I’m just looking for some advice or tips on how to improve my position over fences as I’m really struggling to maintain a solid position. I’ve noticed lately that Im beginning to snap my body back when I’m in the air, almost as if I’m getting jumped out of the tack but it’s just my upper body pulling back. No matter how hard I try I just can’t break this habit! I’ve also noticed that I throw my body at some of the smaller jumps and and I end up way above the saddle with no release and my body very forward. I’m looking for any reasons why I would do this (if there are any) or ways that I should think about to correct it.!Any tips/help you can give me would be greatly appreciated as I’m just getting back into riding after having a few months off because of pregnancy:lol:
The throwing your body problem is causing the snapping back. I would focus on many, many ground poles, staying balanced in your stirrups with leg on and core engaged, approaching the “fence” with a steady rhythm and not changing your position. Over a ground pole you shouldn’t really need to move more than any other canter stride. don’t get tense through your back muscles or elbows - both should be relaxed and soft (this is a common mistake that can cause left-behind type issues as well). YMMV - I’m not a trainer - but that’s how I cured myself of the same issue.
Focus on not looking at the jump like it owes you money… look at the second jump, the fence, the trees… come out of the corner, look at the jump just long enough to get a sense of where it is, then look above it, relax, and push only your hands forward into the mane, grab mane if you need to… your horse will jump up to you… Focus on not catching your horse in the mouth over the jump. I’ve had to practice this A LOT!!! It is getting better for me and my horse. I still have my days where I try to do to much to fix a problem that is not there, but this method does help.
I have the same problem with snapping back and catching my horse in the mouth. My trainer has me keep my hands on the neck / stay in two point for three strides after the jump then sit up.
I have the same problem with snapping back and catching my horse in the mouth. My trainer has me keep my hands on the neck / stay in two point for three strides after the jump then sit up.[/QUOTE]
I didn’t realize I had this problem until my trainer had me ride her horse that hated a rider sitting on his back quick after a jump and would take a few warning bucks. I used the above method until I finally got a feel for what my body needed to do before and after the fence. I still have my issues (don’t we all) but that horse helped me a lot.
My guess is that the two issues, although seemingly opposite, are connected. It’s possible that your jumping ahead issue with smaller things has popped your leg toward the rear, creating other issues when you jump taller obstacles. Over the larger jumps, are you snapping your body back just before landing? Can’t say without seeing a picture, but it’s possible that you’re anticipating the downward motion and the “pitch forward” and are leaning back to compensate for the sensation of falling forward. How good is your leg? A solid leg will help this, as it anchors your lower body so that as the horse tips downward, your body won’t. If you’re ahead of your leg, though, that downward pitch will send you forward, too. Snapping your body back would be an almost impossible thing to stop doing, since you feel the “falling forward” inevitably happening when you don’t.
How little are the fences that you throw yourself at? If they’re under 2’, try training yourself out of this by almost doing nothing. Allow yourself to fold into the 2-point, but otherwise focus on sitting still. You won’t hurt the horse by not launching yourself out of the saddle over something that small. I have never seen a rider sit so still that they never leave the saddle over a jump–even a rider applying minimal effort over a jump still gets naturally lifted out of the saddle just a few inches with the horse’s jumping effort. So next time…trot up to that crosspole, sit up tall, and WAIT!
Work on staying with the motion on smaller fences, and once you start waiting for the horse to move you, start focusing on keeping your leg anchored under you. (Don’t pinch! The proper upper body balance should keep your leg in place naturally, especially if you had a sound jumping form before your time off.)
Glad to hear you’re back in the saddle! If you get a chance, snap some photos over fences and I’m sure all the pros on here can give you more specific advice. Good luck!
lots and lots and lots of correct two point…and then jump without doing ANYTHING over the jumps.