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Pushing legs forward over fences

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  • #21
    Honestly I would rather see leg a bit too forward than swinging behind you. Your base looks pretty solid, the only thing I can think is that it looks like you might be pinching a bit with your knee but instead of your leg swinging back it swings forward. Try keeping ("pressing") your calf on through the whole jump, it looks good on take off but it looks like you take it off on landing.

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    • #22
      OP- you’ve gotten some great advice here. I paused your original video at multiple points on your approach and if you look, though your shoulders and hips are in line, your heel is quite far in front of you even a stride out. Pause one stride out/ take off to see what i mean. To me this looks like the saddle doesn't fit you and does not put your leg in the right position. I would try something with a more forward flap if its available to you. In lieu- concentrate on flatting while actively pulling your leg underneath you and have someone video it. You’ll need to build up the strength to keep that leg back and under you to be able to maintain it over fences.

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      • #23
        Even on the flat, you have too much weight in your heels, which is aggravated over fences.

        Weight should be able to drop down through your heels, which can't happen with a locked ankle. So think of kneeling with a loose ankle.

        And keep those elbows down.
        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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        • #24
          It looks like this horse isn't making your job any easier.... I would focus on getting him to behave and not trying to take over. Work on relaxing exercises over poles and cavalettis.

          Your not truly able to have a feel with your calf, weighting your heel for a secure base... doesn't look like he would accept the leg well... He is already zooming off.

          I would work on your base, shorten your irons and a lot of two point on the flat to develop a secure leg. And get him to respect and listen to you.
          If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

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          • #25
            Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

            I’m actually not worried about him taking off, and he doesn’t stop, so I’m not worried about that either. I know I’m taking a defensive seat, I just don’t know how I got into the habit or how to fix it. It’s not even just on him—I have photos from several years ago (when I last jumped) and did the same then on a variety of horses. It’s just something I do, and I don’t know why. I’ve never ridden horses that take off after the jump.

            This is just how this horse goes—he’s 19, so we aren’t going to change how he rides. His owner is very adamant about that—he gets anxious easily and this is just him. Any suggestions for what I can do understanding that he’s just going to be strong to fences? I can definitely try the shorter stirrup.
            I read this after I posted... I am sorry but I will disagree here... - this is disrespectful and unsafe behavior. With correct work he can improve. However, it looks like you are not his owner so you will have to decide what to do there. There are many trainers that will re-train horses... it takes patience and years of proper horse education. Not always easy to find those kind of trainers around.

            Over the poles he is actually a very cute horse!! I like him.... A closer look at your saddle and your knee has no place to go when you shorten your stirrups. You are a very nice rider - I think it's coming from your base (lower leg) needs stabilization.

            As far as you doing this habit on other horses - not seeing videos so I am guessing... you ride with your knees because you ride forward horses and they don't accept your leg? I used to do the same but instead of sliding my lower leg forward I would pivot off my knees with my upper body... - work on your base (lower leg) using your calf with toes out a bit so your back/inside calf is on the horse. A lot of two point.... at the walk, trot and canter....

            I have edited to add some pictures... I had to work to get rid of my habit and I still do it... it's because I rode forward horses that I didn't work with to accept leg....

            The first picture I was pivoting off my knees
            The second picture I worked on stabilizing my lower leg
            The third picture (pulling out an ugly one) riding off my knee
            Forth picture I had a trainer working with me on my lower leg

            Your issue may not be identical but it shows how important that base of support is.... and since you have been riding dressage it will take some time to develop the jumping feel. I have the opposite problem now - I have been riding dressage and I tip forward and have a tight thigh...
            Attached Files
            Last edited by doublesstable; Sep. 15, 2019, 04:18 AM.
            If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              Originally posted by doublesstable View Post

              I read this after I posted... I am sorry but I will disagree here... - this is disrespectful and unsafe behavior. With correct work he can improve. However, it looks like you are not his owner so you will have to decide what to do there. There are many trainers that will re-train horses... it takes patience and years of proper horse education. Not always easy to find those kind of trainers around.

              Over the poles he is actually a very cute horse!! I like him.... A closer look at your saddle and your knee has no place to go when you shorten your stirrups. You are a very nice rider - I think it's coming from your base (lower leg) needs stabilization.

              As far as you doing this habit on other horses - not seeing videos so I am guessing... you ride with your knees because you ride forward horses and they don't accept your leg? I used to do the same but instead of sliding my lower leg forward I would pivot off my knees with my upper body... - work on your base (lower leg) using your calf with toes out a bit so your back/inside calf is on the horse. A lot of two point.... at the walk, trot and canter....

              I have edited to add some pictures... I had to work to get rid of my habit and I still do it... it's because I rode forward horses that I didn't work with to accept leg....

              The first picture I was pivoting off my knees
              The second picture I worked on stabilizing my lower leg
              The third picture (pulling out an ugly one) riding off my knee
              Forth picture I had a trainer working with me on my lower leg

              Your issue may not be identical but it shows how important that base of support is.... and since you have been riding dressage it will take some time to develop the jumping feel. I have the opposite problem now - I have been riding dressage and I tip forward and have a tight thigh...
              In this case, letting him have the last two strides with minimal interference from me was his reward for doing the challenging (for him) pole work and coming back nicely between the poles and the larger fence. He wasn't fighting me--I was allowing him to pick his spot.

              I honestly haven't really ever ridden hot horses. I used to ride hunter/eq and just switched to jumpers, and this horse is the hottest I've ridden. So that's not why I started doing this--I'm not quite sure why I did--maybe laziness? It's easier to brace on the stirrup than use your leg muscles haha.

              Here's another video that I have of another horse (from a long long time ago--you'll see that I lacked abs then!)...skip to :40 because there are more riders in the video but me. The leg pushing isn't quite as violent here, but it's there. You can see that I am legging the horse to the jump--he wasn't hot at all. Actually, if you freeze at :53 (ignoring again the ducking/lack of abs), it looks like I am trying to turn my toes IN, lol. I don't think I do that anymore? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPshcOuWpUQ

              Here's another video from this week. I shortened my stirrups by a hole, which I think helped? https://imgur.com/a/hwGAdRA?fbclid=I...R5BQfx0PuhBON4

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              • Original Poster

                #27
                Last time I rode I paid closer attention to my saddle fit. I noticed that as I shorten my stirrups, I'm forced to either move my hips back a bit or cram my knees in to keep my knee from sticking off the flap. I also noted that when my leg is under my hip without stirrups, the irons hang several inches too far forward, which means when my feet are in the stirrups, when the leather is perpendicular to the ground, my leg is in front of my hip. So the saddle situation definitely isn't helping!

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

                  In this case, letting him have the last two strides with minimal interference from me was his reward for doing the challenging (for him) pole work and coming back nicely between the poles and the larger fence. He wasn't fighting me--I was allowing him to pick his spot.

                  I honestly haven't really ever ridden hot horses. I used to ride hunter/eq and just switched to jumpers, and this horse is the hottest I've ridden. So that's not why I started doing this--I'm not quite sure why I did--maybe laziness? It's easier to brace on the stirrup than use your leg muscles haha.

                  Here's another video that I have of another horse (from a long long time ago--you'll see that I lacked abs then!)...skip to :40 because there are more riders in the video but me. The leg pushing isn't quite as violent here, but it's there. You can see that I am legging the horse to the jump--he wasn't hot at all. Actually, if you freeze at :53 (ignoring again the ducking/lack of abs), it looks like I am trying to turn my toes IN, lol. I don't think I do that anymore? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPshcOuWpUQ

                  Here's another video from this week. I shortened my stirrups by a hole, which I think helped? https://imgur.com/a/hwGAdRA?fbclid=I...R5BQfx0PuhBON4
                  Maybe hot horses is the wrong terminology... ha ..... more like forward. The first video here the horse seems nicely forward... cute guy. I agree with you on the turning your toes in... yeah you are doing that...

                  I think the shorter stirrups did help.... I still think your toe could go out a bit more and have more of your calf wrapped around the horse.. with a soft knee. I saw you pull your leg away from the horse on landing... Also work on your stirrup/foot position. At times you look a bit "home" in the stirrup. Too far forward with the foot. Ball of the foot, outside stirrup branch touching the pinky toe...

                  Just keep working on that leg base and you will not need to brace your leg forward. I have seen top riders do this too so don't be so hard on yourself. You are a nice rider; yet I do understand your desire to progress and correct things. I have been doing the same over the last few years.

                  Your heels are your shock absorbers.... don't let them be stiff.... you will get there.....
                  If you like the distance you see; continue forward. If you don't; stay still and the shorter distance works out. ~GM~

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    I have this issue, except my legs don’t go forward as much as out... if that makes sense. There are a few components that helped me:

                    1. Shorter stirrups. I just have a short leg. They look short, I know, but I’m short-legged with a long torso. I think the standard is to have a 90 degree angle behind your knee at your jumping length. Someone can correct me if that’s not right, but that angle allows me to have the most power and control from all the right muscles.

                    2. Check saddle fit. Insist you can have the hip/heel alignment at the knee angle you feel strongest. As you noted, sometimes when you do this, the stirrup floats ahead. Not a great fit!

                    3. Riding a hot horse or one that rushes/plays in the backside. I’m guilty too, you think you need to take your leg off. She what happens when you squeeze (someone said “attach”) when the above two have been addressed.

                    Hope any of this is helpful! I agree that you’re a nice rider - keep it up!
                    Last edited by LakeEffect; Sep. 15, 2019, 07:59 PM. Reason: autocorrect ☺️

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                    • #30
                      OP, you are a lovely rider and he looks like a blast to ride.
                      "Punch him in the wiener. Then leave." AffirmedHope

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                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by CindyCRNA View Post
                        OP, you are a lovely rider and he looks like a blast to ride.
                        Thank you! He’s so much fun. He’s 19 and a bit downhill but a fit 1.35m firecracker. I couldn’t have a better horse to transition from hunters to jumpers on!

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                        • #32
                          Until you can figure out a permanent saddle solution you can try a riser pad to bring the back of the saddle up and move you further forward over the stirrup bar.

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