Learning to jump
I've just started jumping in an English saddle on my ploddy school horse who does very well to put up with me lol.
At the moment I'm struggling with keeping level as we go over the fence and I think my weight might be throwing me off balance a bit and causing me to lean really far forward onto his neck :/ He was a good jumper in his day but is not as fit as he used to be and is just coming back into work so he can be a bit lazy and needs a lot of leg which also makes it more difficult for a novice to learn to jump!
Any other plus size jumpers have any tips for a beginner to help achieve a better position??
You need to develop the muscles to keep yourself up. While trotting you should go into your 2-point and hold it for as long as you can. It will help you build the muscle for your position plus you can practice keeping him going.
I practice 2-pointing at a walk, trot and canter. I find at the trot most challenging. Since starting to practice 2-point, my position has gotten a lot stronger.
Off the horse I do lunges, planks, crunches and squats.
Thanks so much for your reply :)
I do need to do this more often! and I find it particularly hard at trot too :/ Those exercises seem like a good idea outside of riding too... Now I just need to find the motivation for it lol.
I'm new to English riding so still trying to find my feet a bit with my position. Do you have any tips for a good 2-point position? At the moment I feel quite well balanced at a fast canter/gallop in a half seat position but any slower and I struggle to keep myself up for long :/
You can hold a squat / 2-point position while off the horse and that should help and another thing to try and help with foot position is to stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a stair and stretch your heels down. You can hold onto a wall or banister for balance, but eventually practice not holding anything :)
Great advice, I'll give it a go! thanks :)
My instructor has me hold onto the horse's mane while standing in the stirrups to get into position. She's French, so she calls it "en equilibre" or in equilibrium. Then we practice letting go of the mane with one hand and riding for a while like that, then the other hand, riding for a while like that, and then eventually riding with no hands (all of this at the trot). Once you can ride in 2-point with no hands, you know you have the balance part right. :)
That sounds like a good idea. I'm sure it will be very messy at first haha. I might have to do that on the lunge because my horse is a terror for being lazy lol but I'm sure that would give me a better idea of how off balance I really am :/ and how to adapt my position, so thanks :)
I wanted to second what Cowboy said--going through the gates (walk, trot, and canter) all at a two point is a great exercise for many parts of your body. It'll help you perfect and hold your position when it comes to jumping; it'll also help with your seat, keeping your hands steady, and it helps to put your leg in the correct position.
No stirrup work is another great way to strengthen.
Well I took my first tumble of my horse today :D 100% not his fault. My instructor utilised a lunge whip as he was hesitating at smaller jumps (he's an ex-hunter that sees anything less than 3ft as pointless!) which sent him flying over a 2ft pole at about 3 1/2 feet! lol.
I will say after I got back on (covered in wet, dirty sand lol) that it did encourage me to stop leaning forward so much and we went over again very smoothly! :D
thanks so much four your tips guys, I will definitely work on improving my balance and position with the exercises you mentioned :)
Haha gotta love that dirty and wet sand! Last time I fell I had sand where it should not be lol. So much to remember while jumping lol... Look where you want to go, sit up, leg on at the base, hands up, eyes up :P Its amazing when you get it though!
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