Jumping position, and overall! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping position, and overall!

Hello :)

I was at a competition last saturday, where I felt it actually went pretty well, although the course was very simple and easy - which was actually nice as it gave me a little more time to focus on controlling my horse, and all the smaller things I usually forget :/

Anyways, I hope you guys can help critique my riding position, before, over and after the jumps.

If you watch the video to the end, you will see some slow motions over the closest jumps so you can see better.. Give it your best and meanest!


"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes." -Shakespeare
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post #2 of 19 Old 09-27-2010, 08:28 PM
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Hopefully Maura's around tonight cuz there are very few people on this forum who can jump at your level other than her. Sure looks good to me, but I'm jumping twigs compared to you.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 12:18 AM
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Overall, I thought you put in an effective ride and were effective and in tune with your horse. Your seat got a little ahead of your horse at times, especially when you are taking off but you were in balance over the high point of the jump. One big thing I did notice, though, is that you are really reaching for your stirrups, and you are almost standing in your toe. I think if you shorten your stirrups a hole or two and try to weight your heels, it will help create an even more secure seat.

For the course, I would work on getting your horse to follow the proper bend around the turns. Right now, he is dropping his shoulder to the inside and his nose is turned to the outside. Think about bending him around the inside leg, almost as if you are working on a 20meter circle for dressage. On this course it won't make a huge difference, but if you have tigher turns with short approaches, having the proper bend will allow you to carry more balance, more impulsion, and allow you to use every inch of space to your advantage.

Hopefully that helps a bit, and that some other people can chime in and help as well. Overall it was a good job.
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post #4 of 19 Old 09-28-2010, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks !

Well I certainly hope Maura's online too then, and that she will want to give some critique.. :b

sandrasarita: Yea I noticed that too, when you said it.. :/ Although it doesn't always feel like it when I'm jumping, but theres a lot I dont always feel until someone points it out.. :b I'll try shorten my stirrups, but its just that I'm afraid that then I'll start standing too high in the stirrups over the jumps..? I dont know.. But i'll try it out, thanks! :)

"When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes." -Shakespeare
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post #5 of 19 Old 09-29-2010, 10:50 AM
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MyBoyPuck,

Thanks for the vote of confidence and the compliment! Unfortunately, I can't view the video right now as I'm at work. There's plenty of other good folks on the forum to do this type of critique: Void, Upnover, Allison Finch and Spyder to name a few, and I'm sure there are others. Sandsarita's analysis seems sound as well.

Vicizmax, I will post something tonight.
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post #6 of 19 Old 09-29-2010, 09:24 PM
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Heels down over jumps! Close your knees in the saddle. You should not be able to see daylight between your knees and the saddle. You are a strong rider, however your lower leg needs a lot of strengthening. When my students have weak, sloppy legs I take their stirrups away immediately. A solid month of riding, jumping, and course work with no stirrups would shape you up to be a very nice rider.
You can get a little ahead of your horse at times, as others have mentioned. With the combination of legs and being ahead, should your horse stop you could be in some trouble. Try to sit and ride the distance a few strides in to the jump and let your horse pop you up into your two point rather than anticipating the jump and getting ahead.
Other than those two major things I think you are a strong rider and with just a few things could be even stronger! Keep up the good work.
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post #7 of 19 Old 09-30-2010, 08:41 AM
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Vici,

Position: Stirrup needs to be one or two holes shorter. It does look like you are reaching for your stirrup. Lower leg is loose; your grip is primarily in your knee and it needs to be evenly distributed throughout your leg. Over fences, you are standing up in your stirrups/opening your knee angle over fences, rather than letting the horse close your angles as he leaves the ground. This pushes you out in front of the saddle when the horse first takes off, as others have commented on. Like your posture, flat back and automatic release over the fences very much.

After getting accustomed to the shorter stirrup and changing the grip, I would recommend you work without stirrups and jump a lot of low gymnastics and grids, working on waiting for the horse to push you up out of the tack. I would also like to see you work on the flat using all your joints, ankle, knee and hip correctly as shock absorbers without bracing or locking them.

You have a good feel for pace, I like the fact that the entire course is jumped from the same steady rhythm. Sandsarita's point about the horse being bent to the outside and falling in on the terms was a good one.

I like your horse, he's a good workmanlike fella who jumps in good form and gets the job done.
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post #8 of 19 Old 09-30-2010, 11:09 AM
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I agree with everyone else I just wanted to add that to shore up that lower leg you want to roll your thighs in and continue that down to your toes. You want your leg hugging the horse from hip to heel with your toes forward. I also agree that you need to learn to let your horse push you up as you tend to jump ahead of him and dressage would be beneficial for you both. You to develop a stronger more effective lower leg and your horse to really get him supple and easily adjustable between fences while maintaining a correct bend and not dropping or falling on a shoulder.

I agree that dressage, some gymnastics and some no-stirrups work will really help you and you should see an improvement immediately with some grunt work in those areas. I also highly suggest finding an instructor, if you don't have one, that can work you through grids doing things like dropping your stirrups, dropping your reins and I have even had some students go through low grids with my schoolmaster with their eyes shut when they couldn't FEEL the stride and the jump and were getting ahead or left behind. I don't recommend jumping around with your eyes closed but in a jump lane or on a lunge with an instructor it can be very beneficial because it forces you to feel the movement and go with the horse not against them. Good luck and you both look like you're going places!
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post #9 of 19 Old 09-30-2010, 09:42 PM
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If you ever need anymore help, I've been jumping for 21 years, now I compete and judge jumping, so please, if you need critique, here is mine:

Maura, you are very wise, for I agree on most all of what she said, as a judge, I'm nit picky and just have a few more details.

When in a competition, put your hair up into your helemt, so it's not slapping your back. You will look more put together and professional in the ring. Your clothing is perfect, and matches your horse, big bonus points in the ring!!

I agree that work without stirrups. You should never rely on your stirrups to hold your leg in, you should rely on your knees being closed on the saddle, and your grip throughout your leg. Your grip on your knee should contribute to your knee being closed on the saddle. That is what most of my showers and students get marked down on.
You are flying tremendously more out of the saddle then nessacary, and this will cause you problems later. You are arching your back a bit, remember, jumpers are jumpers, not jockeys. Try putting a crop on your back and jumping. It will hurt if your back is arched, if your back is flat, you won't feel it. I use this with all my students who like to watch racing more then jumping, and they get over the arch within a day. It's a great help, and even I used it.

You have an amazing pace, and your horse trusts you, if you were in one of my classes, you would have passed with flying colors. You and your horse have a bond, which can boot up your scores. You do need to work on those bends however. Remember to use your full arena. Once you get into higher jumps, and you need to hand gallop, using your arena will be your best friend. Cutting your corners will get you a sloppy ride.

Overall, your ride looks amazing, you should be very proud of yourself. :)
-Nikki

After 21 Years of horses, you'd think I'd be bored
Well let me tell you, working with horses?
I'm Never Bored
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post #10 of 19 Old 09-30-2010, 11:04 PM
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well i cant really help you cause i just jump little things but i just have to say you and your hors look amazing you can see you and your horse really love to jump :)
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