Cross Country critique? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 12:45 PM Thread Starter
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Cross Country critique?

So all my eventing divas, give me your worst! (Most of the jumps are Novice/training level, btw) (I know my release is "floating" in the first pic, but I had a drop coming up and I wanted him balanced back to me quick) (I also know it's my issue in the second pic too, I've been known to scrunch my shoulders and hands up because my old mare used to rush, I think it's just a mental thing, they've gotten better, I promise! [these were this summer])
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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oh wow, look at me pinch my knee in the first one....

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post #3 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 01:21 PM
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Umm,.. looks fine to me, but I can't really say. I've never actually jumped before! My first time in an english saddle was like a week ago.. unless you call hopping a few little ditches on a western saddle jumping :P
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 02:39 PM
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Well it seems you already know what you're doing wrong. Theres not really much left to critique
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 03:02 PM
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I like your lower leg and base of support in both photos. In the first photo, I like your upper body position as well. You're in balance, but your eye and shoulder are up as you prepare for the drop. The objection I have with your release in the first photo isn't that it's floating, at this level and over these types of obstacles that's fine. My objection is that it's a little restrictive - I'm basing that on how much of the bit I can see out of the sides of your horse's mouth. You could have either brought your hand and arm further forward in your release or slipped the reins more; I would prefer to see you carry your hand and arm more forward/out of your lap ; then slip the reins when you're in the landing trajectory.

Second photo shows same good lower leg and base of support, perhaps too much angle in your hip for the size of the fence, though I'm allowing for the fact your horse looks thrusty and round. Your upper body is definitely a little too close to the neck.

Your release looks a little restrictive in this one too, judging by your horse's face being behind the vertical. Try releasing by dropping your hand down a few inches as well as forward a few inches. I also sense some tension in your shoulder and arm in this photo, which makes me suspect you lock your shoulder and elbow when galloping to your fence, and then have difficulty allowing them to follow the motion of the horse's neck over the fence. That could also be the reason for the upper body being to far forward - if your shoulder and elbow are tense or locked, your upper body tends to follow your hand and arm, rather than functioning independently. Might be part of the bad habits left over from the rushing mare.

I very, very much like the look of your horse. Looks like he/she is a blast to ride cross country, and has some jump to spare.

Best way to work on your release is to set up some simple gymnastics in the ring that allow you to focus entirely on your position and not on the fence. You should definitely work towards dropping your hand lower/more toward an automatic release and get comfortable with the idea of your elbow opening and closing and allowing the hand and arm forwad.

Finally, look at some video or have someone watch you galloping cross country and see if you stop following or lock your hand and arm on the approach.

It's a pleasure to critique such a capable rider and horse.
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maura View Post
I like your lower leg and base of support in both photos. In the first photo, I like your upper body position as well. You're in balance, but your eye and shoulder are up as you prepare for the drop. The objection I have with your release in the first photo isn't that it's floating, at this level and over these types of obstacles that's fine. My objection is that it's a little restrictive - I'm basing that on how much of the bit I can see out of the sides of your horse's mouth. You could have either brought your hand and arm further forward in your release or slipped the reins more; I would prefer to see you carry your hand and arm more forward/out of your lap ; then slip the reins when you're in the landing trajectory.
Some of that is his bit is like, a half inch too big... lol I'm buying him new ones for Xmas, but I'm trying to save up my money for college and that stuff right now, but you're so right that it is pretty restrictive
Second photo shows same good lower leg and base of support, perhaps too much angle in your hip for the size of the fence, though I'm allowing for the fact your horse looks thrusty and round. Your upper body is definitely a little too close to the neck.
Yeah, my coach has been working on my upper body, I sometimes "creep" up his neck on the approach to fences (why we had all the stops we did and got eliminated in stadium last weekend actually)
Your release looks a little restrictive in this one too, judging by your horse's face being behind the vertical. Try releasing by dropping your hand down a few inches as well as forward a few inches. I also sense some tension in your shoulder and arm in this photo, which makes me suspect you lock your shoulder and elbow when galloping to your fence, and then have difficulty allowing them to follow the motion of the horse's neck over the fence. That could also be the reason for the upper body being to far forward - if your shoulder and elbow are tense or locked, your upper body tends to follow your hand and arm, rather than functioning independently. Might be part of the bad habits left over from the rushing mare.
Again, right on the dot. My coach is always yelling at my to "allow" him to the fence, could jumping without reins help? Like set up a gymnastic and have him go through is while I just hold onto some mane and let my arms follow his neck? I tend to pop him in the mouth on the backside of the fence too (opening my chest TOO much as we come down, another bad habit), would this help, or do you have any other suggestions?
I very, very much like the look of your horse. Looks like he/she is a blast to ride cross country, and has some jump to spare.
Thanks :) He really is! He ADORES his job (he was going Prelim) and it just makes me love going out across the country even more. He sees that start box and his ears just prick up and he becomes a different horse from the lazy boy in dressage!
Best way to work on your release is to set up some simple gymnastics in the ring that allow you to focus entirely on your position and not on the fence. You should definitely work towards dropping your hand lower/more toward an automatic release and get comfortable with the idea of your elbow opening and closing and allowing the hand and arm forwad. I need some stuff to work on, so I might set up some cross rails today and work on it! Thanks so much! Do you have any specific gymnastics that you really like? (I can walk distances and such)

Finally, look at some video or have someone watch you galloping cross country and see if you stop following or lock your hand and arm on the approach.

It's a pleasure to critique such a capable rider and horse.
Thanks so much Maura, What you said really makes sense. I'll try to find a good video of us going XC and really study it.

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Why live on the edge when you can jump off?- Greenwood Horse Trials Tee-Shirt
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 05:11 PM
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I just want to say that I love how coordinated all your tack is. Looks really sharp!

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post #8 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 05:56 PM
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You two are looking great!

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post #9 of 12 Old 10-16-2010, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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QHDragon: thanks!!! Will you beleive it's all from different brands?! I worked hard to find it all! I'm glad someone regognizes!

Gillian: thank you! Seriously, I'm not a very confident person, so hearing people say that kind of stuff is really helpig :)
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-17-2010, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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How's my bank position?
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