Tuesday, November 25, 2014

follow up on position and balance

I'm finding that posting embarrassing pictures of myself frequently prompts very insightful comments, which then help me better understand some murky concepts. So thanks, readers! 

On more than one occasion, I've posted a picture thinking I had all the problems figured out. But nope! Maybe I don't. Still definitely got a lot to learn...

I included this picture in last week's post on optimum balance and wrote that my position was ahead of the horse. My reasoning was because my upper body was tipped ahead of my lower leg, and ahead of that handy dandy red vertical line.


However a reader commented that actually, no - I'm behind the horse's motion here since my shoulders are behind Isabel's. Huh. Never actually thought of it that way before. 

So I went back to the video to get a frame-by-frame sequence. I wanted to see why my impression of my position was the exact opposite of a reader who frankly has significantly more experience than me. 

I'm not particularly fond of my position here (and our distance was a smidgen tight) - but it's a pretty honest representation of where I currently am in my training. #noshame 


I lean back approaching the fence, then apparently make a big effort to bring my upper body forward at take off. Is this what C meant about needing to be STILL at the fence?

It looks like I tip my upper body forward for take off, then quickly sit up and back again after the apex of Isabel's jump, and land practically standing straight up. My lower leg just swings back and forth, with my hands playing too much of a role in balancing. 

So maybe I've been my own worst enemy all along: I make a big effort to 'go with the horse' over the fence, which feels like jumping ahead. So then I sit even farther back to the next fence. Thus starts a vicious cycle...

My assessment for improvement is, I believe, still the same: solidify lower leg and close hip angles so that I have a better base of support for my upper body. But actually looking at the full sequence makes the mechanics clearer.

What do you think - have you ever looked at (or posted??) sequenced pics of your riding? What qualities in your position do you consider to be most important for safe (and clear) jumping rounds?


(also, I'm tagging the posts with super insightful comment threads under 'training tips' - feel free to peruse the previous topics! it actually kinda reminds me a little of the 'teach me tuesdays' that SprinklerBandits does... yay for awesome advice from the blogging community!)

8 comments:

  1. I haven't ever looked at a sequence of photos of me over a jump, but you have inspired me to give it a shot! %100 agree about needing a good base of support by strengthening the leg--words to live by

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    1. ooh you should totally do it! just looking at these pictures helps me understand so much better what is actually going on...

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  2. I am always analyzing my position - taking 5 years off showing and lessons REALLY destroyed my riding ability. That being said, breaking it down helps but the photo is also just an instant in time. Videos I think are a bit better for analyzing. The reason I think you are left behind is not just the shoulder. I am not an instructor so I have a hard time explaining, but if you look at your first few pictures - you are in the "defensive" position. Also known as the back door. This is the place you want to be when riding greenies or jumping big ditches.

    As you develop and trust your horse, you want to be in more of a forward seat, over your saddle. This is a good video of Eric Lamaze which illustrates - now granted hes jumping a bit bigger hahah https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JDBLNrexMUw&list=PLDcM25z1-SmuQaGxmMQct8cGd2PeyH0T3

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    1. thanks! that video is AWESOME too - definitely a good role model lol. i think you're right - videos are definitely more instructive than the pictures...

      and 'defensive' is exactly the right word for it. i'm still not sure what happened, but after 4 yrs not riding my confidence totally evaporated. so when i'm nervous or unsure, i just hold hold hold - usually to the detriment of our jump.

      this is slowly changing tho (phew!) - and i'm hoping to see change over time using this type of photo sequence. i'm very systems-oriented, so looking at these pics (and getting input!) really help me understand what i need to do. thanks!

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  3. Considering I have far less jumping experience than you I can't really give you any opinions or advice, but I want to say kudos for your #noshame! The only way we can learn is by admitting that we don't know everything. :) Way to go! Also - I'm going to steal your idea with the sequential photos!

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    1. Thanks!! And definitely do it!! I'm learning so much from these pics- it's kinda empowering actually :)

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  4. I've posted a few embarrassing jumping pics before, but mostly for comic relief (oh crap faces and what not) but posting a series of pics like this is a REALLY awesome idea! I've looked at video slo mo of myself this way, but really have no idea what looking at, at least compared to a lot more expeienced people. I need to do something like this too! This was really insightful! Looking forward to following along win you!

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    1. lol pics for comic relief are always fun :) glad you like this tho - and i definitely think it's a useful exercise. hopefully we'll be able to see change over time too !

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