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OK need a critique and some help Pics & Vids

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  • OK need a critique and some help Pics & Vids

    I am finding myself losing the weight in my heel and starting to grip with my knees as I go above 3'6" in classes.

    So today I schooled both of my horses through the same grid and again when we got bigger away went the weighted heel. I joke but I was getting really upset up until I looked up pics of current USET show jumpers. LOL. I was trying to show my boyfriend what a weighted heel looked like. Well Grand Prix isn't where it can be found easily it seems.

    The grid was 2 trot poles, 9' to X 10' to vertical, 18' to oxer, 21' to oxer

    Anyway... I would love some feedback.

    This is a FB link, but if there's enough outside interest I will throw up a photobucket album if needed.


    Vid 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxH0XNJtUkk

    Vid 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa0Uq3WmAgM

    We have been doing 1.10 meters jumpers with the first horse and .90 meters and aiming to start the 1.0 meters soon with the second horse.

    Thanks very much in advance.

    "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

  • #2
    You are pinching. You have a nice sturdy seat and leg really except for that. If you put your pinky toe on the bar instead of your big toe it will help some with getting your calf on. Really your position is nice, I'd say it's more of a lack in confidence in yourself over the larger fencing which is making you a little more defensive and you pinch to hold. Ask me how I know lol. Except my problem is I roach my back lol. I really had to get out of my own head, even though I didn't think I was, and relax myself. You have the position to do it. Just breathe and relax
    Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


    • #3
      From the video, you are rushing at the trot and you are not waiting for the fence. Take you time. A little bigger steps and more contact from back to front to the rein.

      From the picture, you can clearly see the rushing, jumping ahead and way too loose contact on most jumps.

      It is not because the jumps get bigger that you have to go faster and throw your body ahead and lay on your horse's neck for support.

      Your horse would be way rounder over fence if you wouldn't throw away the contact and put all of your weight on his neck; by doing so he has to work twice as hard to balance himself and carry you over the fence by raising his head up.
      ~ Enjoying some guac and boxed wine at the Blue Saddle inn. ~

      Originally posted by LauraKY
      I'm sorry, but this has "eau de hoarder" smell all over it.
      HORSING mobile training app


      • #4
        You should try shortening your stirrups, they look at least one-hole too long in the video.


        • #5
          I was thinking the same thing about your stirrups.


          • #6
            Agree with trying a shorter iron. It seems long especially in the first video.


            • #7
              Along with shorter stirrups, shorten your reins. It'll help you avoid throwing your body. You don't have your elbow far enough forward which is contributing to not closing your hip angle, and just standing in your stirrups.
              Do try riding in some different saddles. You are pinching with your knee a lot. Some saddles will make you do it even worse. When you pinch with your knee, your crotch gets ahead of the pommel and your lower leg slides back, and heel comes up.
              Try setting up a series of 4 low (2'-2'3") bounces. Knot your reins, and trot into it in two point. When you jump the first, put your hands out to the side for the whole thing. Then try on your head. Then on hips. Then try changing it for each jump. Really work on letting the horse come up under you, not throwing your body down.
              Then do the above with no stirrups and reins.

              On the flat, do a lot of 2 point while doing transitions, without using the reins or neck for balance.


              • Original Poster

                Thanks to everyone thus far. Just to clarify the longer rein is indeed a little long to the fences but over them I was trying to do a direct release.

                But hey I am not perfect.... Keep the comments coming.

                "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Xctrygirl View Post
                  Thanks to everyone thus far. Just to clarify the longer rein is indeed a little long to the fences but over them I was trying to do a direct release.

                  But hey I am not perfect.... Keep the comments coming.

                  I would shorten your stirrups a hole for sure.

                  However, I see more of a problem with your basic position mechanics. The correct position in the air does not include the body leaning down and forward towards the neck as you are doing here. If you think about the balance of that position (easiest to do by imagining the horse is invisible), the balance is over your shoulder/chest area, which not only weights the forehand but also makes it impossible to get the weight in the heels. If your horse disappeared, you most likely would fall forward onto your chest.

                  The correct mechanics is similar to that found while executing a simple squat. As the hip angle closes and moves back, the weight is transferred to the heels and the hip angle closes while the shoulder stays strong and open.

                  At the base of the fence, one should think about sinking in toward the horse and then shifting the hip back so that the rider is squatting over the horse, with the weight continuing down the heel and the body staying over but open. Most people think about two point as standing up and coming forward, and this changes the balance point to the incorrect place.

                  Additionally, the long rein is not the key to a direct or following or automatic release. Actually, a short rein is most effective. In fact, until your base of support is more secure I would not be trying this because it is likely causing part of the problem. The idea of the following hand is maximum freedom within the scope and shape of the horse. The idea is NOT to throw the rein at them for complete freedom but to follow the efforts of the horse, giving them what they need and no more, so that you are able to land with the horse you started with. In your 25th photo, for example, a correct crest release would have helped you maintain a much more correct position while giving the complete freedom of the head and neck. For an automatic release, you would have a very light contact with the horse's mouth.


                  Notice his folded position with the hip back and the body folded, allowing the weighted heel and the independent arm.

                  You look like a really nice rider with a lot of good elements in place. I think if you can begin thinking about squatting down it may help you find what you're looking for!
                  Last edited by Mac123; Nov. 19, 2012, 01:06 PM.
                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)


                  • #10
                    Love your big bay horse. He's so cute and you look like a very nice pair.

                    Originally posted by alibi_18 View Post
                    From the video, you are rushing at the trot and you are not waiting for the fence. Take you time. A little bigger steps and more contact from back to front to the rein.
                    Agreed. You are rushing into the gymnastic which is making your horse have to work harder. You shouldn't have to think "forward" through a gymnastic as it should be set for the horse you're on. Both seem perfectly capable of making it through without being pushed, so just relax a bit and let them do it. Stop riding so much and just let it happen.

                    Originally posted by goodmorning View Post
                    You should try shortening your stirrups, they look at least one-hole too long in the video.
                    I looked at your pictures first and then the video. My first impression was your stirrup is too long and as the jumps went up, you can see the effect: no support from your legs and you are pinching....and the heel then comes up. Try putting them up and you may solve your problem.

                    Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
                    You don't have your elbow far enough forward.
                    I also agree with this. Your elbow should still come forward. If you are trying to do a auto release and can't because you lose contact if you move your elbows forward, it just means your reins are too long to start with. In fact, I just went through your pictures and your reins really are too long for an auto release. Your ending up with some hyrid between a short crest release and an auto. The few pictures where you do maintain a little contact, your hand are almost in your crotch (and set at the withers).

                    Just be slower: slower thinking (I can "see" you riding, the energy is high...even in the pictures), slower, non-rushy trot coming in, etc it might help. Then just focus on one thing at a time. If you want to do an automatic release, practice that. If you want to work on your heel, do a crest release, and work on that.

                    Edited to add that I agree with Mac about the squatting.
                    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
                    Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


                    • #11
                      Far be it from me to teach you how to ride. It looks like the pinching come from not the height but the width of the oxers. It looks like you are relying on your knee contact to "hold you" for the added air time. I tend to do the same, though I jump rails on the ground, by your standards. My trainer had me work on making sure my ankle and calf were providing the hold by exaggerating the "knee off the saddle" over rails and X's. For a time I was doing lines riding that way to get used to not using my knee to support me.
                      Once that position felt "almost normal" she had me start a course that when and gradulally ease back to more proper leg position while keeping a "softer" knee.
                      F O.B
                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


                      • #12
                        Looks to me like shorten the stirrups and wait for your horse to jump..let the horse close the angle instead of jumping ahead of the horse.


                        • #13
                          A few things:
                          1. slow down at the trot
                          2. shorten your stirrups
                          3. put the stirrup on the ball of your foot, not the base of your toes
                          4. Shorten your reins a MILE!

                          When you jump you are laying on the neck with your shoulders in front of your hands. That forces your balance to tip forward onto your toes, thus the heel comes up and you pinch with your knees.

                          To fix this shorten your reins A LOT. Before the trot pole get in your two point and grab the mane half way up the neck and pull UP on the mane while you push the weight in your heels. Let the horse jump to you, do not bend over, let your arm bend and straighten to follow the horses jump.

                          When you jump your hand should always be in front of your shoulder. If you want to see a great position at the Grand Prix level watch Mclain Ward. If you look at his pictures his hand is always in front of his shoulder.


                          • #14
                            Yeah, your reins are in your lap and you are trying to sort of catch up with your upper body...forget the direct/auto release as was suggested-reach up the neck and do a CORRECT crest release and that will help your upper body stay where it belongs not to mention better control should horse stumble or get stupid with you.

                            Am not sure of it is a too long stirrup that has you in a chair seat on the rail before and after the excercise or if the saddle is putting you in that position?????It's pretty obvious, lower leg is well ahead of where it should be making the ideal line ear-hip-heel impossible and pushing you back over the fence instead of allowing a good, correct two point that naturally follows the motion of the horse over the jump.

                            You are getting a little too much pumping motion from hip to knee on landing here, coming down and into him too early and, while a shorter stirrup would help, not sure that's the culprit here.

                            Something is off and so are your basics. That deep heel is not that big a deal over bigger fences unless you are in the Medals but your body position and a tight leg all the way down overall is. You are almost behind the motion and fighting to keep up, rotating your knees in to try to stay with the motion.

                            I suspect your saddle may not be helping you much at all. Even if you shortened up, it might still put you in that chair seat. Can you try another???? And what kind is it? Sometimes even good saddles don't fit the rider properly and problems don't show up until the fences get a little bigger. It's no fun to fight the saddle over a big wide fence.
                            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                            • Original Poster

                              Originally posted by findeight View Post
                              I suspect your saddle may not be helping you much at all. Even if you shortened up, it might still put you in that chair seat. Can you try another???? And what kind is it? Sometimes even good saddles don't fit the rider properly and problems don't show up until the fences get a little bigger. It's no fun to fight the saddle over a big wide fence.
                              It's a Toulouse Premia.

                              Now the good news is (if there is any) that I can easily move or remove entirely both the knee and thigh blocks. They're on velcro and it could be that they're just in the wrong place to allow me to use the saddle as it was intended..

                              I can try another few from friends. Can't afford to buy anything though.

                              "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries


                              • #16
                                I had a Toulouse Premia and I had a terrible time with it both on the flat and over fences. It was awful. I beat myself up about my position, not realising how much the saddle was affecting it, but when I was forced to buy a new saddle because the Toulouse didn't fit my horse anymore, all of my position issues were magically fixed.

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