Please Critique Me Jumping at a show!
So I have posted a video from each of my recent shows, and here is the most recent! Again, we placed first place in this class and I am so proud of my boy. Please critique his shape and mine! THANKS
Megawatt and I, March Show Jumping!! - YouTube
I think you two looked pretty good! My friend and I watched the video and the first thing both of us said was "more release". Otherwise, I do like your equitation a lot. Your leg looks good and you're not jumping ahead of your horse; I'd just like to see more release :-)
The biggest thing that jumps out at me is your turns. He loves to blow through your outside aids. Maybe practice some turns on the haunches and shoulder out on a circle to get him to respect that outside rein better. It will buy you precious time to get him straight to fences sooner. I can't critique your actual jumping. I'm still jumping twigs compared to what you're doing.
Most of it looks really great so good job. However, I would recommend that you ride with a taller back over the fences, in some photos, if he lifted his head up higher he would hit you in the face and that can be a dangerous situation. He also looks like he needs a bigger release, for 80cm jumps your hands should normally be slightly below half-way down a horse's neck and in the photos your hands are only just in front of his wither! So, a bigger release (by all means still press your hands into his neck) and riding with a taller back would make all the difference. One other thing, does your horse really need that bit? Personally I like my horses in snaffles or maybe a pelham with roundings if they are strong. I accept that your horse may get speedy and excited around jumps but it may be worth trying him in a snaffle and seeing how he goes.
Congratulations on 1st place, your horse is amazing!!
I tried him in a different bit but he just gets too strong and gets flat over the jumps, i am slowly getting him off that bit though, so he is getting better. I do agree that i need a bigger release and that is something that I have been working on. I think it is just a bad habit i have inherited. I think since then i have already gotten a lot better at the release and I dont feel like I am hooking him over the jumps anymore! Thank you so much for the critiques :) What do you guys think of his jump?
I am working on the turns, and while schooling he is much better at it. He has a really long story to why he runs and turns the way he does but I promise i am working on it and building up his muscles. Thank you for the critique though :) what do you think of his jump?
Apart from him getting a little strong, he makes a nice shape over the fences and has pretty good front leg technique. I believe he would use his head and neck better if he had a bigger release, it would also be fun to try some qymnastics with him, exercises such as a double cross to an oxer etc. Oxers and double crosses encourage good use of the back and neck and help develop hind leg technique. In terms of improving your release, you could try jumping without reins (knot them and as he takes off let go and fold your arms, as you land pick up your reins again). I really enjoy that and it helps loose reliance on the reins. Doing that, I discovered my horse jumped better like that so I am now giving him a better release and he is clearing bigger jumps, I just hadn't realized my horse needed such a big release!! :-)
i would practice riding with driving reins. hold the reins as if you where driving a horse in a cart. this allows you a better feel of the mouth and you will more easily be able to feel when you hit him in the mouth. He is jumping rather flat, but this will help with that as well.
over all though you guys look pretty solid =]
You are not releasing nearly enough; you're just planting your hands in front of the saddle over the jump. His head is being restricted over the jump, preventing him from rounding his back and using himself properly. You should not be riding in that harsh of a bit without having a solid release. Truthfully you shouldn't even jump if you don't have a release, because that means you're punishing the horse's mouth over every jump which is not fair to your horse. It can make even the best of horses turn into a stopper. He may be getting strong because he is trying to escape the hold on his mouth.
Think about having your hands far enough forward that they are under your chin when you release. I used to plant my hands too, and thinking about it this way really really helped me.
As it's already been said, a larger release would do him some good. It looks like he wants to round over the jumps but he can't because of a restricting hand. He does look like a a very strong horse though so I can imagine it may be hard to trust him by giving him a big release for fear he may run away with you. I'd practice getting him under control on the flat with some half halts and downward transitions.
I also like your form very much, but if I could tweak something I would change the angle of your stirrup iron on the ball of your foot. If you look at the still shots, you can see that the inside branch of the iron is in front of the outside branch. If you change that angle so the outside branch is in front of the inside then you'll be able to get your heel down more and lower leg back slightly over the fences. You sometimes look like you have your lower leg slightly forward and are almost bracing against him or not really with his motion, where if you brought your lower leg slightly back you'd be right with him (the still shot I'm looking at is the one at 0:48).
Also! I can't take credit for the stirrup iron angle suggestion, that's from reading George Morris' article in Practical Horseman magazine where he critiques jumping form. Although, I did adjust how my iron sits on my foot and it was amazing how much deeper I could get my heel! Worth a try I would say! Good luck!
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