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EliRose 01-13-2013 03:50 PM

Learning through two-points: Negative or Positive?
I couldn't think of a different title :-P

Let me preface this with my own experiences when learning to jump. At my first three farms, I was always taught to go into a two-point several strides before the "jump", which was usually a cavalletti. This taught me to basically ride on my horse's neck, and if the horse chipped or went long I would be in trouble because I was so unbalanced over the jump. The general reasoning the trainers had was that two-points gave you a more powerful core and looked better. My third trainer actually said, "copy the riders on TV!" . . . over ten inch fences.

When I left that farm and moved to my current one two and a half years ago, I went back to basics. NO two-point over cavallettis, jumps, anything, but plenty of it on the flat. My trainer taught me that following the movement of your horse, engaging your hips, riding into your horse and not forcing yourself into a single position every time was plenty more effective. THAT built up my core. THAT gave me balance. THAT taught me to jump.

I feel like a lot of the exaggerated positions I see, on here and elsewhere, are because people want to "copy the riders on TV!". And let me note that I am NOT talking about balanced half-seats, I am talking about people who do not change their positions over jumps. Those who are on top of their horse's neck all the way through the course.

So . . . opinions? Sorry if that entire thing sounded rushed and confusing, I am feeling particularly rant-y after visiting a possible boarding farm and watching their lessons :-P.

alexischristina 01-13-2013 07:57 PM

I hate hate hate hate that mentality. I know a lot of coaches who will have their beginners go up into two-point and carry it a few strides away, over and after the jump and ugh, I hate it. I taught a little girl for a few months who had been taught like that and she had a HORRIBLE release and a really hard time jumping properly until we could get it fixed. Her pony club coach had her doing it on the cross country course, and she ended up on her face a few times. I just really quite dislike the practise. :wink:

EliRose 01-13-2013 08:04 PM


Here is an otherwise lovely beginner (only riding for a year), who loses all power when going into a two-point.

MyBoyPuck 01-15-2013 07:29 PM

On one hand I can see people teaching beginners to already be holding a forward position so their horse's backs and mouths are not punished. Problem is, while it saves the horse, it really hurts the rider long term. I really wish there was a standard out there for teaching people to jump properly. I am one of those who was given much much much misinformation over the years and am only now finally fixing it all with a really good instructor. Since I have been taught to sit on approach and use my legs to drive to the base of the fence, my jumping has gotten much better. I look back at some of my previous jumping attempts and cringe, but that's how I was taught as many people still are today.

gypsygirl 01-16-2013 06:20 PM

if the rider is balanced in a forward seat i see no issue with it, it will not cause you to fall off if your horse stops at a fence when you are in a proper forward seat.

if you are laying on your horses neck, then yes, that is bad and you may fall off.

a pet peeve of mine is when people act like the forward seat is bad or an unbalanced position, it is not if you are riding correctly. you can more easily give your horse the freedom he deserves if your weight is off his back slightly and you are ready for the movement of the jump.

the problem, i believe, with not riding in a forward seat, is that causes the need for more movement. if your timing is not right on, you will be both ahead, then behind your horses movement, thus getting in his way.

sorry if this is long and hard to understand, let me know if you want clarification.

EliRose 01-16-2013 06:56 PM

Oh no, I fully agree with forward seat being fine. My problem is when beginner riders are taught to be so far forward that they are on the neck, which usually ends with them yanking at their horse's mouth to try and balance. Generally, when they go over the jump they then give no release.

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