Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What jumping has done to my riding position...

I always thought that jumping was just not my thing and that there was no way that it could help my position in dressage.  Since coming to Averett, however, I have learned that it actually does help!! In my horsemastership class we ride dressage for two weeks and jump the two weeks after that and so on and so forth... I was wondering how on Earth I was going to be able to get through it (I never really had a jumping lesson and I never really jumped before coming to school).  So the first day of jumping I leaned way over my horse and gripped the saddle with my knees as we went over the jump, it was uncomfortable and unnatural in every way.  My professor, Ginger, told me that as weird as it sounds, loosening with your knee actually causes your leg to be more like a shock absorber and it is easier to go over the jump.  Well, for the next few times we were jumping I loosened my knee, I sat up straight, looked at something in the distance and was able to get over a jump without almost falling off.  It was a major accomplishment!!  After awhile of jumping and dressage, one day Ginger noticed that when I was riding dressage my seat position looked a lot more comfortable and easy going than it had in the beginning of the semester.  This was because my knee was looser and my leg wasn't so tight on the horse.  It caused my whole frame to be more fluid, but staying strong at the same time.  So I guess I say thank you, jumping, for not only being a drastic change of my normal riding style but also for making my seat look ten times better!

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