Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
So I watched your jumping, these are my tips - so yeah just my opinion.
First, in the practice ring you looked left behind a little, but not only that you are a collapser - someone who collapses after the jump. Work on spending lots of time just cantering across open fields etc in your two point position. You should maintaining your position independently from your horses movement.
Jump ring - it was good that when you turned away to reaproach your jump that you turned a different way the second time. My personal opinion is that trotting has no place in a jump ring. Jumps are not measured for trotting strides and the act of a jump is more like an extra canter stride than trot. For this reason I don't use trot at all in the ring. I train my horses walk to canter and I think all show jumping horses should know that. When you turn away you should ask your horse immediately for a canter and really drive him on. Three strides away I could tell your horse was going to refuse. You need an active canter which you did not have. Also, in that position I might not have turned away - the jump is low enough to jump from halt or to walk over - and by Australian rules (not sure about yours) its only counted as a refusal if your horse steps back. Turning away gives a win to the horse.
Also - riding around in your two point seat. Why? On that horse especially you need your seat. Your seat is basically your number one driving aid. It helps you collect your horse, drive your horse - heaps and you are just giving it away. There is not practical reason to ride in that seat in a show jumping ring besides looks.
You really need to work on the quality of the canter. You are not going for long and low and relaxed - you are going for a reasonably short active canter, with the horses head up and ready to go. Also, when you circle away from jumps after refusals your circles are huge. I know not all rounds are for speed (generally they are though in a ODE) so you want small circles.
Give with your hands, I couldn't see perfectly but I don't think you are giving enough with your hands at all, they don't seem to move, bend your elbows more. Your horse is too long and flat, and it jumping thats not going to work. Lift your hands up a little and bend your elbows - when I used to lift up my whole horse would lift up. You just look a bit jammed up in the arm.
To me he doesn't look like he is accepting the contact, in a lot of shots it seemed he was leaning against it. When you pull up he opens his mouth - are you using a correct bit for him? Contact does not mean leaning.
Good for pushing him over that jump in the XC. Again, impulsion is needed.
First event that was pretty good, I think once you get him moving forward more he will be bolder and less refuse-y. Maybe shorten your stirrups a hole?
Hope you had heaps of fun! :)