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Jumping Position Critique Please?

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        02-02-2011, 06:48 AM
      #11
    Banned
    I think you look pretty good, in the first photo, I would suggest not coming out of your seat as much, and in the 2nd photo, you are over jumping and you are ahead of the pommel. Sit back more, let him jump it and you help but don't try to do it for him.
         
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        02-02-2011, 03:19 PM
      #12
    Green Broke
    LOVE the first pic, just sink into your stirrups a tad more.

    Second pic you are ahead of him a bit, just wait a little longer to go into 2pt.

    Really nice horse, you two seem like a team!

    VB
         
        02-05-2011, 01:38 PM
      #13
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    Hi, NH Jumper!

    I like the first photo quite a bit; it shows good, solid fundamentals - soft, relaxed back, eye up, correctly executed intermediate release with a nice loop the the rein. Because I also looked at the second photo, when I go back to the first, I see the seeds of the jumping ahead problem. You are a little farther out of the tack than is necessary for the horse's long, flat jumping effort. Not actually jumping ahead in this photo, but I would rather see you close your hip angle and be over the middle of your saddle.

    I would also like to see you refine your leg position a little by moving the stirrup out to the ball of your foot and angling the stirrup on your foot slightly, outside branch touching the little toe. This is the perfect compromise to allow for depth in your hell while still being secure. This stirrup position is more of a xc, defensive position, which is fine ... for xc. However, you do need to learn to adjust your stirrup position and leg for different situations and different phases - for schooling in the ring and for stadium, learn to wear your stirrup in the classic position.

    In the second photo, we see little position problems become big ones: your heel has come up and your leg has rotated back, and you've jumped *way* ahead - your crotch is actually in front of the pommel. It's a good thing your horse appears to be an honest guy, because a stop, or even a peck or a chip, might have you on the ground. What saves you is that flat, relaxed back, focused eye, and generous, kind release.

    As for your horse, I love his attitude, but his form needs work. In the first photo, he's jumping very long and flat, and not making much of an effort to fold neatly in front or back. His forearm is horizontal, so I'd say he's safe here, but not tidy.

    In the second photo, I am trying to make allowance for 1.) that the photo was snapped early in the jumping arc and 2. You've jumped up his neck, but even considering those two things, his front end is....not good, with forearms pointed down at the ground and legs folded under the body, rather than up. This is the kind of form than can result in the horse catching a knee and flipping over the fence. I don't think that's a real risk in this photo, as he's giving the fence a lot of air, and he's a good guy who's trying hard. However, when tired, put into a fence wrong or at a maximum height fence, it becomes a concern. Less obvious but more concerning is his hind end - he is pushing off unevenly behind, instead of engaging both hind legs evenly. I am guessing that sometimes he jumps to the right over his fences? And that the pushing off unevenly is more pronounced when he's not allowed to take the long spot I'm guessing he prefers?

    The good news is that grid work and gymnastics will help him tremendously. He needs to learn to wear his fences from a shorter distance, engage his hind evenly, and use his shoulder to pick up his front end, rather than jumping in a bigger arc to clear the fence. More good news is that the grid work and gymnastics will give you a perfect opportunity to polish your position; working on keeping your lower leg solidly under you and closing your hip angle and staying over the middle.

    Overall, you're an athletic, sympathic rider with the potential to do more. Good luck to you!

    Wow, this is exactly what I needed, thank you so much! I will most definitely try positioning my stirrups more accurately on my feet, I never even thought of that.
    As for the second photo, yes, unfortunately I tend to do this often. Because he has such a long jump, I try to push myself forward before I should, and as a result, I sit up onto his back too early. I still just don't know how to make myself fix this.
    And as for the horse, he's an odd one. He's a lesson horse, Older guy who is extremely honest ans sane, used to compete prelim, I'm competing him training currently. You are *creepishly* dead on about his hind end, he favors the long spot, and tends to jump on the right, and it gets worse when I try to get him into the shorter distance. Wow!
    I'll definitely try some gridwork on him.
    This was so perfect, exactly what I needed. Thank you so much Maura!
         
        02-06-2011, 09:48 AM
      #14
    Banned
    NH, glad you found my critique helpful.

    Here's a couple of follow up points. I used to have a young horse that favored the long spot AND pushed off unevenly, just like this guy. Once in the schooling area, before a class, he took off insanely long and I made my usual heroic effort to catch up with him. I was expecting the usual praise from my coach, but instead she said "Maybe if you weren't so good at that last minute move, maybe he wouldn't think leaving the stride out was such a good idea."

    Huh???? You mean *get left*??????????A cardinal sin??????? On purpose???????Huh?????

    Think about it, from a training perspective, if a sympathetic rider stays with the horse when he leaves long, that's rewarding the behavior. So, much to my horror, the next couple of times he left long, I sat still. I did slip the reins, I couldn't bear to catch him in mouth, but I did not make the big catch up move.
    That, and strengthening his hind end, and more flatwork, fixed the problems and he went on to be a very nice horse.

    My other point is a little touchy since this isn't your horse. With an older horse with a lot of miles, the leaving long and jumping left to right *could* be an early sign of sore or arthritic hocks. It puts more stress on the hocks to jump from a deeper spot, and the left to right might indicate that he's sorer on the right than the left, and pushing off more on the left to compensate. I am NOT saying that the horse is unsound; but that these traits could indicate some sub-clinical soreness or arthritic changes that he's compensating for in this way. So if there's a way for you to tactfully ask if there's some things you could do to make him more comfortable, that might be helpful.
         
        02-06-2011, 10:57 AM
      #15
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maura    
    NH, glad you found my critique helpful.

    Here's a couple of follow up points. I used to have a young horse that favored the long spot AND pushed off unevenly, just like this guy. Once in the schooling area, before a class, he took off insanely long and I made my usual heroic effort to catch up with him. I was expecting the usual praise from my coach, but instead she said "Maybe if you weren't so good at that last minute move, maybe he wouldn't think leaving the stride out was such a good idea."

    Huh???? You mean *get left*??????????A cardinal sin??????? On purpose???????Huh?????

    Think about it, from a training perspective, if a sympathetic rider stays with the horse when he leaves long, that's rewarding the behavior. So, much to my horror, the next couple of times he left long, I sat still. I did slip the reins, I couldn't bear to catch him in mouth, but I did not make the big catch up move.
    That, and strengthening his hind end, and more flatwork, fixed the problems and he went on to be a very nice horse.

    My other point is a little touchy since this isn't your horse. With an older horse with a lot of miles, the leaving long and jumping left to right *could* be an early sign of sore or arthritic hocks. It puts more stress on the hocks to jump from a deeper spot, and the left to right might indicate that he's sorer on the right than the left, and pushing off more on the left to compensate. I am NOT saying that the horse is unsound; but that these traits could indicate some sub-clinical soreness or arthritic changes that he's compensating for in this way. So if there's a way for you to tactfully ask if there's some things you could do to make him more comfortable, that might be helpful.
    Oh I see, that actually makes a lot of sense. And, unfortunately, yes. He's a leson, and has had a lot of miles on him. His hocks are weak, and he's swollen around his pasterns a lot of the time. His movement, is interesting...amazingly enough he is a little funny on his right hind. He's a real lateral mover, obviously from all the lessons and all his miles. He does mean the world to me, and I just havent found anything to do in my power to help him. Any ideas? Should I maybe wrap him after hard rides? I'm really at a loss and just havent had the power to do anything, as he's (unfortunately) not my horse.
         
        02-06-2011, 12:58 PM
      #16
    Banned
    If he is not your horse, there's not a lot to do. This is the kind of sub-clinical problem you're just going to see on older horses with a lot of miles. Wrapping helps with stocking up, not much else.

    If he were my horse, depending on other factors, I'd consider oral joint supplements, injections with hyluronic (sp) acid, aka synthetic joint fluid, *possibly* a steriod injection, a little bute before and after a hard workout, increased turnout and even possibly acupuncture or some combination of the above. And at some point, I would step down his work load as well.

    Whether the folks who own or manage the horse would be open to any of this is entirely their call.
         

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