I am in no way a highly advanced rider, I took lessons when I was 8 for maybe a year. Didn't ride again until I was 17. That riding consisted of galloping through fields on an old mare a few times a week over a year. I then was out of horses until 2 years ago. I got a barrel horse for free who turned into the biggest pain in the butt ever, so I traded her for a nice 8 year old OTTB mare who had spent 5 years resting in a pasture. Her and I learned together and she gave me some confidence I never figured I'd have. We didn't have any formal lessons, but not even six months into having her, we could ride anywhere and she wouldn't question it. Bitless, bareback and galloping through fields, even occasionally jumping some small logs on trails. This last Novemeber I feel in love with an untouched 6 year old TB mare. I ended up completely breaking her myself and have had very few issues. Now I'm starting lessons up again, so that I can advance beyond a trail rider.
I am doing some small jumps but need some helpful critique since I can't afford many lessons. And mind you this is maybe the 6th time we've ever jumped.
I find myself dropping my upper body a lot further than most people, almost like a jockey I think. I feel most comfortable like this, is it an issue, if so, what can I do to not drop so low?
Also how do the length of my stirrups look? Too long?
Any hints on how to make my mare pick up her feet more? When we go over the little x rails she barely picks her feet up, but the longer jumps, she seems to overjump. Do I need to adjust the height of the jumps?
Also how does one teach a horse where to take off from, or is that something the horse will learn? I find her getting extremely close to the jumps at times. When are horses ready to go over a jump at a canter?
Any riding advice would be great!
I have attached a few pictures to maybe help out with the questions.