Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
I know - old post but interesting!
The Crest Release was created by George Morris for beginner riders or riders who cannot support their upper bodies through their lower.
The main reason for the crest is to give the ride that someting to lean onto for a base of support over the fence - so to not interfear with their horses mouths.
Automatic Releases are for riders who can fully support their upper bodies through their lower - meaning, solid lower leg at girth, inner calf, functional seat - does not need horses neck to give them that support.
GM always rants about this in his critique columns if he sees a rider who is doing a crest when they should be fully capeable of doing an automatic.
Now on that note, not every fence is going to give us what we want. So if you come in too deep or take off too soon and you loose your balance due to that, use the crest to give you that support so you don't hit your horse in the mouth.
A good rider can swap from Automatic to Crest all depending on what that particular ride is to that particular fence.
It is knowing how to do both - but again, on that note, I find too many use the crest as a crutch, and it falls into a "perching" scene as upnover mentioned that we see in the hunter ring.
Perching = pretty = ribbon.
I would far rather see functional over pretty.