Hey guys, Shay-la got some shots of me riding and jumping today. I'd love some critiques, I know I'm doing a ton wrong, and was hoping for some advice on how to fix it? I think I'm trying to jump for her, I tried sitting the trot, and I even tried closing my eyes but that actually made it worse. I tend to jump way to ahead, and I can feel my lower leg sliding back as I go over. Any exercises to improve this? I'd like to have Shay-la put me on a lunge and do some no hands work, I know it works miracles.
Anyway, have at 'er!
Cute flat pic
Ironically my first jump and the best of the bunch I think
LMAO, had to throw this one in, DEMON ARAB!
ROFL, my "Oh crap!" moment when Zierra got annoyed at not being allowed to GALLOP to the jump.
Near the end when I tried closing my eyes LOL
Didn't work so well!
All critiques are welcome, I'm just a backyard rider and not able to afford a coach, so we just tool over little jumps. We stuck with the crossrail today, I want to get my position more solid and Zierra not rushing so much. Once she calms down over the initial excitement she does well, she could really use some gymnastics though I think (and so could I!)
Overall it looks like you have good basics, love your flat (but soft) back, and that you're looking where you're going (besides when you had your eyes closed :) )
Your faults are just as you described- you're trying to jump "for" her and your lower leg swings back. What you're doing with your leg is gripping with your knee so it acts like a pivot, sending your lower leg back and your upper body forward. The best way to fix this is no stirrup work! It teaches you to evenly distribute the pressure in your leg, which correctly strengthens your base of support, which will basically help any other problems. Start doing a lot of no stirrup work on the flat as well as work in the two point, and when you are completely comfortable in that, you can start jumping with no stirrups.
As to jumping ahead, practice and trust in your horse are the two key factors in overcoming this.
As for jumping ahead, don't anticipate the jump,pretend it's not there :P . Follow your horses rhythm and wait for her to close your hip angle :) I know it's easier said than done, I had the same problem :)
Just practice and you'll get it
Before you even try to jump try practicing your two-point position.. it's really off. Your also relying on your horses neck way too much. Next time make sure you are bending forward from your hips and not your waist. And practice your landings.
Remember to wear A helmet! It will save your life ESP in those "ROFL, my "Oh crap!" moment when Zierra got annoyed at not being allowed to GALLOP to the jump." moments.
I wouldn't say her two point is "really off". I just see what everyone else is seeing. All I see is her jumping for her horse instead of waiting and letting her horse close her hip angle. The jumping ahead also looks like it's causing the pinched knees which causes the slipped back leg.
Just work on letting the horse do the work, and waiting for the jump. You look pretty solid to me. :] Maybe try some bareback or stirrupless jumping?
It's not her two point - it is her core. You can work hours and hours and hours on 2 point, and not succeed if your core is weak and inactive.
Too many ride without the use of their cores - that is why they have no balance, that is why they resort to using their horses necks for support.
It goes core, proper iron placement on foot, heels taking weight, inner calf around girth, seat low and back to tack, sink down in knee's. But before that can occure, the rider must learn how to ride and feel their horses rhythm.
Yeah, I do a lot of work on my two point. I also actually do most of my jumping bareback, I feel a lot better at riding when I don't have a saddle interefering, LOL. I've been riding my whole life, and been jumping since I was 12 but it's so on and off I can't seem to find a solid foundation. I took lessons for a couple of years and was in Pony Club when I was 12 and my aunt was training my 4 year old Arabian gelding, but then didn't have anything again for years. Back in 2004, I was taking both Dressage and jumping lessons for about a year while I was training Zierra at the same time (my aunt is a jumping coach), but again, once the barn shut down I went back to my grandpa's 80 acre boondock farm and haven't had a real lesson ever since.
I'm not looking to be a show rider, I'd definitely be hiring a coach before I advanced on such an endeavor, I was just hoping I could learn more then I seem to without one. My balance and strength on a horse really isn't a huge issue, I can ride a bucker bareback without much problem, and I've been on more problem horses I care to name I was just hoping for some tips on better equitation when riding English.
Overall you have very safe form, that's more important then looking pretty. You seem very balanced and staying with rhythm. The best thing you can do right now is no stirrup work to strengthen up your entire leg not just the calf which seems to be your biggest problem at the moment. Right now in a couple of the pictures you're just laying on her neck you shouldn't be at all at this height of fence, it's better to fix it now so when you get to the higher fences you will already have that base down, open up your shoulders even more going over the jump.
Thanks Sparkles! I agree. Someone on another forum said my biggest issue seems to be that I'm just flat out trying WAY to hard. Like, I'm so obsessed with trying to have perfect form because the camera is on me, I'm actually tensing myself up and causing myself to look worse. Which makes a lot of sense. I seem to have a horrible habit of over using my arms and really propping on the neck, I noticed it when I jump bareback as well. My lower body looks fine, but my whole upper body is tense, stiff and I'm usually leaning on my hands.
Another huge problem I'm having is my weight. Anyone else find this to be an issue? I went through a period where I lost the weight (I've always been quite heavy) and I was in shock at how much easier riding became. Now it's like I'm constantly fighting not just for my position, but for my balance as well. I'm working hard to try and lose the weight though, especially owning a little Arab, it's a lot harder to find your centre of balance the bigger you are and the smaller your horse is I find.
Thanks for the advice guys, I'm going to work a lot more on the flat with both no stirrups and no hands, and then hopefully get Shay-la lunging me both on the flat and over jumps to strengthen up my lower body and stop using my upper body so much!