Getting ready for the Hunters-Critique Please? - Page 2

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Getting ready for the Hunters-Critique Please?

This is a discussion on Getting ready for the Hunters-Critique Please? within the Hunters and Hunter Seat Equitation forums, part of the English Riding category

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        04-21-2013, 11:10 PM
    Originally Posted by maura    

    Here's a good example of what a hunter over fences should look like.
    Note the overall feeling of relaxation, like the horse is just loafing along, the release halfway up the neck, and that the contact is also soft, with a little bit of float to the reins. Also note the round back of the horse, and the position of the head and neck. His knees aren't bad either!

    Here's another, not the very floaty release, and the way the horse "drapes" over the fence -

    To me both these riders are far too far out of the saddle and up their horses neck - if you took the horse away they would be flat on their faces.

    On the other hand the horses are doing a lovely job of the jump

    I liked your position except in one I felt you were too low to the horses neck.
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        04-22-2013, 06:35 AM

    I did not select those photos as examples of good equitation, I selected them as examples of the kind of jumping form that's expected in the hunter ring.

    I agree with you, the OP's equitation is pretty good, and the positions of the riders in these photos are not ones you should emulate.
        05-01-2013, 08:11 PM
    First step: lose the draw reins. They are not designed to be jumped in the same way side reins are not designed to be jumped in, but I know of trainers who do this to teach a "headset" over the jumps. It makes me want to vomit for the sake of the horse.

    Secondly: you need to get him relaxed. Only then is he going to drop his head down for you and have that bascule you want over the jump. Work on riding with a loose rein and emphasize his relaxation.

    He will probably not be relaxed the first few times you work with him because he is used to being forced into position with the draw reins. In the pictures he is clearly fighting against them and this is not going to help you in any way when you get to a show with him and cannot use the draw reins.
    parcfarms likes this.
        05-28-2013, 03:33 PM
    The first thing I can say is hunter`s is meant to look pleasureable, enjoyable and like your mount is the easiest guy in the world. I don`t get that feeling from Jack and I can tell you it`s a direct correlation between all the hardware you have on his face. I can`t tell from the pics on my computer if you`re jumping in draw reins or a running martingale, but either lose them both, now. Despite what your coach may say draw reins are PAINFUL for horses. They force them down onto the bit in a way that pinches their vertibrae, not at all on the bit but a forced image of looking like they are. Go do some research on them and you will be horrified. I assume your problem is his head carriage is too high for hunters. Just from the pictures I can see his also riding completely off of your hands, which looks really uncomfortable for you. This is completely because Jack is looking for some relief from the hardware and using your hands as a crutch to lessen the effect of them. Before you go around jumping with all the hardware and big bits, stop and do some simple flat work and relaxation work with your horse. Get a dressage coach out there and learn to bring your down using your riding ability, not some leather tack. I can guarantee he will resist you less and rip your hands off less. Nothing works like sitting back, driving, and a gentle hand. No good is coming from all the hardware, only hardening his mouth and making it easier and easier for jack to evade you. If you worked on that, I could see a beautiful hunter pair taking home ribbons.
    MGTS likes this.
        05-28-2013, 03:36 PM
    And the above posts are correct, jumping in draw reins - your extremely lucky your horse hasnt flipped and crushed you or hopefully he hasnt sustained permanent damage from them yet. I`m not innocent, i`ve used them in extreme cases before too, but jumping with them is an EXTREME danger to you and your horse.

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