jumping position - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-05-2010, 07:27 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: west michigan
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jumping position

ok, ive been jumping for 3 years, but the first 2 years consisted of just trying to get my pony over the jump. so my position isn't that great. im slowly getting better, but i would like some tips. how close to my horse's neck should i be? are my legs supposed to be in the same place as normal riding?? and also, any tips for judging strides before the jump. sometimes my pony does okay, but alot of times he has to add in a little extra stride to make the jump. one more thing: hands. where do they go?? i basically taught myself how to jump so i need all the help i can get!
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post #2 of 6 Old 10-05-2010, 07:30 PM Thread Starter
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and i sometimes lose my stirrups during jumping, randomly. sometimes before or after the jump or during a turn, or while going over. any ideas why??
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post #3 of 6 Old 10-06-2010, 12:45 AM
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People usually put their stirrups up before jumping. I would shorten mine by about 3 holes, but I ride with a long dressage length. This allows you to get out of the saddle properly. Your leg stays in the same position over the jump, but because you'll be riding with shorter stirrups your legs will be in a slightly different position to normal.

For small jumps you don't need to go close to the horses neck. You just tilt your upper body forward a little, and slide your hands forward. Remember to give with your hands, do not pull on your horses mouth as he stretches over the jump.

It can be hard to judge the strides that you need to put in because each horses are a different length. Just notice how much ground a stride covers, and where your horse takes off. Then you can adjust the horses stride so that he can easily take off where he normally does.

Practice "grids". This is where there are a few jumps in a row. There might be one, two or three strides between each jump, and some might have no strides (bounce). This will get you and your horse used to striding and balance. Remember its up to you to select striding.

Shorter stirrups might help you keep your foot in. Focus on keeping your heels down. Practice trotting and cantering in your two point position (standing in your stirrups/hands forward). This will strengthen your muscles and make it easier for you to stay solid over the jumps.
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-09-2010, 04:24 PM
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I highly recommend you pick up the montly prescription of Practicle Horseman and read up on George Morris's articles on Jumping Position. You can learn alot from there - also, grab GM' books and video's that he has out. He can teach you alot, and he is a wealth of information and education.

Go to your local book store, or look online - he has many books and DVD's out on this very subject :)

This way, you can learn visually as well, to see where you need to be.

I also suggest studdy riders like Beezie Madden - and I am sure others can suggest other great riders with impecable form over fences.

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post #5 of 6 Old 10-09-2010, 05:16 PM
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You are probably losing your stirrups because you are grabbing with your knees. This takes the weight out of the stirrups and allows the lower leg to "creep" up the horses sides. Grabbing with your knees also allows the lower leg to slip back, causing the upper body to "tip" forward due to imbalance.

Without photos, it is very hard to tell what is going on, but the above problems are the most common to all newer ( and experienced) riders.

As for laying on your horses neck? Hmmm.....how about never. You only flex forward enough to flow with your horse's movements. I see way too many people in the hunter world "riding the horse's neck" unneccessarily, IMO.

The photo in my avatar is a pretty big jump, but I don't feel the need to lay on my horse's neck. I am simply following the movement in a balanced manner.
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-09-2010, 09:14 PM
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^^^^^^^ agree'd ^^^^^^^

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