Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Alberta, Canada
• Horses: 0
Are you working with an instructor? If not, I strongly encourage you to seek qualified help to get you on the path to success.
Your base is very very weak. It's improved from the "before" images, but if you were my student, you would not be jumping right now until you solidified your base. That is not me being mean, mind you - we ALL start somewhere. I remember trotting and cantering endless circles around the arena with my arms in all sorts of positions to learn how to balance properly. Your leg is very unstable, you're jumping ahead and I see your toes pointing down in a few of the pictures. Right now, you are an unsafe jumper - I really really don't want to see you hurt.
What I would suggest is not jumping for a month or two, and build your base. At a walk, get into two-point position without your hands touching your horse's neck. Once you can balance like that for two rounds of the arena - without your butt touching the saddle or your hands touching your horse's neck. Have someone there to tell you if your leg is in proper position and your heels are down. Once you can do that for two rounds, hold one arm out to the side and practice that until you can go two rounds around the arena alternating arms held to the side. If you can, and if it's safe, airplane both arms out to the sides - that's a really good test of balance. Once you can do that at a walk, move on to the trot then canter. Once you've mastered 2-4 rounds around the arena (again WITHOUT losing your balance forwards or back!) at a canter, then try trot and canter poles. Once you've mastered that, you're ready for x rails.
It takes a while to work up to that, and others may suggest additional exercises to work on, but you'll have a strong base to become a great jumper with.
Additionally, you really need to work on your release. Take an old stirrup leather and tie that around his neck where you should be releasing. On approach to the jump, grab it so you know that you're giving him adequate rein to use his neck, and to ensure you don't catch his mouth like you currently are. You need to learn to let him jump, not you - you're jumping the jump for him right now, and getting in front of his point of balance, making it harder for him to jump. Strengthening your base will help, but you really should work with an instructor to learn how to jump; it's a dangerous sport.
The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography cvlphotography.com
Last edited by JustDressageIt; 06-29-2011 at 10:54 PM.