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tips for keeping hands down while jumping.

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  • tips for keeping hands down while jumping.

    here is my scenario, I am a eventer, riding at novice, schooling training. I am slowly taking apart my jumping position and correcting things. My dressage has come a long way and so has my position in jumping. I finaly can jump without leaning forward. Now I am at my hands. I am great over the fence at giving to the horse, not pulling on the bit, etc... I have a automatic release. Love gymnastic patterns. My issue is the approach. My hands go up without me noticing. My trainer had me take my reins over the horse, upside down, so the buckle was under her neck and all i got was what i could reach. This caused me to keep my hands down, well that was all the more the reins could go. I rode great, actually that is an understatement. Was balanced, got all of the correct leads, she looked and reacted like a different animal and i looked like a different person. but as soon as i put them back on top, there we go back. little info about the pony, very talented pony, 6 years old mare, will kick and buck to try and test you as to who is the boss. Short neck. We are slowly working on her issue of pulling, or leaning on my hands. I am almost there such that if she starts pulling, I don't pull back, so she has to balance herself.

    Any help of of ideas for me to work on for the winter.
    Memebr of Charlie Horse Riding Club.

  • #2
    I have taken to wearing a standing (well my horse is the one that actually wears it). The neck straps gives me a good reference for my hands. I can sort of stick my pinkies out to feel it and know my hands are even.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


    • #3
      The exercise your trainer had you do is a great one for that issue. I'd ask for a repeat in your next few lessons. Definitely not something you want to do when riding alone.

      And I second the standing martingale for a reference point for your pinkies. If your horse doesn't need/like the cavesson attachment use a breast plate only.
      "Aye God, Woodrow..."


      • Original Poster

        i've tried the neck strap/ breast plate. i feel that i lose the ability for half halts and when i jump my hands are stuck stationary. took me years to have a feel of the horse. i wasn't allowed early on in my riding to let go of the breast plate. so I kinda persoanlly hate it. When i was allowed to have a hold of the reins it was a wake up call to learn what a half halt was,etc... i have also done driving reins, which i almost did at a schooling show. If i try the neck strap should i move the neck strap up high?
        Memebr of Charlie Horse Riding Club.


        • #5
          No, don't put the neck strap up higher or you risk sticking a hand or foot thru it and the horse won't care to feel it on his windpipe.

          Try some work on relaxing your arms and using them independently of your upper body-you are kind of locked up in the shoulders...kind of mind over matter, your have to think about it and then you have to do it.

          And grab that mane 3 strides out and STAY there until 3 strides after landing. That one is a mainstay in riders at every level from poles to the big stuff-even GP when things go south in a big combination. Grab mane and kick. Try closing your eyes too, teach your mind and body the horse does not need any "help" from your hands.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


          • #6
            Here's one that works for riders who raise their hands.

            Lay your jumping crop under your thumbs and ride with it like that. Remember the crop should be level. It's best if you have an awful neon colored one to use as your eyes will pick up on it quicker. The foreign object (the crop) will register in your brain that your hands are coming up because our body parts don't register as fast. Ie... a 2" lift of your hands you likely won't feel. But if you see neon colors rising in your peripheral vision you'll know... "Ahhh my hands are coming up."

            It's the same principle as saying something aloud or writing it down to remember it. If you just try to remember something without writing it down or speaking it, it stays in one "compartment" of your brain. But my using motor skills to speak or write something down you bring in more of the parts of your brain and actually remember things better and for longer. (Says the woman who has had 10 concussions and has studied brain function a LOT)

            "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