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equineeventer3390 06-15-2009 09:56 AM

Critique from event!
This is me and my horse Derby at a combined training event on saturday. The biggest thing I see is me coming out of the saddle so much! I just cannot seem to keep my butt in the saddle. I don't know why I do this, I used to have a great position. Any tips or ideas why im doing this? I have lost my position some because I had to take a year off due to my other event horse being injured. Then I got Derby a little over a year ago and he had never jumped, so didn't get to work on my position too much there either. None of my trainers work on my position so I am going to start taking some lessons from a hunter rider to see if they can help me.
Anyway here's the pictures.

And here is what my position was like when I was doing novice-training on my other event horse. This was 3 years ago.

MIEventer 06-15-2009 10:26 AM

Hey there! What a beautiful horse! Congrats on your event, how did it go?

What I really see is you are either behind, or ahead. You need to find that happy medium with gorgeous boy. You had it here:

Pictures 072 pictures from extreme sports photos on webshots

See how beautiful that picture is - look at where your seat is, look at your leg, your upper body and how round and open your horse is over that fence.

I think you need to go onto the lunge line, and work with no reins. Have someone you trust work with you - so that you can really focus on your horses rhythm.

Jumping is about the rhythm - never the fence. Learn to feel where your horse is, learn to feel where you are. Start to incorporate that feel over trot poles and cavaletti's and really work on just remaining with your horse at all times.

When you master that, work up to x rails.

Just focus on staying over your horses center of gravity, and feeeeel your horse under you. Feeeeel your horses rhythm.

I hope that helps :)

hotreddun 06-15-2009 11:08 AM

Its all about regaining that muscle memory. Im coming off of a break myself...due to pregnancy not horse injury. Its slowly coming back to me but Im certainly not back to where I was jumping 2 years ago. I also know that I can look pro at home but when I go to a show I've really got to focus. Im've been out of it for a shows...just going to take time. Do all the stuff MIEventer said and you'll be back on track ASAP.

barefoot 06-15-2009 11:16 AM

I think the basic problem here is your stirrup it too short - You're getting behind the motion because of it I feel. It's hard to explain really, but it's basically that you can't keep your balance. Does your position feel awkward or do you feel like you're about to fall off? I would try dropping the stirrups two holes.

Your position might also be different on this horse because of the way he jumps - He seems heavier and stronger than the other and probably launches over the fences which makes you lose your balance and fall behind if you aren't too used to it.

equineeventer3390 06-15-2009 12:12 PM

Thanks everyone, especially MIEventer. I'm going to lengthen my stirrups a hole or two this week and see if that helps. Ill try to get some pictures of us jumping at home too. He jumps alot better at home and I feel like my position is alot better at home too, he's alot steadier and so am I. He's only been to about 10 shows and still gets a little nervous over strange jumps. He also used to have an issue with bucking after jumps. I think I am riding him a little defensively.

equineeventer3390 06-15-2009 12:18 PM

Also, do you think it could be the saddle? I've only had it about 3 months and I think my position has gotten worse with it. It's an M. Toulouse Premia.

This is a picture from february with my old saddle which was just a normal close contact hunter saddle. Thin knee pad and no rear calf block I rode in this saddle for 6 years straight. Maybe I'm just not used to the new one yet? Also, my stirrups are about 2 holes longer in this picture than in the more recent ones. When I got my new saddle I was told by my trainer to put them up 2 holes.

Any critique for this picture ^^

barefoot 06-15-2009 12:54 PM


Originally Posted by equineeventer3390 (Post 328021)
Also, do you think it could be the saddle? I've only had it about 3 months and I think my position has gotten worse with it. It's an M. Toulouse Premia.

You know what, I wanted a M. Toulouse Premia and I looked up reviews on the M. Toulouse brand - Apparently the Premia is the best of the saddles from the brand but they all caused problems for the rider's posture. Because it's a close contact saddle (which is kind of "advanced" in the riding world) riders have to have a very strong leg to be able to ride successfuly in it. Because I also feel like you could go down a couple holes in your stirrups I'm thinking that you may have put them up because of the trouble with "feeling" your leg a close contact saddle causes.

I hate close contact saddles - I have a strong and steady leg but I just find the close contact saddles very difficult to ride in and I tend to boost up the holes in my stirrups.

sandsarita 06-15-2009 09:10 PM


Originally Posted by barefoot (Post 328044)
I hate close contact saddles - I have a strong and steady leg but I just find the close contact saddles very difficult to ride in and I tend to boost up the holes in my stirrups.

Really - I find the close contact saddles easier to ride in. I had taken quite a few years off from jumping (and a couple from riding) and decided to get out my old Stubben - felt great to ride in, but I was having position issues I had never had before. A trainer I highly respect was watching me, and he thought the seat was too deap, and I was fighting to get out of it. I went back to my little close contact, and within a week I was riding much closer to the horse, and not jumping ahead as much.

Back to the main topic - I agree that you need to lengthen your stirrups a bit. Your lower leg looks fairly secure. I would recommend lifting your chest up some. You don't need to fold quite that much over the fences, and that can make you overjump more exaggerated. Best of luck getting back into it - it takes a long time, and I'm still working on it myself.

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