Jumping Position Help - The Horse Forum
  • 2 Post By prairieaspen
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Jumping Position Help

So first a bit of background. I just started riding English (hunters) not quite two years ago when I bought Amber. I have technically been jumping for a year, but my lessons were very sporadic at first. I have only been consistently learning to jump for a couple months now. So a couple weeks ago I took Amber to our first show (first for both of us) and entered the cross rail division. We actually did really well, but I saw this picture my dad took of us jumping and I was pretty appalled at my position. It looks like I am just standing over her neck and not two-pointing.

So yesterday I set up a cross rail and really tried to pay attention to my position. Every time I went over, it felt like I was either getting left behind or jumping ahead. When I was ahead (like in the picture) I can feel my legs slide back and I use her neck to balance. When I two point on the flat I feel pretty solid in all three gaits, but I probably could use some more practice. Other than practicing more, what can I do to fix this? I have heard that jumping with your eyes closed can help, but there isn't a trustworthy horse I can ride to do this. Here's a video of us jumping at the show. I am aware that I am doing multiple other things wrong, but I am working on it. Oh, and yes, I am going to ask my instructor, but I won't have a lesson for another two weeks.
00057.mp4 video by chewchew11 | Photobucket
(Sorry, can't figure out how to embed it)
On a side note, how does Amber look? She's was pretty excited and wasn't really listening or framing like she usually does and she kept calling to her friend, but does it look like she will make a good low-level hunter when she learns to be calmer at shows?
Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 01:29 PM
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Hey! Congrats on going to the show!!!
So I used to amd still some times do that but I am working on it afew things that help me was to really think about folding your hips over the jump, and loooking up(you are looking up but it helps to think it any way!! One thing you could do while practcing is go into two-point a few strides out and hold it a few after and do it at the canter around the ring. I overdent on the flat for a few strides and that helped me over fences to bend instead of lean!!

Hope this helped!!! Good luckzzz
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 01:48 PM
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One thing my instructor once said to me was: "How many jumps do you think you have jumped in total?" I answered some large number and then she looked at me and said "No. You've jumped 0 jumps. Your HORSE is the one who is jumping them, not you." So when your going up to a jump and going into the two point position, your horses body will come up to you. Remember, your horse is the one jumping.

I think "squat" when I go to jump. That is, fold your hips and let your chest squat down closer to the horses neck and giving a longer release will help too. With your leg position, it might take a bit just to strengthen it but squatting more instead of standing will help keep it in place.

Some strengthening exercises is do no stirrups and hold your two point for a couple seconds.. or however long you can still keeping a good position. Also like live2ride said practice going into a two point a couple strides out of the jump and hold the position still over the jump and on the landing side.

Hope maybe some of this help, i know its long. Amber is really cute by the way :) She has a pretty good knee tuck and that might be even better with higher fences when you guys eventually make it there!
Horselover165 and Live2Ride15 like this.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 01:49 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you both! I will try what you said next time I jump. =)
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 02:51 PM
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Put your stirrups in the highest hole. Let your horse walk and get up in 2 point and balance. When you can handle walking, add in halts, halt to walk and direction changes. When you can do that in two point, add in trot. When you can walk/trot add in canter. Transition up, down, circle, change direction, figure 8, serpentine. Then add trot poles. Then add canter poles. Test yourself at each level - see how many minutes you can stay up.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-12-2012, 04:17 PM
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Like everyone said it looks like you are jumping ahead. I would do a lot of 2point position work in the trot and canter. This will help strengthen you leg and help you feel the momentum of the horse.

I would also do a lot of work with poles on the ground. I would also work on being in 2 point before the jump and waiting for the horse to come up to you. Also don't be afraid to grab mane.

Your stirrups also look a tad long.
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post #7 of 9 Old 12-14-2012, 08:43 PM
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If you have access to a mirror or can videotape yourself, try this exercise. Sit in the saddle at the halt. Then make a clear effort to bear hug your horse's body with your legs with the intent of putting your heels as far down as they will go. If you can watch yourself in a mirror, you will see that the simple act of putting your leg "on" and heels down takes your seat just enough out of the saddle to free up the horse's back. At the same time, you will see your shoulders come forward as much as you see your hips come back. (think folding beach chair) That's really all you have to do on approach to a fence.

Try cantering over ground poles or even x-rails like the one in the pic. Sit the canter on approach, keep your hands forward. No riding with them in your lap. A few strides from the fence, bear hug with legs, heels down and let your hands go forward naturally as you feel your hips go back and shoulders go forward. Jumping is one of those bizarre things that it easier if done with extreme simplicity.

Hope that helps.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-14-2012, 09:32 PM
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I used to be HORRIBLE with jumping ahead. I mean, pelvis over the pommel, legs sliding back, balancing my hands on the withers as a "release". I stopped jumping courses for a while and just concentrated more on my position over single jumps, that way you JUST have your position to concentrate on. Another good exercise is getting in your 2-point at a trot or canter before the jump and holding it over the jump, and for a few strides after the jump. My biggest problem was that I'd have a good 2-point on the flat, but then throw myself forward over the jump. Something else that really helped me was thinking "Push your booty back", haha. Instead of thinking over a jump "2-point", I would think to get out of the saddle and push my butt back. I hope this helped =] I also included some before and after pictures ;] Granted, I still don't have the world's greatest position, but it helped and I feel so much more balanced.
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-15-2012, 12:21 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for being so helpful! We have actually finally been getting some rain here, but when it drys up in a day or two I plan on trying all the different tips suggested. I definitely have a lot of work to do! =)
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