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Staying UP over fences!

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  • Staying UP over fences!

    I have a student who I just cannot get to stay UP over fences. Her position is solid, WTC on the flat, both in two point and sitting... I think she just lacks the muscle memory to stay up but the "Grab mane and HOLD ON," and neckstrap didn't help any.

    We haven't had many jump lessons, so I haven't had time to try anything besides those two- and they didn't help at all- I've been focusing on her flat work to get her horse in the right place over fences, but she just keeps falling back and smacking her butt in the saddle in midair.

    What tips do you use to keep the butt in the air over fences?
    Big Idea Eventing

  • #2
    I would try more excersizes in two point. Trot over poles in two point, trot over Xs in two point with a neck strap so she can't get left. I suspect her leg is getting ahead of her and that's why she's falling back so excersizes to really ground her leg are going to be important.
    Just keep it really low key until she gets the feeling.


    • #3
      Shorten her stirrups. When I had that problem my trainer had me shorten them.


      • #4
        Send her to a Lucinda Green clinic. lol.

        Lucinda makes everyone walk BN size fences for the specific reason of making us get left behind.

        Bounces remind me. Big ones. Like 5 in a row set at 3'6''. You get ahead and you die. ; )
        Sometimes you don't learn until you bite it...over and over and over.

        Or practice cantering down hill in two point. Usually if a student is too far forward over fences then they can't balance correctly to go down hill either. Same muscles.
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


        • #5
          Agree with the 2-point exercises, with NO smacking into the saddle. (As metioned in another thread, I know people who've been threatened with having tacks put on their saddles!)

          First get her to find her balance by standing straight up in the stirrups, with hand in neck strap. Once she is confident she should balance without using the reins or neck. (I find this WAY more difficult than regular 2-point.) Then sink down into a comfortable 2-point that's balanced over her legs. That's step 1.

          Step 2. Transitions in 2-point.

          Step 3. 3 strides of 2-point, 3 strides sitting trot & repeat. Then mix up the number of strides of each. Do it in canter.

          If you can do step 3 consistently, then you probably have enough body control to jump - and vice versa if not.

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


          • #6
            Not to hijack this thread, but how long should it take an elderly rider who hasn't ridden for more than eight months to be able to hold a two point? With riding only two or three times a week? Starting with the walk and moving on up from there?
            "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
            Thread killer Extraordinaire


            • #7
              Viney, I have no idea in terms of time - depends on how fast you find your strength, balance, coordination.

              FWIW, I practice/strengthen 2-point without stirrups at the walk when I'm hacking. 10 strides up, 10 down. The first few sets feel easy, but after a while it definitely works your muscles... and the next day you can certainly feel it!

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


              • #8
                Hill work!

                Try having your student walk up hills in 2 point without using reins, mane, or any type strap; butt not touching the saddle. Should be able to maintain 2 point up a good size hill for about a half a mile or so.... you can do that then your strong enough to hold position over fences.


                • #9
                  Is this a strength issue maybe? How about squats? They do wonders for my position ALL around. And I can always tell when I'm slacking off on them. hehe


                  • #10
                    When I went to a Daniel Stewart clinic, he talked about a pony clubber who had this problem. Since he is all about visuals to help you learn, he told the girl to imagine something on her pony's neck 'pushing' her back (but stated more eloquently than that). The next day she showed up with her pony's mane gelled into "gigantic pointy spikes that will kill her if she leans forward again." That solved that
                    It's psychosomatic. You need a lobotomy. I'll get a saw.


                    • #11
                      Saddle fit?

                      Could saddle type or fit have anything to do with it? I had an old Stubben A/P when I was in highschool that kind of pushed my leg more forward over fences, and the deeper seat popped me in the butt mid air. At a trainer's suggestion, I tried some different saddles, and found that I didn't seem to have as much trouble keeping my leg back when I got out of the Stubben (this was a super, super old Stubben with the hard seat and everything).


                      • #12
                        Great point, Hunter DQ. I had the same problem (20+ year old Stubben Siegfried). When I switched to a different saddle (Passier AP) my lower leg was way more secure - it almost felt held in place by the saddle. With the old Stubben, I was fighting to keep my legs where they were supposed to be.

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


                        • #13
                          Are you already doing trot work without stirrups or without reins on a lunge line? If not, then I'd say you need to aim for that first to check and ensure she has got an independent seat and good balance.

                          Another good exercise is to alternate forward position with sitting in the saddle. It improves both balance and fitness and can be done from quite an early age.

                          Then I'd move on and be having her do ridden work over trotting poles and just holding on to the neck strap.

                          Are you sure her lower leg is secure? That it's not losing position?