If you were to devise a checklist of what a rider should be able to do to be considered "good to go for jumping", what would it be? I really want to get up to BN this year, and want all the correct foundation in place.
*Trot, posting and sitting, with and without stirrups.
*Canter, with and without stirrups, half-seat and full seat. (Or whatever you call a "normal" canter seat).
*A solid two-point. (More or less correct regarding equitation, pretty stable, should be able to hold for a while).
*Able to get over ground-poles with no issues, both trot and canter.
You should probably build up your two-point before trying to jump without stirrups.
Standing straight up, in my opinion, is balance and strength.
I guess my problem is, obviously I've been cheating somewhere in my two point. Once I took my hands off my horse's neck for support, I could no longer hold the position. When I found the "sweet spot" where I could balance on my own, my calves really let out a scream. When you guys warm up in two point, do you balance on your horse or throw the reins away and balance on your own? I see plenty of riding stretching their heels, but they're always leaning on the neck with their upper bodies.
I can hold my two-point without using the horse's neck as support. It's okay at first, but you should slowly wean yourself off using your horse's neck if that's what you do.