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Help me fix a bad habit please!

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  • Help me fix a bad habit please!

    I throw myself onto my horse's neck when he jumps. I know that I do it, I just can't stop! My hands go so far up his neck that I can almost grab his cute little ears and my whole body is way too far forward. The kicker is, I only do this on my horse. I have a lesson every week on school horses and don't have that problem on them.

    School horse:
    My horse (not the best example, this is actually much better than usual, but you get the idea):

    We jumped a 3'3" oxer for the first time today and watching the videos, I was so much worse than I look in the picture above.
    For some reason I feel like I have to "help" my horse by jumping for him, and giving the most extravagant release ever. I know I'm not helping his jumping form by throwing all of my weight forward.

    I can't have lessons on my horse at my barn currently because of insurance issues with my trainer. The barn that I ride the school horses at is about 40 minutes away, and a busy lesson barn, so my options for trailering there for a lesson are limited.

    What can I do on my own to stop myself from doing this?

    My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!

  • #2
    Is it the same saddle or a different saddle?

    It appears that your stirrups are different lengths from the schoolie to your horse. The stirrups on the schoolie appear shorter to me and longer on your horse.

    Hope you find out ways to fix it...good Luck.
    Life is too short to argue with a mare! Just don't engage! It is much easier that way!

    Have fun, be safe, and let the mare think it is her idea!


    • Original Poster

      Different saddle, but yes, they are probably longer on my horse...good point! I have shortened them since that picture was taken but maybe I need to put them up another hole still?

      My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


      • #4
        School horse jumps flatter than your horse. Your horse is really nice. Work on your base support (your lower leg/weight in heels) and you will find things work out much better.
        Live in the sunshine.
        Swim in the sea.
        Drink the wild air.


        • #5
          Your release on your horse is much better than your release on the school horse, where you are very restrictive. It does appear that you could shorten your stirrups, but I see no reason for you to shorten your release on your nice jumping horse, at least from the evidence of a still.


          • #6
            Try really concentrating on pushing your hands into your crest release and pushing your upper body away from the neck as you do it. This seems to help me.


            • Original Poster

              The photo of my horse is actually a LOT better than I normally look. I wasn't kidding when I say I really, really shove my hands (and body) up his neck. I don't necessarily think the release itself needs to be shortened, just my huge movement needs to be toned down... if that makes sense.

              Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
              My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


              • #8
                The movement is something you can't judge from a still. Try to think about keeping a bend in your elbows, so the motion of your release is downward, with your body coming down, and your weight in your leg coming down. If you straighten your arm, the motion of your release is forward, your body goes forward, and your leg goes backward to make up the difference.


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by CBoylen View Post
                  The movement is something you can't judge from a still. Try to think about keeping a bend in your elbows, so the motion of your release is downward, with your body coming down, and your weight in your leg coming down. If you straighten your arm, the motion of your release is forward, your body goes forward, and your leg goes backward to make up the difference.
                  Thank you, that's very helpful!

                  I tried to upload a video from my blackberry that shows what I'm talking about perfectly, but of course it didn't work. So I had to settle for a photo that at least showed me laying on his neck.

                  Hopefully when I bring him home over break I'll be able to get a few lessons in to work on this. It's just so hard to think about what I'm doing when I'm so focused on what he's doing!

                  And thanks to those who complimented my horse...he's an OTTB and I've done all of his training, so it makes me super proud.
                  My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!