flat & jumping critique =]
I know I already posted some of these in my photo thread but I thought I'd pick a few for you all to critique! I'm showing on Sunday, so if you see anything I should keep in mind and work on in the future, please feel free to tear me apart! Also, sorry I had to blur my face out... it's a parent rule. XD
I'd also like to add that the saddle is really small for me but it's the only one that they use for him. It doesn't have knee rolls and it's bursting at the seams. >.> It really throws off my eq, which is why it usually looks like I'm sitting on the pommel. LOL
Posting jumping pics as a reply...
The first thing -
I know this is a school horse and that you have no control over the tack used, but when you use a Full Cheek Snaffle - it should always be used with Keepers. The Bit was created to sit a certain way in the horses mouth with the keepers. Without the keepers, the bit sits incorrectly in your horses mouth, and not how the bit was intended to be used.
You are using WAY TOO MUCH inside rein. One turns their horse by bending their horses ribs with their inside leg behind the girth, applying outside rein onto their horses outside shoulder and outside leg at the girth.
We turn out horses with out outside aids, to keep our horses under themselves and to prevent that outside shoulder from popping.
You are also leaning into your turns, ending up unbalancing your horse. You must remain balanced over your horses center of gravity - by you tipping to the inside, you've now disrupted balance. If you have to, put all your bodies weight into your outside iron - remember, sit up tall. You can turn your head to look as to where you are going on the turn, but don't allow your body to tip in like that.
Your leg - way to far forward. See how your toes surpass your girth? If you look down from in the saddle, and you can see your toes - they are too forward. Your toes should be at that girth.
I do not think that saddle is right for you at all, and actually hinders your position in the saddle. If I were your coach, I would have you in a padded CC with knee rolls to help you on your way to obtaining strong, functional legs. As it is, this saddle really impede's your progress.
I can't continue, I have to get ready to go see Nelson and give him his meds and head to work.
I agree with the poster above and would add, that you do not pinch with your knee. It looks as if you don't fit correctly in the saddle your using which is why your knee looks to be pinching. Always try to turn your horse with leg aids and less hands. Sit up nice and tall through your turns.
it also looks like ur jumping ahead in the jumping pics. :)
Also as you approach the fence, sit up tall, look ahead (NOT at the jump) keep looking forward and feel the horse move you in your saddle. Don't jump ahead. The best riders are able to feel the horse momentum and follow with it. I would have your trainer place you on a lounge line you close your eyes and have her lounge you over some jumps. Start to use your senses to feel vs seeing and anticipating the jump. Soft hands and sit back to your base of the jump.
I think everyone else pretty much said it all. I just see that you need to bring your shoulders back and use your core. I know how hard it can be to ride in a saddle that doesn't fit you. Have they fitted saddles recently? The fit of a saddle can change from one month to the next as the horses body gains or loses fat and muscle. Maybe another one will fit?
Also, in the jumping pictures, it does look like your anticipating to much. It's kind of hard to explain what I'm going to say, so bear with me. =| I have always jumped in a way that FELT natural. Little jumps don't require as deep a two-point as bigger jumps. You want to flow over the jump as your horse takes you over, not carry your horse over. I agree with being lunged with your eyes closed. Then you will learn to feel the rhythm and jump WITH him in a flowing manner. I'm all about the flow. =] You just want it to feel natural, not over-exaggerating your movements.
Oh, and your horse isn't a motorcycle, so don't ride your turns like he is one.
I'd also like to say that you look really good considering how terrible that saddle is for you. =]
I agree with what everyone else has said- you can just pull back basically with the inside rein instead of reaching way out to the side, and use your legs more- I noticed that you said that you were starting dressage in one of your posts, and dressage is all about the aids being quiet and almost unnoticeable. Over the jumps, I agree with what riccil0ve said- you are anticipating the jumps and therefore going into WAY too much of a jumping position. Over jumps of that height, except for the wall, you don't need to lean that far forward. YOU are overjumping the fence, not your horse! That is what happens when you kind of pose over jumps. Just go with the horse and you won't look so pose-y. You have a nice flat back in the jumping, and your heels are down in the flat- just make sure they stay that way over the jumps.
Move your hands forwards a bit more when jumping, and relax your back when riding. In some photos, its hunched or your leaning forward too much.
You seem to be quite hunched up while cantering. Leg position is good, don't lean forward and put your shoulders back a bit. Thumbs on top! Elbows in while jumping, no need to lean so far forward for 60cm, make sure you sit back after the jump. otherwise, quite good:)
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