Critique Jumping & HELP!
Hi! Please critique my horse, Monte, and I jumping! Sorry it's a bad angle, but it's the only photo my digital-camera-challenged parents got where we were actually over the jump.
Brief training history... Me: lots of flatwork/eq training, about 5 jumping lessons 5 years ago! ha-ha Monte: fairly green, had some minor "backyard" jumping training 1.5 years ago. At the time these photos were taken, he and I had not done any formal training together, but now we're in weekly lessons and concentrating on impulsion, carriage, and balance (on the flat)! We've been together for about 5 months and in lessons for 2 months.
Feel free to pick us apart and point out ALL the bad things! I would love if you could also provide insight on how to fix the bad things or any exercises that could help us. We're not super serious jumpers, it's more of a fun thing (especially for Monte, he really perks up and gets excited to just go over a tiny crossrail!) But maybe some day we'll pop into an over fences class at a show! =)
Also, I noticed in the photos that my parents caught just before and just after the jump, my back seemed very rounded/haunched. I've never had this problem riding on the flat (both seated and in 2-point). Anyone else have this experience? How do I fix it? (or am I supposed to look like this?!)
ok here goes :)
in the first pic your legs have slipped back a bit and it looks like you are holding him and not giving him enough release. you also look a long way out of the saddle. try to work on keeping your leg solid and leaning forward more than lifting yourself so far out of the saddle. and giving more with your hands would be nice :)
the hunched position you are talking about in the second two pics is from you leaning on his neck. in the second pic you are already in your 2 point but he hasnt jumped yet. let his forward jumping movement bring you out of the saddle and give with your hands just before this happens. in the third pic you are still half in your 2 point a stride after the jump. his landing should bring you back down into the saddle.
once again, give more with your hands and try not to lean so much on his neck. sometimes this can be hard especially if you havent done a lot of jumping but he will be able to make the jump better if he has his head. although in the first pic he looks reasonably well tucked :)
keep up the good work and you will be there in no time :)
p.s. your horsey is gorgeous ;)
I see exactly what you're saying about my hands..leaning on his neck and not releasing over the jump. My hands are in the same spot before, during, and after the jump! I'm probably using them to balance myself. Sometimes, riding on the flat in 2-point, I lose balance and topple forward...I guess I should work on strengthening myself and balancing when my seat is out of the saddle. =)
When I took my few jumping lessons (5 years ago), my instructor had me get into 2-point about 5 strides before the jump, and stay in 2-point for a few strides after the jump as well. Was this maybe just to prevent me from getting left behind (before the jump) or slamming back into the saddle (after the jump)? Should I actually stay more seated and, as you say, let Monte's forward jumping movement bring me out of the saddle (and back down)?
Thanks for the critique, I didn't really realize the thing about my hands until you pointed it out. I only saw that my elbows were very tucked in...but didn't connect that to my hand issue!
Before I did any jumping I went through a couple lessons of just sitting up in the jump position while the horse was trotting. Not too much out of the saddle but just enough and my hands slid up the mane just a little. Putting all my weight in my heels while going around the arena and concentrating on keep my hands very still, making sure they were completely steady. It will suck the life out of you and your legs will be screaming but it makes for a great build so you will be conditioned as a jumper and there will be no question as to how to position your body as your horse goes over that jump. I agree with letting him have plenty of rein and after you've done a couple lessons of just sitting in that jump position you will feel more confident about doing a small 18inch jump or two. Make sure not to sit in position until you are telling your horse to lift his front feet off the ground. Since he is also needing practice and you might want to do some showing, the judges are going to make sure you are leaving straight lines behind you. My suggestion is that after he jumps a small jump and his back feet land on the ground that is when you sit back in the saddle(kind of putting your back straight) and then as soon as possible make him stop completely. Then (you) turn around and look back, making sure your horse and you are still lined up with the center of that jump. Starting early on particulars like that will save time so those little things don't have to be addressed later. Let me know if any of this helps. Happy Jumping!
What a great little horse! I love his expression and he seems like a natural jumper. The picture was taken a hair early, but it looks like he has a nice round in his neck and back and he knees are up and even and tight. It's always most fun to jump a horse who loves to do it too. I know he's green, but it'd be a good idea to start working with him now on going straight into the jump. He's almost jumping the block in this photo. It will be more comfortable for you both if you can keep him straight in his approach. If he needs some encouragement, prop an extra pole on the side he tends to drift towards (one end on the block and one end on the ground), or even on both sides to create a jumping lane. It will help encourage him to go for the middle.
Your position is a little difficult to see in this photo due to the angle, but you look to be doing very well for all the more jumping experience you have. Your leg is a little bit far back, but you are gripping nicely with your inner thigh and calf, your heel is down, and toe is pointed out just a bit. You look soft and comfortable, and I like that you've got your eyes up.
Your hands look soft, and even though there's a straight line from your hand to the bit, it doesn't seem to be catching your horse's mouth. It probably wouldn't hurt to place them a little farther forward on his neck.
Yes, getting into two-point early and staying in it after the jump is a good convention when learning. Since you are still on the green side, it might not hurt to do it that way a while longer -- until you feel comfortable with how your horse jumps and where he takes off. Once you feel comfortable and like you are staying with him, sit up and allow him to lift you over the fence.
One last thing to work on: keep your butt a little closer to the saddle and bring your upper body down closer to his neck over the jump. You should be relatively parallel with his neck in the air. Instead of just perching in two-point, think of yourself folding or bending in half at the hips, like you would if you were touching your toes. Work lots of two-point on the flat like you have been, and even do it without holding on and putting your arms out to the side. It's important to learn to balance over a fence without your hands to support you ... that way you can follow your horse more easily and are less likely to catch him in the mouth or land on his back if the jump is bad.
Happy jumping! You two are really off to a great start!
when you do jump again you can keep that two point seat before and after the jump and yes, once you have that figured out, let his motion bring you out of the saddle :)
when i was learning to jump i watched hours of video of professional jumping, over and over and over again. i paused it at points before, during and after the jump to see exactly what the pros do. this can help you visualise way better exactly what you should be doing :)
good luck with it all and keep working hard :) you will get there :)
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