How to improve my position
Hey guys so I recently got my mare (four months ago) and have been working on my jumping position with my trainer but I was wanting some extra feed back and some exercises I can do to improve. She has a really hard jump to ride as it throws you forward. I know that my release needs some help and thats really hard for me so I was wondering what are some good exercises to improve my release. Im so focused on my release up to the jump that everything else kinda goes out the window so once i can fix my release I can start improving the rest of my position. Thanks!
The pictures go from about three months ago to last night
You have a good beginning. You look a little bit stiff and I don't see your weight in your heels. Keeping your body as close to the saddle as possible is where you keep your balance while jumping.
I suggest lots of hours riding in 2-point until it is 2nd nature. People can tell you where to put your hands and how to keep your back flat, but balance is balance. This will make you a very good rider over jumps.
It looks like you are jumping ahead of your horse, and are too far forward. Isnt' your crotch supposed to stay behind the front edge of the pommel? The last photo is the best, so it looks like you are improving, for sure.
My leased horse, when she lands a jump she always goes a little forward / lands very 'down' - and it always throws me, other horses are much smoother. (if this is what you mean?) My trainer said I just really have to keep my shoulders back and sit up a little more (not butt to saddle distance but like body angle wise, is how i understood it) to get used to it.
I can't critique much as I'm not so great myself. to me it looks like you have some weight in your heels but now I'm learning you really want to be able to get a good angle on that ankle and really stretch the calf... so i've been stretching my ankles under my desk at work trying to get them to bend easier. :) ha.
You are jumping to forward and coming out of the saddle too much.
Open your shoulders a bit more, and sink into your heels. Also, work on your release a bit more.
What I see is the root of your problem is you grip with your calves and pinch at the knee a bit over the jumps to stop your leg from swinging back when you thrust your upper body forward. You otherwise have a very solid core and posture.
I would work on "two pointing" at every gate. But instead of TRYING to hold your two point, adjust your leg position (make sure your feet are correct in the stirrup, it's amazing how much of a difference that will make) until you more or less feel secure - where you aren't necessarily working in your leg and thigh to "stand".
Try this while off the horse. Spread your legs as if you were on a horse (around 2 feet apart) and just "squat" a bit, feel the weight pushing down towards your feet (slightly on the ball of your foot, as if they were placed in an iron) and just hold it and memorize that stability. You want to then replicated that on top of your horse which come from depending on your stirrup and sinking down and around your horse.
You will develop a stronger leg, which will complement your already steady core and make your jumping position solid and active. :)
Here are some new updated pictures!
As food for thought, I'll submit a picture of Gen Patton. Notice his center of gravity vs his stirrups. I don't jump, so maybe this style is out of style:
^You also have to keep in mind that men and women have a different center of gravity.
Though, I really wasn't sure where you were going with that, haha.
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