08-24-2011, 04:43 PM
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If your balance is questionable, sit tall to the base, count your strides (3,2,1) or rythm (1,2,1,2) I keep light contact with the reins. At the base I usually add leg. If you are more experienced, you can lighten your seat by shifting to a half-seat, but if there's a possibility you can throw your horse off balance, don't. The half-seat or a light seat is needed to help your horse over taller fences. In the air, make sure your weight is in your heels, your legs are wrapped around your horse and your knees aren't pinching (this can prevent leg swinging) and make sure you release. Depending on the height of the jump and your ability and balance, you can do either a crest release or an automatic one. If you are a beginner or a novice and are worried about catching the horse in the mouth PLEASE grab mane at the base or during lift off. That way, your hands wont jerk on their mouth. As the horse lands, take your time coming down, try your best not to slam the horse's back or land too early because that can cause the horse to knock a rail or cause him discomfort. If you were holding mane, you can keep hold until the landing stride. After the jump, maintain balance and rythm, and ride on towards the next fence.
A few strides before the fence, you can look at the jump, but before 3 strides out, look up ahead or at the next jump. DON'T LOOK DOWN. Bad bad habit. Especially with a horse that hesitates or refuses. Looking down can make you drop your seat, round your shoulders and communicates to the horse "stop". This can either create a refuser/hesitater/chipper or bring out already formed issues.
Counting can really help you focus on the task ahead and not get nervous, ahead of the horse, or left behind.
Once you're 3 strides in, try not to mess with the horse. Try your best to adjust the strides and fix your approach before then, so you're not scrambling to the base of the jump.
BREATHE. I have a bad habit of holding my breath when I jump and it really helps when I think about breathing.
Can't think of anything else.. I feel like I'm missing something though xD
Hope it helps
08-25-2011, 12:55 PM
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Very thorough, thanks!!
08-25-2011, 05:50 PM
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I'm not a huge expert, but I'll tell you what I know.
The approach is one of the most crucial parts to jumping, although it may not seem like it. It makes all the difference to striding, distance, safety, and success. To perfect your approach, pick up a trot or canter. Give yourself some time to establish an even, steady pace. As you approach the turn towards the jump, look into the turn, but hold back with your inside leg until you are lined up directly to the center of the jump. You should see a straight line from you to the center of the jump to a spot on the wall at the end.
Once you are lined up, keep your inside leg on and use your inside rein to bend your horse towards the jump. If you must, use your legs to straighten out your horse. You may start to feel him begin to veer to one side or shift is weight. Act quickly to avoid a refusal by applying steady pressure with the opposite leg.
Make sure you are sitting back so that your horse can properly gage his distance. If you are leaning over your horse's shoulders you are interfering with this process, which could end up with your horse taking off at a long or short spot and you overjumping.
When you are several strides away, squeeze firmly with your legs. Jam your heels waaay down if they are not already (which they technically should be). If you are approaching at a canter, count your strides in, either out loud or in your head. Look straight past the jump to a spot on the opposite wall. DO NOT look at the jump, even during the approach. Where you look is where you go, and you do not want to end up on the ground.
Last but not least, WAIT FOR THE JUMP. Do not get into jumping position before your horse takes off.
When your horse takes off, he will tuck and jump and the upper half of his body will rise into the air. It is your job to meet him there. As your horse takes off, you must fold in jumping position. That is, move your hands up his neck (and grab a bit of mane if you need to), lift your seat out of the saddle, and close your hip angle.
To avoid over jumping, stick your butt out a little. Keep your back straight or with a tiny arch in it. Look UP at your spot on the wall (or your next jump, if it's a double). And jam those heels down! If you often find that you get left behind, grab a tuff of mane as you go over. It's better to pull on the mane than to pull on your horse's mouth.
While in the air, give a squeeze/jab with your outside leg to encourage your horse to pick up the right lead after the jump. If your horse has trouble getting leads, you can also lighty tug the inside rein, but don't cut your release. Keep your eyes up and look ahead.
As you land from the jump, gently sit back into the saddle and bring your hands in. Ride straight to your destination. If it is your last jump, finish off with a circle before letting your horse break stride. Never let your horse rest until you are finished with a circle, because he needs to know that he has to keep going until you allow him to stop. You don't want him stopping in a show.
Anyways, I hope I was helpful. Good luck to you and your horse.
And to BlondieHorseChic:
Your 2-point over the jump should be the same, regardless of whether the horse is green or not. However, on the approach, make sure you sit back and ride in complete full seat (if you canter). You must also help your horse over the jump. If he is learning, he will not be push-button. He needs all your help to get him over. Use all the nescessary leg and rein aids, and you can never stop paying attention.
Practice over trotting poles also to practice your 2-point and striding.
Good luck to everyone. :)
08-26-2011, 08:39 PM
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I'm not THAT experienced but...
When approaching the jump eye the distance and see your take off point. Then look up and out and adjust (lengthen or shorten) your horses strides using mainly your seat but reins and legs can be used if the horse doesn't respond.
Drive your horse all the way PAST the jump, don't ride to the jump, that's asking for a refusal, pretend your trying to go to the rail.
Once you feel the front of your horse go up put your hands forward (how far depends on the horse your riding) and grab mane. (crest release) OR Push your hands down (automatic release) Look up and out, or if your jumping multiple jumps look in the direction of the next jump.
Unless your jumping really high (which I've never done) you don't really push yourself forward or out of the saddle. You more or less stay in position slightly out of the saddle and the horse comes to you then goes away from you and you sit back in the saddle and take the reins back.
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