Keeping leg stiller over fences?

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Keeping leg stiller over fences?

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    03-01-2012, 10:03 PM
Keeping leg stiller over fences?

I'd like to think I've always had a pretty secure over fences, but Roxy was injured the beginning of this winter so unfortunately I went a good 3 months without jumping. We've spent the last few weeks or so building back up again, and today we did a few 2'6-2'9 singles. I noticed that my leg was swinging back a few inches over the fences though, and since I've never had problems with that before I want to make sure I fix it ASAP so it doesn't become a habit.

I already do a lot of bareback and no stirrup work, and I try to do as much two point as possible, but Roxy is kind of an awkward horse to do much with in two point. I'm hoping that as I get back in shape it'll fix on it's own since I think my leg is generally pretty good, but do you guys have any other suggestions on how to make sure my leg stays nice and still at the girth? Thanks in advance!
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    03-02-2012, 09:37 PM
Its hard to say with out any pics/vids, but I a lot of times your leg will slip back if you are jumping ahead.
    03-02-2012, 10:37 PM
Legs slipping can mean pinching with the knees too.
    03-02-2012, 10:58 PM
What works for me is actually not the riding. I mean, that's a HUGE part of it, but I also take it outside of that -
I go to the gym! My school has an equipment room, so I'll go down there and do Leg Extentions, Leg Curls, Calf Raises, along with other weights. It really helps tighten that leg muscle. Once you've got a solid muscle, USE IT! Don't be afraid to hold with your legs - like you are hugging your horse. Really think about planting your leg where it is.
    03-02-2012, 11:10 PM
I do have some problems with jumping ahead sometimes, but it's normally not too bad and I've been working on fixing it. I don't think I'm pinching with my knees, but I suppose it's possible.
Jumper, that's a great idea, I'll try that!

Unfortunately I don't have any recent pics/videos of me and Roxy, but I do have a few from my lesson 2-3 weeks ago. (They're not the best, but hopefully it helps a little.) This was my second time riding this horse, and first time jumping him. He's really sweet, but I'm used to riding very wide ponies and he's a super narrow TB, so excuse my overall awkwardness haha. Also, I know I get a roached back on the landings of my jumps. I'm working on that too! If you have any suggestions for fixing that I'd love to hear them.

Edit** Not sure why the videos on here have been coming up so little... It should work if you just full screen it but I can post the regular link if that'd be more helpful.
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File Type: jpg Wish jumping.jpg (70.4 KB, 197 views)
    03-03-2012, 07:52 PM
My computer is not good right now about videos, but in the photo you are jumping ahead, not badly, but it will still cause your leg to swing back. For every pound you move forward in the saddle, you have to put one back to stay balanced. This is why if you jump ahead your leg swings back, which causes you to pinch with your knee. In this photo your leg doesnt look like its that far back, but your stirrups may be a tad long too.
    03-04-2012, 09:26 AM
That makes sense. I don't think my stirrups were too long, but that saddle is 14.5 and I normally ride in a 16.5 so it's a bit awkward for me. I'll try to work on staying more centered over the jump. Thanks!
    03-06-2012, 02:00 PM
Staying closer to your tack will help you to not jump ahead. I find that over the smaller fences, because I don't come forward so much, I'm farther out of my tack than over the larger fences (I'm jumping up to around 3'4-3'6 at the moment but smaller for warmup). You tilt your upper body forward but move your butt back a little... does that make sense? Don't get left behind, but concentrate on staying closer to your saddle.

The heights you're jumping don't require you to be so forward, either - you duck a little. I used to do that horribly and it's a hard habit to break but once you've broken it you're much better for it. Some degree of ducking seems to be pretty common for people who've done a lot of hunters, I think in hunters it's desired form to be parallel with your horse's neck? I seem to see that a lot at least. It's not necessary over smaller fences but if you've done a lot of hunters then it'll be a hard habit to break.

Do I recall correctly that you are the person who was switching from hunters to eventing? I get people confused in my mind, you could be someone else completely.

To help you feel better - I have the terrible habit of looking down at my fence. ALWAYS. I never look at it on approach but when I'm in the air my eyes are on the fence I'm in the middle of jumping :/ I also don't have much release but my horse is a bit crazy sometimes and he often needs less release to keep him under control, especially for the related lines and combinations.
    03-07-2012, 08:02 PM
Yep, that's me! I was planning on having last season be my last year of hunters, but I'm planning on riding in college which is hunters... So long story short, I'm doing mostly hunters this year so I have stuff for applications, with a few events here and there. I'm taking lessons from a fantastic hunter trainer who has some GREAT horses (like Wish, in the picture/video) who actually listen so I can start working on my form and don't have to constantly worry about Roxy's ridiculousness.

Anyways, the hunter world tends to "like" overjumping, as in it's better if you don't but 99% of the people do so it's not really frowned upon either. (Which bothers me; I don't care if I'll still place well, I want to be correct.) But that makes perfect sense. I actually tried that today and it seemed to help me from jumping up Roxy's neck. I still wasn't perfect but at least it's some progress!
    03-08-2012, 04:55 AM
Glad to know it's helping! While you're still riding hunters, if you want to place you will need to keep to hunter form and nobody will criticise you for that. For jumpers and eventing nobody cares what you look like, as long as you're getting over the fences and not falling off or getting in your horse's way. A good release is important but you've got that already, just don't let it vanish.

By the by... my release sucks, because my horse is a fruitloop too and I don't have to have a big hunter release so I don't give much at all. Helps to keep him under control.

Once you've got your lower leg and balance 100%, why not try switching to an automatic release? It will help you keep your horse under control if she's being ridiculous :)

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