Jumping Critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping Critique

I've ridden my whole life but am new to english and jumping, and about 4 months into weekly lessons the woman I was taking them from moved away, so I've been left to my own. Plus I just wanted to learn because I'd always wanted to and it was something new and different than barrels for once. That all being said after my instrutor left it seems the few english riders at my barn either quite riding or switched to western. not really fun to be the lone english rider dragging out jumps. So I haven't practiced jumping very much and I can tell from it. But at some point I'd like to improve myself when I have time again hopefully this winter. I know I'm bad, but I want to improve. So constrution and tips please, just don't be rude about it please. Like how to better my timing to actually get into the correct 2 point. (I know I need to look up) Also this is my barrel horse.
p.s. I think my leathers are to long, but nobody around here really knows. so are they? if so I can trade for shorter ones
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BarrelRacer86 is offline  
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 06:29 PM
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Looks pretty good! Cute horse too! What I would do is work on two pointing and building up leg muscle. What I have the little kids work on is alot of no stirrup work, two pointing without stirrups, two pointing at the trot without stirrups, basically alot of no stirrup work to build up those muscles! The key to all of that is doing it so your body is in the correct position so you learn where to place yourself. I make myself do it ALL the time and for me it makes all the difference for going over jumps. I feel alot stronger and less shaky jumping :) Good luck! Hope this helps!
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-16-2010, 08:44 PM
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Just make sure you're not in your horse's mouth when you go over the jump. Keep your hands low and your elbows in. When I say low, I don't mean down by the pommel of your saddle - I just mean close to the horse. Release is very important! Also don't sit in the saddle over the jump. In the first picture, you're booty is completely plopped down! Keep those legs under you! PS, that horse seems to jump really nicely for a barrel horse! :)

Working with your horse should be like dancing: Someone must lead, but you must both work together to accomplish what you want.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 12:37 AM
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Thats your barrel horse...He looks like a natural
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 08:33 AM
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ALWAYS look to where your next position will be, get your hands towards the top of his mane, put your heels down and forward.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 10:42 AM
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What an amazingly versatile horse you have! He is a beautiful jumper. You really need to give with your hands, and reach with his neck. Your hands are way too low and back. Let your arms stretch with his head and look up and forward. Considering how new this is for you, you're doing great!
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 10:53 AM
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You look really good for only jumping for a short time. In the second picture your stirrups can go up about a hole and a half. The first picture they look ok. A couple things is you need to look up, since you arent an experienced jumper you should have a bigger release, and hold on to your horses mane so you dont accidentally hit him in the mouth. And remember to keep your heals down.

The first picture you not in the two point at all and the second picture you are jumping ahead. Practice your two point on the flat then work with cavalettis to get the feel for your horse. Also practicing your two point will help your lower leg stay in place and not slip back

Your horse looks too flat going over the jumps so ground pole will help with getting the correct pace so you isnt too fast and becoming too flat.

I don't want to offend you, but you do look like a western rider in english tack. All in all you don't look awful and you have a lot of potential. All you and your horse need is some more practice.

Last edited by ErikaLynn; 09-17-2010 at 10:55 AM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-17-2010, 07:21 PM
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First of all, I want to say that I think you and your horse are on your way to doing really great in the jumpers but in order to do that, you really need to go back to the basics of english riding.

The first thing I see is that you are staring at your horse's neck in both pictures and if its in both pictures, you are probably doing it all the time. Look up! When you look up and where you want to go, your upper body sits back, too. Don't worry about your horse; his head and neck aren't going to fall off! ;) You'll be amazed how when you look in advance, you'll be more prepared.

Your back looks okay. I can't really tell from the angles of the photos what its really doing but you may be arching your back just a tad. Relax, you look very tense.

Next are your hands. Okay, first picture looks like you're doing an automatic release and in the second picture, you can definitely tell you are holding your position through his mouth. Ouch! At your level, you do not need to be doing an automatic release. To help hold your position and get off his mouth, grab hold of his mane a quarter of the way up his neck from his withers.

Lastly is your seat, legs and heels. Shorten up your stirrup leathers a hole or two, maybe three. You'll know the appropriate length for jumping by just hanging your legs naturally while on your horse and the stirrup should hit your ankle bone or slightly above. Flatwork can be just a bit lower. Your pictures provide you an example of jumping ahead of your horse's motion. In the second picture, you are getting up in the saddle--ahead of your horse's thrust into the air--and putting all your weight on his forehand. You need to go with your horse, let him do all the work so you are pushing his shoulders down. He needs to be able to lift his shoulders up so he get get his knees up and clear the fence. He'll find it very hard to do when you are putting all your weight up there. :) The first picture then shows the second stage of jumping ahead, where you are now getting behind the motion of his jump. Your butt may or may not be touching the saddle right now, I can't really tell. I'm pretty sure though that in half a second, you'll be down on his back and/or getting smacked in the rear by the saddle. While your horse is in flight, you need to be OFF his back. You also need to have even contact with your thighs, knees and calf. Right now, your just gripping with your knees which is contributing to jumping ahead. Having contact with all three holds your position. Getting your heels down is something to work on, too. Practicing lots of two point and even riding with no stirrups is key right now. Put away the jumps for a while. You really need to get your position down before you move to jumping.

Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work. ~Thomas Edison
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-19-2010, 01:06 PM
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1st let me say this. For a barrel horse your horse has some decent natural form, some fine tuning and you could easily have a nice hunter/jumper.

I'd love to see a video to see a whole round together as I suspect you aren't just having some problems over the fence but the whole process. But for someone who doesn't jump often you have a good start.

If I was your trainer, I would have you riding your courses in a half-seat for now till you build up enough of a feel to ride from a full seat. Work with poles/cavalettis/low fences getting a good release. I'd want to see you 3/4 up the horses neck hold mane/braids till your more stable. Then you can advance to a more following release. Keeping your hands up through the course and as you approach your fence will assist in keeping your seat back and waiting for the fence so you don't jump up (like the second pic). Doing low bounce grids can help with teaching you to follow the motion of your horse with your position and to help close your hip angle at the right times. It will also help with rounding up your horse's jump so it isn't as flat.
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-20-2010, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all. And yes she is a very veratile horse, to a point anyway. She can't do hunt seat or pleasure, gets to nervous and wound up. But anyways I'm going to start working more with it, probably next month barrel season is starting to die down some. I can't do everything that was suggested, my arena is very narrow. And to anyone that said I should go down in height, I don't normally jump that high, I like just going over 18" but my fair's lowest jumps are supposed to be 2'6" I got lucky and they left them at 2'3" (even though I know Patty can clear 2'6") I hadn't practiced much, but the past 2 years I had chickened out of doing the classes so I was determined to do it this year. I'm not switching from barrels, Patty will always be firstly a barrel horse but I like jumping sometimes and I like doing things right not playing around (jumping lessons). Whenever I get a job I plan on finding someone else to take some more lessons with. Thanks though, and hopefully I'll have a video camera at some point to take videos of myself to watch and critique.
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