View Full Version : Critique...

Sep. 21, 2009, 02:04 AM
I'm just looking for a critique WITH constructive criticizing. I'm pretty good at SEEING what I did wrong, but I'm looking for advice on HOW to fix it. My biggest problem is jumping ahead, slightly roaching my back, and over-releasing. Can anyone give me tips to practice at home?


Thanks in advance =).

Sep. 21, 2009, 08:27 AM
Conservative gymnastics with your reins tied up and your arms straight out at your sides. There's always that shoulder-bra thingy that keeps your open and back, but I feel like thats cheating.

Sep. 21, 2009, 08:43 AM
Bounce exercises and short in and outs: ground pole-3m-crossrail/small vertical-6m-square oxer-9m-square oxer (distances are aprox depending on the size of your horse's stride). Try to get a feel of the jump and focus on staying behind/straight and not thinking "Geronimo!" when you reach the base. Just wait till your horse pulls you over. Imagine everytime you are about to jump, someone grabs you from the back of your t-shirt and holds you back a little. Keep your weight really heavy in your heals and push them down with your seat in the saddle just before the jump as a way of keeping yourself in there and at the same time it helps you squeeze your horses' sides to make a round jump to help you get the feel of "fullness" (like if the withers were comming at you to hit your sternum, and not you folding towards your horse).
As for the overelease, you have to start trying an automatic release. Try to keep a feel of your horses mouth all the way to the base of the jump and feel how much give he needs. It is best at the beggining to try to find somewhat deep spots to your jumps and get there with a nice contact, trying to follow your horses neck and feeling how much he needs, not just throwing your hands straight. It is crucial that you sit staright during these jumps and wait for the jump to happen. Horses that have a hollow jump will need practically no release and you will be jumping fairly straight. With a horse that needs more release you will have to stretch, give alot and maybe even roach a little if his bascule is big and strong, to absorb all that energy.
This photo is of a mare I ride that thinks she is a giraffe. You can see even if she is giving a good effort over this jump, I am not on her neck nor am I stretching because her neck and bascule are not asking for that much release:
In this other photo, another mare is giving a tremendous bascule and I had to release all I had plus even roach my back a bit because even that was not enough:
Your base of support seems ok with the chesnut to me; he seems a little hollow over jumps and you are just trying to compensate with your body the lack of bounce. In the other photos you are a bit ahead, but I would guess is that you are used to a horse with a high neck and the ones that carry their head lower kind of pull you forward and you just can't feel a deep seat with them. Just try to sit up straight with them and don't move forward with their balance: stay where you are comfortable and not where they want to carry you ;).
Hope this helps,

Sep. 21, 2009, 06:52 PM
Thanks guys!
JinxyFish313- I wanted to give that bra thing a try, just to get a feel of where my shoulders should be, but not to use as an everyday aid. I'll definitely have to do no hand jumping!

faraway46-Thanks so much for the advice.
Yes, that chestnut has a VERY hollow jump and he's a bit of a nut. Lol. I'll definitely try what you said with the gymnastics. Hopefully I'll post some after pictures soon enough!

Sep. 22, 2009, 01:34 AM
Since your horse is a bit of a nut try jumping with your reins in one hand and the other hand on your hip fingers facing forward (the one that will be the inside hand on the landing side). You also need to think about having contact with your lower leg against your horses side, which means that you can not also grip with your knee. When you grip with your knee it becomes a pivot point and makes you more unstable. I don't have a problem with your shoulders or your back. It looks relaxed.