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Can you guys help me out with an eventing 3-point from a ignorant H/J rider?

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  • Can you guys help me out with an eventing 3-point from a ignorant H/J rider?

    I am testing out barns in a new city and taking lessons from an trainer who primarily is an eventer. I have spent 16 years in H/J land. I have always understood and been taught the 3-point as a heavier "full seat", similar to how it is explained in this article.

    In my lesson, the trainer referred to 3-point as more of the "modified three-point", and rejected my notion of a deeper seat in favor of one that tilted the body forward with raised chest. Almost like a two-point with your front crotch bones still resting in the saddle though.

    I find this position kind of difficult and unnatural (mostly because I am more used to fullseat/half seat/two-point and this is sort-of between positions for me).

    Anyone have any good articles or ways to explain this to me that makes it feel less stiff? It would be much appreciated!
    Last edited by Another-Bay; Sep. 5, 2018, 02:09 AM. Reason: The link is not working on my hyperlinked text, but it's attached to the post nonetheless.
    Life and times of a mediocre amateur...

  • #2
    Not perfectly on point but helpful articles:

    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


    • #3
      I was taught that it's like the down beat of a posting trot, also called a sinking seat, thinking about it this way really helped me. A simple way to feel it is to repeatedly trot a small vertical; approaching at a posting trot then for the last four or five steps just sink into the down beat position and go over the jump that way. Its actually very comfortable!


      • Original Poster

        Super helpful! Thanks guys. I think it's one of those things I need to continually practice and it will feel less awkward and stiff.
        Life and times of a mediocre amateur...


        • #5
          In the first of articles that I posted, picture 2 is a 3 point jumping position. A heavier full seat would be more like the dressage position in picture 1.

          3 points mean you have 3 points “connected” with the horse. Your seat and your two feet in the stirrup. In a two point....only connection is with your feet in the stirrups.

          But for jumping, you do not want to have your shoulders as far back and hips as open as you do for dressage because you then have to make too much of a move with your upper body to stay with the horse jumping. How deep you sit in your seat depends on the horse but since your seat is NOT what tells a horse to go forward (that is your leg aid), I never feel the need to sit really “deep” when jumping. But if you are coming from a more forward position....what one person considers “deep” another would not. It is sort of relative.

          So in short...when jumping, I think of a 3 point as my seat in the saddle, but my hip angles a bit more closed and my shoulders still over my that position, my seat will NOT be as heavy or deep as it would be if I was sitting for dressage and had my hips open with my shoulders over my hips. Focus on your hip angle more than your can even do this sitting in a chair off the horse.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


          • #6
            Compare photos of event riders and H/J riders - which seat would be able to stay in place over a drop, a peck, an over-jump, and which rider would be pitched over the horse's head. The leg in an eventer is firmly fixed, upper body is form to function.
            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique


            • #7
              Back in the day, I was fortunate enough to be able to clinic with Jimmy Wofford quite a bit. I always really enjoyed his explanations of the different “seats” we use as riders. He described the three point (dressage seat), the light three point (imagine the way you lightly settle into the saddle before a jump), and the two point (the galloping and jumping position).

              For each postition you want to think about which points on your body must you maintain contact with in order to stay on the horse. For the three point seat it’s your two seat bones and your pelvic bone because you can maintain the position even if you take your knees off the horse or drop your stirrups. The light three point is the same except you lighten your seat bones a bit. In the two point our knees are what maintain the position because again you can keep a two point position even if you drop your stirrups.

              It sounds as though your trainer is wanting more of the light three point seat. I agree with keeping the chest up, but I don’t quite understand the leaning forward. It seems as though that would lock up your lower back quite a bit. Perhaps you could ask the trainer for some clarification at your next lesson.