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Whizzer 09-23-2012 12:06 AM

Beginner learning to jump Crossrails--looking for pointers
Hi everyone! I've posted before letting you know that I just started jumping crossrails at the trot about 3wks ago.

I have only been taking lessons once a week since January so I'm very excited to be jumping already!

My trainer took a video of me today. This is my 3rd week jumping crossrails but this is my first time on Artie. He's a 4yo TB and such a sweetie on the ground. His trot is very smooth and so is his canter. The video below is the first 2 jumps EVER on him. :)

I am very, very, very new to jumping and I know there are many things to work on with my form since I'm a beginner. There are so many things going through my mind as I approach the jump: heels down, leg on, core tight, my hands on the rein, keeping him the same speed, keeping him straight, when to get into 2 point, getting into 2 point, etc. etc.

I am looking for pointers and tips from all you lovely experienced folks! Please be kind...:) Thank you!

DancingArabian 09-23-2012 12:21 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Video doesn't work - says it's private.

Whizzer 09-23-2012 12:22 AM

Fixed, thank you!

Whizzer 09-23-2012 02:43 PM

Sorry, it looks like this is in the wrong spot. Can a mod please move it the correct place? Thank you!

ChingazMyBoy 09-23-2012 03:00 PM

So, its four fourty five in the morning and I'm trying to write this, so please bare with me.

First question - is the horse yours? You said that you are new to jumping and I'm just wondering why you are jumping a horse who is obviously new to jumping itself, even if the jumps are small.

Now, when you go into two point before the jump your leg becomes very unstable. Try to really support yourself and stretch your weight deep and down into your heel. I think it might help you if you shorten your stirrups a hole, because it seems like your really stretching your toes down to find them at some point.

Now, I presume your trainer has you going into two point a few strides in front of the jump because your still learning? This is okay, but I think it would really help you if you had a little bit more contact with your reins because your just 'giving them away to the horse' in front of the jump. Also, when you do this because your leg isn't steady - your heel is bouncing around in his side and his responding by getting into anreally rushed trot. Establish an even, steady pase well before the fence and keep it.

I'd recommend doing a lot of two point work at trot and canter on the flat to really help build the foundations of your two point and make your lower leg more solid.

You land the jump quiet nicely, but afterwards you seem to be bopped forward out of the saddle, try to really absorb the motion of the horse and go with it instead of against it.

Then, when you are trotting around the ring - your rising becomes quiet jerky. Go WITH the horses motion, relax your movement and allow yourself to feel his. Try and soften your hands a little, keep them nice and steady when you rise. Remember, the horse can feel every little bit of motion in your hands and respond to it.

I think your doing a pretty good job for having not jumped much, I really like how you keep your eyes up over the fence all the time :)

Whizzer 09-23-2012 10:11 PM

Thanks for the reply and for all of your tips!

The horse isn't mine. My trainer has several schooling horses and this is my first time riding Artie. The horse I had been riding and who I rode the last 2 weeks over the crossrails had to go back to her owner as she was only a lease for my trainer to try out.

I see exactly what you mean about my leg being unstable. I really need to work on this. Seeing it on video really helps too because now I can see exactly what it was that I am doing wrong. And I will take your suggestion on the stirrup length too! Regarding my toes, I have been working on trying to point my toe forward instead of turning them out and gripping with my heels. I work on that every week.

My trainer has me getting into 2 point a few strides before but says that I don't have to if I feel like I can get into position at the jump. I still feel like I need the extra few strides to get into the correct position and that as I improve and gain confidence I won't need to do that.

I have a real problem with contact on the reins in that it always feels like I'm holding them too tight even when they're loose. My trainer is always telling me to shorten the reins! I feel like my rein control could use a lot of work. You have pointed out great things about my reins and my heels causing him to speed up and I will definitely work on this.

I'm going to ask my trainer to work on more 2 point next Saturday. I definitely feel like there are lots of improvements to be made there. She looked at the video and said the same thing as you about not holding my position after the jump and being rocked forward a bit.

Thank you for the pointers on my trot. I will work on trying to relax and not force it so much. This was my first time on Artie so I wasn't quite used to his trot yet...I'd like to think my trot looks better on some of the horses I've ridden more consistently! ;)

I would love to take lessons more than just once a week but with my work schedule (12-14hrs a day 5-6days a week) it's just not possible. I feel like after a lesson I learn a lot and my body gets used to the motions and then 7 days go by and my muscle forgets a little. I'm going to keep at it though!

I told my trainer in January when I started that "I want to jump!" so I'm super excited to be at that goal. Over the next few months I look forward to improving!

LoveTheSaddlebreds 09-24-2012 08:41 PM

Right now, you are getting the feel for jumping. Way back when I was starting out, I had to stay in two-point two strides out and two strides after, holding onto mane as needed. I know that probably sounds silly, but you don't know when to come back from two point, and as a result are slamming his back way too early. Try staying up in two point a lot longer so that doesn't happen.

heymckate 09-26-2012 01:19 PM

For only jumping a handful of times, not bad at all! I agree about your stirrup length and leg--pull the stirrups up a hole, work on keeping a stable leg at a two-point, and remember to keep those heels down over the jump. I see your heels pop up as you go over.

Good luck!

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