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vergo97 08-04-2012 06:20 AM

Jumping balance
I had my lesson yesterday and I think my jumping position is really bad. :-(I didn't manage to do a single jump right. My instructor said that I keep leaning on the horses neck, but I only do it because I can't balance without doing it. I kept doing the jump over and over again and was told that I was leaning on his neck every time, will I eventually learn how to not do it, or is there anything I can do when I'm not at my lesson? The other girl in my lesson is really good at jumping though, so the jump height got raised a bit which might have put me off a bit (but I know that they've got to keep the lesson interesting for her as well, it wouldn't be fair for me to be restricting her). Socks (the horse) refused a few times, or just stepped over it at the last minute which was because I wasn’t getting him to go fast enough, I think it was just my nerves because I knew I wasn't supposed to lean on his neck, but I wouldn't be able to balance without doing it.

Also, unrelated to the jumping, but Socks was being quite difficult because he always wanted to be with the other horse (Nelly). Sometimes he would do weird things like swinging round when I was trying to walk away from Nelly, which would get me told off because Nelly sometimes kicks out and doesn't like horses near her. He would also go really slow and need a big kick every few strides when I was on my own, but when he was behind Nelly he would want to be going really fast. Is there anything I can do to stop this behaviour?

gypsygirl 08-04-2012 09:31 AM

for your jumping position, are you sure your stirrups are the correct length ?

i would practice lots and lots of 2pt on the flat. i do my whole 10-15min warm up all in 2pt so solidify my leg. this does mean shortening my stirrups when i get on, the lengthening them to flat/dressage length after i warm up =]

jinxremoving 08-04-2012 10:24 AM

Just my two cents Canadian, but if you can't balance properly jumping than you're probably not ready to be doing it. The last thing you want to do is put all your weight on their neck... throwing them off balance, possibly causing them to stumble and take you with them. Far too many riders are rushed into jumping and the results can be disastrous.

I'm with gypsygirl on this, time to go back to the flat and do tons of two point. Try going over some ground poles and tiny little cross rails... a video of you riding would also be helpful for us to see and offer some insight into what else could be the problem.

vergo97 08-04-2012 10:45 AM

I think my stirrups were an ok length, they could've been a bit shorter but I'm not sure if it was possible as they had run out of holes and had already been looped round once (if that makes sense..)

I would be happy to go back to doing jumping position in flat work, maybe I should just be more assertive with asking my instructor if we can do that. I did tell her that I couldn't balance in the jumping position, but she just said that I could and I just needed to practice. I just feel bad because the other girl in my lesson is really good at jumping and I don't want to hold her back.

I think my lesson next week will be private, so I could ask to do lots of practicing then. I don't have a video of my riding at the moment, I'll see if I can get one at my next lesson though. Are instructors ok with parents filming a lesson?

gypsygirl 08-04-2012 10:47 AM

usually instructors are ok if your parents film, but you can always ask if you are unsure ! do you ride outside of lessons ?

vergo97 08-04-2012 10:51 AM

ok, I'll ask at the lesson :-)

I don't get to ride outside of lessons, so I only have an hour riding a week, but I hadn't ridden for three weeks before my last lesson because I had been on a school trip

PhelanVelvel 08-05-2012 05:30 AM

So, I'm no expert. But since my circumstances seem to throw me unceremoniously in and out of the equestrian world, I know where you're coming from with this particular problem. Last time I had lessons, a few months ago, the instructor basically had me trot in two-point for as long as I could stand it. >_< Sometimes I would just need to sit and rest, but occasionally I became unbalanced, as you do, and would sort of fall forward a little and attempt to balance myself by leaning onto the horse's neck. Obviously that's bad. I chalked this up to lack of muscles in my thighs, and judging by how badly they ached afterward, I think that's a safe bet. My muscles are once again weak, and I foresee this same problem in my future, as I plan on taking lessons again soon.

So I'm doing this daft thing... I straddle an inverted laundry basket (it's about as wide as a saddle...) and pretend I'm posting. I try and do it with my back straight and barely touch the basket when I come down to sit. I even attached a dog lead to the front of it and hold it as if it were reins. (Is this girl for real? ಠ_ಠ) Okay, so it's basically squats, but the setup reminds me that it's in preparation for riding, and I think it forces you to really work your thighs. I can feel the burn every time I do this. So...that's something you could do not at your lesson. XD Desperation begets creativity, I suppose...

KatRocks 08-06-2012 07:20 PM

I had the same problem when I started. Partice 2point on the flat and then move to small cross rails, so small that the horse barely hops over it. Focus mostly on your "landing gear" aka heels way down and deep and it helps to push your leg forward abit. Technically you don't want to move your legs at all. But it helps when learning to jump with better balance. Grab mane but don't lean, the neck will come up too you. Think about a strong flexible core and deep deep heels. Im guessing you are on a lesson pony so just remember that he knows what he's doing, trust him and encourage him to go faster but just trust him. Think positive and good luck :)
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