My position (jumping and dressage) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 10:23 PM Thread Starter
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My position (jumping and dressage)

I'd love some critique on my riding with my pony.
He's a 12.3hh, 14yo Welsh Pony and I have owned him for roughly 10 years.

The main problems that I can see seem to be -
Leaning with too much weight in one leg
'Chicken wings' over jumps
Not releasing enough
Sometimes pushing my legs forward into stop (as if I were trying to push on brake pedals )
In one dressage photo, my reins are quite short - I could anticipate the buck that was coming in the next movement - and this caused him to overbend.
I look down! I am trying to focus on not doing this, because he can tell when I do it and ducks out when we're going over bigger jumps.
The main one, I need a bigger horse (We've been searching for about a year and came close only to have the prospective purchase pulled from sale)

That said, go your hardest! But please be constructive? (:
I will also try get some video footage, and post that asap.
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Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #2 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 10:27 PM Thread Starter
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The dressage photos are certainly not our best.. he was in a grumpy mood and was quite fresh resulting in a tumble over the ears prior to entering the dressage arena

I can see my hands aren't ideal, sometimes they are turned downwards and under.
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Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #3 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 10:32 PM
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Oh my...! He's quite the sassy grump in that first picture. Looks more like a bunny than a horse :P

Only Dressage critique as I do not jump.

A few of these the reins seem really tight and he's getting behind the vertical. Soften up a little and push him forward, rebalance with half halts and you two should be golden.

Your lower leg is creeping forwards in a few of these pictures. And yes, you are looking down. Look up and be nice and confident! He's got very nice trot suspension though :) The third and fourth canter pictures are almost perfect except your shoulders need to come back and push down, and give him a liiittle bit more rein so he can stretch out just a bit more instead of bracing/fighting the contact. And again, lower leg creeping forward.

The last photo is very nice, except you can see how you are bracing against your stirrups. Even when you post (which this is a canter so idk why there is such a depth to your heel) you let the momentum lift you up. So in the canter your legs should stretch down and your lower leg absorbs the movement, your seat follows, and your upper body is nice and soft and quiet.

Very nice turn out though, and what a spunky mount :P You did well, just a few little tweaks!

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"

Last edited by Skyseternalangel; 05-05-2012 at 10:37 PM.
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post #4 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:13 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Oh my...! He's quite the sassy grump in that first picture. Looks more like a bunny than a horse :P

Only Dressage critique as I do not jump.

A few of these the reins seem really tight and he's getting behind the vertical. Soften up a little and push him forward, rebalance with half halts and you two should be golden.

Your lower leg is creeping forwards in a few of these pictures. And yes, you are looking down. Look up and be nice and confident! He's got very nice trot suspension though :) The third and fourth canter pictures are almost perfect except your shoulders need to come back and push down, and give him a liiittle bit more rein so he can stretch out just a bit more instead of bracing/fighting the contact. And again, lower leg creeping forward.

The last photo is very nice, except you can see how you are bracing against your stirrups. Even when you post (which this is a canter so idk why there is such a depth to your heel) you let the momentum lift you up. So in the canter your legs should stretch down and your lower leg absorbs the movement, your seat follows, and your upper body is nice and soft and quiet.

Very nice turn out though, and what a spunky mount :P You did well, just a few little tweaks!

Thankyou (:
I definitely understand what you mean about bracing with the stirrups.. I think it's a security issue with me . "If I tense up and brace my legs, you can't buck me off!"

Are there any exercises you can recommend to help me overcome the issues?

Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #5 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:16 PM
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i know i may get hell for saying this... but i think you may be a little tall for your pony.

Life seems mighty precious, when there's less of it to waste.
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post #6 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Oxer View Post
i know i may get hell for saying this... but i think you may be a little tall for your pony.
Just a tad tall
He can carry my weight without any problems though.

I am looking for a new horse (in the upwards of 15hh range) but it's taking a loooooooooong time.

Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #7 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:29 PM
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Originally Posted by ilovemyhorsies View Post
Thankyou (:
I definitely understand what you mean about bracing with the stirrups.. I think it's a security issue with me . "If I tense up and brace my legs, you can't buck me off!"

Are there any exercises you can recommend to help me overcome the issues?
Think of a horse has a bar of soap. The tighter you squeeze, the farther you will fly off. The best way to stay on a horse is use gravity to your advantage, not brace against it.

here is a video that helps with position, could help you out who knows :) Lungeline lessons would help, do you have a trainer that could do that with you?


"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel View Post
Think of a horse has a bar of soap. The tighter you squeeze, the farther you will fly off. The best way to stay on a horse is use gravity to your advantage, not brace against it.

here is a video that helps with position, could help you out who knows :) Lungeline lessons would help, do you have a trainer that could do that with you?

How To Practice Your Classical Seat In Horseback Riding - YouTube
Thankyou! The bar of soap visual is helpful too :P

Ooh yes, lunging would be good - being able to focus more on my position than on directing pony quite as much.

Vince ~ Mithril Vincent ~ Welsh B ~ 30/10/1997
10 years together and counting..
+ Amber, Mally RIP, Goldy, Angwyn, Karisma, Burdie, Bundy and Roxy
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post #9 of 11 Old 05-05-2012, 11:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovemyhorsies View Post
Thankyou! The bar of soap visual is helpful too :P

Ooh yes, lunging would be good - being able to focus more on my position than on directing pony quite as much.
You're welcome :)

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #10 of 11 Old 05-06-2012, 08:33 AM
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Glad to hear you're looking for something larger, that's great.

Because I have to agree with Oxer, you are too big for this pony, not from a weight standpoint but from a correct position and balance standpoint.

If you posted photos of you and this pony and you were mostly a pleasure or trail rider, I woudn't have a problem with it, because you're right, the pony doesn't have a problem carrying your weight. And if you posted saying you had gotten on to school the pony for a younger rider, I wouldn't have a problem with that either.

BUT this pony's barrel is not large enough to take up your leg; it's not possible for you to have correct lower leg position in two point or over fences because there isn't enough pony underneath for you to have any kind of grip with your leg. You also must have to be *very* careful with your upper body position, your torso is very long in relation to the pony's body length, and tipping forward even the slightest amount will unbalance you both.

Overall I think you're doing a good job trying to compensate, but it is very hard to do a useful critique of your riding because of the size mismatch.
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