - my QH stallion Kokohanohano.

I think going at your own pace is better than any "method," even if you don't do it perfectly according to the book.

Almost every day I read on line the advice of various trainers and instructors, and it all seems to be about force and coersion, dominance and compliance. Rarely do I see anything about the relationship development.

Donald, Altea, and Bonnie Cupcake

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:48 pm 
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Quote:
I took a month and a half with Bonnie, and with haltering, about four months. Such a luxury. I never had to ignore her "no, I don'twanna," and could simply revert to play. So Bonnie and I have a relationship I only had with one other horse - my QH stallion Kokohanohano.

I think going at your own pace is better than any "method," even if you don't do it perfectly according to the book.

:clap:

But nobody has time, no body seems to be able to plan long term... look at all the political developments; people chose those who promiss unstant 'I don't wanna, or I wanna ... Now!' solutions fed on fear and frustration, but only few stand or chose for long term actual and real solutions to come to a new society that fits our long term needs and those of our planet and fellow earthlings... :sad:
It's the fault of this time and age... I think.
That is why this forum is a breath of fresh air to me. People take time, invest in the future of themselves and their horse :kiss:

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:43 pm 
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:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
Well said Josepha.

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:15 pm 
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Thought we'd have some fun doing our own "AND" version of a lunge lesson video today. :green:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBcZu_jD0LA

:funny: :funny:

The "circles' are a bit wonky and sometimes not even circles, but Footprint seemed to like them that way. Variety is the spice of life. And who says wonky circles aren't also very useful for you seat??? :twisted:

:D Footies definitely not a dressage horse.. she likes long relaxing walks and kids playing on her back. Hates the discipline of constriction. But she was happy enough doing this. Although as you can see, her trot is flat and definitely not collected. :green: AN would be aggrieved... :sad:

She wasn't entirely relaxed, as I haven't ridden her for ages, and she's got a bit flabby.. :yes: me too.
I've just treated her feet for thrush again after this long bout of boring wet weather, and we've got a strange dog tailing us! (Sometimes literally, actually grabbing onto her tail! :roll: ) But all in all she was happy with the idea.

It was a really good exercise for me to video myself and watch.. these clips are from towards the end of the session when I'd loosened up a bit, but still a bit stiff in lower back and hips, as I've slacked off on psoas exercises lately. And Footprint seemed soooo round today.
All that will change now! :twisted: Sue's coming back on form!!

Yes, I looked down and leaned on her when she did that first little jump. :razz:
And our canter transition was a bit unsynched.. I didn't know she was going to do that. :razz:

And I forgot to do the exercises!! :razz: :roll: :funny:
But it was fun!

Feedback welcome!

There will be a next installment.....

Would like to issue a challenge -well, not a challenge, that sounds so confrontational and competitive - not sure of the word I'm looking for, "an encourager"? - to anyone else who enjoys this kind of playing around to make a vid of their own "AND" style lunge lesson to add to the pool. :D :D

Reason - I've been hearing a lot recently in other circles about the absolute neccessity for countless hours of traditional lunge lessons, sans reins and stirrups, if you want to become anything near to being a real well-seated rider. Eeeerrrrrgggggghhhh. It makes me grit my teeth, because - IMHO- it's just so terribly demoralizing to the horse, done the traditional way. There must be another way.
This is my contribution. :f:
Please, anyone else out there like to join in and get the inspiration pot cooking?

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:24 pm 
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:applause: :applause: :applause: :applause:

That was NICE! You sure as heck don't look flabby my dear...my goodness you look amazing!

I'll try one soon...with a video. I start yoga on Wednesday. I'm afraid I put on some weight over summer. This is unusual for me, but I'm going through menopause, have been too much at the computer (working) and not getting out enough for real exercise - and now, when I do something that actually works some muscles, I get really stiff the next day. So...enough of this. The yoga will help me loosen up and find some balance and stability in my muscles and then I will find some other exercising that works for me for the winter. I do have a treadmill...just have to fight the notion that it's so incredibly boring to walk or jog on it.

At any rate, now you've inspired me. I want to try this.

I know you've mentioned that saddle you have on Footie before, but I've forgotten what it is....what is it?

Thank you for this Sue! You are nicely upright and centered on Footie....midway through the video when Footie did the canter depart, it looked so soft and lovely!

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 4:41 pm 
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That is excellent stuff Sue. You see her movements improve while you and her are getting more in sync.
I go about it much the same way myself. Like learning how to dance, just get to know the movement and follow in my own good time.

Now that I've started a little riding with O, he chases Samantha for instance, having a blast while I get to be a passive passenger and try to get in sync :funny:
He got so worked up that he did a terre a terre :ieks: that was amazing! He totally forgot I was there too :funny:

while novice rider or novice horse, a lot of passive riding should be done in the beginning so one or the other can 'figure this out' first before proceeding any further, if you know what I mean. But i think you probably know exactly what I mean 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:32 pm 
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windhorsesue wrote:
Thought we'd have some fun doing our own "AND" version of a lunge lesson video today. :green:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBcZu_jD0LA


What a wonderful video to start my day out with. :) Kind of a reminder to me that I don't need to have someone lunge D for me while I try this (I work alone). :yes:

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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:22 am 
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Quote:
That was NICE! You sure as heck don't look flabby my dear...my goodness you look amazing!


Thankyou Karen! I have lost 7kg in the last year, but I still see plenty of flab that wasn't there a few years ago. 7 to go! Black is such a forgiving color though! :green:

I meant more though that I just haven't exercised much in the last month so I definitely feel my core is less strong than it was when I was running/cycling and riding my "endurance team" ( :funny: AKA Sunrise and Harlequin) over summer. And I could definitely feel it. I had to put more effort into strengthening and being upright, and the more effort easily translates into stiffness.. So it took half an hour of playing around with the combinations, and looking at the videos, to have it looking like I wanted. And feeling like Footprint wanted. Interesting. My fitness never used to slip so fast when I was younger.. :sad:

Quote:
I'll try one soon...with a video.
Yayyayayay! I'm so glad! Let's make this a work in progress..

Quote:
I do have a treadmill...just have to fight the notion that it's so incredibly boring to walk or jog on it.
You could always take up learning chinese.. :green: then you'd be all set for when you eventually get around to visiting me. :funny: Seriously, I find running incredibly boring and wasteful of time, but now that I've found a way to multi-task - run for fitness, exercise my dogs, AND listen to my MP3 lesson at the same time, I've found I can handle the tedium and guilt! Get ye over to the fitness thread, young lady!

Quote:
midway through the video when Footie did the canter depart, it looked so soft and lovely!
Believe it or not, I was not particularly happy with that canter depart.... I can see the faults. She "hops" into it with front legs, then hesitates back into trot, then begins again. Footprint's canter departs are things of absolute elegance and lightness. She'll walk canter walk canter, precisely, exactly, softly at the exact moment that you think it, without the slightest external sign of a cue from the rider. It's her piece de resistance! :D Not bad for a middle aged farm horse! This time, we were having a little internal confusion over who was leading. She had the idea to go into a canter, and instead of staying with her, I "held" her for a moment with my body in trot, because I consciously thought I didn't want her to canter at that point (there was a soft pot hole of mud in front of us on the bend), and then I second thought "what the heck" and opened up again, and off she went.
You can see an instance of her cueless transition when she goes from trot to walk about midway through the video.
It's hard to explain how we do it - she taught me, not vice versa - but I've been able to teach it to others who ride her. You have to stay absolutely soft and fluid, no clamping down or actively TRYING to make her stop. It's just a sitting up tall and relaxed, and sinking softly down through the seat with a sigh! :D
Anyway, thanks for the nice comment. Will have to make another attempt and see if we can capture some of our better canter departs on film.

The "saddle" is the deluxe version of the Christ's Horsedream Lamsfelle bareback pad. With stirrups added, and modified with a homemade "tree" to give it just a little twist. That is, I bought closed cell foam pad of varying rigidity, and cut it into a seat shape, built up with extra layers at cantle and pommel and inserted it into the saddle pad. The Deluxe pad has a zipper that allows the top sheepskin to be taken off. It's super comfortable and very stable.

Josepha, thankyou! :f:
Quote:
You see her movements improve while you and her are getting more in sync
. Yes, I could feel it too. She started a little upright and short and choppy, and later she evens out and becomes softer and more rounded.

Quote:
he chases Samantha for instance, having a blast while I get to be a passive passenger and try to get in sync
Oh yeah, chasing! Thanks for reminding me! Isn't that a great way to motivate the horse to just move while you passenger ride. It's another way to do a "lunge lesson" without a lunge. :D

I'll repost here the link to an old video I made of a little student of mine, Tahlia, doing exacly this on Bella as she chased the ball. Tahlia had a natural great seat, but was afraid of trotting and too scared to try a canter. In this video, she canters for the first time and learns to sit up and loose while trotting. She's most relaxed when it's just her and Bell and I leave them alone. And the chase teaches rider focus. And Bellla is.. well.. having a ball!! :D

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=araIyd4PM6A

Quote:
while novice rider or novice horse, a lot of passive riding should be done in the beginning so one or the other can 'figure this out' first before proceeding any further

YES! I do know exactly what you mean. This bit "novice rider OR novice horse" is SUCH a good point though, it should be plastered up all over the place! Most people accept that novice riders benefit from passenger lessons, but the idea of passenger lessons on novice horses is probably quite threatening for most. It's SUCH a great way to start though!
I think that's what Leigh has been doing with Circe too..
:D

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I have not sought the horse of bits, bridles, saddles and shackles,

But the horse of the wind, the horse of freedom, the horse of the dream. [Robert Vavra]


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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:20 am 

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Sue,
lovely video. :clap: :clap: :f: I love passenger lessons, about time I try them bareback some more. This past summer most of them were interspersed with lots of grazing. Once we have some real snow on the ground I might get some more forward movement done so I think I'll try this soon, too. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Seat Lessons
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:22 am 
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YES! I do know exactly what you mean. This bit "novice rider OR novice horse" is SUCH a good point though, it should be plastered up all over the place! Most people accept that novice riders benefit from passenger lessons, but the idea of passenger lessons on novice horses is probably quite threatening for most. It's SUCH a great way to start though!
I think that's what Leigh has been doing with Circe too..


And what Antoine De Pluvinel did. :yes: What we do at AND is actually not new at all. It's just that now it is based on health and fitness and then it was much more serious, the education of a would be King and a would be war Horse.

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