Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Eventing Country
• Horses: 0
Dorothy Crowell trains under Jim Wofford as well *She's the 4 star Eventing Clinitian I ride under whenever she comes to town to give a clinic* and what she has taught is that when you are going over fence A, you should already be looking at fence B.
When you just landed fence A, you already know where you are going because you were looking at the next fence already, so now you are back on your horses back, your horse is back under you, and you have re-established your rhythm and are now on approach to fence B.
You are looking at the top of the fence, yes. When you are about 5 strides away, you want to be looking up and beyond the fence. You find a focal point to stare at.
Legs are wrapped around the girth, your seat is driving, your hands are freeing the horses face by softening your fingers.
I agree with Sparkles - whenever you get into the habit of staring at the fence, you are going to fall into trouble and pick up worse habits along the line. It is fine to look at the top of the fence when you are on approach, but once you have your horse locked onto the fence, look above and beyond.
Every horse is different. I am on a "been there done that" fellow, and I don't have to look at the top of the fence, I can close my eyes and he'll do it all for me - which is the ultimate goal in our horses. Our horses should be the one's who find the distance in the end, but until then - we have to beable to aid them.
Remember, horses jump blindly. They cannot see that fence when you are about 2/3 strides away, that is why it is uber important that you, the rider, is not looking at it or you will get faults.
Your coach seems competant. Ask her more questions about those whom she trained under. I had a coach that told me she "trained" under a big named rider - but it turns out, it was just a clinic.
That would be like me saying I train under Dorothy Crowell, when in reality, I only ride under her when she comes here to give a clinic, once or twice a year.
Yes, there are many uneducated coaches out there, but you seem to have a competant one. Don't be scared to ask questions darling. Ask questions all you want. If she tells you to do something you are not comfortable with, or don't understand the theory behind it, or want to know more as to why and how and when - ask, ask, ask, ask, ask.
I talk my coaches ear off. It doesn't mean I am questioning his intelligence or experience - it is beacuse I want to know more. I want to know WHY, why am I doing this? What is the theory behind it?
See what I mean Jelly Bean :)