Frame-work critique and a little bit of jumping.
Hey guys, Here's three pics for you to critique. I've been working for a while to get Gabe to frame up for me and to start using his back. I'm not quite sure what to look fo though, so when I'm looking at these pictures I'm not sure if it's all the way correct.
**Also we JUST started jumping again after taking a break for 8 months.
So please give me any pointers-in-the-right-direction and tell me what looks wrong and how to fix it and what not. Hopefully I am going in the right direction with him?
I'm just going to critique the flatwork since my focus is dresage, not jumping.
-lengthen your reins.
-relax your arms and let him reach for the bit, the connection from your hand to his mouth should feel like an unbroken stretchy band. Right now he is behind the vertical and tense, avoiding your contact.
-keep your thumbs on top and your elbows closer to your sides so you don't tense them.
-roll your shoulders back and sink more into yourself, try not to slump over. Keep your spine tall but soft.
-keep your toes parallel instead of pointing out.
-avoid gripping with your leg, particularly your lower leg.
-I won't touch on stirrup length/seat placement much since again jumping work is not my forte.
Thank you. I will definitely start working on this.
Yeah, what she said. It's a great start. Your horse is willing to accept contact. It's just a little too restrictive. In that second picture, your arms look tense. Let your reins out a few inches, soften your elbows and create a more elastic contact with your horse's mouth. Try to sit tall and get your shoulders centered over your stirrups. I can't jump for squat right now, so I'll skip on the jumping critique. Nice looking horse!
Thank you! I'm glad to know I'm at least going in the right direction. I will defitinely focus on relaxing my arms and quit holding onto his mouth so much. I can really see that now that you bring it up. :)
For the jumping: Keep your toes pointing forwards and lower leg perpendicular to the ground. Also you are a little high on the horses neck, for a small jump you are a bit too far out of the saddle, your centre of gravity should be just above the saddle (not the withers). Give a little more rein for release too.
Good work on looking up and ahead, you look like you are searching for the next jump (as you should be!).
Thanks! I thought I was jumping again. So let me get this right, everything is about right, except just shift my center of gravity back about 5 inches and sink lower with my toes in? Oh, also bigger release.
With the release, is the form good, or should I lower my hands? I'm just starting to really get the hang of releasing but I'm not sure on proper form.
It is all inter-related really! You can leave your hands where they are but just remember that when you shift your weight back to the saddle and aren't so high on the horses neck that you will need to stretch your arms up his neck. At the moment your hands are in that position because your torso is up high also.
In the photo, have a look at the angle of your elbow - its about 90 degrees right? Now have another look and imagine if you left you hands where they were and you shifted your weight back to just above the saddle, you arms would be reaching up onto his neck (this is a good thing!). When you do this you will find you are much more stable over the jumps, just try and give a little more rein for your release, especially while you are learning to stretch those arms up his neck instead of sitting up out of the saddle to compensate.
Your horse is so cute, keep up the good work!
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