Category Archives: 99 Self Assessment Questions

Q#3 Do You Employ A Following Seat?

Still with me?  Fantastic.  Third in the ’99 Questions’ series of blogs.

Self-Assessment Question #3 : Do you employ a following seat?

Do you move with the horse in walk or rely on the horse’s motion to move you?  Do you allow with your hips in the trot?  Do you do the circular backward hip rotation in canter?   If not, you need to understand that a little help from you goes a long way to helping your horse forward.

Is it me or is it my horse?

Your seat must follow the horse’s motion in a rhythmical way in order to allow the horse to move forward. If you say ‘go’ with your leg aids but your seat does not immediately follow the forward swing of the horse’s hips as he picks up a hind foot, you WILL restrict forward motion – guaranteed!

Continue reading Q#3 Do You Employ A Following Seat?

Q#2 Are You In Balance?

In BalanceHey horsey friends – Second post of the ’99 Questions’ series of blogs.  We have a long way to go to get all 99 in but stick with it, I’ve written 8 of them! lol

I’m trying to keep them quick fire and succinct with links to other blogs that might help you and to give you a quick nudge and provoke a thought before you ride.  I really think there will be something for everyone.

Self-Assessment Question #2 : Are you in balance?

Can you let go of the reins and ride without reliance on your hand? If you can’t you may need to go back to basics which means checking your riding position.

Find Your Centre of Gravity

To find if you are truly over the centre of gravity whilst the horse is moving, means verifying that your legs are in the correct position.  To do this lift your bottom out of the saddle and go into ‘half seat’ (at least).

However, iWarm upn order to check absolute alignment (and slightly more difficult to do) is the ability to stand up straight, with an upright back.  Do this from your seated position without gripping with your legs or using the reins to keep your balance.

If you find that you tip forwards or fall backwards, or if you find that you need to move your legs in order to stand up independently, then your legs were not in the correct position when you started.

Continue reading Q#2 Are You In Balance?

Q#1 Are You Relaxed?

When you sign up to The Crystal System Blog you get 3 valuable reports

  1. 5 Dressage Tips that could Revolutionise your Riding
  2. 10 MUST DO Dressage Test Tips that will Take your scores to GOOD or better
  3. 99 Questions to help you self-assess your Training Progress – (catchy title – does what it says on the tin!)

Report No. 3 is the ultimate, ridiculously long, ‘quick check’ guide and is essentially a whole heap of quick fire questions designed to help you self-assess your training progression.  Most riders print the report and put them it in their tack room, so that after riding they can pick it up and use it as a reference guide.

I thought it might be useful to delve a little deeper into each question so I am starting a new series of blogs to give you a little more information about each question and how it might help your riding goals.

Self-Assessment Question #1 : Are you relaxed?

Are there any muscle groups subconsciously tense? – gripping thigh, tension through shoulders, tense fingers, rigid jaw-line, rock hard arms, solid back? All of the above? Continue reading Q#1 Are You Relaxed?