Saturday, November 17, 2012

Correct Movement - Engaging his back

After a 50-miler in July, Snickers came up with a sore back. After time off and trying new saddles, he seemed fine but came up with a sore back at the next ride. The vet and other experienced riders advised me this was probably due to the previous injury not entirely healing up. Some other contributing factors may also be my riding and my boy's movement. 

Now, he's had over 2 months off and we are riding in a different saddle. We are moving soon, and I plan on taking equitation lessons to be improve my riding and his movement. In the meantime, I'm doing my best to pick up nuggets here and there and teach myself. Forgive me if I don't have correct terminology or skills - I was raised riding Western under my dad's instruction and attending 4-H shows, and while I do feel like I'm a pretty good and successful rider, I know there are a lot of things I don't know.

Right now, I mainly want to make sure he's engaging his hind end and raising his back so that he's using his body correctly. After doing some research, I thought it was best to start working "long and low" to get him to collect and round himself up. I recorded myself to get some feedback (click the link for the video) from everyone - this is the first time I've ever approached "collection" from this point of view and with these goals - I was always taught collection was a low head and western-pleasure jog.

Let me know what I can do better, and please let me know if I'm actually doing something right lol. I'm mostly concerned about getting him moving correctly, but anything that might help with my English riding abilities might help, too. Hopefully, it won't be long before I have a trainer to help me in person!

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