So I've started jumping some bigger (well to me--not even 3') jumps and on the jumper I lessoned on today I found myself really struggling to stay with his powerful jump and heavy landing. While this is something my trainer and I are working on I'd love some suggestions or advice! Thanks!
Make sure you aren't looking down over the fence and think about wrapping your leg around your horse in the air. Also, just perservere...in a month you won't even remember you had trouble staying with him
Saddle type can make a big difference! My expensive saddle is much better for Big bodie jumping! The visualization may be tough if you have never jumped higher. I have a trainer who would tell you to grab some mane if need be! A neck strap is also good!
Time is most important. Other things that will help: jumping a gymnastic with a larger fence as the last jump- even 3' or 3'3" if you are working on 2'9" now. It sets you up to be with the horse and makes sure you will get a good distance. Make sure your stirrups are short enough (general rule is 90 degree angle in knee when seated, 110 when in two-point), and that you are giving a generous crest release so you don't catch him in the mouth while you learn.
I agree with all of the other posters...good advice.
In addition, what I do is to remind myself (a few strides out, after I've found my distance) to push my heels down and wrap my legs around my horse for a little more stability. Just after that? GRAB MANE when you release. Works every time and helps you to feel more secure because you physically steady yourself, and hopefully prevent either falling back in the saddle or catching your horse in the mouth upon landing.
in the last stride do push your heals down, but, This Is Key, also push them forward. i always visualize pushing my heel toward the take off spot in the last stride. remember that through the bascule your stirrup leather should remain perpendicular to the ground. that means that in the landing your leg should move forward just slightly so you can keep from collapsing on the other side.
squeezing the side of your horse will only make him squirt across the jump, unless he has a dwelling problem. if he dwells a cluck on take off, with perhaps a little stick behind your leg over crossrails in the warm up will usually take care of that.
grabbing mane, (unless you are snatching him in the mouth) will only cause your upper body to creep forward and take the weight out of your heels. by 3' you should be in the "rest and press" level.
Last edited by fair judy; Jul. 16, 2009 at 10:40 PM.
Thanks everyone! This horse is a saint and will NOT take off without so you could literally add strides all day! Lol. Hopefully my next ride on him I will be able to focus more on my equitation. Over the smaller fences I feel fine it's just sticking with a bigger movement that I struggle with. I make sure to grab mane if I feel like I'm in anyway going to hit him in the mouth. He lands heavy so I feel like really working on my equitation before and over the fence will really help. I've been keeping up on my core work via yoga and that's really been helping.
fair judy--those are great tips!
Thanks again everyone! Any more advice would be great
Just wanted to say that I jumped this horse again this week and it was much better! Though we didn't jump as high I was able to stay with him over fences and keep my equitation--shorter stirrups really helped.
I'd add that as tempting as it is to jump ahead, it will not help the situation. I know if I think a horse is going to give a particularly large effort, I throw my body up the neck and brace in anticipation. That is what NOT to do.
Really think about keeping your body back in the air, and let the horse jump up into the space between your chest and his withers.