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Vicizmax 07-22-2010 09:25 AM

Show Jumping Competition: Critique :/

So I have just been to this horse show where I competed in some classes.
Here is the worst class I had so far, and I would really like to hear you advice and critique. Mostly I am aware of what went wrong, and what I should have done, but nevertheless I like hearing different opinions and suggestions of which I might not myself have thought of.

So I hope you will watch this video and critique :) This is one out of 5 in all, and the worst so far.. :/

alltimelowx 07-22-2010 09:34 AM

I'm not very good at critiquing but I think that you may be holding your reins a bit too tight, but other than that i can't really see much wrong. It may have just been bad luck :)

Icyred 07-22-2010 09:39 AM

Are you asking about position critique or what? Since it is a show jumping competition it really doesn't technically matter your position so I'm just curious what exactly you'd like us to critique on. :)

rowanspridenjoy 07-22-2010 10:12 AM

i agree alltimelowx, it does look like your holding your reins a bit to tight, and thats confusing him, slow down, or speed up :) you can work on this is you lean forward a bit more so that way he doesnt rocket over the jumps and just keep going :) youve got a really nice seat, and i think if you slide your hands up your horses neck about an inch you could both really benefit from it :) btw your horse is super pretty :) nice gait, beautiful stride

Vicizmax 07-22-2010 10:14 AM

Icyred: Mostly the problems I have at several jumps, the way I ride to a jump, etc.. :) I guess just anything you think yourself is worth critiquing on? (:

dressagexlee 07-22-2010 10:17 AM

I'm no jumper myself, but I find myself hanging around with a lot of them and I take in quite a bit from watching my sister's lessons.

The rein length - compared to what I'm used to seeing, they seemed an inch or two long looking at the beginning (you shorten them halfway through, however). You want them short enough so that you can hold your arms comfortably high and in front of you with a good contact so that don't have to lean way back or pull your elbows behind you to get said contact. Many riders struggle with this - it's common that they ride into the ring with the horse on the bit and their reins adjusted accordingly. However, once you ask the horse to go, and you can see it in this video, they will raise their heads (jumper-mode, as we like to call it) and the rider suddenly doesn't have the contact anymore! So, remember to shorten your reins before you get going, instead of halfway through the ride like you did at 1:04, and you can avoid situations like at 0:58 (leaning far back in "defence" position) at 1:01 (notice your elbows).

Also, I noticed that you're in a bit of a chair-seat (pause at 1:33). It may be comfy, it is probably this that is keeping him from really moving forward and through. Think of a proper position as being your shoulder, hip, and heel lining up in a straight, vertical line. However, your leg is pushed out in front of you, and you end up leaning back - putting you behind the motion of the horse and more prompt to hold on to his head. If you ride centered over him, you'll be better able to use your seat and legs, stay a little more out of his way, and say "Go forward, I'm with you," instead of "Forward, but wait - I'm not ready! But forward!"
And, if you ride centered and with the horse, you'll be better able to prepare for, prevent, or ride through situations like refusals, fits of bucking or exuberance, et cetera. You'll also find it easier to adjust the horse's speed and stride length, using more of your seat. And don't worry, it's a common problem and may take monthes to overcome, and years to master!
Also, I'm not sure what your instructors preference or the horse's preference is, but I'd almost like to see a light half-seat to stay off his back between jumps. It'll also give you a good leg workout and you'll get an even better seat!

I like the way that you dealt with the refusal - there isn't much you can do in that situation besides staying quiet and just continuing forward. I like that - no loss of temper or a pointless run about, just picking up again and riding as if it never happened. It seemed like you were saying, "Oh, how unfortunate. But whatever, we'll just try again." It almost looked like you were smiling, even!

I can't comment on muh else, but overall - a very effective ride and I see nothing too wrong with it or any mistakes that the average young rider wouldn't make. ~
By the way, Denmark is awesome!

FoxyRoxy1507 07-22-2010 11:37 AM

there seems to be a lot of tension and loss of rhythem. the whole course your horses stride is inconsitent which caused him to chip some of those fences, he's also not rocking onto his haunches to jump; once again making him chip the fences. what i would do is work a lot on dressage.. do lots of shoulder ins/ hauches in/ backing, half passes and transitions. get him really listening to you and really balanced so that way as you come to a fence you can half halt and he'll rock back onto his haunches and then jump. once your horse feels more balanced he wont have that urge to rocket himself over the fence and you will be less likely to chip a fence and once he's listening it will be much easier to adjust his strides up to and between fences. right now he is not balanced so he's just running around the ring and throwing himself over the fences and bc of this you are unbalanced as well.

so really go back to doing lots of flatwork and work on your horse and your position and i think once you start again you will do much better.

ocalagirl 07-22-2010 04:54 PM

First off, you have a lovely and willing horse. He is clearly strong, and your short reins seem to be a necessity. Your rhythm is a bit off, but I would look very closely at how you are using your "whoa" aids. You are really leaning back and hauling on his mouth to get him to slow down, which puts you at a disadvantage when jumps come up. Try working transitions on the flat and sit in a deep but forward seat while riding. Also, try tuning your seat and leg aids to help slow him down. You should be giving half-halts through your hands and leg on this hot of a jumper, not just holding the whole time.

Your hands are also a little low, breaking your arm to bit line. I'd like to see your hands up more and following his canter. I'm sure you know this, but you seem to have some issues waiting for your fence. I sympathize, as this is my worst habit. Remember that when you get a deep and uncomfortable distance, that you must sit up and support your horse to the base of the jump. Good example: 45seconds, as well as that stop.

I love how you are turned out to show and how happy and willing your horse is. Keep it up and you will be having better classes in no time!

MissPhoebe 07-22-2010 05:41 PM

First of all, I think that you have an incredible seat/lower body position on a horse that is clearly excited to "go" at the fences. Since you have such a solid lower body support I think the only thing that needs to be improved upon is your upper body or hold on your horse. I know that you are holding him back because he wants to jump (gotta love that) but the constant tug of war I think is what is messing up your course (at least in this particular video). His stride is not consistent because he is whipping around the corners and then you kind of hold him off of the fence and then cue him on to hurry up and over. With his head up like that and at that speed I wonder if he is able to get a good look at the fence and figure it out for himself, which is why he probably refused that one fence. At home I would work on doing some gymnastics with trot in and some bounces so he has to slow down, regulate himself, and think about his feet/speed. Another thing that I do to slow my girl down is set a ground pole out a couple strides before and after a fence to make her think about her feet and encourage that constant speed. You obviously are a good rider if you are on a horse with that much "go", jumping fences that height, and staying on during big refusals. I think if you can slow it down some, become more in harmony between hand and mouth, and work on keeping a consistent speed, then you will be the pair to beat! Best of luck :D

Vicizmax 07-24-2010 10:31 AM

dressagexlee: Thanks alot for the advice! :) I will definitely use some of it. As to the refusal, I can tell you that I was certainly not smiling! xD But I knew it was my fault, so I had more of a "Oh crap, I'm so sorry!!" feeling towards my horse :/ But thanks again, some of the points you mentioned I realized myself too, and I will definitely be working on it :)

FoxyRoxy1507: Thank you, that made alot of sense! Although I have to admit I disagree with making any half-halts before a jump, I do understand what you are saying about getting himself back on his haunches. Sometimes it does feel like he's jumping a little flat, and that could be the problem :/ Thanks :)

ocalagirl: I'm glad you noticed my problem with waiting for the fence and seeing the distance, because that is really my worst problem. At high speed, when we approach a fence and I see or feel like it will be either to short or too long, I panic, and do something stupid like push him forward or stop him too much (you can actually see me pushing him forward on the fence he refused - why? Really, I have no idea, it was the stupidest thing, but I panicked.) But thanks alot for the advice, I'm definitely working on my position between jumps, and the ability to just sit still and do nothing but support him towards a jump :)

MissPhoebe: Thanks for the advice! :D Although I have to disagree with you for your reason for him stopping on that fence (you suggested it was because he has his head too high up) because even though his head is perhaps a little high sometimes, from experience, I definitely know I'd prefer it too high than too low, although of course an in between would be best :) He stopped because I pushed him too much, and then didn't support, I could definitely feel that. However, alot of what you said made a lot of sense and I appreciate that, thanks :) Now I've just got to train train train :p

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