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More about crest release vs automatic release

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  • Examples of automatic release jumping out of hand crest release
  • Crest release problems

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    01-24-2010, 08:10 PM
  #11
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
That's true, George Morris *now* bemoans the fact that it's become the standard; and in his Jumping Clinic, he's constantly talking about able riders lowering their hands and working towards an automatic release.

He is also the first to criticize a rider who uses the phony crest release, with hands floating above the neck in an exaggerated broken line.

However, Barbara is right about the history. George Morris is responsible for popularizing and making it the standard for Hunter Seat Eq; a fact he now regrets.

She's also right that Littauer (a huge influence on my early riding and training that you don't hear much about any more) developed it as an intermediate step between grabbing mane three strides away from the base of the fence and developing a true automatic release.
See? You learn something new every day :). In response to MIEventer about how it should be weeded out of lessons and the show ring, though, I do think the crest release has its place, but it IS definitely overused, I agree with that.
     
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    01-24-2010, 08:20 PM
  #12
Banned
Ohsaree,

I agree with you that the crest release is not all bad and absolutely has its place, particularly when it's executed correctly. And I don't agree with the posters who blame it for a host of equitation ills -- misuse of it, or sole reliance on it to exclusion of anything else, yes.

No one equated it with grabbing the mane; I referenced Littaeur's progression of releases which is grabbing the mane, to crest release, to automatic release. Littaeur, Gordon Wright and Morris all also believed there was a progression within the crest release as well - the more beginnery short release to the closer to automatic and advanced long release.

As far as Medal/Maclay riders, to George and the OPs point, does anybody seriously believe that these riders *need* to crest release? That they need the support of the horse's neck? No, that's just silly. They use it because they can't get pinned if they don't, but I'm hoping that that will change in years to come.

Allison, that top photo is a great example of a *true* crest release. Your hands are low enough that they're actually resting/taking some support from the horse's neck; an excellent idea for a fence with some spread. I can't imagine anyone, included GM, would quibble with it.

Truthfully, in the second photo, you've dropped your hand down and forward, but are still taking a little support from the neck. Appropriate, and along the line of the *progression* that Littaeur, Wright and Morris originally envisioned.

In my avatar photo, I'm using a modified crest release. One of the reasons I like that photo is because of the release. Anybody think I'm perching, posing, jumping ahead or using too short reins?

The criticism is most oftern directed at the phony crest release that you see all over the hunter ring (sorry, ohsaree) - riders with hands 1/3 to 1/2 of the way up the neck, floating above the mane, taking no support from the neck, and with a wildly exaggerated broken line from bit to elbow. These are the riders that George wants to drop their hands down towards an automatic release since clearly they don't need support from the neck.
     
    01-24-2010, 08:53 PM
  #13
Green Broke
Sure, GM bemoans the over usage of the crest release but looking through all of the "jumping clinics" he's written over the years, how many does he say, "you've lost your base of support", "your lower leg has slipped back", "go back to cross bars".... and how often does he say "you have a great position, now you're now ready to move on to the auto release?" The latter -while definitely mentioned- is far less common. Think back to all of the millions of "how's my jumping position?" posts in the critque section. How many have a stable enough leg or position to attempt an auto release without hitting their horse in the mouth or back? I'm not saying we have a forum of terrible riders. But I'd say as a general whole there are more people who need the crest release then those who don't. There are more riders out there doing the 2' whatever then the 3"6. (keep in mind GM generally doesn't work with beginners) Is the auto release more effective? Absolutely. Do advanced riders over use a crest instead of challenging themselves to do the auto? Absolutely. But don't be hatin' the crest release! It serves a purpose and IMO necessary for those starting off. The problem is not the crest release. It's the fact that people don't move on from it.
     
    01-24-2010, 08:57 PM
  #14
Green Broke
FWIW... the last GM clinic I went to he worked on perfecting the short crest release with his 3"6 class. He didn't start with the auto until he got to the 4' class.
     
    01-24-2010, 09:11 PM
  #15
Banned
GM *also* bemoans beginnery or insecure riders who use the floating or phony crest release instead of taking appropriate support from the neck.

Upnover - point taken. But how many people who've attended a GM clinic or are showing 3'6" or 4' in the As send photos to GM for Jumping Clinic? If you're strong enough to use an auto release, do you need to send your photo to George for permission?
     
    01-24-2010, 09:28 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
GM *also* bemoans beginnery or insecure riders who use the floating or phony crest release instead of taking appropriate support from the neck.

Upnover - point taken. But how many people who've attended a GM clinic or are showing 3'6" or 4' in the As send photos to GM for Jumping Clinic? If you're strong enough to use an auto release, do you need to send your photo to George for permission?
Yes, he certainly does. But not that they're using the crest release, but because they're not doing it properly. It's not effective if you don't use it properly!

LOL. Good point. By the time you're at that level you OUGHT to know whether or not your position is correct... (although wouldn't it be fun to send in a good picture and have him praise your position and tell you your horse is pretty and talented on a national magazine? Just me? Nevermind....)
     
    01-25-2010, 12:52 AM
  #17
Foal
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by anrz    
I don't really agree with the statement that George Morris encourages supporting yourself while jumping with the crest release. If you've ever seen the Jumping Clinic in Practical Horseman, he will say something if he believes that a rider should be using an automatic release over jumps.
Hi ANRZ
George Morris regularly tells readers that the purpose of the crest release is to support the rider's upper body. Here it is in his own words:

In his book "The American Jumping Style", (pg 87) he says about the long crest release "To perform this release correctly, the rider moves his hands halfway up the neck, rests his hands on top of the crest, and presses the weight of his upper body down into his hands. Like the long release with mane, this position gives the rider upper body support and helps his security while stabilizing his hands for the sake of the horse's mouth."

G.Morris also repeatedly states in Practical Horseman/Jumping Clinic that the purpose of the crest release is to support the upper body. Here are some examples:

July 2008- Rider #1- "Remember, the crest release is intended to provide support for the rider's upper body by allowing her to rest her weight into her horse's neck."

Sept 2009- Rider #1- "Her short crest release is well done, with her hand supporting the weight of her upper body by pressing into the sides of her horse's neck." Rider #3- "Her short crest release is well done and servesas a comparison between its purpose -providing upper body support - and that of the automatic release."

June 2009- Rider #1- "Her hand is floating above her horse's neck instead of pressing down into his crest to give her upper body support, which is the whole point of using a crest release."

May 2009-Rider #1- "The weight of her upper body should press down through her hands into her horse's neck to give her support."
     
    01-25-2010, 01:15 AM
  #18
Foal
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
ohsaree,
As far as Medal/Maclay riders, to George and the OPs point, does anybody seriously believe that these riders *need* to crest release? That they need the support of the horse's neck? No, that's just silly. They use it because they can't get pinned if they don't, but I'm hoping that that will change in years to come.
Maura this is a really good point. And it's also the reason that the crest release became so popular - if you didn't use it you didn't pin- even if you didn't need it. That changed the whole face of showing hunters and equitation beginning with the 70s and continuing through the present . I think we're going to see it begin to change, little by little.

I don't want any of you to think I'm against using the crest release for it's intended purpose. It's a good way to start jumping. It's when it's used incorrectly that problems develop. In order to do the automatic release (some people call it jumping out of hand) a rider has to have an awesome base of support, all the way down to the foot, and a strong set of core muscles. But with those two things a rider can do almost anything they want, including choosing which release they want to use for each fence. So maybe the real issue is developing a great base of support.
     
    01-25-2010, 07:28 AM
  #19
Weanling
I'd say I use something between a crest release and an auto. My hands generally keep moving over the whole motion of jumping but they do press into the neck.

I don't think the crest release should be done away with. I'd rather see a beginner jumper press their hands into the horse's neck over the jump than tear up its mouth. True, riders should be able to support themselves over the jump enough for an auto, but the fact of the matter is that many riders can't, and in that case I'd rather see a crest release.
     
    01-25-2010, 09:35 AM
  #20
Trained
Great posts Barbara - and very true.

I continulously hear George Morris state time and time again that the Crest Release was brought about, to aid riders who cannot support their upper bodies through their lower - nothing more, nothing less. The problem is, riders who can clearly support their upper bodies through their lower, are still doing this release. Whenever there is a rider who sends a shot into practicle horseman for GM to critique, and whenever that rider clearly can support themselves, GM will make it a point of bringing it up.

Also, whenever there is a rider doing an Automatic Release, who clearly can be doing the release, he will praise greatly.

But unfortunately, it has become "The must" do release in North America, and just as stated - pretty wins. Coaches are teaching it over and over and over again, and the trend continues.

That is why we see Perchers in the Hunter Jumper world as well, because once again, pretty wins.

And I have heard George Morris stress, that he would NOT PIN the perchers, and unfortunately, the Hunter Jumper show ring of today, is packed with them, because - pretty wins.

Proper Form = Function.
     

Tags
automatic release, beginners, contact, crest release, george morris

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