Critique Jumping Video - NEW PHOTOS ADDED

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Critique Jumping Video - NEW PHOTOS ADDED

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    11-22-2007, 01:09 AM
Critique Jumping Video - NEW PHOTOS ADDED

Please Critique MY gelding and his rider (with permission). No need to be overly polite about my gelding, but please critique constructively with the rider.

This is from her second season jumping, and her fourth season riding (intensely). She has solid balance, and excellent intuition when it comes to riding - she is trying to work on the finer points of her positioning now. She is self taught in jumping, and she actually started my gelding on the jumps (his second season also). Not the jumper starting horse green to jumping, but it just sort of happened messing around one day. She has recently begun taking formal lessons.

I am not sure what height these jumps are, but it is her warmup for classes up to 3'9". She placed a couple of seconds and even some firsts I believe (class sizes ranged from 5-8 people).

To see the video, click on the link and click on the clip that says: Jumping 2007
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    11-22-2007, 01:33 AM
Sorry about the quality, work with it best you can :)
    11-22-2007, 11:44 AM
Only her second season jumping??????? She has wonderful position from what I can see. She has a nice leg, and she doesn't jump ahead. From what I can see theres alot of good releases. What height is she jumping? I could only see one rail, which looked like 18inch, but the horse is jumping alot higher than that. Is there a top rail?? Tell her to avoid leaning into her turns, try to stay sitting straight (if that made any sense at all). Also, im not sure if she is rounding her back, but if she is, she shouldn't(can't tell because of the sweatshirt). She is a very wonderful rider though. She has wonderful form, great balance, and a super lower leg.

And the gelding. He's sooo cute. He jumps nicely, and takes good spots. He looks like he's rushing to the jumps, he should be a bit more collected. He doesn't round over the jump though. I would like to see him round over the jump, bring his head down further, ect. Other than that, he has good jumping technique.

And I sure do love the commentary..."Oh, that one sucked" At least she kept her position when he knocked down the rail.
    11-23-2007, 04:30 AM
:) Yeah, that commentary was my husband, the video man :)

There was a second rail on there (brown)...I think the height must have been somewhere around 3'.

She really did take to riding and jumping really naturally, I think it is really subtle things for her to work on. I will tell her about the leaning.

She has been working on making him not rushing the jumps. He had a lot of time off this year because of stone bruises, so I think that shows. He really seems to like jumping though. Do they just start to round over the jumps naturally? Or are there exercises to help?

Thanks for the feedback.
    11-26-2007, 04:47 PM
Any more critiques guys?
    11-27-2007, 06:21 PM
Wow! They are doing a great job together ... even more so knowing that they are both on the green side.

A good step for both is to start working through some gymnastics. This will only help improve Kaitlyn's position and will help the horse learn to round and jump properly. The key is to build it up slowly so as not to scare the horse and to help him learn to do it comfortably and correctly. Bounces (two jumps with no strides inbetween) are particularly good for improving rounding. If you aren't familiar with gymnastic exercises, let me know and I'll explain more fully or find some good links for you.

Kaitlyn looks like a very nice, natural rider. Her leg is pretty good, but would be even better and more solid if she shortened her stirrups. The angle in her knee is too wide, which weakens her base of support and allows her legs to swing a bit over the fence. The general rule for huntseat riding stirrup length is that the bottom of the stirrup iron should hit the ankle bone (with leg hanging straight down) for flatwork, and then go up a hole (or an inch) for every foot that you are jumping.

She also needs to be careful with her hands over the fence. It's a little hard to tell in the video, but it looks like she isn't putting them far enough forward or pressing them into the side of his neck for support. It's not hurting much here, but if they had a bad spot it could throw her balance and catch him in the mouth.

Also, she looks down every time she lands after a jump. I'm guessing maybe she's checking her lead. She's definitely a good enough rider that she can learn to feel it without looking.

The horse looks very relaxed and comfortable with his job. He gets excited and puts his head up and speeds up right before the jump, which is a bad habit. A running martingale is a good tool (when adjusted correctly) for keeping him from bringing his nose up and out of her control. When he's going correctly it won't interfere at all, and only goes into effect when the nose comes up. Also, trotting fences (even 2'6" verticals) will help him to slow down and wait for the fence.

He finds his spots nicely and keeps a pretty nice rhthym, but looks a little heavy on the forehand and isn't reaching far enough under with his hind end. He really needs to be collected and driven forward at the same time to lighten him up and encourage him to use that hind end properly. Trotting and cantering up and down hills is a great way to build up hind end strength, I used to do this several times a week with my horses when I was showing and it made a world of difference.

These two look really great and just need some polishing here and there. Let me know if you want more info on the gymnastics.
    11-28-2007, 03:05 PM
I am not familiar with gymnastic exercises, please explain :)

Thanks for the advice and critiques.
    11-28-2007, 03:42 PM
Gymnastic exercises are a series of ground poles and jumps with no more than two strides between that are commonly used in jump training for both horses and riders. They can be set up a million different ways: different number of jumps, ground lines, verticals, oxers, bounces to different degrees of difficulty.

Here's a really great overview and sample of an exercise from Nona Garson, an Olympic veteran:

When setting up gymnastics, it's important to understand the stride distance for setting jumps. The average canter stride is 12', and you need to allow 6' for landing and 6' for take off. So, to set a jump with one stride inbetween, there should be 24' between the jumps (6 for landing, 12 for the stride, and 6 for the takeoff). A bounce (no strides) would be 12'. When doing gymnastics, this is a good place to start, and then you can adjust as necessary for a horse with shorter or longer strides. It's important to make the jumps a comfortable distance for the horse so he can go right through without having to adjust.

One of my favorite gymnastics is a ground line, a cross rail, one stride to a vertical, and a bounce (three total jumps). Start with the cross rail with a ground rail half a stride in front. Trot in and canter out (typical start for a gymnastic). Once the horse is comfortable, add a vertical one stride (24') beyond the crossrail. Keep it low (2' ish) to start. Once he's comfortable, add some height to the crossrail. Once he's comfortable with that, add a third jump with no strides in between (12'). Keep it low to start, and then work the height up as he's comfortable. The bounce in particular is great for getting him to round his back and neck. It's key to build it up slowly so as not to scare the horse or make him uncomfortable. Always trot in and canter out. The rider should go to 2-point over the ground rail and hold it until she's all the way through the gymnastic. The idea is to feel the horse coming up to her over the jump. Nona explains this really well in that video.

An easy way to set the second and third jumps for a gymnastic (if you have someone helping on the ground) is to place a ground pole where the jumps would be (ground line, cross rail, two ground lines). This allows you to watch as the horse trots in and canters out and set the poles to match his stride before adding any height.

The gymnastic in Nona's video is a great one to start with. It's a ground line to a crossrail, one stride to a vertical, one stride to an oxer. This is a great one for a first go around. Remember to build it up slowly, though, one obstacle at a time.

Gymnastics are very very very useful exercises for both the horse and the rider, and they are a whole lot of fun. Oftentimes, we'd set up a gymnastic on the long side of the ring and use it to start a course of jumps. It helps get the horse's impulsion up and gets him focused.

Hopefully this all makes sense; I've done gymnastics a million times and done it with students, but never tried to type out an explanation. Let me know if you have any questions ... other posters add your favorite gymnastic exercises!
    11-28-2007, 10:59 PM
Wow! Thanks regarding horses. I will work on that with her next time she comes out to practice (I am often the ground hand) :)

I posted video of their first jumping experience from 2006 on my photobucket link also if anyone is interested in checking that one out.
    11-30-2007, 01:53 AM
Kaitlyn came out tonight, and we set up one of the gymnastics set ups you were talking about. I couldn't get the youtube video to work, so we tried to go off of what you wrote. We set up a crossbar (18") - 24' gap - vertical (about 2'3") 12' gap - oxer (about 2'3" with less of a spread). We ended up reducing the gaps because he was striding too much in the first gap and taking a stride in the second gap. She only did it four or five times and then continues with flat work, because she hasn't been riding as much lately (high school :) ) and he was being a brat from lack of exercise and over eating :).....but it was a really cool exercise. It will be fun to vary it and add more later. It was very cool to see him jump land/takeoff jump all in one stride. He seemed to like the was the only thing that he was behaving for (you should have seen the flat work).

You will have to let me know if we set this up correctly. We also put ground poles trotting stride going in, and canter stride coming out (after landing).

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