Hello all , New to the forum and am impressed with your suggestions and observations as a group. Looking for your impressions from these photos on my riding and my new guy's abilities. He is just learning to jump, and I've been out of the game for a looonnng time, so we are a work in progress. I know there is a lot to work on.... this was FAR from our best showing, but unfortunately it was the only time I had someone with a camera! Lol. Be gentle
You'll have to settle for me, but I will be gentle. I always am with ridign critiques because I think most people who jump are amazing and brave. I only do some minor dressage and trail riding. Still, I can give you my impression:
It's kind of hard to explain exactly but when I see these pictures I get a feeling that you are kind of "clamping" down with your thigh and your whole body looks too tight and inwardly "clamping and tense" . SEe? I can't explain it. It feel like you are holding your breath and trying to crack a walnut between your legs. And you horse even looks like he is trying to work with too much pressure around his barrel, he can't work THROUGH it and so his hind isn't up and under hi as it should be.
Your stirrup looks one notch too long and somehow you just need to let your legs relaxe a bit and let them DRAPE on the horse.
I hope I am not out in left field with this,. It's hard to know what is going on from a static picture. But I almost find myslef clamping down and curling into the fetal (aka "fatal") position (and I only see the faintest of that over the jump)
Hi TinyLiny, thanks for the reply. Guess the critics weren't in last night :) I appreciate the feedback, and agree about being tense. I tend to hold tension in my chest and shoulders and I think I was so concerned with getting a good picture that I forgot to relax and have fun. I was frustrated that he wasn't getting round like he normally does, but we found that the saddle has been hurting his back. :( Thanks again for the critique, it is good to hear from others, even though its tough through a picture... maybe I'll try again with video and the new, better fitting saddle. Posted via Mobile Device
Horse: I really think he is GORGEOUS and he looks very well taken care of. I really like that he is paying attention to you, in almost every picture, his ears are on you.
The Good: I like how you look confident yet gentle. I also like how soft your hands are on his mouth. The angle from your shoulder to your elbow to your hands to the bit is really good, but in the second photo you lost a little of that bend. And I really like your release in the photo of you jumping. Its soft, yet you still have contact and balance.
The Bad: Like Tinyliny said, I think you would really bebefit from putting your stirrups up a notch or two, there should be AT LEAST a 90 degree angle in your knee. I also agree that your legs look tense and that you should try to really work on relaxing your leg. I think that no stirrup work would really help you out. It also, to me, looks as if you're lacking some leg muscle, which would also be helped by no stirrup work. In the photo of you jumping, your back is pretty rounded. Your goal should be for a nice, flat back over fences. The rounding could be cause by tension and lack of muscle as well.
I really hoped that I helped you some :) overall, you two look very well suited together and very happy. Good luck!!! :)
Yes, you need to relax. If you feel yourself tense up while riding, just take a deep breath. You will feel your whole body relax.
I think you need to carry your hands more and bend your elbows a little bit more. Also bring your shoulders back and look up. You have nice heals, but your leg is little too far forward. Bringing your stirrups up 2 holes (you're going to feel like a jockey until you get used to it) it should help with your leg. You should have a straight line from hip to heal, right now you don't.
In the jumping photo, you are jumping ahead, try sticking your butt out a little, and hover over the middle of the saddle. Also you need to bring your shoulders back so your back is more flat. Your back should be parallel with the horses back. Your leg looks OK, it slid back a little, nothing too drastic though and your heal is still down. Bringing your stirrups up will, once again, help with where your leg should be. Last, release over the jump more or have a loop in your reins. A short release is fine for this jump height, but your horse looks like he isn't able to use his body how he should be and he kind of seems uncomfortable.
Thanks all! Horsea, thanks for the complements! I've waited 32 years to get my own horse, and am so excited to have Mickey. I love him so much :) that being said, he is very smart aand sensitive (i sound like a mom haha) but still nervous about this english riding/jumping thing. He started as a barrel and western horse, so this is all new. I completely agree on needing to do work with no stirrups (I'll also admit to being a bit askeered about doing so)
Erika, you hit everything I was concerned about. I've had problems keeping the weight in my elbows, not my hands, which I think will solve a lot of that. :) as for the jumping, maybe I need to take a step back and focus on the flat for awhile. Thanks all!! Posted via Mobile Device