Master the Two-Point-help
So I used to jump for about 2-3 years and then took a nice long hiatus from it. I 've been getting back into it lately, and I'm just unhappy with how my jumping is going. I understand the basics of the two-point: Butt back, hips bent, weight balanced in the heels/stirrups. But for some reason I just can't seem to master the position itself. I had a friend film me on my phone and I lean waaaayyyy to much both before and after. Now, I'm riding a horse that is new to jumping. We have been practicing for awhile now, training her and getting her to accept (and to my happiness really seems to like) jumps. But it is hard to teach her if I can't stay balanced. She is still learning her strides and where to take off from and sometimes she decides to jump super high and sometimes she chips in really bad. We are working on it.
Mostly, though, I feel very forward/leaning on her. I feel like I am pitched forward both before and esp after the jump. I do have a trainer and I do take lessons, but at the moment, due to monetary reasons, I can't take lessons for a few weeks. I thought maybe some trainers on here might have ideas. I realize that you will want a video, but I can't upload it from my phone. So if anyone can suggest things to make me take off at the right time (other than saying "just feel it" because that isn't working) and how to make sure I'm still not pitched forward when she lands. I think it is making it difficult for her to canter straight and balance if I have to much weight on her neck. Please advise!!
I'm going to see about riding a more experienced horse over some jumps later next week for better practice. Thanks for any help!
Hi, HorseQueen08 - Here is an article that you might find helpful. The Riding Position Every Hunter Rider Needs to Master
I also have a problem with being too far forward. You know how when you have to pee in the woods, you have to get your butt way back to avoid peeing on your feet? That's the visual that's helped me the most. Any obstacle a horse needs to clear, "don't pee on your ankles" pops into my mind. Not sure what that says about me...
Yeah, I'm also firmly in the too far forward club. For me it's muscle memory. Even when I think I'm so far back that I'm going to fall over backwards, my shoulders are still too forward. It could also simply be your saddle is pitching you forward. Either way, here's a few things you can try without the help of lessons.
1. At the halt, stand straight up in the stirrups. Find your center of balance as if there were no horse there. You should be able to stand straight up without holding onto your horse for balance. If you find this exercise completely impossible no matter how many adjustments you make, it's the saddle, not you.
2. Assuming you were able to do exercise 1, now build on it. Stand straight up, then sit almost back down, but stay hovering over the saddle. That's the correct two point position. You will probably find your shoulders farther back and your thighs on fire when you arrive at the correct position.
3. Once you can feel the position from #2, try it from a different direction. Sit in the saddle and then simply shift the weight into your heels as if someone was tugging on your heels to arrive again at the 2 point position. Nothing should happen with your upper body, The lowering of the heels automatically brings your butt out of the saddle, closes your hip angle a bit which inclines your upper body foward.
4. At the walk and trot, practice going from full seat the half seat. At the trot, get a nice rhythm going and do 4 beats posting, 4 beats up in half seat. If you can, add 4 beats of sitting as well.
5. If it's just a matter of weak legs, hike your stirrups up as short as they go and ride around like that for a week. It'll hurt like crazy, but you'll have rock hard legs in a short amount of time.
Hope this helps.
I did try similar to your suggestions today Puck. I'm hopeful that they helped. I worked with a calmer horse than mine and did strictly flat work working only on the two point of doing half seat and two point. I do need stronger legs but I think having just one "lesson" (in this case self induced) of working on my position helped. I also went to visit a friend's new horse who is an ex-racer and he decided canter means full on gallop and refused to slow down no matter what....(which I'll admit really shows what kind of rider one is...it was scary, but in a very odd way, thrilling too. Though I haven't the slightest inkling to do it again) Well due to the speed and how frikken uncomfortable her saddle it, the entire mad gallop back to the barn had me in a two point.
I'm going to try actually jumping again on my girl tomorrow and see how it goes and see if I learned anything! Thanks for the suggestions!! I think they should help alot!
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