I need a little help here (please). For some reason, I seem to have a hard time finding "a distance" or "spot" when jumping up a bank. I always seem to pick to the base, which causes my obedient guy to land in a heap on top. Now, normally, this is not a problem, but if there is a one stride at the top we (the royal "we") have to make a huge effort, etc.
Just give a little context here, we are very solid at training level (multiple 1st placings on dressage scores, etc.) and moving up to prelim this summer. This is not a serious problem but an issue I'd like to deal with so I can stop worrying about it (I've been known to be a bit anal and over thinking in my riding ).
Anybody have any good tips about where to look, how to ride up to the bank, what kind of impulsion I need, etc.? Again, we are a solid pair and I'm just trying to fine tune things but since I don't ride with a trainer or even with any regular instruction I thought I'd reach out for some insight. TIA
Echo what the two above posters have said, and add that you need to keep your body up and light. Lots of people tend to lean forward too far in anticipation of the bank and in an effort to stay with the horse, throwing their weight onto the horse's front end and increasing their workload. Not only does this make it hard for the horse to jump, but it encourages a chip and a loss of impulsion. Stay light and tall in the saddle to free up your horse's front end to jump.
Definitely agree with the others. I think people ride backwards into banks because they think that they need to get to the base, which they should, but they need to have their horse's hind ends up underneath them. You don't want speed, but you do want impulsion.
Ditto on all the above! It helps me to look at my landing spot and I tend not to get too focused then on the "base" of the bank.
I also have a "coffin" like canter coming in.
Remember that the horse needs to be allowed to jump up, so you do not need to make a huge move with your shoulders or "jump up his neck" in order to 'help' him jump up the bank. I see WAY TOO many people doing this, not to say that you do.
I tell my students to think of 'standing up' in their galloping position and let the horse jump up to them. Very bouncy step so that your horse can jump up to the top of the bank. And if there is another jump after an up bank, again I see way too many people try to 'help' their horse and make a move for the jump from their upper body and not from their seat and leg.
I tell my students to think of 'standing up' in their galloping position and let the horse jump up to them.)
This is how I was taught to approach a bank. The best part is, if you have a good canter/gallop, and adjust your position to 'standing' - you get this majikal canter full of impulsion. Ditto the looking at the top of the bank.
Make sure your horse has straight shoulders to this jump, and you are not doing anything to distract with your hands. Give him/her the best possible chance to see the jump, and allow them to figure it out a bit on their own. Like all jumping, establish your pace, keep the canter, and execute your lines --then the distance will come. Much easier said than done A bit of a rewind for you, but perhaps lunge him up a bank (or another jump if a bank isn't readily accessible), see how he adjusts himself to it. An interesting study of your mounts personality, if anything.