Critique- Jumping and Flat... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-14-2010, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Texas
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Critique- Jumping and Flat...

Hi Everyone! I posted a video a while back, and I have some recent photos of me trying to get back in shape. What do you guys think? I know I'm not in awesome shape, but just wondering about Ocala, the bay horse, too...

^^That got him at an uncharacteristically untalented time, I know, so just please just talk about me ;)
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-14-2010, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
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It looks like you are leaning too much onto your horse's neck when jumping. Your bum looks a bit high out of the saddle. Your heels are down nicely, but sometime too far back and your toes are pointing away from the horse. Try and keep them pointing straight forward or slightly towards his head. I like how you are always looking forward and never down. Overall great work, and while he may look a litle bored, your horse looks like hes having a good time.
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post #3 of 9 Old 04-14-2010, 10:35 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Central TX
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Some things I see - look at the angle between your heel and the horse's side; it's basically 90 degrees. This is putting the back of your calf on the horse's side, your knee off, and making you look very unstable. Your foot needs to be at about a 30degree angle, putting your INNER calf on the horse's barrel. Your knees should be resting next to the saddle - not pinching, but sitting there. Also, try to stay closer to the tack with your rear end. And lift your chest up.

I like the photo of you and your bay horse trotting. He looks like he has some drive going and like he is nice and straight. Your position here is pretty good, just try and look up. On the last photo, you're jumping ahead of him, but if you make the above changes that will help this. I hope this helps you some.
sandsarita is offline  
post #4 of 9 Old 04-15-2010, 04:35 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: UK
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over jumps you need a little more release on the chestnut, for some reason it is fine on the bay horse. other that that your position is good. you may find that shortening your stirrups will help with ballance over the jump.
on the flat your position is also good but you do have motorbike hands in that picture, make sure that your thumbs face the sky :)

Keep your feet on the ground when your head's in the clouds.
speedy da fish is offline  
post #5 of 9 Old 04-15-2010, 07:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
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You're looking pretty good, but there are some changes you should definitely make. In the first picture especially, your jumping position is artificial - in that it's not at all functional, but rather an exaggerated pose on the horse. You need to fix that leg; not all horses will be tolerant of that driving heel, and should they protest, your lack of leg contact will result in you on the ground! Consciously focus on turning your toe in and having an even contact through the inside-back of your calf. Position your stirrup so that the outer branch is ahead of the inside branch, and your pinkie toe touches it. Do gridwork, gridwork, gridwork on a reliable horse that will just jump through and focus all your attention on that leg. Do a ton of the dreaded no-stirrups work - artificial leg position is a function of over-reliance on the stirrups. If stirrups didn't exist we'd all have fantastic legs!
Riding without stirrups will also make it really hard to duck. Ducking is a form of jumping ahead, and you would be better off using that extra energy to offer a bigger release. Ride into jumps in a more upright position - you want it to feel excessive at this point! Let the horse's jump thrust you out of the saddle, but NOT onto the neck.
Your release is pretty much good, but on the chestnut you're taking a little too much of a hold. It looks as though this horse would like to reeeeaallly go deep in the neck over a fence, which can be a little disconcerting, especially if you're already on his neck. Work on small fences so the height isn't a concern, and loop the reins a stride out from each jump so there is NO contact. This can be refined later, but for now you want to get the feel of letting your horse do the work for you.
Your bay horse is very cute, and any form issues he may exhibit will likely disappear when you fix yourself. Your jumping ahead seems to manifest itself in the literal sense with him as opposed to the chestnut, but I do prefer your release on this big guy. The only thing I would really work on with him is the flatwork - he seems like a calm, well-schooled jumper, but judging by this picture, the flatwork appears to have been neglected. Book a lesson or two with a dressage instructor and teach yourself and your horse a true, balancing half-halt to shift his weight from his forehand to his haunches. Learn to use your seat and leg to aid your horse and get him working in a nice outline, rather than riding him downward into a tight rein, where he can leeeeaaaaan and probably pull your arms out of their sockets! He needs to work on coming upward in his body and shortening the frame, and having experienced eyes-on-the-ground will make your life so much easier.
Good luck - you guys will be great with some polishing! :)  907
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.
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post #6 of 9 Old 04-15-2010, 09:55 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: North Texas
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Thanks everyone! The bay horse is a hunter, so I want him to have a long and low frame. He can pick himself up, but I am not schooling dressage because he does not enjoy it. I have been schooling primarily on the flat with him and find that most of our issues come up when we start over fences. I will definitely be working on that jumping position and lots of no stirrups!
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-15-2010, 10:12 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: texas
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On the chestnut- Your to far up on his neck your a head of your horse your butt is to far out of the saddle. Other then that your knee is nice and your toes are down
On the bay-Your leg is to far back again to far on his neck, your thumbs arent up in the flat pic.Your a head of your horse again. Just sit back a little more dont lift out of the saddle before the horse. You need to not lean on his neck.
Again nice toes are pointed down.

Both are cute horses just a few minor mistakes.
EventersBabe is offline  
post #8 of 9 Old 04-15-2010, 07:22 PM
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saying your horse doesn't like dressage is like saying your horse doesn't like to be ridden. imo, a horse in any discipline, from to hunters to barrel racing, should know the basics in dressage. its purpose is to improve and correct your horse's way of moving. I wouldn't disregard it so quickly! Just doing it (in any saddle, don't have to show or do tests etc., just simply training dressage) is very very beneficial for both the horse and rider!

With that said, I have nothing to add about your overall position. I feel like everything has been covered and I don't want to sound redundant :)
saraequestrian is offline  
post #9 of 9 Old 04-17-2010, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: The great, white expanse of Maine...ugh!
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I agree with Sara. I used to ride hunters and while it is much more difficult to train a hunter outline that isn't heavy in front, unengaged, etc. it CAN be done. And it's much more beneficial to put the effort into doing so. Right now I'd say he "doesn't like dressage" because he is averse to correct useage of the bit. It's much easier for a horse to lean into the bit and let you hold him up then to come up in his back, bring his hind end under himself, and curve his neck downward in search of contact. With dedication on your part, he will get used to the correct way of going and will enjoy it much more. If you look at some of the top hunters - particularly derby horses - they are very engaged and light in front, and are basically being ridden in dressage's 'long and low.'  907
And now, the men of the Second Armored Division with their famous close-order swanning about.
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