Naturally I am behind nearly everyone in regards to my jumping knowledge, but I just learned something that is so surprising to me that I must share.
To give appropriate credit, I just bought “The American Hunter/Jumper Forward Riding System” presented by Bernie Traurig, and this is mentioned in the introduction DVD.
I think everyone knows that the forward jumping seat was developed by Federico Caprilli and the Italian cavalry (although assisted by previous thoughtful minds prior) so I’m not going to go into that, but before that, people used to jump by appearing to basically do nothing but be left behind.
Turns out, they aren’t just being super lazy/not knowing, that’s the way they are trying to jump.
People were taught to jump by leaning back and pulling on the horse’s mouth over the jump. They thought it would keep the horse’s head up through the jump and landing to better balance them.
I don’t know what the thought process was back then, but I can’t help but wonder if people started to realize it didn’t help the horse as photography was developed and they could see that all horses had horrible expressions on their face.
According to my new dvd though, foxhunters and racers were some of the first to realize that it made more sense to lean forward, but military riders were reluctant to teach this.
Thank goodness everyone eventually got behind the new style of jumping – horses certainly look much happier to be jumping!