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  • Exercises to help riders from coming back too early over fences

 
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    08-28-2011, 12:57 PM
  #1
Yearling
O/F English Critique

So due to the advice from people here after the show, Jake and I have stopped jumping and have been working on only flat work. We will continue to retrain on flatwork until we are ready to jump together. So that lengthy process is underway I have been working with my friends mare.

With her I really am able to work mostly on myself. I can work on my balance and building my own muscle. So the other day my friend wanted me to take her through a few courses and videotaped me doing. She refuses quite a bit with her owner, but her owner believes that it is her riding style (expecting a refusal) that creates it. Since I'm used to Jake, who never refuses, I ride different and have a lot less refusals/if any.

So here is the video. I did include the one refusal we had. Normally she gets smacked for a refusal (she used to be if she refused once, it would take 5+ tried to get her over, if you smacked her she would go over the next time), but it was creating so much tension that I merely have her stare at it and go around and do it again. I didn't hit her, or jerk her mouth, she jumped when I switched the reins over.

Her lead changes need a lot of work, I know. She hasn't done a higher course in a few months. And hasn't jumped in about 1.5 months.


Things I see I have problems with,
-Crotch Hands
-Finding Distances
-Arched back over jumps.
     
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    08-28-2011, 01:45 PM
  #2
Yearling
Okay i'm just going to say what I see...
You bury her a couple times down the line and when she comes up to that next fence (the one she refused at) you buried her again... and she says: "hmm... no thanks. I'm not going to leave from here." and she stops. Next time around, you give her a little more room to leave the ground, and sure enough, she does.
You're jumping position is pretty nice, and in my opinion her changes are there... they simply need to be a little more balanced and collected.
     
    08-28-2011, 07:10 PM
  #3
Weanling
Here are a couple things I noticed:

1. I think your saddle is a little small for you. I can't really put my finger on what it is but you just don't look right in it.

2. You have weak lower legs and you grab with your knees. When you grab with your knees they act as a pivot and your legs swing. I see you doing it both over fences and on the flat. Work on lots of two-point and no stirrups on the flat to help strengthen your legs and really work on relaxing your knee.

3. Distances. You already said you know you have a problem with them. Counting will help you get your spots. Count your strides out loud. I was always taught to count 1, 2, 3 but I know some people count 1, 2. It may seem silly but I garuntee you will hit your distances.

4. When you jump, you come back too quickly and you try and jump the jump for your horse. Sit patiently and wait for her to jump up to you rather than help her over the fence. If you are patient with your body it will look smoother, and don't come back to the saddle until she has completely landed.

You have a lovely mare and she has a great jump on her and I can see her being very successful in the hunters someday. Her changes are off to a good start but you have to remember that she needs momentum to get them and she has to be balanced. It is nice that you are helping out your friend. Sometime a horse owner needs to see someone else ride their horse in order to better understand them and ride better themselves.
     
    08-28-2011, 08:08 PM
  #4
Green Broke
You are over jumping.

I don't think your saddle is too small for you. Does it feel small? Is this your saddle that you use on your horse as well? Some saddles I ride in I dislike too much. If it's your correct size then sometimes it just depends on style and brand.
     
    08-29-2011, 03:08 AM
  #5
Yearling
Thank you everyone, I really appreciate it. I have a few comments and questions..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oxer    
okay i'm just going to say what I see...
You bury her a couple times down the line and when she comes up to that next fence (the one she refused at) you buried her again... and she says: "hmm... no thanks. I'm not going to leave from here." and she stops. Next time around, you give her a little more room to leave the ground, and sure enough, she does.

Still working on trying to get the distance without getting in her way. I was wanting a longer spot, but I failed to extend her stride. So she chipped and refused. She really doesn't like that fence, and I know now I am unsure to push her into it (and risk getting a hard refusal) or play it safe and try and let her figure it out. On the second jump she really popped over it and I lost my balance, just wondering whats better for refusers.

You're jumping position is pretty nice, and in my opinion her changes are there... they simply need to be a little more balanced and collected.

She used to have them down somewhat. Her owner used to run her into the fence during shows, so plain asking for them is often met with bolting and hollowing out while cross firing. But no one has worked on her changes in probably over a year, so she is rusty and needs pole work.
Quote:
Here are a couple things I noticed:

1. I think your saddle is a little small for you. I can't really put my finger on what it is but you just don't look right in it.

I'm not sure, its a 17 seat with long flaps. I feel comfortable in it, I have rode in an 18 seat a few times and felt like I was swimming in the space. Though she is so petite (despite being 16.1h) and makes me look huge. (I'm 5'8") It looks different on my paint. But I don't have any decent pictures of me in the saddle on him. I have video though

Wondering what's on [Your mind] - YouTube


2. You have weak lower legs and you grab with your knees. When you grab with your knees they act as a pivot and your legs swing. I see you doing it both over fences and on the flat. Work on lots of two-point and no stirrups on the flat to help strengthen your legs and really work on relaxing your knee.

I will work on that. I had been planning on doing stirrupless work soon anyways. Now I have a better reason than just building stamina.

3. Distances. You already said you know you have a problem with them. Counting will help you get your spots. Count your strides out loud. I was always taught to count 1, 2, 3 but I know some people count 1, 2. It may seem silly but I garuntee you will hit your distances.

Maybe I said it wrong, but I know how many strides about three strides out, but I have trouble knowing if I should shorten strides or lengthen so I don't bury as Oxer said, or ask for a too long spot (like the refusal). I'm not sure is counting will help me figure out shorter or longer striding.

4. When you jump, you come back too quickly and you try and jump the jump for your horse. Sit patiently and wait for her to jump up to you rather than help her over the fence. If you are patient with your body it will look smoother, and don't come back to the saddle until she has completely landed.

I have such a hard time with this. I was working very hard to not anticipate by leaning forward/going into two point too early. But I did feel tense about doing this and felt like I was trowing myself forward to make up for lost time that I am used to.

You have a lovely mare and she has a great jump on her and I can see her being very successful in the hunters someday. Her changes are off to a good start but you have to remember that she needs momentum to get them and she has to be balanced. It is nice that you are helping out your friend. Sometime a horse owner needs to see someone else ride their horse in order to better understand them and ride better themselves.

Thank you! I really like her, she is refreshing to ride after my boy. She actually was an amazing hunter when she did show with her owner, and always cleaned up flat classes. I'll be working with poles on her changes soon enough. Thanks for the critique!
Quote:
I don't think your saddle is too small for you. Does it feel small? Is this your saddle that you use on your horse as well? Some saddles I ride in I dislike too much. If it's your correct size then sometimes it just depends on style and brand.

I like the feel of it, but I do agree that it doesn't look like it fits me fully. It not my saddle but it is the same saddle I ride Jake in. (Until I can get my saddle.....) I'm not sure if its the correct size, but just that I swim in an 18, and this one is comfortable.
     
    08-29-2011, 10:35 AM
  #6
Weanling
Quote:
Here are a couple things I noticed:

1. I think your saddle is a little small for you. I can't really put my finger on what it is but you just don't look right in it.

I'm not sure, its a 17 seat with long flaps. I feel comfortable in it, I have rode in an 18 seat a few times and felt like I was swimming in the space. Though she is so petite (despite being 16.1h) and makes me look huge. (I'm 5'8") It looks different on my paint. But I don't have any decent pictures of me in the saddle on him. I have video though

Wondering what's on [Your mind] - YouTube

2. You have weak lower legs and you grab with your knees. When you grab with your knees they act as a pivot and your legs swing. I see you doing it both over fences and on the flat. Work on lots of two-point and no stirrups on the flat to help strengthen your legs and really work on relaxing your knee.

I will work on that. I had been planning on doing stirrupless work soon anyways. Now I have a better reason than just building stamina.

3. Distances. You already said you know you have a problem with them. Counting will help you get your spots. Count your strides out loud. I was always taught to count 1, 2, 3 but I know some people count 1, 2. It may seem silly but I garuntee you will hit your distances.

Maybe I said it wrong, but I know how many strides about three strides out, but I have trouble knowing if I should shorten strides or lengthen so I don't bury as Oxer said, or ask for a too long spot (like the refusal). I'm not sure is counting will help me figure out shorter or longer striding.

4. When you jump, you come back too quickly and you try and jump the jump for your horse. Sit patiently and wait for her to jump up to you rather than help her over the fence. If you are patient with your body it will look smoother, and don't come back to the saddle until she has completely landed.

I have such a hard time with this. I was working very hard to not anticipate by leaning forward/going into two point too early. But I did feel tense about doing this and felt like I was trowing myself forward to make up for lost time that I am used to.

You have a lovely mare and she has a great jump on her and I can see her being very successful in the hunters someday. Her changes are off to a good start but you have to remember that she needs momentum to get them and she has to be balanced. It is nice that you are helping out your friend. Sometime a horse owner needs to see someone else ride their horse in order to better understand them and ride better themselves.

Thank you! I really like her, she is refreshing to ride after my boy. She actually was an amazing hunter when she did show with her owner, and always cleaned up flat classes. I'll be working with poles on her changes soon enough. Thanks for the critique!
Maybe its not that the saddle is too small for you but something just doesn't look right. I can't really put my finger on what it is.

Counting every stride will help you establish a rhythm and helps you stay consistant in your pace. This will help you find your distances. I promise. Next time you jump count every stride out loud (this will also help you relax because you can't hold your breath and count out loud at the same time).

To help with jumping for your horse and coming back too soon over the fence, ride a trustworthy horse and have a friend stand in the ring with you. When you are a stride out from your fence, close your eyes and feel the horse jump rather than see the horse jump. Don't open your eyes until you feel your horse completely land. I used to have a horrible problem with this and this exercise really helped me. When you can only feel it instead of feeling and seeing, you have to rely on your horse to tell you where over the fence he is so your body can respond accordingly.
     
    08-29-2011, 10:37 AM
  #7
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by countercanter    
Maybe its not that the saddle is too small for you but something just doesn't look right. I can't really put my finger on what it is.
Chair seat. She kind of pushes herself to the back of the saddle with her leg way out in front of her. That makes the saddle look too small.
     
    08-29-2011, 10:44 AM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alwaysbehind    
Chair seat. She kind of pushes herself to the back of the saddle with her leg way out in front of her. That makes the saddle look too small.
That may be what it is.
     
    08-29-2011, 02:33 PM
  #9
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by countercanter    
Maybe its not that the saddle is too small for you but something just doesn't look right. I can't really put my finger on what it is.

Counting every stride will help you establish a rhythm and helps you stay consistant in your pace. This will help you find your distances. I promise. Next time you jump count every stride out loud (this will also help you relax because you can't hold your breath and count out loud at the same time).

To help with jumping for your horse and coming back too soon over the fence, ride a trustworthy horse and have a friend stand in the ring with you. When you are a stride out from your fence, close your eyes and feel the horse jump rather than see the horse jump. Don't open your eyes until you feel your horse completely land. I used to have a horrible problem with this and this exercise really helped me. When you can only feel it instead of feeling and seeing, you have to rely on your horse to tell you where over the fence he is so your body can respond accordingly.
Alwaysbehind says Chair seat, what are some ways to work on fixing it?

I will the counting out loud the next time I jump. It may be for a little while though.

That sounds scary. Haha. I don't think I have access to a horse that honest that is jumping right now. I have Jake who is restricted to flat work, Dutchess who refuses, and random people's horses that I don't know enough to trust. This might be one that I put in the file and use it when I get an opportunity. I might be able to do it with Dutchess, I'll see if I can get her owner out to help.

I'm stranded without a trainer (trainer on facility isn't up to par, no trainers aloud on property, and I have no truck to haul off) So I look for any other help I can get.
     
    08-29-2011, 04:47 PM
  #10
Weanling
Alwaysbehind says Chair seat, what are some ways to work on fixing it?

I will the counting out loud the next time I jump. It may be for a little while though.
You are pushing yourself to the back of your saddle and your legs slightly in front of you. Think about sitting more on your *ahem* lady parts rather than your butt and stretching your leg down through your heel, and always thinking about your heel, hip, elbow aligment.

That sounds scary. Haha. I don't think I have access to a horse that honest that is jumping right now. I have Jake who is restricted to flat work, Dutchess who refuses, and random people's horses that I don't know enough to trust. This might be one that I put in the file and use it when I get an opportunity. I might be able to do it with Dutchess, I'll see if I can get her owner out to help.
It is definitely something you should try when you have the opportunity. The horse I leased my last two years of high school was a seasoned hunter. The "been there, done that, got the t-shirt" type. You pretty much told him where to start and he went on auto pilot. Riding a horse like that after my first horse, who I actually had to work hard to ride, was not only a nice break but if also allowed me to focus a lot on myself and I worked out a lot of problems I had.

I'm stranded without a trainer (trainer on facility isn't up to par, no trainers aloud on property, and I have no truck to haul off) So I look for any other help I can get.
That is pretty tough. I would maybe suggest finding a barn in the area you could go to once every other week or at least once a month and take a lesson on a horse they have there. Even though its not your horse it can still be a big help. Also try and find a friend that does have a way to haul and see if you can split the cost of gas or something and find a trainer you both like and do a mini group lesson.
     

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