Jumping position problem
Hi there COH!
I guess I'll just get right to the point! I'm having a tough time correcting my position. These following pictures speak louder than my words.
So as you can see, I REALLY get down there.. Like a hunter. Not ducking luckily, but still. I used to do hunter/jumper for a long time.. at least 5 years, and well.. How can I fix this and keep my chest up higher?
Is there anything wrong with getting all low like that? Haha I don't know what to call it really..
Thanks for any help!
You really need to be able to counterbalance your upper body so that you do not topple forward. Your lower leg needs to come forward when you incline your upper body forward. You should be able to go forward into your jumping position without propping on your horse's neck for support.
When I have a student who lays down as you do, I build a free jumping line. I then send the student through with the reins hooked through the top strap of a breast plate. The rider can steer the horse into the grid and then, once in, can drop the reins and ride through with their arms out to the side like airplane wings. The reins are kept from falling down by the breastplat strap. The rider WILL learn to bring their lower leg forward and balance their upper body.
For example, the horse I'm riding in my avatar is going over a 5 foot 6 jump. I am leaning a lot less than you are going over a much smaller jump. I am using an automatic release. I bet I could hold my arms out and still keep that position.
Do I always have that equitation? Not!! But, it is what I always strive for.
I dont really know if its a horrible thing! I mean you could be doing worst right :P
But riding a bouce should get your chest back up or even when you jump take one hand off the reins and put it in a air plane position then do the same with the next arm over an other low jump.
hope it helps
I would suggest going back to the basics and practice using smaller fences. Make them big enough so that your horse has to make an effort over a jump but small enough where you are comfortable to concentrate on your body position ONLY. When you get to the base of the fence sit up and wait for the horse to come you-push your hands into the horses neck to support your upper body. Its really hard to break habits like this, but you have to concentrate and focus on nothing but your body position until you re-train yourself.
Pardon my analogy, but next time you go to use a public toilet, notice how your shoulders are directly over your knees as you fold her hips. That's a balanced jumping position. If the horse disappeared from underneath you over a fence, you would land standing on your feet. If you look at your current pics, you'd fall way forward and land on the dirty floor instead. Nasty visual, but effective just the same.
I like the expression "squat" over your jumps. Like MyBoyPuck suggests, it's not really a nice sounding word, but it makes sense.
Crest Releases are meant for riders who cannot support their upper bodies with their lower extremities - if their lower leg is not solid, heels anchoring you in your tack - then yes, Crest Releases are appropriate.
So if an Upper Level rider teaches one to ride CC with this release, there was probobly a reason behind it.
If you are a rider with a solid lower leg, and can support your upper body, then drop the crest and merge into an automatic release.
When you are out on the CC course, you cannot ride these fences the same way you would in the Hunter Ring. Your position must be FUNCTIONAL at all stages. From between the fences, approach to the fences, over the fences, and departing from the fences. If you are laying on your horses neck, you will get into trouble eventually, especially if you have a horse that does not babysit you and especially when you get into more demanding, challanging courses.
Do not fall into the crest release trap. You want more of an open hip angle when doing CC fences - these fences are not forgiving, unlike the fences you find in the sandbox. When doing the Stadium Phase - do whatever release you want, but again, if your lower body can support your upper, then merge to the Automatic. If you cannot solidify yourself in your tack with your lower, then stick with the crest.
I agree with SOME crest releases and use them myself on XC. What I don't like are crest releases that are on top of the crest instead of on the sides of the crest. If they are on top, invariably the rider rests their weight on them. Also, if the horse asks for rein to stretch over a jump, especially important on XC, the rider must be able to adjust and give it to them. The OP's release will not be able to do that. The horse will be snatched in the mouth.
This is a low crest release, NOT an automatic release like I'm using on my avatar. The horse can get more rein, if needed. My equitation is not great, here, as I schooling a jump. I am low, but that is a pretty big jump. To be this low on a tiny jump is not needed, or desirable
This is the highest crest release I will teach, or use. Again, hands on the sides of the crest, not planted on the top of the crest. I use this photo to show poor equitation of lower leg. I have pivoted on my knee allowing my lower leg to go back. This made me tip forward more than I would have liked. This was a small jump that we were taking at a fast gallop. I just got sloppy. Hey, it happens.....
This horse had been under saddle for six weeks and was at his first event. I used a crest release due to the fact that he was new to jumping and anything could happen. Again, not on top of the crest. The rest of my equitation? It could be better. I am an eventer, so equitation is, what equitation does, IMO.
Equitation is, what equitation does.
Allison..love this quote! Totally agree.
Jummmmp horsey jummmmp. (little Forest Gump humor)
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