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Droemar's avatar

Riding Tutorial

By Droemar
Eh. I got bored. Been working on Flash lessons over the weekend, aside from cleaning and seeing Inkheart. But I noticed there weren't any riding tutorials on DA. Seriously? What's up with that? If someone knows of any, please link me.
I make no claims to be an expert, so all of the self-proclaimed riding experts can hold their tongues. I barely know how to ride, and I don't ride regular horses. I ride gaited ones, which require little to no work on the part of the rider. Heck, Peruvian saddles were designed to make you sit way BACK, like a big cushioned car seat. All they lack are cupholders and an air conditioning vent in the pommel. So yes. I don't really ride. I sit and the horse walks in a overtly flashy manner. With my crippled spine, balance alone is an issue for me.
But on the other hand, I do have a bunch of fantasy characters that need to ride various large creatures. (Which was what I was looking for in the first place when I discovered DA's terrible lack thereof.) So I attempted to apply what I know about horseback riding to wolfback and tigerback. The dubious idea that big cats would ever suffer such trappings notwithstanding, I concluded that the power of the shoulders could handle human weight.
Also, the "wrong" drawings are HILARIOUS. I just searched for some drawings on DA and went to town. I mean, drawing horses in the correct positions alone is difficult enough, but to add a rider on top of it ... Yeah. Some people need help. So I drew this. Enjoy!
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© 2009 - 2021 Droemar
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AzureGryphon's avatar

I appreciate seeing your tutorial and thoughts on both horse and other animal riding.

There's a lot I don't know about riding and I think I learned something here.

heathenchild139's avatar
I absolutely love this, because it’s such a clear frame of reference for both horses and potential fantasy mounts. 

I do have a question though. How would you draw the rider on a bipedal mount? Something pretty vertical is rather easy, but what about a theropod? Like if you could conceivably have a t-rex mount? Would you place the rider over the shoulder blade? Would you interfere with the balance, or should the rider be over the hips?
Droemar's avatar
I think over the hips? And that is based solely on my knowledge of ostrich racing. XD Which is not much.
I imagine a big mount like a T. rex wouldn't worry so much about its center of gravity being knocked off. But definitely a smaller mount like an ostrich would need a carefully balanced rider.
heathenchild139's avatar
I think you’re right lol. I think with bigger mounts it’d still be better to be over the hips, but maybe for rider safety, maybe in a spot the mount can’t easily reach with it’s mouth would be a better idea. XD 
Kiwi-Stables's avatar
"If you want to draw them sitting, draw them on something else!" Clap 
Finally someone who gets it.

Awesome tutorial, this helps me so much in developing my drawing skills. A lot of things I struggle with make sense now, so I can make my practice time more productive.I am a dummy! 
Sweetheartbetta1997's avatar
I love riding so much that I wanna ride horses and get a horseback riding lessons but my parents can't afford it. it's too expensive. Also, when choosing horses, I am a bit of a picky type of girl, I like white horses better. 

I also love how you thought of people riding other animals than horses. I imagine large sized animals that can be ridden on like lions. 
dragondoodle's avatar
Oh Awesome! This is such a hard thing to do :nod:
Pipparachi's avatar
Dasneezequeen's avatar
Thank you I always struggle with these poses and they just end up in sketch dumps
CanisLupusDingo's avatar
Hey, this is a really helpful tutorial. Since you mentioned fantasy mounts, I wanted to know your opinions about how someone would ride a flying mount, i.e. a pegasus or griffon. I've seen some representations in fantasy media, and mostly I see the rider with their legs in front of where the wing attaches to the body, but that seems like it would interfere with flight just as much as having the leg behind where the wing attaches--so I wanted to know how you would guess how that works, since I have no riding experience to make even a poorly educated guess.
Droemar's avatar
Oh, man. I have no idea. I have a friend who loves physiology and horses, so she always talks about how wings would have to be enormous. She did an illustration of a Pegasus that basically had a double shoulder blade mechanism. This… doesn't have that, but I do like the idea of it having a very large keelbone (wishbone) to anchor super powerful wings.
James Gurney suggested Skybax riders (people riding giant Quetzalcoatlys) laid flat to avoid interfering with their mount's wings. Plausible, but definitely not dynamic (you couldn't lean over and throw stuff riding a Skybax.) You can Google Skybax for his illustrations.
I know a lot about wing mechanisms and how flight evolved, but riding a flying thing pushes past the idea of "How much room for the rider?" and into "How does the rider not interfere with flight?" Evolved flight is so delicate.
But the good news is very few people know how flight works anyway. I'm with you that a rider's knees being behind the wing would be better (it would only interfere with the mount's ability to folds its wings as opposed to flap) and maybe even further back than that (no touching feathers at all, which gets into the lying down position James Gurney suggested.)
CanisLupusDingo's avatar
Thank you very much--this gives me a lot more insight, and some leads on what sort of extra research I need to do. It never occurred to me to go and look into evolutionary anatomy, but of course it makes perfect sense to do so. The Skybax riders also offered an interesting, and different take on flying mounts. And while I know that most people don't know how certain biological/anatomical functions, like flight, actually work, I'm the sort of person who likes to be as accurate as possible, or otherwise create a fiction that is as believable as possible. Anyhow, thank you again; this really does help a ton!
Musa-the-Guardian's avatar
Thanks to this tutorial I realized what I did wrong in one of my old drawings! If you don't mind me asking, are you a rider yourself?
Droemar's avatar
I used to be. Health problems made me give it up.
Smittynick870's avatar
This'll help me draw animal riding alot better.
NinjaWolf-Sam's avatar
This is an excellent tutorial! Thanks for sharing!

"Heels down!" said every trainer ever lol. Especially jumping! Dressage isn't as much. Although, bareback can be done with your foot totally hanging because your balance is all in your core and thighs. I have been developing a looser leg in my riding but bareback, my whole lower leg is kind of "just hanging".
Liatai's avatar
This is going to be an -amazing- reference for my characters who ride -- and their mounts! Thank you, thank you, thank you for putting this together!
This is VERY helpful, thank you for making it!! If you don't mind, I'm working on an art piece, but I have a predicament. I have 3 characters featured in it, and one is the mount, the other two are riders. The mount is a large Eastern Dragon that has six legs, the first pair being only useful as hands, not walking. The dragon in this piece is flying. How would the riders be situated on the dragon in this piece? 
Droemar's avatar
On the shoulders?
Shoulders? Hm. This is what I have worked out so far for the dragon, the saddle is highlighted in red. How would the riders be posed? 

Shoulders? Hm. This is what I have worked out so far for the dragon, the saddle is highlighted in red. How would the riders be posed? 

MiraeChaos's avatar
I dont knwo if you have already figured it out before, but personally I'd place the riders in jockey pose, perhaps a little more seated, but with the weight on the feet/knees of the rider. This way the dragon wouldn't be limited in its movement.
Thank you! This helps!
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