Lack of Balance in Two Point

Discussion in 'Horse Training' started by PoochtheMighty, Dec 1, 2015.

  1. PoochtheMighty

    PoochtheMighty Senior Member

    May 16, 2003
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    Hello there!

    I came up riding bareback, I eat no stirrups November for breakfast, and I love me some seat bones. Riding off them, that is. I am dressage lady, hear me roar!

    However... put me in two point at the top of a jump and I'm a disaster. It has gotten better, don't get me wrong. I can ride most horses to a fence now in half seat and not mess it up most of the time, but my EQ is rarely enviable. And at anything over 2'11 it's really not ideal at all. To say the least.

    We started working on exaggerated auto releases today. I nearly died. A lot. Truth it, I lost my balance in that position, fell back into the cantle and upset the hot mare I was riding, who nearly murdered me. It was not pretty. And I tried, really hard. Literally burst into tears out of sheer frustration. I've worked so hard on my O/F equitation. I trot grueling lap after lap in my stirrup irons. I take lessons with a good coach who is probably as stumped by my lack of ability over fences as I am.

    It seems like I have a massive gap in my balance that is suddenly being uncovered, and I am at a loss. Jumpers - what am I missing here? Any advice for staying in true balance over the fence (and not just surviving it)?
  2. Chester

    Chester Senior Member

    Sep 5, 2005
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    Got a photo? I have an idea I know the cause.
  3. QRTXhorseman

    QRTXhorseman Senior Member

    Jan 27, 2014
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    Consider that -- because you are trying too hard to achieve something new -- you might be getting too tense to make the quick movements necessary to stay with the movements of your horse.
    PoochtheMighty likes this.
  4. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2012
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    You need a saddle that fits you. The wrong saddle can unbalance even a skilled rider. We need photos, even better videos to assess what's going on..

    It's not that hard, you have to stick your bum out to the same extent as you lean forward with your upper body, those two are like the two arms of a scale, they counterbalance each other. Then you slightly grip with your knees and keep your shoulders and ankles nicely relaxed.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2015
    MIEventer and VermilionStrife like this.
  5. Winchester

    Winchester Senior Member

    Oct 12, 2012
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    As someone who spent most of my 19-ish years of riding in the jumping "camp", I have to beg to differ on the above statement. It can be "that hard" for some riders, and I myself was one of them. I've only just figured out a happy balance place this summer, it was frustrating as anything to always be unstable over fences and seemingly unable to correct it. I'm going to also point out that gripping with your knees, even "slightly", is not the correct manner of balancing over fences. I used to do it and that's one of the big reasons my balance sucked so badly. The stable support needs to be in your lower leg against the horse's side near the girth - gripping with the knee causes the lower leg to swing back and your upper body to tip forward. I am an expert at that. :hah:

    I agree that photo/video would be most helpful OP in order to offer any advice. Do you practice two-point with no hands, either up on your head, out to the side, behind your back? At walk, trot, canter, over cross rails, through grids? A successful local hunter judge once said to me, "You should be able to remain in two-point while clapping your hands together at all gaits to consider yourself totally stable in your position" when I asked for suggestions on how to improve.
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Do the two point position for 45 minutes straight. Not lap after lap - for 45 minutes straight. Keep doing it, every day. Go from trot to canter to walk, etc.
    D_BaldStockings and Friesiangirl like this.
  7. forevereventing

    forevereventing Full Member

    Apr 1, 2012
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    There's also no shame in using a neck strap to help balance your body and act as a guide for your hands, no matter what height you're jumping. I'll always use an "oh sh*t" strap when I'm doing any sort of cross country work :p
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2015
  8. pippy

    pippy Senior Member

    Jun 12, 2008
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    One lesson with the right person would have you sorted in a heartbeat.

    How you find that person is going to be difficult. Or send pics/videos.

    Curious, are you only jumping the same horse, or multiple different ones?
    Winchester likes this.
  9. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    You did what to be capable of 'eating' No-stirrups-November for breakfast?


    Same thing for two point. Practice it on the ground. You have to build muscle to be steady at two point just the same as you have to build muscle to be capable of riding stirrupless.
  10. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

    Feb 23, 2007
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    If you're struggling this much with 2 point, there's something fundamentally missing in your flatwork.

    I'm with Chester - I have an idea, but need videos/photos to be able to give any *real* advice that will work.

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