04-12-2009, 10:09 AM
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98% of refusals, and flubs in the arena, is rider error.
Spruce Meadows did this really need scientific documentary on what hosres see when they are jumping. Since they are a huge Stadium Jumping Fascillity for GP level rides and world known, it fits that they did it about jumping.
Horses cannot see the fences when they are a stride or two away from the fence.
When the horse is approaching a fence, about 5/6 strides away, they see the fence as 2
When the horse gets closer, the fence now is seen as 1.
When the horse is about 2-1 strides from the fence, the horse can no longer see it - that is why it is soooo important for the rider to be correct and efficiant in the saddle.
When you are going over 1 fence, and on your way to the next - that is where the horse gages the fence, the take off point - and relies 100% on their rider after that.
If you are not on a horse, that does the job for you and covers your patooie, and if you make a mistake in the saddle telling your horse that you are unsure about doing the fence, you are going to have a refusal.
Most riders are fortunate enough to have a bold and confident horse, that will jump anything regardless of how horrible their riders are - these horses have their place, but the horses who do not cover their riders arse, are the horses who teach solidity, functionallity, efficiancy.
Sounds to me, that you need to go back to the lunge line, with no reins - and really work on yourself. Work on your seat, your legs and where you are in the saddle - on a horse that is a babysitter. A "been there done that" mount. Nothing wrong with this, this is not belittleing - this is a confidence builder.
This makes you focus on YOU and where YOU are in the saddle and YOUR correctness, while on a horse that does its job, regardless of where you are in the saddle.
Then merge to trot poles, and merge to cavaletti's - all on the lunge line. Learn where you put yourself while on approach to the fence. Learn how to be functional while on approach to the fence. Learn how to be solid and anchored on approach to the fence.
You have to realize how important your job is while in the saddle. Odd sare, that this is not your pony's fault, your pony is only reflecting what you are doing in the saddle, on approach to a fence. So you need to work on you first to get past this bump in the road.
I would love to see video footage of you or pictures, while jumping so I can see what is going on.