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Passion4Horses 06-13-2012 04:20 PM

Jumping and flatwork critique
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These are videos from last nights lesson that I would like critiquing on please. I have been riding since last August and jumping for a few months now.

So first is flatwork:
I think my biggest problem is leaning forward with my upper body. I look like a hunchback when I ride. Which I think leaning forward makes me pump way too much in canter. But I am really happy with my leg, I think it is much more secure and in a better hip heel line than before.
Now for jumping... I need a lot of work. I have a really bad problem with not staying up in my two point and coming back into the saddle too early. You can hear my trainer before every jump saying to stay in my two point, I guess it just doesn't click with me. I also realized that I am popping her in the mouth:oops:
So critiques please :-) and I only ride once time a week so it It's hard to work on my leg a lot.

LostDragonflyWings 06-13-2012 04:46 PM

I think for the jumping, you are over jumping a little (your leg is also slipping back at times), which is putting you off balance and causing you to slam back in the saddle too quickly. Your stirrups could probably go up a hole or so as well.

Work on keeping your weight in your stirrups and waiting for the horse to jump before you do. Instead of throwing your body over the saddle, bend a little at your hips. Also, do not forget to give a release. It didn't look like you were catching her in the mouth too badly, but you aren't giving a release, so are kind of making chicken wings instead.

Over the poles approaching the fence, I would suggest sitting up normally and not getting into your two point position. Wait, wait, wait, for the first jump, then get into your two point. Go over the three bounces (in your two point), then get back up into your saddle to prepare your horse for the last fence. Wait, wait, wait, then jump the fence with your horse.

You look pretty good for only riding and jumping for so little time! Perhaps no stirrup work (during the posting trot too!) would help with your lower leg and help in keeping you out of the saddle longer after the fence.

Keep up the good work!

soenjer55 06-13-2012 04:54 PM

I am NO expert, and I could very well be wrong- but I'll give it a go anyway, now that you've been warned. :D
The first thing that popped into my mind is that your heels could be farther down. Your feet look relatively flat in the stirrups, which I believe is causing your body to flop back and forth in the canter flat work- with your heels horizontal like that, none of your weight is in your heels, therefore your balance is shifted.
I would suggest, to keep your hands and arms steady, to do some exercises to strengthen them. Also, when riding, remember that your elbows bend, not your wrists- the wrists stay firm, keeping your hands at the pommel of the saddle.
I'm not going to critique the jumping because one, I've had only one jumping lesson in my life so it would be silly, and two, I think the reason that you can't hold a two-point and fall down early is because you lack the strength you need in your core and legs (in my lesson I had the exact same problem- couldn't hold the two-point because I didn't have the strength. :/ ), I would suggest doing some exercises to strengthen your legs and back/abs, as I believe that will benefit your riding in general, both on flat and jumping. Also, for your heels, I would suggest standing on a step with your heels off the edge to work on stretching them down. Good luck and I hope my advice is helpful for you!!

Passion4Horses 06-14-2012 11:37 AM

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Thanks guys,I will work on those things! More critiques??
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Corporal 06-14-2012 02:15 PM

First realize that riding is an athletic endeavor. The better shape you are in, the better you will ride the flat and the jump. ANY exercises that strengthen your core and strengthen your legs will enable you to ride more easily.
I was in the same situation as you when I took lessons as a teenager. The stable let me rent a lesson horse for one hr/week in between lessons and this helped my riding quite a bit.
Is there a (safe) horse that you could rent/use for one hour in between your lessons? If so, I would recommend riding the flat at the walk and the trot, doing figures as you would riding a course, except you will cross your stirrups in front of the pommel and ride without them. You need to be more weighted to move effortlessly at the canter. I realize that (in the video) you are keeping this horse from running out, therefore you are both riding the horse and working on your jumping, so you need to separate the two activities to teach your body how the gaits feel. Ironically the canter is similar to the walk in how you move WITH the horse. Riding the trot without stirrups greatly increases your balance.
Vary the exercises so that you transition directly from a walk to a canter, back to a walk, canter to an extended trot, to a rising trot, to a collected trot--Dressage-y stuff.

Skyseternalangel 06-15-2012 12:24 AM

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Flatwork critique only.

Leaning forward and not following the horse through the canter at all. You're pushing your hips forward when you should be doing lifting them up.

Each gait, from walk to gallop, is an upward motion, NOT a forward motion. You know this in the trot, because the horse's momentum brings you up, and gravity brings you down. The horse's momentum does not shoot you forward, yes?

So what you're doing here, is pushing the horse's back forward (instead of moving with the horse or using a driving seat and leg), interfering with their gait, and it's not looking seamless or comfortable.

Is there a way you can get on the lungeline to practice? It would help you out a lot :)

Here is this video too


tinyliny 06-15-2012 12:54 AM

I would like to say, that given the amount of time you have had in the saddle, you are doing EXCEPTIONALLY well! your instruction seems to be focussed and is producing results. Keep it up, you are doing super.

Skyseternalangel 06-15-2012 01:20 AM

730 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by Skyseternalangel (Post 1548940)


Well that's upsetting, half of my critique disappeared..

Basically you are too stiff with your arms at the beginning, they don't open and close at the elbows at all. So your horse is either being jabbed in the mouth, or not really moving out at all.

Follow with your arms, no need to move your upper body at all, only your hips (in an upward circular motion as per the video.. which will take practice.)

You have a wonderful lower leg, and you look very comfortable and safe. I love how relaxed your horse is too, but he could look better (or she)

Open up your chest more, sit back a little more so you are balanced over your horse, and you should have instantly better canter seat.

Best of luck! Keep it up!

tealamutt 06-15-2012 10:17 PM

Nice improvement! You could definitely open the chest more. Think about sitting up more and drawing the shoulder blades together and down (not pinching them together). I have this same problem. In the first vid you look just like me 6 months or a year ago, trying to canter for the horse. think more about your feet (sounds weird but it helps) rather than your seat. thinking about that shoulders back, standing in the stirrups position will really help you be more correct in your two point.

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