The two-point position puts minimal weight on your horse’s back and neck, allowing it to jump more easily and smoothly. This position also improves your leg techniques, as your lower legs are the only things keeping you in the saddle. The position can be tricky to master and can cause injury to the horse if done improperly. Practice in a safe location with a familiar, well-trained horse.
EditEntering Two-Point Position
- Shorten your stirrups and reins. If your stirrups are too long, maintaining the 2-point position will be exhausting. Since 2-point is used primarily for jumping and the hand gallop, you’ll want a slightly shorter stirrup. Shorten the reins as well to retain contact with the horse’s mouth.
- Assume the 3-point position. This is your “normal” riding position, with both legs and seat fully on the horse. Sink as much weight into your heels as possible. Do not continue until you feel stable and comfortable.
- Grasp a handful of mane. Take a handful of mane in one hand, about a handspan in front of the pommel (5–6 inches / 13–15cm).
- This step helps you balance. You can grip the saddle horn instead if you find it easier. Do not balance by yanking the reins.
- Straighten your back. Push your rear and hips upward, slightly above the saddle. This motion will also help you straighten your back, aligning your heels, hips, and shoulders. Your center of balance should be slightly forward of where it was in 3-point. Steady yourself on the horse’s neck until you find your balance point.
- Resist the impulse to squeeze your knees as you lift yourself up.
- Keep your feet in line with your back. Your ankles should be under your hips. If your feet are too far back, you may fall forward. If your feet are too far forward, you may fall back.
- Do not straighten your legs. Your knees should be bent forward, so they can flex along with the horse’s motion.
EditRiding in Two-Point Position
- Direct your horse forward with your legs. When you feel comfortably balanced, squeeze your horse forward with your legs. Congratulations! You are now riding in a correct, clean 2-point position.
- Steer with your legs. If you want to go left, press against the horse with your right leg and “open the door” with your left hand, loosening the reins on that side and pulling outward. To direct the horse right, use the mirror image of these motions.
- Do not steer with the reins except for the motion described. Pulling against the reins too hard may cause you to lose your balance.
- Move back to three-point when necessary. You’ll probably start feeling uncomfortable or sore quickly the first few times you try this. If you ever feel like you’re about to lose your balance, or if you’re having trouble directing the horse, return to three-point position. Once you’ve readjusted your seating or handled a difficult situation, you can return to the two-point position.
- When you are going into jumping position your body should be about same to your horses neck while it is jumping so you are encouraging your horse, you are balanced and so is your horse.
- Think of two-point as the highest point of a rising trot – only, instead of coming back down, you stay above the saddle.
- Have a riding buddy or your instructor watch you as you move around the ring in 2-point. Someone on the ground will be able to tell you if you’re hollowing your back, or leaning too far forward. Photographs or video will let you examine your posture directly.
- If you can, practice your two-point on a lunge line. Putting your arms out straight to the side (like airplane wings) will help to teach you the proper balance.
- At any point during a jump or in the two-point position, you should be in a position where if your horse suddenly disappeared, you would land balanced on two feet.
- Think of the jumping position as folding, or closing your hip angle. You want to stay low and deep into the saddle.
- Always ride a horse that has experience with jumping, it could be a safety hazard if you don’t.
- It is more difficult to keep your balance and control in this position. Do not use two-point position on an agitated horse or a horse that tends to rear or spook easily. This is also not recommended when riding in unfamiliar areas.
- Improve Balance While Riding a Horse
- Control and Steer a Horse Using Your Seat and Legs
- Prepare to Ride a Horse
- Get Your Horse to Stand Still for Mounting
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