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post #1 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Question Jump Critique

I got a new horse, and hit a bump in the road.
I have been riding for 15 years now, and have competed/trained in Eventing/Hunters/Jumpers.

I've pretty much done it all, english wise.
I used to compete 4' Jumpers with a TB a few years ago, and was solid at that height. Most recently I was working with a young Dutch X. Now I have my greenie boy.
So, I have only been jumping around 2'6 for a few years now. I feel like I've totally lost my solidity at jumping.

I am fine over smaller jumps, but as you can see in the video my new guy pretty much enjoys his jumping. He seems to really love it already. And he's jumping 2'6 like its 3'6 & higher. I feel like he's completely jumping me out of the tack.

Now, I haven't found a GOOD trainer out here yet to train with. I am looking, because I want to take lessons occasionally to stay in the groove, make sure I'm not picking up bad habits. I can't seem to find a good, solid trainer in Eventing. So... therefore I'm posting it here for you guys to rip me apart. I need to know.

My scenario of what I think I'm doing? I think my legs aren't strong enough yet for the height my gelding is jumping, therefore that is why they are swinging backwards slightly, and I'm over-compensating with my back arching to attempt to stay with him. That and the take-off to the fence I think I am not bending enough at the hips, but more standing in my stirrups. (Granted, my stirrups are too long when I was riding here, and I also think I lightly sprained my ankle earlier today because its throbbing.)

What do you think?



(I know I have an issue with my shoulders, I do slouch when riding when I don't realize I am. Its been a habit for 15 years now, I'm really trying to fix it. Honestly. I've mainly done Eventing/Jumpers so I never really worried about 'perfecting' my form over fences, as long as it got the job done.)
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post #2 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 10:42 PM
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When your leg starts swinging the FIRST thing you need to go to is shorter stirrups.
In this video I would say that your stirrups are 4-5 holes too long. You are very loose in the tack and as a result are hanging on his mouth.
Shorten your stirrups hole by hole and keep your heels flexed down with your whole leg on and flush with the horse's side (no toes pointing out!). Sit in the tack and physically rest your elbows onto the front of your hip bones. Your elbow bones should contact your hip bones, and be careful to keep your shoulders back.
I would work over ground poles and stay in the full seat over them (ear-shoulder-hip-heel aligned vertically) to get him accepting your aids better and I would do a lot of dressage work to get him working from the aids instead of running from them. He looks like he tenses up and goes faster every time you apply an aid - the only way to fix this is by not pulling on his mouth and keeping your seat in the tack and riding him through it. A horse like this needs a lot of leg and seat.

Good Luck!

And PS it doesn't matter if your legs are strong enough or not, you still have to use them enough. Eventually the muscle mass will come, but it wont be without a lot of pain and soreness - advil is your friend.
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post #3 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
When your leg starts swinging the FIRST thing you need to go to is shorter stirrups.
In this video I would say that your stirrups are 4-5 holes too long. You are very loose in the tack and as a result are hanging on his mouth.
Shorten your stirrups hole by hole and keep your heels flexed down with your whole leg on and flush with the horse's side (no toes pointing out!). Sit in the tack and physically rest your elbows onto the front of your hip bones. Your elbow bones should contact your hip bones, and be careful to keep your shoulders back.
I would work over ground poles and stay in the full seat over them (ear-shoulder-hip-heel aligned vertically) to get him accepting your aids better and I would do a lot of dressage work to get him working from the aids instead of running from them. He looks like he tenses up and goes faster every time you apply an aid - the only way to fix this is by not pulling on his mouth and keeping your seat in the tack and riding him through it. A horse like this needs a lot of leg and seat.

Good Luck!

And PS it doesn't matter if your legs are strong enough or not, you still have to use them enough. Eventually the muscle mass will come, but it wont be without a lot of pain and soreness - advil is your friend.

Thank you very much! I don't jump him too much now, because we are concentrating more on Dressage. He is still very new to it, and yes you are totally correct. He is very skittish to my legs. I am slowly trying to correct everything, as well as everything with myself. My toes point out bad, haha, thank you for catching that! I am trying very hard, it is a very bad habit I have gotten into over the years and no trainers have said anything to me.
I really need to find a good trainer out here...
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post #4 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 10:55 PM
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Where are you?
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post #5 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~ View Post
Where are you?
Oklahoma
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-06-2009, 11:59 PM
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Originally Posted by LiveToJump View Post
Oklahoma
Ok nvm :P
As far as finding a trainer have you tried auditing clinics and trials to find someone you like?
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-07-2009, 07:26 PM
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Okay, first off, yes, he is quite the jumper! Look at him use that shoulder! He's just lovely, I love his expression. At least in this video he looks keen, but not rude about it. Putting some miles on him will probably help with the big jump, and I'd also recommend some grid work. He'll learn to control himself if he has another jump coming up right afterward. Introduce some little one and two stride grids, so he's not just jumping you out of the tack. Think of it like a puzzle so he's thinking and jumping.

Also agree with the comment on your stirrups. They do look long. Also, you're bracing through your knee. Even on the flat it looks like you're bracing against your stirrups, trying to compensate. I'd ditch your stirrups completely on the flat for awhile, and avoid pinching with your knees. Use the inside of your thighs, and keep a quiet, steady leg on him.

Take a deep breath before the jump, you're throwing yourself out of the tack and getting ahead of the motion, anticipating the big move. Pivot at the hip and stay over him. Let him come up to you, don't feel like you need to get out of his way or help him with his big, extravagant jump. It's just making his job harder. Shortening your stirrups a couple holes and softening through your knees will help with this. Your legs are swinging back in mid-air.

Your back is nice and level, even though your shoulders are a bit forward. It's hard to tell what kind of a release you have going for in this video. It doesn't look like a crest release, since your hands are trying to follow, but they're up too high for an out of hand release. I'd think crest release for now, until your legs and seat are under control, to keep your baby jumping happily. Your eyes are fabulous, and it's a very confident ride in. Coming into the fence I really liked your hands, nice straight line from elbow to bit, but afterward when you were slowing for the turn? You put your hands in your crotch and straightened your elbows. It kills the communication when you do that, so keep your elbows bent.

I hope this helps!
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-08-2009, 02:12 PM
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if hes jumping big the first thing you need to figure out is
a.) does he jump high and short or
b.) does jump long and low?

if he is more on the A side of things try a grid with more strides in between ending with a low but wide square or swedish oxer to help him take longer more paced jumps

if he is more B then a grid with shorter srtides (bounces are best) with verticals

try shortening your sttirups you want knee's angle 90 degrees or less you want to open up your knee so tou stay more balanced and your hips will float better
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