A Clip From our Lesson! Jumping Critique!
So this is a video from this Wednesday :) It is me, riding Cowboy. We are doing Hunters, in small local shows. He's only 4, and we are learning :) I love him with all my heart. <3 Please watch in HD, if the option is avaliable.
Anyways, I have had Cowboy since March. We've only been with this trainer for about a month now, though. She's great, and I really love her teaching style. Our show results have improved since being with her, so I'm thinking we have improved :p
I'm looking for critique on both me and my horse. If there is something pony needs, please let me know ways to improve upon this. Obviously tell me ways to improve my position as well :) Tear us to shreds! No 'please be nice, tell me what I'm good at,' blubber. I just want to get better as a rider - I'm not here for self-esteem.
The line is a 3 stride, as my trainer told me.
Thanks in advance!! :)
Make sure you wait and let your horse thrust you into two point when jumping- you are anticipating and jumping before your horse. You cant know when or where your horse will take off, you have to wait and let the horse jump under you and put you into position. I had a terrible time with doing that until recently, it takes a lot of practice.
A note about the horse... has a vet done any x-rays on your horse's knees and back that showed they are all fused together? By 4 years old, 90% of horses are still developing their back and knees, they usually don't fuse together until 5 or 6, rarely later or earlier. IMO, at 4 years old, horses are just starting to get mental maturity and they should start working on dressage - every jumping horse should have basic dressage as their base. Until Cowboy is 5 or 6, I would not go over the height you are jumping right now, and do it very lightly (every week or two).
First of all, thank you so much for your response :) I took into consideration about what you said about waiting for him, and took a video tonight. I will attach that below. Could I have critique in that as well?
And yes, what you said about his knees - I do promise, swear, and completely understand this whole concept. I am VERY picky about him, and *never* jump him at home (with the exception of today - and I only jumped 3 times at 2'.) It is always ONLY with his trainer. He also never gets above what is shown here.
He is actually very mentally mature. He learns very quickly, and is very, very gentle and willing. He already has basic dressage, and picked it up in a very short time with our trainer.
I do plan on waiting until he is 5 to do 2'6, and not jumping him 3' until he is at least 6, more than likely 6 1/2 years old :) His welfare ALWAYS comes first.
The only thing I noticed in the second video is, she's already trying to suck behind your leg a bit. At this stage of the game, think forward, forward, forward. Not off balance, just keep her in front of your leg. It will pay off big time down the road once you are jumping regularly.
Thank you for your response :) I don't know if you knew this, but I love when you post on my critiques - you always seem to be right about everything about everyone :p Just the kind of person I want to hear from-
Exactly what do you mean by 'behind your leg?' You mean as, a bit too short strided, and hokey-pokey? Should I get more impulsion, and longer strides? Thanks again :)
I don't hate that he's a little behind your leg. I like that he's careful and is trying to train his own eye. As a jumper rider, i will occasionally have to call on my horse to find the distance himself.
I think his consistent, even, willing canter is proof to me that he believes your riding and goes well for you. My only qualm is that i'd love to see him jump with a little more action. I'm wondering if the fences come up, if he will give you more. He seems to just easily stride over the fences at this height.
Thank You!! I appreciate your kind words greatly :) In the Hunters, will it be a fault for him in the 2' division to just go along, striding over the jumps? I really don't want to take the jumps up until he is older - as I've previously mentioned. If he weren't to become more ... jump-y when the rails go up, do you have any idea as to how to improve this? Or is he just naturaly easygoing?
While i don't ride hunters, i am under the impression that they want your horse to jump clean and square in front each and every time. Even if the fences are small. Some horses just do this naturally. Some have to work on it a bit. And while i agree that grids and gymnastics help, sometimes a horse will hang a leg every time until the fences come up, and he has to have a little more respect for the fence. I think what's going to benefit you the most, is the fact that your horse is quiet going, and has a lovely expression while he's working. With time, his jumping style will come along, and you'll get a better idea of what you will have to work on to stay competitive.
We get some of our top Hunters and Jumpers from Europe. They are started correctly and are jumping some of the bigger stuff at 4 years old. (they are normally sold to us as 4 year olds). These horses normally have to be ready to compete at the 5 year old circuit. So jumping them up is par for the course. While i absolutely respect whatever choice you make for your horse... i wouldn't be too terribly concerned with jumping him up from time to time and getting him to really use himself over a fence. I'm not, in any way talking about over-facing your horse, I'm simply talking about letting him see something with a little more to it, and not worrying yourself over it.
One thing I noticed in both videos is that you appear to ride more "forward" on your crotch then on your seat bones. Maybe you should try sitting back a little deeper?
You and your horse look like your having alot of fun! I really think y'all look great together. :D
By behind the leg, yeah just a little pokey. It's more obvious at the trot than at the canter.
I see that you're training him for hunters which I admittedly don't know squat about. I know the style is more related to a nice, easy-going stride/rhythm which you are doing a great job at establishing. In that context, I might be completely misreading the video. As long as, at any time you wish, you can produce a bigger stride with little effort, he is not behind your leg. Adjustablilty is great for jumping, but in hunters, it might come into play much less that with eventing or jumpers. Hopefully some hunter people will ring in with input.
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