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Jumping Position Essay

2070 words - 9 pages

When you and your horse go jumping over fences, having good position and balance are key, and you also need to be able to keep your horse going forward and keep him straight. All of these things are necessary when you are just riding on the flat but are especially important when you add in the challenge and obstacle of a fence. Leaving the ground causes the rider to not have control over what is going on, the horse is more in control over what occurs here and all the rider can do is make sure she is balanced and that she has set the horse up correctly by going at the appropriate speed and approaching the fence at a good angle. Speed will have an impact on the impulsion of the horse when ...view middle of the document...

On my approach to the fence, I try to keep my legs on in order to keep Shamus going at the fence. I keep a light seat when in the canter until a few strides out when I go into the two point position in order to allow Shamus freedom in his back to not hinder his approach. My arms continue to follow the movement of his body so as to not restrict his neck. An adjustment that could be made here is that I should keep some bend in my elbows and keep the reins a little bit shorter. My legs are another problem that I have, I need to be able to keep my heels down and keep my weight in my heels. Controlling Shamus’s direction has been an issue, I have had a hard time keeping him straight on the approach which would be due to poor planning on my part, I have been having a hard time thinking ahead, rather I have been thinking in the present, something that you shouldn’t do when you are jumping, you need to be preparing for the next jump.
The horse is in control in the next three phases of the jump but the rider’s form is still important. During the takeoff phase of the jump the rider should be in the two point position to give the horse the room to move as he prepares to jump and pushes off of the ground. This two point position that I had mentioned before is where the rider’s butt is completely off of the saddle and all of the rider’s weight will be in her legs. In this position, the angle formed by the rider’s hip and knees closes or becomes smaller but the rider’s lower leg should remain perpendicular to the ground. The rider should also be giving the horse the room to move his head by doing one of the two releases: the crest release or the following release. In the case of our jumping in class and the level of experience I have, the crest release should be used which means that the rider’s hands should drop to either side of the horse’s neck.
It is here that my weak leg position fails me, at this point I usually lose one or both of my stirrups, a sign that I do not have all of my weight in my stirrups or that my heels do not remain down or, more likely, I need to work on both. On previous horses, Paige and Flash, I believe I did well when it came to making sure I did the crest release since I was rarely told to grab hold of their manes. This semester on the other hand has been completely different because Shamus has been the one with less experience than I, or at least than the other horses I have jumped. What this means is that I have been just focusing on getting him to go over and to keep him forward and if possible, keep/get him into a canter and everything else has gone down the drain. I am now frequently being told to grab onto his mane. With Shamus I also have to make sure I give extra leg at the base of jump which may be why I have had problems with the crest release since I haven’t yet become entirely independent in my aids.
During the flight phase, the rider wants to stay in her two point position so that the horse can hopefully remain...

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