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Has my position improved?

This is a discussion on Has my position improved? within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        07-22-2013, 03:18 AM
      #11
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oxer    
    I don't normally say this, but I really like your horse. He's the kind of horse that I would go see if I was buying, even if he was across the other side of the country. I tend to appreciate a horse that is a more sensitive ride, and can even be hot at times. Lovely, lovely boy.

    Anyway... all of that aside... I will speak on the jumping picture, as I know nothing of dressage. You can clearly see there has been improvement. However, you're still jumping with your foot parallel to the ground. I'm not entirely sure how you manage this without losing your irons, but either way, you need to put your heel down, open your knee angle, and place your center of gravity over your legs.
    I don't like the new style of jumping where people jam their legs out in front of them to keep them at the girth. That's not correct, in my opinion. A strong supple leg will always remain just behind the girth.... not to be confused with a swinging leg that has lost contact from a pinched knee! :)
    So don't get too caught up with the idea that your leg needs to remain glued to your girth.

    I would also like to just note one little thing. While I appreciate your generous releases, they are really unnecessary and will become a tough habit to quit. You need to remember to keep a feel of your horses mouth, so that you can pick him back up and make your next move upon landing. There is no reason to literally THROW your contact away in an attempt to be "nice" with his face. You can learn to keep the contact, while still providing an adequate release.
    Thanks so much for your advice!

    He's such a great horse, very forgiving, but keeps me on my toes!
    He's coming up for sale soon unfortunately.

    Yeah I'm currently feeling much more anchored by my leg, compared to what I used to feel like (Im not being left behind nearly as much as I used to be!) I'm doing some exercises at home to help stretch my heel down when jumping. I also get quite a bit of pain in my right ankle when I'm putting them down, so I think I need an ankle support?

    I'll keep working on my release! I'm always quite worried about jabbing him in the mouth, as he can put some random huge jumps in, which with my current experience I find it harder to react quick enough without catching him in the mouth! I'm starting to get an eye for striding also, which seems to be helping with the random leaps!

    Thanks for your advice, I really appreciate it :)

    Do you have any exercises for practicing getting your heels down?
    :)
         
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        07-22-2013, 03:25 AM
      #12
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SketchyHorse    
    Like Sky said you're tipping too far forward in your seat in the Dressage pictures. This isn't necessarily because of your leg but because you need to open your hip angle. Notice how it's fairly closed leaning you forward? You need to think almost lean back, tuck your butt under you more, & let your leg drape. Dropping your stirrups a couple holes will help as well. The position of the leg is fine, your heel could be a smidge farther behind you but nothing major.

    For the jumping pictures you can definitely see improvement from a few months back to now with leg position. I'd personally like to see you pushing down in your heels more. The second picture is much better than the first (of the newer ones). It looks like you were either starting to sit down to early or didn't lift out of the saddle enough. Which you don't need to clear it a lot - just like you did in the second one. I think the reason your leg position was so all over in the first few was because your stirrups were too long. Your body position in the third one (of the older pics) looks good.

    I've been told by several people who have ridden in my saddle that it feels like its tipping them forward. I'm looking into getting a dressage saddle - as my one is a gp. I'll try dropping my stirrups tomorrow! I'm used to riding quite short, it makes me feel more secure, but will be interesting to see how to affects my position!

    Thanks! :)
         
        07-23-2013, 12:56 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Canteringleap    
    I also get quite a bit of pain in my right ankle when I'm putting them down, so I think I need an ankle support? Do you have any exercises for practicing getting your heels down?
    :)
    You can definitely try wearing a thin ace ankle bandage for the ankle pain. I sometimes will wear them on my knees, especially when I know we're going to jump pretty big that day, because my knees are shot!

    I learned to put my heels down because I rode an explosive horse. He has always been really spooky and that was my only anchor to staying on. Haha! I do it almost to a fault now though... as my heels will be jammed down so far that my toes begin to go numb! I think the best thing is to trot and canter in two point. This will not only help your leg strength, muscle memory, and your 2 point position, but it will also train your heel down. Self torture when you're not in a lesson is hard to do (who the heck wants to ride around without their stirrups and such, when they're not being told by their trainer that they have to!? NOT ME!) ha!! But if you can do a few laps in 2 point on the flat every day, your leg and heel will strengthen in no time.
         
        07-24-2013, 06:17 AM
      #14
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Oxer    
    You can definitely try wearing a thin ace ankle bandage for the ankle pain. I sometimes will wear them on my knees, especially when I know we're going to jump pretty big that day, because my knees are shot!

    I learned to put my heels down because I rode an explosive horse. He has always been really spooky and that was my only anchor to staying on. Haha! I do it almost to a fault now though... as my heels will be jammed down so far that my toes begin to go numb! I think the best thing is to trot and canter in two point. This will not only help your leg strength, muscle memory, and your 2 point position, but it will also train your heel down. Self torture when you're not in a lesson is hard to do (who the heck wants to ride around without their stirrups and such, when they're not being told by their trainer that they have to!? NOT ME!) ha!! But if you can do a few laps in 2 point on the flat every day, your leg and heel will strengthen in no time.

    I went out and got a ankle support today after riding :) that's no good about your knees, but at least you've found a solution!

    So you had a crash course in how to keep your heels down then?
    My horse can be a bit unpredictable - He will randomly throw in bucks and can be very spooky, but hasn't been like that at all lately, He's been in work 6 days a week which I think is helping! Obviously not explosive though!

    When I rode today there was a cute little course set up that the riding school kids were jumping, so I had a spin over that, which went great!
    I was practicing staying in two point with my heels as far down as they could go (I imagined dragging them on the ground!) they felt like they were on fire! But i'm going to do that when i'm warming up now, as I could feel it helped my position already when I was jumping the course! Z
    I think I over did the two point a bit though, One of my (very strict) jumping instructors decided to drop by and have a look, She's been saying exactly what you have been.
    I got off and couldn't walk ...

    Thanks so much for your advice!
    I'll try and get some more videos/photos in my next jumping lesson!
         
        07-25-2013, 02:06 AM
      #15
    Foal
    I agree with Oxer. I also really liked Oxer's explaination of the release. I got into a bad habit of over doing it with the release and it was very time consuming to fix.

    I also think your lower leg looks much better in the jumping pictures now than it did before. The main problem I see is that you really need to sink into your heel. Your toes are almost SLIGHTLY pointed to the ground, showing that there is minimal weight in your heel.

    I learned to keep my heels down and shoulders back because I was tired of getting bucked off every two weeks, but I'm sure there are better, more effective, and less painful ways to learn to keep your heels down! ;)
         

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