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Oxer 06-26-2011 03:01 AM

Riding a powerful jumper
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So this is the horse that is with me on trial right now. He is a super green jumper prospect. My issue seems to be that my position suffers because his jump is SO POWERFUL. I would love any opinions people here might have about how to manage my body better with a horse that jumps hard!

AlexS 06-26-2011 03:11 AM

As the first vid is only 2 seconds long, I am basing my opinions off watching them both multiple times. Your horse is not pulling to the jump, I really don't see what the issue is at all? What are you feeling? What feels wrong?

maura 06-26-2011 07:36 AM


I suspect the issue is that he has a lot of thrust and really rounds his back over the fence, not that he pulls to the base. The thrust and rounding of the back is pushing the rider forward onto the horse's neck.

This is pretty common when you move from an equitation or suitable for an amateur type horse with a flat jump to a horse that really uses itself correctly, and it will expose any fundamental flaws in your position. Riders that pose or perch probably couldn't ride this horse at all.

Oxer, time to go back to basics. First, you have to make sure you're waiting for the horse; if you've had any tendency to jump ahead; this horse's jump will make you splat on the neck. Second, you have to make sure your body mechanics are exactly correct: if you've had a tendency to stand in your stirrup or lock your knee rather than allowing your knee and hip to fold; well, that plus this horse's jump equals splat on the neck, too.

So build grids and gymnastics and concentrate on waiting for the horse to push you out of the tack, and correct body mechanics. Grids without stirrups would be even better.

Lovely horse, good luck!

gypsygirl 06-26-2011 08:10 AM

great post maura ! oxer i have totally been there with my mare. make sure your position is SOLID. i do lots and lots of two point at the trot and sit one up two posting [let me know if you dont know what that one is !] a lot of my issues with jumping my mare came from me throwing my upper body at her in an effort to stay with her, this does not work ! i jump her a lot better now when i hold my light forward seat and dont move at all. from there it is just muscle memory.

cute horse btw, good luck with him !

Oxer 06-26-2011 12:02 PM

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yes!!! everything you both said is exactly what is happening here! His hind end is pretty active too... which is something i'm not used to. So when he powers over the fence, that hind end is a couple feet above the rails as well... so when/if i'm not with him, i am "SPLAT" on his neck! haha! true story.
okay, so lots of flat work. lots of 2 point. lots of posting. lots of grids.

Oxer 06-26-2011 01:30 PM

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this was my last horse. he was sold to me as a meter thirty horse, but i didn't jump him that big. however, he had much more of a flat jump... didn't power over fences when it wasn't necessary (like X rails and such). So the new horse is def a new experience for me!

maura 06-26-2011 03:49 PM


Your last horse is lovely, but absolutely the type of flat, unthrusty jumper that makes a perfect first jumper and the type that's prized as an eq. horse.

Note that even on this horse, you're jumping for him a little bit; with a too open knee angle and crotch ahead of the pommel.

So your new horse is going to be a challenge, but a good, appropriate challenge. REALLY concentrate on staying close to the tact, letting the horse push you, and ensuring that your knee and hip fold with the horse's motion.

Best of luck and have fun with him!

Sapphire 06-27-2011 08:48 AM

Like everyone else has said, you just need to work on it a bit.

Judging from the video and the photo, you seem to sit up quite high when you jump. I would suggest practising with crosspoles - they can be small as you like, but most horses still tend to do a nice round jump over them - and make you fold rather than just leaning forward. Also, in the photo, your legs have gone back slightly and your heels are up. Maybe this is just a one off, but just remember to keep the heels firmly down - that nearly always helps prevent the leg swinging back, which then stabilises the upper body.
Also, something I only actually learnt recently is that as you land, and for a stride you two after the fence, you should remain in the "folded" position - this allows the horse to get his back end clear over the fence (although I doubt that's going to be a problem for your horse anyway!) and allows him to gather himself after landing. It will also make it a lot easier for you to return to an upright position or light seat as opposed to being "thrown" back as you come down from the fence.
Have you ever read any of Pat Burgess's training techniques? She explains it all very well, you might find it useful :)

PoohLP 06-27-2011 10:17 AM

I can't see the vids, but from your post and the other posts, I'd suggest trot fences. Start as low as you like and raise as high as you and your horse can go. A good, thrusty jumper should have no problem trotting a 2'9-3 ft verticle.

Trotting will force you to really pay attention, slow your body down and allow the horse's thrust to throw you out of the saddle, rather than anticipating and timing it on your own. This will help you get more in sync with your horse and his jump and also force you to tighten up your position because you will be in the air for longer and thus need a more solid lower leg. It is also good for the horse because it forces them to really sit back and push off from their hind end.

Once they get past about cross rails and two feet, many people don't trot fences enough. IMHO, it is more difficult than cantering a fence and a fantastic training tool for horse and rider. Adding in a day of nothing but warm up and then trot fences as high as they can reasonably go at least a couple times a month really works wonders at keeping everyone sharp.

Oxer 06-27-2011 10:59 AM

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Originally Posted by Sapphire (Post 1077932)
Pat Burgess's training techniques? She explains it all very well, you might find it useful :)

This is great! I wish we had grids like this at our barn!!! I'm going to set up some grids with poles/x-rails and see what we can come up with.

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