Showjumping critique *image heavy*
i have recently started registered sjing and would like some critique on the way i jump/ride and the way my horse jumps/moves there is a couple flat pics which are not very good because he is in a hackamore =P
and if you are able to view it here is a you-tube video from the BEGINNING of the season when we first started jumping together
it looks like you are holding WAY to tight on the reins.
In the first photo, you need to look up and forward, not down and to the side. That can throw off your horse's balance since your weight subconsciously follows your eyes. In the last picture, your stirrups look quite a bit too long and your foot is too far in your stirrup. It should be under the balls of your feet. In the second, third, and second to last pictures, you look like you are hanging on your horse's mouth. Give him more room to move! Other than a few minor things you need to work on, you look terrific! Your horse is gorgeous, too. =)
Your stirrups seem really long to me. Maybe try putting them up a hole or two? In my experience, it should help with keeping your foot in the stirrup correctly-with the balls of your feet in them.
And I agree with the reins... give him some more room to move, and don't restrain him so much. If you move him on a looser rein, he should move out much better, but don't do it too much or he'll get all strung out. [I have issues with this. >.<]
Your leg looks really solid even with the longer stirrups and you're looking up in most of the pictures. ^^ And I second what Equuestriaan said-your horse is beautiful!
I have to say - you have pretty amazing equitation my dear! Also, I love European style of riding!
The first thing I look at, is your lower leg - that is the most important factor to solid equitation while jumping.
Your's, are pretty darn good, minus a few faults! Solid at the girth, no knee pinching - fabulous!
Then I look at your seat - WONDERFUL! Your seat is centered over your saddle, exactly where it should be. And you allow your horse to lift you out of your tack, instead of you lurching yourself out. GREAT!!
Your back, you do roach it a bit, but I think it is because you are going into self defense mode, on this very forward and strong horse.
Shoulders - same - self defense mode, but that plays into effect with your lower back.
Release - your release is like mine, lol - non existant.
Your center of gravity, is with your horses motion. I LOVE IT! I would far wrather see a rider where you are, over fences - than seeing riders with lower legs flying back, knee pinching and throwing themselves over their horses shoulders.
Your leather length, could go shorter. Yes, you are solid as it is - but to better aid you to be that much more effeciant, shorten them a hole or two. By shortening your leathers, you will aid yourself to stay off of your horses back while over the fence, and prevent you from landing in your tack too soon.
Our horses backs are very sensative, and we want to beable to free their backs for the correct length of time, to aid them to jump with freedome and bascule, without interfearing them.
By you shortening your leathers, you will aid your gorgeous horse with this.
Also, your iron should be placed at the ball of your toes. Right now, too far back *looking at last picture*
Smidge the iron under the balls of your toes, and the outter bar of your iron should be at your pinky toe, while the inner bar of your iron should be at the ball of your big toe.
Now - also, by shortening your leathers and correcting your iron placement, your heels can do their job - which is absorb all your bodies energy, and anchor you - although you don't need aiding with anchoring you...because you are darn solid as it is...which is great to see.
So for you - correcting your leather length and iron placement - you will aid your horse by being stronger, to remain off of his back while over and landing the fence.
Your release - is just as good as mine....which isn't that great. LOL.
I see that you are a very handsy rider. I can understand because you are on a very energetic, powerful, forward horse - and you are in self defense mode and "must control" mode, so you resort to your hands.
I would recommend lots more flat work. But learning to ride back to front, instead of you riding front to back. Really work on riding seat, to legs, to hands to soften.
Your seat comes first, riding the back end. Then your legs aid by lifting and supporting, and your outside rein allows that energy to recycle back through - so you can aid your horse to rock off of his forehand, and onto his back end.
I see nice carried hands - but learn to soften up your shoulders, elbows and allow your upper body to be giving, softening and quiet.
Right now, you are stiff, tense, holding, holdin, holding. You have wayyy to much inside rein....learn to soften that inside rein, and drive inside leg into outside rein.
Teach your horse to carry himself - through seat into legs into outside hand. Hands come last, seat comes first.
In your vid - after the too fast 3 jump combo...at the end, see how he softened up, when you softened up?
You have a very solid seat!!! VERY SOLID!!! I watched your video, and I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE how your seat is in your tack, tall upper body, carried hands - LOVE IT! You have so much going for you, and I think you are very capeable of fixing your minor errors - you just need to learn how to....that's the hard part.
Really go back to lots of flat work. A stronger bit *mechanical hackamore* will must the issues for a short time, but eventually they will rear their ugly heads. You have to fix the issues now - flat work, flat work, flat work.
You have the tools! You can do this! I am sure you have a very capeable coach, look at where you are now!
I think - if you were to send this picture to George Morris - he would have lots of positive remarks. I bet one of the only things he'd speak about is your too long of leather length and iron placement...and heels.
Remember, the bigger the fence, the shorter the leathers. Correct leather length, aids the rider in being efficiant and functional.
Also, you are very capeable of doing Automatic Releases! You can definately support your upper through your lower -
I understand that european style of jumping/riding is much different from North America. Here Hunters is very strong and implimented into our young riders...where there, Hunter style of riding is non existant.
I didn't look at the video, but what I saw from the pictures, in the black sweater and blue polo you need to shorten your stirrups.
In the show turnout your stirrup length is fine, but it looks like you didn't ride him to the fence, you just kind of let him gallop to it and so he's really unbalanced and on the landing side is going to need to recover so won't be able to turn quickly.
And the biggest thing I see is you pulling like a freight train!! The harder you pull, the more the horse has something to lean on and run with. Learn to ride with your seat and leg, the reins are only for decoration. If you can arrange it get your coach to teach you on a lunge line without reins, and really learn how to make your horse stop and go from your seat. Otherwise, ride in the softest snaffle you can find. This way even if you do pull, it's not going to do anything and you're going to have to sit in with your seat and ride him back anyways.
Look at this gentleman ride. He is very very German style in his seat, but notice how his hands do not move, and the horse will still slow down because he rides the horse back with his seat. And the horse is just flying legs everywhere he is so active because this guy's seat is killer. And he's flying over huge fences like it's nothing.
ETA: ok so his hands do start moving a little into the vid, but his seat is still there to back them up, and his legs are on like cement. And I also forgot to point out how he is placing the horse in front of every jump. He doesn't just let the horse lol up to the fence and go over, he sets the horse up everytime, gets the engagement from behind and collects that sucker and then puts his squarely in the right place for takeoff.
When I got him in April of 07' - he was a very forward and strong horse. I remember when I was trying him out, I took him over a small Beginner Novice CC fence. By the time I got him back down under control, we were already on the opposite side of the CC field - that's how he was.
I remember taking him to a Dorothy Crowell Clinic - she is an Olympic Eventer and CIC**** & CCI**** Eventer.
She set up a 3 jump combo. I cannot remember the distances accurately, but I do believe it was a 4 stride to a 5, starting with an X rail to a Verticle to an Oxer.
We came in lovely, after the 1st jump - he went...and went hard. He took the 4 in 2 and the 5 in 3. I was literally standing up in my irons pulling on his face.
That was when Dorothy stopped us and worked with us 1 on 1. She even said "You give your horse something to lean into, he'll take it"
She is the one who taught me SEAT into LEGS into HANDS to SOFTEN.
She worked lots on how to activate my seat, lift with my legs and recycle through my outside rein.
I have a completely different horse now - totally. I RIDE COMPLETELY DIFFERENT NOW TOO!! Our horses reflect what we are doing in the saddle - if we are incorrect, so are our horses.
If it wasn't for that clinic, my eyes would not of been opened up. I am very thankful for that day! I saw the difference in myself and my horse - when I changed my riding.
Jumping is Dressage - with speed bumps.
I don't have anything new to add really. I just want to say that I like your position overall and your horse is beautiful!
anebel- that's a great video! He is a fantastic rider.
I agree with everything that Equuestriaan said.
You are an amazing rider!!! :)
I just wanna say I want to buy the horse in the video of anebel! It looks like a fantastic GP prospect! and I also agree with what she is saying.
Practise makes perfect!
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