Perfecting Your Position -- For Everyone/Share Your Tips!
I figured this would be a good thread for everyone to share tips on working towards a great Position. So share your tips for jumping or flatwork! Lets aim for 100 as a forum so add the numbers on after mine. Also is it possible to get a sticky on this thread?
Here are mine:
1. Stirrupless (Flat/Jumping) - Great for building strength and mucles.
2. Bareback (Flat/Jumping) - Same as above :)
3. Two Point (Jumping -- Possible Flat? -- ) -- Do lots of two point over ground polls and general flat.
4. Lunge line (Flat -- 2 Point -- ) Even the best riders can learn something on the lunge line.
5. Grids (Jumping) -- To help you get with the flow of your horses jumping movement.
-- I totally mental blanked and that is all I have for now :)
Bump.. Come on guys!
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1. Get regular lunge lessons with no stirrups and reins. Blindfolded is even better.
2. Get regular video footage of your riding. You can go home and analyse it, and write down your position faults. Then on your next ride pick one big fault and focus all your concentration on being fully aware of correctly that fault.
3. Don't wear rose coloured glasses. Thinking that you're great and your horse is going great isn't going to help your position. There's always something to improve on.
4. Have a nice quiet ride on your own and close your eyes (if your horse is safe enough to do so of course!). As you're walking along, feel your body moving with the horse. Are you collapsing any part of your body? Is one side tighter than the other? Does your pelvis feel stiff? If your horse disapeared from under you, would you land neatly on your feet?
look forward... not at your horses neck, its not going to change colour!! thats what my instructor told me LOL
The most important thing to know when you're having a problem with your position is that everything is connected. One problem with your upper leg, can lead to problems with your toes sticking out and and having your heels up.
And the best tip is look up where you want to go. If you're staring at the groud admiring that lovely mud, odds are you're going to end up in it.
If you have problems with carrying your hands/arms... think of having your elbows are the heaviest part of your arm, like you've got weights attached to them. I found after riding lots of green horses, my elbows were coming away from my sides quite a lot, so this one really helped me ;)
Also with your hands, there's a lot of 'white knuckled' riders out there. Imagine you're holding two small birds in your hands instead of reins. THAT is the amount of pressure you want to have. If you grip too tightly you will squash them, too loose and they will fly away.
To test how still you keep your hands, put a neckstrap on your horse and hold it while you trot. You'll feel yourself wanting to pull on the neckstrap as you trot if you're used to moving your hands around.
If you ride with your hands uneven, ride with a short crop or stick under your thumbs, horizontally, and try to keep it level while you ride.
When rise trotting, put your leg on when you sit. You will have the most influence over the horse's hind legs at this point.
When cantering, canter from your 'core' not your pelvis. Yes it is your pelvis that moves with the horse, but how many of us look like we're trying to shine our saddle with our bottom while cantering? :P So keep that backside firmly in the saddle by moving your core muscles and holding them with the horse's movement, and sinking into the saddle.
I have so many but I couldn't be bothered putting them all up at once :P
Hold tightly the strips and sit confidently. Give a little bit slopes your self and get well position.
Keeping hands still (another take on the neck strap). You can do this off the horse too by holding onto something and bending/ straitening your legs - good for giving littlies a feel.
Dropping your heels (relaxing through the ankle) - stand on a step with the balls of your feet as you would in the stirrups - legs bent and back straight. Hold onto something and practice dropping your heels without compromising the rest of your position.
Shifting weight - put a bag full of books on your back and have someone follow you around pushing it from side to side at random intervals as you walk. Great for giving kids an idea as to how shifting your weight affects the way your horse goes.
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