Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I sincerely hope you aren't going over CC fences like this. CC is a sport that demands respect, solidity and correct riding.
I firmly believe that if you cannot ride a stadium fence appropriately with solid form, you have no business out on the CC course. For your safety, your horses safety and for the respect of those fences.
On that note, I give you credit for coming forth and asking for help and advice with this issue that MANY have - you're not the only one with this issue, and it is due to holes in their training.
It takes a rider who can awknowledge their errors, see their errors and want to correct them. For that, be proud of yourself.
There are a multitude of sins that creates a rider who jumps ahead and stands up in their irons.
- Incorrect Leather Length
- Incorrect foot placement in iron
- Anticipating the fence
- Not riding their horse, but riding the fence
- Lack of security in tack, knee pinching, incorrect gripping
- Weakness in lower leg
- Not riding horses rhythm correctly to the base of the fence.
- No core strength.
First, I would ensure that your leathers are at the correct length and that your irons are placed correctly on your foot. There should be a 110 degree angle in your knees and the irons should be at the ball of your toes - where the outside bar is on your pinky toe and the inner is on the ball of your big toe.
Then, I'd put you on the lunge line. If you have someone who has a very good eye and is knowledgeable who knows what to see and look for, who can work with you - then fabulous.
Reinless work - this develops your seat and your balance. You learn to re-establish your weight in your lower leg, heels and seat. You find your center, and you find your body parts that should be working for you, instead of those you tend to rely on when you shouldn't be. If you do this correctly - you can aid in curing your bad habits.
I would have you going over trot poles - having you focus on your horses rhythm and where your lower leg should be at all times - at the girth. I would have you focus on not pinching with your knees and focus on wrapping your lower leg around your horses girth. Heels deep, legs locked and wrapped. Remember, you are not ontop of your horse - you are around your horse.
I would have you start at the trot, and have you work at bending at the hips, and sinking through your knees and heels when you go over each pole. I would have you looking up, relying on feeling your horses movement and rhythm.
Learn to ride your horse - not the fence.
Then I would have you merge into the canter when you master staying solid in your tack and remaining with your horse while at the trot.
At the canter, same thing. Nothing different, just different movement and rhythm. Work on leg placement, heels, sinking in knees and bending at the hips.....BUT.......this has to be done with your horses motion.
I would have you focus on what is beyond the trot pole, and your horse...who is the most important factor here. You must learn to ride with your horses motion and remain balanced over his center of gravity.
Solid lower leg at girth. Correct placement of iron. No pinching or gripping. Allowing knees and hips to do their job. Remaining with horses motion and allowing horse to lift you out of your tack.
If you can do that over trot poles, I would then merge you to cavaletti's.
You must learn to ride your horse, not the fence. You have to learn to ride your horse correctly to the base with impulsion, control, rhythm and collection. You must learn to trust your horse to get his job done, without you interfearing.
You have to beable to remain solid through your heels, inner calf, lower leg and seat. Learn to wrap yourself around your horses girth, seat in tack with upper body just slightly infront of the verticle. You have to learn to remain with your horse allowing him to lift you out of your tack and closing the angle - all this, on the lunge line.
Stop focusing on the fence. Stop anticipating the fence. Stop looking at the fence - focus on who is the most important factor to this equation...your horse. Learn to trust your horse, learn to ride his movemnt and rhythm.
Also, work on lots of 2 point work - solidifying and strengthening that lower leg. I do lots of hacking, and majority of the time during this, I do 2 point work with my legs stuck at the girth and wrapped around. My seat pushed back towards the cantle and working on my core strength by tightening and relaxing my abs.
Fill the holes in your training.
Nothing wrong with these exercises - I do these exercises on a regular basis.
I would love to see pictures of you going over fences to get a better idea as to what is going on - or even video footage.