My first critique!

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My first critique!

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        12-21-2008, 03:33 AM
    My first critique!

    Well I haven't asked for a critique on me yet, cause i'm normally on here at work and don't have any pictures! So here are some jumping pics for you to critique. Some are on my arab pony, Wildey, and some are on my old stock horse, Vodka.

    Feel free to offer any advice, swear I won't be offended! I don't get lessons/have a trainer, so any input would be well appreciated.


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        12-21-2008, 03:35 AM
    P.S. In the water jump photo, I know I got left behind a lot! That's why I am quite upright and haven't released as much as I would like, I was still in shock that he actually went in the water, and was distracted for the jump out!
        12-21-2008, 08:54 AM
    Green Broke
    You guys look great! But the one thing I noticed first was your heels in the first 2 pictures! Try and keep them downnnn :) In a few it looks like your leaning on his neck but I could be wrong... lol im sure someone else can help you better then me :P Im just getting up to 2'+ so I don't know anything about cross country I love how in most of the pictures your looking right inbetween ur horses ears
        12-21-2008, 09:03 AM
    Def needs those heels down and in most of the pics looks like your stirrups may be too long causing you to "reach for them" and your leg often slips back a lot. But nice horses and I think you are doing great w/o any instruction.
        12-21-2008, 11:52 AM
    You are doing great for no instruction. As said above heels down and keep your leg at the girth. I would shorten your stirrups up a hole or two. Looks like you were having fun in the pics! Awesome horse!
        12-21-2008, 02:27 PM
    You guys look really good together! I think that you need to keep your heels down more, though, and in some of the pictures you need to give your horse a bigger release AND keep your hands on their neck, otherwise if you are left behind you might catch them in their mouth with the reins/bit. I can't really think of anything else, though. Good job!
        12-21-2008, 05:14 PM
    Thanks guys! I had never really noticed my heels until I looked at these pictures closer... lol! But I do definitely need to keep them down. I ahve some problems with my heels as I have verrrry bad flexibility. I used to get dressage lessons from an english lady who my dad was friends with, she used to grab my foot and out it in the position she wanetd, and it wouldnt go! So I think i'm going to start some stretching excersizes and see how I go with that.

    I see what you mean about the stirrups... I think I may have them too long because i'm in an AP, and if they are any shorter my knee comes over the flap... They are shorter in the cross country pic over the hay bale jump, because that's the only one i'm in a jumping saddle... We found out that saddle has a twisted tree, so I don't use it anymore.

    In regards to the release, can I get an opinion? I have a habit of pushing my hand toward my horses ears, up their crest, as you can see. But i've also heard that a better way to release is to follow the line fo the rein to the bit, coming down either side of the neck. I've tried both, and I find i'm a bit better balanced keeping my hands up on their crest, I tend to have my weight more forward when I follow the rein down. Any thoughts?

    Thanks everyone!
        12-21-2008, 06:03 PM
    The crest release is easier, which is why it's easier for you to perform. When you improve, then you move to the other release where you follow the horse's head--however, I would stay well away from that until your base gets more solid.

    One thing I am surprised no one said--in a few of your pictures, your feet are WAY too far in the stirrups, which is very dangerous--if you happened to fall off, it is very easy for your feet to get stuck in the stirrups.

    Your feet turn out and away from the horse--get those toes pointing forward! Shorten the stirrups or get another saddle, because you're reaching for the stirrups and it's making your position pretty insecure and dangerous. You should have a soft grip through calf, knee, and inner thigh, but it looks like right now all of your weight is on the ball of your foot, creating the sloppy base. You're standing on your toes in a few of the picture, again which is pitching you forward.

    A loooot of no stirrup work is ahead of you!
        12-21-2008, 07:18 PM
    All the jumping instruction I have had (a few clinics under Sam Lyle, and lessons at pony club camp years ago) the instructors have intructed riders to turn the toe out when jumping, as it allows for a solid contact through the calf and leg. I ahve thought of this a lot on this board, as all of you guys say to keep the toe straight forward... thsi is how I ride in flatwork, etc, but I have always been taught that toeing out is a good thing for jumping...

    I did notice my feet in the stirrups, as well. I don't know why I do that... I know I don't do it riding on the flat.

    I do shorten my stirrups from my normal length, about two or three holes, but obviously not enough! I'm afraid I can't afford a new saddle at the moment, as I just bought a new horse and a new AP saddle. So that will have to wait! I don't jump as much nowadays, so it's not a huge deal.

    I actually haven't jumped a lot in the last few months, as I just bought a new horse and sold my previous one, who was the great jumper (the bay in the pics) The new horse has never jumped, I have done lots of poles and a few tiny courses on him, but he is nowhere near forward enough or ready to jump any decent height. I might bring my pony out and do some jumping on him, see if I can get soem photo's and try and fix some of these things.

    We don't really get much feedback on position here, as its mostly showjumping which is simply about a clear round/fastest time. Only when I do equitation do we get any feedback on anything, and for me that is only once a year, so it's great to hear what you guys have to say! Thanks!
        12-21-2008, 07:20 PM
    P.S. Does bareback count as no stirrup work? I do that allll the time! Chasing cattle and sheep as well, it's fun. Actual no stirrup schooling though, is basically never as I don't have anywhere to school, and normally I only trail ride for fitness between events. The only time I really school/train is at pony club, which is once or twice a month.

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