Need to vent
 
 

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Need to vent

This is a discussion on Need to vent within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category
  • How to feel the right distance on a horse

 
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    08-11-2009, 08:49 PM
  #1
Started
Need to vent

I am getting so frustrated with myself! I just can't see the right distance I keep getting splat jumps over and over again. My trainer tells me I'm pulling the reins at the last second, causing my horse to stuff in an extra stride, but I don't even feel myself doing it! I KNOW he can leave really long and clear, but I just second guess myself and it turns out horrible. He has a HUGE stride and I still manage to get a extra stride in most of my lines! Worst of all, I know I'm messing up my really nice, honest horse and setting him up to stop at a jump.

I just hate that I can't fix this stupid problem. I try so hard and still blow it a LOT. My last show was horrible. The lines were so easy, my horse is 16.3, the jumps were small, and I STILL messed it up! Finally the last course I was determined to get the right strides. I think it might have been my worse course ever ( including knocking over an entire jump, standards and all) but, I got the right strides And, wow, he really can clear from any distance I told him to leave from ridiculous distances, and he did!

Now if I could just gain the confidence to tell him to leave the ground, rather then being a stupid, idiotic, wussy, horrible rider, everything would be just fine. I can't even work on my form over jumps because they are so splatty.

Sigh, thanks for letting me vent. I hate me. Cookies to whoever got through this. Warm chocolate chip cookies with ice cream and chocolate sauce....
     
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    08-11-2009, 08:54 PM
  #2
Yearling
Sounds like you are trying too hard. Can you practice over really small jumps and Just let the horse pick the distance and see what happens. Have you tried pressing your hands into his neck the last three strides so you can't tug on him?
     
    08-11-2009, 09:11 PM
  #3
Trained
Definitely warm gooey chocolate chip cookies. After that, stop overthinking. Have your trainer set up some gymnastic grids, tie your reins in a knot, put your hands out to the sides like you're a little kid airplane and just get used to the jumping motion again. Close your eyes, let him do all the spacing work and just go along for the ride. You need to start enjoying it again and remember that you're VERY lucky to have a horse...and cookies, warm gooey cookies.
     
    08-11-2009, 09:33 PM
  #4
Trained
Let me share my experience, with hopes that it'll help you out.

I was schooling on the CC course last summer, a few days before our HT. I was schooling over the dreaded Trak fence - I hate those fences and I don't know why. Anyways, for some reason whenever I approaching a Trak, I stare at the stupid gap between the fence and the ditch and that flubs up everything.

So we trotted over the fence a few times and it went well, but for some reason as we approached the fence at the canter, my stupid eyes went right back to the gap and I blankly stared at it. So instead of us jumping over the center of the fence, I dropped my shoulders and then he proceeded to take off a stride to early, and jumped at this odd angle.

Strait and to the right. So, if the red flag was up on the fence, we would of taken it out. It was so awkward, I was lobbed out of the tack in an odd way, leaving me to land on my right foot with my left still in the iron, and stuck - which resulted in me being dragged slightly.

Soooo yeah. Anyways, during this episode, a friend saw it all and decided to step in to help. He is an old Fox Hunter, been in the saddle all his life and can sure ride. He asked me "Do you trust Nelson?" I said "of course I do" and he responded "If you did then you wouldn't be interfearing with his job by looking at the fence."

I stopped and thought about it for a minute and he went on to say "If you don't trust your horse, how is your horse supposed to trust you? The moment you look at that fence and interfear with your horse, you are telling them *I don't trust you to do your job, I don't trust you to find the distance* so redo that fence, don't look down and proove to Nelson that you trust him to get you over that fence safely"

So - apply that to you. Every single time you interfear with your horses job, you are telling him "I don't trust you to find the distance" "I don't trust you to do your job"

So - I'll tell you what my friend told me, which got me over that fence without looking at it:

"If you trust your horse, the results will be positive. Now get your ass over that fence and proove to Nelson that you trust him"
     
    08-11-2009, 09:37 PM
  #5
Yearling
Great post MIE...sorry spelling stickler though I don't always get it right its
Interfere, though your spelling makes better sense "inter FEAR" LOL
     
    08-12-2009, 12:22 AM
  #6
Started
When Zeus first came home before we started the dressage lessons I felt the exact same way. There are still moments where I feel like Zeus knows so much that I don't know. But he has been a great horse for me. Perfect in fact. He's taught me so much already, and I've only had him for about three months. MIE's advice was good, sometimes you just have to let go. Not literally! Ha ha, but mentally. Just take a big deep breath and let him find that distance. I'm sure once I start seriously jumping with Zeus i'll run into similar problems. I've only ever jumped on lesson horses when I was much younger (not including the occasional small fence here and there since), and I practically never had to find my own distances. When I did, I always saw the long distance. ALWAYS. Ha ha.

Good luck!
:]
     
    08-12-2009, 01:21 AM
  #7
Foal
Hey! Okay im going to tell you things I have learned over the years riding hundreds of different horses. I always say...you need to just go with your horse and follow him, try not to get in their way, bc chances are it wont help them..just relax and follow your horse. They know how to get the job done. Now don't get me wrong, you don't want your pace to be to slow or to fast, but you should also do what is comfrotable for your horse. I don't get caught up with what the lines are suppose to run, my point of view is that I will get there when I get there (again..keeping in mind you don't want to be slow and you def don't want to rush it) but if you keep a good pace just count your canter strides... 1...2...3...oh jump...1...2...3. Until you really need to and get to the levels that you need to get the strides that is recommended (even then I still just ride the course how its right with my horse, and we still are in the ribbons weither we added a stride or left out a stride).

If you practice jumping outside your lessons, try just getting in your two-point and putting your hands half way up your horses neck when you are going to the fence, try not to get in his way when he is jumping and just get the feel of what he likes and how he is jumping... (my horse likes to put in those long take off's where I could have easily gotten another stride or two, but I stay with him and we make it pretty, bc I don't get in his way, he know's what he is doing).

Also just Relax...I bet you get nervous when you are on-course because ur thinking about how this fence in front of you isnt coming up right...just jump it when it gets there..but the main this is to trust your horse and to just follow him...if you feel like he is getting to fast in front of the jump...go with him and then nicely halt afterwards and ask him to back up, or set up a bounce, it will teach him he needs to not rush it.

I hope this helps out some
(I am better showing tips then actually trying to explain them, sorry if its alittle all over the place)
     
    08-12-2009, 01:26 AM
  #8
Started
Thanks for the support and advice guys!

My trainer tells me to make the turn, then stick my hands half way up his neck, grab mane and get in my half seat. I try, butI enmd up sitting back/pulling anway.

The weird thing is, I'm never nervous. Annoyed yes, frustrated yes, nervous no.

I think I'm having a jumping lesson tomorrow, so I'm really going to work on just letting him jump
     
    08-12-2009, 01:33 AM
  #9
Foal
You can be nervous and not feel nervous but your horse know's your nervous...if that makes sense to you lol, so just try to not think about anything and just let him do his job
Good luck tomorrow and let us know what happens!
     
    08-12-2009, 03:42 AM
  #10
Weanling
There's a difference between being nervous, and being tense, but both have the same effect on your horse. If you're coming up to a jump thinking "Nope, nope, I've stuffed this up," then your position automatically becomes defensive, even if you don't realise it. Remember, the reins are like a telephone wire between you and your horse, so he's going to be thinking exactly the same thing. Try and loosen up, not worry so much about getting perfect striding, and look away from the jump so you can't anticipate.
     

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