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Better When Jumping Higher(horse and rider)

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  • Better When Jumping Higher(horse and rider)

    I love jumping higher and lately I've discovered that when my trainer lets my lesson horse and me jump higher, my position is better and the horse jumps better too. We usually only jump 2'6ish because of the less advanced girls in my lessons(it's the only lesson time I can make but my trainer raises the jumps for me sometimes). The other day, she let us do a make-up Christmas oxer and by the time we got to 3'6, my position was great and my horse was really picking up his legs! I think it's probably because when we jump smaller things I don't know what to do with myself and I lean sometimes, but when the jump gets raised, I set up, get my eye up, and collect my horse better.

    And at my previous barn, the few times I got to jump 3'9 on my friend's pony, everything was perfect(my position, the pony's jump, and our distance). Does this happen to anyone else? Any guesses as to why this happens?
    Last edited by indygirl2560; Dec. 29, 2009, 12:59 AM.

  • #2
    Happens to me! I regularly jump below 3' in lessons but when I jump 3'-4' I hit every distance! It's awesome. My horse is less lazy and my form is THERE.
    If only horses would use their athletic powers for good instead of evil. ~ MHM


    • #3
      It's because at the lower heights your horse isn't jumping so much as taking a big step, and the rider gets a little complacent. It's hard to really get a good pace/rhythm/balance/collection because you don't feel like you need to do anything to get over the jump...


      • #4
        Yup! That's me! when the bar goes up so does my horses intrest level. He is a big long Belgian Warmblood and anything under 3'3" he really doesn't care about. But as soon as the rail goes up he rounds and tucks his knees and starts to look more like a jumper rather than a camle. And for me my postion is better because iver low fences I throw my body and over higher stuff I wait and my horse jumps up to me. I can nail all the distances in a 3'6"-4'0" course but put me on at lower heights and I chip here and go long there. I also think its because at lower heights people tend to over think it. I know I do.


        • #5
          I'm the same way. I think its because you actually have to pay attention. Or at least that's what I've found. Otherwise you can just kinda futz over anything smaller and bad distances aren't that bad. But when you hit bigger fences, a bad distance could spell distaster as could bad form and riding!

          I used to do this with my students when they'd be a little lazy. Crank things up and see who sinks and who swims!


          • #6
            Always happens to me, my position in the Medal/Maclays wasnt great-I had big horses that would just canter over the 3'6". My jumper that I did in the USETs would jump awkwardly and extremely crooked over the 3'9", he was 18.2 hands and the height just didnt pique his interest. I moved him up to the junior jumpers and suddenly he was powering up, using his body, and lifting his knees to his eyeballs. I felt like I was on a super fancy hunter, not an awkward once-childrens jumper. He went clear over 5ft courses when he would have a rail over a 3'6" one. Meanwhile-my position became tight as a tick, my eye is now dead on, and my reflexes are much MUCH faster.
            My trainer knows, if I'm having issues with fences at 3'6" to just raise them and it sharpens me right up.
            I actually saw a psychologist and I was told that my mind is geared in a way where if the challenge isnt great enough, I just dont focus. (Its also because I have an IQ *just* short of genius but shhhhh thats a secret)
            But it works for alot of people, the height just heightens their awareness of everything and things just seem to fall into place.


            • #7
              So make jumping at lower heights harder.

              I think anything below 3'6" is a question of jumping out of rhythm. 3'6" and above is visual, too.

              It may be that your are trying to find spots visually for the low ones and doing or expecting too much jump over them. Concentrate on staying still, *not* picking a distance and letting the little fence just come up out of the stride you have. It will make you a smoother, more tactful ride over larger fences because you'll do more adjusting with your body rather than hand.

              It can also be tougher to find distances to lower fences (even by feel) because you don't need much canter to get there. That means that you have to get used to the (awkward, IMO) feeling of not having an engaged hind end. With less canter and less suspension, you lose that distinctiveness of each stride, and this can make it tougher to feel distance-covered-per-stride.
              The armchair saddler
              Politically Pro-Cat