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Equuestriaan 05-01-2009 10:28 PM

My jumping technique - Which way is correct?
On Wednesday I had a different instructor because my usual one was out of town. My mom took video (yay!) and I got a few jumping clips. Halfway through the jumping, she told me I need to "pretty up my form." Now lately I've been hearing a lot about posing vs. functional form so I was a little worried about trying out her suggestions. But I decided to give it a go, just to see what would happen.

I have two clips of me jumping normally, and two clips of me jumping taking her suggestions into account and trying to look "prettier" over the fences. When I reviewed the video at home, I realized the "prettier" way didn't look so bad. But I wanted to ask you guys... which way is CORRECT? Should I keep doing what I'm doing, or should I try to jump the "prettier" way?

Here's the video:
Riding :: RidingCompare.flv video by SphiPony - Photobucket

weefoal 05-03-2009 07:36 AM

i do think the 2nd is better and the horse looks in better form too

NoFear526 05-03-2009 09:03 AM

I do believe she is right. In the second two clips you looked more functional than just throwing your upper body to your horses neck as in the first one.

Also, just something I noticed in the clips. Your elbows get loose before the fence, try to keep them more at your sides. This will help your upper body to stay straighter as well. By your elbows and arms falling out to the sides like that its only adding to the hunching. If you bring your elbows back to your sides, and your arms/hands steadier, it will make it a lot easier to bring your upper body back up and keep a straighter back to and over the fence.

Also, just one other thing. Try and practice waiting for your horse more. I notice in the clips that while in motion over the fence, your pelvis is appearing to be over top of the pommel. This and your form leads me to believe that you are trying too hard to jump for your horse, instead of waiting for his motion to bring you out of the saddle, and keeping your balance in line with his.

I am a big believer in the more 'functional' form of jumping.


Hope that helped! I think it is great that you tried it, that you took in what the new instructor had to say as well and weighed them both. Too many times riders get stuck in one habit and don't want to hear any other way.
Good job!

StarFeesh 05-03-2009 10:19 AM

I would have to disagree with what the above posters said. You are too far ahead in the second are jumping ahead of the horse's center of gravity. While it may look pretty, if you want to jump like that, then you need to bring your bum back five inches and let the horse carry you over the fence. In the first two, you look effective, but you sit down much to early.

ilovemyPhillip 05-03-2009 12:19 PM

Your instructor is correct. it looks a lot better. try to be a little more "upright" and really push up and into your stirrups.

MyBoyPuck 05-03-2009 04:49 PM

I can only say, when I watched the first clips, it just looks like your motion is out of sync with your horse's motion. The latter clips does "look better", but blocks don't line up. (head-shoulders-hip-knee-foot) The angle of your hips should only close as much as your horse's angle opens as he jumps if that makes any sense. Another way of putting it is, if you pick a fixed object off in the distance beyond the fence you're jumping, whether you're cantering to the fence or jumping it, your relative position should stay the same in the sense that the distant object doesn't move up or down. Does that make any sense? If you jump some gymnastic grids, it would give you a really good feel of how the horse moves beneath you with each jump since they come in such rapid succession. It would get you more into the habit of absorbing the jumping motion with your lower legs and knees and letting the horse come up to you rather than trying to jump for him.

MIEventer 05-03-2009 05:00 PM


It would get you more into the habit of absorbing the jumping motion with your lower legs and knees and letting the horse come up to you rather than trying to jump for him.
Well said.

Equuestriaan 05-03-2009 05:11 PM

Hmm... well now I've got some people saying the first way is better, and some people saying the second way is better. XD

MIEventer 05-03-2009 05:15 PM

Stick with your coach and what your coach is teaching you - and work on what has been said in your critique threads, and other critique threads.

Remember though - pretty is as pretty does....and functional form outweighs pretty.

What I would recommend is studdying George Morris. Get his books and video's. He is a wealth of knowledge. Read his critiques in the Practicle Horseman Magazines.

That'll help you out allot.

Your lower leg has gotten much better. Really work on sitting and waiting for your horse to lift you out of your tack. Sinking down and low through your knees and heels.

Don't worry about looking pretty - focus on being solid in your form to better aid your horse.

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