Save me from myself! - Page 2

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Save me from myself!

This is a discussion on Save me from myself! within the Horse Riding Critique forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    08-31-2011, 12:31 AM
He really is a power packed little guy. He's become so brave since starting training with me and my team. I just want to do right by him.
I rode today in 2 point at the trot. I really made an effort to keep my back flat, heels down, and knees NOT pinched! My body feels comfortable and balanced when i'm riding in 2 point on the flat, but once I start jumping... I seem to lose it.
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    09-02-2011, 02:45 PM
From what I can see your leg slips back and your shoulders are sort of rounded the pictures were kind of useless to me except the last two because of the quality and angle but the video is pretty helpfull. If you fix these things and get more miles under you it will make a big difference.
    09-02-2011, 02:59 PM
He looks like a darling little guy that has a ton of potential and an honest jump.

Now keep in mind that I don't jump and really don't know anything about it, but I am a firm believer that if there is a problem with anything, take everything back 3 steps and start again...slower.

I am wondering if you might benefit from going back to some smaller jumps and doing some work on...what do you call those things...where you have a small crossrail, stride, small crossrail, stride, small crossrail, stride, etc? That way, you can get used to how he moves and jumps before working your way back up to the larger jumps where his power really comes into play.
Maggie May likes this.
    09-02-2011, 06:05 PM
Green Broke are thinking about gymnastics, which is actually a really good idea.

What I see is that you are coming down to soon and not really staying with him.
    09-02-2011, 06:25 PM
The transition from a flat jumper to a round, active, thrusty jumper is very difficult, and a horse with a round powerful jump will really highlight any and all position flaws, both design flaws and mechanical flaws.

Your overall *design* of position is correct; the problem is with the mechanics of your position. You're used to being in a fairly static two point and just maintaining position over the fence; you new horse's push and thrust requires that your joints act as shock absorbers and allow you to stay with his motion.

I also suspect that your old horse was fairly quick in the air; and your new horse has "hang time", maybe even dwells in the air, as one of the problems seems to be snapping back or unfolding early. So you muscle memory is to open you hip angle and sit up at a certain time, and that timing is too early on the new horse.

The solution is pretty much what the other posters have proposed. Take a few steps back. Work primarily in grids and gymnastics where you can really focus on position, both the design and mechanics. Don't attempt difficult turns, courses or tricky technical distances until you're more comfortable staying with his jump. Very low grids without stirrups, approached sitting, focusing on waiting for his thrust to close your hip angle are a good idea, as well as gymnastics that allow you to really concentrate on allowing your body to follow his motion while staying off his back through the entire sequence.

Also focus on staying out of the tack over the fence a beat longer than you think necessary as a short term fix. Once your mechanics are correct and you're staying with him better, this may not be necessary. What's happening now is that his thrust is acting on your stiff or locked hip or knee, and it propels you forward out of the tack. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so you snap back with equal abruptness and force.

If possible, try to ride or take lessons on some horses that are somewhere in the middle between the style of the old and new. It's hard to be soft, relaxed and focused on body mechanics when you're worried about finding the saddle by radar on the other side of the fence because you've been jumped out of the tack. (Believe me, I know that feeling!)

I really, really like your new horse, and he will really broaden and deepen your riding skills. Good Luck, and I would love to hear more about your progress!
    09-02-2011, 11:42 PM
OOOoooOOooh such good information and help from everyone! Thanks a ton!
We had a lesson today with some trot in, canter out type of lines. I have another lesson tomorrow as well. In November I will be in full training again, so hopefully that will help get my body in better shape and more used to his jump.
    09-03-2011, 01:20 AM
I also have one more question... kind of a strange one...
He tends to think he's the big shot champion when he jumps around sometimes. He will literally do this little dance on the back side of the fence and kick his feet out. I don't call it a "buck" because he's not really bucking. Just being silly.
I don't want to punish him for being excited about his job, but my trainer says I can't allow him to get away with being spicy. Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping him excited, but toning it down on the silliness on the back side of the fence.

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