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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
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    Default Mr. Nicholson's show jumping style

    In several of the pictures of Mr. Nicholson going over
    show jumps I noticed that his lower leg is almost
    parallel to the ground. When I learned to jump (back
    when dinosaurs roamed the earth), we were taught
    to keep the lower leg perpendicular to the ground
    (more or less). Is Mr. Nicholson showing a new style
    or is this a style that only works for him (or perhaps
    an unfortunate moment the photographer caught)?
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2001
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    2,545

    Default

    I'm sure the "correct" way is closer to what you learned, but if you can win Rolex, I don't think it matters what style you use or what your leg looks like
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."


    8 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    If you look at photos of many show jumpers the lower leg is back and more parallel to the ground. Not the way I learned to ride, but then again, I don't jump anything remotely like a Rolex jump.
    Given that AN works with a show jumping coach, my assumption is that he rides that way on purpose. And as other's have mentioned in other threads, AN had very good reason to appreciate how costly rails can be in show jumping.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  4. #4
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    May. 23, 2007
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    Southern Indiana
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    Default

    Yes, pretty is as pretty does. His XC nickname is "Mr Stickability" and indeed he's incredible. SJ, I don't know. He had one unfortunate round years ago pn a horse called Spinning Rhombus that cost his team a medal, just not sure of the details. But he was awesome at Rolex.


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  5. #5
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    Aug. 17, 2004
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    Rixeyville, VA
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    Default

    IIRC, NZ had 8 rails in hand and he took 9 rails on his SJ round costing a medal placement. Riding can be a very humbling experience for all of us no matter what level we are on.


    If you google show jumpers and look at images, you'll see rider's legs at all sorts of angles. Some are pretty far back. I am not a SJ but my guess is there is a reason for the style.


    Anyway, I am very happy for AN and wish him all the best next weekend. It would be great to see another eventing grand slam winner.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com


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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
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    TN
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    Default

    Periodically someone on the H/J forum will comment on Richard Spooner's unconventional style (witnessed here), something along the lines of "in MY day we learned PROPER equitation!" Well when asked, Richard Spooner said it was because he was so tall that when he's on short horses, he'll get a rail with his foot! So he adjusted his leg. And since Cristallo's the #6 ranked horse in the US right now, I'd say it's working pretty well for him. Likewise Andrew Nicholson, if it ain't broke don't fix it!
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2008
    Location
    Maine
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    Default

    AN's position seems very different from XC to SJ, which makes me think it's a conscious decision on his part. Over a couple of the stadium fences, it actually looked to me like he had his leg in the "correct" position and then purposely swiveled it back. I re-watched his stadium round on youtube and wondered if this might be a balancing strategy to stay out of his horse's way as long as possible and not chance causing a knock behind by sinking down into his heels and sitting up too soon. Of course, I could be totally off! AN obviously has more talent in his pinky finger than I'll ever have in my entire body, so while I wouldn't suggest others mimic the leg back position over fences, I'm not in any place to tell HIM how to ride!
    "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2007
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    Southern Indiana
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    IIRC, NZ had 8 rails in hand and he took 9 rails on his SJ round costing a medal placement. Riding can be a very humbling experience for all of us no matter what level we are on.


    If you google show jumpers and look at images, you'll see rider's legs at all sorts of angles. Some are pretty far back. I am not a SJ but my guess is there is a reason for the style.


    Anyway, I am very happy for AN and wish him all the best next weekend. It would be great to see another eventing grand slam winner.
    Ouch, yes, I thought it was something pretty horrible like that. I think SJ is particularly nerve racking for eventers, which made the ongoing drivel of the commentator even more annoying IMO.



  9. #9
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    Nov. 24, 2002
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    Northern KY
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    Default Apparently it works for him.

    And what a nice horse.


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2013
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    Default

    I was wondering the same thing about his leg position as well. Definitely different from his XC (which is truly amazing with no movement!!)

    I just feel the landing would be much harder on horse and rider when his leg would be swinging back down for the landing and taking more impact. Plus I bet he has hit the horses hips a few tims too... I just would not have the balance for that LOL!

    obviously a technique to it, and he's an amazing rider. I wish he would shed some more insight!


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  11. #11
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    Nov. 24, 2005
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    left my soul @ the barn
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    Default

    i was wondering the same thing but was too chicken to start a thread I'm glad someone else noticed it too! there are plenty of tall riders who don't swivel their leg back so maybe it is something else? Or maybe that horse is shorter than I think. He can always give him to me if he is too short for AN



  12. #12
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    Feb. 8, 2007
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    Default

    I don't know about his jumping style, but man, can he make it look totally effortless!

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/photos_v...id=42540#42553
    "It is not necessary for you to let everyone know everything about you. In fact, it is probably wise that you don't. There are some things that you need only discuss with God."


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  13. #13
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    Jan. 19, 2005
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    PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LadyB View Post
    I was wondering the same thing about his leg position as well. Definitely different from his XC (which is truly amazing with no movement!!)

    I just feel the landing would be much harder on horse and rider when his leg would be swinging back down for the landing and taking more impact. Plus I bet he has hit the horses hips a few tims too... I just would not have the balance for that LOL!

    obviously a technique to it, and he's an amazing rider. I wish he would shed some more insight!

    it is a style that some jumper riders develop that they feel lets their horse jump better (with a series of justifications they will give you---beyond my skill level to judge and if the rails stay up...who cares). If you look at a series of their photos, their leg comes back down into balance for landing. Over little fences that I do...there wouldn't be enough time for that move (and certainly not a style I'd try to copy) but over bigger fences...you are in the air longer!
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **


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  14. #14
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    Jan. 16, 2002
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    West Coast of Michigan
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    Default

    If he wants to ride any of my horses or give me any pointers, I promise not to point out this deficiency in his equitation.
    Click here before you buy.


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  15. #15
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    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Carolinas
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    Default

    I saw and I would love to hear from AN about the unusual leg position. Reminded me of Harry de Leyer who "floated" above his horses over almost all fences. His unique style that worked for him but not us mere mortals.

    Loved AN's rides all 3 phases, so soft and balanced.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim


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  16. #16
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    Oct. 14, 2012
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    Default

    I think Americans are a bit obsessive about equitation. His balance is perfect and the horse is jumping to the best of his ability, which is really all that matters.


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  17. #17
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    Feb. 28, 2007
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    Vancouver BC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by volvo_240 View Post
    I think Americans are a bit obsessive about equitation. His balance is perfect and the horse is jumping to the best of his ability, which is really all that matters.
    Exactly, speaking as a show jumper its probably not something he does on purpose but something that he has no incentive to fix since he is still able to remain with the horse in the air and regain position upon landing.

    My particular pet theory is that female riders tend to have more correct leg position due to a difference in strength that forces them to ride more correct. If you look at the pictures of Nicholson (or Spooner for that matter) there upper leg and body positon is very correct. Actually when going through the show jumping pictures I prefer Andrew's position over quite a few of the other riders with a slightly more correct leg position but a more incorrect and overly closed upper body position.


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  18. #18
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    Jul. 14, 2003
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    MA
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    Default

    Don't try this at home. It could just be that AN is so good that he does extremely well DESPITE his lower leg. (Think Mike Plumb's hunched and rounded shoulders.) Riders often go out and imitate their role models faults with less than stellar results. Follow correct technique until you master it--then, if necessary, you can consciously and purposefully leave it behind.
    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" ~Friedrich Schiller


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  19. #19
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    Aug. 25, 2005
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    Northeast
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    Lightbulb

    The flat work between fences is more fun to watch than quibbling over his lower leg position, which while not "classical", works.

    This ain't hunt seat eq.
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.


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  20. #20
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    Mar. 11, 2005
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    CO
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    Default

    Once the fences reach a certain height I don't think people need to quibble about lower leg perfection. Some of those horses power off the ground so hard that ts impossible to be "correct!"

    Aside from that, AN really reminded me of Richard Spooner with quite a few things in his style. No complaints! There is another GP jumper rider that I actually cannot stand to watch because the riding is utterly atrocious. He gets it done, but I can't stand it. AN and Spooner are a pleasure to watch. Soft, supportive, effective, and a little style of their own!
    "IT'S NOT THE MOUNTAIN WE CONQUER, BUT OURSELVES." SIR EDMUND HILLARYMember of the "Someone Special To Me Serves In The Military" Clique


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