View Full Version : Any one care to critique?
Jun. 26, 2009, 09:58 PM
I figured it was time to throw myself out there to be critiqued. Feel free to rip me to shreds.
A little background: This is my large pony. I show in the Childrens Hunter Ponies and Childrens Eq. We have been to hell and back together. He didn't jump when I got him. It was wet out when these pics were taken, hence the little fences. I tend to do this funky leg thing when I have to squeeze really hard to keep him going. He is kinda lazy. Even with spurs and a crop. Im working on getting him to move away from my leg. Feel free to rip me to shreds. Any tips to help us would be great. I know Im to big for him, he is up for sale. So hopefully I can get a larger horse soon.
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa19/Sensory_Overload469/indyfunkyleg.jpg My weird leg thing
http://i201.photobucket.com/albums/aa19/Sensory_Overload469/orangejump.jpg Laying on my right side a little bit
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:44 PM
Definitely work on strengthening your leg and sinking your weight down. You're kind of laying on your pony's neck too. Work on really waiting for him to jump (And boy do I know about jumping ahead :lol:) That being said the picture is at an odd angle so I could be wrong lol. VERY cute pony btw!
Jun. 26, 2009, 10:50 PM
Please include some photos of your flatting him. I'd be able to comment more then.
Jun. 27, 2009, 10:42 AM
Hmm...I looked at all 4 pictures and I do not think the OP is laying on her pony's neck or jumping ahead. Her hip angle may be a little more closed in the last two but her base of support still seems behind her pony.
Your leg is *slightly* behind where it could be which is most likely b/c you are tall for your mount - try thinking about sticking your leg forward over the jump.
Jun. 27, 2009, 11:19 AM
I wish you could shorten your stirrups 1 to 2 holes, but you are already to tall for the pony, so you would just be thrown out of the tack. Because your stirrups are long, your leg slides back and it pushes your upper body forward(in the 3rd picture you really appear to be laying on your ponys neck) Also, watch your wrists, in the 1st picture they were broken. As for your leg *issue*. It appears as if you really are using your heels to push him over the fence, like you said. The main problem is your height, as you have to push your leg back and toe out to maintain contact with his side. Overall you look like a soft, effective rider to me.
Your pony is adorable and bet he would crack his back over larger fences. Good luck selling him and finding a new horse!! Hope that helped and wasn't confusing:)
Jun. 27, 2009, 10:41 PM
I think some times riders try too hard to create the proper leg position, and that appears to me to be what is causing your "weird leg thing"
If you trying too hard to maintain lower leg contact it is natural to twist your toe out. Same thing you do when you are really trying to get a horse to move of your leg. This however tends to reduce your actual leg contact because the actual lower leg surface area on your horse is reduced, and your knee ends up separating from the horse.
Really try to sink down into your stirrups, and maintain calf contact, think of it as trying to envelope your horse body. Another thing we tend to do is to use way too much leg. Contact is one thing, constantly squeezing a horse with your leg is another. There should always be leg contact, but the pressure applied should only increase as an aid, when you are asking something with your leg, otherwise you want consistent steady contact. You should be trying to have that happy medium of contact where you can always increase/decrease leg pressure so your horse understands what you are asking.
The other thing I am seeing is very common. You are not jumping forward, but you are not waiting for him to jump as much as you should. I am sure you have heard this before, "the horse jumps, not you" You need to let the horse fold and unfold you over a fence, you should not really have to do anything other then get him there.
When you actually let the horse unfold/fold you your position should pretty much stay the same as it was prior to the fence. The horse begins to jump, lifts his front end and closes your position, as he reaches the apex of his jump your should almost be back at square one, the position you were in before the jump, and as he descends he will open up your position, and in a lesser degree he will do it all over again as he lands and takes his first stride. All this and you really did nothing more than sit there!! I always benefited from seeing the jump as nothing more than an exaggerated canter stride. You never ride the canter, you let it move you, same goes for jumping. As the fences get bigger and the horse makes greater efforts your position is more influenced by the horse jump, but still, your only function is to stay balanced, and out of the way of the horse.
Other these two things I think you look like a pretty tight little rider. I especially love that your pictures express a really nice soft hand. This is one of the hardest things to truly teach someone, and you seem to have it naturally.
Start working on that auto release!!
Jun. 28, 2009, 06:09 PM
No critique here....when can I pick him up??;)
Jun. 28, 2009, 06:46 PM
The horse begins to jump, lifts his front end and closes your position, as he reaches the apex of his jump your should almost be back at square one, the position you were in before the jump, !
Really? I would expect someone to be over top of their horse at the apex of the jump not starting to sit up.
I see your explanation when it comes to jumpers but it seems if you stayed that far back over a hunter fence, you would not allow your horse to finish the jump properly.
I was just watching the AO hunters at a show this morning and there was a brilliantly jumping mare whose rider kept getting slightly left behind and it was b/c she stopped riding midway through the air and was not following her horse. It really interrupted the flow I thought.
I think with a really good jumping hunter, a rider needs to think a little more about staying with the jump.
Jun. 28, 2009, 06:59 PM
Super cute pony. IMHO you really aren't all that big on him. I think people are too used to seeing tiny people on over sized mounts.
It does look like when you're trying tp push him you're trying to grip with the back of your leg. This is something that is fixed with proper flat work. your leg means GO, it means go NOW, not in 4,5, 6 strides. I'm glad that you recognize this as a problem and are working to correct it.
Jun. 28, 2009, 08:29 PM
What a cute pony! I think that you are not to too big for him, however if you grew much taller you may want to consider a larger mount.
In my opinion you are most definitely gripping far too much with your calf muscle/heel, most likely in an effort to drive your pony forward. Although I am no GM, I would recomend going back to a lot of flatwork with your trainer. Possibly close your hip angle a tad and balance your pony by staying firm in your heel, not gripping with the back of your calf.
In your first two photos I really really love your upper body position. Although mostly in your second photo, a longer release would be appropriate. I do realize that being a bit too big for your pony would make this difficult. However, in your bottom two photos I feel you are leaning on your pony's neck, making his ability to round himself up and over the jump difficult.
In additon, to address your ponies "laziness" I would start the ride by asking nicely with your lower leg. If you recieve no response, ONE firm swift cropping will drive him forward. However if you tap your pony repeatedly, you will soon find your pony to be quite dull to both your leg and your crop. There is nothing worse to ride than a dull sided pony. Therefore, one firm telling in the begining of your ride should be adequate to get your pony off your leg and forward forward forward.
Best of luck to you and your pony!