I went XC schooling last week. One of the obstacles was a ditch. My trainer told me to sit tall and give him his head over the ditch. Over he went the first time like a champ, but it wasn't a smooth trip for me. Very jolting movement. When I'm in the woods, and we get to a ditch, I get every so slightly out of the saddle so I don't get jolted by the full sitting contact. Since most of you have formally trained for XC, what is the going way of riding ditches?
I just ride them like a normal jump? Lol, not helpful, I know.
Basically, eyes up, light seat on the approach, balanced but with power, and let the horse's movement lift you out of the saddle. How much out of the saddle and in a full jumping position depends on how the horse jumps the ditch. Some horses basically take a canter stride over it, some get really looky and JUMP the ditch.
You want to ride a ditch like a canter stride. I like to start a horse over ditches at the trot with a nice loop in the rein and in 2pt. This way they wont get hit in the back or the mouth. You want a horse to be very quiet and canter, not jump, the ditch so when you get more complicated questions you can get the striding and make the jumps easier for your horse. If they jump up wildly over it you can't always be sure where they are going to land and in what balance they are going to land in and that will make the up coming jump harder.
Oh oops. Do you mean a coffin or a ditch? I always get those two confused......
I guess ditch. Your basic hole in the ground. Thanks for the pic. That's what I do in the woods when we're trail riding and it certainly works better than what I was told, which was to sit in the saddle.
Now that I've been schooling this stuff, I really can't buy the logic that horses cannot see things 3' in front of them. I did not show this obstacle to my horse prior to attempting it, and he jumped it perfectly the first time. I certainly did nothing to assist other than hope I stayed on! If he couldn't see it, logic tells me he would have stepped right into it. That's actually more my fear than me getting popped out of the saddle.
I just ride them by how custard goes!
Sit tall on the approach and keep your leg on, every horse jumps them slightly differently, and remember to give with your hands. Also get into a lighter seat when you're over them and look up!