Now with PHOTO evidence...jumping position question
OK, so I've read the GM critiques in PH, and I honestly feel like I can evaluate position in the flight phase of a jump.
But, what about the take off? When the horse's back feet are still on the ground, and their front feet are lifting and folding? In photos of myself, it looks like I am standing up in the stirrups at this point, my knee is pretty open, and my shoulders are somewhat forward. In the flight phase, my position is by no means perfect, but it is adequate, I think. I've been browsing other photos of people jumping, but so many are in the flight phase that it is somewhat difficult to find photos taken during this part of the jump.
My trainer says if I was doing anything horrendous she would let me know (duh!), but I'd like to educate myself a bit more. Does anyone have photos of this part of the jump, showing 'classic' correct position? I'm not talking about a very defensive seat, like over a drop fence or one your horse is hesitant at, but the classic, GM-approved, best position.
I have to go to work now, but I'll try to dig up a photo or two of myself so you can see what I'm talking about.
Last edited by jumpsnake; Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
If you are on Facebook - LIKE Tamarack Hill Farm page (Denny Emerson).
He is always posting pictures of his students/working students. Last week he posted the picture you want.
It is one of his best students on a gray, the horse's hind feet are planted just as the horse is raising up to reach out over the fence. The rider is in (IMO) the perfect spot to allow the horse freedom of movement without jumping ahead. . . the worst of my many faults.
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Thanks guys. I looked on the Tamarack FB and found those photos, I think. However, the moment I'm interested in is a split second before that photo-- when the back feet are still pushing off. That rider certainly does look lovely, though, so still great to use as an example.
Saskatoonian, if the horse fell away I do think I would land on my feet. My legs are still perpendicular to the ground.
OK, I found a photo that I think illustrates this-- this French rider at WEG is doing what I do. In photos I have seen of myself, my legs are not as straight, but the idea is the same.
So, is this good? Bad? I know it is a moment in time but I'd love to hear feedback.
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I don't know what GM woudl say (though I probably agree with Shortstroke) but I would say the rider is ahead of the motion. Take the horse out of the picture and the rider would fall on their face. Not a lot ahead and it's a MUCH bigger fence than I've ever jumped so maybe I'm not the one to say, but I'd say slightly ahead.
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tle, that's what I think-- ahead, but then again I'm not sure how much a big fence like this changes things. I did some more searching through my photos, and found one more from WEG, and also two of myself that might help.
Feel free to rip me a new one if you like; these are from the fall of 2011 but I probably have at least most of the same bad habits to one degree or another! The two photos I think show what my question is-- in the first take off phase I think I am way ahead. However, in the second photo, just a tiny bit later but more over the fence, I think I am not too far ahead, if at all.
I can only see the original photo, but there's pretty much nothing in any riding discipline I can come up with where having your entire body, including legs, parallel to your horse's body is a good thing. Your legs aren't supposed to slip back while jumping but are supposed to stay in place, and while some GP riders get crazy positions which work for them when I'd fall off, I'd hate to see that one out x-country from that single photo.
My horse is a dressage diva so I don't have to be.
Originally Posted by katarine
If you have a fat gay horse that likes Parelli, you're really screwed
I know what you're talking about and I'm sure we all have the awkward jumping picture of ourselves either taking off or landing. I try to think of keeping my legs under me and bring my upper body upright in the last couple of strides, and then just letting the horse come up to me. You shouldn't have to "do" anything if that makes sense. It should kind of just happen. In the picture you posted, the guy is too far ahead. His crotch should not be over the pommel, his leg should not be straight, nor should it be that far back. (Of course, as others have said, its not like I've ever jumped that high so he is excused ) I think keeping a slight bend in your knee and focusing on keeping your heel down with your calf on the girth should help. If you just keep thinking of keeping your leg in place you shouldn't really be able to jump ahead on takeoff. Hope that made some kind of sense!
I second the suggestion of looking at Denny's photos. You can learn a ton from them.
In the photos you posted, you seem ahead of the motion in the take off photo, but pretty balanced over the fence. In the pro photos, the jumper looks way ahead to me, but having never jumped a fence of that height, I'm not exactly an expert!
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OK. Everyone seems to be agreeing with my opinion here, so thanks for that. Looking back, I'm seeing something else, though. When I see a photo of the moment when the horse's back legs are still bent, the rider is more likely to be in that weird standing-up-looks-too-far-ahead pose. However, when the horse's back legs are straight or just leaving the ground, the rider usually seems to be in what looks like a better spot. Does anyone else notice this, or am I seeing things?
@ rabicon: You look good! In that last photo, the horse's back legs are behind the jump, and you are doing a less drastic version of what I'm worried about doing. Do you think your horse's back legs are still bent there?
@JCF: I used to be very good at keeping my shoulders back upon approach, I think I might have gotten a bit out of that good habit, so something to work on! I have to be careful about thinking to bend my knees though, or my heel will try to kick my own butt! lol!
I wouldn't be so focused on pictures.....it is a feel thing. When you are in the right spot, and your horse jumps up to you....it will feel really right...and really easy. YOU do not do anything jumping. Just stay centered and let your horse close your angles. I don't mean do not ride, you need to keep them straight and probably add leg...but you do not do anything to "help" the horse jump...that is their job.
If you start thinking too much...you usually end up doing too much and will either jump ahead or get left behind....even if just a split second.
So step away from the camera....and focus more on the feel when you are riding...and stop thinking so much!!!!
** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **
I know what you mean. That point when the horses butt is still all scrunched and wierd looking. I just looked at recent HT photos and was thinking the same thing. I think I will just click on some others photos and look and compare. I feel like most of the time I am with my horse, but it does look wierd to me at that point too. I'm not going to obsess, but I understand what you are looking at during the different phases of takeoff.
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Remember that that point of take off that you are discussing is only a split second. Your horse is moving way faster through the air than you can. If you are not what might be considered slightly in front of the movement for that split second - especially over decent sized fences - there is no way you will be in the middle as the horse is in the middle of his arc.
According to some studies done many years ago, if you were able to keep your body absolutely still in relation to your horse, it would not matter how you sat. I doubt that anyone is able to keep absolutely still though because we have these pesky things called joints and muscles that are designed to move, not be rigid. Our jumping positions are always an attempt to be as still as possible, but to be in the middle over the middle of the fence.