Staying in balance over fences?

Roxylola

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Well, tonight was a fail. I decided I'd be fine in a snaffle and supercob got a bit jolly so I kept my stirrups, but he was absolutely on the money every stride for every fence so my fold was easy and nice - which is great but not helping me when it's wrong :p
 

Cheeky Chestnut

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How short are you riding to jump now? In your last videos of jumping Amber I would have wanted you to put your stirrups up at least four holes. It makes it much easier to cope with the mistakes if your thigh is in front of you and your feet forward. One of the best things I was ever told was 'look at the fence with the soles of your boots'.
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I was always told to show the soles of my boots to a fence, have independent hands and if it all goes tits up slip the reins and sit back. Has worked for me all these years. I very rarely jab a horse in the mouth as Iโ€™ve had horses that catapulted you into next week for socking them in the chops.
 

Bernster

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On the above, might have been one of you who posted on one of my threads - that tip really helped me stay more stable and sit up and back (showing the soles of your feet to the fence). I rarely get ahead of the movement but more often behind. Terrible habit of chucking the reins away and leaning way too far back. The feet thing helps stop my awful pony club flapping and holding a neck strap is my go to to not chuck away the reins and throw myself in the air! Not jumped for an age though so all those terrible habits will come back Iโ€™m sure. Exhibit A...

439B2F28-A5C9-453F-96A7-CC4C172DDFDD.jpeg
 

Firefly9410

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Well, tonight was a fail. I decided I'd be fine in a snaffle and supercob got a bit jolly so I kept my stirrups, but he was absolutely on the money every stride for every fence so my fold was easy and nice - which is great but not helping me when it's wrong :p
I had a cob who kept cat leaping after putting in a short stride. The instructor said he lacked impulsion. Maybe your cob needs to always be this jolly for jumping well?
 

ohmissbrittany

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Doing bounces set at about 10' (or one strides with a pole in the middle if you're short on standards) might help as well. Try 4 for a start, then as many as 6 if you have the space. It will teach you to stay in balance and not flop about too much, because the fences are rapid fire.

Load of people stress about "the fold" but really a release should be hand - body - body - hand, your body is only folding to follow the hand which is following the mouth. Your hips should come back to counteract this and keep you centered. Otherwise you're just ducking and probably either chucking your leg back or your balance forward for no good reason. Watch a video of Reed Kessler - she is jumping massive fences, but if you were just looking at her upper body, it looks like a 3ft equitation round with minimal shoulder throwing drama.

 

wren123

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Oh gosh it's years since I jumped but make sure your stirrups are short enough and think hands forward and your bottom backwards and do not let the lower leg go back. Practice on the ground, bum back hands forward think of folding down. When you have an easy horse you can ride in a forward seat so you're ready for the jump at all times.
I used to find when you have to ride more defensively then it was a lot harder.
 

millitiger

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If you get left behind or out of sync, the best exercise is standing in stirrups on the flat and work up and down through transitions, without sitting down.
If you can master walk to trot standing up (which replicates getting left behind) without sitting down or pulling the reins, youโ€™ll have nailed it.
 

EventingMum

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How short are you riding to jump now? In your last videos of jumping Amber I would have wanted you to put your stirrups up at least four holes. It makes it much easier to cope with the mistakes if your thigh is in front of you and your feet forward. One of the best things I was ever told was 'look at the fence with the soles of your boots'.
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Exactly this, I was thinking as I read the replies that I had thought your stirrups needed to go up on Amber on an xc video you had posted, it will help you be more in balance and your lower leg more secure so you won't get left behind or too forward if you don't get the perfect stride. Although we would all love to see the perfect stride to every fence it can become all consuming, ride an even, balanced rhythmical canter and the very most you can be off that perfect take off point is half a stride and if you're in balance the odd time that happens you'll manage to help not hinder the horse and not sock it in the teeth.
 

Upthecreek

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The riderโ€™s job is to focus on the quality and rhythm of the canter, keep the horse straight and look where youโ€™re going (beyond the jump). Keep still, keep your leg on and let the horse work out how to get to the other side of the jump. Iโ€™m not a fan of telling them where to take off because then if you get into trouble they donโ€™t know what to do. No need for a dramatic fold, just soften your hands & then it doesnโ€™t matter whether they go on a short or long one.
 

Firefly9410

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Doing bounces set at about 10' (or one strides with a pole in the middle if you're short on standards) might help as well. Try 4 for a start, then as many as 6 if you have the space. It will teach you to stay in balance and not flop about too much, because the fences are rapid fire.

Load of people stress about "the fold" but really a release should be hand - body - body - hand, your body is only folding to follow the hand which is following the mouth. Your hips should come back to counteract this and keep you centered. Otherwise you're just ducking and probably either chucking your leg back or your balance forward for no good reason. Watch a video of Reed Kessler - she is jumping massive fences, but if you were just looking at her upper body, it looks like a 3ft equitation round with minimal shoulder throwing drama.

Thanks for posting this video it was very helpful especially because I happen to pick up the old phone tonight to log on and it is rubbish so it plays in slow motion. I noticed two things she sort of rises to the canter a lot like one stride standing and one sitting maybe it is easier to absorb the canter movement that way? And when she lands she stands for a few strides before sitting again. I think this is where I go wrong I try to sit too soon. It makes sense of how I could ride the bounce exercise you mention easily but would struggle a little more with the one stride distance. I do not sit down at all on a bounce grid. Thanks for starting this thread @Ambers Echo the tips are very helpful and I hope you find your solution. :)
 

Ambers Echo

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Thanks so much for so many replies and for posting the oops pics. They made me feel better. Not just me then ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜…

I read through the whole thread a couple of times just before the lesson then tried hands down and forward, look over and ahead, keep core engaged. (I didn't think more than 3 instructions were manageable). It felt so much better. Toby was a little star.
 

Bernster

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Love it HP haha haha. Nailed it ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can hold max 3 things in my head at any one time. But only until 3 strides out, when those all go out my head and my brain goes waaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. But hands on neck/strap and look up and away, does really help me. in fact, if I look completely away, like 90 degrees to the left, it goes much better ๐Ÿ™ˆ
 

tallyho!

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Thanks so much for so many replies and for posting the oops pics. They made me feel better. Not just me then ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜…

I read through the whole thread a couple of times just before the lesson then tried hands down and forward, look over and ahead, keep core engaged. (I didn't think more than 3 instructions were manageable). It felt so much better. Toby was a little star.
Yay! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ
 

HufflyPuffly

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Love it HP haha haha. Nailed it ๐Ÿ˜‰

I can hold max 3 things in my head at any one time. But only until 3 strides out, when those all go out my head and my brain goes waaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh. But hands on neck/strap and look up and away, does really help me. in fact, if I look completely away, like 90 degrees to the left, it goes much better ๐Ÿ™ˆ
Erm it makes for a more streamlined getaway, I'm sure all the pro's will be doing it ๐Ÿ˜‚...
 

rara007

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Iโ€™m not an equitation jumper, or really a jumper at all. But I do specialise in the freeze get left behind manoeuvre when itโ€™s going wrong. I had some pretty intensive SJ training with an international rider as a crash course before uni riding national championships where I was going to ride an unknown horse around the biggest course Iโ€™d done and they got me to literally put my hands on neck a few strides out so my body was starting to think forwards but incase of stop I am literally already semi braced. Very non classical I know so I doubt itโ€™ll be the typical recommendation but a few months of that improved my natural backwards urge (with plenty of leg to compensate thelwell style) no end.
 

TPO

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With the mention of Equitation it might also be worthwhile watching some american videos/lessons and looking at those books. There are a lot of marks for style so you'll see more "correct" positioning than during a SJ round over massive fences.

Equitation also focuses on the hand and arm positioning and releases so that would help too.

He's blacklisted now so I wouldn't recommend buying his products but there is hours of footage on youtube of GM lessons and trillions of articles and critiques available for free. He did know what he was talking about even if he didnt go about it in the nicest way professionally.

Anne Kursinski is another to look up. Beautiful rider and excellent horse woman. Again hours of footage of her riding and training online and she has a relatively new book out. Shes a show jumper and I'm sure from an Equitation background, was trained by GM amongst others. She's definitely worth a watch too. Although now getting a vague memory that you watched her stuff via Noelle Floyd and didnt like it, could be totally making that up
 

Ambers Echo

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I did watch Anne Kursinsky on NF and loved it but it was more 'this is my life' than 'here is how to ride'. It was very philosophical and not terribly practical!

I found jumping Toby so much easier than jumping Dolly. She is just too small!
 

Kat

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Do you follow Tamarack Hill on facebook? If not it is worth a look. I found the page via Tarrsteps on here. The page is run by Denny Emmerson and he has some really good jumping position posts (including good/bad pictures of himself).
 

Ambers Echo

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Do you follow Tamarack Hill on facebook? If not it is worth a look. I found the page via Tarrsteps on here. The page is run by Denny Emmerson and he has some really good jumping position posts (including good/bad pictures of himself).
I do yes. I love those posts. x
 
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