Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Cincinnati, OH (USA)
My biggest piece of advice: RELAX!!! Relax your back, relax your legs, relax your shoulders, relax your arms and move with your horse.
You are arching your back in - you want a straight, flat back, not a concave one. You're jabbing your heels down way too far, relax, and let your lower leg move just a little - it's actually supposed to make small circles in keeping with the canter (learned that at a Dorothy Crowell clinic, so that's advice straight from the Olympics there!) Also, toes in!
Now, I know that a lot of the things I mentioned above are considered the hunter norm. The perching is just your "half seat". Well, perching is not riding, it's just sitting, no, scratch that, standing in your stirrups, and looking pretty. A lot of people on here have told me "judges love [my] back", etc. Again, that's the hunter world for you. If you want to be a real RIDER, and not just someone looking pretty, soften everything. Let yourself relax, jumping is fun, so just enjoy it!
And I know you don't want to hear this, but...YOUR PONY IS SO CUTE!!! (sorry, she's too cute, I couldn't resist. LOL)