Feeling Insecure About Abilities - Page 2

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Feeling Insecure About Abilities

This is a discussion on Feeling Insecure About Abilities within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category

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    12-27-2010, 02:25 AM
I like that, Spyder. I'll give that a shot next time I have the arena to myself. Thank you!
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    12-27-2010, 09:24 AM
Originally Posted by Spyder    
Here is an exercise I have used for my people that I have taught that want to include jumping but get that tense feeling when they simply jump one jump then another.

Just ride as if you are doing flatwork/dressage. Bend the horse go in circles, leg yield and do not think of jumping and IF you have worked your way near a jump just go over it. Then go back to sitting and trotting left and right, whatever and add a canter and pop over another jump.

The key here is to not just start a canter make a turn and canter up to a jump like you planned on jumping 20 strides beforehand.
Exactly and well said.

I just took my first lesson yesterday with a GP Jumper in my area from Russia, and he stressed that 80% of Jumping is DRESSAGE and went on to say that the majority of Upper Level Jumpers, can walk into a Dressage Ring and competantly compete at 4th level and do well because of how much Dressage GP Jumpers do. Without it, you cannot jump well.

He explained to my little buddy, who is stuck on the wall all the time, telling him he needs to get off of the wall and use the area. Work on dressage, doing extentions and collections, transitions, working on rhythm, half passes, diagonal work, softening, suppling, circles, bending - and when you get near a fence, jump it, then go back to what you were doing.

I love that, and that's what I am going to do as well! Instead of saying "Ok, I am going to jump today" and get myself nervous and worked up because I know what is coming up - I am now going to follow this advice and incorporate the two together at the same time, instead of doing each seperately.

Thank you for your post!
    12-27-2010, 12:30 PM
I can't watch the videos right now, but if you are having trouble following the motion trotting jumps can be your best friend. And I'm not just talking cross bars here - as high as your horse and you can trot/jump comfortably.

I've had to do that as a necessity for a while now bc I have been working with a mare that really launched herself at jumps. By taking her all the way back - first by walking her over 18 inch/2ft jumps, then by gradually building her up to trotting 2'9-3 ft, we really made a lot of progress. For her it was all about learning that she had the power to get over jumps without launching (she's super athletic) and it really made a difference.

And while I was training her, I was also really helping myself get a better feel for following her motion. When you trot over jumps, especially ones that are a little higher, you can really feel the rock-back and thrust of the horse preparing to and then leaving the ground. I'd always had a little trouble getting the feel and timing for trot jumps where you don't have that "rhythm" that allows you to see your spot. After months of trot jumps though, I am a lot more confident, both trotting and cantering, because I'm more in tune with the horse's motion. Plus, if my horse ever breaks into a trot on a 3 ft course right before a jump, well heck, we know we can trot that fence, no sweat!

As for getting tense, that is another thing I had to work on with my mare. She could feel you mentally preparing for a jump and that excited her even more. I was advised by a grand-prix trainer to work on slumping before a jump - just relaxing my whole upper body, letting my shoulders round, my seat relax and my uppper body come a little forward (the exact opposite of my childhood hunter training). That allowed me to be ready to get out of the saddle when the time came, without signaling the horse about the exciting events about to occur. It really made a difference, both in relaxing the horse and in enabling me to feel and move with my horse's motion. (Of course, this ride works on an honest horse that doesn't stop dirty - you sort of need the opposite approach on one that likes to stop and spin right in front of jumps or that needs a more upright ride to give it confidence.) Even when I have to take a hold, I was told that if I could relax for that last second before the release, it would really allow for a more dynamic jump and it really works.

So I second MIEventer's sentiments. Form should follow function and too often, it is the opposite in the horse world. A more solid lower leg will come from practice, patience, 2point and stirrupless work. The rest will fall into place as it needs to so long as you keep working at it and have a trainer to help you through the briar patch. So long as your overall foundation is solid, your feel is good, your ride is adjustable and your aids are clear, that is all that really matters. :)
    12-27-2010, 04:40 PM
Very true. I tend to if I'm jumping do the first half or so of my ride dressage and then jump. I'm going to try this approach and see how it works. It seems like it would be really helpful.

Pooh, thank you for the lovely reply. I generally have attempted to sit tall and quiet and have never tried the slumping approach. I close my leg around the horse towards the jump, but allow my upper body to stay upright. I'll try the slumping approach and see how it works. Though it's going to be really counter intuitive for me!
    12-27-2010, 05:52 PM
Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove    
Pooh, thank you for the lovely reply. I generally have attempted to sit tall and quiet and have never tried the slumping approach. I close my leg around the horse towards the jump, but allow my upper body to stay upright. I'll try the slumping approach and see how it works. Though it's going to be really counter intuitive for me!
LOL! I know. Years of riding around with a crop stuffed down my back to make me sit up straight for the equitation ring made it hard for me to wrap my head around too. But once you commit to it and give it a try, it really works. What you'll find is that you have to overexagerate the slump the first couple times, just to break the mold, then you'll find that comfortable spot that is just right - not so much slumping as letting your back and shoulders relax and round out a little. If you're trotting the jump, it is easier if you make sure you sit several steps out so you don't get caught leaving the ground on an up-step.
    12-27-2010, 06:29 PM
Green Broke
I have to say Dove you have a really good lookin' body ;) ;)
    12-27-2010, 06:53 PM
Originally Posted by Ray MacDonald    
I have to say Dove you have a really good lookin' body ;) ;)
*chokes on pop*

You owe me a new laptop....*gets towel*
    12-27-2010, 08:20 PM
Oh Ray, you just made my night! <3
    12-27-2010, 08:54 PM
Note to self.

*keep an eye on this developing love story*
    12-27-2010, 08:59 PM
Green Broke
"Jumping is dressage with speed bumps".

I use to get extremely nervous when I started Eventing and in my Cross Country phase, as I have a horse that is known for leaping over fences that he has not seen or been ridden over before. Although with time and practice I learned to relax and enjoy my cross country phase and when I was relaxed I found my position was more solid, I was more focused and my horse was calmer.

I think that it is brilliant that you know your boundaries and know that your position is not solid enough to jump past a certain point. I think that with time, your position will improve and you will have both the solid position and the confidence to move up and jump over more complex and higher fences. Being a rider who can jump the smaller fences with control over their horse and confident position is a lot better then being a rider with a horse rushing into larger fences and the rider almost falling off over every second fence.

Riding is about having fun and enjoying working with your horse - if you don't feel confident jumping over the larger fences. Don't jump them, don't worry about what others think or say focus on how much you and your horse are enjoying jumping and english riding. Instead of thinking "Oh.. I was to afraid to jump the larger fences today" you need to think something like "Wow, I felt really confident over the smaller fences today".

I hope I could help and please keep us updated on your journey as a rider.


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