Thank you so much Jody and Nutty! I really appreciate your input, knowledge and experiences! What you say makes so much sense to me, and Nutty you look fabulous regardless of what horse you are riding -
I was always taught that in order for your horse to do his job correctly, you must be spot on in form. Like, for example - if you loose your lower leg, then you aren't aiding your horse to remain round and up into your aids. If your upper body is forward, then your bodies weight is on your horses forehand, if you carry your hands low, your horse is not being lifted up off of their forehand - etc, etc, etc.....
What are your thoughts on this?
I am understand that you must learn to conform to the horse, 100% agree with this. What do you think about low level riders who are green, and starting to jump - do you think they need to be made to focus on being correct in equitation before they go over fences, or need to focus on solidity before they go over fences *solidity meaning solid seat, behind the horse, leave the horse alone, get the horse to the base of the fence correctly...more technical, than perching*
IN a perfect world you would have a perfect position and it would be easy - Ive seen way to many people who over analyse everything they do on the horse - Constantly put criteque pics up (Not this site _ I have not been on here that long) to strive for the perfect postion - but what are they doing - they are losing the enjoyment....Its all about getting that leg in the right place - back flat etc.... there are some poeple on horses that make it impossible to look perfect on
There is the ideal position which in most places is same - Pinto pony has a possie most of us strive for....(Including myself LOL) but at the end of the day - shes been jumping for years with her pony and really has solidfied it so she is extremely stable...
Learning to jump - well personally I think they need to focus on two things... Stability in the lower leg and the release.... (Of course overall things but these two things are a major) I think the other things will come with time - can you remember when you learnt (I cant but have recently been teacing someone) - there was just so much to take in and then on top of that it was the fear/excitment of actauly jumping. They should definitely focus on the form but I think pretty comes later.... (So I guess in answer to you question Solidity) I absolutely thing though all foundations must be taught on the flat first as it will only end in tears!
There are so many conflicting theories as well to confuse everyone ontop.... My first instructor taught me to over release and ride in two point to the base of the jump.... what did that do for my current horse.... well she being new to jumping (Only learnt in the last year) was not supported and felt like I dropped her at the base and over the jump then would run away afterwards as I "Thrown the reins" at her....
So my current instructor - who I love - works on sitting up holding her to the base and riding leg to hand over (While maintaining contact - but still releasing).... her jumping has come along huge bounds so yeah what works with one horse aint going to work with others....so you will need to adapt
On another note - Upsidedown - I so have to agree with you re the
"They want to see you laying on the horses neck as if you are jumping a very large fence, even if you are just doing 2'6". They want to see your hands in almost a crest release. They want to see you in half seat through most of the course."
Our Showhunter in NZ - (Which is like your hunters as opposed to your Showhutner) thats exactly what its like.... couldnt have put it better myself..