So, I love to jump, but sometimes it feels like I fall off, just as much or more as I land (still) in the saddle. I'm sick of falling off! I know my heels should be down and forward, and I think that's what I'm doing, but the jump either goes terribly wrong or terribly right. What can I do to prevent myself from falling off? And is there a way to avoid a bruised confidence while in the learning process?
A good way to improve at jumping is to improve your seat and balance... on the flat!
And I don't know a better way than riding without stirrups...
The easiest and simplest method is to have the opportunity to walk in the woods. You don't think you don't have your stirrups, you just sit and enjoy the landscape .
Once you have enough confidence with walking, you can start to trot a little. Just some steps and then walk again.
You can just sit at the beginning, then start with some steps of rising trot, then sit again or walk, and so on.
Don't try to do a lot the first time. Like a new exercice for a horse, it has to be fun!
A few years ago, I was also used to ride with a friend, and we told us what was wrong in our position, and gave each other some help to improve.
Sorry we didn't answer sooner. Virginie is totally right and you are absolutely on track. The ride with Spirit without saddle really helped you as well I think. It's important that you go from trying to grip with your legs to balancing from your seat.
I think what really helps in general and I think helped you as well was that bareback ride on Spirit as well as jumping without reins on Marvel.
Obviously for jumping especially cross country your lower leg forward is really important - and that is the same for when riding with the kids - it really helps stabilize and 'ground you' if that makes sense.
In your particular case, I think the lower leg is really getting there. Make also sure though that you turn your toes in. if your toes point out you can't close the knee. Of course in a classical seat we are looking for soft legs, but for jumping the closed knee will help you. So just keep thinking 'turn the toes in'.
Hope this helps! Will post a few of your spirit, marvel and bu pics later
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