Jumping critique please? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 08-14-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland, USA.
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Jumping critique please?

So I've been riding for 9 years, mostly hunters, but now I'm switching over to eventing. This is me and Roxy's last year of hunters (though we'll be doing schooling shows this winter and next year too at two places we love just for practice for stadium.) and I have a few more shows left this season. Since I've been taking mostly dressage lessons, I'd like to know how my jumping looks. These were mostly taken at a show last month (it was in the hundreds, hence no jacket haha.) but I put in a couple from other random days too. I tried to get a good mix of my okay stuff and my stuff that I know I need to work on because I want you to see how I actually ride, not my "best" rides. I know I can lay on her neck a teensy bit sometimes and jump ahead too, anything else?

PLEASE, be harsh. I want critique, not "you're perfect! You don't need to improve anything!" Oh, and if you have any crit for Roxy I'd love to hear that too :) Thanks!
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Worth The Wait <3
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post #2 of 5 Old 08-14-2011, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Nov 2009
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For the most part, I have only positive things to say. Your lower leg is excellent, and in most of these photos (#5 is the exception) you are out of the tack the correct amount for the size of the fence, right over the middle of your horse, with an admirably flat, relaxed back.

Photo #2 is the best hunter seat equitation photo, and you're executing a lovely intermediate release, a correct crest release, with knuckles pressed into the neck rather than floating above it, and a nice amount of slack in the reins.

You do have a tendency to overfold your hip and be too close to the horse's neck for the size of the fence. This is a hunter rider's mannerism, and I've certainly seen much worse, but as you continue to event, you'll want to make sure that your effort over the fence match's the horses. Photos 3, 5 and 6 all show you with more fold in you hip than necessary for the size fence and your upper body too close to your horse's neck.

Your pony is cute and able, and an athletic jumper who's appropriately round over her fences (which speaks to your tactful, correct riding - restrictive riding makes for flat jumpers.) However, her expression seems to indicate that she's a little bored or sour, and while she's clearly capable of jumping in excellent form, sometimes she doesn't bother to be as tight with her front end as she could be - photos 1, 5 and 6. In photo 1, she's just a little loose in front, in 5 and 6, she's tight below the knee but hasn't gotten her forearm up to horizontal.

I think moving away from the hunter ring for a little while and having some fun with eventing will be great for both of you. It will sharpen your all ready considerable riding skills and get her interested in her work again.

Overall my impression is of an able, athletic pair that's ready to take on new challenges. I'd love to have you and your pony pony in my barn.
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post #3 of 5 Old 08-14-2011, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Maryland, USA.
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Thank you for your critique. I've been working on not being so close to her neck. Not sure how or when I managed to pick up that habit, along with jumping ahead, but I've certainly been trying to not throw myself out of the tack, and I do think it's getting a bit better. (Photo's 5 and 6 are the oldest of these; the more recent ones I think I look a bit better in.) I actually have noticed that xc, I very rarely am too far out of the saddle or "laying" on her neck. I think it's because we're both bored with hunters and I anticipate the fence too much, and sometimes still try to jump it for her.

As for her expression, I've actually had people ask me if she's back sore or lame before she always looks so unhappy. (Which I am 100% positive it untrue; she is perfectly healthy.) Even running around out in the field she tends to have her ears back and a rather sour expression. It's just her personality. I will say though, that she is getting very, very bored with hunters (as am I) which is part of the reason we're switching to eventing. She loves being out of the ring, though I make sure we trail ride at least a few days a week to keep her from getting ring sour. The boredom also plays into her loose lower legs... Up until this year we were only schooling around 2'. Now she can trot into 3'6 like it's nothing. She doesn't put any effort into these smaller fences now, and is a much nicer jumper out of the ring.

Anyway, didn't mean to seem like I'm being defensive as I do want to hear what everyone has to say. Just wanted to explain a bit. Thank you again for the criqitue, I'll continue working on my hip angle. Thanks! :)

Worth The Wait <3
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post #4 of 5 Old 08-14-2011, 05:20 PM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Connecticut
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Maura already covered it all. Your base of support is great, but I would also suggest making an effort to stay more open in your hip angle. Something about jumping on uneven ground makes the forward position very undesirable. You almost want to get left behind a little. Love your horse. Welcome to the dark side!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #5 of 5 Old 08-14-2011, 07:06 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tulsa, OK
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You guys look great! Seriously! Maura covered my only complaint too.
Very nice riding, keep it up!

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
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