I've never been the best jumper, but I'd like to see if I can improve my position a bit. The way I jump is supposed to be very unbalanced and, in theory, if the horse stops you should go right over their head. However I never feel unbalanced and I stick like glue on my mare if she stops or not. So I think it's more just an appearence thing. Regardless though, a lot of the problem is that I tend to jump ahead. Does anyone have some excercises/tips that can help me stop jumping ahead? I try to just let my horse just come up to me, but apparently I'm subconciously
"jumping" the jump myself rather than waiting. Thanks!
I used to have this problem myself. Im not sure if its the same for you but I used to lean forward too much before jumps. Once I started sitting up more it was easier to feel when the horse was getting ready to jump before going into a two-point. Maybe posting a photo would help us figure out the problem? Hope things work out.
I actually had a show today, so I can put together a couple videos of some of the jumps along with some other pictures. For right now though, hopefully these can help. I don't look too bad in these, so I'll make sure I get some pictures that I did an especially horrible job on up tomorrow so you can get a better idea of it.
By the way, the grey is my friend's pony who I've only ridden a handful of times. The palomino is my mare. Also, ignore my horrible release, or lack there of. That's another thing I'm working on.
Hmm... you look like you've got a pretty solid leg. Maybe could be looking for support from your hands a bit. Her ears are pretty telling that there's something she's not comfortable with in your position. Great that you're looking up where you're going!
She actually always has her ears like that. I'm not sure why. When I put videos up, you'll see even in flatwork she does that. She also keeps them like that lunging, and when other people ride her, so it's highly unlikely that I'm hurting her... That picture was also about 15 seconds after she had a bucking fit and I had to pull her head up ;) but thanks! I've been working towards an automatic release, which seems to be helping me stay back a bit. Not quite sure why... Posted via Mobile Device
Haha! We call those "moody mare ears". No joke. We have a moody mare pony that always has flat ears. Even when she's happy in the turn out! If you are brave enough to post some vid of your jumping, that might help here too. (which would make you much braver than me... as I don't ever post vids of my riding! Eeeek!)
Have you tried to figure out why her ears are always back? I know some "Moody Mares" who's ears aren't always back - back issues? Chiro? Teeth? Are you sure the saddle is a proper fit, have you had it assessed by a Professional Saddler, to ensure that the saddle is not hurting her in any way? Etc, etc.
Riding with your upper body in a forward position - ahead of the verticle, is an unbalanced thing, for both you and your horse.
Think of it this way - by you riding around with your upper body, over your horses shoulders, is making your horses job that much harder...because not only are you unbalancing your horse, but you are throwing your weight onto her forehand, making the take off point more difficult, and, your horse is going around on their forehand, making your job that much harder, to ensure your horse is working off of their hind end, and light up front.
So it isn't just an appearance thing.
Jumping ahead is a world wide problem, you're not alone :) Knowing you do it, is a big step and asking how to fix it is another big step. That means you want to improve yourself, so be proud of yourself for that!
You as the rider, need to be over your horses center of gravity. Learning to work in a Functional Two Point position - getting yourself over your feet, seat under you, core activated, tall upper body, open chest, learning to stay out of your horses way, so that they can do their job - will help you to not jump ahead.
Remember, it is your horses job to jump the fence, not yours. Your job is to remain solid and functional, so that your horse can remain solid and functional. You need to help your horse, not hinder.
As you already said, you need to ride your horse, not the fence. You cannot jump that fence for your horse, that's their job, not yours. You, as the rider, need to stay over your horses center of balance, and stay out of their way - you need to ride your horses rhtyhm, you need to ride your horse and forget the fence.
Allow the fence to come to you, instead of you rushing to it. Ride the rhtyhm - ba dum, ba dum, ba dum. Functional Two Point. Ba dum, ba dum, ba dum - fence. The fence isn't there. Ride your horse, not the fence.
Easier said than done.
I recommend having someone put you on the lunge line - ask your coach. Get on the lunge line, with no reins. Figure out where you need to be, to stay functional and out of your horses way. Set up trot poles, 4 in a large circle - 20 meter, 30 meter and work on your rhythm. When a trot pole approaches - so what, continue to ride in your functional two point and just staying out of your horses way. Learn to allow your horse to come up to you, while you stay functional, and just stay there without throwing your upper body forward and throwing all of your weight on your horses fore.
Then, when you get the gyst of just staying put, move to cavaletti's and repeat the same process. Allow the cavaletti to just happen. Ride your horse.
I see this help greatly, and I do it myself, it's a great exercise and it teaches you to focus on what is under you, instead of what is infront of you.
Here's some pictures. They are frames I pulled from videos from my show yesterday and my lesson in my trainer's indoor Satruday. Also, I purposely pulled the worst part of the worst jumps I did both days. So I don't always look that terrible. Again, ignore my releases. I know they suck. They usually aren't too terrible, but me and my horse both had really bad days.
The last picture I posted is my landings. THAT is what I realy need to work on (that's also a very bad case of it for me) I round my shoulders instead of staying over my horse's neck. I've done this for years, but my trainer won't help me with it. (I'm currently looking for a new trainer who can actually help me... That's just a whole other story though.) A lot of what started those landings is that when I got my horse, she bolted after every jump. If I stayed forward she went even faster, and I had to keep my reins very tight. Of course that's no excuse, but I'm working on fixing it. I think if I can fix the jumping ahead, it will make it easier to fix the sitting up to early. Oh, and another thing, my leg looks a lot of horrid in those pictures. My leg is usually fairly steady and stable, but for some reason I really lost my leg when I was jumping yesterday. Even when I really jump ahead I don't usually lose my leg like that... So anyway, hopefully this can help you guys get a better idea of how (poorly) I jump.
haha! We call those "moody mare ears". No joke. We have a moody mare pony that always has flat ears. Even when she's happy in the turn out! If you are brave enough to post some vid of your jumping, that might help here too. (which would make you much braver than me... as I don't ever post vids of my riding! Eeeek!)
Haha! Yes, that's her. I've even had a photographer at a show tell me she's the worst to photograph because she ALWAYS has her ears back! The only time her ears really ever come forward is if she sees something "scary" or exciting. And when she gets mad at me she's starts flopping her ears every time she walks. It's hilarious. But yes, I posted a video. It's not the best. I really love getting adivce and critique on what to fix, because as I mentioned above, my trainer isn't helping me. I've surpassed the level she can teach, so I feel like I'm making no progress in my riding. I actually posted a video in the Riding Crit. Section, but all I got was "oh you look like a nice rider" which is great and all, but it didn't offer much help on what to fix. There's other videos there though, where my release is better Anyone want to critique my riding??
Oh, and MIEventer was concerned that my horse is uncomfortable... She's had her teeth done recently, she has great feet, and has no back issues. We spent 7 months looking for a saddle that fits her, as she is difficult to fit, and we had multiple people look at it before purchasing it, so I'm positive it fits her. I also know her old owner, and she kept her ears back with her saddle too. I think it's just her. I attatched another picture of her following me around the ring (she's such a good girl :) ) and her ears are back there too. If she was that unhappy she wouldn't follow me...
MIEventer- the other thing is, I can't get lunged. We have 3 horses; my mare, my sister's brand new gelding, and our gelding who got hurt a few years ago. My mare bucks when she gets lunged. She isn't unfortable or anything, she just does. My sister's new gelding doesn't lunge. And our other gelding can't really do a 20 meter circle because of his injury. I've always wanted to be able to get lunged and just focus on me, but unfortunatly that's not really an option. I think I do better when I take jumps at a trot because I don't lean as far forward. I've been pushed into hunter seat too much, and that's something I really need to work on. I think I'll try setting up some trot poles and cavaletties so I can work on keeping a good 2 point over them. As soon as the ring thaws... Thanks so much for the advice
" The way I jump is supposed to be very unbalanced and, in theory, if the horse stops you should go right over their head. However I never feel unbalanced and I stick like glue on my mare if she stops or not. So I think it's more just an appearence thing."
It's not about the appearance thing. It's about riding correct. At the photos and the videos, yes it understandable that you know your horse and that you are balanced. And if you say that when you mare stops you can stick on her, I believe you. I used to ride like that.
BUT You won't be able to ride other horses successfully
AND You won't be able to jump over a certain point. You ll propbably cause problem to the horse, if instead of staying back and keeping it back for few strides you just lean forward.
You don't have any problems now, it's obvious, but if you learn something wrong, it will take long time to fix it.
What if one day you want to jump higher? 1.30m for example? You can't jump this high with this style. Or what if you ride a horse that is not that honest, or just runs to the fences?
If you want to fix this riding issue you have, you must understand why you should fix it.
To my opinion, the problem is that unless you change something, high of jumps or horse, you won't easily change your pre-jumping use, because your body and mind are ok with it. If you can find a pony or a horse of a friend that is really speedy and NEEDS someone to hold her back, it's great for practise ;)
What you could do with your mare (love her ears), is ask someone to tell you, when approaching a fence "sit back" and really try to do it. Try to move your upper body up, your shoulders back, even your neck back.
That will need extra strength on your feet, if your style is not sitting.