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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2009
    Posts
    43

    Default Jumping without stirrups

    Hi all,
    I need a few pointers on jumping without stirrups, it's something I did a lot as a kid but not so much since. Lately I'm trying it again over very small jumps (2ft ish) and I'm finding that I have no problems trotting and cantering, and I can stay pretty balanced over the fence but I find I'm rejoining the saddle a bit abruptly. Does anyone have any tips on landing smoothly? My butt and my horses' back will thank you



  2. #2
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2010
    Posts
    101

    Default

    I just typed up a big long response for you, and just as I as finishing, my screen decided to refresh on its own, and I lost all of it. Thanks Chronicle.

    So... I'll make it short and sweet. Leg strength! You are probably relying on the security of your stirrups too much, which is why you experience this rough landing while jumping without them. Work on heel raises, which will not only increase the flexibility of your heels (and who doesn't want that?), but will also strengthen your calves. And by all means, continue to ride without stirrups! Bareback is good too. Your muscles will strengthen before you know it.

    And while you are working on this, my advice to you for jumping is that you just continue to solely focus on your leg while jumping, because, after all, its what holds you in place. Stay strong, push your heel down, and support your body.

    Good luck!



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2009
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Many thanks for retyping that after it disappeared So I should be using the whole length of my leg to stay stable in the saddle rather than just my knees and thighs? I can rise trot OK without stirrups but I can't do an actual 2 point position with my butt clear of the saddle - is this something I should be working on?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
    Location
    Georgia
    Posts
    6,178

    Default

    If you can stay in 2 point without stirrups, OK, try going over some low jumps - X rails to 2 ft - while staying in 2 point the entire time - approach, jumping, landing recovery. Even better if you can set up some low gymnastics and do the same. Make sure though, while you are practicing that you grab some mane, so you don't hang on your horse's mouth.

    One other thing to do, is make sure you aren't sitting up to early - whether you have stirrups or not. I tell my students who have this problem, to count "One Mississippi" when their horse's front feet hit the ground, before sitting up again.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 25, 2010
    Posts
    101

    Default

    OP-

    Yes, you should absolutely be using the rest of your leg! Think about it, if you just rely on your knee and thigh, your calf will be just dangling there, which you definitely do not want. Furthermore, relying on your upper leg is a bad habit to get into because you will likely end up pinching with your knee, which causes your lower leg to swing back and your upper body to fall forward, etc. etc. To avoid all of this, do not pinch with your knee! Use your calves. Trust me on this one!

    Your calves are the base of your support in your leg. That, in essence, is what holds your body up. You can't just ignore your lower leg!

    Try it! You will be pleasantly surprised. And if you're feeling that sharp muscle pain up the back of your calf, you're doing it right.




  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2009
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Thanks for the replies (and apologies for my late one - stupid time difference!) I usually just let my weight hang down into my heels when I have stirrups so my lower leg position is OK, then again I don't jump that high (3ft max).
    This is me -
    http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k5...ce100/oxer.jpg
    So I'm curious about the idea of actively using my calves for stability - should I be sort of hugging the horse with my calves?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2000
    Location
    Chantilly,va.
    Posts
    10,902

    Exclamation foot position

    Good on you for going out of the ring and jumping a cross country fence!


    It looks to me as if you are starting to [pivot on your knee; try focusing on where your foot is; think "land in your heels"
    uote=paintball;4934461]Thanks for the replies (and apologies for my late one - stupid time difference!) I usually just let my weight hang down into my heels when I have stirrups so my lower leg position is OK, then again I don't jump that high (3ft max).
    This is me -
    http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k5...ce100/oxer.jpg
    So I'm curious about the idea of actively using my calves for stability - should I be sort of hugging the horse with my calves?[/quote]
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2009
    Posts
    43

    Default

    Thanks, I really like XC but the patchy pony is less convinced



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,916

    Default

    I never jump without stirrups. I'm old and I get a pass on any riding exercise that could possibly dump me on my ass.


    I just wanted to post that I think your horse is VERY cute!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2009
    Posts
    43

    Default

    That's an attitude I increasingly identify with
    The fatty horse is very cool I think, he's a worrywart but very much fun to play around on.



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