When to take jumping position
I have been riding horses for about 10 years now and have worked with several different trainers. I have been with one main trainer the whole time (she allows me to work off my lessons and ride whenever I want), and have taken many other lessons with a couple of other trainers. Lately my trainer has been REALLY harping on me to take two point way before the jump, and it is just something I really don't agree with, especially if we are approaching it from the trot. In my opinion, I feel I get too far out of the saddle and it leaves me feeling unbalanced and in a precarious position (AKA I WILL topple off if the horse bucks or refuses). When cantering courses I like to stay in my half-seat position (I'm not sure if people use half-seat and two point interchangeably, in my brain they are two different things) and rise up slightly as the horse jumps. Especially when it comes to going cross country, I feel like I should keep my shoulders back and really sink into my lower leg to have the most secure position possible.
The other trainers I have ridden with never said to take two point way before the jump, but then again I was riding different horses in their lessons. My current trainer has more of a hunter background, while the other trainers I rode with had more of an eventing background. I really want to event in the very near future, so I'm more inclined to listen to what they have to say.
Oh, also the horse I have been riding a lot lately does have a rather large buck in him, so by waiting to take two point, I just feel like it keeps me in a more secure position in case he decides to do anything silly on the other side. In addition by waiting to take two point I can really use my shoulders and inner thighs to regulate his speed and therefore I am able to minimize the amount of pressure I put on his mouth.
Anyways, that is my reasoning for wanting to wait to take the jumping position as opposed to taking it 15+ strides before the jump. I would love to hear your guys thoughts on the matter!
well, there is really no easy answer imo. it depends on the horse you are riding and what you are doing with that horse at that moment.
if your two point is strong, you should be fine staying in two point for your whole course if it is of small fences on flat ground. Also, at a fly fence on xc you could remain in two point.
that being said, there are definitely many times where it would be better to have some contact with the saddle, big fences, scary fences, terrain, etc. I prefer to be in two point or a very light seat for most of the course and then sink into a light seat in front of the fence. It never does any good to dig into your horses back right in front of a jump.
of course, this is all just my opinion, im sure others believe differently =]
I don't do cross-country(just jumpers). But my trainer always drilled me on not 2-pointing(or even leaning forward) until the horse has left the ground. Leaning back helps me see my distance, and when I don't, my eye tends to get thrown off.
I've noticed(this is just in my experience) if I get a not-so-good distance, if I lean back and support at the base I can usually pull it off, but if I lean forward the horse either stops, crashes through or barely makes it.
You shouldn't "get" into 2 point. Your horse will put you there over the fence. However, you can get and keep your weight down even in two point.
Thank you all for your responses :)
After a debate, my trainer ended up telling me to do what I feel comfortable with. I just have a light contact with the saddle until we take off, if that makes any sense. I found that if I am in two point/out of the saddle before the jump I am way more likely to jump ahead of my horse and hinder him.
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