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Old 07-04-2007, 09:31 AM  
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equitation (english/jumper) exercises

Hey, all ! looking for lesson ideas !
what sort of excersises do you do with your horses to improve your position over fences and on the flat ?
anyone ever had the problem with riding with a roached back? as well as jumping ahead of your horse (not as in jumping too early just jumping with too open a hip angle so raising to high in the stirrups)
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Old 07-04-2007, 09:38 AM  
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I found these exercises really helpful...
1. at the trot and canter, collect the horse on the short side of the arena, go in 2 point on the long sides.
2. try trotting poles and canter poles, going in your 2 point position.
3.if you have a pasture that is smooth, but with a bit of hills, small hills, take the horse out for a canter in the pasture, staying in your 2 point. The un even grounds will make you re-inforce your legs, and your 2 point. It really does work.

Just make sure your legs arent slipping back to much, and that your hands are not leaning on the horse's neck!
good luck and have fun!
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:23 AM  
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I agree. Two-point has been how my trainer helped my equitation. Two-point at the trot for many, many laps around the arena, then two-point over ground poles, cross rails, and up.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:32 AM  
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The exercise that has helped me the most is setting up a chute and going down without stirrups or with stirrups but without reins. When without reins, have the rider first hold their arms straight out to the side untill they are comfortable with it then move to having hands behind the back. This really helps with jumping ahead of the horse and jumping with an arched back.
Another one is to do the chute with eyes closed - scarey yes but you sure do get the feel of jumping with the motion!
Another exercise on the flat to help a roached back... take a crop and hold it between your elbows and your back. Then it's just not physically possible to two point with a roached back. It gives you the feeling for what to do and makes it much easier to build some muscle memory.
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Old 07-04-2007, 10:53 AM  
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Gymnastics!!! If your horse goes through happily, you can forget about trying to find a spot and steer and just jump. My favorite is 3-5 one-strides in a row with bounce poles in between. Like pole, bounce to jump, bounce over pole, bounce over jump, etc. Then you can concentrate on your jumping entirely. For my horse it's trot in to pole, 9ft, x-rail, 9ft, pole, 9ft, verticle, 10ft, pole, 10ft, oxer, 9ft, pole. Adjust up or down for your horse's stride, but you want to keep it as short, bouncy, easy distances. Large cross rails work well if your horse has a hard time staying straight.

For the roached back do the above exercise with a long crop/dressage whip/short broom stick held hooked through your elbows and behind your back. Or, just lock your hands behind your lower lower back

But mostly....GYMNASTICS!!!!!

if you drop your stirrup and reins and go though you'll find the right rhythm and position after a couple a tries.

With a lower leg that slips back, I tie the stirrup to the girth with a single loop of baling twine. The loop should be pretty loose and allow the stirrup to hang in it's normal position and to move about 3 inches behind the girth. It never fails to amaze me and my students how quick this fix is. Once you feel where your leg is supposed to be in the air you'll be able to mimic it and gain a lot more security.

On the flat, I try to picture George Morris yelling at me and telling me all the things I'm doing wrong. Then tells me I don't know how to ride a horse, and he starts barking out commands: Counter canter, flying change, halt, back 3 steps, sitting trot, small circle, half-pass etc, etc. Which, of course, I execute flawlessly, and he is very impressed. Goofy, but it works for me!
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:12 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gala View Post
The exercise that has helped me the most is setting up a chute and going down without stirrups or with stirrups but without reins. When without reins, have the rider first hold their arms straight out to the side untill they are comfortable with it then move to having hands behind the back. This really helps with jumping ahead of the horse and jumping with an arched back.
Another one is to do the chute with eyes closed - scarey yes but you sure do get the feel of jumping with the motion!
Another exercise on the flat to help a roached back... take a crop and hold it between your elbows and your back. Then it's just not physically possible to two point with a roached back. It gives you the feeling for what to do and makes it much easier to build some muscle memory.
Wow! Exactly what I was going to type. These are the things that helped me out with my position. And my trainer is strictly equitation, as well as I am now with giving lessons... My students do the same things for position correction as well.
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Old 07-04-2007, 11:35 AM  
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Great minds think alike!
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Old 07-04-2007, 01:48 PM  
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lol thanks guys (this forum is so much friendlier and more helpful than most!!!!) Im going to try the crop thing ! as for the over fences thing I dont think I stated that right, my issue isnt that I am jumping ahead as in before or that my leg swings back its that I jump with too open a hip angle (more less just post over the jumps I call that jumping ahead as my bum is no longer over the center of my saddle and I am no where near paralell with my horses neck lol (Im trying to find a pic for you all to laugh at !!))
haha I jump full courses bareback without riens and my eyes closed a good 4-5 strides out and have no issues on my old mare I love those excerises !!! I wish my horse wasnt so green, I miss them.
Im opening my hip angle too much mostly on the short distances (confidence issues so I go into little child riding mode)Im used to horses that ALWAYS take the long so Im learning ALL over again hehe even training my last 2 horses they always needed to take the long as they werent quite as talented as this boy!
Im oh so sick of having this roach back ! I ride with a back brace as I have an injury so I hope this works lol I will keep you guys posted on the roach back and crop thinger !

any other ideas for keeping a more closed hip angle over fences? I can 2 point all day on the flat no stirrups as I spent years riding without them except for at shows(I had evil coaches growing up!) and it really doesnt help this issue as I have proper eq. when doing so lol

oops I should also mention the horse I ride is WAYYY too big for me ! any help with that ? I am about 5'4 and hes a very long necked boy :P that stands almost 17 hh
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Last edited by anglojumper : 07-04-2007 at 01:58 PM.
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Old 07-04-2007, 03:07 PM  
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The only thing i could suggest would be to have someone video tape yourself so you can have a better look.
Also where are your hands when you release?
If you try putting your hands 3/4 up the neck when you release, it may pull your upper body more parallel with his neck.

I love big horses and I'm the same height as you - I just feel more secure on them for some strange reason.
How do you feel like he's too big? Is he not attentive enough? or just too much strength required?
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Old 07-04-2007, 05:38 PM  
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my release is the only good part about it, he gets as much release as he takes with a very elastic feel, once in a while I give a bit too much but we are working on that habit as well !
Ive done all of his training so hes VERY responsive its just that when he does stretch over a fence and really use himself jumping knees to nose I physically can not follow him enough so I have to give a release like a eventer on cross country and let the reins slip a bit (he has a bit of a giraffe neck !) the only problem is when we land and he has a loopy rien he feels abandoned as he is a very uphill horse and takes comfort in that "1 pound of pressure" contact at all times

haha as for video I do have one but its VERY embarassing! its why I know I go around with a roach back now ! and jump ahead so badly! Im too embarassed to post it!
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Old 02-07-2009, 07:04 PM  
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Hey, your not too small for your horse at all- i'm 5'4" and my horse is 17.2hh- you can try getting someone to lunge you over a small fence with no reins- and no saddle if your game it will make you sit and wait for the horse to jump because you'll feel unbalaced if you get ahead of him and subconsciously correct yourself in order to balance for the impending fence- i have the same difficulties as you when jumping 4'6"+ i get far too ahead in anticipation.
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