02-25-2009, 03:07 PM
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Alright, I'm working off of very little sleep... please let me know if this doesn't make sense at all...
Good for you for looking up and to your next obstacle! Overall this picture just needs some fine-tuning and you'll be well on your way!
First off, it looks like you are a lovely rider that just needs some fine-tuning, so yay!!
You want to develop your base of support: your legs/thighs/pelvis. In this photo, as you mentioned, your leg has slipped back and your thigh has come off the saddle; you don't want to grip with your leg, knee and thigh, but that is your base of support. You want to think about sinking your weight into your heel, and keeping your leg underneath of you and wrapped "around" the horse so if your horse takes a crazy jump, you are completely secure.
To correct your leg, I would really suggest for you to take some time to do a little flatwork and work on your two-point position at the walk, trot and canter without reins and without touching her neck. This will really really help develop your base of support, as you will notice that you will fall forwards or backwards if your base isn't strong. Trust me, this will be very hard at first!! But if you can stay close to your tack with your butt and just close the angle in your pelvis, and really focus on your legs, you won't need to rely on any balance from your horse's neck.
Once you have the flatting down pat, then try over trot poles, then elevated trot poles, then have a go at this height again.
If you work on this even for a short amount of time each time you get on your horse, you will see a great improvement very quickly!
One thing that a lot of people have trouble with is keeping their chest and sternum open, and rolling their shoulders back; so think about there being a star on your chest that you want to show off. If you think about this over your jump, you won't collapse in as much over the jump; remember, you want the horse to jump, not you :) This jump is fairly small and it looks like you may be adding a little too much movement to it.
I'm just going to point out something to keep in mind if you want to get a little more technical:
- it looks like you are looking to make a turn, but that is only with your head (great start!!)... to take it that bit further, translate that into your body. Since you are looking into a turn, you want to make it easy for your horse to follow and land on the correct lead. Getting off her inside shoulder will allow her to free herself up and land on the correct lead. Now, the trick here is to balance yourself so you're allowing her to free up that inside shoulder while not throwing your weight to the outside, throwing her off balance. It is something that you will get to as you progress.
If you can put the work into developing a more solid base of support, you will just make the (fairly minor) adjustments to this picture to make it look even better.
I am really looking forward to some update pictures :)