How to improve my position - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 21 Old 01-13-2014, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
As food for thought, I'll submit a picture of Gen Patton. Notice his center of gravity vs his stirrups. I don't jump, so maybe this style is out of style:
That style was effective and I think put less weight on the horses forehand than we see in some of the over exaggerated forward seats in jumping today
OP I think you need to try to relax, allow your weight to sink down into your heels without actually using the stirrups like pedals and standing up in them
Mostly I think you're trying too hard to get that forward seat and end up flinging yourself ahead of the horses movement
I found 2 videos of very different jumping courses (one from the UK and one from the US) and very different ponies but in both cases the riders are quite restrained in how far forward they get & keep a nice secure seat and leg position
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZGEj9Xm8Dc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieYcM5fFHPI
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post #12 of 21 Old 01-13-2014, 12:37 PM
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Look at the angle of your thighs in each photo. The last photo in your original post has a nice compressed *springy* angle. That's what you want. The closer your butt is to the seat, the more compressed your thighs are. The farther, the more stretched out they are.

Jumping ahead unbalances your horse. Staying in the saddle region will be a lot safer and easier for your horse.
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post #13 of 21 Old 01-13-2014, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Zexious View Post
^You also have to keep in mind that men and women have a different center of gravity.
Though, I really wasn't sure where you were going with that, haha.
Since I don't jump, I cannot say what works jumping a fence. However, I did ride with a forward seat until switching to a western saddle in late November. For me to feel secure and balanced when my horse got funky, I needed to keep my knees slightly loose and feel the contact in my calves, not my knees.

This was written in the 30s by Harry Chamberlin, who "was assigned to Fort Riley's Horsemanship Department and went on to compete at the 1920 Olympic Games with his mount Nigra. He was then sent to Europe to train for two years, the first year at the French Cavalry School in Saumur, and the second at the Italian Cavalry School in Tor di Quinto. While in Italy, he was introduced to the forward seat, which he brought back to the United States..." (Wiki)



Since it was written roughly 80 years ago, styles and thoughts on jumping may have changed. But for me, riding a somewhat nervous mare but not jumping intentionally, I found keeping my center of gravity above my heels a pretty secure position. My biggest problem was a tendency to grip with my knees, which created a pivot point. Then my feet would sling back, my body would go forward and I would be in a bad position if she spun or hopped.

Again, I do not jump so the OP will have to decide if this advice is worthwhile or hogwash for her needs. I wish her well regardless!

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post #14 of 21 Old 01-13-2014, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by bsms View Post
Since I don't jump, I cannot say what works jumping a fence. However, I did ride with a forward seat until switching to a western saddle in late November. For me to feel secure and balanced when my horse got funky, I needed to keep my knees slightly loose and feel the contact in my calves, not my knees.
BSMS
That is what we mean by not pinching/gripping with the knees and keeping weight down the inside of the leg (as well as wrapping legs around horse)

Everything is compromised when one grips with their knees because the leg swings back, rider tips forward, weight can't stay down.
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post #15 of 21 Old 01-13-2014, 05:54 PM
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Your knees need to be against the saddle but not gripping it -that's when the pivot thing happens
Your biggest muscle strength should be in your thighs and your core
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post #16 of 21 Old 01-20-2014, 01:07 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the tips!
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You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit... and keep moving forward.
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post #17 of 21 Old 01-20-2014, 04:59 PM
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There's one tweak that will fix a bunch of things fast. You need to fold more at the hips and release more, but the good part is, those two things are completely connected. For every inch you reach forward to release, your butt should be going to the rear of the saddle, (ie closing your hip angle). You can practice it at the halt, walk, trot and canter. At the halt and walk, practice it like you are stretching. Slowing reach your hands forward up the horse's neck and let your hips fold so your butt can come back toward the cantle.

If you can get that into your muscle memory, all you will have to do on approach to your fences is sink into the saddle, sit tall and let the horse's jump produce the closing of your hip angle and release. Hope that helps.
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post #18 of 21 Old 01-22-2014, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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I never thought about this but I have lots of videos of me riding on Youtube I would love for you guys to check them out and make critiques. Here is my latest one. I have a lesson tonight and will be making another video soon. P.S. I (Jesse) am on my bay horse (Maddie) and my friend (Jill) is on her lease horse (Gem). Feel free to make corrects for both of us and our horses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTGj4xpvTt0

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post #19 of 21 Old 02-14-2014, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Bump :)

You, me or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain't about how hard you hit.
It's about how hard you can get hit... and keep moving forward.
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post #20 of 21 Old 02-17-2014, 03:24 AM
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Originally Posted by allboutjess View Post
I never thought about this but I have lots of videos of me riding on Youtube I would love for you guys to check them out and make critiques. Here is my latest one. I have a lesson tonight and will be making another video soon. P.S. I (Jesse) am on my bay horse (Maddie) and my friend (Jill) is on her lease horse (Gem). Feel free to make corrects for both of us and our horses.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uTGj4xpvTt0

The video was quite difficult for me to see well, but you look like you are riding with a long stirrup, and while your horse is nice and relaxed, the quality of the canter needs improvement. In a few of your approaches your horse seems like it's almost stalling in it's approach. So more leg, and try to not take your seat quite so forwards. Think about folding through the hip, rather than standing in your stirrups, if that makes sense.

The best thing I have ever done for my position was to strengthen my core and lower body. Squats, lunges, hip thrusts are great for lower body, and a stability ball workout is great for balance and core strength. BUT! Don't start an exercise program without seeing a professional first, especially if you have any underlying injuries or issues that may be aggravated by certain exercises.
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