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Critique Me Please

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  • Critique Me Please

    As I get back into riding and jumping (hopefully) I wonder how my equitation was and what it is I should be working on and improving. If you could please give me a critique of my jumping position that would be wonderful. I also included a picture of me on the flat if that helps. I tried to include all angles.

    1. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._8989_9417.jpg

    2. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...3_9021_626.jpg

    3. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...06155_1529.jpg

    4.http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._490810_66.jpg

    5. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60264_1591.jpg

    6. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60265_1938.jpg

    7. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...35_2052527.jpg
    Mitkowski Equine Services
    Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

  • #2
    I think you look solid, and I'm sure everyone else will pipe in but the major thing I see is you need to really stretch down through your heel. That will keep you from falling forward and jumping ahead and give you better leg contact.
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

    www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
    www.useaiv.org

    Comment


    • #3
      Not much I would change. If you were my student I would have you in your 2-point a lot. This will do 2 things, first it will stretch out your heel and back of your calf and second it will strengthen your leg. Once you are stretching down through your heel I think you will be golden. It will push your leg a tiny bit forward and put you right where you want to be. Your release is good although a little stiff. Relax your arm and let your horse move your arm with his mouth. Push your hip back in your saddle and relax. It will come naturally. Your horses will also want to jump well for you if you can relax on their backs over a fence.

      Comment


      • #4
        My first impression from a few of your pictures (notably the first two) is that your horse may possibly be difficult to motivate, and as a result, you're jumping ahead to try to make up for that. I'd try a small spur or a crop, sit down and put your leg ON, and let that horse know that he needs to move forward without you nagging or jumping ahead or otherwise moving around to get him in front of your leg.
        Somewhere in the world, Jason Miraz is Goodling himself and wondering why "the chronicle of the horse" is a top hit. CaitlinAndTheBay

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Candle View Post
          My first impression from a few of your pictures (notably the first two) is that your horse may possibly be difficult to motivate, and as a result, you're jumping ahead to try to make up for that. I'd try a small spur or a crop, sit down and put your leg ON, and let that horse know that he needs to move forward without you nagging or jumping ahead or otherwise moving around to get him in front of your leg.
          Yeah the pony was a bit hard to motivate. I think I have spurs and a crop in most of those pictures lol.
          Mitkowski Equine Services
          Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

          Comment


          • #6
            Your hip angle is a bit too far closed, and upper body a bit too far forward. Stay a bit more open over this height fence. This will also help the other problem I see, rounding your lower back. Your back is only flat in the picture on the paint.

            Otherwise, really nice job!

            Comment


            • #7
              You seem to be perching/balancing on your toes rather than letting your leg lengthen, weight drop in your heels.

              Comment


              • #8
                The main problem is that you pinch with your knee. It is especially apparent in the flat picture. If you look at it you can see how your weight basically stops at your knee instead of dropping down through your lower leg. Piching with you knee makes your leg swing back in the air. Also you tend to roach your back.

                Comment


                • #9
                  i think your best position is jumping the paint horse. sink down into your heel more and relax your shoulders and you'd have a really pretty picture.
                  now that flat picture is a different story. how someone goes from executing such a lovely auto release to flatting with hands and arms like that is unfathomable to me. I know some of it is fad, and some is the saddle looks 2" too small for you, but you've shown you know better than to ride like that. I'd like to see flat pics of you in tack that fits to offer a proper critique.
                  www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                  chaque pas est fait ensemble

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    OK, bear with me. I am blunt but never do these unless there is hope. Plus, I see the same things going on alot so will split these by photo and try to be brief...not going to try to hit everything. The major errors are pretty consistent.

                    1. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._8989_9417.jpg

                    That is NOT a good auto release, fact there is tension in your hands, they are floating off the neck, your wrists are trying to roll in, your elbows are out to the side and you are pulling your horse's head to the left indicating uneven rein. You have a roached back.

                    2. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...3_9021_626.jpg

                    Your knee is in front of the flap of your saddle.

                    3. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...06155_1529.jpg

                    Hard to see but you are again pulling the horses nose left, your leg has slipped waaaay back and you have way too much upper body over a tiny fence-and your back is roached.

                    4.http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._490810_66.jpg

                    What happened here? You are at the top of the arc over a small jump 5 or 6 feet past the jump-get in too deep and too fast? Your heel is waaaay back and jammed into horses side.

                    5. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60264_1591.jpg

                    Horses face is at the vertical with neck stiff. Your elbows are out, hands floating off the neck, wrists rolled in, tension evident all the way from bit to your shoulder.

                    6. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60265_1938.jpg

                    Wrists rolled in, tension evident but reins too long so hands in lap. Your knee is ahead of your saddle flap.

                    7. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...35_2052527.jpg

                    Yikes...that is as scary as it is ugly... again looks like you got these too deep and too fast like in #4 and horse is underneath the jump and just rolling over it's shoulder. But this time you are pulling the horses head to the right. And...well...you are completly scrunched up and rolled forward and out of that saddle with roached back. Just hate to see a horse jumping with knees pointed down like that whatever the cause, it can be dangerous.

                    What I think is...bag the auto release-grab mane and learn a CORRECT crest release with hand pressed into the neck-right now you are supporting your upper body on your horse's mouth. Until you develop a proper seat, leg and heel, use the crest release to protect your horse.

                    You have got to stop letting your leg drift back and jamming your heel in to his ribs.

                    I think you are letting that one horse rocket along and get the bad spots because your position is making you weak and dependent on your hands-which make most of them go faster. Actually, mine would have you in the dirt after a few like that.

                    You have to flatten your back and bring those shoulders back. Seriously, I think you have a saddle problem. Don't know if it is slippery or just too small but it's not doing what it is supposed to do and fixing that will help.

                    Go back to flatwork and ground poles and use the countless excercises out there to build balance and coordination then use placement poles on either side of low fences.

                    Everything here is related to an improper base of support which creates a weak position which makes a rider rely on their hands for balance and will ultimately piss the horse off big time and they will quit trying-if you don't get hurt first.

                    Fix that and it IS very fixable.
                    Last edited by findeight; Oct. 28, 2010, 07:53 AM.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      OK, bear with me. I am blunt but never do these unless there is hope. Plus, I see the same things going on alot so will split these by photo and try to be brief...not going to try to hit everything. The major errors are pretty consistent.

                      1. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._8989_9417.jpg

                      That is NOT a good auto release, fact there is tension in your hands, they are floating off the neck, your wrists are trying to roll in, your elbows are out to the side and you are pulling your horse's head to the left indicating uneven rein. You have a roached back.

                      2. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...3_9021_626.jpg

                      Your knee is in front of the flap of your saddle.

                      3. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...06155_1529.jpg

                      Hard to see but you are again pulling the horses nose left, your leg has slipped waaaay back and you have way too much upper body over a tiny fence-and your back is roached.

                      4.http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/..._490810_66.jpg

                      What happened here? You are at the top of the arc over a small jump 5 or 6 feet past the jump-get in too deep and too fast? Your heel is waaaay back and jammed into horses side.

                      5. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60264_1591.jpg

                      Horses face is at the vertical with neck stiff. Your elbows are out, hands floating off the neck, wrists rolled in, tension evident all the way from bit to your shoulder.

                      6. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...60265_1938.jpg

                      Wrists rolled in, tension evident but reins too long so hands in lap. Your knee is ahead of your saddle flap.

                      7. http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/...35_2052527.jpg

                      Yikes...that is as scary as it is ugly... again looks like you got these too deep and too fast like in #4 and horse is underneath the jump and just rolling over it's shoulder. But this time you are pulling the horses head to the right. And...well...you are completly scrunched up and rolled forward and out of that saddle with roached back. Just hate to see a horse jumping with knees pointed down like that whatever the cause, it can be dangerous.

                      What I think is...bag the auto release-grab mane and learn a CORRECT crest release with hand pressed into the neck-right now you are supporting your upper body on your horse's mouth. Until you develop a proper seat, leg and heel, use the crest release to protect your horse.

                      You have got to stop letting your leg drift back and jamming your heel in to his ribs.

                      I think you are letting that one horse rocket along and get the bad spots because your position is making you weak and dependent on your hands-which make most of them go faster. Actually, mine would have you in the dirt after a few like that.

                      You have to flatten your back and bring those shoulders back. Seriously, I think you have a saddle problem. Don't know if it is slippery or just too small but it's not doing what it is supposed to do and fixing that will help.

                      Go back to flatwork and ground poles and use the countless excercises out there to build balance and coordination then use placement poles on either side of low fences.

                      Everything here is related to an improper base of support which creates a weak position which makes a rider rely on their hands for balance and will ultimately piss the horse off big time and they will quit trying-if you don't get hurt first.

                      Fix that and it IS very fixable.
                      Thank you for the honesty. That is what I was looking for. I plan on starting out with the basics again lots of two point on the flat. Lots of pole work and then lots of grabbing mane (if i can break that darn habit lol). I need to get enrolled in a proper lesson program but unfortunately my husband jsut lost his job and I havent got started in mine yet so I dont see that happening. Luckily I dont jump my own horses due to their injuries/age so I wont be practicing bad habits and I have been offered a few free lessons and some practice horses to ride on.
                      Mitkowski Equine Services
                      Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        i agree that you're position is pretty solid. I would lengthen your stirrups a hole. you look a little cramped in theknee and lower leg in some of the photos, prohibiting you from stretching down the back of your leg and into the base of your heel. some of the photos are really quite nice and other ones you appear to be jumping "ahead" of your horse. Remember not to duck onto your horses neck, wait for the horse to come to you over a fence.

                        For the most part i like your release although in one or two of the photos it appears to be almost a little too forgiving

                        In your flat picture, like i said before lengthen your stirrup a hole and put your butt back over the saddle (you're perched on your crotch). I think a little longer stirrup here will allow you to use your lower leg more effectively. You are pinching with your knee and its one of my biggest pet peeves. sorry . If you pinch with your knees, your lower leg is as ineffective as it gets and you have absolutely no base of support from the leg. Open your knee and hip angle and hug the horse with your lower leg and stretch down into your heels. This will bring you back over your saddle and not perched over the front of it. also, it would help if you opened and brought your shoulders a bit farther back over your hips here. You are also twisted and leaning heavily. you need to bringyour hands off the horse's neck and out in front of you more.


                        The last fence is nothing to be too rpoud about. the horse was obviously burried to the fence and is just falling over himself here. If you get in deep to a fence the worst thing you can do is what you're doing right here....hunker down and throw yourself at the horse. if you can see that youre going to get deep to a fence the best thing is to sit up with your upper body and to step down into your heels. If the horse decided to stop at this fence i get the impression that you might be over the fence while he's still standing in front of it.

                        the photos with the paint jumping is your best overall position. you have a good base of support in your heel and lower leg, youre not jumping ahead, and your sitting up and usingyourself. your shoulders are back and open, your butt is over the saddle and your hip angle is open. the one thing i dont like about this photo is how tense and restricting you are in your arms.

                        remember that you need to be soft in your hands, arms and release. straighten your back and open your shoulders. lengthen your stirrups a hole and use your lower leg and heel and put it in a more effective position

                        I think you should take your stirrups off your saddle for a few weeks and work consitently with no stirrups. lengthen your leg and use your lower leg!-not your thigh and not your knees. Do lots of flat work with no stirrups and gymnastics over fences. gymnastics should teach you to let the horse jump to you....not you to him. Doing them without stirrups will strengthen your true base of support and will make your position more effective. if you are using your lower leg correctly over gymnastics with no stirrups, you wont be able to jump ahead and it will hold you over the saddle. Remember not to hold on with your hands either...soft hands. My trainer used to make me drop my stirrups and tie my reins in a knot and hold my hands straight out over gymnastics....yes no reins and no hands!!

                        good luck!
                        Im not equitation expert but i did show it for a few years so i hope this helps

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          These 3 flatwork excercises have worked for me and worked on a variety of horses. They can build your skills without killing you or boring you-and your horses-to death. Don't cost anything either and all but the third one require nothing except you and the horse. Suggest doing them in order as the skills from each help you master the next. Little long here but valuable, not too technical and they work.

                          I actually prefer these at this point to any dropping of irons. That is not the root issue and is not always the answer, especially for no weight in the heels. You stay on pretty good, that's not the problem.

                          #1. Learn to master the 3 seats. The full seat with hip angle open and shoulder over hip and heel-used for collection.
                          The two point/jumping position used ONLY in the air over a fence but which may be practiced on the flat.
                          The half seat with seat in the saddle or just slightly out of the saddle, hip angle slightly closed which brings the shoulder slightly forward in various combinations-this is what you normally use 95% of the time, even over small fences.

                          Practice all 3 seats at all 3 gaits. Extend by lightening/closing the hip angle. Collect by sitting down and into the saddle and opening the hip.
                          This ought to help with your back and shoulders and develop your base. Maybe drop the irons a hole or two but not to where you reach for them. Just remember to concentrate on your seat and hip angle and keeping a flat back, your shoulder will follow. Don't try to move the shoulder to get your body to line up as you are doing now. This is hard, be patient.

                          #2 Think of your ring as the face of a clock. 12 and 6 o'clock are at the top and bottom on the short side, 3 and 6 midway on the long sides. You are going to use those points to learn to execute precise transitions. Say, start at the posting trot at 12, go all the way around and drop to sitting trot again at 12. Post again at 6, sit at 12, walk at 3, canter at 6 and so forth. You need to take a break every 3 or 4 laps and let them go all the way around and try not to do more then 3 sets of these a day or they get backed off. And, remember, you transition AT 12, 3, 6 or 9, not astride before, not 3 strides later-at the marker.
                          Your gait choices for transition practice are collected walk, regular walk, extended walk, c trot, r trot, e trot, c canter, r canter, e canter and halt. Eventually you will be able to get any of these from any of the others in random order. That is quite a goal too. Keep you busy for awhile. Oh, you are NOT going to depend on your reins a stick and spurs here nor are you going to throw your shoulder ahead. You are going to use the 3 seats you learned in the first excercise. Your rein, the stick and the spur are only going to support what your body will tell the horse.

                          #3. You do need 2 poles for this one. Just laying on the ground. Put them about 60 feet apart-that is 4 strides on a 12 foot step.
                          Using all the skills you have built from these first two excercises, you are going to canter around and do that in 5 strides, then 6 strides, then 4 strides, then 5 strides. Alternate the lengthened and collected canter strides controlled by SEAT and HIP ANGLE. Jump them one lap, then go around a lap to break it up and keep him interested.

                          When you get all of these mastered, you can start using low single fences with placement poles and the line you jump in a variety of stride lengths.

                          There you go, that's your homework. No mistake, it takes weeks and even months to even get a handle on some of this but it's what you need to concentrate on. And, really, the best trainers and clinicians structure their programs incorporating variations on the above excercises, not actually going out and jumping courses.

                          Oh..that saddle...I had one that made me slip all over and this looks like what is going on. Borrow another ands see if it helps.
                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by farmgirl88 View Post
                            i agree that you're position is pretty solid. I would lengthen your stirrups a hole. you look a little cramped in theknee and lower leg in some of the photos, prohibiting you from stretching down the back of your leg and into the base of your heel. some of the photos are really quite nice and other ones you appear to be jumping "ahead" of your horse. Remember not to duck onto your horses neck, wait for the horse to come to you over a fence.

                            For the most part i like your release although in one or two of the photos it appears to be almost a little too forgiving

                            In your flat picture, like i said before lengthen your stirrup a hole and put your butt back over the saddle (you're perched on your crotch). I think a little longer stirrup here will allow you to use your lower leg more effectively. You are pinching with your knee and its one of my biggest pet peeves. sorry . If you pinch with your knees, your lower leg is as ineffective as it gets and you have absolutely no base of support from the leg. Open your knee and hip angle and hug the horse with your lower leg and stretch down into your heels. This will bring you back over your saddle and not perched over the front of it. also, it would help if you opened and brought your shoulders a bit farther back over your hips here. You are also twisted and leaning heavily. you need to bringyour hands off the horse's neck and out in front of you more.


                            The last fence is nothing to be too rpoud about. the horse was obviously burried to the fence and is just falling over himself here. If you get in deep to a fence the worst thing you can do is what you're doing right here....hunker down and throw yourself at the horse. if you can see that youre going to get deep to a fence the best thing is to sit up with your upper body and to step down into your heels. If the horse decided to stop at this fence i get the impression that you might be over the fence while he's still standing in front of it.

                            the photos with the paint jumping is your best overall position. you have a good base of support in your heel and lower leg, youre not jumping ahead, and your sitting up and usingyourself. your shoulders are back and open, your butt is over the saddle and your hip angle is open. the one thing i dont like about this photo is how tense and restricting you are in your arms.

                            remember that you need to be soft in your hands, arms and release. straighten your back and open your shoulders. lengthen your stirrups a hole and use your lower leg and heel and put it in a more effective position

                            I think you should take your stirrups off your saddle for a few weeks and work consitently with no stirrups. lengthen your leg and use your lower leg!-not your thigh and not your knees. Do lots of flat work with no stirrups and gymnastics over fences. gymnastics should teach you to let the horse jump to you....not you to him. Doing them without stirrups will strengthen your true base of support and will make your position more effective. if you are using your lower leg correctly over gymnastics with no stirrups, you wont be able to jump ahead and it will hold you over the saddle. Remember not to hold on with your hands either...soft hands. My trainer used to make me drop my stirrups and tie my reins in a knot and hold my hands straight out over gymnastics....yes no reins and no hands!!

                            good luck!
                            Im not equitation expert but i did show it for a few years so i hope this helps
                            It Definitely helps. I've never actually taken my stirrups off for a few weeks at a time (atleast not as long as I can remember). No hands and no stirrups got it. I think I can do some passenger riding around on my horse on the flat with no stirrups and airplane arms. Will that help?
                            Mitkowski Equine Services
                            Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nice post findeight I think I will print it off and add it to my "what to do today" book.
                              Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by amitkoequine View Post
                                It Definitely helps. I've never actually taken my stirrups off for a few weeks at a time (atleast not as long as I can remember). No hands and no stirrups got it. I think I can do some passenger riding around on my horse on the flat with no stirrups and airplane arms. Will that help?
                                no stirrups and no arms will definately help on the flat. It teaches you to ride more effectively while not relying on your stirrups and your reins/the horse at all all times. Have someone throw you on the lunge line and do stretches and no stirrups and no hand work and you can do flat work everyday with this sort of stuff. small jumps and ground poles. dressage lessons will also improve bad riding habbits

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by rugbygirl View Post
                                  Nice post findeight I think I will print it off and add it to my "what to do today" book.

                                  Flatwork sucks unless you have a plan and these give you a plan.

                                  I might add another excercise...when you advance to varying the strides between those poles...there are 4 releases.

                                  The long crest release with hands planted about 2 inches below the crest on each side a little more then halfway up the neck-used for lengthening along with the more closed hip and lighter seat. Also the best release for a long spot or over an oxer or when you jump in dead and need to light up to make the line.

                                  The short crest release with hands about halfway between the long release spot and the pommel. Used along with the more open hip for collection, for adding a stride or when you get in deep to a vertical or too hot into a line. Also if you need a rollback or halt after landing.

                                  The medium crest release which is anything between the other two with appropriate hip angle as the situation warrants...and that is the one you will use some variation of most of the time.

                                  Then you got the auto ONLY when you can use seat and hand independently of each other and usually when you need to keep control over technical course or natural jumps and terrain.

                                  Practice the 3 crest releases with matching hip angle and seat at all 3 gaits over a single pole on the ground then use them on that 60 ft line to create the stride length you need. Most find it helps to really exaggerate that long release at first, feels like your hands are at their ears when they are barely out of your lap at first. Make yourself reach up towards those ears but keep hands below the crest-that's why you practice over the ground poles.

                                  It's not rocket science and this info is in most of the better books out there like GM and Anna Jane White Mullin.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                                  • #18
                                    No critique from me, just wanted to say that I loooove Fjords and I totally have a crush on the pony in the first two pictures! Adorable (and a cute little jumper to boot!)
                                    Who is John Galt?

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by KayPink View Post
                                      No critique from me, just wanted to say that I loooove Fjords and I totally have a crush on the pony in the first two pictures! Adorable (and a cute little jumper to boot!)
                                      He's my old man. We are currently looking for a local lesson program to put him in (checking one out tomorrow wish me luck!) because he has gotten so fat from stealing other horses grain and not being ridden enough. He's my bareback and bridleless pony <3 Love him.
                                      Mitkowski Equine Services
                                      Love my Fjord Magni "Tigger" and my HanoxTb Frescoe "Wenny" --- My boys

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                                      • #20
                                        AMITKOEQUINE please check your PMs

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