This Weekend

I suffer from a myriad of position problems. I collapse my right side when going left, I have trouble keeping my lower leg still on the horse. I don’t turn my body well to the right when going right. The list goes on.  None of this issues are conducive to training a young horse, and I was getting desperate for some help in addition to what my instructor was telling me. 

I came across what promised to be the answers to my prayers in an advertisement on Jane Savoie’s web site for her DVD series, Program Your Position with Ruth Hogan-Poulsen.  It proclaimed it could easily fix all of my position faults, but I wasn’t hooked until it said it could help me sit the trot.  I purchased it with a lot of hope that it would live up to it’s hype and an equal amount of scepticism. Overall, I was disappointed.

Over the holiday break from work, I had watched all 5 of the DVDs. Jane and Ruth split the lessons. Their program is based on replacing long instructions with trigger words.  For example, if you tend to sit off to the right, think “target” to center yourself in the saddle. My main complaint with the program is that it over promised. It cannot fix your position problems until you know what they are. Also, unless you have mirrors or a trainer watching you ride all the time, you will have no clue if thinking “slinky” really helped you to realign your spine correctly.  Regarding how to sit the trot, it provided different things to try, such as holding onto a bucking strap to help you feel the motion or switching diagonals to feel the rhythm, but its not a magic bullet.

The program also came with 2 CDs meant to be listened to while in the saddle.  On Saturday, I decided to give the first CD about the buzz words a try.  I programed it into my Ipod.  It was a beautiful and warm day, but the large bottom ring was still too frozen to do anything but walk.  The small top ring had a perfect 20-m circle that was cleared. I started up there.  The CD has you practice using the buzz words first at the halt, then walk, and then a little trot.  It also has an introduction into sitting the trot, which is what the second CD is dedicated to.  The CD was close to an hour long of mainly walk, but PJ was a saint. To keep him from getting bored I switched back and forth between the two rings, doing all of the trot work in the upper ring.

The CD definitely was more valuable than much of the DVDs.  I thought the first 3 DVDs could have been summed up into one. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely got something out of the program; however, not nearly enough for the $137 price tag.  I’m still hanging out hope that the CD on sitting the trot will be good.

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4 Responses to This Weekend

  1. I’m sorry that these tools weren’t exactly what you thought they’d be. I find that is the case with many of those things. I think maybe it is that we all learn in different ways and so it’s hard for something to work for everyone. I seem to find something that works but rarely everything but with a little bit here and there over time I get where I need to be.

    Riding in the perfect position just doesn’t happen for very many people. I know it is the ideal but many of us have physical reasons that we can’t get to that position no matter how hard we try. That doesn’t mean we can’t get from the horse what we want. There are lots of very successful trainers out there riding in less than perfect form. For me I strive to be as straight and square as is possible for me so I can make it as easy as possible for my horse to do the right thing but I know my horse has the talent and will do what it takes to make up for my flawed position.

  2. Pingback: Welcome to the February Blog Carnival of Horses | EQUINE Ink

  3. At times, I think videos and DVD’s are to riders what supplements are to horses. You never know if what worked so well for the horse in stall A will work for the horse in stall B. It so depends on how their system works.

    I watch tapes, review videos of great riders, try to feel the ride, etc.

    What I really need is a mirror! Seriously. I have problems in lessons: I vacate my body, and my trainer rides ::through:: me. By the end of the ride I look fantastic, and it’s completely unrepeatable for me tomorrow. But if I could connect what it looks like to what I’m feeling, I know I could get it. We don’t have a safe place for one at our barn, dang it all.

    Thanks for the review. It helped me get a sense of whether or not the DVD’s would help me. I’m going to see if I can get them through the library.

  4. shinyfluff says:

    Like the blog! I found that watching a video a friend made of me (just on your camera or phone even) at the different gaits let me id position problems (chair seat, high restless hands, weird chest motions during canter, sigh) I had no idea I had and they seem to disappear quickly after that. of course, the horror-inducing shame from seeing how bad I actually look while riding may take longer to pass : )

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