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Dreamcatcher5 10-12-2013 09:57 PM

Has my jumping improved much? Critique please!
These photos are all taken of the same jump height, same horse, same rider, same location. Here's some info about us:

I am 14 years old and have been riding for 9 years. I am relatively new to jumping, though.

Horse: Luca (Northern Ninja) is 6 (rising 7) years old and I broke him in myself. He is great to ride and a very fast learner. He jumps 75cm in-hand and 60cm under saddle.

When I started training him to jump, I thought I was doing quite a good job...until I saw pictures of my jumping position. :shock:
At least I was just training Luca over small jumps, and apart from my horrible position, I was training him quite well, IMO. He doesn't refuse, he has scope and he loves jumping. Now, to the pics. :shock::?

^ horrible, right? :-(

And now (about a month and a half later):
^ my opinion about my position in this pic is: a smidge more of a release, heel down more...there's probably things I've missed, though...
And my favourite one (it looks blurry because my sis took it with her phone):
^ heels more down and foot more out of the stirrup?

Now it's your turn to critique (if you want)!
Thank you! :-)

LostDragonflyWings 10-13-2013 06:04 AM

In the older picture, you did not have a strong base of support at all. You got left behind, your knees look like they were gripping, and you did not have any weight in your heels so your heels popped up more than they normally would have. Due to being left behind, you were not able to give a good release (or a release at all). You were, however, looking ahead to where you were going!

In the first newer picture, your balance and base of support is a little better. Your knees were not gripping as much and your leg did not get lost or slide back too far. You still did not have enough weight in your heels, so your heels popped up again. The jump isn't very high at all, but your butt should be out of the saddle a little more (up, not forward though).-- Once you get weight in your heels and a more secure leg, this will follow more easily. Your release is there and is better, and again you are looking where you are going, which is good!

In the second newer picture, you either just didn't get out of the saddle enough at all or you got left behind a little again. Still not enough weight in your heels to assist with a secure base. Your release and looking where you are going are still good.

If I were you, I would work more in the two point on the flat and over trot/canter poles. You need to get your base stronger so that you can move with your horse over the fence, and not get left behind and be in his way. Also work without stirrups to strengthen your legs, and really focus on keeping more weight in your heels when you are using stirrups.

I also suggest working more on gymnastics with your horse. In both of the newer pictures, he doesn't look very balanced.

Overall, you did improve!

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