Help! Landing Jumps Wrong :(
A little background on me: I used to compete in show jumping and equitation until I hurt my back. I had to take a few years off and now I'm getting back into it (Well I have been since June lol). I have my horses at home so I don't really have a trainer besides myself and the occasional friend that comes over to play.
I have been jumping small jumps, less than 2'6 pretty much every other day but I keep noticing something wrong. I arch my back on the landing and sit back. I also throw my hands forward. I really don't think I'm getting left behind but it just looks awful!
I don't understand it, maybe it's because my back is still a little weak? Ugh it's so discouraging :( I need some help.
I wish I was able to upload a video but I can't. I'll try to describe what our jumps look like: a nice working trot to a jump, a clean take off with a short release, nice tucked legs... BAM! I throw myself straight up, pretty much backwards and throw my hands towards my horses neck as we land, then I go back into a two point and canter away.
I really need some advice, does anyone have any pointers or help? I should just hire a trainer but I really can't afford that right now.
First point: are you jumping the same horse every other day? If so I would stop. I don't like to jump my horse more than twice a week, because I'm keen on preserving his joints- and that's a max. I have a jumping lesson once a week, and MIGHT practice at home once a week, depending on what I think we need to work on. Even small jumps often can take a toll on their joints.
Additionally, it sounds like you need to do more strengthening on the flat anyway. Lots of walk / trot / cantering in two point and half seat, maintaining a good position, before continuing to jump.
any pictures? even if you dont have a video, a picture or two would be helpful, it is hard to tell what exactly is going on w/o one.
Yes I have a few horses that I jump, and I am super careful with them. And I think I'm strong enough, I ride at least 2 or more hours everyday. I do 2 point and we have a very hilly pasture and hilly trails that I ride on all the time, so I believe I'm strong enough with the basics, plus I'm a little lazy lol so I ride bareback half time time which I know helps with a lot. But then again my back is all messed up :(
I will try to get some still shots tonight
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Flat work and jumping take different muscle groups, you might be a strong rider on the flat, but that doesn't mean you're a strong rider over fences.
To me it sounds like you either need to work on strengthening or you ARE getting left behind. Maybe take the jumps down to basic cross rails before jumping anything bigger.
With smaller jumps like that my trainer had me think of folding at the waist to jump and unfolding as we land - no back arching. In dressage arching the back can be used to collect the stride (although collection using the seat is usually pulling riders body straight up as tall as you can in the saddle while maintaining legs), but used incorrectly can allow the horse to work without bringing it's hind legs sufficiently under the body.
I wouls suggest stopping the back arching and trying folding/unfolding - that should return your rythmn.
It sounds like you are pushing yourself to the jump and exaggerating your take off. Try letting the horse come to you and not exaggerate your 2 point at the jump.
I would set up cross bars that meet very low in the middle, and/or cavaletti, and practice 2 point---a LOT, at the trot. Yes, IMO your back muscles and core muscles are weak. You won't wear out your jumper doing this. In fact, pretty much any horse will do bc you aren't asking for a leap, just for the horse to snap his feet going over the obstacle.
Even if he jumps, he'll get tired of the effort and just trot over after you keep repeating the exercise.
Drop down to smaller jumps. I know it sounds crappy but I knew a girl who when she was younger went to grand champion level in her division, took a few years off and started riding again at the same level she had left off, outcome was that she came off her horse at a triple and fractured her pelvis. Just because you don't think you are getting left behind doesn't mean you aren't. Having trained eyes on the ground is something that simply cannot be substituted, going back to the smaller jump basics until you can stick the landing will help you build up your jumping strength and will be much safer in the long run.
Kudos on getting back into shape after a back injury I know how much those suck.
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