05-07-2013, 01:54 PM
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Love your mare, she's definitely got some springs! Haha:)
I like your position overall, your leg is pretty solid. I would work on trying to keep your leg just a tad more forward at the girth and your heels down like anchors. That might be your saving grace someday on xc!
You're ducking just a tick more than I'd like to see with your upper body in the first photo. I love your upper body in the second pic, she jumped quite big and you lost your leg a bit, but you are staying with her incredibly well for the large effort she's giving. Good job:) I would like to see your back just a tad flatter as well, it might be the vest, but it looks a little bit hunched. In the 2 last photos it looks like your a pinching with your knee a bit, which has caused your lower leg to slide back a bit. It might have been because your mare jumped a bit funky or big, and it's hard to avoid when that happens (ask me how I know! With my tiny huge jumping mare ;) ), just something to be aware of!
On cross country you don't really want your jumping position to be quite as forward and folded as in show jumping, you want your upper body to be a little more defensive and upright, and your leg to be a little more forward. I usually have my stirrups a hole or two shorter for xc compared to stadium. That's mostly just me nit picking, but as you move up the levels (you and your horse look more than capable of training or prelim with time) it will become more important, and might save your butt someday!
Another helpful tip, for down banks, so many people always says "Lean back", which is not always correct or safe. What I've found that really helps is keeping my weight way down in my heels (almost thinking of standing up just a tiny tiny bit in the stirrups) and pushing my hips forward (I think of pushing them out in front of my shoulders) as my horses pushes off the bank. That way you hold your head and upper body steady, your pelvis goes forward to follow the horse, and you stay with your horse and more in balance vs making a big motion of just "leaning back". I struggled a lot with down banks until a clinician explained it to me this way, and it totally clicked and made so much sense! And then banks became super easy:)
I think you two make a great pair. You are pretty solid and do a great job of staying with your horse, and your mare is a lovely jumper who looks like a TON of fun:) I hope some of my rambling helped you out, haha.