Well, the pics didn't show up, sorry about that. Here they are tho.
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woopss...nevermind this...You posted the pics.. xD
Well, I think its good. A few of them you were pulling on your pretty poneh's mouth a bit, but besides that you look good! I also noticed that your foot is a bit far into the stirrup and that your heels are coming up a tad. I would like to see the balls of your feet on the stirrup pad and your heels down. That would help your overall position too. I am going to start XC soon, too. Never done it before, so it will be fun! (:
Keep on posting pictures, I would LOVE to see more!
I think your basic position you have is a very good one. 90% of the time you leg is perfectly placed - Though you foot is a little bit too far in the stirrup, the lower you can get you heel down, the more impact it absorbs. Your seat is nice and close to the saddle. but watch your dont get left behind, u dont seem to, but its a pre caution.
Your back is nice and straight too, make sure you dont look down though - In all disciplines, you should be looking up and in the direction of where you need to go on landing. Looking down tends to cause riders to lean forward with the shoulders, round the back, and wind up in a precarious position. The head should also not be tilted to one side, as this changes the rider's lateral balance and places more weight on one side. making for a more difficult landing, for both horse and rider. Your release is fine. and depending on your horse (wether she is speedy, lazy etc) u may need more release, it look as though your horse like s to have her head over the jump, but if shes the type to get quick on the landing and race off then the amount of rein allowed is fine =]
You say this is your first time XC right? Well i think extra care in the right gear is of utter most importance, but i would like to see much more protection on the legs, the boots on the front only offer minimal protection, and definatly invest in some back boots. Bell boots too are a good pre caution. I one for never riding cross country with out a breastplate either, althoughyou saddle may not slip. again its another good idea. and protection under you horses back, i always ride with two saddle blankets and a sheep skin half pad. or i ride in a "puffa Pad"
overall anyway you look good =]
ditto to everything Eventer said. right on the $. Definitely get boots for the back.
Your position is lovely over many of the jumps, especially considering how your horse is taking them. Like many horses on their first cross-country runs, he's ducking his head pretty far down over the fences and overjumping several of them. This can be disconcerting for the rider, but you're handling it beautifully.
You jump up on him a little bit over the rool-top coop (#12, not #6), with your toe sliding down and your heel creeping up. It's actually better to get left behind a bit than to jump up over the pommel, so really concentrate on keeping your seat bones centered over the seat of the saddle.
And finally, in #8, I'd like to see more crest release, but he looks excited and you might have been checking him before the landing. So hard to make judgments without context. :-)
Overall, though, these are nitpicky criticisms. Don't know why anyone would be disgusted. :-)
If you are using a 1/2 pad, to add "extra cusion" when your saddle already fits properly - again you are now causing issues in the long run.
A 1/2 pad should only be used to add extra horse, for a saddle that is a bit too wide. That's it.
The OP does not need extra padding if her saddle fits correctly.
just for extra cushioning, Saddle arnt super soft, i swear NO one over here rides in JUST a thin saddle blanket. ive Never ridden with less than two...
Again, if the saddle already fits properly, adding extra padding is making your saddle too tight on your horses back. That is like wearing thick socks and then putting shoes that are already snug, on.
Back in the 1800's and even in the early 1900's - saddles were used bare. With no padding under them at all. The pad came along, to keep the saddle from getting stained by the horses sweat.
That is the only purpose of a pad.
A 1/2 pad, is only meant to add extra horse to a saddle that is a bit wide. The 1/2 pad today, has become quite a fad that serves no purpose under saddles that already fit correctly when sat on their horses backs bare.
If your saddle is hurting your horses back, with just a basic pad under it - then you need to get a different saddle. Hire a professional to come out and assess your saddle on your horses back to find out if is a correct fit or not.
Just because others in your area does this, doesn't mean it is correct. You shoud take a saddling clinic.
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