Progression, Jumping Critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 02:08 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Progression, Jumping Critique

Its that time again. I think its been about two months since my last one. Time to see what I have improved on and what I have not done anything with. I have focused a lot on flat and building balance. While jumping under the instruction of my trainer, very limited on my own.

For my previous courses, look here (I don't want to take up tons of space, so copy and paste)

In March

In April

Later April

May

Current (Excuse the shorts, it was hot and we just finished playing in the sprinklers)

What I see:
Lots of upper Body movement when going into the canter.
Loose Legs while over the jump
Arched back for lead changes, and during my half seat.
Chicken Wings

His balance is improving for turns and he is rushing less and less. What else do I need to focus on? What are some more exercises?
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 03:21 PM
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The one thing I see but I don't think you mentioned are your hands. They are MUCH better than in march. A lot less hectic. But you need to bring them out of your lap a little. And don't lean on them as much :)
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post #3 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 03:50 PM
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I agree with Kitty, you're hands are A LOT better!

Remember to sit up and wait for the jump, try not to anticipate. I think you could shorten your reins up a bit for jumping and remember to keep your thumbs on top!

Your horse is definitely a speed demon!

Silver Serenade
2002 TB Gelding
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post #4 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 05:07 PM
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I don't usually bother with jumping critiques, but I will comment on this one, since you are doing the exact same thing I do. When you approch a jump: Chest back, sit back. Wait for the jump. Sitting back helps lighten your horse's front end, will slow him down, and he will be better able to pick his spot and negotiate the fence.
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post #5 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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I can't believe I forgot about that. I had horrible hands while jumping. Especially when he got excited I would go to crap. Lots and lots of work on staying soft with my hands, I'll try bringing them up more, Jake isn't used to having the reins up higher, and gets confused and starts throwing his head around. Trying to work onto getting a lighter contact, he doesn't really hold himself together yet so I tend to over compensate by trying to use my hands to hold him together.

I do anticipate, but I have a hard time figuring out how to not do that. =\ I feel like I have to do everything for this horse (tell him where to step...how to hold his body) Because without micromanaging he is a mess and can't balance with a rider. He trips over twigs if I don't make him work around it or keep his attention for him. So I start jumping for him. Though he is at a stage that he doesn't need any encouragement and knows his distances well enough that I can stop trying to do that as much....but I find it hard to stop. I count, sit back, try to stay unfocused on the jump it self and still have a problem. What is it that you guys do to avoid this problem?
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post #6 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 09:57 PM
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Wow, that's like riding a squirrel! He sure is a lot of horse. You're definitely making progress with him. You say you need to micromanage him or else he's a mess. How does he do with grid work? Would that maybe help him figure out where to put his own feet?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #7 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 09:59 PM
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I am by no means an expert, but here is what I saw:

The biggest thing, like already mentioned was your hands. You seemed to be very heavy on the reins and the micromanaging seemed to actually be working against you a lot of the times. Instead of trying to bring him back and settle him with your seat, you were trying to use your reins like breaks. Which results in him throwing his head up, hollowing out, and being quite unbalanced.

I also saw him dropping his shoulder and being very on the forehand. It seemed to be improving with time, but it's worth mentioning.

I do see improvement though, good job!
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post #8 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 10:25 PM
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Spastic said a lot of what I would say.

I don't think I will go to deeply. But, I do not think either of you are really ready to be riding tight lines/turns. You need to soften everything in your body. Arms are very tight and unforgiving causing inconsistent contact all through these videos. As a result of your tightness, your horse is tighter than a drum.

I have to disagree a bit with your trainer. When she was saying "good", I was thinking back to basics.

You two can do very well together and you have real promise. But, you are going too fast too soon, IMO. You need to balance the horse on the flat. you need to get the horse off the forehand so that he doesn't hang his knees over the jumps. You need to allow your self to soften and trust that you can release and give him some freedom. Tight gets tight, I always say.

Your horse is VERY athletic and could probably do jumpers really well. But until he can maintain more calm and balance, and until you can relax and ride him softer, you two will be battling each other constantly.

You showed so much improvement as your videos progressed. But, back up just a little and gain softness and trust before you go further.
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post #9 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyBoyPuck View Post
Wow, that's like riding a squirrel! He sure is a lot of horse. You're definitely making progress with him. You say you need to micromanage him or else he's a mess. How does he do with grid work? Would that maybe help him figure out where to put his own feet?
That made me snort so loud in the middle of class everyone stared and looked at me. I think that is my new favorite quote for him.

Grid work is going slowly. I can't do too many things as he builds momentum as we are going through it, and starts just running through the jumps. It took me a long time to do anything more than a single bounce or one stride because he would be so out of wack by the second jump that neither of us could pull it together for another. We are now moving up, but it takes time for him to figure it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spastic Dove View Post
I am by no means an expert, but here is what I saw:

The biggest thing, like already mentioned was your hands. You seemed to be very heavy on the reins and the micromanaging seemed to actually be working against you a lot of the times. Instead of trying to bring him back and settle him with your seat, you were trying to use your reins like breaks. Which results in him throwing his head up, hollowing out, and being quite unbalanced.

I also saw him dropping his shoulder and being very on the forehand. It seemed to be improving with time, but it's worth mentioning.

I do see improvement though, good job!
In the previous videos yes I did try to use the reins as support for breaks. I am unsure if you are still referring to old videos, or if you still see it in the current one two as well. In the last videos I had no intention of slowing him down with the reins, just trying to bring himself back to me after a jump. For him to settle he does require holding in at this point, that is a thing that my trainer has had me do and it settles him down quickly along with my body. I'm not trying to pull but try to create a constant place for him to settle into.

He is very heavy on the fore and drops his shoulder all the time. Its the main thing I focus on while I ride, circles, serpentines, spirals....and stuff to help him balance and pick himself up instead of dropping into it.

Thank you for the critique. =)

Allison I just saw your post, I just went into class and will respond later.

Last edited by Horsesdontlie; 07-20-2011 at 10:31 PM.
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post #10 of 15 Old 07-20-2011, 10:38 PM
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Your hands are not as 'busy' in the last video as in the first, but you are still very heavy with them in my opinion. Over the jump I would like to see a little more release, and then between fences I would like to see your hands up out of your lap with you balancing over yours and his center of gravity rather than leaning on his neck and letting him drop on the forehand. I am not sure if the fiddling I see with your hands is an effort to create headset/frame or to slow him down and get him balanced. Either way, that should come from your seat, rather than your hands.

I don't quite think he should be doing this type of jumper course. I think he is perfectly capable of it and you two have the potential to make a lovely team, but I think his foundation is not there yet. When jumping, I had someone recommend just riding on the flat and then when I 'encountered' a jump, jump it and go back to my dressage. I personally think this would benefit him and help you get him focusing on you rather than "Weeee jumping!!!!!"

A nice BIG open course with plenty of room between fences and maybe only 4-6 little jumps along the diagonal or your circles would be what I would do. Then just ride him like normal instead of letting him drift into the mindset of "Lets jump over these really fast".

Riding as if you are on the flat, may help you sit back a little more and help you wait for the jumps rather than jumping for him (again, something I have been working on fixing myself).
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