Critique my eq over fences
This was at a show from almost a year ago. It was my first horse show. I'm just looking for a critique for myself as the horse is a western pleasure horse.
I do know that my heel is terrible, I need to look up and I've thrown away the contact. In my defense, at least I'm not yanking on his mouth.
Honestly until you're much much more advanced, I wouldn't worry about throwing away your contact. A long crest release (which it looks like you are doing here) is correct.
Overall it looks to me like you (and the horse) would benefit from some serious grid work as well as some lessons in two point learning your center of gravity. Since there is only one picture to review, it can be hard but I see that you are gripping with your knee which has forced your heel to come up as you use your toe as a pivot point. You are jumping ahead (a common fault in less experienced riders OF) and this has caused the instability of your lower leg to be exaggerated. In addition, it has caused your shoulders to round and your chin to drop - again common when jumping ahead.
I'm glad to see that the fence is quite small, as he is hanging his legs which is a fault in the horse that can be quite dangerous if he hooks a foreleg on a rail that could cause him to stumble and with your balance already in question that can be a recipe for disaster. Before attemtping a show again, I'd reconsider trading your mount for the opportunity to school/learn on a horse that has more experience and better form over fences so that you can learn to properly ride to the fence - and over it - while maintaining your center of gravity, sinking your weight into your heels, and allowing the horse to move you over the jump rather than forcing yourself to jump resulting in the jumping ahead.
Good luck, and get some solid rides in where you spend 30 min or more on the flat in two point, to solidify your foundation in your lower leg, and get some schooling time in over grid work/gymnastics on a well trained horse so you can focus on you, your balance, and exercises like no reins, no stirrups, and get really secure in your riding. After that - go back out to some shows and I expect you'll see a HUGE difference!
Looks like your horse wasn't ridden with enough forward movement to the jump which resulted in that wanky legged jump... in which case I think you rode the hand you were dealt fairly well. Your lack of confidence comes through loud and clear in this photo too. As the previous poster said.. grid work (count your strides!!!) and even try some jumping with out stirrups (This really helped me with lower leg strength and placement).
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