Critique my jumping!

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Critique my jumping!

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        09-13-2012, 09:56 PM
    Critique my jumping!

    Hey guys, this is me riding Paco for the first time. I just started taking lessons at a different barn from where I board my horse. I'm working on eventing here. Anyways first time doing this stuff, so what do you think? :)

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        09-14-2012, 02:01 PM
    You guys look great! Sorry Im not really good at critiquing
        09-14-2012, 02:06 PM
    I'm subscribing to reply later.
    Just a quick observation based off the still image that I see as a preview for the first two videos: your arms are straight and pushed towards the horse's neck and your shoulders are rolled forward and hunched. What I worry with that is you may be riding to the fence then dropping your horse at the base, letting them have to figure it out on their own.
    Will watch the videos when I have a wifi connection.
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        09-14-2012, 11:24 PM
    FFJ, how long have you been jumping? What I see is that you're a classic "passenger" rider rather than being a proactive rider. This is fine when you have an honest horse and you're just learning! However, you will find that being a passenger will land you in all sorts of trouble when you're on a horse that doesn't know how to judge distance on its own or isn't as honest to the base of the jump.
    Your lower leg isn't as solid as I would like, and I would actually pull you off jumping myself to get you more solid in your tack before getting you to jump again, OR I would set up a grid for you where your ONLY job is to focus on your position. This is especially evident in video #4 where Paco takes off a bit long (which is better than chipping it IMO) and you get left behind. Your leg swings wildly back and forth as you try and compensate for the jump you weren't expecting.
    So - here's what I suggest: Get in your two point in a walk. Keep your hands off your horse's neck (hovering right above the mane) and ride around at a walk without falling forwards or backwards for a few laps around the ring. Once you can do that, add in some turns and figure-eights. You can mix it up by holding one arm out to the side at a time to test your balance (carry both reins in one hand, and steer with your legs.) Once you can do this, upgrade to the trot, and then the canter. Your goal is a few laps around the ring and do circles and figure-eights at any gait without falling forwards or backwards while maintaining your two-point, without balancing on the neck.
    Here's another great exercise that I found while searching YouTube, but it's a little advanced for you at this point... a great one to keep in mind, and you can add in the principle to the above exercise (i.e. Gait changes and a series of movements while in two-point without any sitting down!)

    Now... being a passenger: What I mean here is that you are letting the horse dictate what's going on, you're just along for the ride. Your horse is very honest and forward, and doesn't look like s/he is going to stop on you, but you won't always be that lucky. Part of this is due to imbalance, of course, so once you get better balance you should be more able to become a rider instead of a passenger. My biggest thing here is that you have your hands on Paco's neck, arms straight, and are just along for the ride. You also tend to get a tad forwards, so the couple of strides before the jump, you're closing your hip angle (leaning forwards, dropping your shoulder) and just hoping that Paco will go over. The good (or bad?) news is that you aren't alone. A ton of riders quit riding a couple of strides out, drop and become passengers, at best, and lawndarts at worst.
    Instead, you need to support Paco all the way to the base of the jump. This means that you need to sit up, gather your rein, and drive Paco right to the base of the jump and (once you develop an eye) tell him/her when to jump.

    Anyways, that's getting ahead of myself. I would suggest that you start off by solidifying your position on the flat. Bring those hands off the neck and bend your elbows. Once you do that, introduce some trot and canter poles, then a small X or some grids. You will want to talk to your coach about developing an eye for the base of the jump, so you know where you want to take off, not leaving it up to the horse.

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