critique our cross country por favor

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critique our cross country por favor

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    03-06-2007, 01:25 AM
critique our cross country por favor

Mind you be nice my horse is 4 and thought galloping about like a mad man was an excellent idea seeing as he has never been cross country before!

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    03-06-2007, 08:58 AM
Wow, 4 year old horses do 3 day eventing? I thought it would take much more time to train Grand Prix Dressage on a horse than a mere 2 years (unless you start riding the horse as a yearling, then they would have 3 years to train for it.. which still doesnt seem like enough time) and I always thought jumping a horse before the age of 5 was just a bad idea in general because of waiting for the knees to fuse completely. I know they fuse when they turn 2 years old, but I thought it was a big no-no to do heavy/strenuous physical activity until they were 4 or 5.. and if he is a 4 year old already jumping 3+ feet... when did he start jumping? You said this was his first Cross Country course, but by the looks of it, he has been jumping for a long time prior to this (because of his form and the height of the jumps)

Blargh.. don't mind me, I just tend to get concerned for show horses... they just keep training them younger and younger.. before you know it, they will be racing and betting on weanlings, putting those huge clogs on Tennessee Walking Horse weanlings, etc etc.. Im not griping at you though, just generally at the horse industries :).

As for your pictures.. I really don't like how the bit is sitting in his mouth on the first one, it looks like an eggbutt snaffle that was pulled almost completely out of his mouth on the other side (or it is too large for him) If he (or you) have a tendancy to pull the bit through his mouth, i'd consider getting a full cheek snaffle. They come in all styles (Normal, Happy Mouth, Slow Twist, Quick Twist) and the large.. err.. shanks? On either side will prevent it from going into his mouth and if anything help him steer a tad bit better because the shanks will actually push his head if you pulled hard enough on the other rein.. if that makes sense (i just got up, im really groggy)

In the second picture, it looks like you are coming out of the saddle. Almost like the horse jumped too big (even though he looks awesome) or that you werent expecting the sudden impulsion from behind. If you grip your knees on the knee rolls before the jump it would prevent this from happening. From what I gather about you though, I don't think this is a huge problem for you, I think this was a one time flook and the picture just so happened to be taken at the worst possible time. I just figured i'd point it out. If I recall.. Cross Country is a lot like barrel racing.. form and style doesnt matter, its all about speed and precision (I.E. Not knocking over obstacles or refusing to do it)

Your horse looks very willing and athletic, you guys make a great team =)
    03-06-2007, 10:52 AM
Actually he has only been under saddle for about a year and a half he is just a really fast learner and has amazing jumping ability he was started as a 3 year old on the track because he was so slow growing and not aware of his body and then after being on the track two weeks and bucking everyone off who got on him he was traded for a load of hay so he hasnt been under saddle that long and since he is a thoroughbred technically he is 5 now but he was a late baby born in october but he has been jumping since last summer (2006) I know how the bit looks its mostly me not releasing enough but when he's excited he has a tendency to flip his head to pull the reins out of your hands so he can go faster so that's the start of him doing that second picture I was surprised he has a natural jumping instinct and that was the second jump of a very offset line that was supposed to be 4 strides I believe and he put 2 oh and the bit was a waterford we were seeing if I could slow him down with it he will break the gait in it but not shorten his stride in the canter or gallop quite frusterating since he has an excellent canter in the arena but oh well what are you going to do its the price you pay for a horse with so much talent ps we don't usually jump him over 3 ft at home its not the height of the fence that matters now is it but we do on occassion see how high he can go before my trainer starts getting excited last time we did that was in january though and he cleared 5'6" by a mile
    03-06-2007, 04:58 PM
I suspect a lot of joint problems for this guy down the road. I suspect he is a TB because you mentioned a track. TB are very prominant to arthritis, something against your odds because of jumping early.

Honestly, I don't think jumping a slow developing 4/early 5 year old was a wise choice. I'm not sure what situation brought about him jumping 5'6, but I certainly would not recommend it again. If he were to be 4 early 5, this would have meant he began jumping at 3-4, correct? You said he was under saddle a year if I'm not mistaken, and he certainly looks to have been jumped before. I don't know, I'm all for eventing and high endurance work, but certainly not on youngsters. It happens in every discipline, but I believe one of the most damaging is jumping and for the few, very high level dressage work. I've seen too many young dressage warmblood stallions pushed way to hard into collection and flexion at the age of 2-3 then I ever want to see again. But I've seen twice as many riders push their horses into jumping without considering their health and body well being as a whole. Personally, I'd re-evaluate my trainer if they were pushing my 4-5 year old to jump 5'6. I'd also get off the cross country course, develop the basics and slow my jumping down. If you believe your horse has as much potential as you say, treat him with respect.

Sorry if it's blunt, but at times it needs to be that way.

As Skip said, adjust you bit. A full cheek may even be suitable because you seem to have uneven pressure from each hand. Your bit may be a tad too big as well.
    03-07-2007, 12:03 AM
Just to clarify we have ony jumped him that high twice since I got him (september 2006) we generally jump about 2'3" or 2'6" and only once a week working on his form and pace and we do alot of long and low work and without hardly any collection at all on the flat we are working on strengthening his back muscles and developing straightness and have just started lateral work in february he goes on hacks everyday possible to develop coordination and condition his connective tissues btw we never go faster than a trot and his knees are fully closed now he was jumping before I got him and my trainer and I stoped and didn't start jumping him again until his knees were closed. Oh and the bit was actually a tad small that was me not releasing enough plus it was a waterford so the links make it look to big we tried a fullcheek he freaked out he is very bit sensitive we don't even use a metal bit anymore right now we are in a mullen mouth happy mouth eggbut and that's plenty of brakes.
    03-07-2007, 05:05 AM
I respect your opinion but I still highly disagree with the whole thing. Good luck, though.
    03-08-2007, 04:29 PM
Your position in the 2nd picture is fantastic. I know someone said you looked like you were leaving the tack and certainly that saddle probably isn't the best for you but if you look at the picture without the saddle your position is near perfect. You weight is softly in your heal, yours joints are soft (Do not start pinching with your knee), your center of gravity is back in your hip and your shoulders are over your knees. Your release is an automativ release and so you are jumping on contact which is very hard to do well. You probably did get left behind in the 2nd picture but you would hardly know. If you took the horse away you would land on yor feet. You would not fall forwards or backwards and that is always a good check of position.

For a talented horse to move up the levels and progress in eventing to reach his full potential its not uncommon in europe to be jumping in the equivalent of training levels as 4 and 5 year olds. The Burghly young event horse competition which tests a young horse eventing potential over show jumps and on the flat and that judges conformation requires 4 year olds to jump 2ft9in and 5 year olds 3ft4in. With good conformation and sympathetic training there is no reason why a 4 or 5 year old can't be jumping 3ft a couple of times a week.

Good luck to you both you look like you have a very bright future ahead of you.
    03-09-2007, 12:25 AM
Thank you so much for that. I know what I'm doing with my horse isn't wrong and we are quite conservative with how far we push him because he is still growing but stress is how they build muscle and he isnt carrying alot of weight so it's not like we are hurting his bones. Also my trainer brought his young tb up the same way I am and he was longlisted for the olympics a few years ago until he was in a trailer accident and his horse fractured a bunch of vertabre and broke its hip among other things but he recovered and is eventing training level now so I think we must be doing right by our horses. It just bothers me so much because I am so concerned with my horses well being and I'm working hard to see he is fit, healthy and happy. As for the picture I was quite a bit left behind I know he takes long spots but he left and entire stride out so I was quite surprised. Anyways were going to his first show this weekend it's just a little hunter jumper schooling show but i'm excited all the same. I'll let you know how we do.
    03-09-2007, 08:26 PM
I think that in the second pic it looks like you were left behind a little. I also think your elbows could be a little more bent so that you don't pop him in the mouth when he lands. I think that is especially important in a green eventer. So in all, I think your position (while well balanced for the morst part) could be a tad more forward...careful not to collapse on the neck though. Especially while flying around on cross country, you need to find the perfect position. Also, as far as overall training, I would take care not to bring a green eventer along too fast. It is easier to slow traning to prevent problems than have to fix problems later on. My motto, especially in cross country, is patience patience patience. But however, having training MANY MANY eventers, good luck and keep us updated!!

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