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Going down banks question

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    Going down banks question

    In the book "Masters of Eventing", in Diana Thorne's section on drop fences, she discusses how she usually leans forward a bit for drops rather than back. She also discussed the importance of still having your leg properly out in front of you.

    I tried this while schooling, granted not big drops (maybe training size tops) and found that it felt much smoother. It's worth noting that I wasn't leaning forward like a hunter rider, more so just closing my hip angle a few degrees. I'm curious if others do this, as I've always been told you should lean way back. Thoughts?

    #2
    I’m no expert, and haven’t jumped XC in a long time, but I was always taught that jumping down a bank is the same as the back side (second half) of any regular jump. So it makes sense that staying with the motion would be smoother than leaning way back. It also makes sense that you don’t want to be in front of the motion or falling on the neck on landing.

    There are situations that call for defensive riding, maybe more so in XC given the terrain and solid obstacles, but it’s always going to be smoother for both you and the horse if you can stay with the motion rather than behind it.

    Comment


      #3
      To quote Nick Holmes -Smith. Forward Wombat. Back door Bandit...

      Comment


        #4
        I think the leaning back makes sense for defensive riding...sometimes down banks are a bit scary for horses and sometimes too they rocket launch it. If you’re leaning forward a bit, with the drop down, if there’s a refusal or something happens, I think you’d be more likely to fall. But that may not be accurate.

        HOWEVER, I think staying with the motion of the horse is super important, so you may adjust your hip angle during the drop. Which sounds like maybe is what she’s alluding to.

        I only ride BN and have schooled novice, so I can’t say that my thoughts are fact or totally make sense, but in my head it makes sense.

        Comment


          #5
          In my clinics with UL eventers, all have instructed me to keep my torso vertical to the ground whether jumping up or down a bank. Do this by keeping eyes on the horizon and not looking down. And when going down a bank, land in the stirrups to avoid landing heavily on the saddle. I only ride Novice and schooling training, but this has worked for me and my horse. YMMV.
          Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...

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            #6
            I don’t do either. Most riders if they lean forward will get too far ahead. I just wait and let the horse jump off the bank. I don’t lean back..but stay tall, and push my feet a little forward (a lot forward off a bigger bank) let the horse open my hips. Jimmy would tell people to push their hips forward. Whatever works for you to go with the moment and land in Your feet (not on the saddle). Unless the horse makes a big move...over most banks, it really isn’t much.

            Here are a couple of good videos. I like the second video to see some jumping some bigger banks. You can really see the importance for feet forward. Those riders whose feet are not forward on landing are the ones that are then pitched forward with their upper bodies.

            https://youtu.be/0pLHIVSpoJA

            https://youtu.be/3K6YvW7md_0
            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

            Comment


              #7
              Imagine yourself doing rising trot. Now do the rise as your horse is taking off. It gets your seat out of the saddle and keeps your weight in your feet without leaning forward. Over a bigger drop I think about having my legs in front of me more, but still the rise motion is all I do on take off. If the landing is steep or the drop is big then over the top and back of the jump I can lean back if needed.

              Doing this means you don't have the horse's back and/or the cantle of the saddle smacking you or pushing you forward either, which I see often. That just makes for a very jarring ride for both horse and rider.
              Blugal

              You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by Lusoluv View Post
                In my clinics with UL eventers, all have instructed me to keep my torso vertical to the ground whether jumping up or down a bank. Do this by keeping eyes on the horizon and not looking down. And when going down a bank, land in the stirrups to avoid landing heavily on the saddle. I only ride Novice and schooling training, but this has worked for me and my horse. YMMV.
                this ^ I was also told torso vertical to the ground, look up at the horizon and land in my heels and absorb the motion like skiing moguls.
                "Do what you can't do"

                Comment


                  #9
                  Uphill or downhill, the rider stays vertical to the ground. It helps to learn to bend from the waist.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                    #10
                    Hips forward, core tight and chin up with a still upper body helped me the most when I was struggling with down banks. Lighten your seat slightly by pressing down into both stirrups and slightly close the hip angle as you land to follow the motion. I find telling riders "lean back or shoulders back" makes them heavy in the seat and more floppy, and often their leg swings way out and off in front to compensate. And those that raise their seat, lean forward or 2 point off the bank are asking to be lawn darted should the horse trip or something happens on landing. And yes leg a bit forward out in front but not crazily so. When I'm teaching it I like to emphasize the feet on the dashboard feeling along with all the other important points and then usually after a bit of schooling people find a happy place with their leg nicely supportive down through their heel and slightly in front of them but where they can still have a light seat with their calves on.
                    Eventing It Up In The Great White North! A girl, a horse, and a helmet cam!!
                    http://www.facebook.com/albertaeventer/

                    Comment


                      #11
                      The most meaningful advice I ever got, and give to other people, is to think about landing into your feet as if you were jumping down the bank yourself. You want to land on the far side in an athletic, knees-bent posture on a flat foot. YMMV
                      "Cynicism is a sorry kind of wisdom" Barack Obama

                      Comment


                        #12
                        "Look up, feet on the dashboard, and pray to your God" Looking down, and you will surely follow - all the way to the ground,
                        Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I've just been watching videos of Lucinda Green teaching xc technique. My hero. Look some up.

                          I was taught that for ditches and drops keep your eye on the horizon, keep in balance with the horse (neither too forward nor leaning back) and soft fingers so they can use their neck.
                          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                            I've just been watching videos of Lucinda Green teaching xc technique. My hero. Look some up.

                            I was taught that for ditches and drops keep your eye on the horizon, keep in balance with the horse (neither too forward nor leaning back) and soft fingers so they can use their neck.
                            I found eyes on the horizon didn’t work for me.....I focus on where I want to go as if there was a jump just after the ditch or drop (which eventually there will be) and to ride on to that jump. Just a different approach (and I think different things work for different people).
                            ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                            Comment


                              #15
                              At a clinic with Boyd, he discussed both styles. He said that a “light” seat down the bank worked better for some combinations, and that taking the “stay back” approach sometimes causes riders to pop the horses back on landing.

                              I guess the take-home is to be in balance and not ahead of or behind the motion. Wherever that’s puts your derrière.
                              Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

                              The Grove at Five Points

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