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thrghbrd
Oct. 5, 2010, 05:45 AM
I have a student who is a pretty good rider for her level and WANTS to learn and improve. The problem is that she consistently gets left behind/sits down too soon after the fence so she pops the horse in the mouth (horse is already sensitive). I have exhausted all my ideas in trying to fix this problem....what ideas do you guys have?

I'm not sure if I'm just not explaining this properly or what. She's trying so hard and I just feel like I'm saying the same thing over & over.

Thanks!

simc24
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:08 AM
I'm sure there will be all kinds of ideas and exercises offered, but here's my two cents: She needs to improve her seat and legs so she doesn't get left behind, and until she does that, she needs to grab mane so she quits popping him in the mouth. Have her hold that mane until a stride or two after the fence to ensure there is no mouth popping:)

And, obviously, no stirrups, no stirrups, no stirrups. There are all kinds of fancy exercises, but no stirrups gave me and countless others a nice strong foundation, and the ability to "stay" with a horse. Also, off the horse, she needs to get her core in better shape. Sit-ups, push-ups. If she's serious about riding and progressing, she'll do what it takes to train her body.

ApplesLilJumper1
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:09 AM
tell her to do her whole course in 2pt/halfseat.. if she sits she gets no stirrup work ;)

iloverain
Oct. 5, 2010, 06:14 AM
two point to the jump until she can count stridings and find a takeoff point, make her count one stride after the jump until coming out of two point.
if all else fails.....take her stirrups away. :D

Janet
Oct. 5, 2010, 07:22 AM
Put a grab strap / stirrup leather around the horse's neck. Have her hold on to that from takeoff to a stride after landing.

hellerkm
Oct. 5, 2010, 08:55 AM
As a trainer I would go back to basics. Lots of two point at the walk trot and canter, with and without stirrups. I believe that a student should be able to do everything they can do with stirrups , without them. I incorporate this into each lesson and it helps build a leg that then supports the rider as they move onto over fence work. IMO if your student can't hold her two point over fences she should not be jumping, I would take it back a notch and build the base of support that will keep her safe and the horse happy.

witherbee
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:06 AM
Crossrails on the lunge line with no reins, arms out like an airplane if possible.... If the horse is not steady enough for that, put her on a schoolie so that she can ride without reins for a bit. Agree with the 2 point and grabbing mane.

cllane1
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:08 AM
Make sure it's not a function of her saddle fit. If she's fighting her saddle, it could be nearly impossible for her to maintain the correct position.

Melissa.Van Doren
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:39 AM
Can she canter in two-point (without hands on neck for balance) for a couple minutes without a break? If not, I'd get her to that level of leg strength/balance before re-addressing jumping. And then I'd start with ground poles between standards so she gets the hang of the position change (moving hands forward to long release with mane) without the mental whammy of how things used to go.

Other ideas... if the horse isn't energetic enough to the fence and so is jumping awkwardly, it can be tough for a novice to stay with that effort. Too-long stirrups can also make it tough to stay with the motion.

Come Shine
Oct. 5, 2010, 11:14 AM
Put a grab strap / stirrup leather around the horse's neck. Have her hold on to that from takeoff to a stride after landing.

Ditto. Plus I would have her hold on with her inside hand from 9 feet before the fence and tell her to keep her butt out of the saddle until the corner.

jetsmom
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:11 PM
Transitions in 2 pt without using the neck or reins to balance. W-C-T-C-W-T- etc

RugBug
Oct. 5, 2010, 01:45 PM
Grab mane.

And shorten her stirrups at least one hole. She's not going to be able to stay off his back unless she can get out of the saddle. A lot of people neglect shortening their stirrups to jump and it causes all sorts of problem. It's hard to stay balanced when you can't get out of the saddle enough.

Lots of time in two-point. Lots of time with no stirrups.


I was having a similar problem with my rushy horse. He'd rush, I'd get a little left, he'd get upset and then rush more. It was an awful cycle. I started grabbing mane to help me stay out of his mouth. I then concentrated on my hips (with a shortened stirrup) and "squatting" without letting my butt touch the saddle until a few strides after the jump. (IMO, this ability is missing in a lot of riders these days. The majority of riders I see can't/don't stay out of the saddle long enough.) It wasn't pretty for a while and thankfully my horse was willing to let me experiment a bit, but it finally clicked one day and I could stay with him (balanced - not too far over his shoulder, not too far back) without dropping back and could stay out of his mouth.

StorybrookeFarms
Oct. 5, 2010, 02:14 PM
Needs strength. W/T/C in 2 pt/half seat without stirrups. Neck strap/stirrup leather around the neck. Keep the fences LOW. Have her trot gymnastics, holding herself up in her 2pt/half seat all the way through, holding on to neck strap and/or mane. If possible, lunge over small crossrails, arms out to the side. (I didn't read all of the above posts, but I'm sure all of these have probably been suggested.) STRENGTH = NO STIRRUPS! :) Build that independent seat!

sptraining
Oct. 5, 2010, 03:03 PM
Place a pole a stride away from the fence and tell her to imagine there are tacks on the back of her saddle. Grab mane over the fence and keep the 2-point until after the pole.

Shorter stirrups could help. Lunging over small obstacles could help, both grabbing mane and without hands. Really focus on weight in the heels, tight core, and eyes/shoulders up. Gymnastics are also very helpful if she can grab mane and stay out of the tack for the whole thing.

I wouldn't do course work with her until she's built good habits over singles and gymnastics.

Do you drill this a lot? Sometimes as a rider it's easy to over think things and make things worse on accident. Go back to the basics, lots of cavaletti and pole work to learn to be centered on the horse.

Does she just do this on this particular horse? Does the horse have a funky jumping style? Is there a flat jumping school horse available?

Thanks for being a conscientious instructor. The world cannot have enough of those. :)

Joyrider
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:49 PM
What a timely thread. I had a new student I taught just this past weekend. A very good rider on a very nice hunter horse. The rider had great form and position and strength but upon landing from the jumps was unexplainably loose and touched her horse in the mouth - lightly - but it was still there.

Her horse is a TB built like a TB. I had the luxury of having a big shouldered uphill WB in the lesson and had her hop on him and try a few jumps. The difference was amazing and she noticed it right off the bat. She stayed connected through her inner thigh, inner knee and inner calf leg upon the landing phase and thus was totally independent with her hand and body.

Next, I pulled out a saddle with quite a bit of knee and thigh support and had her try it on her own horse. The difference was amazing. So, I joked with her that she had two choices...she could sell her horse or find a new saddle. It was that simple. Sometimes, no matter how much no stirrup work is done, the saddle is to blame by not offering the right kind of support for the rider and/or horse's conformation.

AllyandPete
Oct. 5, 2010, 09:50 PM
small gymnastics with stirrup leather around horses neck to grab. I also agree with shortening stirrups if she cant get her butt up.

Brydelle Farm
Oct. 5, 2010, 10:28 PM
Check her stirrup length, be sure it is proper for jumping.

thrghbrd
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:55 AM
Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

I have had her work on w/t/c in two-point and w/o stirrups, and over cross-poles & low verticles (no more than 2') and she still is having trouble. THATS why its so frustrating.

I will make sure to CONSIOUSLY check her stirrup length at her next lesson. I was also thinking that setting up some bounce/1 stride gymnastics w/o reins might help.

I have a standing martingale on the horse she rides so she can grab that as well as mane...but it almost seems like she never learned to move her hands up his neck either. (I didn't teach her from baby beginner).

This student is a lovely soft rider that is ready to move up to the next level of riding w/finesse. And she is one of those teens that is just lovely with a good attitude. Can you tell she is one of my favorites. So I really want to make sure that I can support her and help her move up. Sometimes its nice to bounce around ideas when what you know doesn't seem to be working. THANKS again!

thrghbrd
Oct. 6, 2010, 03:56 AM
Brydelle Farm- I love your sig line

"Building riders not passengers" -- I say something along those lines all the time!

:D

Sansena
Oct. 6, 2010, 06:08 AM
Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

I have had her work on w/t/c in two-point and w/o stirrups, and over cross-poles & low verticles (no more than 2') and she still is having trouble.

....<snip>....

This student is a lovely soft rider that is ready to move up to the next level of riding .......<snip>.....

If she's still having trouble, she is *not* ready to move up.

Forgive me if this comes across as rude, but she sounds as if she's being pushed before she's ready. If it seems she's never learned to move her hands up the neck during her horse's effort, shes' not ready to move up to bigger jumps. And a single bounce isnt' going to fix it.

She needs to learn an independent seat.. Putting her on a trustworthy horse down a chute of jumps-- say, four or five-- w/reins knotted and arms out at her sides, or hands on hips will help. OR ((horrors)) send her down that chute with her eyes closed. If she can't see the jumps, she can't anticipate to jump ahead, or fall back prematurely. Frankly, your student sounds as if she's got strength, but is lacking relaxation.

And.. if she's chocking a horse consistently in the mouth, put it in a hackamore so you can limit the damage she does. Frankly, if she's not grabbing mane from 2 strides out, then I'd be screaming like a banshee until she does. And frankly, her inability to do so ALSO communicates tension.. which indicates pushing beyond ability.

From your own descriptions, I really don't think your student is ready to 'move up'.

Trakehner
Oct. 6, 2010, 06:28 AM
She's not ready to jump yet...no matter how long she's ridden.

My students were always the last to jump. The two other instructors had their students slopping over jumps very quickly, yanking thier horse's mouths and falling off...but their parents were happy, they had crossed the hurdle as riders and were JUMPING! Woohoo!

My girls worked on their seats, trotting without stirrups etc...they jumped when their mounts mouth didn't suffer. They were good and they beat the other instructor's students all the time! Plus they looked like they were having fun vs. that deer-in-the-headlights fear the jumpers who weren't ready to jump had.

Will she ride bareback...if not, make her. Have her go over cavalettis and ground poles. The horse shouldn't suffer due to her lack of talent/ability/experience.

Come Shine
Oct. 6, 2010, 09:01 AM
I have a standing martingale on the horse she rides so she can grab that as well as mane...but it almost seems like she never learned to move her hands up his neck either. (I didn't teach her from baby beginner).

Sometimes if people haven't learned to move their hands up the neck, asking them to hold a grab strap or martingale with both hands is really mentally difficult if they are used to having 'contact' over a fence. Have her hold the martingale with her inside hand only. You'll be surprised at how much easier that is for teaching a rider to 'stay up' that way and you also don't get the big 'shove' release as they lunge for the strap.

Hunterlover17
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:45 AM
Have her put her pinky fingers under the martingale strap.

I had a lesson on one of my trainer's horses. This horse has a seriously gigantic jump. Over the first few jumps, I felt like a beginner again...being left behind, bumping him, and such. I hooked my pinky's under the martingale for a few jumps to get a feel for him. It worked wonders.

Otherwise, there is no shame in grabbing some mane!

InWhyCee Redux
Oct. 6, 2010, 02:27 PM
If her stirrup length is correct and her seat and legs are strong enough to hold a two-point for five or ten minutes, I'd say the problem is NERVES. When I started courses, I was so focused on NOT getting left and NOT hitting my horse in the mouth that I would tense up and fix my hands and/or miss the takeoff entirely.

What helped me was lots of work at the trot and canter on a VERY long rein — we're talking Western Pleasure, loopy reins. Once I realized my hands were not what was holding me in the saddle, things start0ed coming together.... :)

Double posting — one beat down, two beats up — also helped me strengthen my legs.

meupatdoes
Oct. 6, 2010, 04:59 PM
Have her practice cantering down the longside and getting up into two point and GRABBING MANE.
Sit four strides, two point and GRAB MANE four strides, repeat.

Have her practice, in her head, getting in two point and GRABBING MANE at the base of the jump.

Have her trot over a pole and get in her two point and GRAB MANE over the pole.

Have her demonstrate, at the halt, the fact that she understands the general concept of reaching down and GRABBING MANE.


I have to say, I have had one student in my life who REPEATEDLY in a lesson ignored/was simply unable to follow the simple "GRAB MANE" instruction and I just about tore my hair out. I don't care if your saddle, bridle and breeches fall off on the way to the jump just GRAB. THE EFF. MANE.

There was nothing I could do for love or money to get her to grab the eff mane.
Nipple twiddling and left behind every time.

I generally have endless patience but this wore it to within an inch of its life. Honestly, it is not like a leg position where the rider may not have the body awareness to know if their leg is a few inches too far forward or back.
You are either grabbing a fistful of mane or you are not and if you are having trouble self-evaluating your success with the concept look down and see if your hands are holding the mane.
Why is this so hard??!!

RugBug
Oct. 6, 2010, 06:05 PM
meupatdoes....I have to laugh. I get so angry when my trainer tells someone who is repeatedly getting left to grab mane and they don't. It just comes across as pure arrogance to me and it really riles me up. If you didn't need to grab mane, the trainer wouldn't be asking you to. :mad:

I had a self-prescribed program of grabbing mane on my new horse until I learned to stay with his jump. I STILL grab mane when I'm not sure what he's going to do. 'Course, he's the type to make me pay if I hit him in the mouth. Grabbing mane is WAY better than having to deal with an upset horse.

Brydelle Farm
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:22 PM
Brydelle Farm- I love your sig line

"Building riders not passengers" -- I say something along those lines all the time!

:D

Thanks!! ;) Very rewarding it is! ;)

Trevelyan96
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:31 PM
Sometimes the concept of 'grabbing mane' is a bit much for them to process when they're approaching a jump and don't feel balanced. I teach my beginner kids to plant their knuckles on either side of the crest to help keep their back straight, then straighten their elbows and push off the neck the 2nd stride after the jump. It really helps them feel a little more secure and it keeps their butt out of the saddle.

After all these years, my instructor still makes me do 2 point with my hands up as close to my horse's ears as possible so that my legs have to do all the balancing work. It sucks, but it works.

EqTrainer
Oct. 6, 2010, 10:38 PM
God gave horses manes for people to grab!

goeslikestink
Oct. 7, 2010, 03:35 AM
[QUOTE=thrghbrd;5140774]Thank you everyone for all of the wonderful suggestions!!

I have had her work on w/t/c in two-point and w/o stirrups, and over cross-poles & low verticles (no more than 2') and she still is having trouble. THATS why its so frustrating.

get 2 plastic cups and fill with half water - one for each hand
if she can ride wtc without stirrups over small x rails etc then she can do this

place cross rail down center line as in 3 cavaletti'es ok canter strides apart
so its a bounce in and bounce out

get her to hold her hands out with the plastic cups of water shes not allowed to spill them as she goes over

she will learn to keep her balance and not jab the horse in the mouth
let her keep her stirrups 1st few times then take them away aswell this will encuage her to sit in and not grab hold of reins as she only using her butt to stay put

equest
Oct. 7, 2010, 08:47 AM
The explanation that helped me was to "stay down" in two point for a stride after the jump.

SonnysMom
Oct. 7, 2010, 10:01 AM
I do understand the not grabbing mane thing. For some reason that was a huge mental block for me too. It has only been the last couple of years that I have figured out the holding mane thing. I have been riding and jumping for 25+ years.

I think I get too many other things going through my mind- keep the pace, don't overshoot my turn, thumbs up, look at the right spot, heels down, don't duck, stay straight and square to the jump, what jump is the one after the one I am jumping, don't let horsey leave long, don't jump before the horse and my brain just can't process that grab mane part too.

I found it easier to work on a gymnastic with only 1 or two jumps and just work that with trot in poles to help establish pace and stop straight at the end. An excercise like that helps to take away lots of my distractions. The trot poles establish the pace. By starting straight at the jump I don't need to worry overshooting the turn or being straight to the jump. I don't need to worry about where I am going after that line- I am stopping straight. Then I could begin to think about grabbing mane since I wasn't thinking about everything else.
My trainer would frequently put poles down between fence 1 & fence 2 and after fence 2. The poles were to help keep us straight during the gymnastic and take that worry away.

My recommendation to OP is try her rider in a few different saddles. I had a saddle that fit me and my horse and I thought I liked it. I never felt like I was fighting it.
My trainer mentioned that she would always use her saddle on my horse since she hated mine. I tried another saddle in the barn and suddenly realized how much my saddle was interfering with my jumping. I was struggling with staying up and not getting hit in the butt but just didn't realize it. I kept attributing that to my fitness level and lack of natural riding ability.

findeight
Oct. 7, 2010, 10:49 AM
I once asked MGE how she handled huge triple combinations when she could not see over the next fence and wasn't sure where she was...she said "grab mane and kick".;)

Anyway, cardinal sin is hitting the horse in the mouth and opening up too early so your butt hits their back before they finish landing. For the sake of the horse, most instructors will not move a rider up until they stop that. Usually MOST riders can understand it's not personal and not fair to that horse.

Put that neck strap on there and she needs to learn to use it if she wants to jump.

Try lunging her no hands no stirrups. Have her work on really sitting deep in the saddle and loosening up her lower back and hips to go with the horse. Lots of deep sitting trot and full seat canter again working on loosening up that lower back and hip.

Set a pole on the ground and have her show you long, medium and short crest releases as she trots over, then move to that the canter. NO release with the body, sit down and just fold at the hip-which I suspect she cannot do-use that hip and waist area.

I have a feeling she is throwing her whole body from the heels up at a release trying to "help" the horse jump and that almost always creates getting left behind because rider cannot hold balance that way-it can also result in the face plant if they tip the other way.

Back to basics until she can better master them. Certainly would not want to move her up at all....fence gets bigger, even 2'6" and most horses will not tolerate that getting hit on the back and mouth for long. Plus she is more liable to come off due to an insecure, weak position...if they don't buck her off.

All about developing independent hands, leg and seat before the jumps so, if this rider does not ride at least 3 days a week? Suggest the gym, particularly stretching and ab work. Pilates is excellent.

meaty ogre
Oct. 7, 2010, 11:18 AM
NO release with the body, sit down and just fold at the hip-which I suspect she cannot do-use that hip and waist area.


I think findeight is onto something here, and I'm going to be the dissenting voice and say that no stirrup work may not benefit this rider in the way you hope. If your rider is rigid or tends to grip, working without stirrups will just make her better at gripping. It's entirely possible for a rider to be "tight" in the tack, but when you add moving with and following the horse, they get all discombobulated. She needs to learn to move her body and shift her balance while the horse is moving. Holding a good position is one thing. Holding a good position and being able to administer effect aids using your hands, seat and legs independently is entirely another.

The martingale strap is too close to the base of the neck. Give her a stirrup leather halfway up the neck as her "target" to grab, or braid a colored ribbon halfway up the neck. If she's catching her horse at all she needs to be moving her hands way up the neck.

Make her do a lot of changing from full seat, half seat, 2 point within a gait while maintaining pace (and not using hands for balance).

Is she pivoting at her knee rather than folding at the hip? A good exercise to redistribute/re-educate the grip is to have the rider place just the tip of their heel in the stirrup (don't do with spurs, and don't jam the heel in...that's obviously dangerous). Helps get the feel of weight down the back of the leg rather than pinching or gripping.

findeight
Oct. 7, 2010, 12:06 PM
Make her do a lot of changing from full seat, half seat, 2 point within a gait while maintaining pace (and not using hands for balance)....



THANK YOU.

There are 3 seats, full, half and 2 point/jumping position that are really created by opening and closing the HIP ANGLE. Not by trying to force the rest of the body to mimic what proper hip angle does.

Full seat-Open hip angle which brings the shoulder, hip and heel into a straight line and butt deep in the tack. Used to collect and shorten the stride.

2 point- Hip angle fully closed which brings the butt out of the tack and allows the shoulder to come forward and the hand to follow the horse's mouth. Used ONLY over the fence.

Half Seat-hip angle slightly closed bringing shoulder slightly forward and the butt still in the seat but a smidge lighter then full seat. Many variations...a little more open for a little more control and a little more closed for a little more extension. Half seat is where you will be around most of any course.

Master all of these at all gaits on the flat, then over ground poles progressing to low jumps. It's hard and it sucks. But it works and creates a proper, strong position.
In the flatwork and over poles and real low stuff, make sure the shoulder stays BEHIND the knee. None of this exaggerated diving position launching out on the neck over 18" "fences".

If there is one thing too many are missing it's this. Lack of understanding it's hip angle and the strength to control it and use it properly that allow the body to attain and stay in a good, strong position.

RugBug
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:13 PM
THANK YOU.

There are 3 seats, full, half and 2 point/jumping position that are really created by opening and closing the HIP ANGLE.

There's more involved to creating the three seats than just the hip angle. I can close my hip angle to 2-point position and still be in the saddle. A 30 degree incline in the upper body, which is about where you should be while in two point, can easily be accomplished while still fully in the saddle. You have to simultaneously open the knee angle to really be in two point.

To maintain two point over a fence, you have to be able to control both angles. Hips and knees still have to open and close with the horse's movement, but with a tension so they don't completely collapse either onto the horse's neck or back. THIS is what is missing and is often hard to learn.

findeight
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:26 PM
I am trying to keep it simple and not get too technical with this stuff.

I was never aware of doing anything with my knee once I had a strong and relaxed leg and none of my instructors and clinicians ever mentioned it-just weight in the heel and hip angle. It's probably a factor that works when the hip is properly used with a proper base of support and not independently.

Janet
Oct. 7, 2010, 01:34 PM
You can have a closed hip angle (leaning WAY forward) with your seat in the saddle, in a "crouch" position, or with your knees straight.

Similarly, you can have an open hip angle (vertical spine) with your seat in the saddle, in a "crouch" position, or with your knoees straight.

There is, in general, a time and a place for each.

But learning to REALLY close the hip angle while keeping the knees somewhat bent uses muscles we don't use much otherwise.

Just "practicing twopoint" (unless you REALLY lean forward in your two point) isn't going to give you the strength and flexibility to do it right over a fence.

meaty ogre
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:10 PM
Janet, findeight and rugbug have all hit on what I was trying to explain. It sounds like the OP's student has mastered holding a position, but then when you throw in the thrust of the horse jumping, she can't manage to coordinate her hip and knee angles and center of gravity to get her where she needs to be. The heel in the stirrup exercise can really help unlock a rider.

Transitioning between the 3 seats a lot will help her at least somewhat. You have to maintain your center of balance over the horse's as he is trotting/cantering, but janet is right, it doesn't require the same amount of fold that jumping does. Although over small crossrails she doesn't need to fold a lot...just needs to not fall back and/or catch her horse's mouth.

Again, the leather further up the neck will help with that too. If she has to reach for it, she will have to fold a little more at the waist, and holding onto it will give her some leverage to keep herself out of the saddle. It's not ideal for her to be balancing on a neckstrap but much preferable to the bit.

Failing all that, get her a nice, flat-jumping arab. :)

RugBug
Oct. 7, 2010, 02:32 PM
Again, the leather further up the neck will help with that too. If she has to reach for it, she will have to fold a little more at the waist, and holding onto it will give her some leverage to keep herself out of the saddle. It's not ideal for her to be balancing on a neckstrap but much preferable to the bit.

Failing all that, get her a nice, flat-jumping arab. :)

:lol: Well, just having gone through this with my new horse, I know what clicked for me. I have fairly independent seat and hands, can do two poin, three point and inbetween, I can do double posting, I can do 'vertical far' (standing in your irons) no problem, no stirrups isn't an issue, and yet I was still falling back. Previous horses didn't mind, but the new horse did.

What worked for me was grabbing mane a few strides out and using it to hold myself out of the saddle. I HATED the feeling though, because I felt too collapsed on the neck...but by golly, it did what it was suppose to. And then one day, I tightened some muscles over a jump and a light bulb went off. I stayed out of the saddle, was still in balance and didn't need the mane. I can't tell you exactly which muscles, but it felt like I was tightening my hips. I'm sure it was a combination of muscles in the hips and thighs (hip flexors, quads perhaps) but wowzers...it did what I wanted. It was slow going and playing around with a lot of different things, but I feel a lot softer now...and my horse is MUCH happier.

Freebird!
Oct. 7, 2010, 07:24 PM
I don't have much else to add except for one thing. I have a student who will get on - and stay on - anything. She learned how to stay on way before she learned the finer points of hunters. Because of this, she can jump around a 3 ft. course with out stirrups, but will still make basic mistakes at times. The past few lessons we have really been working on her Equitation, and her release, but I could tell she was starting to get pretty frustrated. I kept pointing out that if she kept her heels down, the rest of her position would come, but still, the heels would come up. It was discouraging to her, since she also rides and shows Western, and her Western trainer is always telling her to NOT put her heels down.
Finally I remembered that I had a pair of those 4-Way stretch stirrups, and with in one lesson her position improved 100%. She stopped getting left behind, her seat in the canter became nice and soft, and her release improved. All from just dropping the weight in her heels. Now, obviously she needs to get to the point where she can do this in regular stirrups, but I love how the 4-Way stretch stirrups help to stretch and train those muscles and tendons needed to put your heels down.

May be worth a try for your student!

EqTrainer
Oct. 7, 2010, 09:41 PM
Rugbug- its your periformis that you tighten :). FWIW its one of the most overworked muscle on a rider and a ballerina... Also ice skaters....

thrghbrd
Oct. 8, 2010, 06:53 AM
So I took your suggestions to our next lesson...shortened stirrup, warm-up in two point, and a small gymnastic. Lots of improvement and an "AH HA" moment...

I made the comment that I suspected that she had never LEARNED the release. She really tries hard and is determined to improve...she's the kid that rides w/o stirrups w/o being told, etc.

After the lesson...her mom came up to me and said that she had NEVER been taught the finer points of riding & jumping. Her previous instructor(s) taught her enough to "get over the fences" but not the details (!!!) and that often times the instructor would be on the phone (:eek:), texting or talking to the parents instead of TEACHING!!! YIKES!!

So I'm now at a point where I have to teach her the finer points w/o killing her self-confidence because I have her jumping crosspoles while her previous instructor had her jumping 3' (!!) THANKFULLY this kid is awesome and gets it. We should all be lucky to have students like her! :D

Brydelle Farm
Oct. 8, 2010, 08:11 AM
YEAH!!! Awesome news!!

Happy Riding and Teaching!

Come Shine
Oct. 8, 2010, 08:59 AM
Don't you love those AH HA moments? Congrats. :)

PonyPenny
Oct. 10, 2010, 01:08 AM
George Morris's book "Teaching Beginners to Ride" is a great resource for showing a rider exactly the position you want. It has great pictures too. If she practices grabbing mane over a pole, she will be able to grasp the concept before moving to the next level. The key is to not let her move to higher fences until she can master it at the pole and cross rail level. She has to start over at the beginning so that the correct position becomes natural for her.

SnicklefritzG
Oct. 10, 2010, 01:15 AM
Transitions in 2 pt without using the neck or reins to balance. W-C-T-C-W-T- etc

THIS.

I've been doing similar exercises with my trainer after coming off a hiatus of a year or so. These things have helped immensely for improving my ability to ride with independent hands. Another thing that might help are transitions between 2 point and seated while in a particular gait. It will be a lot easier to jump when you can move in and out of two point without having to grab the reins more.