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Help !!! I duck and Im sitting to early ?? !!

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  • Help !!! I duck and Im sitting to early ?? !!

    So I got together a video for Lease purposes ( well its a bunch of still shots put together ) Long story

    Anyway, When watching it I noticed just about every bad habit I have, Its rare I get pictures and when I *HAD* the video I didnt notice it , but with the still shots its pretty apperant that I have horrible bad habits.

    How do you prevent ducking ?? and also, In some shots it looks like I sit to early ?? I know im not actually sitting on him but I know im coming down to early for sure..... This is why maybe its better to just not watch yourself ride !!

    Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t

  • #2
    It looks to me as if you have your reins alittle too long and when you are approaching the fence you are sitting a little behind the motion so you throw your body over the fence in order to try to "catch up". You are then flung back toward your seat when your horse reaches the peak of his arc. Try to be a little softer and more forward/soft with your body on the approach and not make such a drastic effort with your body over the fence. Shortening your reins some would help also. It appears from the short vid that your horse might be a touch hot, but sitting really deep on approach to the fence so you have to "catch up" over top can often make the hot ones grab even harder upon landing. This is a BIG problem of mine as well, you just gotta think about being as soft as you can and letting your horse do his work for you (like he's supposed to do ).


    • #3
      I think that shortening your stirrups may help you a lot -- you will have more angles in your body already and this will help you to feel as if you don't have to make as big of a move, which results in your jumping ahead and out of your saddle. Especially over small jumps, you don't need to anything but sit still, sit up, wrap your legs around your horse and stay soft in the hand and arm.
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

      Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
      We Are Flying Solo


      • #4
        First of all, I love your red headed boy!! I do love Auburn boys.

        I believe that your stirrup length is too long. Try shortening them a couple of holes. Tell yourself to wait for your horse to come up to meet you, instead of you going down to him.

        Also, you seem to be putting more weight into your left stirrup, than your right. Your right leg occasionally tends to swing behind you. Since I tend to do just the opposite, it is easy for me to spot. The way that I have been trying to fix it is by visualizing that my feet are in a parallel position (on the approach, take off and landing), with equal weight in both heels. My ankles are shock absorbers, so the heels are not forced down. By keeping equal pressure on the inner knee and calves, my left leg doesn't swing back as often.

        Does your horse prefer to land on his left lead? I have found that my horse prefers her right. I think that she does this because my left leg swings back in the air. If I am out of balance, then she cannot land on the correct lead. I am just curious to see if my theory about this is correct.

        I don't think that you will have much trouble finding someone to lease your guy. He is a very nice fellow.
        When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!


        • #5
          OMG, Is that my horse?????????? They could be clones. Really quite spooky. Mine has a LH sock and a slightly less glamorous tail but the face, the jump, the neck, the whole thing, they are twins!! Mine's 16.3 also but only 6 years old.

          As for you, I'd shorten the stirrups a couple of holes and work to free your hand from your crotch. I don't mind the long rein one bit but your elbows need to be more flexible. Nice pair, funnily enough, I LOVE your horse.
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.


          • #6
            So I agree with everyone else, try shortening your stirrup 2 holes or so, also it looks like you could really stand to pull your saddle forward a lot and get a breastplate on him. He has a bit of an extravagent style about him, so looks to just be tossing you around a bit. Try coming in in a soft 3 point seat and think about keeping some bend in your knee and landing in 2-point. No shame in grabbing some mane either! I like him though, definately wouldn't kick him out of my barn.


            • #7
              what a nice honest little horse - very much like my ossy
              send him to uk lol
              anyways - what will help you a lot if you find an eventer trianer
              which will be listed with any assaocition with the fei or join the pony club riding club or 4 h ok
              reason your having trouble is because you cant see your stride and dont know your distances
              if you go to a trianer then you will start of with flat work
              then they will work with ground poles then into small grids then small courses

              this will help you and your horse a lot, as your way behind your horse
              and at some fences theres no implusion so the horse is just waddling along
              and hes honest enough as some of those were quite large the point being your lucky he didnt knock himself as you tend not to pick him up after hes jumped the jump and you tend not to look for the next jump and your also not giving him his head as your hands stay in the same place
              theres lots of improvement to be made - and it will help you
              but also help your horse so he can pick his feet up
              and i agree with everyone else alter your stirrups
              look at my helpful links pages it tell you how here


              • #8
                Cute horse!!!

                I don't think you're ducking

                Sounds like you've got some good advice here - but for future reference, when making a video for sale, etc. I'd try to keep it under 1 minute. Just use the still shots of SJ and XC where you're horse's knees are up at the highest point (except for water jumps and drops) - the other photos don't show anything "pretty," if you know what I mean. But your horse has SUPER knees, show that off before someone runs out of attention span! Just MHO Wish I could take him!


                • #9
                  OMG--add a blaze and 2 left socks and that's my gelding!! Spooky!

                  But yes, to all of the above. You've gotten some great advice and guess what--substitute you stepping left for me stepping right and we could be twins (well, if I was taller and slimmer!). Thanks for providing me with a good learning opportunity too!
                  Flip a coin. It's not what side lands that matters, but what side you were hoping for when the coin was still in the air.

                  You call it boxed wine. I call it carboardeaux.


                  • #10
                    You're not ducking. Go out and buy a couple large thigh blocks and attach them to your saddle and it will help your leg from slipping back. The blocks will 'channel' your leg and keep them at the girth. You'll have a better leg contact, better balance, and you'll be able to stay with your horse before, during and after the fence.

                    Your horse is lovely. What a tail!
                    Thoroughbred Training and Sales


                    • #11
                      he is too cute! ditto on the awesome tail, that alone makes me *almost* forget i have two to ride and tell you to send him my way! someone is going to scoop him up fast!
                      "Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby, to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion." ~Ralph Waldo Emerson~


                      • Original Poster

                        I know I need to shorten my sturrips, its weird when I do shorten I feel like im perched on top of him and dont feel secure at all, It probably doesnt help that I dont do it often enough to become really "comfortable" with it.

                        Im not sure if some of it stems from him having a nasty stop at times, and Im riding in the back seat preparing for it, and then it never comes Because really it doesnt happen often but when it does he is on top of the fence.

                        I struggle with my leg, It never used to be like that. My saddle does not have thigh blocks so I shall look into that. Odd but I seem to ride better in a pancake flat old old old stubben than I do in that ( Bates Eventer ) but when we decided he would be a better eventer I figured I better not ride X-C in the Stubben !!!

                        I know I need lessons, I think we may have had 2 this year but finacially its not in the budget, I do what I can do : shrug :

                        Ironically enough he will land Right 90% of the time, all the time, unless I ask over the fence which works pretty well for us. Really I think Im tilting all the time, funny but one of our dressage comments was that im leaning and tilting, I checked my sturrips and they are even so I really need to find my center !!!

                        I know some of the photos are not flattering The jumps are just to small for him, I know this which is part of the reason hes looking for a new person, hes much more talanted than I ever anticipated, I feel like Ive brought him along enough that now hes just being wasted. The video is not the greatest as far as a sale video, I know. My boyfriend did it for me and not being very "horse savvy" he used about every picture he had taken from that day. I really would hate to complain about it as he put alot of time into it !!! So it does show the good the bad the ugly and the im just not really trying here mom. The thing of it is we *HAD* some really awsome video, but something happend and it deleted anything that was more than 10-15 sec. long..... ughhh technology !!

                        I hope all of you are right, Hes been looking for a home since late Sept. and I have only had 2 people come and try him...sigh now is a bad season as it is.

                        to his tail, it is very real, and all his ... I promise but no one ever believes me !!
                        Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LKF View Post
                          You're not ducking. Go out and buy a couple large thigh blocks and attach them to your saddle and it will help your leg from slipping back. The blocks will 'channel' your leg and keep them at the girth. You'll have a better leg contact, better balance, and you'll be able to stay with your horse before, during and after the fence.

                          Your horse is lovely. What a tail!
                          No...no thigh blocks !!! The British saddle makers are recommending removal of those from saddles due to the possibility that it hangs a rider up a split second in a rotational fall...which could mean the difference between a broken collar bone and death.


                          • #14
                            [quote=CanTango1;4544157]I know I need to shorten my sturrips, its weird when I do shorten I feel like im perched on top of him and dont feel secure at all, It probably doesnt help that I dont do it often enough to become really "comfortable" with it.

                            Im not sure if some of it stems from him having a nasty stop at times, and Im riding in the back seat preparing for it, and then it never comes Because really it doesnt happen often but when it does he is on top of the fence.

                            I know I need lessons, I think we may have had 2 this year but finacially its not in the budget, I do what I can do : shrug :

                            The jumps are just to small for him, I know this which is part of the reason hes looking for a new person[quote]

                            Hmmmm...gonna jump you, so to speak, a little here. Not trying to be mean either, trying to help you out.

                            He may need bigger fences (which is debatable and not the way to solve problems with one that can stop) but that logic is faulty because your riding is causing the majority of your problems-possibly including the stop. But you can fix it but you have to realize what is wrong before you can do that.

                            First off, thigh blocks will not stop a badly swinging leg-they help one ALREADY correct and strong. They cannot correct the position flaws that cause the leg to swing.

                            Secondly, almost everything here is related to an insecure position aggravated by a too long stirrup. So yank them up.

                            Biggest thing I see is you have your iron placed waaaay to close to your toe. It cannot support your foot and allow your heel to drop low enough to carry your weight and support your lower body when you only have 1/2" of your foot in the iron. Get your iron to the ball of your foot and out from under your big toe. It has always been considered acceptable for Eventers to place the iron a little farther back then the Hunter or EQ standard for more security.

                            Because you have no base of support down thru your heels, you are leading with your shoulder a stride out from the base of the fence-and dropping your eye. This is not really classic ducking but you are overweighting his forehand and making him doubt-he figures if you are not sure or tense or a little scared? So is he and he is not experienced enough to guess at what you want. So he slams on the brakes.

                            I also see your toe rotated way out and heels in his side over the jumps-even when your leg has swung waaaay back. You keep jamming your heels into him when your leg swings? Not going to make him love to jump.

                            The thing with your rein length??? It's fine until you stand on your toes a stride out and lean that shoulder-then it's too long and you are putting your hands back in your lap. The ideal way is to ride shorter and lengthen them by adjusting your upper body position-in other words go to a two point and close the hip angle which moves the hands farther on the neck.

                            I would like to see you grab mane halfway up the neck a couple of strides out, keep your eyes up and leave him alone. That will help teach you to use the hip angle as well as compensate for the lack of support in your lower leg. Learn a CORRECT crest release and use it to support your body until you get a proper base of support down through your heels-that is hands pressed into the neck halfway up about 2 inches BELOW the crest on either side. Concentrate on sinking into your heels and down and around his barrel and eyes UP. Do this on the flat-alot.

                            Far as the base of support? Fix that iron placement and practice on the flat in two point WITHOUT letting the shoulder get ahead-remember straight line from shoulder thru hip to heel and shoulder never ahead of your knee. It's boring. It hurts. Gotta do it. Practice going to a jump position on the flat or over just poles on the ground with those hands where they belong and out of your lap.

                            Oh...you are not tragic in the sitting up too soon department. It is a flaw. But safer and less burdensome for the horse then the rest of what you need to work on. And can be correct on CC.

                            One other thing...if you are uncomfortable in that saddle? May be a reason. Some are slippery or just do not put you in the proper spot and you spend all your time fighting with the saddle to stay in proper position. Might want to try some others.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                            • #15
                              I found that last reply very helpful myself, findeight! Thanks!

                              "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."-Aristotle


                              • Original Poster

                                I agree findeight, Really did help me as well !! Im looking for help so I didnt take any of it personally.

                                I should clarify, his stopping is very hard to predict. And its not often he does it. If he is going to stop he does it at home, mainly I *think* because he is bored and just doesnt feel like it. Although we did go to a hunter show to just do something, Timing was Wayyy off and would of had to wait around for hours to do the 3' division so we did the 2' division, wanted to just go and then call it a day, He stopped at every fence. Embarrassing , confusing I really do think they were just to small and he didnt even care to try. He NEVER stops away from home with a jump that has some "substance" to him. I do think hes just isnt trying. So while going bigger wont help me, it will probably help him

                                My leg has actually gotten better, I havent changed anything except I have been trying hard not to get ahead of him ( which I had a really bad habit of doing and I know I still do it ) So somewhere between fixing that, I started to ride backseat, sit to early ride with longer reins, etc, etc. Now I have more habits than the one I tried to correct ( ummm on my own I tried to correct ). !!!!!!! Tsk Tsk on me.

                                Thanks everyone for the help, Its like a free lesson
                                Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t


                                • #17
                                  Ok, one more thing and, again, going to come out a little harsh but it is exactly what a better trainer in any discipline is going to tell you...

                                  DO NOT MAKE EXCUSES for a horse that stops. There IS a reason and there is ALWAYS a reason. Blaming some type of human perception of "emotion", "feeelings" or "boredom' or a lack of challenge in the fences or the time schedual is a dead end, not a solution. Plus horses do not process information the way we do, they don't analyze-they just react to whatever stimulus they perceive.

                                  Sorry but "he just didn't feel like it" is dodging the issue-he does what you tell him to do and what you allow him to do. That needs to be fixed.

                                  99% of the time the reason is holes in the basic training and a failure to continue going forward. But you don't beat them at the fence...you go back to your flatwork and ground poles and fix it there. Demand obedience to your aids 100% of the time. Reprimand instantly and fairly when they are not heeded.

                                  Far as his stopping away mostly away from home? That would be because you are tense and not riding the same way you do at home. The fix is to just hack at shows until both of you relax. Go do some flat classes and do not jump.

                                  IMO your insecure position is not allowing you to give him the confidence and guidence he needs and is confusing him-maybe even scaring him a little. And he can sense your frustration.

                                  Go back and fix that, take a deep breath at some little shows where you just flat. There is no rush and he really does not need bigger fences as he has not really mastered the little ones yet.

                                  BTW he is unlikely to sell in this market. Even cheap. The kindest thing you can do for him is make a project out of polishing your riding and his basics on the flat and over small and simple fences until it is second nature and his obediance to the aids is really set in stone.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  • #18
                                    I haven't read all the replies but here is my take, first I ADORE your horse, he is very cute and quite the good jumper! You have two issues, stirrups too long, which is making you reach for them, and secondly you are planting your hands at hi withers over the fences. Shorten your reins and make a DEFINITE EFFORT to move your hands forward up his neck 5 or 6 inhes from where they are closing your hip angle at the same time. Then LEAVE YOUR HANDS THERE until his back feet are on the ground. This will keep your body from opening up over top of the fence.


                                    • Original Poster

                                      The only time he stops IS at home, the one time he stopped at a show was when we did the 2' class. The only reason I could figure was they were to small and he didnt want to. I know you dont feel that way, but it is the only answer I can come up with.

                                      The one other time he stopped away from home was at a ditch, which has been addressed and is no longer an issue. Besides it was the 2nd ditch he had seen in his life, so it was completely understandable.

                                      I am not making excuses for him, It just doesnt make any sense to me that the fences he decides to stop at are the ones he jumps on a regular basis but the new colorful ones are ones hes much more bold to, I would think it would be the other way around.
                                      Ride it like you stole it....ohhh sh*t


                                      • #20
                                        Guess I misunderstood you on that.

                                        But not changing what IMO your basic problem is, not feeling like it or not wanting to is not an option.

                                        He could also have pain someplace, hocks or back specifically, that are not going to cause him to limp but will cause him to stop.

                                        Your at home jumps??? Do you use a ground line? Are they fairly solid or sort of airy and makeshift? Sometimes they stop because they cannot see a plain wood rail and judge height and depth that well. A colorful or white pole-with a viseable and easily seen ground line-is alot easier to see.
                                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.