Crest release vs. Automatic release? - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
• Horses: 4
Crest release vs. Automatic release?

Okay... I've never heard of the automatic release over here in AUS. Also, we don't have hunters/jumpers here either. There is Showjumping, which I guess is like your jumpers, and Equitation, which might be a little like your hunters. It's basically a round of jumping where they judge you on a scoresheet similar to dressage, on position, approach, line, etc. Plus you have to do tasks, i.e. trot to fence 1, 4 strides between 6a and 6b, so on and so forth. You get scored on the tasks as well.

The only release I know of is a crest release... Over here thats the name for any release you give over a jump, and it simply varies in style/difficulty of jump, horses ability, etc.

So I guess i'm asking when you guys talk about an 'automatic release', what is it? And what is the difference between an automatic and a crest release?


wild_spot is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 07:36 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,220
• Horses: 0
there is a long and a short crest release. The long crest release is what most people start off jumping learn. You press your hands halfway up the horse's neck. Then when you're more stable you learn the short crest release, where you follow your horse's mouth more and only release about 6-8 in. It is much more subtle and you are able to have more control. When you are truly secure in your body and able to completely support yourself over the fence without needing your arms you are ready to learn the automatic release. This is when your hands follow your horse's mouth over the fence. So instead if them being on top of your horse's neck they will be next to his neck, making a straight line from the bit through the rein, through your arm to your elbow. This allows the most control but is the hardest to master. You don't see a lot of automatic releases in the hunter ring (I usually see short crest releases there unless it's a beginner). I think they're more popular with jumpers/eventers.
upnover is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 07:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
The crest release was brought to North America by George Morris *The Guru Of Hunter/Jumpers here* where the rider uses the horses neck for a base of balance. Where they press their knuckles into the crest of their horses neck - to support themselves without interfearing with the horses job.

If the rider cannot support their upper bodies with their lowers *meaning solid lower legs/heels/seat* then they need to do the crest to give them that balance and support.

*I cannot stand this form* but here's a picture of a crest:

The Automatic Release is where the rider does not need to use their horses crest to support themselves over the fence - where they can balance themselves freely by using the base of support through their lower bodies - meaning, lower leg solid at girth and heels deep and seat centered over their saddle.


The crest release was meant for 1 reason - to support the rider when they need it...and I believe it is highly over taught and over used.

When riders can clearly support themselves, they should be doing the automatic.

We end up seeing far too much perching and posing - as seen in the crest release pictures - now a day's in the show ring. Rediculous.
MIEventer is offline  
post #4 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,179
• Horses: 4
Ah okay. I understand now. Over here the automatic release is kind of the natural progression of the crest release... We too ahve the long and short crest release, and as you get better, you move on to following the horses mouth with your hands instead of using the crest. We just don't call it the automatic relaease!

wild_spot is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 08:05 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 211
• Horses: 1
This is a great post. I only first heard this term when i started getting practical horseman several years ago. If you don't mind, i would love to see some more pics. I personally use the crest release - MIEventer may i ask why you don't like it? What is everyone elses opinion or what do they use? I am very curious about releases as it is one area that i am weak.
juju is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 08:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
I don't dislike the crest release when the rider uses it for the fact that they need the horses neck to balance.

A good rider - I am speaking of mid to upper levels - should beable to use the automatic when needed and the crest when needed.

But what is going on, are that riders - even when they clearly can be - are not using the automatic. It is rarely taught by coaches because *not all coaches* want their students to "look pretty" without effecting their horses - so we end up seeing perchers over fences.

Like in the thread I started FORM OVER FENCES.

What happens is that we see far too many using the crest, even when they clearly should be using the automatic.
MIEventer is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,076
• Horses: 1
MIEventer, I curious. WHat do you think of using the crest release if you CAN support yourself? I'm still getting back into jumping after nearly a year of non-consisten jumping, but on my last pony I leased, I could jump a small course (with a bounce) with "airplane arms". But, I do use a crest release (I do hunters) D you think this is bad?
1dog3cats17rodents is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 08:52 PM
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
Posts: 8,220
• Horses: 0
There are many fabulous riders out there who do the crest release - but when they need it at that particular fence to support themselves and to not interfear with their horse.

A good rider can go from each release when needed - lets face it, not every fence is going to give us what we want right. Not every approach is good - so when we need to use the crest, please do.

BUT when you can support yourself with your lower body, and you can use the automatic - that is great.

What the issue is that I have - are that riders are using the crest as a crutch. They are not progressing forward to become a more functional rider. Also, I personally feel - that due to this crutch, we find people who end up perching/posing - to look pretty.

I think if you can support yourself with your lower body and are solid enough with your equitation to merge to the automatic - that would be wonderful.

Dont fall into the cycle.
MIEventer is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 04-28-2009, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,613
• Horses: 0
Originally Posted by 1dog3cats17rodents View Post
MIEventer, I curious. WHat do you think of using the crest release if you CAN support yourself?
IMO, a crest release makes your weight uncentered (too far forward) so if something bad happens you're more likely to fall off.
ponyboy is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 04-29-2009, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 638
• Horses: 2
If you can support yourself without the neck, an automatic release should be used when you are navigating through a tight combination in a cross country course or anticipating a tight turn or rollback in a showjumping course. It lets you quickly regain control when you land because it's a following hand -- you move with the horse's head.

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
Equuestriaan is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
crest release vs auto release jazzyrider Jumping 16 05-23-2009 08:43 PM
I'm ready for the auto-release! Equuestriaan Jumping 3 04-17-2009 10:23 PM
Automatic waterers in Minnesota? Eagle eye 1 Barn Maintenance 15 12-14-2008 04:28 PM
Pressure, Release, ...Reward? ivyschex Horse Training 15 11-26-2008 06:10 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome