Critique my riding XC!
   

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Critique my riding XC!

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  • Ivesley riding school

 
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    06-12-2008, 06:08 PM
  #1
Weanling
Critique my riding XC!

I had my third ever cross country lesson on Monday! I've been jumpng for a couple of years, after taking quite a long break from riding and had jumped 'natural' fences before but the riding school I'm at now is my first chance to go over a real set of XC jumps. This is important for me as one of my goals when I get my own horse is to compete in some small ODEs.
I was a bit nervous to start with, and last time had a few run outs (four at the same fence and both the touble-causing ones were the drop fences!). My instructor told me it was because I wasn't confident enough yet and not committed to the fences, which is fair enough. This time I was FAR less nervous and more confident (I think) and got better results. Me and Bradley only had one stop the whole lesson, and we got over that from a standstill.

After the other lessons we went over how to tackle specific XC jumps (steps, ditches, water etc) this time we did the whole 'mini' course the centre has, for beginner XC riders and green XC horses. We split the 15-fence course into sections of 2-4 and did them one by one.

About my jumping:
I'd like to think it's improved lately! Not long ago I had a dreadful problem with jumping ahead, which I have worked very hard to solve but it shows its face occasionally. I also tend to tense up over a jump and between fences, which often makes me draw my legs upwards and gives me a terrible tendency to lose my stirrups - but I didn't do that at all on Monday! So I think I'm improving.
Having said that, I do have chicken elbows. I'd try to use the body protector excuse, but I do it in showjumping too, where I don't wear the ****ed thing. :roll: And I think I need to roll my shoulders back, as I tend to round them - I have terrible posture in life in general...
I only ask that you stay away from criticising my feet! I have a tendon condition that means I can't put my heels down much past 90 degrees for more than a few moments and even that hurts, nor can I turn my toes in. I usually ride with sprenger system 4s, which help.
And yes, we get taught an automatic, not a crest, release here. ;)

Have at it:

Galloping up the hill, trying to practice *cough* control:



First Jump:



Second jump:


Had a bit of trouble at the roll top, when Bradley hesitated a bit at the last second and then put in an awkward jump, but we were fine:



Cantering downhill:

(lol at my 'concentrating' face)


The drop fence I was dreading since I had so much trouble with it last time (I think the nervousness brought out my jumping ahead slightly):



Nother jumpy:


We had a dead stop at this one, as did everyone else (it was a scary fence that day, apparantly) but got over it from a standstill:



And going down a drop (a VERY steep hill going down from this log!):



Sorry there are so many! :roll:
     
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    06-12-2008, 10:44 PM
  #2
Yearling
I just wanted to say those pics are fantastic. So crystal clear. Also, your horse is adorable!
     
    06-12-2008, 11:43 PM
  #3
Showing
Wow you guys look great. I LOVE XC!
     
    06-13-2008, 10:15 AM
  #4
Weanling
It looks like you did a pretty good job. Congrats on not being as nervous. I know my first year of doing xcountry was not good at all because I was soooo nervous. You horse is adorable! Keep up the good work. And remember to always look up even when going down (like hills, banks)
     
    06-13-2008, 10:27 AM
  #5
Trained
Very Nice!!!! Beautiful day, beautiful pictures, wow... Thanks for sharing! Great riding too! You looked really good overall! 8)
     
    06-13-2008, 11:25 AM
  #6
Weanling
What breed is your horse?? He is absolutely stunning!!!!

You look good on him...i think yall make a wonderful team!
I would love to cross country!
     
    06-13-2008, 12:27 PM
  #7
Started
You guys look great together, although I will say I've never seen that kind of horse do XC!!!

You have a nice, consistent straight line from the bit to your elbow, heels down, and you are always waiting for your horse to jump--your not jumping ahead of him. The third from last picture looks like you could of released him a bit more, however, very nice releases over all.

Great job!!
     
    06-14-2008, 02:10 PM
  #8
Weanling
Thanks guys! I actually think my position over XC is much better than showjumping - perhaps because theres less work to do getting the horse to go forward and also because our XC fences were TINY!

Bradley isn't mine, sadly, but the riding school's. He's just a plain old grade cob, only he missed out on the usual spots. And he's a bit ont the pudgy side at the moment! He got a bit annoyed in the lesson as I wasn't allowed to let him eat even when we were waiting for the other 3 to do their jumps - our instructor has a vet's inspection this week and he's already yelled/sworn at her for the ponies being too fat!
     
    06-15-2008, 11:25 AM
  #9
Foal
Your position is great in that its practical and natural, not posey like so many "trendy" riders over here in the US.

I would suggest shortening your stirrups a half a hole or even a full hole. This will give your extra stability when navigating cross country jumps over uneven terrain.

Because your stirrups are a tad long, your base of support is a tad deep. You do not want this XC, your horse needs you off his back. Because your seat is deep, you are sitting too soon after the jump. In many pics, you've landed before your horses feet have. As the jumps get bigger, your horse will begin taking them down with his back legs unless you stay off his back.

Many riders with too long stirrups hunch their backs. Once you fix your stirrup length, I think you're back problem will gradually disappear.

Your release is nice, and you're giving him his head upon landing wich is great.

Youve already pointed out your other faults, and I am refaining from commenting on your leg. :)

Keep up the good work!
     
    06-15-2008, 05:45 PM
  #10
Foal
That looks like so much fun! I wish we had XC courses near where I live. You look like your doing great, and making good progress. Keep up the good work, and keep us updated on how your going :]
     

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