Jumping Position - as bad as I think it is? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 04-22-2009, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2008
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Jumping Position - as bad as I think it is?

I've posted below each picture what I think is wrong. Am I just being crazy or do I really look as horrible as I think I do???

LOng spot in my hunter hack class. It looks like my stirrups are a hole or two long and my release is pretty much non-exsistant(SP)

Once again where the heck is my release?! >.< my heels are not down and I still feel like my stirrups need to go up some holes. It looks kind of like I am looking down?

This one seems better BUT it looks like I got too far out the saddle and my release is still bothering me. My leg looks a little better from this angle but probably still need some holes added.

Thank you for any and all friendly critiques!!

*+*Know Jumps Know Glory, No Jumps No Glory*+*
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post #2 of 5 Old 04-23-2009, 12:17 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
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I may be wrong... but I think riding with your hands further apart and on either side of your horse's neck as opposed to together at his crest, you may find it more comfortable and easier to release.

Also, it looks like your elbows stick out a lot. I've always been taught to keep them at my side, it may be different with jumping. I never got lessons on jumping, I basically taught myself by doing what was comfortable and what felt natural. And what made my horse happy. =]

But overall, I don't think you look horrible. And that horse is SMASHING! He/she actually reminds me a LOT of my horse, Ricci, lol.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #3 of 5 Old 04-23-2009, 12:19 AM Thread Starter
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LOL thank you! Yeah I've been working on not looking like a chicken over jumps! LOL I'm not nearly as bad and I can not tell if I am in these pics but what some friends told me from the ground they said I looked great buttt these pics say different to me. Thank you for the complaments.

*+*Know Jumps Know Glory, No Jumps No Glory*+*
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post #4 of 5 Old 04-23-2009, 12:38 AM
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You can try riding with tennis balls. Holding them to your side with your elbows. Or maybe something tennis-ball sized but squishier. As long as your horse won't panic if you drop one, it's actually a really good way to keep those elbows in.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #5 of 5 Old 04-23-2009, 01:16 AM
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You have an absolutely beautiful horse! You look great together!

The second picture isn't bad.

The 1st and 3rd picture -

The first thing I see, is a very over exaggerated, collapsed upper body on your horses neck, so I ask why? Which directs me to look at your seat, and I see how far out of your tack that it is - so again, I ask why? And that leads me to your legs.

Now, your lower leg is at the girth, which is fabulous. That is where they should be - no pinched knees, where your inner calf is placed at your horses side. But, I do not believe that you are permitting your heels to do their job - which is anchor you.

We must always allow our heels to anchor us in our tack - because they are essential to solidifying our position.

Ok - so then I see your knee angle.......extremely open. You are, standing up in your irons literally here, to get over the fence.

So, what can we do to fix this? First, lets shorten your leathers a hole - there should be an angle between 100 - 110 degree's. GM Stresses this often, and he just wrote a great article on correct leather length - because that makes or breaks our position and security in our tack.

Once you've got your leathers where you comfortably want them, fix your iron placement on your foot. Your iron should be at the ball of your feet, where the outter bar is at your pinky toe and the inner at the ball of your big. NOW your heels can do their job, and your ankles can absorb the energy.

You know your leg needs to be at the girth, your inner calf at the side - which is great. That is a big step right now - but now you need to trust and utalize your heels. Get them down. Open your legs - allow your bodies weight to flow down strait into your heels - so that they can anchor you in your tack.

Once you've got that, really work on sinking down - closing your knee angle.

What I want you to do - this is a great exercise given by David O'Connor at a clinic he taught a couple winters ago. Stand on the ground, with your feet shoulder width apart - now close your knee angle, and push your toosh out back behind you.

Have someone give you a push - if you budge, that means you are not centered and balanced. If you are solid - that is exactly where you want to be in the saddle.

So now lets take that back to the picture - see how open your knee angle is? See how extremely far your seat is from your saddle? See how your crotch is over the pommel? All of this, because you stood up in your leathers, instead of sinking down and back.

Also - you really anticipated the fence. YOU know that fence is there. Your horse definately knows that fence is there - so why are you focused on it? Allow your horse to do his job.

That is a small x rail - there is no need for big movement, no need for aniticpation...allow that fence to come to you, allow your horse to do his job. Your job - is to get him there in a strait line, rhythmically, under control - to the base. His job is the rest.

Sit, sit, sit, sit - where are your legs? Where is your seat? Where is your upper body? Are we rhythmic? Are we strait? Allow your horse to lift you out of your tack - and before you know it, you are over the fence.

Stop focusing on what is infront of you, and start focusing on what is underneith you.

Your upper body - absolutely no need to be that closed with this size of fence. I could see if you were doing 5'0" - but with this fence, all you need to do is just sit and wait and let your horse to close the angle for you.

You have allot of potential! You have a beautiful partner!
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