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Hunter Mom
May. 8, 2009, 10:58 AM
I have a problem. Well, maybe not a HUGE problem, but still a concern to me. I tend to make goofy faces when I jump. Sometimes my tongue is out. Sometimes I bite my top lip. Other times, my cheeks are puffed out. When I really think about it, I CAN have a relaxed face, but it doesn't happen naturally. The worst part is that it ruins my pictures!

Case in point (http://merrickstudios.morephotos.com/mp_client/pictures.asp?action=viewphotos&size=fullsize&pagenum=1&id=5817001&eventid=39467)- she looks good, I'm in a good position, but my face...

Here is a good one (http://merrickstudios.morephotos.com/mp_client/pictures.asp?pagenum=7&action=viewphotos&size=fullsize&id=5817015&eventid=39467)where I was actually consciously thinking about my face...

There were actually worse ones, too. Click here if you need a laugh (http://merrickstudios.morephotos.com/mp_client/pictures.asp?action=viewphotos&size=fullsize&pagenum=15&id=5817015&eventid=39467)- not sure what happened on this fence!

Does anyone else do this? Suggestions on how to NOT have a goofy expression regularly?:D

zahena
May. 8, 2009, 11:16 AM
Oooo, Hunter Mom..... They aren't all that bad. You're deep in thought. You're concentrating. Your mare is concentrating. Maybe relax while you're making your courtesy circle and think "I'm here for fun" and have fun.

I'm a "mouth breather" so my mouth is open alot. But I do tend to talk to my mounts out there. Its better than laughing like a hyena and having every picture look like someone is feeding you jokes out there..... Or like you're trying to trap flies.

But seriously, try this. I know, you're going to laugh, but focus on breathing. Take a deep breath before the fence, exhale over the fence. Try breathing in 5 strides, breathing out 5 strides. Focus on it at home and it will be second nature in the ring. You can't be tense if your breathing right? (That's my yoga teacher tells me).

showmom858
May. 8, 2009, 11:46 AM
My DD (who is 14) has been working this year on not opening her mouth when she jumps. My DH who is a great photographer and takes tons of pictures always seems to capture her over a jump with mouth open in a big "O."

OneMoreTime
May. 8, 2009, 12:53 PM
Thanks for posting this - it makes me feel so normal. Every single picture I have of myself over fences is with my mouth open. I know that I sometimes count strides to myself, but my mouth is probably still moving. There are a couple, when lovely OTTB took a huge spot where I look like this :eek:! LOL. My friends & I have our own icon for it :-O.

When it isn't as dramatic, it just looks like I'm trying to catch flies. I can't seem to keep my mouth shut (in more ways than one, it appears ;))

gg4918
May. 8, 2009, 12:57 PM
I have a HUGE poster of myself taken head on and it looks like im about to cry! But the horse looked awesome so I couldnt help it!

theroanypony
May. 8, 2009, 12:58 PM
I used to make craziest faces when I jumped, my trainer said I looked horrified. Through the past year I've adopted a new facial expression. I smile, over every jump I've seen myself over this year I was smiling or laughing. It especially happens when I goof up. I guess when you relax your body, your face will naturally relax. I wouldn't worry about it too much, as long as you and your horse look nice, it's a good picture regardless of your face! :)

RugBug
May. 8, 2009, 01:11 PM
At least you make a different face over every jump...and have the ability to not make a face. This is the face (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/Showsmaller.jpg) I make over every jump. (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/OrionEq.jpg)

I love it when the horse's mane (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/ShowSYVEA4-15.jpg) blocks my face (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/OrionJumpers.jpg). It's a cinch I'm buying those pictures. :lol: :cool:

chawley
May. 8, 2009, 01:11 PM
It's funny you posted this thread because we were just talking about this very topic the other night. I'm a mouth breather, and after spending many years as a competitive runner, I tend to ride with a very relaxed face, jaw, mouth, etc., as if I were running. It can look kind of funny sometimes. One person at our barn will stick out her tongue...and another opens her mouth wide...it's great!

When I ran track, I was taught how to relax my face..it's something you have to practice though.

kellyb
May. 8, 2009, 01:13 PM
I'm not normally a mouth breather but I definitely am when I am showing. I guess because I get nervous and need more air, lol. Every stupid picture of me on the flat and o/f, my yap is open. I hate it.

rabicon
May. 8, 2009, 01:35 PM
I do this all the time. :lol: My faces are horrible even if its a xrail :lol:

This is a xrail
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2322989210103994293QjkwpC

or this one
http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2513222650103994293cStlpm

I use to not do it

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2795609380103994293exeXYC

Don't know what changed???

LittleGray
May. 8, 2009, 01:40 PM
At least you make a different face over every jump...and have the ability to not make a face. This is the face (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/Showsmaller.jpg) I make over every jump. (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/OrionEq.jpg)

I love it when the horse's mane (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/ShowSYVEA4-15.jpg) blocks my face (http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g14/slorugbug/horse%20stuff/OrionJumpers.jpg). It's a cinch I'm buying those pictures. :lol: :cool:

He he...that's funny...

KateKat
May. 8, 2009, 02:08 PM
no funny faces here either...but definitely ditto on the mouth breathing! I tend to canter around with my mouth wide open, collecting as many bugs as I can for a little extra protein during a tough ride :)

Hunter Mom
May. 8, 2009, 02:12 PM
RugBug - maybe I should let her mane grow even longer and let it hide my expressions! Great suggestion!!

Zahena - breathing? Is that something I am supposed to do on course? I'll try that :)

I am so glad I'm not the only one out there with this problem. I did have a judge once tell me I was a very determined rider. Guess my face just shows that. Every once in a while, I'll get ribbed about it in lessons and do a drill team smile :D over a fence. I don't think that is any better!

Hunter Mom
May. 8, 2009, 02:13 PM
no funny faces here either...but definitely ditto on the mouth breathing! I tend to canter around with my mouth wide open, collecting as many bugs as I can for a little extra protein during a tough ride :)

Protein is a good thing, isn't it?

RugBug
May. 8, 2009, 02:36 PM
RugBug - maybe I should let her mane grow even longer and let it hide my expressions! Great suggestion!!


If only it worked every time! The mane doesn't usually cooperate. I have more pictures that I've 'ruined' with that face. Thankfully, most spectators think I'm smiling...not grimacing in what can only be described as terror...:D :lol:

hrsgirl07
May. 8, 2009, 02:39 PM
i must say that i too am a member of this funny face while riding club.... but i was worse before ( i use to stick my toungue out the side of my mouth :lol:)

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2556129&l=8b4f32e38e&id=583654362

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=2556130&l=a5c623cdf6&id=583654362

twofatponies
May. 8, 2009, 02:44 PM
I used to do some photography at small shows, and it drove me crazy when I'd get a beautiful shot of a pony and rider, but the kid had a big scowl on her face! Or worse, I once took a lovely photo of a girl with a beautiful smile on her happy pony, but her mom was standing right by the pony's head, with a big scowl on HER face!

AppendixQHLover
May. 8, 2009, 02:50 PM
I bite my lower lip when I show. My mom had tons of pictures at shows of me doing that. She would tell me to knock it off so she could get some good pictures. I now have the expressionless face. That is because I am trying not to bite my lip.

showmom858
May. 8, 2009, 03:31 PM
DH is always teasing DD and telling here he is going to photoshop a fly going into her open mouth in a picture!

Jaegermonster
May. 8, 2009, 03:43 PM
I do that sometimes too, but I figure it worked for Michael Jordan so what the hell.

heygirlhey33
May. 8, 2009, 03:56 PM
I used to look retarted in over fences pictures. but recently I have managed to improve upon this. Well up until the last show that is. I appeared to be a smiling chipmunk in a photo graph. There is another one of me looking fully asleep over a 3'6" oxer like eyes closed mouth lax. And yet there is an even more classy one of me looking as if I was about to kill someone with my jaw locked and my eyes looking ferocious (this is while chipping out of the last line in a beautiful course).

Pirateer
May. 8, 2009, 04:08 PM
I used to always have my mouth open in flat classes- like a literal dumbfounded mouth gaping thing. Awful.

I've also modeled the "holy sh*t" look, the "jumper grimace", and now thankfully just a look of concentration (or pain + concentration if I'm in a dressage saddle)

GGsuperpony
May. 8, 2009, 07:25 PM
Hunter Mom, when I was a kid in lessons I used to get in trouble for my facial expressions all the time. Not because they looked bad, but because I bit my lip constantly and my trainer was terrified I'd bite right through if something unexpected happened!

So trainer made it her mission to teach me not to bite my lip - every lesson, every time, she'd give me a cue to stop. Now I don't even remember what she said, but even something short like "face!" or "smile!" would probably work for you.

Maybe if you can enlist your trainer or even a riding buddy to watch you and correct you whenever you make that face, you can unlearn it?

My other tip pertains to the breathing - if you have trouble remembering to breath while on course, try this. Smile the.entire.time. The whole time!!! Glue on a cheesy prom-queen smile. It will solve your face problem AND it is impossible not to breath while smiling that big. Seriously! Works for me.

Pally
May. 8, 2009, 07:40 PM
People are right....breathing and smiling will work. I used to do ballet and, since appearances DO count there, I would get in trouble all the time for biting my lip (while of course simultaneously holding my breath).

I know, sounds simple, breathe, but easier said than done. The good thing about learning to do it though, is that everything relaxes, not just your face.

Also, I think you're just being pretty hard on yourself...you just look concentrated to me, not silly, and your girl looks really great.

Horseymama
May. 8, 2009, 09:38 PM
Hey, cut yourself some slack. Richy Fellers makes a funny face over every jump, too! I make the "smiling grimace" face over every jump. Sometimes it actually looks like I'm smiling, but most times it just looks dumb. Oh well, I have to pick bugs out of my teeth. As long as the horse and I were good, who cares!

*JumpIt*
May. 8, 2009, 09:49 PM
I always seem to look terrified or extremely surprised. No idea why, as I am always a very confident rider. The pictures below I was having a blast but I look like I am about to cry.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y201/chichirme/Hunt%20Trial/Fortune1.jpg

huntergirl007
May. 9, 2009, 12:02 PM
Some of these are funny!

I'm not a part of the goofy FACE club...but definitely a part of the goofy ARM club!

I remember for the LONGEST time I thought I was SUCH a great jumper! Me and my horse rocked all our (small;)) classes and I just thought that noone in the entire world could beat me ever. (Then again, I was 10...)

I looked at a picture of me over fences and my elbows were stuck out the side like a chicken! I was MORTIFIED that I had been riding like this for so long! :eek: Like really...a CHICKEN? So from then on I always worked on my crest release... ;)

CraziiPonii
May. 9, 2009, 12:34 PM
Atleast most of you smile. Over every fence I look like I'm ready to kill someone. And I swear I'm having fun!!