Eek! Need to Improve My Jump Position Drastically! Advice Needed ASAP! - Page 3

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Eek! Need to Improve My Jump Position Drastically! Advice Needed ASAP!

This is a discussion on Eek! Need to Improve My Jump Position Drastically! Advice Needed ASAP! within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Ways to work on jumping position
  • How to improve riders jumping position over and after jumps

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    08-19-2012, 11:17 AM
I read your other thread. Seeing this I think you REALLY need to find another instructor. I can't see how she would let a student go around a course like that- I'm NOT trying to be mean, but it just looks unstable and unsafe!

People posting here have some really great ideas. I didn't read everything so sorry if I mention something that's already been said:

*Lots of no stirrup work
*Two-point until you can't two-point anymore
*One exercise that my instructor had us do recently was to post the trot without stirrups and then go into two-point over three ground poles. I think doing that a few times would help build your muscles and help your form without the pressure of actually jumping.
*Do something you can easily do and then just practice everything about jumping over it. Your approach, counting strides, your feel, your form over the fence, etc. Then you can take what you learn with that and apply it to more advanced things.
*Watch videos of other people jumping.
*Go into the "riding critique" section of this forum and watch videos of people jumping. Then read the comments to see what people said about their ride. After a while try to pick things out and see if you were right.

Jumping is tricky. I bet in a while you will look back and say, "Wow, I ride so much better now, I can't believe I ever rode like that!"
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    08-20-2012, 02:47 PM
I just joined this website, seeing as I am breaking into journalism for horse sites and magazines. Full time I train horses and instruct at one of the top west coast barns here in Los Angeles. So I am just giving you some simple
exercises that can help you.
These are just for you, to work on you. Yes a prior comment on your horse not making your job easier by how he is moving and jumping is correct. However first thing is first, if you can't help yourself you can't help your horse.
First your lower leg is your base right? Two point is two point because when being able to do an automatic release there is only two points of contact. Your lower legs, they must be your balance on the horse. Make sure you have a nice bend in the knee as well, the stirrup hitting your ankle bone is a general rule of thumb. I would though shorten them even an extra hole or two, make you have to sink down further into the heel.With toe slightly turned out not pinching in your thighs or knee. Soft and open I say not way open but clearly not pinching. Over the fences your coming way up, hips way to high above the pommel. Over the fence especially as they get higher it should feel as if your hips drop down, pushing back almost. Over the fence your hip closes as the horse jumps to you. However an uneducated eye will only see the upper body "tip forward" giving the illusion that the rider goes very forward up the horses neck. When your lower leg is stable than we can build up from there. Think of building blocks, start from the bottom since that is where your balance needs to be down in the lower leg. When that is tight, your hip can close properly.Tell your self hips back over the fence. Imagine pushing your butt to the cantle of the saddle. Does that make sense? Google Laura Kraut she is a wonderful example of how this should look. When that is solid work towards correcting your upper body. Than because you roach so much in the back (round out) think of arching just a bit. Not alot, nothing crazy but just a hair to change how your body wants to jump. It will help flatten your back over the fence. Basically change your bodys muscle memory into a more approaite position. Than the hand will follow up the neck into a nice release and so forth. Everything builds on top of each other. If your not balanced you can't help influence your horse.
Your horse now I would suggest is he in a full training program? I would if you can get pro rides on him to help you. He moves very on the forhand, so jumping will only exaggarate the flat. With keeping him in a training program, not only will it help him it straighten out and become more balanced it will also will help you as the rider.
I suggest if he is not in a program after your positon is much tighter working through gymnastics with him. Alot of lines with bounces and one and two strides will help make him balance up, almost back off the fence a hair. Does that make sense? These bounces do not need to be high I would suggest starting with just crossrails until he is comfortible, very soft and moving through lifting the front end very softly. Than over time (with your trainer preferably) turning them into different fences like verticals and even oxars to make him use him self better.
I hope this helps- and remember you can fix it. You did the right thing by looking for some help eventually it will become second nature.
    08-20-2012, 04:28 PM
Hi and welcome to the forum! Your advice was very helpful! :) I am always excited to get expert's opinions and whatnot.

First of all, if you haven't read my other thread under English riding already, I am having a time with my instructor, who I am finding out is probably actually hindering us more than helping us. My problem is that I live in north central Iowa, and there is NOTHING for hunter/jumper, even English, stuff. No coaches, nothing. I will be going off to university in a year (I go to community college right now), and I am looking to take Rusty with me. Maybe.

And here's background on Rusty: I got him two years ago. He was sort of a pasture puff who went mostly western but a little English. He has big strides, so I took him English. When I first brought him to lessons, Rusty couldn't canter without leaning all his head weight on the reins. He was sooooo heavy. At the time, I had him in a dee ring snaffle. Cantering was awful, especially to a jump, and he was unresponsive to the bit as he was leaning so much. My instructor switched him to a mullen mouth pelham, which has seemed to help. At least we can canter comfortably. However, I want to do this the right way, and I know he still gets lean-y. His neck does tie in too low to the shoulder and he's got a very long neck, so I can see that his body works against him.

As for me, I have been jumping seriously for a year, although apparently my instructor "forgot" to tell me that my position was horrible.

I would love to have Rusty in full training. But as a college student, I don't know if I will be able to do that. I guess I'd like to know if Rusty has enough potential to be a great hunter. He's very willing to any types of jumps, and even if he wasn't hunter type-y, I'd love to do some eventing...someday when my position isn't so awful.

It's obvious my instructor has left a lot in question for me. I'd really like to know how good my horse could be at the hunters or even at eventing. And, I'd like to know what I need to do to get him off the forehand that he slobs along on.

Sigh...why can't any of you instructors live in Iowa? Why the east and west coast? I swear I'm going to college on one of the coasts and bringing my horse. Maybe then I can get instruction that will make progress.
    08-20-2012, 04:30 PM
PS - I actually really want to go to college out in California, but I don't think I could bring Rusty! What do you know about good journalism/communications/broadcast journalism colleges out there? And how do you afford to live AND keep horses?
    08-24-2012, 12:41 AM
RELAX. You are bringing him too close to the fences, pushing him off balance & making his job more difficult... When I first got my mare & when I would start to collect myself to jump I would tense up & pray that she would save me, I guess she would in her own way by stopping or running out.(very smart horse!!ha!) Which would leave my pride & myself covered in mud. (she would mostly do it at shows, of course) I honestly hated it but she taught me a valuable lesson. My trainer worked with me without stirrups for SIX MONTHS. Yep, that's right, the only time I could have them back was the day of a show. He had me on lunge lines jumping with my eyes closed without any reins & got me to the point where I knew exactly where my horse was & when I was ready to jump. It also taught me to relax & pay attention to my horse. It is amazing how your eyes can mess everything else up because in the early days when I would open them up I would freeze & mess the jump up again & again.. You have to really get down to the point where you understand exactly what your horse is thinking, feeling & trusting him enough that you don't freak out. Once you have that down, jumping is a lot easier.. haha. If you have a buddy get them to lunge you & your horse & jump some fences with your eyes closed. But before you do that make sure you get some no stirrup work done. A lot of it. Jump without them as well. It will force you to use your body & to move WITH the horse not without him. It will also make his job easier & your jumping a lot safer! That last photo honestly scares me. I would hate for you to have a awful accident. Stick to cross rails & do a lot of no stirrup work & keep those heels DOWN. Once you get all that down, you'll be a rockstar in no time & will end up loving to ride without stirrups.. or a saddle for that matter. All the best, girl.
    08-24-2012, 10:08 PM
That last photo scares me too, hence why I posted on HF. Yikes. To think a year of training has gone wasted because it was never pointed out that my jump position was that awful. It just disgusts me because I wonder what I really have gotten out of lessons...
    08-24-2012, 11:08 PM
Whoa whoa whoa..... I get how frustrated you are ! I was there when I started my lessons with my current trainer - and had left my other trainer. Just to be how angry at the waste of my time and money.... The money still annoys me, but fortunately it wasn't a lot (should have been an indication). But the time - but now I look back on that, and see it as a learning experience, and more motivation. Turn it from a negative to a positive... even if everything that person taught you was wrong, you spend a year in the saddle on your horse getting to know him. That is never a waste. Now you know what not to do, again a valuable lesson. And when you finally get that good coach and you feel what right feels like, trust me its nice to be able to pull out from memory what wrong feels like and now what right feels like. Time with a horse is NEVER a waste.
Cinder likes this.
    08-25-2012, 07:57 PM
Okay, true, I do give you that! But besides money, I do wonder if it's going to be 10x harder to do the right thing. That dang muscle memory! I don't want Rusty to fall into bad habits from this bad training either, but I think he's doing alright. This is all just extremely frustrating, yes. And while I have enjoyed the many victories with Rusty, I also wonder if no training on our part is better than bad training. :/

I don't know anything but that I'm up a crick.
    08-25-2012, 09:26 PM

Here, instead of torturing yourself over your position, read this article. There's a very good visual in it that gives you a great start to fixing your (and mine) issue.
    08-26-2012, 09:16 AM
I liked the article a lot! These people truly are my riding idols. I wish I could do lessons with them. But that gave me lots to think about.

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