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Trouble with grabbing mane over jump

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  • Having trouble staying on when horse jumping forum
  • When grabbing mane while jumping fences how much slack in reins

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    07-05-2012, 12:52 PM
  #11
Banned
If you still occassionally hit the horse in the mouth, then grabbing mane is correct and appropriate and what you should be doing to preserve your nice horse's good attitude. The fact that you're pulling mane OUT when you jump tells me that you're exerting significant force on the mane and would not stay off his back and out of his mouth without using mane.

If you'd like to preserve the horse's mane, you can buckle and old stirrup leather or fasten a cord or cable around the horses' neck to hold on to instead.

The problems that cause you to be unstable or unbalanced over the fence are too complex to be addressed in a message board post, not within the scope of the critique you're willing to permit, and should be addressed by your instructor.

I will say that if you were my student, we'd be working on your two point position on the flat A LOT, and working over trot poles and cavaletti and approaching your jumps in two point rather than trying to time the jump. I would have you trotting cavaletti followed by a crossrail and then a little gymnastic rather than cantering single fence.s
     
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    07-05-2012, 08:40 PM
  #12
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mckellar    
Do you have a coach who's helping you ?
Yeah. My riding teacher is awesome! He is more of a Western kind of man, but he is also an expert on show jumpers and dressage. He is amazing. I feel horribly for him, though. One of his mares and her foal got struck by lightening a few days ago.... They both died....
     
    07-05-2012, 08:45 PM
  #13
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
If you still occassionally hit the horse in the mouth, then grabbing mane is correct and appropriate and what you should be doing to preserve your nice horse's good attitude. The fact that you're pulling mane OUT when you jump tells me that you're exerting significant force on the mane and would hot stay off his back and out of his mouth without using mane.

If you'd like to preserve the horse's mane, you can buckle and old stirrup leather or fasten a cord or cable around the horses' neck to hold on to instead.

The problems that cause you to be unstable or unbalanced over the fence are too complex to be addressed in a message board post, not within the scope of the critique you're willing to permit, and should be addressed by your instructor.

I will say that if you were my student, we'd be working on your two point position on the flat A LOT, and working over trot poles and cavaletti and approaching your jumps in two point rather than trying to time the jump. I would have you trotting cavaletti followed by a crossrail and then a little gymnastic rather than cantering single fence.s
I agree....my timing has gotten loads better, though. I will try to post another video soon. I have done a bit of homework, and I discovered that I NEED to be stretching out my calves and ankles before I even walk. If I can't stay balanced that way, there's no way I can stay properly balanced over a three foot fence.


Alrighty....I now permit you guys to critique my riding in general. The reason I didn't want you to at first is because I was (and still am) afraid of what you will say. I don't want to be a bad rider! >< And if I am, it would be humiliating to hear it from people I respect! Just remember to be honest, but polite....civil. I'm willing to admit my mistakes if you are willing to point them out to me in a kind, helpful manner.
tinyliny likes this.
     
    07-05-2012, 11:23 PM
  #14
Foal
Maura has some good advice with the leather strap idea. In fact where I ride everyone starts out with a collar on their horse. I don't know if there is a technical name for such a collar but it is just a leather strap buckled around the horses neck.

When students first learn to canter and when they first do jumping they're unbalanced so the instructors encourage them to hold onto the collar if they feel unbalanced. After that they wean the students off the collar just by teaching them how to maintain a balanced seat and build confidence.

I'm pretty much a beginner myself when it comes to English riding. I just got weaned off the collar actually. I can't give you any advice being a beginner myself. But I encourage you to try that idea and see how it works. It gave me something to hold onto if I felt unbalanced and the bonus was I didn't end up accidentally tugging on the horse's mouth or anything when I moved to right myself.

Hope that helps, I'm not a professional so I can only give you my own experiences. Cx
Ripplewind likes this.
     
    07-06-2012, 10:14 AM
  #15
Weanling
You've already gotten a lot of good advice here. From the looks of it, your biggest issue right now is your base of support (or lack thereof). It looks to me like an issue that you aren't going to fix by going over more jumps, but rather, by working on your strength and balance on the flat.

As someone else mentioned, you have a chair seat right now, and that is going to make it nearly impossible for you to get into a solid two-point. One of the best ways to work on bringing your leg back under you is to play around with your posting rhythm. Rise for two/three/four strides, sit one. If you don't have your leg solidly under you, you won't be able to stay up there. (And of course be certain that you aren't holding yourself up with the reins.)

Then work on getting your two-point rock solid. Start at the walk, sinking your heel down to ensure that you can properly use all of your calf for support, rather than your knee, and just hold it for a while. You can start by placing your hands on your horse's crest as an additional balance point (think of yourself as a tripod with your hands and each leg being your supports), but you need to work to the point there you can hold your hands out to the side like airplane wings and still maintain a proper two-point. Lather, rinse, and repeat at the trot and canter. If you're having trouble at any point, go back to the walk and try to post and/or get into your two-point with no stirrups. You may not be able to get yourself all the way up, but it will remind you which muscles you need to employ to hold a proper two-point when you pick your stirrups back up (and perhaps which muscles you may want to work to strengthen off the horse as well).

Once you have that down, start trotting over poles. Post the trot until you are 3-4 strides away from the poles, then get up into your two-point. Stay up in your two point until you are 3-4 strides out from the poles. You want to retrain your body to stay up in two point until your brain decides it is darn good and ready to sit back in the saddle, because right now, you aren't able to hold yourself up long enough, so you are falling back into the saddle too early, which is what ultimately leads to you pulling clumps of mane out and/or bumping your horse in the mouth.

None of this stuff is terribly exciting or fun, but stepping back and addressing your foundational issues will take you so much farther in the long run than trying to figure it out while you're going over fences.
Ripplewind likes this.
     
    07-06-2012, 07:47 PM
  #16
Foal
I absolutely agree with the other posts here. However, I think another thing to note is that you seem to be "anticipating" the fence. What I mean is that you begin to lean forward before your horse is ready to jump, and you reach with your hands before he needs you to. It will help your balance over the fence tremendously if you go into your jumping position as your horse takes off rather than before, and it will help you to really ride him to the jump.

I totally understand this problem- I struggled with it forever! It is a reaction to being nervous. I know you're weary of your horse refusing, but it seems that you two get along very well! If you shift your weight forward before the jump, many horses will either jump way long or take advantage of your seat and run out. Your boy seems to have a great head on his shoulders! Try to sit deep in your seat before the jump and learn to count your "3, 2, 1's" (number of strides to when your horse jumps - if you have a trainer, s/he should be familiar). This takes a lot of practice, but helped my balance tremendously, and should in turn help you keep his mane looking beautiful. :)

He's gorgeous! Keep up good practice and you guys will be balanced in no time.
Ripplewind likes this.
     
    07-06-2012, 10:46 PM
  #17
Weanling
Thanks, everyone. Thanks for helping me and teaching me. Thanks for being polite, helpful, and honest in your comments. I rode for two hours today after not having ridden in three days, and it was a little rough (and my jeans were very sweaty, so it was harder not to bounce around in the saddle), but we worked our way up to the three-foot fence again, and it went well, even though he had several refusals. I figured out it was because we were either going too slow, too fast, or his body wasn't straight enough for the jump. Plus, it was about 100 degrees out today.

Anyway, we HAD to do flatwork for the first hour, because there were four other people and three other horses in the arena. There was a teenager, the BO's ten year old daughter, the teenager's mom, and the teenager's dad. The poor teenager's horse! Her parents were yelling at her to shorten her reins and jerk him to make him stop. He had on a tie-down and he kept fighting it. The bit was WAY too far up his jaw and it got higher every time the girl would yank. The thing is, she was riding Western, and the reins are supposed to be slack! I was riding with more slack than she was, and her parents took no notice of me until....

Winchester broke his bridle. I had him hitched at the fence, and I decided to set up a crossrails because the flatwork was getting boring (and I felt like showing off a bit 8D). Well, he decided that the pole I was dragging in front of him was going to eat him, so he backed up, and the cheek pieces just snapped. He was headshy for a moment because he was still afraid (plus the dad was behind him acting all macho, waving his arms so that Winny couldn't run out of the open gate), but he calmed down once I touched his neck and petted his face. Luckily, the reins and the bit are perfectly fine. I just need to get a new headstall.

Our session went well before the bridle broke, but the BO's English bridle has a French Link instead of the loose ring snaffle I use, and Winchester suddenly got hard in the mouth again....so the rest of our session together was....frustrating. That was also when he had all of his refusals.

And thanks for all of the compliments about Winchester! He is a pretty boy....BEFORE he rolls in the dirt! XD

I'll keep this thread updated, and I'll TRY to have a video posted in the next week!
     
    07-07-2012, 02:12 AM
  #18
Yearling
Totally off topic... but is his one front leg black? It looks like he's running around with one black polo wrap on! He's so rad!
     
    07-07-2012, 02:13 PM
  #19
Weanling
Haha, he does, doesn't he? XD Yeah, that leg is black! I love my horse!
     
    07-08-2012, 09:20 AM
  #20
Trained
I hope he wasnt tied by his reins !?!?
     

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