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Jumping Help & Critique

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  • Jumping Help & Critique

    So I had this long post with explanations and excuses(LOTS OF THEM) written up and I lost it so heres the short version.

    6 y/o QH Mare - can be naughty at times(run outs mostly, but quite dirty when she feels I screw her up too much), but really LOVES jumping
    25 y/o rider(me), with terrible leg position, and always feeling like a hot mess over fences.

    I need help!! Advice, anything is appreciated. I want my horse to still love jumping without me scewing her up so much. Thanks everyone!

    Evidence -
    Video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bMAEb88Kga4

    Pictures:
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...tegra/jump.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...gra/silver.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...rfunnyjump.jpg

    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v2...silverjump.jpg

  • #2
    Release over the jumps- if you hit her in the mouth, very BADDDDD!
    Work on lower leg position....read thread about William Fox Pitt regarding balance....
    Cute horse, great turnout....work on it, you will get it! Good for you for asking for comments!

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree with above and would go so far as to say stop jumping until you can correct your release get more weight in your heel. You also need to get off your horses back over the fences. This means back to basics with two pt. over cavaletti, etc. Do you get lessons or have access to trainer?

      You really dont want a horse who anticipates getting banged in the mouth over fences

      You eye is good though!

      Good luck!
      Barn rat for life

      Comment


      • #4
        Definitely more release, but I would also say work on your seat and core.

        I always think of riding the canter rhythm to the jump. Your horse seems a bit quick..maybe off balance. Especially in the corners. I would work to really collect and have a great rhythm to the fences.
        Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
        White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

        Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

        Comment


        • #5
          Work a bit in two point until you can keep your weight centered. Poles on the ground, little cavaletti, small cross rails, etc.
          “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
          -Winston Churchill

          Comment


          • #6
            Glad to see you two having fun! Try to work on the development of the canter as well as your balance and therefore release.
            "Red on the right, white on the left, insanity in the middle."

            Comment


            • #7
              First, I would shorten your stirrups a hole or two. Then I would spend some time working on your balance in two point position in trot and canter, making sure you can balance independently of the horse. Think hips back, and weight down into your heels. And practice keeping your two point position through some simple gymnastic lines, which will let you focus more on your position and keeping your balance as your horse goes through the line of jumps.

              Your horse is really cute!



              http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
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              http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                In the video - the goal was to make the three strides between the jumps, since she is a horse with a shorter stride we were adding in a 4th chipped stride that really threw us off, so I was trying to push her out to lengthen to make the 3 strides, but it just comes off as her going faster....still working on that one.

                As far as core goes - I am currently working on that one too, due to an old back injury that has flared up, my core is gone and these issues with jumping arose about 6 months ago during that time period.

                Thanks everyone for the great comments, keep them coming! I am breaking out the 101 Jumping Exercises book for tomorrow

                Comment


                • #9
                  You are grasping so hard with your knee, the lower leg is unable to "wrap" around your horse and make contact with you inner calf. As a result, your lower leg and upper body pivot on the knee. You lower leg swings back. You need to make your contact with the horse with the inside of your calf and sink your weight into the stirrups, flexing your ankle.

                  Your body is "locked" into one position. Relaxxxxxxxxxxx your back and seat. Until you can relax your back and legs, you may find it difficult to feel the flow of the horse.

                  Luckily, you have courage. When you start unlocking that leg, you will find it much easier to move with your horse.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    FWIW, (and that is probably not worth much). I think your lovely mare is a bit down hill and running on the forehand towards the jumps. It might be easier on both of you to slow down and get her to shift her weight to the back. I don't think you are a mess, just learning like everyone else. Do you have access to a seasoned jumper that can give you a better feel of where you need to be? Sometimes it is very hard if both partners (you and horse) are out of balance, you end up getting in each others way. For you, training over jumps with no stirrups (or reins) on a balanced horse. For your horse, lunging over cavalletti to help with balance and conditioning. Some horses are built for jumping and other have to develop the muscles (shape) to be able to carry a rider over jumps. Lots of good books about training with cavalletti.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      In the video it definitely looks like your stirrups could go up a hole or two. Then live in your 2 point trying to equalize the contact throughout your entire leg. It looks as though you are pinching a good bit with your knee and inner thigh. Think of landing in your feet. Nice horse. You both look like you have lots of potential.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I would stop jumping for just a few weeks. Work solely without stirrups or in two point. It will SUCK and you can build up to it slowly if that is easier, but be able to do a whole ride without stirrups and a whole ride in two point. You are going to be sore (a lot of waddling lol) but it will make such a difference. Then go back to jumping. Just do small cross rails at first and work your way up. Start by approaching the jump in two point and just staying put until 5 or 6 strides past the jump. Get to where you are comfortable with the horse moving underneath you, having an adequate release etc before you start two pointing just over then fence.

                        You will get there! It is a long process and we often have to take a few steps back before we can take a confident step forward! Good luck and very cute horse!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Racing to "make" a distance doesn't help you in the long run, as it only encourages a flat, flinging stride. Couple that with some insecurity in your position, and you're going to end up with jumps that are at best awkward and at worst, a stop-or-fall.

                          Here's what I would do in your situation, and bear in mind that this is all based on pretty limited photos/video - so my first and biggest advice is to find a good trainer and work with them. Even if you can't find an eventing training, a good H/J trainer who can drill you on your position could be really really helpful here. Particularly if he/she had school horses available, a good set of lessons would likely be invaluable. But, even without a great trainer, I would start by raising your stirrups a hole or two and practice holding yourself in 2 point at the trot and canter without your rear touching the saddle and without pinching through the knee. Think about sinking into your leg and wrapping it around the horse, with even contact through your lower leg. Use a grab strap around your horse's neck if you need it, and work toward being able to circle the ring with one or the other hands out to the side, on top of your head, etc. I find this exercise is made easier by having a good off-horse workout program that includes things like squats along with cardio, as well as a strong core component (pilates, for example).

                          Don't expect change overnight - it'll take a few weeks. I would not be jumping during this time, but think of it as position bootcamp. Once you're a bit more solid in your flat position, add a rail on the ground and canter over it in a circle, maintaining that same, solid, two point you've been practicing. Don't change the canter, don't change your position. This can be great on a lunge line, or just on your own 20 meter circle. Once that's no-big-deal, then you can raise it to a small vertical and repeat. The idea is to keep your canter and position the same, and continue to strengthen your leg and base of support. Only once that's all in good place (and don't forget to go both directions!), then start adding in a single fence or two.

                          In other words, slow everything down and go back to basics. Going fast, trying for distances etc. just makes things worse when the base of support isn't there.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by lstevenson View Post
                            First, I would shorten your stirrups a hole or two. Then I would spend some time working on your balance in two point position in trot and canter, making sure you can balance independently of the horse. Think hips back, and weight down into your heels. And practice keeping your two point position through some simple gymnastic lines, which will let you focus more on your position and keeping your balance as your horse goes through the line of jumps.

                            Your horse is really cute!



                            http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
                            Facebook page
                            Agree. Plus you're being way too hard on yourself, you're a nice rider! Also, if you shorten your reins a bit your hands will be the first thing over the jump.. But experiment with shortening your stirrups, it's amazing what just a hole difference can do for your base of support. I'm a taller rider and I try to stay in a "lighter" (not a true two point) seat by weighting my stirrups a bit more so I don't bang his back, he hates that!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by allison finch View Post
                              You are grasping so hard with your knee, the lower leg is unable to "wrap" around your horse and make contact with you inner calf. As a result, your lower leg and upper body pivot on the knee. You lower leg swings back. You need to make your contact with the horse with the inside of your calf and sink your weight into the stirrups, flexing your ankle.

                              Your body is "locked" into one position. Relaxxxxxxxxxxx your back and seat. Until you can relax your back and legs, you may find it difficult to feel the flow of the horse.

                              Luckily, you have courage. When you start unlocking that leg, you will find it much easier to move with your horse.
                              This. A good trick is to think about turning your toes out to prevent that knee from grabbing as easily. Shorter stirrups will make this much easier. I disagree about taking away your stirrups at this point... That only makes a knee grabbing habit worse. But what you can do is take away your hands... No more balancing on her neck. This will be very revealing as to when you fall out of balance (if you pinch, you can't properly balance).

                              Lovely pair!!
                              where are we going, and why am I in this hand basket?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by allison finch View Post
                                You are grasping so hard with your knee, the lower leg is unable to "wrap" around your horse and make contact with you inner calf. As a result, your lower leg and upper body pivot on the knee. You lower leg swings back. You need to make your contact with the horse with the inside of your calf and sink your weight into the stirrups, flexing your ankle.

                                Your body is "locked" into one position. Relaxxxxxxxxxxx your back and seat. Until you can relax your back and legs, you may find it difficult to feel the flow of the horse.

                                Luckily, you have courage. When you start unlocking that leg, you will find it much easier to move with your horse.
                                THIS^^^^.
                                You're really pinching with your knee and have too much foot in the stirrup, so you aren't able to relax your weight into your heels and wrap your lower legs around horse.

                                Shorten stirrups a hole. Practice doing transitions in 2 point without using your hands for balance. Do w/c/t/c/w/t etc. Really concentrate on relaxing your weight through your heels (as opposed to "pushing" heels down).

                                Your lack of a solid base is causing problems with catching her in the mouth over jumps.

                                On the flat, stretch tall, and use some inside rein/inside leg at the girth to get bend and not "motorcycle" around corners. It'll make it easier to see your distances.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  critique

                                  I see a horse that is possibly sore in her front feet....evident by the way she is going through the turns. This would also fall in line with the fact that she doesn't (can't) lengthen her stride. I would address that problem first with a very good farrier and Vet.
                                  Then I would only work on balancing her and adding the stride to the jump until she is stronger behind.
                                  For you, I like your tenacity but like everyone else said, go back to basics.....two point, two point without stirrups for short amounts of time at all gaits. Work on bending your arm more (lifting it slightly) to help with your horses balance and your fluidness to follow more both flat and jumping. Work on releasing (not just planting your hand) over poles at all gaits. A good exercise is to go in an exagerated half seat where you are so low your elbows rest on the horses neck...get it right at the walk first both with and without stirrups before trying it at trot/canter. Your leg will want to slip back.....have someone watch you until it is right.
                                  Keep up the good work!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    She is way cute and with some simple exercises you will be much more secure in your seat and have even more fun!
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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      So here is an update:

                                      Did a wonderful lounge line lesson with my trainer yesterday to work on balance, two point, ect. She decided to switch my saddle, because she had ridden in it once at a horseshow a few weeks ago and really disliked it. So we switched saddles. Complete night and day difference. Like 80% of my issues were gone, and fences were SO much easier, more balanced, easier to put leg securely on horse and be wrapped around, easier to keep heel down. My old saddle has a tendency to push you forward so most of the time I am either leaning forward or battling to lean back to keep balance. Makes sense how over fences I am completely unbalanced and am being thrown onto my horses neck and catching myself with my hands, and having a death grip with my knees. So now I am trying to figure out how I am going to afford to buy another new saddle! Eekk!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Glad you found an attributing factor to your struggles. Just don't be quick to blame everything on the saddle. Things like your release and timing have little to do with it.

                                        I'd say the best thing you could do, besides lounge lessons (with no stirrups or reins!) would be to jump without reins. If your trainer has a really honest horse that would just jump crossbars without you holding on it would be a great opportunity. Trust me, you learn really fast how to self-correct your position when you don't have reins (or stirrups even) to balance off of. It also helps your timing because if you don't get out of the saddle, which is one of your issues, you'll get smacked in the butt by it. You WILL become aware. lol
                                        Tru : April 14, 1996 - March 14, 2011
                                        Thank you for everything boy.


                                        Better View.

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