Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
The first thing I notice is that you're dropping her a stride or two out from the fence. What I mean by that is you're closing your hip angle, dipping forwards with your shoulders, pushing your hands into her neck and saying "ok, it's all you now!" If she were to refuse, it would be 100% rider error, and you may end up on the ground.
The first jump in the video: You're bracing with your heels jammed down and your lower leg forwards, perhaps because your pony is really rushing. I think a major thing for you to work on is getting to the fence in a CALM, controlled manner. You drop her right before the fence, so it's all on her to get to the other side. Because you've dropped her and your shoulder is dropped already, you end up a fraction ahead of the motion - this will not kill you on the low fences, but will hurt you when the fences get bigger. You have lovely, balanced position over the fence... but tuck in those chicken wing elbows!!!
The second jump, pause the video at 0:24 - your shoulders are already ahead of the motion - you're anticipating the jump already. Your hands are buried in her wither - which means your reins are much too long. You really drop her a good stride to two strides out, and by the time she pats down with her front feet in front of the fence, you have your shoulders forwards and down and you're pressing your hands into her neck.
-Pause here for a sec.-
.... Your horse is trying to get its front end off the ground, and what are you doing? Driving your weight into her front end, causing her to have to put even more of an effort to get you BOTH up off the ground. See how backwards this is? You should be helping her get off her front end, not the other way around. This will cause front-end rails, or refusals.
Ok, let's keep going. Pause at 0:25. You can see an awkward stride here. You've already dropped her, leaving the decision up to her whether or not to take a long stride or chip the jump. She decides (good girl) to take it a tad long, but if she wasn't as forward or honest, I would have guessed at a chipped stride. Once again, in the air you have a lovely position. I would have loved to see that jump from a slight angle to see what your hips and shoulders were doing, as she landed on the incorrect lead.
One of my major concerns is that she's really rushy, it makes me think that she's a bit worried about getting to and over the fence on her own, and she's anticipating that you won't be there for her at the base of the jump. I would really suggest you work on the flat to get her working long and low and slow, and getting her off the forehand. Then start smaller and learn to ride her up to and over the fence; keep contact and stay back until she's taking off, don't drop the contact and jump before she does!
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com