Climb Aboard the TwoPointTober Struggle Bus

Climb Aboard the TwoPointTober Struggle Bus

I waffled about doing 2pointtober this year, but apparently I easily succumb to peer pressure.  Last year I participated and impressed myself with a BLAH time.  I said to myself, “Self – you are not a horrible two pointer.  Good job you!”

Then my trainer told me I was doing my two point incorrectly.  Whoops.  Let me draw you a picture:

nice-two-point

This is the cartoon version of the two point I thought I was doing.  Also, please note how beefy Simon looks and how he’s floating his trot with self carriage.

bad-two-ponit

This is the two point I was actually doing.

My trainer said I was leaning on my hands and letting my leg slip back.  So last year when I did my two point time, I was able to reach the five or six minutes mostly by leaning on my hands.

Which… is not fabulous.  Slash a problem.

So this year for my two point challenge baseline, I said NO HAND LEANING.  I also pulled my lower leg what felt uncomfortably far forward, but really was by my girth.

And then I died.

I made it one lap around the big ring.  My back hurt really bad, and my bum ankle from the fall at the horse show felt not so great either.  Sidenote: I will be riding without stirrups until my ankle feels better, because I guess taking jumping lessons and working on two point does not help a sprained ankle.

So my baseline is a very impressive… 1:20.   Yup.  Shockingly bad.

However, it’s more important to me to fix my crappy two point (and not break my ankle) so we’ll see how this goes.  Two point champions out there – do you have any advice as to how to not make your two point feel like it’s searing your back in two?  My legs don’t hurt, but my back is killing me.

And my ankle, but that’s most likely because I busted it.  Whoops again.

Also, another question – when you are doing your two point challenge times are you broken over like in jumping or just more sitting out of the saddle in half seat?  I can sit in half seat/vertical MUCH LONGER than holding my “breakover” position… and I’m curious what others are doing?

38 thoughts on “Climb Aboard the TwoPointTober Struggle Bus

  1. #1: I love your stick figures. They are amazing. Please become a professional stick-figure-drawer.
    #2: 2-point is folded-over jumping position, i.e. the stick Lillie Keenan. Hips back over the saddle. No hands on the neck. When you do this, are you letting your lower back sag down? For me that’s the biggest cause of back pain during/after 2-point! Hold your abs towards your spine (they should be tired afterwards as well!) and think about filling in the “dip” in your lower back. As you have discovered, lower leg should be at the girth supporting the rest of your body. You should be able to hold your arms out like an airplane and not fall forward. Good Luck my friend!

  2. I missed the deadline but I would think it should be a true two point – like galloping position. No balancing with hands 🙂

  3. Back pain usually equals lack of core strength and you possibly might be arching your lower back too much/being too stiff in those muscles as well.

  4. hey that’s better than me, my boyfriend conned my into my baseline he kept lying about the time. I totally get how you feel though! Love the graphics.

    1. Mine did that too ha ha

      Good luck Lauren, agreed its core and abs to stop the back ache. My first few lessons this summer my lower back hated me till I figured out where I need to be in the saddle.

  5. Back hurting usually means you aren’t engaging your core. Or at least that’s what my IHSA trainer told me and when I tightened what abs I had, it really helped.

    Side note, after I asked why my back was hurting another rider came over to me and said “I’m so glad you asked, I felt the same way but I didn’t want to ask in case I was the only one.”

  6. Just a tip, I often do the 10 stride or 1/2 trip around the arena of each – sitting – rising – 2point. It will keep your lower leg locked in a bit more (and you’ll really notice if your leg moves between the 3 activites) I usually do it at a trot but you could work up to the canter too. Good luck!

    1. ooh i like this tip a lot too! my lower leg is definitely taking little tours around the horse’s belly while i ride… and i’d lke that to stop lol

  7. I’m the same way. The true two point position is hard!! I was having trouble balancing without holding on so mine was only two minutes. At least we have lots of room to improve! My core is weak but my back wasn’t hurting so I’ll have to pay attention to that next time. 🙂 Good luck with the challenge!

  8. Ditto the above. If I don’t make sure my abs are tight and I’m avoiding the back arch then it hurts something fierce. Two point is supposed to be folded not just standing 🙂 we all want to get boss strength at the 2 point which will help over fences hopefully 🙂

    Love the sticks.

  9. Misery must love company, because I’m so glad to hear that I’m not the only one who has a sore back from two-point! I have no skillzzz! 😉 Must engage abs!

  10. Engage your front half to hold your back in place, don’t jut out your chin, and pay attention to what your shoulders are doing. If you can do a squat correctly then you can do a 2pt correctly since its pretty much just a squat on a horse.

  11. Yeah, what everyone else said – it’s about being careful NOT to arch your back, and instead use your abs to lift and hold. Wicked hard. I caught myself doing it last night. I also have the same problem on those infrequent and ill-advised occasions when I decide to plank.

  12. I do some off-horse yoga to cope with the aches and pains I sometimes get from riding. Nothing hardcore; I usually find a 25-30 minute “beginner yoga” video on YouTube and do it 3-4 times a week. I feel like it really helps with stiffness and aches and flexibility!

  13. Serious help from the comments! Also one that has a painful back after two point so good to know the ab trick! I wasn’t able to guarantee I could ride and post times so I didn’t do it officially but and working on it/being in pain with ya!

  14. Ohhhhh my goddddd Twopointober is harder than I thought. I’m not actually participating, since I missed the cutoff due to horse showing the weeks prior and didn’t want to DIE, but I did a baseline last night and reached 7min28sec and only stopped because my horse decided to spook at some stuff outside the arena door. Anyway, I was like, NBD! I could do this all day! And then I woke up this morning and haven’t been this sore from riding in a RIDICULOUSLY long time. Oh the pain.

    My back hurts as well, but it didn’t start until minute six, so I dunno. My trainer eschews official two point and just tells us to “stand up” instead which is a different visual and seems to work. Much less crouching and much more core strength involved though. Ow. *pats sore abs*

  15. Something my trainer suggested to me to help develop the muscles in my back for two point was doing two point at the trot and asking for a downward transition to the walk while staying up in your two point and lowering yourself into your seat veeeeery slowly. It’s definitely tough at first but I found a big difference

  16. A past trainer would have me do a two point with my stirrups twine-tied to the girth, to really cement my leg being in the right place.

  17. Everyone is correct on the core strength and tighten abs but i also wanted to add one more thing that can contribute to the back pain. Question, can you touch your toes standing on the ground? Tight hamstring muscles could also be part of the issue. It could also be the reason your leg likes to slip back. When you push your lower leg forward your are tightening your hamstrings. Hamstrings are attached to your pelvis so tight hamstrings would pull on the bottom of your pelvis. While all your spine supporting muscles are also attached to the back of your pelvis. So they will also be strained and pulling because of the tight hamstrings. Some good Ole p.e. class hamstring stretches will help or look online for some good ones.

  18. Don’t be down on yourself to badly. I tired to get a baseline and couldn’t make it around my tiny ring once. Legs were shaking, and back was hurting… I didn’t post my time…

  19. You do the two point like I do. 😛 I am glad that I am unable to do Twopointober this year because the other day I was in my lesson and it hurt to post, which I see as a serious problem (and possibly a great hindrance to two pointing).

  20. what helped me was tightening your core-it makes two point even harder but it takes care of the back pain and helped me personally with my bum knee.

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