09-03-2009, 05:50 PM
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Your jumping has improved TREMENDOUSLY!!!! You look like a different rider then I remember! I remember some video of you earlier where I was kind like, hm... Your hard work is definitely paying off! GOOD JOB!! Your leg is improving so much and over the top of your horse's bascule over the fence you are so much more in the middle of your saddle and balanced then you were!
You are still wanting to get a lilttle ahead on the take off though. If you look at 0:11 you are over the pommel of your saddle. I think :10 says a lot too. Remember, you don't want to let your body "start jumping" before your horse is, the jump doesn't begin until both of your horse's front feet are off the ground. In :10 you've started to throw your body forward. I'm going to guess that it's a bit of anticipation of the jump AND because you're supporting yourself with your horse's neck (not necessarily a bad thing, but timing is important). Here's something that might help. Some trainers will tell their beginning jumpers to grab mane in front of the jump, which is fine, because you don't want to hit your horse in the mouth. But once a student has gotten used to the motion of the jump I have my students grab mane as the horse lifts off, and not before. For several reasons actually. By throwing your hands down on the neck you've 1) made taking off harder for your horse because of the weight you've pushed on his neck and 2) it throws your body forward before the horse is ready to jump. And, 3) it can teach you to "abandon" your horse. While you're heading to the jump you have contact on your horse's mouth, you're riding, and basically you're saying "we're in this together horse", then second you throw your hands down on the mane (ESP when it's because it's going to be a funky distance) you've abandoned your horse. It's like saying "never mind, I lied, you're doing this on your own!" Some horse's after time will learn to stop if they've been taken to the fence and had their riders 'bail' on them, esp when it's going to be hard. I think you seem to do it most over the trot fences... interesting! So just keep thinking about supporting your horse and being there for him up until the base of the fence, and then jump. Your canter fences are much better. The canter jump at :29 I think is your best. You are definitely the most still with your body!
Another thing to think about is the landing. (I knwo this isn't about jumping ahead but I thought I"d throw it out there) You want to be careful not to land on your horse's back before he's finished jumping, which is the point when his back feet land. If you look at :31 and :50 your seat is already in the saddle even though his hind is in the air. This is actually something a lot of jumpers have trouble with. I know I did when I was learning to jump! My trainer had me stay in a 2 pt for an entire stride after the jump before I was allowed to sit again. That worked for me.
Anyways, just a few pointers I thought I'd throw out there! These are just my opinion, take them for what they are. But I AM very impressed by your improvement! You should be very proud of yourself!