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Collapsing upper body after fences

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  • Collapsing upper body after fences

    My TB mare and I are just getting back into jumping after not jumping for awhile - we've been doing a ton of flat work, so she is fit. We were doing really good with trot gymnastics that I had set up inside at about 2'9, but started to have problems when we went back to jumping single fences. I noticed that she tended to want to get quick after fences, and went back down to little 2 ft fences to work on the problem and realized that I AM the problem

    Going to the fences I am fine and stay with her over them, but afterwards I just collapse on her neck. My legs seem steady (I video myself riding a lot), its just I feel I can't sit up after the fences. I'm sure it is me and my upper body.

    Any sudgestions to help me on or off the horse? Flat or jumping? Its just so frustrating since a few years before I left for school I was jumping this mare 3'6 and never had this problem. Probably came from riding all the greenies...
    Last edited by TrakGeorge; May. 7, 2010, 02:22 PM. Reason: Added Stuff

  • #2
    I am no expert, but maybe work on on your abs and core muscles, especially if it's been a while since you've jumped. Another thing that, for me, made a difference was riding in a different saddle. It was amazing how badly I was fighting against my saddle after fences.. it was like it catapulted me forward! I am eager to hear others' responses, as I've been working on avoiding this as well.


    • #3
      can you post the video?

      I collapse in my left ribcage and it's SOOO hard to stop doing it. If your leg is tight and at the girth, you are in two point to the fence.... then the jump comes and you do nothing (don't even drop your chest to the neck) Think as you are riding; keep your chest "up"..... maybe that will help.

      A friend of mine was doing this (her horse is really lofty when he jumps) throwing her on his neck after the jump. Simple fix was to think to keep weight in the heels and land with that same weight in the heel. It worked for her....
      Live in the sunshine.
      Swim in the sea.
      Drink the wild air.


      • Original Poster

        Since the jumps were so low & the horse was being really good & quiet - I was trying to stay in my two-point going to the fences, working on keeping my heels down (and I mean down). It's just on the other side I collapse.

        Perhaps I am gripping wrong and my heels are coming up, since when I actually concentrated on keeping heels down I did okay.

        I looked for a appropriate recent video, but nothing that really shows this "recent" developement. I'll try to get one next week.


        • #5
          I went through a similar phase. A trainer (she was old-school, and this is exactly what George Morris teaches) took me back to the very beginning, just as you have done, schooling over low fences. The trick is to get into your 2-point 2 strides before the fence (butt off the saddle, upper body angled between 20-30 degrees, hands pressing into the neck, grab mane if you've gotten into the habit of using that floaty release) let the horse come up to you--you do not move your upper body the entire time.

          As the horse is landing--still do nothing with the angle of your upper body and make sure you're bracing still with your hands in the neck. If you're doing this correctly, bracing with hands and arms, you won't have an opportunity to pitch forward. After the horse has taken a step away you can straighten up. Do this consistently at the trot until your body does it automatically.

          The other exercise that I found effective, believe it or not, was posting with no stirrups and cantering in the 2-point (again--no butt contact with the saddle) every time I rode. It's torture, but I found that within a month, I couldn't be popped out of the tack, even jumping a large oxer on my horse who tended to have a very lofty jump.
          Clowns to the Left or me Jokers to the Right...here I am...stuck in the middle


          • #6
            Make sure you're keeping your eyes and head up. It's amazing what a difference it will make.