Kindly critique my jumping position

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Kindly critique my jumping position

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  • Jumping position critique
  • jump position

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    09-30-2011, 03:05 AM
Kindly critique my jumping position

Thanks in advance for sharing your advice and expertise!
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    09-30-2011, 02:25 PM
I think instead of pulling back when he is going over the jump. I think you should go with his neck when he stretches out. He looks good but I think he would look better if you would relax and just go with his body. :)
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    09-30-2011, 03:12 PM
I barely jump myself, so first- good job doing those! It looks like a lot of fun. The only thing I feel semi qualified to comment on is the fact that you look very tense over the fences and you need to release more to allow your horse to reach over the jump and not get hit in the mouth. The experts on here can give you much better advice than I can.
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    09-30-2011, 03:45 PM
You don't have any release! Be nice to him for taking you over those scary jumps xD Release, release release! Your heel could be down a lot more and your leg seems to slip back every so slightly. Try to wrap your legs around the horse instead of gripping with your knees. Your horse seems to be a little uneven with his front legs, and his neck is up - probably a result of the lack of release. Hope that helps :)
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    10-01-2011, 03:02 AM
You look a bit like you are pulling yourself up into your jumping position instead of pushing yourself up with your leg muscle, thereby inhibiting your horse's head and jumping movement. The base of your jumping position should come from your leg, and not from your hands, if you know what I mean. You are gripping too much with your knee-you should have pressure evenly distributed all through your leg. Especially in the last picture, you look like you need to have your center of gravity more forward. You look like you might want to try shortening your stirrups. If you feel like you can trust your horse enough, you could try tying up your reins and going over small jumps with your arms out to your sides to get a better feel of how to get into your jumping position from your leg and not your hand. Hope this helps!
    10-01-2011, 02:14 PM
Before I critique, how are you riding the final approach to the fence? Full seat, half seat or full blown galloping position?
    10-02-2011, 01:51 AM
First of all: thank you for your helpful advice!

I thought about whether I was gripping with my knees as I rode yesterday because I know very well to squeeze with my lower legs ad keep my knees soft. And you know what? I think my heels are down on approach but that as we're jumping I brace myself with my knees as a defense mechanism so that I don't go over my horse's neck!

In my lesson yesterday my new coach (lesson #3) was saying that I keep pulling my legs up so she had me lengthen my stirrups to force me to lengthen my leg.

I approach the jump in a deep seat and get in to jumping position immediately after my horse takes off. Then I'm suppose to sit back down, deep seat, to push him on or bring him back down to a steady pace. My horse needs to be pushed on, so especially in the arena I need to get back in the saddle and drive him forward with my legs and seat. He actually responds really well to my seat now - such a good boy! :)

I do try very hard to avoid pulling on my horse's mouth. If I fall off balance I let the reins slip through my hands. THat is one thing I'm very conscious of. But I will pay more attention to see whether I'm using my reins even a slight bit to get in to jumping position. My new coach told me I keep raising my hands right before the jump so it is quite possible that I'm leaning on the reins a slight bit without even realizing it! But I'm definitely not hanging on to them the way I see some other riders do with their horse's mouth wide open, ears back and bug eyed.

Lots to think about and lots of arena work to do!
    10-02-2011, 08:00 AM
If I were your new coach, I'd have you going back to low grids. You're jumping ahead and doing a backwards release. You need to learn to allow your horse's jump to close your hip angle and let your hands follow the motion of his mouth.

As others have said, you're really gripping with your knee. It's thrown your whole body forward and in a effort to maintain your balance, you've caught your horse in the mouth.

You should have your hands raise slightly (to follow the line of communication between your elbow and the bit). If they lie in your lap you can't support your horse and are most likely already collapsing forward.

I think I'd leave the bigger fences for now and fix the position and develop and independent hand. Once you can just allow the jumps to close your hip angle, then your ready to come back to these fences.
    10-02-2011, 10:53 AM
Super Moderator
All in all you are a capable and able rider. I see a few minor issues that may help "tweak" your position a bit.

Photo #1

I see a bit of a clench with the knee. This has stiffened your leg keeping the knee from softening over the jump. You leg is a bit too straight putting your upper body a bit too far forward. If you bent your knee more, it would allow your seat to come back a little more putting you in better balance with the horse.

Because your upper body is so far forward, it made you go over your hands too much. That made the reins longish and you have had to absorb the rein by putting your elbows out.

While some may get the impression that you are allowing the horse to pull you over the jump with his mouth, I don't see it that way. Close examination doesn't show that strong a contact. It would, however, be easy for that to happen with the hands "high and hovering".

We all jump this way from time to time. A different angle of ME doing the same thing may show an exaggerated version of what you are doing. Similar leg/seat/hand. Hey, we can't look pretty ALL of the time ;)

Photo #2

Much better! See how your knee flexed more here and allowed your seat back over the center of the horse more? It could have been even a bit closer to the saddle, IMO. Again, reins long, hands in your chest with elbows out. I would offer more release and put hands on either side of the crest, not on the top. If your knuckles are pressed into the top of the crest, you will be unable to give the reins if the horse needed it. Lower leg better (because upper body is better) but it has slipped back a bit.

Photo #3

This photo really shows the grasping with the knee. As a result, the lower leg is completely off the horse. This could be a very unstable position, if anything were to happen on landing. Your leg needs to wrap more on the horse. Again, because the hands are high it is giving the impression of you being pulled over the jump using the reins for your balance. I would move your hand a bit forward and down lightening the contact.

I really like how you are looking up and forward. Your horse looks like he has a nice strong drive to the jumps. Good job!!
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    10-02-2011, 05:54 PM
I asked about the seat on approach on a hunch that you were suddenly having to get yourself off his back to make the jump and the result is throwing you ahead a little bit. I agree with Allison, (then again who wouldn't...she gives great advice) about the knee. I don't know what you've been told over the years, but I was always under the impression that the knee is supposed to stay in contact with the saddle and used to end up pinching with my knee as a result. Recently at a cross country clinic, I was told to forget about my knees and make sure I had good contact fall the way down the length of my calf until I ran out of horse body. "Shave the leather off my boots" as she put it. As soon as I made that correction, the knee pinching stopped and my position became instantly more secure, no jumping ahead. Just my 2 cents.
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