How do you find your distances? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 18 Old 03-02-2009, 11:39 PM
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Practice. Nothing trains your eye like a crap load of practice. Ground poles are excellent for trianing your eye. Practice having your horse canter over the ground pole evenly, front hooves, then back hooves. Not one front, then the other, but just like if it were a bigger jump. Staying steady will help, eyes up and not looking at the pole will help. Learn your horse's stride.
Set up two ground poles, with 4 strides in between. 4 fairly large steps equals 1 stride.
Canter through them and practice getting 4 strides. If your horse keeps getting 5, you need to lengthen his stride. If he gets 3 or 3 1/2 you need to steady. But all that is practice.
Try not to canter in blindly and adjust at the last second. Pick up your canter on how you think it should be, and canter that rhythm and pace all the way through. If you mess up, so what. It's information for the next time around. Staying steady and rhythmical is key for you and your horse to find the distances.

In riding, a horse's energy is like a river- guided by the banks but not stopped by them.
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post #12 of 18 Old 03-03-2009, 12:58 AM
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Lots and lots of practice! And lessons with an experienced trainer! Practice over poles at first so your mistakes won't cause any big problems because everyone misses at times. I would set up a line of poles and canter down them on your normal stride, then add one more stride in between or take one out. This helps you get used to lengthening and shortening which makes it a lot easier when you see your distance and need to move up to it or collect a bit to get the perfect spot. =D Good Luck.
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post #13 of 18 Old 03-05-2009, 06:41 PM
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I have a 16.0 Hand thoroughbred that has an issue with taking big spots..the way I have been training him is checking him in at every stride and rocking him back and making him go off of his hind in..You want the perfect spot so you need to train your horse so that he/she always gets that perfect spot. I would start off by doing a slow rocked back canter (going off his hind end) and use your legs and once you approach your jump make sure you are still rocking back your horse and send him over the jump at the perfect spot. Also so that your horse doesnt take huge jumps add strides it never hurts. For example in a line of jumps say it was a 2 stride make your horse get a 4 stride and the best way is to rock him back at the canter and force him to get that 4 stride it will teach him to get the perfect spots. I hope this helped. :)

-BetterInTime
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post #14 of 18 Old 03-05-2009, 06:58 PM
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Practice and counting I am a sucker for coming in going "bu-deh bu-deh" But it works like a charm for me!

I train myself mostly at home as I do not have alot of money for instructor's, however I attend PC and ARC which helps and I have a very supportive SJ club, I also use the video camera alot on my self and my horses which really helps!
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post #15 of 18 Old 03-05-2009, 07:17 PM
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Yes, the exact thing I wonder!
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post #16 of 18 Old 03-05-2009, 07:47 PM
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Not every horse will have the same 'distance'- like above said, it's about finding the perfect one! It does take a lot of practice. The more practice, the better it will be- you & your horse will get the hang of it. Greener horses will take a little longer, of course. It all just depends on the horse. However, groundpoles really do help. A lot.

Ride more, worry less.
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post #17 of 18 Old 03-07-2009, 12:23 PM
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Short and long distances are acceptable, as long as you do not chip with a short one or get left behind with a long one. These distances are acceptable because for certain lines, when needed a certain amount of strides, depending on your pace, you can not get the "perfect distance." If you do think you will get a short or long distance, sit on your horses back and give a big release and add leg. It usually prevents you from being left behind or chipping.

To find the right distance to single fences, My style is sitting above the fence, up tall. This helps you much more. Some trainers may teach you to count 1,2,3 near the fence, but in my opinion, it helps more to count 1,2,1,2,1,2 out of the turn to help keep rythem. Rythem is key to finding a good distance, short,long, or perfect. A good excersise for this is pole work, and lots of it. Hope this helped!
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post #18 of 18 Old 03-09-2009, 09:44 PM
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I just let the rhythm take over and the perfect spot comes up almost every time.
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