Do you yearn to look as laid-back over a fence as some of the world’s greatest riders? It is such a hard aspect of jumping to achieve, but here are some top tips to help you improve your jumping position.
Five-star event rider Georgie Strang (pictured) has some helpful advice to get you on your way with improving your position. Then, don’t miss our selection of competitions for you to showcase what you’ve learnt…
1. Your approach to a fence is vital for ensuring you get a smooth jump. Straightness, balance and impulsion is key.
2. You need to make sure the saddle fits both the horse and rider correctly. Every rider is individual in what they need from a saddle so make sure you’ve done your research.
3. Ensure you have the correct stirrup length — they need to be short enough so you can achieve a half seat in the air over the fence, but not so short you get propelled into orbit!
4. A secure lower leg is vital; make sure your calf is in contact with the horse, and your weight is pushed down into the heel into the ball of the foot and through the stirrup.
5. Always go with the horse’s movement, but make sure you don’t get ahead of them — wait until the horse has taken off before you bring your shoulders forward.
6. Your jumping position should be the result of your horse’s jumping effort. Follow the horse’s movement, for example, the more the horse bascules, the more you will need to fold at the hip.
7. Try not to grip with the knee. Although this is always tempting and feels natural to do, it can cause the lower leg to slip back.
8. Tucking a couple of fingers into a neck strap can help make sure you don’t catch the horse in the mouth over a fence. It can also offer a feeling of security and added confidence to help you relax.
Now you’ve got that advice in mind, take a look at these events and competitions available to enter where you can show off what you’ve learnt…
Showjumping & eventers’ challenge
Date: 13 July
Venue: Tumpy Green Equestrian Centre, Cam
Details: “This show features a range of classes from 30cm showjumping and 40cm eventers’ challenge up to 1m showjumping and 90cm eventers’ challenge. The showjumping will be on an all-weather surface, and the eventers’ challenge will run over natural fences on our all-weather loops in the field adjacent to the arena.”
Outdoor to indoor arena showcross
Date: 13 July
Venue: Highfield Equestrian at Howe, Cupar
Details: “This competition has classes from cross poles and 40cm up to 1.10m with the courses spread across two arenas with a mix of showjumps and wooden jumps.”
Date: 14 July
Venue: Mendip Plains, Radstock
Details: “The Hannah Francis one-day event has classes from 70cm to 90cm with the showjumping on a surface. This event is held to recognise Hannah’s courage, determination and inspiration in her battle with bone cancer, and to celebrate her love of horses, and eventing in particular.”
Date: 16 July
Venue: Codham Park Equestrian, Braintree
Details: “This affiliated competition has classes ranging from clear round and British Novice to 1.40m.”
Date: 21 July
Venue: Brightling Park, Robertsbridge
Details: “We will be running over the BE90 and BE100 tracks, as well as a new 80cm course made up of a mixture of portable and permanent fences. Brightling is a fantastic venue with inviting, rustic courses over undulating parkland. We will run under BE rules with optimum times in relation to correct BE speeds. This is a great opportunity to get a good feel of a BE course and environment without the worry of the other phases.”
Date: 21 July
Venue: Kings Sedgemoor Equestrian Centre, near Bridgwater
Details: “This competition has classes ranging between 70cm up to 1.20m with prize money on offer for all classes.”
Visit equo.co.uk for full competition and training listings