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Jump Critique Anyone?
So we're back again! Me and Cowboy, jumping around. These are at 3', and we were doing a small exercise with these two jumps including taking them in a line, and a couple rollbacks (which I love almost as much as bending lines, by the way:-P). I'm really needing some crit. I feel like there's something about my form that's just ... off. I feel very comfortable over this height, and though I'm in Jumpers now and pretty doesn't matter, I want to make sure I'm not inhibiting Cowboy in his job. I want your nastiest comments you have! Be as mean as possible, I'm a big girl! Haha, really looking to improve my riding. Thank you very much!
**Video will be below; YouTube is currently down.**
These photos are featured in the video, but also posted for those that don't have the time/recource to watch :)
I know the jump looks smaller than 3'. Cowboy is almost 17hh, and I'm 5'8. I too thought the jump was smaller than 3', my trainer assured me it was at height.
My critique, for what it's worth:
The biggest thing I notice is that you're tossing your reins away the stride before the fence. You'll notice that your elbow becomes nearly straight for a stride before the fence; any idea why that is? Not only is your elbow straightening, you're actually rounding through your shoulders and your whole upper body along with your elbow to push your rein forwards.
You're being too quick with your upper body and ducking too much over the fence, allow the horse to come and close the angle for you - you don't need to do so much work with your upper body.
I'd also be willing to bet that you pinch with your knees, especially on the landing side of the fence - your leg comes forwards before the fence and waaaaay back on the landing side. Your strength and balance must come from your legs, remembering that you want to have pretty solid contact through the back of the calf, not by pinching with the knee.
I do like (amongst other things) that you're looking ahead and you're riding boldly to the fence.
ETA - don't know what's up with the screenshots. Go figure.
I might be wrong on this, but it looks like you're snapping back too soon upon landing. You're already back to a vertical upper body before his hind feet have landed. I do like your flat work. Your turns are nice, you're using all your aids instead of trying to pull him around with the inside rein.
Thank you both very much!!
As for the throwing my body forward, that is definitely my worst habit. I get it from riding Diamond for a while. Before a jump, she would throw her head down (I'm not sure why) and when she did so, if I didn't give her her head I'd smack her in the mouth, and she'd obviously refuse/run out of the jump. Therefore, I just got used to her needing her face. It became an AWFUL habit, which you see here. My trainer and I are working very hard to fix this.
Sitting up too soon; I thought I was too! When I played the video back, I was disgusted by it. Any tips on how not to do this? It really hasn't been much of a problem before.
Pinching with knees; Also a problem I haven't had before. Tips on how to fix it? I did notice I was doing it in last night's lesson, and I tried to stop. The clip from last night will be posted shortly, if you guys have time to review that one :)
For the popping up too soon thing, two things worked for me. One was a Jim Wofford clinic I watched. He kept telling riders to land in their knees. The more I thought about it, the more it helped. You can't absorb the landing in your knees without keeping your upper body centered over your feet. It's mechanically impossible to sit up too soon and land in your knees at the same time. It buys you that extra stride to let the horse complete the jump. It the same logic as landing in your heels, so whichever works for you.
The other thing that helped was to simply say out loud "and...land" as the horse comes over the fence. The "and is for the front feet and the "land" is for the back.
Exactly what Ive been looking for! Thank you!
as the things listed above, I agree. but also that your back slouches a tiny bit when you get ready to come back. I have that problem too! don't worry.
I see improvement every time you posts videos. You are doing such a good job with Cowboy. However, in both of these videos, when you do the rollbacks, you allow Cowboy to switch leads a stride or two before the jump. I think you want to do Hunters and Eq with him, and switching leads the last stride or two before the jumps as he does in this exercise is a big no-no. Try to hold the counter canter or get a change much earlier. If he can't do a flying change yet, do a simple change - do not allow him to cross counter the jump. Concentrating on the change, keeping the lead and a balanced canter to the jumps will make it almost impossible for you to slouch and pinch with your knees and it will give you a more polished look. Cowboy will even jump better.
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