no but in all seriousness... a lot of it was developing a strong core and a strong leg. when I could properly sink into my heel, the rest really fell into place. My guy really cracks his back, jumps me right out of the tack, and I've found that *doing less is more* with that type of ride (think sit, sink into heels, let horse lift me into my jumping seat and to NOT lift myself..etc. etc.), to not override the horse, really is key.
Good suggestions above. Also remember a lot of leg/calf at the base and over the top of the jump. Encourage your horse to jump across rather than up. I also find that thinking add leg naturally gives me a more secure and tight lower leg over the jump.
There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the
inside of a man.
-Sir Winston Churchill
Shorten up your stirrups, unless you already ride short. I'd ride through some grids and get used to letting the horse jump up to you... on this type, jumping for them often ends with an involuntary dismount! Also think about really relaxing down through your lower leg and staying in the middle... no ducking to one side or the other.
I've heard there's more to life than an FEI tent and hotel rooms, so I'm trying it.
I second everything, but would like to add two little tricks that have saved me time and time again on my hunter. I ride him a lot more "upright" than I might other hunters; though I'm out of the tack, I'm almost standing and absorbing his step through my knees and hips which keeps my calves tight and heels down (or, as much as my heels do go down!). When I get to the base of the fence, I soften my whole body and literally sink into him without becoming dead weight if that makes any sense. This drops me from my hip all the way into my heel and I stay upright while pushing my hands forward. He has a *really* slow jump which definitely helps. He's one of those that cracks twice; once on take-off and once at the top of his arc. Because my body is soft for the first crack, the second naturally pushes my hips back over my heels and allows me to follow him down to the ground. I'm very fortunate that he is just about the lightest horse on the planet, because I definitely find myself relying on his neck more than perhaps I should!
It is the greatest feeling in the whole world once you learn how to really ride it!
Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.
Spend as much time as you can stand without your stirrups.
One of the reasons I pulled the stirrups off of one of my saddles a couple of years ago was to help me with another horse who jumped me out of the tack frequently. I was relatively fit before (I had been riding 3-4 horses a day), but the no-stirrups work on my mare made the absolute biggest difference on my gelding.
__________________________________ Forever exiled in the NW.
My old guy has a huge jump and is super quick in the air. He is hard to stick with.
In addition to the ones above (which are all great) -- soften your elbows specifically on takeoff and keep them soft in the air, particularly if you grab mane. You want to follow the motion softly, not grab mane with a stiff arm because that can pull you forward, out of balance and off when the horse uses his neck. Absorb the neck motion with your elbow instead of your shoulders because that will dislodge you.
Good luck! And good boy, sounds like a lovely new horse!
Had a wonderful ride on my monster today. Tried all of the above. On the whole did much better (granted it was over 2'3" fences... because I'm too lazy to adjust from the babies). Nice light hack tomorrow and hopefully some more solid fences Thursday or Friday.
Looking good...I'd try even a hole shorter too and see. Sometimes with Amazing I think heels forward, and that helps me stay centered. Also, TONS of two point with your hands spread low and wide out to the sides of the neck (not touching). Then do that exercise over trot Xs until you can hold yourself over low jumps without touching the neck.
Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
RPSI, KWPN reg B, and IHF nominated www.cornerstonefarmpa.com
In any case, my TB has a jump that feels like he really pops you out of the tack. Those photos were when I started showing him (he wasn't spooky though...just dramatic), and now he still has that out-of-the-tack jump but doesn't overjump nearly as much. We've always raised the jumps so that helps. FWIW, he had some back soreness that once treated, really helped lessen the huge launch I got at every jump.
During the period of time when he had a huge launch jump, I had a super strong core (unfortunately it's not as strong any more). If you have a strong core, you can control your upper body and not let it "flop forward", for lack of better words.
Approaching jumps, I had to really think about waiting, waiting, waiting and not doing anything. It helps if your body is more upright. At the time, I would approach in too much of a half seat and end up on his neck. Now I ride him either in a very light and only slightly forward half seat, or I just sit up and wait. Our jumps are MUCH nicer now.
I also had to think about pushing my lower leg forward; although I wasn't actually shoving it forward, thinking about it helped me keep it where it was instead of adopting the leg way back and torso laying on his neck style that's so easy to have when they jump like that (obviously I was still practicing keeping my body where it was supposed to be in the above pictures). I was riding him in a flat, hard, unpadded Crosby at the time and was successful doing the above.
I also did auto releases on him for a while so I could more easily keep my body back; at the time, doing a crest release encouraged my body to go forward towards his neck.
Grids will help you with staying still and doing less with your body over the jumps, as well as help you get used to his style. I don't know if your horse is overjumping (I assume so since he was jumping you out of the tack over 2'3"- it's hard to back-crack over a jump that size unless you're really getting some air ), but it may get slightly easier when you raise the jumps up. You'll see. If you have difficulties staying in the tack next time you ride and raise the jumps, I would set up a grid and work through it a few times to get a better feel of him.
I don't know if that's helpful for you, but it was for me.
Ride one who only occasionally decides to play GP jumper! You'll learn to ride defensively! (Lucky is very very lazy...except when he's not. I can usually feel a few yards out what's going to happen but he's jumped me out of my stirrups a couple times.) Strong core helps a lot--I've stuck with him on fences (or big logs on the trail) when I would have eaten dirt back when I was riding my old OTTB. Helps me stay centered and keep my legs on.
I got to ride my trainers back cracker last week, and to top it off besides getting super round over the jump her backend is wicked (in a good way her legs fire up amazingly high ). Anyway, she put me through a gymnastic grid to get me used to her, and I had to grab mane.......every single time, as well as really keeping my weight in my heel! I also kept a feel until she left the ground and let her jump lift me out of the saddle. Luckily I have learnt not to tip or drop from my last mare (a stopper) so I was able to stay on when she tried to fire me up and over her head (still to this day am not sure how I wasn't launched into the air!). Those back crackers are wicked fun to jump once you figure them out.
Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!
The young horse I fell in love with over the last three years has one hell of a back cracking jump. And it always feels so much worse than it looks so I know your pain when someone who doesn't know how that feels tries to tell you it's not that bad. I learned to ride with a crazy short stirrup so that I can crouch really close to his neck in the air and if I get in trouble I push my heel out in front of me toward his shoulder so when he hits the ground I have my weight in my heels. Once you learn how to ride that arc they make ridiculously good partners in the jumper ring and I wish you the best of luck =]