Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Queensland, Australia.
Whilst the footing may be an issue, I do not think that it is the key issue here. After all, eventers jump on some very dodgy ground.
I think the key issue for you is rider support for the horse, or a lack of it. You're a good rider, but you don't support the horse to the very base of the jump. If that makes sense? She probably 'slows down' because she knows that she isn't going to be pushed and that if she doesn't have to put the effort in, she simply won't. Because you aren't giving her any support into the fence, she isn't able to do it either. A neat jump comes from a trained horse with a supportive rider. You cannot get a nice jump without a effective rider, same as you cannot get a nice jump without a 'nice' horse.
So, really sit up before the jump and use your seat, put your leg on and go with the motion of the horse. If you feel that she is lacking, for whatever reason, help her. Put a little bit of extra leg on and allow her the chance to go forward. Does that make sense?
What I mean by 'stretch your heel down', I mean put your weight into your heels and drop them, whilst stretching out your calf. Instead of having a loose leg - that kind of just 'hangs' there. Try and visualize your weight being 'pulled' down the back of your lower leg, pulling your heel down below the stirrups. Does that help at all?
If your interested, a really good book is Sally Swift's book 'Centred Riding'. It discusses many different ideas and theories which you might find beneficial and interesting.
Sir Success. Eventer.
2000 - 2013,