Jumping Critique :)

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Jumping Critique :)

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    01-27-2013, 05:47 PM
Jumping Critique :)

Ok so this is Jack and I. He's a 7 year old 14hh AQHA that I've trained pretty much by myself. He'd had a saddle on maybe 5 times before me and look how far we've come. He broke his neck as a foal when playing with another horse and was stepped on. This is the reason he holds his head and neck a little weird. I want to do some hunter shows with him this spring, maybe some cross country as well. Also these are from like August so we have gotten somewhat better haha. Anyways, I'm open to any and all critique. Thank you :)

I hate the way I landed in this first one, but he jumps it pretty nicely I think.

His first time ever doing a combo so I wanted to start very small.

He thinks crossrails are terrifying, this is just funny and awkward and bad, but still a video.
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    01-27-2013, 06:56 PM
I'm going to say it once: PUT ON A HELMET, jumping is a seriously dangerous activity and going around bare-headed could get yourself killed, but I'm not going to spout it too much.

On to the critique! I'll go by video...
First: you seemed to get left behind or sit back a little too soon, I think it's because you came in with a trot that was a bit quick and 'strung out', honestly with this horse I'd go back to some thinner oxers and cross rails and work on getting a nice consistent rhythm, you'll find that it will become MUCH easier to jump once you do, get your horse working from behind so they push off with a bit more power, rather than flopping over it. Your posting looks FAR too active, another indication that the rhythm is too fast / strung out, you need to bring your shoulders back a bit, steady your hands and stop 'rocking' into the post quite so much. Do you always trot in to jumps? You need to give a bit more release, note as you're coming down off the jump you slam back into your ponies' back and yank on his face?

Video two: notice how your leg swings back before the first jump, pitching your body forward? Put more pressure on your heels, support your calves on your ponies' side. You also arch your back a touch too much, you also appear to be bracing yourself on his neck.

Watching your pony jump a cross rail leads me to believe that you need to go back to basics for a little while, get him jumping x's consistently. Getting him between your legs will help keep him straight and give him a little more impulsion. Again a smooth, consistent rythm will help you achieve this, rather than coming at it with a strung out trot. You come down quite hard on ponies' back, and it appears you allowed him to stop right after- continue riding him forward in a STRAIGHT line and work on keeping him straight and steady to the center of the x, stop bracing on his neck and give a touch more release.

And something that concerns me: did you have a vet clear him for jumping? And are you taking lessons at the moment?
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    01-27-2013, 07:05 PM
Ditto everything alexischristina said, well explained.

I'm also concerned about if he's been cleared to jump. I would definitely take some lessons, it will make a lot of difference. You'll become a better rider and safer as well.

PS: PLEASE wear a helmet while jumping. If you're on the flat, whatever, it's up to you, but you can get too seriously injured while jumping to not wear one! 90% of the time I ride my guy on the flat I don't wear a helmet but I always do while jumping.
    01-27-2013, 09:13 PM
I'm with Alexis on this as well. I'd like to see a horse that is quiet, collected, and comfortable. While I like your little horse, and I think he's got a nice sporty jump, I don't particularly see s horse that is quiet and comfortable with what's going on. Rushing at fences with a nervous horse will only build to a bigger and bigger problem down the line.
    01-27-2013, 09:19 PM
First off, thank you for the critique!!! I know I need to work on my back, its so weak still. I used to do jumpers for almost 10 years, but I got hurt and had to take a while of just riding slow and low (I was actually wearing a helmet when I got hurt the worst, I was helping my old trainer exercise one of his TB's and he spooked hard left and...) And now I'm not as good as I was, but I'll get back to it ;) I'm determined. And I would love to give him more of a release, but he likes to get excited after a jump and bolt, it's the reason why we are sticking to trotting mostly. And he jumped that crossrail fine a few more times after that (I didn't gfet it recorded though) but he just doesn't like them, not sure why, just a horse being a horse I guess lol. He will spook at them if you ride past it nutty pony, lol.

Secondly, yes he has been cleared by a vet and chiropractor to jump. The chiropractor comes out pretty regularly to work on him. He did however say that it would cause him to be "stiff" acting in some work, which he is a lot. But the vet and chiro. Said it doesnt cause him any pain, in fact its good for him to keep active.

And lastly, thank you guys for being concerned with my safety but I am an adult, own my horse, and own my property and have chosen not to wear a helmet. If I was jumping faster, on a hot horse, etc. maybe I would, but again that would be entirely my decision :)
    01-27-2013, 09:24 PM
Originally Posted by Oxer    
I'm with Alexis on this as well. I'd like to see a horse that is quiet, collected, and comfortable. While I like your little horse, and I think he's got a nice sporty jump, I don't particularly see s horse that is quiet and comfortable with what's going on. Rushing at fences with a nervous horse will only build to a bigger and bigger problem down the line.
I don't think he's nervous at all actually, he just gets very excited. Everyone who has come to ride or watch him says that as well. He's NEVER refused a jump, EVER, that's how this horse is. He reminds me of a jumper lol, too bad he's so short because he could really amount to something. Its the reason I have to ride him in a kimberwicke as well, not sure if you noticed. And he will still ignore it sometimes.
    01-27-2013, 09:32 PM
Excited or nervous, it's still a behaviour that needs to be corrected. You'll find, as I said above, that you will have an easier time getting some power over the jump if you have him calmer and a little more collected, rather than letting him get fast, hot and 'excited'. I've learned that it is MUCH more effective to be collected and powerful and use your space and your horses body effectively than it is to just be 'fast and excited'. My horse LOVES jumping, goes crazy for jumping but I can still collect him to a fence, or push to a fence, it's all about directing his energy.

It will help with your bolting as well, if you come in with a collected, steady trot (or canter) it will be easier to regain control after the jump. My horse doesn't 'bolt' but he will occasionally scoot away from a fence and lose all sense of balance, we're working on this with LOTS of downward transitions and backing. I remember that after each fence you canter away and then on YOUR terms not his (as it appears in your last video) you get your bum in the saddle and walk, halt, back up and then right away pick up your trot and your canter and continue (I was actually working on this today, and found that by modifying the way I used my seat he improved greatly in just one ride).
    01-27-2013, 09:35 PM
Sorry for the double post! But I also wanted to chime in again regarding cross rails... he doesn't have to like them, but in my mind he has to do them respectfully, and I still recommend continuing to work with him (as you've been doing) until he can jump them consistently.
    01-28-2013, 12:33 AM
Have you tried jumping this horse over a single cross rail on a circle to help him find an easy going steady rhythm to try and get the excited out of him a bit? Staying on a circle does several things.

It helps the horse stay balanced on the outside rein = less chance of him becoming strung out and nervous.

The continuous circle keeps him coming back to the same place, so it takes the whole idea of getting somewhere out of his mind.

Lets you as the rider keep him in a balanced metronome trot or canter. I keep hearing all the greatest trainers saying how important a consistent tempo is to the horse's balance and ability to jump. After a few trips around in rock steady rhythm, you'll suddenly find your horse jumping in a nice flowing stride.
    01-31-2013, 03:11 PM
Verry cute pony! I agree with what the others have said. You mentioned that you wanted to do hunter with him. Hunter judges can be very picky about how a horse/rider combonation looks together. They may think you are too big to be showing the pony. You would look nice on a horse more your size. You are not doing the pony any harm, you ARE NOT a big girl, just judges can be picky. Don' t take my word for it, the only way you will find out is if you try. Good luck! :)
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