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countrcanter
Nov. 3, 2010, 04:00 PM
I have been trying to work on bending my body more towards my horses neck while jumping. Every photo I have my body just seems slightly pitched a little more backwards than I'd like. I'm not looking to duck over fences, just trying to get my chest a little closer to his neck.

Any suggestions? It's not that I'm getting left behind, it just seems that this is my body's natural position over jumps, and I'd like it to be a little prettier... lol.

Thanks for any suggestions you might have!

CC

Hevonen
Nov. 3, 2010, 04:17 PM
Instead of thinking about "getting your chest a little closer to his neck", think of reaching back with your rear towards the cantle of the saddle. For me, at least, thinking about getting closer to his neck makes me more prone to jumping ahead and just closing over my hands.

However, when I think about reaching backwards (essentially sticking my rear out, I suppose!), I keep my balance centered over the horse and still allow him to close my hip angle.

For me it is also a work in progress, but keep practicing! I'm an eventer so I'm not as concerned with overall prettiness beyond the "form follows function" mantra, but it is nice to look good in the air! My horse used to be (and still somewhat is) a stopper, so I have to work on trusting him, but also have to know when to wait and take a back seat!

bigeqxo
Nov. 3, 2010, 04:21 PM
I agree with almost all of what Hevonen said.
However, if you were more speciffic, I might be able to help. What kind of riding do you do? (Basically, are you interested in showing in the equitation?) And do you have a picture you can post?

altjaeger
Nov. 3, 2010, 04:48 PM
More weight in heels? Shoulders back? If you don't do those things your body will tend to fight bending forward in self-preservation.

PNWjumper
Nov. 3, 2010, 05:46 PM
How big are you jumping?

countrcanter
Nov. 4, 2010, 09:36 AM
Thanks for your replies everyone! Henoven, I am definitely going to try and think about pushing my butt more toward the back of my saddle.

I show in the Adult Amateur Hunters, and we are doing well, it's just that in some of the photos I see I would like to close my hip angle more.

Bigeq, I don't think I'm brave enough to post a photo, but thanks for your offer to help!!

pony grandma
Nov. 4, 2010, 10:01 AM
Yes to pushing tushy back vs dropping your shoulders. Then I like to use the word sink. Sink your hips down into your leg at the same time that the horse's jump sinks up into you. Does that help convey the softness of the look?

doccer
Nov. 4, 2010, 02:03 PM
hi :) depends if you're just stiff, or if you're pivoting on your knee, or, etc, etc

my tendency is to pivot my knee and not change my position (basically you could rotate just me on my horse and see that i'm sitting up straight, heels down, but pivoting on my knee lol ) its a work in progress. this body position of an open upper body worked with my old horse (flat flat jumper) becuz our body angles matched.

the new horse has bascule, brings her knees up and is round over a fence. the open upper body does not match her jump, so im learning to close my hip angle (upper body 'sinking' towards the saddle)

what helps me... think heels forward (and 'think' put weight in your stirrups) , and i've reverted to a crest release so i have a clue where my body is over the fence for schooling.

i really like the word 'sink' :yes: sometimes different wording is all it takes for that light bulb to go off and your body to finally listen ;)

CHT
Nov. 4, 2010, 03:00 PM
Are your stirrups short enough?

If you are uncomfortable posting photos, perhaps you could PM them to someone whose advice made sense, and then go from there. Usually an upper body issue can only be corrected by changing something lower down (so that you keep you balance), so without being able to SEE the ride, it can be hard to figure out the root cause.

xxreddxheaddxx
Nov. 4, 2010, 03:33 PM
When I first learned to jump I did these excersizes a lot:

At the trot, do some two point and then stretch you body by exaggerating the 2pt and lifting your chest while pushing your bum back in the saddle and putting your hands forward, like you were over a jump. Depending on your horse, when they have the extra rein they will also strech, and then your back will be parallel to their's, which is how it is supposed to be.

After I got a little more experienced, we started doing gymnastics. Try doing 3 bounces with crossrails or something small and instead of pressing your chest into his neck, think about pressing your stomach. This way you will continue to have a flat back and still be relaxed enough to follow the horse's motion. Just remember to go as far as your horse does and you'll be fine!

Hope this helps :)

RomeosGirl
Nov. 4, 2010, 03:47 PM
A previous trainer told me to touch my belt buckle to the pommel of the saddle.

eclipse
Nov. 4, 2010, 04:48 PM
A previous trainer told me to touch my belt buckle to the pommel of the saddle.

wouldn't this make you duck and go butt high? There's really no need to close your hip angle that much if you're only jumping little itty bitty fences. Just allow the thrust of the horse to close your angle for you! If you feel like you're being tossed slightly backwards, then do what I did, and shorten up your stirrups, it may be just what you need!

doccer
Nov. 4, 2010, 09:10 PM
wouldn't this make you duck and go butt high? There's really no need to close your hip angle that much if you're only jumping little itty bitty fences. Just allow the thrust of the horse to close your angle for you! If you feel like you're being tossed slightly backwards, then do what I did, and shorten up your stirrups, it may be just what you need!

i agree eclipse, if you actually did put your buckle on the pommel, it'd be too much.

Maybe if we use it as a visual it would work tho... someone who has an open hip angle, if you visualize buckle on pommel, you'll probably only go half way (you never think ur as close as you are... kind like sitting up straight for some, you feel like you're leaning back, when really you're barely straight).

overcompensation at first, then you can be detailed after that. good thread :yes:

RomeosGirl
Nov. 5, 2010, 08:54 AM
i agree eclipse, if you actually did put your buckle on the pommel, it'd be too much.

Maybe if we use it as a visual it would work tho... someone who has an open hip angle, if you visualize buckle on pommel, you'll probably only go half way (you never think ur as close as you are... kind like sitting up straight for some, you feel like you're leaning back, when really you're barely straight).

overcompensation at first, then you can be detailed after that. good thread :yes:

This!
I never actually touched my belt buckle to the saddle, just "thought" that to make me fold. They had tried other things with me & I was still standing in my stirrups, stiff in the hips. So this gave me something to think about & got me bending more:lol:

findeight
Nov. 5, 2010, 10:07 AM
Try doing it on the flat first-starting with the walk. Just stay in full seat, change nothing from the waist down and bend at the waist by closing your hip angle. Do NOT throw your shoulder forward to get this done, it comes from your abs. This is pretty uncomfortable at first because you will want to lead with your shoulder instead of originating the move in the abs.

And remember that 2 point does not involve any big moves, just lighten the seat, keep your back flat and butt back and let the horse close you up as it lifts. If it's a small fence, you won't close that much-you don't need to so don't try to overcompensate for less lift from the horse by laying on that neck.

medical mike
Nov. 5, 2010, 06:43 PM
Easiest way to find problem.

REgards,
medical Mike
equestrian medical researcher
www.equicision.com

RolyPolyPony
Nov. 15, 2010, 02:16 PM
And remember that 2 point does not involve any big moves, just lighten the seat, keep your back flat and butt back and let the horse close you up as it lifts. If it's a small fence, you won't close that much-you don't need to so don't try to overcompensate for less lift from the horse by laying on that neck.

Can I add a question that sort of goes along w/ this and is a problem I have? So, we're working on me w/ the whole sink-and-butt-back business, but my new problem is that I can't figure out _when_ to do it, if that makes sense. So we're cantering up to the jump, I'm nice and upright (finally - another of my issues was basically curling into a fetal position as soon as I could see the jump...!), and then suddenly, before I have time to think "Ok, heels down, butt back," we're landing, and my position is totally crazy! I don't think I'm doing anything HORRIBLE, but I seem to have this mind-body disconnect that becomes very apparent when jumping - my mind apparently isn't fast enough to notice what's happening and communicate to my body in time!!

So HOW can I make myself think of these things in time? Should I try to get my instructor to yell out to me? Or is it just a matter of practice? I'm a once-a-week rerider, and we alternate flat/jump weeks, so I'm only jumping every other week.

findeight
Nov. 15, 2010, 02:44 PM
#1. Stop thinking.

#2. Try to ride more then 4 times a month and only jump twice.

These are more advanced details you really need to ride and jump more to master. It is specific muscles used in a way they are normally not used so it takes practice to build the strength.

So try to just do the best you can and enjoy your rides for now. Likely you are not jumping big enough or often enough to cause the horse any discomfort. Don't worry about it, grab the mane and stay off his back for now.

RolyPolyPony
Nov. 15, 2010, 02:53 PM
@findeight - hahah! if I could do #1, I'd be SO much of a better rider! :) And I'm working on the second - I do practice rides as often as I can, but there's no jumping unless in lessons (which at this point in my riding, I agree w/!), so that 2x a month isn't going to change.

"So try to just do the best you can and enjoy your rides for now. Likely you are not jumping big enough or often enough to cause the horse any discomfort. Don't worry about it, grab the mane and stay off his back for now."

That's true, and likely why my instructor doesn't get after me _too_ much ;) I don't know why I'm worrying so much about this - I do trust my instructor and if she's not seeing a problem yet, I shouldn't be either, I guess! But that's my blasted over-thinking problem again :)

Thanks for the reply!