Jumping Position - The Horse Forum
  • 3 Post By AndalusianRobyn
  • 1 Post By Rivo
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post #1 of 9 Old 04-22-2019, 06:03 AM Thread Starter
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Jumping Position

Hi, would I be able to get some opinions on how my jumping position looks? I haven't got much experience jumping and have only had one proper jumping lesson.
I know I should be giving more with my hands here but is there anything else major that I need to fix?

Am I too flat against her neck here? I was ahead of her movement as we put her rug over the jump to make it spookier and she backed off a bit. Am I throwing my weight onto her front?

I know I have a lot to work on, but how's my current position as a starting point?
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post #2 of 9 Old 04-22-2019, 06:30 AM
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You are out of balance....
Your 2nd photo...
So...here we go..
You're gripping with your knee, lower leg is a swinging pendulum
You are to far out of the saddle.
You've thrown your body ahead of the horses bascule point...the horse should rise to you, not you lower/toss to them.
Your back is straight, eyes up and ahead...all good!!
A little to much rein thrown away and loose but rather this than smack in the mouth to the horse..

The first photo is better look but harder to see with the dark background and angle taken at.
You have decent basics...a few lessons will help you immensely in position and base support so safer over fences for you.
Enjoy the journey.

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post #3 of 9 Old 04-22-2019, 11:18 AM
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Jumping is not my primary discipline, but I agree with most of what horselovingguy said above.

The first thing I noticed is that you are too far out of the saddle. You should essentially be barely "hovering" above your saddle.

Always imagine that if you "removed" your horse from the picture, would you be able to balance yourself on your own two legs based on your position? (or would you fall forward or backward?) That can help you analyze in your pictures if you are leaning too far forward, or what your legs are doing.

Practice being in your two-point at both the trot and the lope. You should feel "solid" as if you can hold the position all day long w hen you are in the correct magic spot. Then you know your legs are under you and you are balanced.

Yes, good job at looking UP and looking where you are going. Get some more lessons if you can! Even a couple here and there will help a lot. THat's what I do. English is more of a secondary thing for me, but I try to take at least a few lessons throughout the year.

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post #4 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 12:21 AM
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In both you look a little too much out of the saddle.
To improve your position I think you need to keep your shoulder up over the fences. This will ensure you don't jump ahead of your horse.

Since you are leaning so much on the neck it's hard to judge the arm position, it's not right in either photo.

I think your stirrups could be a hole longer, and step into your heel a bit more, but that's being picky.
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post #5 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 12:40 AM
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I don't actually think your butt is too far out of the saddle as far as up and down goes. It's just a little far forward.

I can tell you, in my experience (up to 1.40m), it's more dangerous to have too long of stirrups over a big jump than too short. You need to be significantly above the horse's back, to the point where the saddle hitting or touching your seat at all over the jump would be downright impossible. Your seat coming into contact with the horse's rounded back or the saddle over a big jump is a recipe for getting launched over the horse's head.

To fix being a bit far forward- as you approach the jump, don't think about going into two point. Think about allowing two point to happen as the horse comes up to you. Trotting verticals might help you learn to wait for the fence a bit.

That being said, your lower leg could use strength. It needs to stay glued right underneath you, and right now it's sliding back a bit. At take off, I purposely hug my calf to the horse and keep it that way. This will only work if your leg is strong enough. Trot around in two point to strengthen.

To prove my point- Have a look at this picture of Eric Lamaze. His leg is not slid back at all- it is a foundation underneath him. But ALSO- Look how high his seat is out of the saddle. It simply has to be that high to ensure that:

A) His seat doesn't interfere with the horse's back and form over the fence.
B) The horse's back doesn't interfere with his seat and position over the fence.

I chose this picture because it isn't from some equitation class- it is a practical photo of one of the best riders today getting a job done.

Don't lengthen your stirrups- strengthen your legs and wait for the fence.

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post #6 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Filou View Post
Since you are leaning so much on the neck it's hard to judge the arm position, it's not right in either photo.
Where should my arms be? In my lesson I was told to reach to her ears but that didn't feel right at all and threw me off balance even more. That's what I was trying to do in the second photo but it just made me too flat onto her neck.

Also I think part of my problem is that when I'm coming into a fence I tend to overthink every little detail and when I do that I forget about the major things like keeping my weight down.

My calves are relatively strong (I play soccer) and when I'm just trotting or cantering around in two-point I don't have an issue sinking my weight through my ankle, I'll remember to start hugging with my calf though (I feel like this is something really obvious that I probably should have figured out but it just never occurred to me). When my mum watches me ride she says it looks like I'm doing the jumping for us and basically that it just looks like I'm trying too hard. I know I struggle to let jumps come to me so I'll try just trotting in calmly.

What height do you think I should be jumping? I know I'm not ready to jump anything big but my mare doesn't really start to try until 80ish cm (both jumps in the photos are around 60cm). I know that still isn't very big but I don't want to go higher than I'm able to and completely wreck both of our confidence.

Do I just need to relax more and stop focusing on little things so much?

Thanks to everyone for all your help and advice
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 07:21 AM
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Agreed, do not lengthen your stirrups. If anything, you could shorten.

You leg and base is weak. You need to anchor through the heels and calves. Turn the toes out if needed, practice two-point with the knees off the saddle. Two-point over trot poles too.

Do not throw yourself at the jump. Easier said than done, but it does absolutely nothing good.

To practice being still, you can get into your two point before fence, well before, do some circles up there first. When you come into the fence, your heels are already down and all you need to do is move your hands forward and grab mane. You can move the hands up several strides out once the horse is straight.
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 09:21 AM
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Your instructor is probably trying to teach you a crest release. Some will say it is evil, but used properly it is fine, and a matter of preference. Crest releases can be short or long but never up to the ears.

Google McLain Ward and see how it is used properly. His equitation is usually excellent and he uses a crest release almost 100% of the time. Then google Anne Kursinski and see her release which is an automatic release almost 100% of the time also with perfect equitation.

Edit, I agree do not lengthen your stirrups.
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-25-2019, 11:42 AM
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If you combined the two positions you'd be not too bad at all.
I'm not sure that you need to shorten your stirrups - looking at where your knee is the length is OK. You already have a tendency to be too far out of the saddle in relation the size of the jump, if you go shorter that could increase the problem.
I see riders stuck in a 'perfect pose' that would be totally ineffective if they weren't riding a schoolmaster horse that did the job for them with no questions asked and you will see riders at Olympic level that look horrendous but win.

The crest release has become contentious because its encouraged some riders to sprawl along their horse's backs and also can stop them developing an 'independent hand'.
In your first photo you're 'crest release' hold is too close to your body and you've pulled your elbows back to try to compensate. Your arms look fixed and rigid because of that and you can't allow the horse any more rein to stretch out if he needs too without moving your hands further forward
In the second one, you've moved that hold on the neck much further up so the horse has got that extra rein but to do that you're now way too far up the horse's neck, That's dumped your weight on the part of his body that needs to be able to get up in the air - which is why he's jumping 'flat'

Try and have some lessons on a reliable jumper with a trainer who can put the horse on the lunge and have you ride over fences with no hands on the reins - success is less about where your hands are and all about how effective they are.
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