Tucking knees - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 06-08-2019, 01:39 PM Thread Starter
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Tucking knees

Hello! So my horse has a problem with tucking his knees over jumps. He lets his legs dangle and they are uneven. I believe we’ve talked about this before and someone said that he needs more impulsion over the jumps. What kind of impulsion and how can I achieve that? Also, someone told me to do low wide oxers and cross rails with high sides, what are your opinions with that? Tia.
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post #2 of 34 Old 06-08-2019, 02:50 PM
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He just needs to be fitter in general, that means more hacking outside of an arena if you can do that because itís the most effective and least boring (for you and the horse) way to do it.
You need to aim at the horse being conditioned physically to be more energetic and sharper off your leg and then learn how to contain that energy to produce impulsive and then elevation.
Look at articles by Jim Wofford and Bernie Traurig and use basic dressage techniques in your schooling routines combined with grid work.
What your horse is doing, even at the slightly higher fence, is cantering over it rather than lifting up and jumping over it.

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #3 of 34 Old 06-08-2019, 07:59 PM
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You are jumping a little ahead of him, which causes too much weight on his front end.
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post #4 of 34 Old 06-08-2019, 09:33 PM
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You need to stop trying to lift the horse off the ground and allow the horse to rise to meet you.
Yes, you ride in front of the balance point, look where your crotch is in the first picture...you've thrown your body, your weight forward and that hinders the horse from rising and using his forehand, shoulder muscles to raise & tuck those legs.

When you approach a fence you also need to be straight and square to it, coming at a direct straight line not from a angle as the one picture shows...
Advanced riders can and do ride cutting strides out of a line or by riding a bending line can ride even stride distances but, not putting you down, you are not skilled enough yet to see these distances nor ride them effectively.
Please use ground rails/poles for take-off distances seen easier for the horse and for you as you learn.

You would do well to work with "bounces", a type of gymnastic that teaches the horse to push off from behind as they go over several fences closely spaced. These are also known as gridwork...
I rode them at a trot to the base of the first then the horse cantered with a impulsive push off to clear 5 low cross-rails or verticals in a row...
If you don't stay off the front end, you will hit them.
It teaches you to use a effective 2-point, be still and let the horse rise to you not you collapse on the horse which is a habit of yours.
Because you ride with a rigid "over-flexed" spine does not make you in balance with the horse...

We know both horses will clear larger fences in height...
You need to learn to clear low fences properly first with good human body position, horse approach and execution of the fence and quiet ride off to the next element {fence}.
You need to learn how to send a horse forward from their hind end not drag themselves around on a heavy forehand.

This is one example of simple bounces...cross-rail, low straight, low straight to vertical.
They will help you to learn how to send not be dragged from the forehand or you can't do the exercise well.
These type of fences do not have non-jumping strides in between them - the horse lands with his front feet over one fence but then has to pick up to take off for the second fence, just as his hind feet touch the ground, having negotiated the first fence.

To tackle these fences successfully the horse has to be sharper in his shoulders, picking up his front legs neatly and also using his hindlegs more actively. More athleticism and power is needed from the horse and he has to think quickly.

Once a horse has had experience of jumping bounce fences he will find it easier to tackle cross country fences such as drops and steps.

You can introduce your horse to bounce fences as part of a grid, providing your horse is comfortable jumping a grid. Your first bounce fences must be small as your horse needs the opportunity to realise what he has to do. You could introduce just one bounce into a grid eg a small cross pole to a small vertical. The distance between the two bounce fences should not be less than 12ft unless they are very small.

Make sure your horse is confident bouncing between two fences before you start to add any more - and remember that it's sensible to restrict yourself to no more than five fences in a bounce grid. This is because the exercise is strenuous for the horse, especially as the fence height increases.

It's important that the rider keeps the horse balanced and with plenty of impulsion to negotiate bounce fences - and riders will also find that riding bounces helps improve their own balance and suppleness. JUMPING BOUNCE FENCES - Reap the benefits - Horse Answers Today


Also known as gridwork...endless combinations can be made.
Use care to measure distances between poles/rails carefully.
Start with rails on the ground aka cavaletti.
Work to rails and a cross-bar and eventually onto vertical, vertical and rail combos...
You start by trotting, then work to cantering them...but a work in progress you need to learn to do to strengthen your core, the horses agility and way of carrying their body over fences of any height.
You don't jump high till you accomplish low correctly or you will crash at some point, period.

Engaging the hind end, impulsion, your being in correct balance and not collapsing on his front end are necessary things you need to correct and learn...
This is some combinations of bounce/grid fences and their distances between them...


There is much available in video along with reading material if you take the time to look for it.
Many books and articles in magazines are also available and learning to ride these in partnership with the horses will improve you and them as you jump...but you don't need to go high, you need to go correctly.

The greatest show jumping horses who have done Puissance classes, jumping world class high fences...some clearing 7' plus fences do that from a trot...very controlled.
It is impulsion, push-off not speed that gives the ability to jump and clear.
It is impulsion that allows the horse to arc over a fence and snap their knees high and tight...
Ride from behind not off the front-end.
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #5 of 34 Old 06-08-2019, 10:00 PM
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If the first photo is a better example of how you usually look when jumping, I think your position looks just fine for the level you are at. You are in front of your horse, yes, but you are releasing well and staying out of his way. He does look like he is lacking impulsion. Definitely get him fitter and off your leg, but also gymnastic exercises and a jumping lane will help him 'sharpen up.'

Gymnastic exercises such as bounces are great as well as using ground poles to help you learn to shorten and lengthen your canter stride.

A jumping lane is great because it lets you see your horses natural 'form' without rider influence. It can also be great for green horses to learn technique, how to get themselves to the base of the fence, and in this horses case, how to tighten knees up over a higher fence without a rider.
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post #6 of 34 Old 06-09-2019, 08:16 PM
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We must use jump lanes differently as we ride ours over them. We also do grids and bounces. Each exercise has a different reason for being introduced and used but all of the riders where my child rides uses them at some point and then uses then to sharpen either themselves or the horse. I keep them set up in the riding area and find my child just enjoys the different patterns he can create between them and the small jumps set up. Just remember a horse only has so many jumps in him and considering where you are you may want to limit even further due to the heat and humidity.
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post #7 of 34 Old 06-09-2019, 08:53 PM
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It helps if your horse is trained to sit back before the fence.

I will train a young horse to do this by jumping a fence, halt, then turn and jump it back, halt, repeat.

You do need to let the horse jump to you. You are jumping like this is a 4ft jump... it's not!

I also agree, your back is extremely tense, you need to relax your back, shoulder, and hip while still maintaining good form.
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post #8 of 34 Old 06-10-2019, 02:41 AM
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This doesn't look like a horse that is 'just cantering over' a jump. It seems to be pushing off with both hind feet. And, it's not THAT small of a jump.


Would be nice to see a video.





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post #9 of 34 Old 06-10-2019, 07:59 AM
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Bernie Traurigís equestriancoach.com always has a free video of the month and this month is about gymnastics. Perfect timing for you.

Free Video of the Month | Equestrian Coach

I have not watched it, but everything is quality from this website. Jaydee mentioned Bernie above, and I linked another video of his on another thread of yours.


**adding on, Iíve watched some of this video and if you do not have enough standards to make jumps, use poles of the ground.
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Last edited by updownrider; 06-10-2019 at 08:07 AM.
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post #10 of 34 Old 06-10-2019, 08:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
This doesn't look like a horse that is 'just cantering over' a jump. It seems to be pushing off with both hind feet. And, it's not THAT small of a jump.


Would be nice to see a video
I disagree all round!

In the second picture you can see hat he is not pushing off with both hind legs equally, in the first you can't see both hind legs.

I doubt if that fence is anything more than 2'6" which, for any horse is not going to get him to make an effort over the rail.

Impulsion into a fence is vital, not just cantering into it.

Spreads rather than uprights, lots of grid work.

The rider is making to much effort to swing forward. As said, there is a lot of stiffness in the body. Over a fence htat size the swing should be minimal.

Try the grids and when he is familiar with them, domthem without stirrups, that should stop you over swinging forward, if you are still doing it, do the grid with your eyes shut!
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