Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Beautiful Pacific Northwest
• Horses: 0
Here's the party-pooper in me first: Safety first.
Wear your helmet. Always. Double-always when jumping. All risk increases once your horse leaves the ground. If a horse doesn't jump high enough,m or you're using jumps that don't fall away easily (which you are), the horse can go down on its face, meaning if you don't have a good enough position, you fly over the top and directly onto the top of your head - pogo-stick-style.
It's really easy to build jump-standards using a 4' 4x4 and 4 2x4's at the base.
Should be no problem in Amish-country. Then you buy some cheapo jump-cups on closeout at Dover, use a 4" wooden pole, and you have a safe, super adjustable jump. Start with cross-rails, so you and your horse get used to aiming for the center. For low jumps, cross-rails, cavalettis, etc I've used a wooden pole just laid on top of a couple of chopping-blocks, so they can easily roll off if hit.
Lose the shanked bit. If your mare likes to jump, which it looks like she does, she'll quickly learn to hate it very quickly the first time you fail to give her adequate release and that bit pops her in the mouth, not to mention what would happen to her if she went down on her face with that bit.
And then on to more fun topics!
She looks fun to jump. Does she hesitate at the jumps or go right at them, like she wants to and likes to do it?
You asked about your position. Really a very good start. You're looking up and to where you want to go. Remember that. Don't look down or look at the jump as you go over. Get a trainer, and you'll go through the work described by other posters. To be more concrete, you're jumping a bit forward, and you've lost your leg. In that position, if your horse were to refuse, or stumble, you would have difficult not going over her. I know a lot of trainers actually train that style now, so I'll probably get dinged for my comments. I was taught a more stable style, where you keep your butt more over the saddle and the leg more at the girth. You'll be practicing a lot of keeping your weight down in your heel to keep your leg in position.