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mzw297
Oct. 28, 2011, 08:56 PM
I need some help.

Background:
I have been riding consistently for the last few months (for the first time in years). My background is in the hunter ring and i dabbled in eventing for a bit and then had to gradute from college and get a job, and didnt have the ability to financially support a horse. Fast forward 7 years and i am back in the saddle, hurrah!!

Situation:
Its important to note that I am fortunate enough to be leasing a fabulous schoolmaster who is perfect for a rerider ammy. I love and trust this horse with every fiber in my body.
This amazing horse is getting me comfortable in the 2'6 this year and I am hoping to be back in the adults next season.

BUT... For whatever reason I am apparently not keeping my hind parts out of the saddle for long enough over fences. I really do feel like I am staying out of the saddle, but the feedback from my trainer is that I need to stay out a bit longer.

Does anyone or has anyone had this trouble before? What did you do to help fix this? I am getting a video of our last show so I can see what I am not feeling.... I need to get this fixed before I move back up to 3'0.

Please help a rerider ammy who can't keep her a$$ out of the saddle!!! :winkgrin:

Ponyclubrocks
Oct. 28, 2011, 10:00 PM
Couple of quick exercises:

Grid work with multiple bounces, can be cross rails, just requires you to stay up out of the saddle, work up to five in a row...

Exercise where you hold your release for one or two strides after the fence. staying in release position may help keep you up longer.

Also ensure your stirrup length is not too long...do you ride with a different length for flat versus jumping? If not try going up a whole hole for jumping.

Good luck

doublesstable
Oct. 28, 2011, 10:03 PM
What helped me was a new saddle.... I don't know if what you are riding in really fits you and the horse but makes a huge difference.

bits619
Oct. 28, 2011, 10:11 PM
my trainer will tell me to pretend there's another jump just after each one- both to keep me straight after a jump and to keep my bum out of the saddle. She says to count an extra beat, or makes me hold 2-pt until a certain distance (either a fence post or when she says I can sit again). I think the rest of it just comes with practice! (the stirrups up a hole is a helpful tip, too. We tried that just the other day in my lesson actually, and i think it made a difference as well.)

Watching video will definitely help :) That's the one thing i have YET to get the courage up to do-- record myself! Eeep.

jetsmom
Oct. 28, 2011, 10:12 PM
Do transitions staying in 2 pt without using the neck/reins to balance.

Xbittersweet
Oct. 28, 2011, 10:38 PM
Stay on the two point for an extra stride or two. Thinking about doing that really helped me

Pasde2
Oct. 28, 2011, 11:07 PM
Warning: These suggestions MAY help. No promises! I've worked with a lot of re-riders, and many of them came in with the problem you've described. So far, it's always been temporary and fixable. Here are four of the main causes I see, with their solutions - perhaps one of them will help.

You probably know all this already, but sometimes a reminder can be useful.

1. Rider's stirrup leathers are too long, consequently rider tries to FORCE her heels low, and has a terrible time because her hips and knees and ankles all stiffen and she ends up more or less standing in her stirrups - this isn't a very secure position in which to approach a jump, whether she's doing it hunter-style (in two-point coming into the fence) or jumper-style (letting the horse "jump" her out of the saddle on takeoff). Too-long stirrups effectively force the rider's legs to straighten - again, causing stiffness in all the "shock absorber" leg joints - but if the rider can't get her backside out of the saddle without straightening her knees, the stiff, standing-up position will continue to be a problem.

(Solution: Shorten those leathers, but do a fair amount of riding on the flat in two-point, at all gaits, before you trust your just-modified balance over the jumps. Also, be sure that your stirrups are on the balls of your feet - not pushed home - so that your heels can drop and help you by providing better leg position and thus improved balance and more security.)

2. Rider is getting ahead of her horse, standing too tall, with her knee and hip angles too open, and then over the jump thinks, very sensibly, "Oh no, if I land like this I'm going to land on my nose!" and quickly sits down to avoid that particular badness.

(Solution: Instead of standing and possibly climbing your horse's neck, the rider needs to FOLD. If she's already folding, she needs to fold in a slightly different way, like - oh dear, I'm dating myself here - an old-fashioned ironing board. As her shoulders come forward and her hip angle closes, she needs to slide her backside toward the cantle so that she can keep her balance before/over/after the jump and stay close to, but OUT OF the saddle.

Denny Emerson used to do a great demonstration of this, in the saddle and - more impressively - on top of a table at conferences. It's something I look forward to seeing again when he's back in the saddle - or back on the conference table.

3. The saddle, not the rider, is the problem - many re-riders automatically get the same size saddle they used long ago in their lessons, or they guess at what size saddle they "should" use, and... they get it wrong.

(Solution: A jumping saddle, to be comfortable, needs to be large enough and have flaps that are forward-cut, enough that the rider CAN shorten her stirrup leathers (see #1 and #2) without having her knees come off the flaps. I've had quite a few riders whose ability to stay out of the saddle and ride well over jumps - even long grids - improved dramatically as soon as they tried jumping in saddles that actually fit.

4. The rider is fine, the saddle fits, the rider has adjusted her stirrup leathers and is now in a fairly good position but is nervous and gripping the reins hard coming into her jump, which causes the horse to anticipate pain on landing, so he either pops straight up in the air and lands and almost stops, or he races off after the jump because all he can think about is running away from the discomfort. Either way, the rider is likely to sit down early, if not early and suddenly and hard.

(Solution: The rider's instructor (or a friend who can be bribed) needs to set up a low grid with four or five small jumps and an obvious line down the center (cross-rails are good for this), so that the rider can either come down the line without her reins (tie them and let them lie on the horse's neck) and without ever getting out of her 2-point, ideally with her arms straight out at her sides, at shoulder-height. There's nothing quite like this for giving a rider the takeoff-airtime-landing sensation and helping her learn to stay in her 2-point all the way through the grid.

There are many other possible causes, of course, but without actually seeing the rider in question, I offer the above as the problems I see most often and the simplest solution to each one.

Oh, and this is my first post. I'm sorry about the length, I hadn't intended to introduce myself by writing a book!

doublesstable
Oct. 29, 2011, 01:18 AM
Warning: These suggestions MAY help. No promises! I've worked with a lot of re-riders, and many of them came in with the problem you've described. So far, it's always been temporary and fixable. Here are four of the main causes I see, with their solutions - perhaps one of them will help.

You probably know all this already, but sometimes a reminder can be useful.

1. Rider's stirrup leathers are too long, consequently rider tries to FORCE her heels low, and has a terrible time because her hips and knees and ankles all stiffen and she ends up more or less standing in her stirrups - this isn't a very secure position in which to approach a jump, whether she's doing it hunter-style (in two-point coming into the fence) or jumper-style (letting the horse "jump" her out of the saddle on takeoff). Too-long stirrups effectively force the rider's legs to straighten - again, causing stiffness in all the "shock absorber" leg joints - but if the rider can't get her backside out of the saddle without straightening her knees, the stiff, standing-up position will continue to be a problem.

(Solution: Shorten those leathers, but do a fair amount of riding on the flat in two-point, at all gaits, before you trust your just-modified balance over the jumps. Also, be sure that your stirrups are on the balls of your feet - not pushed home - so that your heels can drop and help you by providing better leg position and thus improved balance and more security.)

2. Rider is getting ahead of her horse, standing too tall, with her knee and hip angles too open, and then over the jump thinks, very sensibly, "Oh no, if I land like this I'm going to land on my nose!" and quickly sits down to avoid that particular badness.

(Solution: Instead of standing and possibly climbing your horse's neck, the rider needs to FOLD. If she's already folding, she needs to fold in a slightly different way, like - oh dear, I'm dating myself here - an old-fashioned ironing board. As her shoulders come forward and her hip angle closes, she needs to slide her backside toward the cantle so that she can keep her balance before/over/after the jump and stay close to, but OUT OF the saddle.

Denny Emerson used to do a great demonstration of this, in the saddle and - more impressively - on top of a table at conferences. It's something I look forward to seeing again when he's back in the saddle - or back on the conference table.

3. The saddle, not the rider, is the problem - many re-riders automatically get the same size saddle they used long ago in their lessons, or they guess at what size saddle they "should" use, and... they get it wrong.

(Solution: A jumping saddle, to be comfortable, needs to be large enough and have flaps that are forward-cut, enough that the rider CAN shorten her stirrup leathers (see #1 and #2) without having her knees come off the flaps. I've had quite a few riders whose ability to stay out of the saddle and ride well over jumps - even long grids - improved dramatically as soon as they tried jumping in saddles that actually fit.

4. The rider is fine, the saddle fits, the rider has adjusted her stirrup leathers and is now in a fairly good position but is nervous and gripping the reins hard coming into her jump, which causes the horse to anticipate pain on landing, so he either pops straight up in the air and lands and almost stops, or he races off after the jump because all he can think about is running away from the discomfort. Either way, the rider is likely to sit down early, if not early and suddenly and hard.

(Solution: The rider's instructor (or a friend who can be bribed) needs to set up a low grid with four or five small jumps and an obvious line down the center (cross-rails are good for this), so that the rider can either come down the line without her reins (tie them and let them lie on the horse's neck) and without ever getting out of her 2-point, ideally with her arms straight out at her sides, at shoulder-height. There's nothing quite like this for giving a rider the takeoff-airtime-landing sensation and helping her learn to stay in her 2-point all the way through the grid.

There are many other possible causes, of course, but without actually seeing the rider in question, I offer the above as the problems I see most often and the simplest solution to each one.

Oh, and this is my first post. I'm sorry about the length, I hadn't intended to introduce myself by writing a book!


Welcome!!! And good post :)

Pasde2
Oct. 29, 2011, 01:11 PM
Welcome!!! And good post :)

Thank you for the welcome and the kind words.

Well, if I'm allowed to be verbose...

I should have added two other points to that post!

First, I've seen a very large number of riders, especially re-riders - mostly re-riders actually - who instantly blame themselves for their inability to remain in balance on the approach or over the jump or after the jump, or all three, when all they really need is a tack adjustment (size, position, or something as simple as changing the length of their stirrup leathers). I appreciate the good attitude of the riders who blame themselves instead of their horses, but sometimes the blame is misplaced. If it's not absolutely clear that there is a single, identifiable issue involved (e.g. sore horse or wrong saddle), I'm all in favour of listing the most likely solutions and beginning with the simplest and least expensive one.
Which brings me to another point:

Second, tack adjustment, specifically saddle positioning, is a huge issue with a lot of riders who aren't comfortable jumping, feel that they're behind their leg a lot of the time and unsteady and unbalanced when they're jumping.

If the saddle is sitting too far forward, not only does it interfere with the horse's shoulders, it also wrecks the rider's balance by putting the lowest part of the saddle on or just in front of the cantle - this causes the rider to be perpetually behind the leg. The "fix" is usually just a matter of pushing the saddle back where it belongs, behind the shoulder so that the lowest point of the seat is in the center, and ensuring that the girth is moved back as well so that it's not rubbing against the horse's elbows. I see this a lot, not just with hunter/jumper riders but with dressage riders as well.

If a too-far-forward saddle is causing this or any other problem, pushing the saddle back is a VERY cheap fix.

For me, it's like getting radiographs when a horse is sore - in the absence of other information it's usually most practical and economical to start at the bottom and work your way up, because if you find that the problem is in the feet or fetlocks, there's no reason to go to huge expense taking pictures all the way up to the shoulders and hips. Not on that first pass, anyway.

lintesia
Oct. 31, 2011, 02:04 AM
Warning: These suggestions MAY help. No promises! I've worked with a lot of re-riders, and many of them came in with the problem you've described. So far, it's always been temporary and fixable. Here are four of the main causes I see, with their solutions - perhaps one of them will help.

You probably know all this already, but sometimes a reminder can be useful.

1. Rider's stirrup leathers are too long, consequently rider tries to FORCE her heels low, and has a terrible time because her hips and knees and ankles all stiffen and she ends up more or less standing in her stirrups - this isn't a very secure position in which to approach a jump, whether she's doing it hunter-style (in two-point coming into the fence) or jumper-style (letting the horse "jump" her out of the saddle on takeoff). Too-long stirrups effectively force the rider's legs to straighten - again, causing stiffness in all the "shock absorber" leg joints - but if the rider can't get her backside out of the saddle without straightening her knees, the stiff, standing-up position will continue to be a problem.

(Solution: Shorten those leathers, but do a fair amount of riding on the flat in two-point, at all gaits, before you trust your just-modified balance over the jumps. Also, be sure that your stirrups are on the balls of your feet - not pushed home - so that your heels can drop and help you by providing better leg position and thus improved balance and more security.)

2. Rider is getting ahead of her horse, standing too tall, with her knee and hip angles too open, and then over the jump thinks, very sensibly, "Oh no, if I land like this I'm going to land on my nose!" and quickly sits down to avoid that particular badness.

(Solution: Instead of standing and possibly climbing your horse's neck, the rider needs to FOLD. If she's already folding, she needs to fold in a slightly different way, like - oh dear, I'm dating myself here - an old-fashioned ironing board. As her shoulders come forward and her hip angle closes, she needs to slide her backside toward the cantle so that she can keep her balance before/over/after the jump and stay close to, but OUT OF the saddle.

Denny Emerson used to do a great demonstration of this, in the saddle and - more impressively - on top of a table at conferences. It's something I look forward to seeing again when he's back in the saddle - or back on the conference table.

3. The saddle, not the rider, is the problem - many re-riders automatically get the same size saddle they used long ago in their lessons, or they guess at what size saddle they "should" use, and... they get it wrong.

(Solution: A jumping saddle, to be comfortable, needs to be large enough and have flaps that are forward-cut, enough that the rider CAN shorten her stirrup leathers (see #1 and #2) without having her knees come off the flaps. I've had quite a few riders whose ability to stay out of the saddle and ride well over jumps - even long grids - improved dramatically as soon as they tried jumping in saddles that actually fit.

4. The rider is fine, the saddle fits, the rider has adjusted her stirrup leathers and is now in a fairly good position but is nervous and gripping the reins hard coming into her jump, which causes the horse to anticipate pain on landing, so he either pops straight up in the air and lands and almost stops, or he races off after the jump because all he can think about is running away from the discomfort. Either way, the rider is likely to sit down early, if not early and suddenly and hard.

(Solution: The rider's instructor (or a friend who can be bribed) needs to set up a low grid with four or five small jumps and an obvious line down the center (cross-rails are good for this), so that the rider can either come down the line without her reins (tie them and let them lie on the horse's neck) and without ever getting out of her 2-point, ideally with her arms straight out at her sides, at shoulder-height. There's nothing quite like this for giving a rider the takeoff-airtime-landing sensation and helping her learn to stay in her 2-point all the way through the grid.

There are many other possible causes, of course, but without actually seeing the rider in question, I offer the above as the problems I see most often and the simplest solution to each one.

Oh, and this is my first post. I'm sorry about the length, I hadn't intended to introduce myself by writing a book!

Wow -- I've read your articles for years and years! What a gift to have you here!! (The rhyme is not intentional...)