How to get the most out of your your riding videos. Part 2: how I analyse videos, what I look for and how you could do it too.

Part 1 can be found here: https://aspireequestrian.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/how-to-get-the-most-out-of-your-your-riding-videos-part-1-how-what-and-with-what-to-video/

In this part I would like to share with you my little strategy on using video analysis within training programmes. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or a more accomplished rider, video footage can be helpful at all levels.

SONY DSC

Liberado wants to have a look too 😉

How do I analyse videos and what I look for in the footage

First of all, I think about a schooling problem the rider has. For example, a relatively experienced rider brings on a young horse. Throughout training it becomes apparent she doesn’t notice or feel or is able to recognise when the horse loses his balance through his shoulders i.e. for various reasons either leans in onto his inside shoulder or falls out through his outside shoulder.

I want the rider to be able to learn to stabilise horse’s weight in such a way that it is possible to ride a balanced 20m circle. However, the rider doesn’t learn so well via instructions (she does them well but isn’t able to replicate when riding on her own) and although visual feedback is helpful she learns best through feel. Such riders need to do something that makes their body notice the difference and then they need to get on the case of the problem and arrive there via trial and error.

I like to come up with an exercise that magnifies the issue, film it and let the rider learn both via feel and visual feedback.

To follow the example of this rider, I asked her to ride a turn on the forehand in motion on a small circle (I placed a piece of a pole on the ground to help her establish the “centre of her circle”). It’s a really good suppling exercise when done well and I will write about it soon (I want to give the rider a chance to do it again and correct herself before I publish the videos 🙂 )

Upper body

Well chosen exercise magnifies more subtle issues and makes them drastically obvious to the rider

How can you do it yourself

Pick a habit that you know you have or that you suspect you have. Then think of an exercise that will really reveal your issue and get someone to film you doing it. Once you have the footage, edit the video so it plays back at 50 to 25% slow motion (you can upload it to You Tube and slow it down using You Tube Editor).

Make random pauses, grab screen and ponder on what you see and how can you do it better. It’s best to do the thinking outside of the saddle so you can focus on feeling and “conversing” with your horse when you ride.

Equally, if your horse has particular difficulty with something, video footage can show you how you can help him/her through improving your own riding.

Good luck 🙂

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