Completely agreed. I don't mean to sound like "you need to use the crest release" but it was a stepping stone in my jumping career. I just got my new horse about a year ago, doing the bigger jumps, learning the new release. I don't yet feel natural using the automatic release so, sometimes I do use a "crest release" but I don't plant my hands in the crest. I would have to say its sort of a modified automatic. I have my hands sort of closer to the crest, but seperated and along the side of the neck. But I do have atleast one lesson a month just working on the automatic release...
My trainer sets up 3 jumps in a line about 2 strides apart and the middle jump is off center so we have to use the automatic release and our leg and opening rein yada yada yada to move the horse over. I came from a really run down barn with a trainer who didn't know anything so, it has been a big learning leap for me in the past two years.
I do admit to sitting at ringside critiquing everyone, to myself of course. But I hate seeing people perch and lay on the neck. It throws the horse so off balance. When I did my little 2'6" equitation, I sat going around the whole course...but I was just getting used to my horse and I was just trying to keep him together.
The hunter ring, especially, has so many kids who just need to take some time to learn how to sit back instead of be posting the canter and laying on their horses neck the whole time.
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."
Sorry, I should have rephrased what I said. I meant more along the lines of supporting yourself to the extent that you are really balanced on their neck. It seems like a lot of people go higher and higher with this release, and don't really have the balance and skills needed to be doing this (if that makes any sense!).
Until I came on this forum I never knew that there was more than just one release and that was the crest release I don't know how to use the automatic release properly though would someone care to explain how to work up to the automatic release?
I have to admit that I didn't read all the posts (got about half way through).
When I use a crest release (which I normally do), I do NOT feel as balanced as when I use an auto release. Why I normally use a crest release is that I am a beginner when it comes to jumping, yes, I have been jumping for over a year, no, I have never had a real jumping lesson. I feel more confident with a crest release, though I feel less balanced. If I knew how to use a proper crest release (like Allison's), I KNOW I would feel way more balanced in the saddle.
Now, I am not depending on my hands in any way (I do a lot of no hands to make sure that I don't get dependent on my hands), but if my hands aren't placed correctly, I get thrown off balance.
Here is my crest release:
I went into the jump with very loose reins (one of my faults is having to loose of reins at all times...). I am perching in this picture as well. Though I do like the look of this picture, in my opinion, this jump is all wrong. I pretty much dropped my reins, shoved my heels down, jumped ahead of Bear, and said, "Here Bear, jump the small cross rail, im just going to let you do ALL the work for us!" Luckly Bear was a lesson horse for little kids learning to jump, so he will jump for me, but that isn't always going to be there for me, so I need to learn to jump NOW. (Yes, I am hard on myself)
Here is my crappy auto release:
(Sorry it's blurry!!) First off, this mare was a Pre-Olympic show jumper, though I had a very hard time jumping her. If I dropped her (which I did a lot), she would run out. I fell off of her a few times because of this (though the times I fell off she did a dead stop at the jump and I flipped over her head (MY FAULT!)). Though I didn't release as much as I should have, and I was just nervous because she was rushing the jump (she hadn't jumped in a while, was in heat, and she was feeding off of my energy). This was the smoothest jump I have ever ridden. I feel bad for catching her in the mouth, but this was my first attempt at an auto release so give me a break.... ;]
**Note to readers of my post: The picture of me on Bear (the grey), is my most resent jumping picture. The picture of me on Heidi (the black who just so happened to be 25) is a year old now. I have only ever had two people point out my faults when jumping in person, and those werent lessons...
I prefer auto releases for myself, though I use my crest release more. My goals are to learning to use a proper crest release and the proper auto release.
PS: I have never learned so much from any other forum, love you guys!
Sorry to pull up an old post, I'm not sure if there's been a newer one since... but how exactly does one do an automatic release? I know that it is generally more functional than the crest release but I have never seen anyone actually describe the mechanics of the automatic release. Anyone have any pointers?