HELP! My major flaw while jumping... (image included)
Okay so this is a picture of me about a year ago at a H/J show. At show before this I was jumping almost 4' with ease, but I kept doing this (image) at this show going over pee-wee jumps. The horse I was riding would go one stride, two stride, half a stride, then jump, so she was almost popping me over the fence. When I two-point, I think I forget to use my legs because I tend to allow them to swing up behind me. My Barnsby is also very slippery so perhaps that could be one of the causes. Please please please tell me what I should do to maintain better position over fences. I fell off 7 times at this show and was completely knocked out the fifth time and had a minor concussion, and after the last two falls I was heavily suggested by an EMT that I stopped riding for the weekend. I REALLY need to know what I can do to improve.
(Yes, this is me, probably one of the most embarassing falls! :rofl:)
If your issue is as bad as this and you fell off seven times at one show - you need to stop jumping. Clearly, there are major faults with your position and you are becoming VERY unbalanced.
I'd also suggest getting a trainer and chances are your flat-work could do with some work as well, if your legs can get this far back. I looked at your photos of you jumping your friends horse 3'6ft - your leg isn't secure there either.
Sorry, if I sound harsh. But with proper, disciplined training - your position will be much nicer and both you and your horse will be having a lot more fun.
Our horses reflect us, what we do in the saddle - our hands, our legs, our upper body, etc. So, once your position is nicer you will also find your horse moves and jumps much nicer as well.
Wow, that looks like you got your face bashed in too! I've been out of the h/j loop so long that I myself can't remember a lot but what I see from this pic is that he is taking off way too late, almost running into the fence and then having to pop over. My instinct is telling me maybe a half halt a few strides before the jump may help him out, I don't know. And as for your position, it looks like (and don't get mad) maybe you need to do some basic leg work, working without stirrups, strengthening exercises etc. I also get the impression that you are "ahead of the horse" but without seeing video it's hard to determine if that is what is going on, or if him rushing the fence and then suddenly stopping to jump it is throwing you there.
I'm anxious to see what the others say.
Conny's Whinny - Thank you for not being harsh. Not everyone is a perfect rider and everyone has room for improvement. I really do need to do more basic leg work, as I have been focusing more on over the year. I am very scatter-minded and at this show she kept popping me over fences and I'd forget to use my legs. It's funny because when I'm at home I have no problem and ride fine, but when it comes to the show ring I tense up. Thanks for the advice!
PLEASE NOTE THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN OVER A YEAR AGO
ChingazMyBoy - There is no way I would STOP jumping simply because of ONE SHOW. As I previously stated, NO rider is perfect, we all have room for improvement and if you were there at the show you WOULD have more room to criticize me and determine whether I should stop riding. PLEASE NOTE that those pictures were taken LIKE I SAID over a year ago. I am simply asking for ADVICE, NOT criticism. You can't judge me by a few old pictures. Over the years I have been riding without a trainer and have been approached by judges and trainers complimenting the way I ride. The pictures you viewed were my first few months of not riding for two years because I was busy taking care of my mother who was dying of cancer, so excuse me for being "unbalanced." I appreciate some of the advice, but someone telling me I should probably stop jumping--something I live for-- is the last the I wanted to hear and is incredibly hurtful...
Going off the pic in your profile as a basis for some suggestions.
Go back to low fences. You have no base support what so ever. Instead of sinking your weight around your horse's side and into your heels, you fling yourself ahead of the movement onto the horse's neck.
Jumping up like I suspect you are doing is a sure fire way to cause your issue. You need to sit back and wait for your fences to come to you, not chase them down and jump for your horse.
I would suspect you are riding in a very forward and collapsed seat to the fences, already leaning forward with hands on the whithers? This all encourages a horse to add strides and pop fences.
You need to go back to grids and bounces... alternating between no hands and no stirrups to build security and independence in all body parts. You also need to learn distances. at 4' a horse has to get the distance on their own to some extent, but little fences they can just scramble over (I've been there... lol). It's a sign that the rider is just there on top... not focusing the horse on a distance and aiding them to it.
Do you have a vid or other pictures of less... drastic .... positions? It may help everyone piece together a better plan of attack. Though there is nothing better than a knowledgeable trainer.
MudPaint - Thank you so much, I will keep your advice in mind and I will invest in a trainer (it'd be helpful if I could describe my situation with that, but I'd rather not get too personal.) Anyway, I thoroughly read your input and understand what I'm doing wrong. Again, thank you for very much!
Clinics are helpful too. I don't have a lot of opportunities to work with a trainer, but clinics give me a chance to ride courses under an advanced eye and get an idea as to what I need to work on.
Upon reading your other response I see you mostly have issues at shows... hah, welcome to the club of "I suck at shows but jump 4' at home" there are many members. =)
I found that remembering to break each fence down as a single element helps keep me back in the saddle instead of getting ahead of myself and my horse. I repeat dressage between fences to myself a lot... probably have people thinking I'm batty, but it helps.
I don't think Chingaz was trying to take a stab at you. I think she meant, stop jumping an do flatwork to rebuild position and muscles, then move back up. You know how when you start a colt, you put a BIG groundwork foundation on them first? Well, riders need a LOT of flatwork foundation too! :D
Good way to put it. :-)
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