Half-seat in SJ?
   

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Half-seat in SJ?

This is a discussion on Half-seat in SJ? within the Eventing forums, part of the English Riding category
  • Half seat jumper course forum
  • When to get into half seat in jumping

 
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    06-06-2011, 12:41 PM
  #1
Foal
Smile Half-seat in SJ?

So I don't normally use a half-seat in Show Jumping, but I do in XC. A lot of times I have to hold my horse back on the Show Jumping course and it makes me sit up straight because I'm trying to deepen my seat to slow her down , and it makes us both look really stiff.. do you think if I used a half-seat she would still listen to me when I told her to slow down? It takes a ton of work to get her to slow on the XC course , a series of half halts between every few jumps hahah, I just don't want her to rush even more and jump flat and knock rails.. can you tell me if you use a half seat in SJ and does it affect your horse?
     
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    06-06-2011, 12:57 PM
  #2
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by huntersatheart    
So I don't normally use a half-seat in Show Jumping, but I do in XC. A lot of times I have to hold my horse back on the Show Jumping course and it makes me sit up straight because I'm trying to deepen my seat to slow her down , and it makes us both look really stiff.. do you think if I used a half-seat she would still listen to me when I told her to slow down? It takes a ton of work to get her to slow on the XC course , a series of half halts between every few jumps hahah, I just don't want her to rush even more and jump flat and knock rails.. can you tell me if you use a half seat in SJ and does it affect your horse?
I used to do the half seat when jumping as a kid because that's how I was taught and it didn't have any different effects on the horses I rode because that's what the horse was used to and that's the only way I was taught. Now that I'm older and getting into the eventing style, I sit deep and feel like I'm more in control. But it really depends. Some horses like it and prefer it, others don't. The only way to know is to try it out next time you're on her. You shouldn't have a problem slowing her down. One thing you could try is doing the half seat most of the course and using the full seat when you're a few strides away from each jump. Like a combination and see how she does. Rather than full on half seat at first.
     
    06-06-2011, 01:05 PM
  #3
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by amymarie57    
I used to do the half seat when jumping as a kid because that's how I was taught and it didn't have any different effects on the horses I rode because that's what the horse was used to and that's the only way I was taught. Now that I'm older and getting into the eventing style, I sit deep and feel like I'm more in control. But it really depends. Some horses like it and prefer it, others don't. The only way to know is to try it out next time you're on her. You shouldn't have a problem slowing her down. One thing you could try is doing the half seat most of the course and using the full seat when you're a few strides away from each jump. Like a combination and see how she does. Rather than full on half seat at first.
okay, I was planning to try it tomorrow, i'll try that (:
     
    06-07-2011, 07:22 AM
  #4
Trained
It sounds like your horse needs a better half halt. If she doesnt listen to a hard half halt you should do a real halt. With some horses you have to school the half halt a ton [my mare needs lots of refreshers !] what are you doing when you half halt ?
     
    06-07-2011, 11:05 AM
  #5
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
it sounds like your horse needs a better half halt. If she doesnt listen to a hard half halt you should do a real halt. With some horses you have to school the half halt a ton [my mare needs lots of refreshers !] what are you doing when you half halt ?
depends a lot on how bad she's fighting me , a lot of times all I have to do is sit deep and tighten my hands around the reins and just move my wrists a,d release a couple times , others I actually iave to lean back , push my butt into the saddle , and pull my hands all the way back to my hips , lol . Sometimes I make her wait to jump if she's rushing badly , if she doesn't listen and keeps just getting faster and faster , I make her turn away from the jump and take a circle to settle .
     
    06-07-2011, 11:12 AM
  #6
Trained
Ya you definitely need to get your half halt better ! You should not be leaning back and pulling your hands back that far. I've found the best way to get a good half halt is practicing trot halt transitions. So keep a steady contact on the reins, but do not pull back. Then squeeze with your thigh until they stop, then immeditely let go with your thigh, but don't give at all with your hand, just keep the contact. This way they learn that the release in pressure comes from your leg and not your hand. After you practice this and start doing a half halt instead of a full halt, you will hold your hand, close your thigh, and add a little calf so they keep going instead of halting.
     
    06-07-2011, 11:27 AM
  #7
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
ya you definitely need to get your half halt better ! You should not be leaning back and pulling your hands back that far. I've found the best way to get a good half halt is practicing trot halt transitions. So keep a steady contact on the reins, but do not pull back. Then squeeze with your thigh until they stop, then immeditely let go with your thigh, but don't give at all with your hand, just keep the contact. This way they learn that the release in pressure comes from your leg and not your hand. After you practice this and start doing a half halt instead of a full halt, you will hold your hand, close your thigh, and add a little calf so they keep going instead of halting.
if I use any form of leg at all , she'll take off . She's fine on the flat , does perfect canter to halts . It's just when we're on a jumping course , she gets excited , and tries to take off . I'm using my seat to slow her down , it's one of my aids , and what works best on her ; that's why I was woried about half seat . If I hold her mouth and have leg on her at the same time she'll get confused and will get us nowhere .
     
    06-07-2011, 11:50 AM
  #8
Trained
How about you practice putting your calf and thigh on her on the flat before you try it jumping then. You closing your thigh should in no way tell her to go faster. Leg into hand is pretty basic for any type of riding so it is something she will have to learn. Also, don't think of your hand as pulling back, but as a consistant contact and rein length. Using your seat is fine, but you should also have control just using your hand, leg, and core.
     
    06-07-2011, 12:18 PM
  #9
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsygirl    
how about you practice putting your calf and thigh on her on the flat before you try it jumping then. You closing your thigh should in no way tell her to go faster. Leg into hand is pretty basic for any type of riding so it is something she will have to learn. Also, don't think of your hand as pulling back, but as a consistant contact and rein length. Using your seat is fine, but you should also have control just using your hand, leg, and core.
you actually want to use your hands as little as possible though . That's why we look where we're going , have vocal aids , and are supposed to steer with our legs . More hand action than needed is unnecessary . That's why I hate that she rushes so much because i'm forced to either gallop at a jump or pull back on her face , which I hate doing , but it's a lot safer for both of us . Even for dressage , we're still working on bending around my leg , because unles I have my inside heel up and instead of squeezing , pulse it against her tummy and make her push it up , she doesn't round , she hollows her back and tries to run .
     
    06-07-2011, 12:28 PM
  #10
Trained
I agree you shouldnt rely only on your hand, so you need to train your horse so you don't have to yank on their face in front of jumps. BUT, having a connection to the bit is not a bad thing. There is a reason we ride with a bit and reins, if their werent then we wouldnt have them. The reins define the length of the neck, and the length of the neck determines where their balance is. Horses use their necks for balance, so you want to have a clear consistant rein length so you are not constantly changing their balance. This idea for the half halt has nothing to do with pulling back or using your hand. You hold your hand in one spot to keep the length of the neck and then use your leg to slow/go.

As far as bending, its a similar idea, you want to train that when you put your inside leg on they give in the bridle and bend. This does not mean you have to use your inside rein to pull their head down. I start doing a very small figure 8, as small as you can possibly do- at the walk. Nudge nudge nudge with your inside leg, and as soon as they give, turn the other way and do the same thing. This connects your inside leg with giving in the bridle without pulling on the reins. Although it still requires you to have contact.
     

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