Originally Posted by rottenweiler
I'm glad I looked through this sub-forum because I was getting on here to post a question about 'releasing'. When I was younger and took jumping lessons I remember it being a big deal to move your hands up the horses neck for a release when jumping...I guess you would call that a crest release? I have been taking lessons again for the last couple months and my instructor kept commenting that I was throwing my hands forward and then snatching back and getting on the horses mouth too much after the jump. She kept saying there was no reason to throw my hands forward but I kept thinking "Isn't that what you're supposed to do over a jump?" But I was watching some clips on youtube of people jumping and their hands didn't move forward when they went over the jumps. They just kept their hands in front of them and then 'fell down' the sides of their neck after the jump. I never heard of this automatic release but obviously that's what I've been seeing in these clips. In any case, I tried doing it as I saw other jumpers doing on those clips...I just do small cross-rails...but I didn't 'throw my hands forward' and the horse and I got along a lot better.
There's 2 main types of releases...
Crest release: Short and long. The short release is used over smaller jumps. Usually like 18" or so. The long release is an exaggerated short release. You just slide your hands farther up on the horses neck. I think you can use them no matter the height of the jump, but typically you use them up to about 2'3. By sliding your hands up their neck, the horse can stretch down over the jump if they need to.
Automatic release: You read this thread, so you should get the general understanding of it. I wouldn't really use it on jumps smaller than 2', as the horse doesn't really need a ton of freedom in their head. Also, it's much more challenging than the crest release.
If you're just doing cross rails, I would think you'd just need a short release. So rather than try an automatic (although I've been learning the automatic release on smaller jumps until I get the hang of it so I don't hit my horse's mouth) I would suggest you just slide your hands about 2 inches up the horses neck. If your trainer thinks you were "throwing your hands forward," you probably were just using too long a release for the height of the jump. If you still need help I'd be happy to try and assist you