Form Over Fences - Page 5

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Form Over Fences

This is a discussion on Form Over Fences within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Trouble staying down over fences
  • Improve my riding form over fences

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    04-29-2009, 04:02 AM
Haven't read all the posts but...

Similar thingy, at pc the instructors are always telling me to get closer to my mare with my upper body, I have had my dad photograph me jumping normally and I believe my upper body is a good distance away from her neck, but at pc they say to get closer to her neck, I have had dad photograph me jumping the way they want and it looks much more awkward. Also I find if I get too close with my upper body, I find it difficult to get my upperbody up in time and as a result she is on the forhand after the jump.

Just my two cents
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    05-01-2009, 12:21 AM
I'm happy to report that I recently had a jumping lesson with a new hunt seat instructor. She was actually telling me to stay more upright and centered over the horse as he jumped. She's definitely not into perching.

I do have an eventing question though. Before I owned my horse, I took lessons at an eventing barn. The first day when we started jumping, I was told to stay in my half seat throughout the jumping round, which was news to me. I have always stayed in either full seat or a light seat between fences. I see no reason to be that far out of the tack between fences when I can be in a much better position to adjust stride and balance. Is there a specific way you are supposed to navigate the stadium jumping phase, or is it just jump clean?
    05-01-2009, 11:36 AM
You should sit between all your fences in the Stadium Jumping Phase.

Now on that note - it depends on how the rider rides - for example, I would rather see a rider who cannot sit properly on their horse back at the canter, be in a lighter seat so not to continuously hit their horses backs

But again - on that note, lightening your seat does not mean leaning ahead of the verticle riding on your crotch - it means allowing your heels and lower leg to take the brunt of your bodies weight, so that you can lightly lift your seat out of your tack, while remaining functional.

Anyways - when doing the stadium phase, you want to be sitting, tall upper body, carried hands, solid lower leg over your horses center of gravity, all the while supporting and encouraging your horse to the base of each fence so that they can do their jobs correctly.

Watch GP Jumpers - majority of them are NOT leaning forward and out of their tack between fences.
    05-03-2009, 05:14 PM
Good to know. That's about what I do. Not really a deep seat cantering, more like someone's tugging on my heels, just enough to lighten his load a little. I try to keep my upper body as if I were still cantering in a deep seat. Easier said than done of course, but at least I know I'm training correctly for what I want to do. Thanks.
    05-03-2009, 09:10 PM
Green Broke
What a great thread! VERY informative everyone, especially to someone like me who is just starting to learn to jump (after 2 1/2 years of riding)...I tried to "mimic" some of those photos a couple times, leaning WAY down onto my mare's neck, and found that whenever I did that, I was practically falling over her head when she landed! My problem is that I have a bad habit so far of not releasing my hands enough, and I end up popping my poor girl in the mouth sometimes

Anyone have any pointers for me on my form (below) - this was taken today...go easy on me, I just started jumping last month, but you all sound like you really know what you're talking about and could help me out in the learning process!! What, in your opinion, am I doing right, and what could be done to help me improve my form over the jump?

    05-03-2009, 11:52 PM
Your stirrups look a bit long. You ideally want 110 degree angle in your leg. If you sit in the saddle with your feet out of the stirrups, the tread should hit your ankle bone or just above.

As far as your form, looks like it's mostly due to a long stirrup. The shorter stirrup will help your base. Without going too far in depth, take that picture you posted, remove the horse from it, and you'd fall forward onto the ground. You're jumping ahead. If you imagine rotating your whole body in that picture back to where your leg is at the girth, your upper body will be more over your center of gravity and, if your horse disappeared, you'd land on your feet. Practice with a shorter stirrup and try to wait for your horse's thrust to close your hip angle for you. Good job on the release. Looks like you're off to a good start.
    05-05-2009, 12:43 PM
Green Broke
Your leg is your base of support. Without a proper leg you have no foundation for the rest of your body. Most of the things I see are a result of a faulty lower leg. Your stirrup should hang straight down, you can see how far back your lower leg has swung back. That shows that you are pinching with your knee instead of having an equal distribution between your thigh, knee, and calf. I'd have to agree wtih Myboypuck as well. Your stirrup is a little long (which means your knee angle is a little too open). Shortening it a hole or even two will help tremendously. This will also help your heel stay down over the fence, but remember to keep your weight into your heels with your ankle relaxed intead of stiffening and standing on your toes.

There should always be a vertical line from your hip straight down to your heel. Your horse's center of balance is over the middle of the saddle, which means your hip should be there too! You can see how far forward (over the pommel) your seat is. It's the classic "jumping ahead" that plagues so many people!! And is caused (as mentioned previously in the thread) by worrying about the distance, hurling your body forward instead of allow your horse to jump up to you, and/or not have a stable lower leg. (usually a combo!) Try to imagine how hard it would be to jump properly over a fence if someone's entire weight was on your neck! You have a very cute little horse who looks like she's pretty talented. By keeping your body still and over the center you will help her jump even better. I like how flat your back is and though hard to tell by the picture it looks like you're looking ahead to your next fence. You look like a cute pair and with some work on keeping a proper leg will be even better!
    05-05-2009, 12:50 PM
Green Broke
Thanks to both of you, great pointers!! Next time I'm in a jumping lesson I'll put the stirrups up a hole or two and see how I instructer tells me the same thing about jumping ahead...and about not gripping with my knees so much, so those are definitely 2 things I'm working on. It's SO hard to balance the timing, maybe because I'm so new to it and so is Sandie? I feel like I'm always either jumping ahead, or getting left behind :-/
    05-05-2009, 01:08 PM
Great post Upnover!
    05-12-2009, 09:12 PM
I am going to bump this main discussion back up, I hate to see this get lost :)

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