Please could I ask the jumping experts on here to take a look at my video?
I'd like feedback re myself AND my horse. The last jump is set to 120cm (a little under four feet) and the horse is an experienced jumping schoolmaster.
I have owned him for 4 years now (he's 9 by the way) and haven't had a jumping lesson in over a year - hence the reason I am seeking some constructive advice on what I need to be looking to improve!
The horse looks like a saint. He has good scope and is not acting up at all even though he is being caught in the mouth.
You need to two-point. I can't imagine that your position over the fences is comfortable for you, and it's definitely not comfortable for him. He gets no release over the fences so you continuously catch him in the mouth. Props to him for not acting up because my horse wouldn't allow it. Without you two-pointing I can't really critique beyond that. There are much more experienced jumpers on here that may be able to give you more than that, but until you're two-pointing I can't really speak to your leg stability, quality of your release, or anything else.
First off, I would suggest taking the time to focus on your position over lower fences before moving on to 3'9. You appear to be slipping your reins over each fence, so you don't LOOK like you are hitting your horse in the mouth, but the video isn't extremely clear so I can't tell exactly (maybe someone else can tell you for sure). But you are riding in an position that creates more difficulty for your horse, where even at the height of the jump- when you should be completely off of the horse's back to allow him to use himself well- you are sitting down and making his job more difficult. Even over the low fences in the beginning, you are riding the fence sitting on his back.
When you trot past the camera, your stirrups look a little long for jumping a fence of this height. I think if you shorten your stirrups at least a hole or two, it will make it easier to get off his back.
I would suggest that you practice your two-point position on the flat, which will make it easier to perfect over fences. Here is a photo I absolutely love for position (besides his hands), but you can get a good visual representation of where your position should be over fences:
I think practicing a good release will help you get a good, solid base for your position, as well. It seems like your horse is a reliable jumper, and if you feel comfortable, when you are approaching a fence, about four or five strides out, get up in your two-point position and put your hands about four inches up the horses neck from the withers, even grab some mane if you need to. This way, you won't hit your horse in the mouth, which I suspect that if you were riding with shorter reins, in a more forward position, you would be doing. Here is a photo of a two-point position:
See how his weight is deep in his heels, his leg is just slightly behind the girth, his seat is out of the saddle to relieve his horse's back, and his upper body is inclined forward? This is where you will want to be, only maybe not inclined so far forward with your upper body for walk, trot, and canter work.
I am sure others will have some great advice. Your horse is beautiful and you are very lucky to have him as a partner. Good luck!
Wow. That is one tolerant horse! I agree with the last two responses, that you need to get into more of a two-point -or half seat as some call it- position. Those pictures where a good example of what you should look like. I don't really agree with the sturip idea though. If your comfortable with that sturip then keep it or let it down lower. I hadn't been jumping for a while and I'd taken the same pose my first jump before I got myself into gear. I call that position 'surfing' on your horse because it happens when we lose our balance over jumps, it naturally brings you back. Its a newtons law that jumpers need to overcome. I'm a Dressage rider now and I've jumped with sturips long enough to stand in and I was fine. In fact, with my shoulders back I felt great, no longer confined. Its almost like jumping without anything. If you can do 3'9 you should start practicing in two point over smaller jumps bareback. It'll strengthen both you and your horse. Just watch your hands in his mouth. I've found its helps a lot when I talk to myself "I can balance, I can balance," and its as if your body just automatically responds and you relax.
I agree 100% with the above posters... You don't have a jumping position. If I do that when I jump I get popped right out of the saddle and end up on the floor. Are you self taught or do you have a trainer? Because that is not really the correct way to jump. At all.
You need to get into a good two - point over low fences, get your position right, then you can go higher. You also need a better release, your horse is a saint for putting up with being jabbed in the mouth. Especially over the higher ones, he needs to stretch his neck. The photo's that were posted are excellent examples.
But, I must say I love the fact that your lower leg does not move at all, be it on the flat or over the fence, and that is very well done. I struggle with that no end. Also, I can't see very clearly, but it seems that your heels are nicely down, and you are looking forward, not down, which is also very good.
Your horse seems very patient and well trained, he has good scope (he'd have even better scope if you lifted your seat out to help him), and he's very careful with his legs. He's doing exactly what he's told to do.
He's a gorgeous horse, and there is nothing about him that needs to be changed or fixed, but I do recomend you do as has been advised by the above posts.
Ditto what everyone else said. Horse is a saint. Please take a lesson before your horse loses interest in jumping. The good news for you is that you're lower leg is solid, so for you it's a 30 minutes muscle memory lesson to solve the problem.
I agree with the rest and what a horse! Mine wouldnt forgive me jumping without 2 points and I would probably beed out off the saddle lol so nice legs I have to admit it must be strong, I would suggest you start the 2 point possition with flat work cos it will change your balance, then small jumps.