Hi guys, new here, but here is a picture from my first ever short course. It's the only one I paid for so the only one I can share (don't want to go against copyright and all that). We did well and ended up first overall (dressage and short course) so that was pretty cool.
From what I see, I gave a too short release, and my wrists are angled in making it even shorter. Usually my releases are the opposite (too long) so that is interesting. I think when trying to keep him balanced and controlled I took it too much into my hands on the cross country field so I need to work on finding an even ground between too much and too little.
That is probably my biggest pet peeve, but my leg has probably slipped back (not sure if it is the angle of the picture or not) and I think I am too far forward in the saddle. Gotta keep my calf on as well. Anyways that was me giving myself a critique, I rarely see pictures of me riding and may not be the most unbiased person for a critique so that is why I am opening it up to you guys! Thanks a lot
I think you covered it pretty well and know what you need to do differently :)
Congrats on first place! :D
Here goes nuthin...
It's hard to get an accurate idea of where your lower leg is at due to the angle of the picture. I suspect that it is actually in the right place, from what I can tell it's right up by the girth. I like the angles of your knee, hip, and heel, it looks like you were able to just flow into your jumping position. (if that makes any sense) For me when I go on cross country, though, I prefer a little bit of a deeper seat. I tend to think about putting more angle in my knee in order to sink closer to the saddle. the easiest way to make that happen is to think about putting more of your weight into your heels. That just stabilizes your position a little more, in case anything crazy happens. But overall, legs look good!
I think you're spot on about your upper body. I'd like to see you sitting a little bit further back, as well as a little bit more upright in your shoulders. That will mostly come from sinking into your heels and closing your knee angle to allow you to be more into the saddle.
Other than that, the only think I see is your hands. They've curled in to your stomach. If your hands were straight, I think the length of release would be perfect. For jumping with contact you seem to be spot on in the length of your reins, your horse's motion does not seem inhibited. However, I suspect that you were going for a crest release? If so try to get your hands out a little further and straighten your wrists, and you'll find that the length works much better.
Overall the two of you make a really pretty picture!
Keep up the good work! :D
It's hard to see from the angle, but I think there is more knee and less lower leg on the horse. Try the distribute the contact a bit more evenly from your knee down through your calf. That will also bring your upper body back a bit and get you a little closer to the tack. You two make a nice pair.
Thank you guys so much for the critiques! They are really useful and make a lot of sense. I actually have photos from my next show after that, and it makes me realize that that photo was just a lucky photo and I have a ton to work on.
Unfortunately a day before the event, the horse I had been training with went lame, so I ended up taking another horse, but I had only got to ride him once on the flat the day before and didn't even jump him at all until I got to the warm up ring at the event. It's not an excuse for my position, just a little bit of background info. We ended up with clear rounds and no time faults in show jumping or cross country, but our dressage was weak and we got seventh place.
Anyways, here are the photos. I almost cringe looking at them. Basically what I noticed the most is that I am just completely throwing myself at the horse in every jump. I seem to think I am in the Olympics and that these are 5 foot fences. Really really going to work on that. Also, my feel needs a ton of work and I think I should have shortened up my stirrups. So once again, please critique me, I really appreciated the last ones.
In the first picture, your stirrup has slipped back on your foot and your heel is level with your toes, thus your weight isn't in your heels.
In the second picture, it looks to me like your butt stayed in the saddle. Were you left behind or something? (Just curious).
In the third picture, again your stirrup has slipped back on your foot and your heel is level with your toes. It seems like you are riding pretty drastically for a jump of this height.
In the forth picture, I can see almost the entire saddle behind your butt and it seems that you are on the horse's neck.
In the fifth picture, it looks to me like you sat too early. Don't sit down until all the horse's legs are on the ground.
In the sixth, it's kind of hard to critique this angle so take what I say with a grain of salt. It kind of looks like your leg slipped back and your thigh is lifted off of the horse.
In the seventh, you are toeing out very drastically, so that your foot and probably your thigh is at an odd angle compared with the horse's body. it seems that may have been helped by your stirrup, again, slipping back.
The next two pictures have the same general mistakes so I won't comment.
The last picture, you can see that your leg has really slipped back and your heels are up.
My advice for you would be to really concentrate on strengthening your base. I understand you had long stirrups, but it looks like your legs aren't as strong as they should be, meaning that you can't support yourself properly over the jumps- which may be the reason why you over-compensate with your upper body and look like you're trying so hard (if that makes sense). Lots of no stirrup work with some bareback tossed in. Your release looks kind of inconsistent to me- sometimes it seems not enough, too much, or just right.
Hope I helped and made sense!
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