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Always seeing the long distance?

This is a discussion on Always seeing the long distance? within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    03-06-2012, 04:06 PM
Green Broke
Poles, poles and more poles. Make a pole course and practice getting the right distance to those.

I've found that the reason I don't make distances is because my horse isn't forward enough. That may be part of the issue.
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    03-06-2012, 06:18 PM
Originally Posted by eventerdrew    
poles, poles and more poles. Make a pole course and practice getting the right distance to those.

I've found that the reason I don't make distances is because my horse isn't forward enough. That may be part of the issue.
If there are poles out in the arena and I ride over them, then I can get a 'distance' to that. (I think. Aside from when I'm schooling ponies during a beginner lesson, there aren't really poles out this time of year)

I'm not sure I explained it very well in the first post. It's not necessarily a long distance that we're taking off (sometimes it is, sometimes it's a normal distance). I just always see that in order to get to that good spot to take off, we have to lengthen.

Gah, this is where I wish I had video. I *think* he's forward enough (he's naturally more forward and I do keep my leg on) but I guess I can't be positive. Also, the most recent video I have of him is over a year old (I'd post it but then there'd be an awkward video there and I can't get just the link to show up). I know that my riding style has improved drastically, and I'm sure I affected him quite a bit.
    03-09-2012, 10:34 AM
This is similar to what eventer drew said but I am thinking he is referring to a course of single poles rather than the grid setup I am thinking about :)

Try this if the horse is comfortable going over a series (more than two or three at once) of poles. Set up a "pole" line from 5 strides out so you have 4 poles to "jump" before the fence. This might help you develop your eye further out to give you enough time to engage your half halt for shortening or using leg to lengthen slightly to catch your fence distance. It won't necessarily matter if you hit the first pole long or short (as long as it isn't extremely long or extremely short) as the horse is probably going to adjust on their own through the rest of the grid.

In the same line with this if you just want to practice without the jump, lay a pole between your jump standards rather than having an actual jump. The leading poles into the pole between the standards will simulate the distance without having to worry about the actual jump effort. Doing it this way you would have 5 poles to go over.
    03-09-2012, 10:27 PM
I can't really do anything with poles right now. I don't have control over what the arena set up is - that's my instructor. In the summer, when I hack in the outdoor arena (or indoor if the lessons are outside) then I have a lot more freedom in what I do but for now I'm kinda stuck with the arena and the jumps.

I accidentally ended up with a private lesson tonight We worked single fences tonight to try and fix the habit I've recently acquired of throwing my upper body forward over jumps (it's not very bad yet...hopefully won't get worse) so I was also able to really focus on distances.

There were a few jumps where I didn't see anything coming so I just kept my leg on and let Scooter decide (I love riding a schoolmaster) and he lengthened EVERY TIME. Clearly he and I both just really like lengthening!

I did try to actively decide whether or not I really needed to lengthen or whether staying the same/shortening would suffice. There were a few jumps where I did see the 'second option,' so to speak, and didn't move up and we got over it mostly in one piece (I kinda kicked a standard once but that's another story haha).

Most of the time I honestly just don't see that I can do anything BUT lengthen to get to the jump with a good distance? *sigh* I'm thinking that I'm going to end up with another private or semi-private lesson next week so maybe we can focus solely on distances and adjusting differently.

But on the plus side - by the end of the lesson, I was actually keeping my shoulders back and not staring at the ground! Baby steps, eh?
    03-11-2012, 10:36 AM
One thing that my trainer has had me do that I really like, is counting up to a jump. So before you turn to the jump start counting 1,2,3,4,5 etc, count as high as you need to until you take off. Counting like this helps you wait for the jump to come up to you, so you don't feel like you have to lengthen every time to get to the jump. I have had the same problem you are having and it worked great for me. Suddenly you will start seeing other options, I promise !!
    03-11-2012, 07:58 PM
Never Miss Another Distance! From Practical Horseman | EquiSearch

This article hepled me a lot. I ride jumpers and I tend to micromanage my horse all around the course. Once I stopped doing that, the distances suddenly appeared. Hahaha! I don't count strides, I tend to simply let the strides stay collected, even, and controlled all the way to the base. I push my horse into the bit with even contact, allow him to see his distance, and give him a little squeeze at the base so he jumps across the fence. This seems to work well for us. :)

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