Jumping/XC Ditch Critique - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-22-2011, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Jumping/XC Ditch Critique

I was at an eventing camp this week. It was a ton of fun! :) However my horse does not jump yet (well every once in a while I'll try him over some. He's still in basic training) so I haven't jumped in 4-5 months really. And I've never done cross country before. I was riding a very green 6 year old mare who'd never done anything like it either. I don't think she enjoys jumping very much either, as her ears are always pinned. Anyway, I was not sure what exact position you were suppose to use over a coffin jump? I did a 2 point because it was her first time and I expected her to over-jump it. But jumping position over this little log jump? I think my leg is a bit far back... (this isn't the mare)



Annnd the coffin jump with Tilly:



As you might be able to tell she's not too graceful of a jumper either :) I'm proud of her for going over it though.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-23-2011, 02:22 AM
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I don't jump, but I know some basics.
Your leg slid back. Turn your toes in more and really sink into your heels. They should be at a 45 degree angle. Roll your shoulders back. That will help you a bunch.
In the 1st pic you're overjumping.
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post #3 of 6 Old 07-23-2011, 08:25 AM
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the biggest thing to keep in mind about a ditch, is that you don't actually want your horse to jump it. Ideally your horse should simply canter over the ditch. It is fine to be in two point over a ditch and I also like to have a nice loop in my rein.

You could be more down in your heel with shorter stirrups. This would solidify your body so you don't have to jump ahead and lean on the neck so much.

Sounds like a fun camp ! Im glad you had a good time =]

Gypsy & Scout <3
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post #4 of 6 Old 07-23-2011, 05:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info! And we were trotting the ditch, not cantering it :)
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-24-2011, 11:33 AM
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hi Emily! I rode professionally for 10 years, and taught for 15, so hope you don't mind if I put in my 2 cents' worth.

Since you haven't jumped in so long and were riding green horses, you're doing the right thing by staying off their backs and not catching them in the mouth. It's true that your heel could be a bit deeper and your leg, in the first picture, a bit further forward, but those are changes that will occur naturally with continued work, especially lots of work without stirrups and gymnastics exercises while jumping. Also make sure that you're looking ahead, not down, and that you keep your fingers closed on the reins (when you start jumping bigger it's easy to break a finger if they're open).

I hope you have a good trainer to work with - it's really worth finding the best coach you can afford! Eventing is so much fun, I miss it :)
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-24-2011, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xxEmilyxx View Post
I was at an eventing camp this week. It was a ton of fun! :) However my horse does not jump yet (well every once in a while I'll try him over some. He's still in basic training) so I haven't jumped in 4-5 months really. And I've never done cross country before. I was riding a very green 6 year old mare who'd never done anything like it either. I don't think she enjoys jumping very much either, as her ears are always pinned. Anyway, I was not sure what exact position you were suppose to use over a coffin jump? I did a 2 point because it was her first time and I expected her to over-jump it. But jumping position over this little log jump? I think my leg is a bit far back... (this isn't the mare)



In this photo the rider is pivoting on a grasping knee. This allows the leg, which can no longer wrap on the horse and keep contact, to slide back. This loses the use of the lower leg as a counterbalance for the upper body. As a result, the upper body has toppled forward and all the weight is resting on the hands in a crest release that has lost contact with the horse's mouth (maybe a good thing).

This is a circle of events that is very common. Heck, I even do it from time to time. If you were to use this position, which is very unstable, and anything were to happen, you would likely be easily shaken out of the saddle.

BTW, roll that leg and get those toes in. In XC, it is too easy to hook a flag with feet sticking out like that. I have seen broken ankles on course with people who have done that. Use the inside of your leg (easy if you loosen those knees) not the back of your leg.


Annnd the coffin jump with Tilly:



The position is much better here. You have relaxed the knee allowing the lower leg to stay closer to the girth. It could still be a little more forward. This has also allowed your seat to stay back, where it belongs...over the middle of the seat. Because the lower leg is counterbalancing the upper body better, you are not so heavy on your hands for balance. You back is also much softer and flexible. Remember, this is not hunters....you need a soft back, not a stiff arched back. If your lower leg was on the girth, this would be a decent position. If this jump were any higher, I would say raise your stirrups a hole.


As you might be able to tell she's not too graceful of a jumper either :) I'm proud of her for going over it though.

To get that knee relaxed and keep that lower leg forward, I recommend doing two point with no hands until keeping the lower leg forward is second nature. I have hobbled stirrups to the girth over little grids so that the rider can feel the lower leg stay forward. As your upper body goes forward, so does your lower leg. You'll know you're on the right track when the back of your leg stretches and starts to burn!!
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