Jumping position critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 05-30-2013, 11:18 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping position critique

I started really jumping about four months ago (regular lessons, and higher than 18" cross-rails ). what do you think? Obviously its not such a great thing that I'm rounding to the point where I look like I'm being hit with a battering ram when I land, so any tips on how i can fix that and stay more balanced after the jump? How do things look over the jump? One thing my trainer keeps telling me is that I throw myself into the jump, so definitely tell me if you think I'm doing that because I can't really feel the difference yet although I've been working to try and correct it....

Basically I've never jumped this high, the mare is a beast when it comes to jumping, and I still have almost no idea what I'm doing when it comes to clearing an obstacle so I could use some input!

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post #2 of 14 Old 05-30-2013, 11:30 PM
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Youre leaning a bit far goin into the jump and over- id be up out of the seat a smidge when in the jump- and youre sitting too early.. you should sit as the hind ends on the ground to avoid the bounce out your legs should be like shock absorbers

Last edited by toto; 05-30-2013 at 11:37 PM.
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post #3 of 14 Old 05-30-2013, 11:47 PM
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I'm no expert (having only started jumping a few months ago as well), but I'll tell you what I see. You're two point in my opinion is good, but needs a few improvements. When at the peak of the jump your bum is balanced over the middle of the saddle as suppose to the pommel, which is good. You are however leaning too much in your too point. You need to sit back more (which will come more easily when you ride more and build up your core muscles, so abs and such). Next, release more. ;) Again over the jump you are leaning on the horse's neck too much (due to starting off in a two point where you are too low), but as your two point improves and you sit back more, that should improve automatically as well.

Last thing, stay in two point a little longer after the jump. Your heals are nice and down, which is excellent. Keep up the good work!

Edit: Also, try to roll your shoulders back. That should help keep your back straight.

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post #4 of 14 Old 05-31-2013, 01:23 AM
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Are you being taught to hold your two-point before the jump?
If you are, that's fine- hopefully that's something you stop doing soon. Especially because you 'throw yourself into the jump'. You need to learn to sit back and wait, are you riding a school horse? If it's a well trained horse who can more or less see distances to smaller fences you'll have an easier time. Sitting back and tall and waiting for the horses momentum to lift you up into a two point will definitely help that habit.

Either way, I'd like to see your shoulders lifted a bit more and your hands independent of the neck. It's okay to grab mane if you need to, but I don't like seeing riders heavy on the horses neck.

Your leg position is really inconsistent, it 'swings' from being 'okay' to way too far forward, an indicator that you're pinching with the knee. Grip with your inner calve and work on strengthening your leg. Ask your instructor if you can work on small jumps with no stirrups, it will really help you feel where your lower leg is. You need to have a secure lower leg to jump stirrupless, it wont swing and will help you build strength. Otherwise even stirrupless riding on the flat, and two-point on the flat will help your lower leg tremendously.
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post #5 of 14 Old 05-31-2013, 08:02 AM
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I think you look great

Everyone is saying that your timing is off but you rose to meet your horses neck when his front end left the ground and your bum naturally comes down to the saddle when his front end lands, but you bounce back down and slowly sit when he canters away .

I think you look great , nice eye , elbows in , heels down etc.
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post #6 of 14 Old 05-31-2013, 11:35 PM
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Basically that first pic is actually the position you should be over the jump. A lot of instructors teach beginning jumping with the rider in the 2 point position on approach, but I think that's why you're throwing yourself over. In your mind, you are thinking there is more you're supposed to do over the fence. If you set up a series of gymnastics and held the position in that first pic through the entire grid, you would feel all the motion going on beneath you as your horse jumped and how it gets absorbed in your hips, knees and ankles.

Once you get the feel of the actual jumping part, it would be better to sit on approach to the fence and only come into 2 point as your horse's hind legs leave the ground.

Other than a simple mechanics problem, you look pretty good. Your heels are fantastic. There could be more grip with your lower legs over the fence, but you're not overly pinching with your knee or doing anything that would compromise your security over the fence. Just try to hold that approach position over the fence and let the horse jump up to you.
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You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 14 Old 06-01-2013, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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thanks for all the great critique everyone! She 's not my horse, she belongs to a woman down the road from me who lets me ride her in exchange for some maintenance around the barn. not a school horse either, although she's very well trained so the more i work with her the more used to picking distances she gets. She's just a little difficult because she's only been ridden a few times in the last few years, but were working on things and she remembers quickly. i also am not taught to go in two point before a jump, but this was the second jump in a three stride line. does that make a difference?I definately want to work on the gymnastic lines and jumping without stirrups!
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post #8 of 14 Old 06-01-2013, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by TruGing View Post
i also am not taught to go in two point before a jump, but this was the second jump in a three stride line. does that make a difference?
Ah, I assumed these were not all in a line. My bad. I find a 3 stride to be an audible depending on the horse you're on. If you're on a torpedo, sitting tall between the fences is necessary to keep the horse composed down the line. For a more lazy horse, staying in a more forward seat is in order. That's the cool thing about jumping. The correct seat for the job at hand varies and we get to use our common sense and brains for a change.

I agree with who said this is most likely a core issue. Ideally you should be able to hold the position of that first pic through the entire grid as if your head was on a zip line. Instead you are collapsing over the subsequent fences. 20 minutes a few days a week of pilates will fix that fast.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #9 of 14 Old 06-07-2013, 10:27 AM
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You are beating your horse to the jump, putting your weight over it's shoulders before the take off. This makes it harder for the horse to clear the jump (not a problem when jumping small, but as the jumps get bigger it may cause issues).

You need to sit still on the approach, whether it is a single jump, a double, a bounce to a single stride, a 6 bar competition... (get my point? haha) it doesn't matter. If you have a good rhythm into the jump, the horse will clear it. All you need to do is have a good canter, keep your leg on, look up and sit there. Let the jump come to you, not the other way around.

I fire my horse at jumps when stressed, I get in front of the movement and find it hard to keep balanced on the landing... whenever we have issues jumping it comes from this because it puts my horse off balance.

If you need something to focus on, look through the jump to the other side of it and count your canter strides up to four my instructor taught me that. He said if he ever doesn't know what to do when jumping, whether it be an EvA80 class (80cm jumps) or a 3* class, all he will do is sit still, look up, leg on, heels down and count.
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post #10 of 14 Old 06-07-2013, 03:36 PM
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I can't say much out of experience jumping heights myself, but seeing Grand Prix riders go, I would say that (at least for Jumpers) you need to be a lot taller and more upright going up to the jump. Some of the GP riders at my old stable would say that the horse knows how to jump, it's your job to set them up and follow as closely and as seamlessly as possible with as little deviation from your original position. We ride quick and agile, so the emphasis was on being glued in position right up til the last moment. I only learned enough up to the point directly before actually going over jumps, afterward I trained solo, but the lesson of being /with/ the horse like an extension of the horse's body is still there... I haven't fallen off before a fence yet ;)
Jumping ahead of the horse is strongly discouraged, I think, in both Hunter and Stadium, as it can lead to the most fatal incidents such as the rotational fall, the rider flying over the horse's head, and the horse's forelegs buckling on landing.


Here's a video of an old jumping clinic Dr. Yunis did:


Note how upright the riders are and how they wait. These riders, except I think Yunis's daughter, went on to show in Wellington, FL, that year.

Some other trainers said you should set up a grid along the side of a fence and as you ride toward it, turn your head away until you feel the horse jump.
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