Ok, my trainer talks about hip angles and stuff during lessons, but I never fully understand it even when I ask her. I've been hearing many people talk about being in a "half seat" before the jump, and when the horse jumps the horse will naturally "close your hip angle"?? I don't understand closed/open hip angles.. Help?
Think about where your leg meets your pelvis at a hinge. When standing, your "angle" is about 180 degrees, because it is straight up and down. When sitting in a chair, your "angle" is about 90 degrees. So opening/closing your hip angle is leaning forward/back. Does that make sense to you?
So when someone says the horse should close your hip angle going over the jump, this means that you don't have to lean forward, your horse just jumps up to you and you soften your hips and allow the horse's motion to push your legs up to close the angle.
Here is a photo... it is unrelated in a way as it is talking about riding stirrupless, but it shows full, half, and 2 point so you can compare the hip angles :)
Hmm, I understand a bit more..but still kind of confused haha :S With the sitting in a chair example, it sounds like the hip angle opened/closed is based on the legs more than leaning forward/backward, as with the pictures.. So I guess I'm confused whether the angles are based on more of the legs (sitting down v. Standing?) or while riding, leaning slightly forward or backward? Sorry, if this is frustrating..
I find that terminology confusing, too. But one image that has helped me is to visualize an accordian fold. The upper body is one pleat, a fold at the hips so that from the hip to the knee is another pleat, then knee to heel is the third pleat. In jumping, the lower leg stays move still, but there are times when it might change, and even in posting you are not only changing the hip angle by opening that "fold", you are also openning the fold of the knee, too.
Accordian closer, accordian further apart. That openning of the fold at the hip joint can happen by EITHER you straightening your upper body to a more vertical stature, OR you bringing your knee more directly underneath you , and thus your heel further back (in the saddle). Both motions open the angle of that "fold".
It means literally the hips and only the hips. You open your hip angle to stand up out of a chair. You close the angle to sit. The legs and upper body just follow to keep the balance consistent during each change.