Just looking for some tips. I can see that my lower leg needs to be deeper and not sliding back. Any tips on how to remember to do it? Is pushing my heels down hard going to be enough? I can't get lunge lessons, I just simply don't have the time.
I am also ahead of the poor horse that so kindly puts up with me. Any tips? I was having a problem with being left behind and not getting my butt out of the saddle at all, and also not giving enough release - is it that I am over compensating for that?
I know in the pic over the tires I am leaning down to the side, I don't know what was going on but since it is the only pic that has it in it, I think it's safe to say it was a one off?
Any other tips and advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks
It's good to know you are aware of your problems so you can work on fixing them.
I would do a lot of two point on the flat, get the position down to where it is second nature to get in it. You are jumping too soon, like you said, and you are also over jumping. You are too close to your horses neck in all those jumps. Pull your shoulders up and back. That will take the roundness out of your back and lift your upper body off his neck. And try not to jump out of your stirrups, bend more at the hip. This will keep your rear over the saddle and give you a more secure base. I worry about you getting popped in the face if something goes wrong, with you that low over the neck.
It could also benefit you to add a bounce pole before the jump. It will help you not to jump before the horse. The best way to get that leg to stay put is to do lots of work with no stirrups.
You said you were getting left behind, and now you are overcompensating and jumping too soon? Have you done any work with grids? They can really give you a feel of the horse's take off point, and help you get your timing down.
One really good thing - you are looking ahead of you at where you are going.
I can't get lunge lessons, I just simply don't have the time.
This statement kind of worries me. Not that I think lunge lessons are the key to fixing your problems, but what if it were? You have the time to ride incorrectly but not the time to do what it takes to get to where you can ride properly? I guess I just don't know what you mean "don't have the time". If you have time to ride, you have time to ride correctly even if it means stepping back a few strides.
You're right, you're dangerously way ahead of this horse. For these tiny jumps you shouldn't need to be out of your tack much at all. I'd drop the jumps for a while and work on the flat to solidify that lower leg. Once you have a strong foundation, you can let the jump come to you and let your pony close the hip angle for you. He looks like a kind willing sort who knows his job, and he obviously won't run out or refuse even when you are over the jump before he is. Maybe get in to your 2 point 3-4 strides out and then count the strides so you can start to get an idea of where he is going to take off.
I agree with tealamutt. I'd back up a bit and solidify your lower leg position over trot poles and grid work until you develop the proper 2 point muscle memory. Over those obstacles, your upper body should barely more at all. It should only be slightly inclined forward and your arms only should be providing a release for your horse. You're a tiny stumble away from going over your horse's head. I'd hate to see you get hurt, lose your nerve and give up jumping before ever getting going. He seems like a nice honest horse. I'm sure you'll do well if you just invest some more time in the basics.
In terms of not having the time - I am a full time student and a full time mum with 3 kids, a 4 yo and 8 mo twins. The only time I get to ride is a Saturday morning, and my school that I go to doesn't offer lunge lessons on the weekends. Nothing more than that. Trust me, if I could ride every day I would, hell I would be at the stables mucking yards every day if I had a chance lol.
Thanks for the advice :) I will definitely be doing more two point on the flat, I have plenty of opportunity to do this during the lesson. I haven't had a lesson since seeing these photos, but have one tomorrow morning. Now I know what to work on, I will be. I usually find that I can look at photos or videos of myself riding and know what to correct, I just feel it is nice to have input.
Thanks all for being harsh and honest, and know that I have taken your advice in the manner it was intended - helpful and truthful :)
She is a beautifully willing horse that I ride. Her name is Ellie, she is 3/4 TB, 1/4 Arab and is 7. She has only been broken for 2 years, so sometimes we have moments when we disagree (the arena markers got repainted 6 weeks ago and yet tomorrow I bet I will have to ride around half the arena 6 or 7 times before she goes to the other end lol) but all in all she is a beautiful lady :)
Thanks for the concern MBP - I have had quite a few bad falls as a kid and not stopped, but I wonder if it would be different as an adult lol. At any rate, I haven't come off for a while, and will work on a much more solid base to prevent it happening any time in the future :)
Since you were so helpfull with me on dressage issues, I hope I ll help you a little bit with jumping.
First question I have, is that YOU on the photos? Are you a mum ??? O_O wow! I wish I have your body when I ll become a mum, you look like a little girl! And now, on jumping again...
I v marked some things on your photos, coz I know that when you can't have time on saddle, it's good at least to think the theory of it.
So, in my opinion, in photo 1. I v marked the line of your horse's back, with red colour, and again, the line of your back, as it should be, again with red. The yellow line colour (the line you actually are using) is giving you an ankle of almost 40 degrees. I think this is how much you should put your line back. This forward type of line is used on higher jumps, when you need to lean to front, to follow the jump of the horse.
In second photo, I got in red circles your shoulders and your horses. Your horse's is going up, yours looks like pulling down. And also, you don't need to give him all that rein. Keeping your hands back and shorter reins will give both of you better balance.
All I want to come up to, is that at this high of jumps, you support better your horse is you don't lean to front. The less you move all your body, the less you move your weight center over her.
I hope my comments be helpfull to you, and by no means are negative :)
I think you've been given some great advice so far, but I would like to add a little more.
Your lower leg is actually fairly good; what I suspect has happened is that when you were working on strengthening that lower leg you got in the habit of locking your knee and hip. If you don't allow the knee and hip to function correctly as shock absorbers, no matter how correct your design of position is approaching the fence, the horse's motion will push you up and forward onto the neck as in your photos above.
So now you need to work on allowing the knee and hip to open and close while maintaining your lower leg. There are several ways to do this. Jumping low fences and gymnastics without stirrups (with no stirrup to brace on, locking the knee and hip is much harder) to get the feel of allowing the horse to close your angles is one. Another is moving rapidly between sitting trot, posting trot and trotting in two point - start out counting five strides of each, then move down to five, four, three and two. Pay attention to how your knee and hip has to move when you change position. Finally, try the rider's push up - establish a good two point position, with the correct fold in your hip and your crotch over the middle of the saddle. Slowly increase the bend in your hip and knee, without allowing your lower leg to move, and touch your chest to the horse's neck, all while looking straight between the horse's ears; and slowly come by up to two point by opening those angles. Do this without pushing off with your hands. This is what you want your body to do over a jump. This exercies is qute difficult to do correctly - start at the halt, then practice at the walk and trot. When you've mastered this; you should be able to jump small fences and have the horse's motion close your angles and have the feeling of waiting with your upper body and having the horse jump up to you.
Thanks again for the replies :) I will definitely be trying those exercises Maura, they look really good and should help lots :)
And thanks heaps Silverada for taking the time to do that :)
Looking forward to my lesson tomorrow, and hopefully will have some new pics in a few weeks so you can all tell me what else I am doing wrong. Hopefully it will be new faults for you all, and these ones will be less glaring :) I have bought some cream jodhs to wear so that my leg stands out, since I ride a dark horse and wear dark jodhs - all for critique photos :)
I agree with Maura too, in the fact that I think you have a good start with a sturdy leg. Your issue is just not getting so ahead of your horse and waiting for him to jump. Your foot is in good position in the stirrup and you are keeping it in place underneath you, except what looks like it has slipped back. I would advice just some more two point two help solidify your leg some more and get your heel down some more. The advice on doing gymnastics and some work with no stirrups will help you find balance and rhythm with your horse.