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need help with the release

This is a discussion on need help with the release within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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        10-19-2011, 11:45 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Corporal    
    WOW--I Just READ about this, but you've ridden in one!!! Did you post about it?--LOVE to hear what you've learned. =D
    I do not actually post specifically about them... strange as it might seem, I like to keep a small amount of privacy about myself on here (which is why I never post pictures or names of horses I ride/show). I have seen people I know post on this board and I like to keep myself secret. Heehee. So I usually don't post about when or where I do things, but I will say things like "a GM clinic I did in the past"...

    I don't mind talking about them though! (been fortunate enough to attend a few) GM is a FAAAABULOUS instructor. He's very very strict and has very high expectations. You'd better be 110% listening to every thing he says and make every effort to improve. You don't have to be the best in the class, as long as you improve. He is harshest on those who make the same mistakes over and over. But at the same time he is quite complimentary when you do a good job. He also expects you to be absolutely meticulous. I cleaned my tack before and after every ride, even polished bits and buckles before and after as well! What I love best is that he doesn't do gimmicks, he doesn't do shortcuts, what he teaches honestly is not revolutionary riding and nothing he said was completely earth shattering. It's good, basic, horsemanship based on solid foundations. He does expect every person to use a spur/crop on every horse and the proper bit as well (which often is not a snaffle). He does quite a bit of flatwork and the jumping is usually a series of gymnastics and difficult turns which get more complicated through the days. I rode a really green horse one year and he improved leaps and bounds just by the end of the clinic. It was fantastic! My friend rode her 4"6 ft jumper and he got on her horse! Her horse is beautifully schooled, and she could tell was even more rideable when he got off. If you ever get the opportunity to ride or audit one of his clinics, I highly recommend it. This past one he mentioned that this is his last year cheffing the US team and he's going to pretty much do clinics year round. We're trying to get him to come do a clinic at our barn! That would be amaaazing....
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        10-20-2011, 12:05 AM
    Need help with the release

    Helping yourself learn to move your hands up the neck as the horse takes off is just a matter of practice, especially if you're secure in your lower leg. Try this: work around first at a walk and then the trot, fold into your jumping position and push your hands up the neck at the same time, hold it for one or two strides and then go back to you normal seat. Doing this over and over every couple of strides will help develop some muscle memory and will start to make things happen a little bit automatically. But it won't work if you just do it a couple of times. You'll need to work it into your warm up whenever you ride until you get good at it.
    Another thing- the lower leg needs to be in the right place and strong with a heel well down. Practice riding in two point at walk and trot without touching the horse's neck. Challenge yourself by turning to look behind yourself, left and then right. If your horse is steady enough, knot the reins and let go of them with your arms out to the side. Once you become independent of the horse's neck your release will be easier. And I agree with who ever said neck straps and mane help. The thing that will ruin your horse fastest is banging into his back and pulling on his mouth. One more hint: know that this skill takes a while to develop, don't over think it in your mind so much that you paralyze yourself. Take time, practice, and it will come together. Good luck!

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