PDA

View Full Version : Smoother stadium rounds, video



enjoytheride
Mar. 23, 2011, 07:24 PM
Hi guys, it's almost warm enough to be thinking about showing again. I'm mostly an eventer, but I do dabble in some hunters as well.

I used to get super nervous at shows, my horse used have some show ring nerves so we just fed off each other. I've taken lots of lessons, and showed a good bit and I'm feeling more confident in the show ring and my horse is much more relaxed as well.

One of the things I'd like to improve is my ride between the fences, it's a bit umm zig zaggy. If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course! I'd like to move up in height this year a few inches or so. As you can see, I tend to stand in my stirrups and get left behind a bit. I always slip my reins but then I have to gather them back. I don't do this on wider horses, or horses that jump flatter.

Over fence two she jumped it huge so I got jumped loose. The entire round felt super fast to me, I've done lots of trotting fences in the past, but it doesn't look fast in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ybBHAETPs

RugBug
Mar. 23, 2011, 08:04 PM
Hi guys, it's almost warm enough to be thinking about showing again. I'm mostly an eventer, but I do dabble in some hunters as well.

I used to get super nervous at shows, my horse used have some show ring nerves so we just fed off each other. I've taken lots of lessons, and showed a good bit and I'm feeling more confident in the show ring and my horse is much more relaxed as well.

Both you and your horse do look more relaxed than I've seen in other videos. Good for you!



One of the things I'd like to improve is my ride between the fences, it's a bit umm zig zaggy. If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course! I'd like to move up in height this year a few inches or so.

Yep..you do get zigzaggy. I couldn't tell where you were going a few times. :winkgrin: Think about long flowing lines using all of the arena. Don't be in a hurry. Once you turn and get straight to the line, look for something outside the arena at the other end...maybe a tree or even a post of the arena fence as a guide for straightness and ride to it. Use the WHOLE arena. Even though you're an eventer, you should first know how to use every inch of available space and then work on taking a more time saving path. If you're jumping striped poles, look at the center stripe and aim for it. Remember to steer with your legs AND hands. It looks like you're just pulling your horse to tell her where to go and that gives you the zigzag. Think of making a funnel for her between your legs and hands.



As you can see, I tend to stand in my stirrups and get left behind a bit. I always slip my reins but then I have to gather them back. I don't do this on wider horses, or horses that jump flatter.

I hate to break it to you, but your horse is not a round jumper. She's actually pretty flat. I think one of the main reasons you are getting left and jumped loosed is because you lack pace. A weak, slow canter is one of the hardest things to jump from and it's what you are consistently using. The slow canters you see in the hunters are from extremely athletic horses with long strides who are balanced into a powerful canter. Your mare is adorable, but she's not going to have that canter naturally and you will need to create some pace and impulsion in order to get a better jumping arc. You've got to get used to a faster pace...and it will feel faster to you because she's got a little stride.

I would also suggest A LOT of time in two point and doing things like up, up down posting. You don't have an independent seat and hands. Your hand bounce up and down when you post, a dead giveaway. Your leg position is nice, but I'm also guessing that it doesn't really act as an anchor for you.

When you're jumping, you've got to let your angles absorb the motion. It's like skiing...if you try to brace against the bumps, you end up sore, and usually on your back. Think of a mogul skier and how their knees and hips bounce with the moguls but their heads tend to stay level. Jumping a horse is very similar. The angles, knees and hips flex and extend to absorb the motion while the upper body stays still. You're not flexing/extending and therefore are getting popped up and over at each jump.



Over fence two she jumped it huge so I got jumped loose. The entire round felt super fast to me, I've done lots of trotting fences in the past, but it doesn't look fast in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2ybBHAETPs

She didn't jump huge over fence two...she deer jumped it...straight up, straight back down. It's a hard motion to stay with. She doesn't have much bascule...and your hands aren't encouraging her to reach down at all. You do a lot of balancing on her mouth. I would start doing gymnastics with you grabbing mane and progressing to no hands.

You've got to develop the independent base of support and the flexibility to move with your horse. Once you figure that out, you'll be so much further along.

Don't be discouraged, I see a lot of improvement. There was nothing frantic about this video and you do both look relaxed and unworried with the task at hand. Just keep practicing and it will come.

CBoylen
Mar. 23, 2011, 08:06 PM
If I have something to focus on I might be able to think a bit more on course
There's always something to focus on. It's called the next jump.
You need to develop your plan when you walk your course. That means planning the approach and landing to each fence.
Fence two, she jumps big and you get jumped loose because both of you were looking at the railing on the approach and not the fence. It's a bending line, not a dog-leg turn. You don't get straight to any of the other fences, which you can fix by walking the turns and then riding the same path that sets you up for straightness. You seem very indecisive about the lines. Pick a number when you walk, watch a couple to be certain, and then stick to the plan. That is the number of strides you are doing, you will ride the in to make the out work in that number. Same thing with trotting or cantering. If you are going to trot the fence, trot all the way to the fence. If you are going to canter it, get your canter before the turn.
Your horse will go where you are looking, so make a plan and then look where you are going and everything will work out much more smoothly. You can practice all that by riding "courses" on the flat and working on having your horse follow your eye, following a bend, and not falling in or out.

Dakotawyatt
Mar. 23, 2011, 08:11 PM
The above post is SPOT on. Take it to heart! And with my lesson students, we practice LOTS of twisty courses with POLES. I would work on establishing much more canter, and practicing your course work over poles for now. Super cute horse! Keep practicing!:)

enjoytheride
Mar. 23, 2011, 08:43 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20892581@N04/5554668424/

Here's a picture of her jumping the second fence.

I walk my courses 4 or 5 times, but it seems once I'm going it all goes right out the window! Getting a bit better though. This is a video of last year! Pretty horrible to watch, I felt and looked like a total idiot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owjW4UdJ5KM

RugBug
Mar. 23, 2011, 08:45 PM
http://www.flickr.com/photos/20892581@N04/5554668424/

Here's a picture of her jumping the second fence.

I walk my courses 4 or 5 times, but it seems once I'm going it all goes right out the window! Getting a bit better though.

It's not how high she's jumping...it's the up/down of how she's jumping it that's the issue. If she had a better arc, you wouldn't be having so much difficulty. (Also note that you are balanced on the reins...that's not encouraging her to jump anything other than up/down)

Schune
Mar. 24, 2011, 09:46 AM
You really need to get your issue of losing your balance and catching Nikki in the mouth under control, because I don't know how much longer she'll put up with it. That is such a good mare for not pitching you into the dirt.

Shorten your stirrup at least a half hole, maybe even a whole one. You've got too little angle in your knee, which I think is contributing to your bad habit of simply standing in the stirrups over fences. Once your leg is secure and elastic, you can 'break' slightly at your waist and keep your upper body either parallel or slightly above parallel with her neck.

The best remedy I can think of is to set 2-3 crossrail bounces and tie your reins in a knot. With your hands on your hips, you can't rely on the reins to keep you in the saddle. Then I suggest learning, living, and loving the basic crest release. It is your friend here :yes:

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 24, 2011, 11:16 AM
It seems you don't have much of a 2 point honestly. As far as I can tell you're pretty much just standing up in the irons before her back feet haven't even finished jumping over the pole.

I'm working the exact same thing of 2 point, letting the horse fold me, and staying over until the back feet touch the ground and the horse starts to canter away.

The bounces with no reins will REALLY help you not jump ahead and feel where you're standing up and sitting back too soon.

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 01:12 PM
It's not how high she's jumping...it's the up/down of how she's jumping it that's the issue. If she had a better arc, you wouldn't be having so much difficulty. (Also note that you are balanced on the reins...that's not encouraging her to jump anything other than up/down)

I don't know much about your history so I will only comment on the video and photo you provided.

I quoted RugBug (and find it always funny that I agree with her "way" too much) :lol:

You really need to spend A LOT of time on the flat working on the stability of your leg and creating an independent hand that can "follow" your horses mouth. Not to sound mean, but if you keep wrapping your horse in the mouth and balancing yourself off your hands things will not go so well in the future.

She is being an extreme doll to go over those jumps for you. You have a GREAT horse!

What I say to myself about riding - I love my horses enough to be a better rider for their sake!

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 24, 2011, 03:13 PM
I always say that I hope to ride well enough one day to deserve him. Or to rise to the level he expects of me. He pushes me harder than any trainer ever could. The more I ride him well, the more he pushes for me to go bigger, ride quieter, etc. He's a saint.

Most of the time......

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 04:26 PM
It seems you don't have much of a 2 point honestly. As far as I can tell you're pretty much just standing up in the irons before her back feet haven't even finished jumping over the pole.

I'm working the exact same thing of 2 point, letting the horse fold me, and staying over until the back feet touch the ground and the horse starts to canter away.

The bounces with no reins will REALLY help you not jump ahead and feel where you're standing up and sitting back too soon.

I love doing bounces because it makes my horse do the work and I work to do "nothing" but sit in a two point and allow my hand to be soft...

And I find the more stable my lower leg and weight through my heel the easier it is to have a following hand.

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 24, 2011, 04:42 PM
I had them over and over and over again with the jumps getting bumped up higher and higher. I crawled up his neck once and he slammed on the brakes so hard my momma felt it! LOL!

But the more I did it the easier it got. Now I can go through with no reins, hands on my hips, hands on my head, hands out to the side and it's very ho-hum. Amazing what a strong base can do for you!

Release First
Mar. 24, 2011, 04:54 PM
I just love your horse. If you can stabilize your seat over fences, I think the most of the rest of your problems will smooth out. First, I would suggest that you shorten your stirrups a hole. This will allow you to stay off your horse's back easier. Second, I would get a jump strap to help you stay over better and longer while jumping. Third, I would suggest working on gymnastics with the jump strap. Very simple gymnastics, set to your horses stride and set low. Then your goal is to keep ahold of the jump strap all the way through the gymnastic, all the while pushing your belly button toward the pommel and letting your weight stay dropped into your heel. Your hip angle is opening and this exercise will really help you get the feel of what a closed angle feels like. It should also give you more confidence as your horse should start jumping more consistently.

To help with your pace, I would suggest that you establish a more forward pace, perhaps going around the entire ring at that pace and then take a single fence. Then slowly add fences as you become more comfortable at a better pace. You don't want to try to speed up coming to the fence.

Have fun.

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:00 PM
To help with your pace, I would suggest that you establish a more forward pace, perhaps going around the entire ring at that pace and then take a single fence. Then slowly add fences as you become more comfortable at a better pace. You don't want to try to speed up coming to the fence.

Have fun.

This is a good reminder and comment. I think to myself when on course; get my pace and balance in the corners that I want - then when approaching the jump, chill easy to it not speed up to get to the jump.

enjoytheride
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:11 PM
Ouch, some harsh critiques there. I thought we'd made quite a bit of progress over last year with a long way to go. My horse used to run backwards out of the arena or bolt toward the fences then take off at a dead run after them for the barns so she's not quite the saint she appears to be. I've probably spent more time doing dressage on the flat then jumping to get her more rideable between fences then I have working on my position over fences. It's hard carrying that baggage and trying to stay relaxed and give her more rein when she used to be mostly uncontrollable at shows.

wanderlust
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:20 PM
Do you have the opportunity to take lessons on a more schooled horse who knows his job? That is what I'd suggest so you can work on your own issues without having to worry about your horse. It is really hard to make progress when you are inexperienced and your horse has issues, in addition to being inexperienced. One of you has to be the teacher.

kateh
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:28 PM
How is she at home? I wouldn't take her out unless she's consistently listening to you. Otherwise you're setting her up for failure, and reinforcing your fears. Once she's responsive take her to some local hunter shows where all you have to remember is outside diagonal x2. Your goal isn't blue, it's a calm controlled round even if you have to circle after every single fence.

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:29 PM
Ouch, some harsh critiques there. I thought we'd made quite a bit of progress over last year with a long way to go. My horse used to run backwards out of the arena or bolt toward the fences then take off at a dead run after them for the barns so she's not quite the saint she appears to be. I've probably spent more time doing dressage on the flat then jumping to get her more rideable between fences then I have working on my position over fences. It's hard carrying that baggage and trying to stay relaxed and give her more rein when she used to be mostly uncontrollable at shows.


I didn't see anyone being harsh? I watched your other (second) video - your earlier ride - you posted and did see a horse that looked fresh and in need of miles along with the rider. Yes, you have come a long way with the horse. So much so; since I watched the after video first, thinking what a nice horse!

If your not ready for a show and need to build confidence maybe spend the show money on more lessons. I'm again not trying to be mean - I know for a fact because I'm doing the same thing right now. I was going to do more shows but felt I need more time in the saddle and more lessons.

I hope you don't think I was being harsh - you posted a video for thoughts.... and you are pulling on your horses mouth. I noticed there were some extremely "careful" posts - extremely nice I thought. Those posts that talked about balancing off your hands; I didn't think anyone was being harsh at all.

enjoytheride
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:46 PM
It's just discouraging to see people say that she's going to start stopping or dump me in the ground. It makes me feel bad. I'd never want to do anything to hurt her confidence in me or kill her joy for jumping and I'm really aware of my position. I've had a devil of a time trying to iron it out. It's like I have a more solid position at home in lessons but then I forget half of it at a show, and usually I look at my photos and go home to take more lessons. I know what I'm supposed to look like, and what getting jumped loose, left behind, feels like, and what doing it right feels like, but it's hard to make my body do that.

I don't really think much :cool: out on course, but I am actually having fun and I don't feel like barfing sitting at the ingate anymore.

People used to say "well don't feel bad, I had a ride like that once." Now they say "you have such a quiet nice horse. She's so well trained."

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 24, 2011, 05:52 PM
Not meant as a disrespect to hunters since I"m currently doing the hunters....

But I would suggest that for mileage you should go to some hunter shows until you're both confident and quiet. While you may not ribbon in them, this will give you confidence by not going "OH CRAP, WHICH FENCE NEXT?" It's a straight forward course where you can work on rhythm, pace and impulsion. You won't have to get flustered over sharper turns or corners. Or a course that zigs and zags a bunch.

Then for your schooling towards the jumpers you can do the equitation courses. When you feel safe and comfortable there you can return to the jumpers and be very forward, focused and ready to kick some butt!

enjoytheride
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:00 PM
Actually I do some hunters as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIeYnCMmIxI

She's pretty quiet at home but we have a small indoor arena, and I ride my trainer's horse over fences as well.

Wee Dee Trrr
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:07 PM
You and your mare HAVE come a long way. There is no doubt about it, and it is due to YOUR hard work and effort. However, most of these posters are correct. In order to continue to develop you should take these comments to heart.

Since your mare is happier now to jump and play you should take advantage! Work on a more forward canter. Play with grids. Take some lessons on Rachel's Belle or Squiggie, they are WONDERFUL teachers. (I want to lesson on Squig!! That horse makes me SO jealous!!)

Don't get discouraged! I know there are times when my horse is a good boy for not dumping me. I also know that when people compliment him they are not seeing his evil twin that I dealt with. (You remember him, right? At Dan Hobyn?)

Maybe you should look into taking some lessons or clinics with other instructors just to get a different perspective on the matter. I LOVE LAZ til the ends of the earth, but Peter Atkins made something click for me that she's been badgering me about for years! (Then I explained it to her, why it clicked... and now she has a better understanding of how to help me.)

alexshrugged
Mar. 24, 2011, 06:48 PM
In that still photograph of jump #2 your upper body is ahead of your hands. You're jumping ahead of your horse, and pulling back at the same time. That's worse than the ducking and throwing your hands up the neck, which is what I suspect you're trying to avoid by riding this way. It might not be a bad idea to exaggerate your release a few times at first, just to get used to the different sense of balance that requires, and to be sure that you're giving her freedom to use her head and neck. Obviously you don't want to be stuck at either extreme, but much nicer for your wonderful mare to give her too much release than to hold onto her in the air.

Also, it sounds like you're a little scared she might revert to old habits and run away with you in the ring, but that doesn't mean you have to hang on mid-jump. Make sure she's listening to your half-halts through the course, focus on rebalancing after the jumps and in every turn, and then make sure you release over the fence because you certainly want to allow her to go forward over that!

Which I guess is all just to say that I agree with everything else said here. More pace, lots of gymnastics, personally I would suggest a ton of no-stirrup work, and learning to turn your horse with your legs, not your hands. Doing a couple extra hunter shows before your next event is probably a good idea, as was also suggested, because both you and your mare can get used to the nerves and the excitement of a show environment without worrying about fast turns.

I think it's awesome that you're aware of the problem and are seeking out advice, so don't get discouraged. Obviously you've done a lot with her, which is a testament to your ability to become a better rider. All the advice given here is totally well-intentioned and positive, and I don't think anyone is trying to make you feel bad about yourself at all!!!

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:00 PM
It's just discouraging to see people say that she's going to start stopping or dump me in the ground. It makes me feel bad. I'd never want to do anything to hurt her confidence in me or kill her joy for jumping and I'm really aware of my position. I've had a devil of a time trying to iron it out. It's like I have a more solid position at home in lessons but then I forget half of it at a show, and usually I look at my photos and go home to take more lessons. I know what I'm supposed to look like, and what getting jumped loose, left behind, feels like, and what doing it right feels like, but it's hard to make my body do that.

I don't really think much :cool: out on course, but I am actually having fun and I don't feel like barfing sitting at the ingate anymore.

People used to say "well don't feel bad, I had a ride like that once." Now they say "you have such a quiet nice horse. She's so well trained."

I think that's what some of us are saying, we don't want you to go in that direction... and offered some ideas..... don't feel bad - I can tell you love your horse and that's so important in all of this..... In all your videos you lack stability in your lower leg and lack independent hands... it's not the end of the world - this learning how to ride goes on forever it seems :D

Another poster said something about clinics... and since I don't know who you are riding with; maybe you are ready to move up to a different venue/trainer? Also check your saddle... A good/proper fitting saddle can make a difference in your ability to use the body parts...

And I flub up at shows... my biggie is trying to remember my courses! We all struggle with something... this board is a great place to go for help. The people here have a lot of great ideas to share.

RugBug
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:21 PM
People used to say "well don't feel bad, I had a ride like that once." Now they say "you have such a quiet nice horse. She's so well trained."

Don't be discouraged. The comments above mean both you and Nikki HAVE improved...a lot. I could see it. :yes: The video of the hunter round you posted was quite nice. Just because you now need to take the next step doesn't mean you are ruining your horse or haven't improved.

One of the hardest things to do is let your horse learn. If Nikki used to rush and buck, you learned to ride to prevent that. She's not doing it now, so you have to stop riding the way you used to. You've got to ride her like a "good" horse and then if she happens to toss something at you...THEN you fix it. It's much easier said than done...been there...and still revert to "preventing" when I get nervous.

I think all the suggestions about pace, track, body control are just the next steps. You've come so far already...it's just the next hurdles. That's why riding is awesome. You never stop being challenged to learn and improve. Take this thread as that challenge. We're rooting for you. :yes:;)

doublesstable
Mar. 24, 2011, 07:28 PM
.... You've got to ride her like a "good" horse and then if she happens to toss something at you...THEN you fix it. It's much easier said than done...been there...and still revert to "preventing" when I get nervous.

I am enjoying being a part of this thread because it is reminding me how many steps are in the process and to add each horse is different. They learn, we learn.

Above mentions riding her like a "good" horse. You know how many times I can hear my trainer saying after the jump, "stay foward, don't sit up so soon, he's not going to buck you off".

Yeah, right - you know where that habit came from, getting bucked off. Had an appy that after a jump would get all "woo-hoo" and throw in a buck.... and that was about 25 years ago.. :lol:

Calvincrowe
Mar. 24, 2011, 10:37 PM
This may seem random, but do you ride in boots and breeches consistently at home, or only at shows? Often, our legs don't stay as still as we'd like when we suddenly put our show clothes on. Years ago, I realized that I sort of changed my whole way of riding when I put on those slick breeches and painful boots to show in, so I began riding in them all the time. I won't go back! I see too many good riders lose a bit of form and confidence when they are suddenly out of their "comfy clothes" and in their "Sunday clothes".

That said, you are not two-pointing, you are standing in your stirrups and crawling to each fence, then sort of "popping" over them. There is no flow, no rhythm. Your horse is a doll, quiet and willing, and it is evident that you've worked hard to get to that point. Is she an Arabian or a cross? If so, then the up, then over jump is fairly typical and hard to stay with at times.

Don't beat yourself up. You've gotten good advice here, some "homework" if you will. Videos are excellent training tools for yourself. Good luck, you guys do look good together!

Ray
Mar. 25, 2011, 07:45 AM
I just wanted to add that your horse is very cute and you are obviously a youngster who is just learning. most of us are somewhere on this journey.... dont be discouraged by the harsher critiques. you are to be commended for being brave enough to ask for help. you are on your way to being a real student of the sport.

you have gotten some great advice. the one thing people have not commented on is the show nerves. Lots of threads on this here, you can search. Good miles will help. Flush the past, you have to let go of the "baggage". Visualize, in real time, a perfect round. the night before the show, and before entering the ring. There are quite a few books on riding sport psychology, you can PM me if you dont find the earlier threads. I rode hunters for a long time as a novice-ish rider so that I could remember the course despite my nerves. You have to be able to think on course!

equidae
Mar. 25, 2011, 08:05 AM
OP, great improvement. I do think your trainer would do you a load of justice to teach you proper jump form over a SINGLE fence however, then work up to a grid. Forget course work for a while, as your own unsteadiness is causing you to further fall apart which does nothing good for a green horse/rider combo. There's so much to work on over single fences that I think the coursework has come too soon.

Do not be discouraged. Learn how to close your hip angle and let your horse jump up to you, then wait for her to land before you sit back in the tack. PRACTICE two point! Push your butt towards the back of the saddle and really drop into your heels. Think TIGHT lower leg and thighs.

Once you can solidly hold a two point, move on to a small single fence, practicing holding the position over the jump and waiting for your horse to land before sitting back. Focus on a point after the fence and keep your horse straight before and after. Then move onto a line- doing the same thing, focusing on STRAIGHTNESS. The spots will eventually come to you and your mare once you keep her straight, and when you can start to see the distances, you will be more and more prepared for the jump and confident.

Schune
Mar. 25, 2011, 11:56 AM
It's just discouraging to see people say that she's going to start stopping or dump me in the ground. It makes me feel bad. I'd never want to do anything to hurt her confidence in me or kill her joy for jumping and I'm really aware of my position. I've had a devil of a time trying to iron it out. It's like I have a more solid position at home in lessons but then I forget half of it at a show, and usually I look at my photos and go home to take more lessons. I know what I'm supposed to look like, and what getting jumped loose, left behind, feels like, and what doing it right feels like, but it's hard to make my body do that.

I don't really think much :cool: out on course, but I am actually having fun and I don't feel like barfing sitting at the ingate anymore.

People used to say "well don't feel bad, I had a ride like that once." Now they say "you have such a quiet nice horse. She's so well trained."

In reference to my post, I was not saying that your mare is 100% going to start stopping, turn into a dirty stopper, become a wheel-and-bolter, etc.

I was pointing out that you run the risk of this happening because of your lack of stability. All it takes is for her to get fed up once, just once, and decide that she just doesn't like jumping anymore because you make it uncomfortable or difficult for her. Your hunter video showed a better ride overall, but the problems are still there - you're in the backseat and have a deathgrip on her mouth, which you don't release over fences. This results in the giraffe head, tense neck, and choppy gaits.

None of us are telling you you suck and should stop, or should give the mare away for her own benefit... if you can improve yourself as a rider in your stability and ability, your horse will follow. Everything a rider does effects the horse, so take the exercises we've suggested and use them. If you do them correctly, you'll see positive results.

:)

HRF Second Chance
Mar. 25, 2011, 12:31 PM
Actually I do some hunters as well!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pIeYnCMmIxI

She's pretty quiet at home but we have a small indoor arena, and I ride my trainer's horse over fences as well.

That is much better. The longer the course goes on, the more relaxed you both looked. She relaxed and opened her stride a few times.

She is cute, you just have to learn to trust to let go. And that's a TOUGH thing to learn.

Heinz 57
Mar. 25, 2011, 12:52 PM
Just based on looking at the picture alone, since I can't watch video where I'm at... (FWIW, this is an eventer's opinion)

I'd put on a neck strap and religiously practice grabbing it to un-train your hands out from your lap. I see way too many eventers that have this habit - plant your hands just in front of the withers and jump over them with your body. I even catch myself doing it on occasion. The other thing I'd work on in conjunction with grabbing the neck strap would be to focus on closing your hip angle backwards, from the bottom. Rather than standing + ducking to close it, think of squatting and pushing your seat out behind you - while still keeping your chest puffed up like a bird.

I know it seems like a lot to think about, but when it clicks you'll really notice. And your mare will start using herself better and giving that 'round bascule' all these nice hunter folks have been talking about. :)

Maya01
Mar. 26, 2011, 09:02 AM
Looks great! Just a little fine-tuning is all you need!
Try to go as far into your corners as possible and when looking for the perfect line, wait to see it and then turn.
Make sure you don't lose your momentum around turns
Work on flying changes. Once you have straight, balanced changes, your courses with go much smoother (no need to trot to get your other lead).
If you can't get the change, trot and pick up canter as soon as possible.
Once you get into a tight spot, push your horse forward a bit more to get back into the momentum for the next fence.
Mostely, just aim for the middle of the fence and don't turn too soon!
Good luck :)