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Critique me please!

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        01-17-2010, 05:55 PM
      #1
    Weanling
    Question Critique me please!

    Here a a few pictures of me competing at a schooling combined training and at a local USEA event on a horse I leased for a year...sorry that the first one is kind of hazy (that's the one at the schooling show). My main question is about my lower leg...I am confused about whether I am balanced or if it is too far back?? But ANY and all advise is greatly appreciated!
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        01-17-2010, 06:10 PM
      #2
    Trained
    In those pics, if the horse disappeared out from under you, you would not land standing up. You would fall forward. To answer your question, your leg is too far back. It looks like you're pinching with your knee. Other than the first pic where you look like you're not off your horse's back, the rest of your position looks pretty good. Your back is flat, you're not trying to jump for your horse, your head is up and you actually release which a lot of eventers don't do.

    To fix the lower leg, at the halt, stand straight up in the stirrups and find you balance where you aren't tipping forward or back. Then assume the jumping position without changing your lower leg. Once you find that spot, try around in that position until your legs fall off. Really think about wrapping your legs around the horse so you don't pinch with your knee. Hope this helps.
         
        01-17-2010, 06:40 PM
      #3
    Weanling
    You are an effective rider!

    I'd like to see you close your hip angle a bit. I'd like to see you close that hip angle by bringing your upper body toward the horse. Sometimes I describe it as a swing of your legs forward as the horse comes up to meet you.... this would fix your leg from lagging behind and it would help you move with the horse more.

    Try some no stirrup work to strengthen your leg. Overall beautiful horse, nice rider!
         
        01-20-2010, 07:34 PM
      #4
    Weanling
    OK thanks very much! I thought my leg was too far back...you always hear that it should be at the girth. :) I'm working without stirrups more and more, and I've heard of an exercise where you tie your irons to your girth with baling twine to help your legs get used to being in that position, first just on the flat and later over fences, gradually increasing size...is anyone familiar with that? I've tried to do 2-point with my legs at the girth, but I can't hold it for very long. Maybe this would help?
         
        01-20-2010, 08:05 PM
      #5
    Trained
    Your saddle looks like it fits you, but is there any chance it's throwing you off balance? Can you stand straight up in the stirrups and stay centered without tipping forward or back? I've never tried the twine thing, so I can't really comment on it.
         
        01-20-2010, 08:55 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Ok.. so you look like your hunched forward and as the others have said is that your legs are too far back, it looks as if your applying pressure on the saddle with your thighs try converting that pressure in your feet. As well your overall position isnt the greatest, you need to be down closer to your horses neck, instead of perched and hunched up like your doing, maybe you would like to bring your hands further up its neck as well.
         
        01-20-2010, 11:05 PM
      #7
    Weanling
    Bright eyes, are you a hunter/jumper by any chance? Usually we eventers get comments on "hunching" from hunter riders (and a lot of other things about jumping position, which aren't unfounded, I'm afriad... ). It is actually a pretty normal position for cross-country, to have your backs slightly rounded, as it is just exhausting to try to ride a 2-mile plus cross country course with a ramrod-straight back. If you think so, though, I will work on that, and the perching too...I can kind of see what you mean on that one. I think it goes back to what My Boy Puck said about pinching with my knee.

    I'm pretty sure my saddle fits...I think it is just me who is not used to using my legs that way. I'll try the balance thing, though.

    So overall, just no-stirrup and balancing work seem to be what I need, right? Any other suggestions?
         
        01-21-2010, 08:11 PM
      #8
    Trained
    The other nice torture thing you can do to yourself is to trot around in two point or post with just one stirrup and switching off every so often.
         
        01-21-2010, 09:24 PM
      #9
    Weanling
    I've never heard of that, just using one stirrup...it's always just been a kind of all or nothing. : )

    I'll try it too, though.
         
        01-22-2010, 03:39 PM
      #10
    Weanling
    I'm not going to reiterate what's already been said about your leg, but the other thing I noticed is that you appear to be falling behind the arc of your horse's jump - ie., getting left behind. I had the same problem, and my trainer would ALWAYS yell at me for having my butt touch the saddle before my horse had finished the jump! I recommend working on lines of four or five jumps, increasing in height, really focusing on where you are in relation to your horse. The line makes it easy, because it essentially "jumps itself," and you can ride in in a solid two-point and focus on maintaining it. That helped me a lot. Incidentally, I also have a problem with my leg slipping back - it could well be that they're correlated, and if you fix one, you'll fix the other!
    You and your horse look really nice otherwise; just make those two adjustments and you'll be kicking some butt! :)
         

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