Upper Body Part 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 09-08-2014, 10:30 PM Thread Starter
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Upper Body Part 3

Okay folks. Here's my latest attempt at getting my upper body where it's supposed to be. Boy muscle memory is a bear. If you had bet me $100, I would have said I was sitting tall and upright. Instead I'm still forward and hunched a bit. Sorry it's all jump cuts, but it's the fastest way to put it all together. There are still a dozen or so flaws, but I feel like it's starting to get there. I see my lower leg is still loose. I am doing a little no stirrup work each ride to get it snugged up. I can't figure out what I'd doing wrong with my release. It looks like I have it over the fence, but on landing I run out of arm and still seem to be catching him a little. Any ideas on why I'm still doing that? I think the impulsion is better. Heels won't be down until I'm done rehabbing my right ankle. For now, they are both taped so I don't tear anything. Have at it!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujBm8YcMgrg

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #2 of 12 Old 09-09-2014, 02:02 PM
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I can see where you are catching him in the mouth. Right after you jump, your hands pop-up a quite a bit (see 1:06, 1:18 in the video) I've developed this habit , as well - just crazy high hands in general. It requires me to actively think about keeping my hands super low - lower than what I think they should be.

Try moving your hands lower and with the movement of the horse (up and down up the neck), rather than up and down vertically. Also, in some cases, you could stay in two point a tick longer (1:18) - that will help with pulling on his mouth as well. I hope that helps! I am no expert, either so maybe someone will chime in more with what I see and maybe explain it better!

You are both looking great! Keep up the work!!
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-09-2014, 07:29 PM Thread Starter
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So more like reaching forward up his neck, which would actually feel like down?

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #4 of 12 Old 09-10-2014, 12:30 AM
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well, I can't exactly say why, but I think the overall picture IS better! I just don't know the specifics of jumping, though.

do you go out and ride trails? where you go up and down some good hills, where you need to change you position to maintain a nuetral balance, and where your horse deals with these changes in terrain? nothing helps a rider more than doing this kind of riding, and doing it as much as possible on a loose rein , focussing on just going ''with" the horse, . .. "allowing". neither helping, nor holding, nor molding . . . just "allowing".
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-10-2014, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
well, I can't exactly say why, but I think the overall picture IS better! I just don't know the specifics of jumping, though.

do you go out and ride trails? where you go up and down some good hills, where you need to change you position to maintain a nuetral balance, and where your horse deals with these changes in terrain? nothing helps a rider more than doing this kind of riding, and doing it as much as possible on a loose rein , focussing on just going ''with" the horse, . .. "allowing". neither helping, nor holding, nor molding . . . just "allowing".
I go out all the time. Always start out stiff and come back totally sinking into the tack. I know what you're saying about allowing. That's mainly what we've been working on. Every time I approach a fence, I try to sink more into the tack. One day I will actually make contact with the leather!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #6 of 12 Old 09-10-2014, 12:59 AM
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if, on the trail , we approach a log to jump, I am like this: "ok, I am going to put on my big girl pants and jump this 10 inch log. ok, horse, please take care of me. ok, here we are , getting closer, now have I given him enough rein that anything he does will not result in me mouth bopping? do I have some heels down? am I going to survive this? am I an idiot for doing this (yes) . . . and we go over it.

I am THAT nervous about jumping. it's pitiful!
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-10-2014, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by tinyliny View Post
if, on the trail , we approach a log to jump, I am like this: "ok, I am going to put on my big girl pants and jump this 10 inch log. ok, horse, please take care of me. ok, here we are , getting closer, now have I given him enough rein that anything he does will not result in me mouth bopping? do I have some heels down? am I going to survive this? am I an idiot for doing this (yes) . . . and we go over it.

I am THAT nervous about jumping. it's pitiful!
HA! That's my stadium internal dialog. Sadly I still miss 50% of the checklist on the bigger fences. In the woods and on XC it's more like, "I'm sure he sees that log up there that we are currently approaching at a fast clip"...then weeee!

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-11-2014, 06:52 PM
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So I will start with giving my two cents in about your release - you really aren't giving much of one. Now I know the fences are gigantic and you aren't really catching him in the mouth too terribly, but I would suggest you starting to give a bit more, reaching further up his neck, grabbing a bit of mane and working on STAYING there until at least a full stride after the jump.

You feeling like you can't hold that position and give the release the entire arch makes sense as your upper body is in an unbalanced position. Think about it this way - if you were to go into a squat and someone were to push you, the goal is for you to not teeter or lose your stance. You want that same feel when you are in your two-point position. In order to attain this, you need to think about pulling your shoulder blades back together, flattening your back, and stretching up. Find the stable center of gravity where you feel SOLID.

It is great that you have so much self-awareness and are putting in so much effort! Keep it up! :)
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-12-2014, 02:39 PM
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I don't think think your lower leg is the issue - I think it's your core.

You seem a bit hesitant to the jumps, and while you are stable with your lower leg, you seem almost uncertain with your upper body.

You're focusing too much on what your butt is doing. Thin about sitting all the way to the back of your saddle all the way up to the jump. When you get to the base of the jump, just fold your hips. Don't think about standing up in your saddle, just simply fold your hips, and think about putting your hands in the center of his neck.

Is there a reason you ride mainly in a half-seat? I have found that I personally do MUCH better in a full seat. Cowboy is much easier to collect and control in a full seat, and I find it easier to find better distances, and set him up to the jumps. Maybe you could try it out and see if that helps?

Muscle memory will definitely fight you. If you can have anybody on the ground to watch and instruct, that would help the most.

You've definitely improved from your last post! I love watching you guys progress.

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post #10 of 12 Old 10-12-2014, 03:39 PM
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I find that thinking "hips back" or something similar over the top of the fence is more useful than focusing on my upper body. The combination of sending my hips back towards the cantle of the saddle + sliding my hands along the horse's neck (if doing a crest release), makes my hip angle close naturally, making my upper body follow the horse appropriately for the size of the fence.

All of these jumps are small enough that your upper body really doesn't need to do much as long as you stay soft and following with your arms. So focus on letting your hands rest softly against his neck and sliding them along his neck towards his ears as he takes off. Think about this and your hip moving back a bit over the top of the fence and your upper body will sort itself out.
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