My BEAST! Aka Love Story =]
Here's my girl jumping diff. heights, at different places. The ones at home are okay, but the show ones are abit bad (moms and cameras!!) but anyway, what do you think of Love?
I know my heels are awful in these, Im sorry, Im working on them :)
What do you think of Love? And I know I'm not great but hey, I try
I think it would be in your - and your horse's - best interest to hold off on jumping for a few weeks while you really solidify your basics. In all of these pictures, you've lost your leg, thus propelling your upper body forward, and your clutching at her mouth for balance. See her pinned ears in some of the pictures? She's uncomfortable - and you want to fix yourself before she decides it's easier to start refusing.
You really need to work on your leg. At the moment you're standing on your toe and launching off of it - you need to educate it to stay at the girth, with the weight in the heel and an even contact throughout. Work on two point - lots and lots of two point. Work without stirrups, too. Try tying your stirrup leathers to the girth at first so you can feel exactly what your leg should be doing. Do trot-poles, cavalletti, etc in your two point. Focus on not moving AT ALL except for a BIG release with your hands only - not your body!
When your leg is suitably educated to begin jumping again, do what you were doing with the trot poles, but make them into small jumps instead. Come into them in two point, push your weight down into your heels, and a stride or two out, release. Hold that release through the line - let your mare figure it out. They usually do that better than we do!
I like your focus in these pictures - you're looking ahead, rather than down, which is very good. Don't change that! ;)
I think your mare has the potential to be quite a cute little jumper, but right now she also needs more education on the flat. I think a lot of people forget just how important dressage is to the overall equation. Right now (judging by the flat pictures) you're riding her downhill, with little to no leg aids, and using your inside rein to turn her. I'm going to copy and paste what I wrote to someone else about the dressage basics - read it, learn it, do it! It'll make such a monumental difference in your riding.
Oh, and forgot to mention - shorten your stirrups for jumping! Part of the problem right now is that you're reaching for a too-long stirrup, and your leg is sliding around as a result.
I second the stirrups. Go up quite a bit! Will help a ton with all the problems the above poster listed.
Crest and Release, you're relying far too much on her mouth. Give her her head over fences.
I agree it would be a good idea to go back to basics before jumping. I wouldn't mind seeing more pics if you take your stirrups up a few notches, that might solve a lot of your problems. But starting to build on the fundamentals is probably your best bet right now.
So essentially i second everything written above.
I agree with every thing above. I dont think this has been said yet but it looks like you need to take your feet a little farther out of the sturrups. you should have the sturrups closer to your toes. it will really help you heels. :)
It would help you a lot to ride in boots at home. I know that tennis shoes are more comfortable, but its best to be safe. Also, its best to "practice like you play" for shows. You are right about the heels. Have you tried stretching before riding? I sometimes do just to loosen up.
Shorter stirrups will also help your heels. I would work on feeling more than executing over fences. You seem to be trying really hard, but you may feel that a little relaxation and release to help your horse relax will go very far. Feel where your horse is and go with his jump, don't force it.
As far as the flatwork goes, I agree that you should focus more on details. Her frame is very natural, which I like, but you are missing an essential part of your training. Your hand could be a more functional part of your ride, as it seems to just sit passively on her neck in one photo. If you want to keep jumping and work on dressage subsequently then definitely focus on relaxation and correct position for yourself first then correct pony issues. Often horse problems like downhill-ness will result in an unbalanced rider and can be fixed with some good practice. I don't think your problem is that you aren't strong, it's that you need to direct your strength towards other things like leg pressure to bend and learn to relax in other areas.
You seem to be a very solid rider who just needs to work on some basic position things. Keep up the good work!
I really like your little mare. She seems to have a wonderful attitude and be the perfect sort of horse to learn and move up on. Safe, sane and athletic.
However, she is not always as neat and tidy with her front end as ideally you'd like. In some of the photos she appears to be cantering over the fences in a long stride, rather than actually jumping and rounding. Fortunately, what you need to do to work on your riding will also help her with her form. Stabilizing your position and becoming more balanced and less dependent on her neck for support; and lots of work through gymnastics and grids.
Thank you everyone. We are working on it all :)
Thanx for your compliment on my focus dantexeventer. For a long while that was something I struggled with. I just HATE the fact that my mouth is open in all of them!! LOL
And thank you for complimenting Love Story maura. I agree with the fact that she isnt as neat as I'd like. I will work with all of your tips, and once we are better I'll post more pics :)
LOL I make the same face over fences, although mine's reeeeaaally stupid looking...I call it my ******-face.
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