Squared/tucked knees?

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Squared/tucked knees?

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  • How to make a horse jump with square knees
  • Foal has knees tucked

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    11-07-2010, 02:22 PM
Squared/tucked knees?

I am an eventer, and I know it doesn't really matter how 'pretty' his jump is, but I want to know why/how to change this..

His knees/legs are never parallel...

This one isn't so bad, but they still aren't symmetrical....!

Here's a videooooooo. :)
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    11-08-2010, 09:00 PM
You may be putting a little extra weight on one leg more than the other. Or you may be leaning a little to one side even though you may not recognise it. SO try to even the weight out on both your legs and he will jump with both legs together. Nice horse Sorry I couldnt help more, again, its hard to tell.
    11-08-2010, 09:25 PM
Originally Posted by PintoTess    
You may be putting a little extra weight on one leg more than the other. Or you may be leaning a little to one side even though you may not recognise it. SO try to even the weight out on both your legs and he will jump with both legs together. Nice horse Sorry I couldnt help more, again, its hard to tell.
Hmm, that is very interesting!

But look at the bareback one (the most drastic picture) I'm bareback, so have no stirrups to put weight in!
    11-08-2010, 09:50 PM
Well even bareback you would be anchoring yourself using your legs...so if you are off even just a centimeter, he may feel that and respond by snapping one leg up higher than the other...

Have you tried doing x number of small cross rails in a row? That would help him to snap his legs up quicker, as he can't get 'lazy' about it...Other than that, I'm not sure how to help him be a bit snappier...I don't jump a whole lot, so hopefully others will chime in with other ideas for you.
    11-08-2010, 10:24 PM
Green Broke

Agreed. Gymnastics are the tried and true way to get tighter knees - when he's having to focus on being balanced, rocking back and immediately snapping into the next jump, he'll learn to not be so sloppy. You can see the way he jumps now, he's extremely elongated with very little effort and all the room in the world to fill with his big body. He looks bored with these small jumps, but I'd tighten him up through gymnastics before working him up to the higher stuff - being bored like this at a 4'0" fence is never a good thing.

I really don't think it's you, he just LOOKS bored out of his mind with these itty bitty fences. So instead of facing him higher to pique his interest, give him more to think about with gymnastics!
    11-09-2010, 12:19 AM
Gymnastics will definitely help. I also want to add... there are a number of reasons I can think of for this.... one being the timing of the photographer. Especially with small jumps... if you catch the action too early or late, your horse won't be square. Also, if you didn't hit a good distance, your horse may have to compensate and it may not look pretty. For example, in your video, you came out of that line pretty deep, and he didn't jump very pretty because of it.
Also, just the simple fact of these jumps not being very big.
But definitely do some gymnastics with him, that will help tremendously :)
    11-11-2010, 02:05 AM
Thanks everyone.. The thing is, is that I do practice a lottt of gymnastics.. so i'm not really sure what the deal is. I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing, lol. :/

He probably is bored with it! Lol, I can't wait until I can jump him bigger :)
    11-11-2010, 08:19 AM
You got some good advice but I would also reiterate that you need gridwork. Like trot pole to crossrail to one stride vertical to bounce vertical. Make it get shorter each time. And you also have a tendency to sit back and let the fence come to you which is a double edged sword. It's good that you're not interfering with him but you aren't helping him either. You need to ride him a little harder and little more collected to each fence. Watch some GP jumpers or medal winning hunters on youtube and you will see the canter that you need. It needs to be a little more collected and "bouncy" but still very forward and ground covering so that he has enough impulsion from the rear end to actually jump. I agree that he looks a little bored and if a professional got on him and started jumping him 3' + he would most likely perk up and get snappier with his knees. But since you're not at that level it is perfectly alright to make him respect the low fences and it will make him a better jumper. So sit a little deeper and ride him harder to each fence with your legs and seat while maintaining a bit more contact so he doesn't get quicker just bouncier and a little more collected. Good luck!
    11-11-2010, 09:02 PM
Some horses are born fantastic jumpers, and some are not. Some will never be perfectly square because its just the way it is.
But, these things can be helped, and you can improve it to a better state.
As posted above, gymnastics help. A 1 or 2 stride is sufficient, trot in, canter out. You can use a verticle or oxer on the second fence. But they jump the crossrail and have a short amount of time before the next jump, so they snap their knees up quicker, hence a tighter fold.

A reason why he may be jumping so loosly with his legs could be due to the jump height. If the jumps are small for a horse, some don't put much effort, they just kinda slime over it. If you are ready to jump higher, try raising the 2nd obstacle of the gymnastic to make your horse use a little effort and see how he jumps then :)

He could just be waiting for something to jump!
    11-15-2010, 07:12 PM
Thank you two.. very helpful info.

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