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post #21 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 02:16 PM
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Awesome!! I've been doing equitation for 9 years (well, I only technically started showing about 3 years ago) but I have recently switched to a barn that teaches more of the Hunter/Jumper style.

Every ride, good or bad, teaches you something new.
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post #22 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
Yes, I do allot of competing. Not only Hunter/Jumper schooling shows to keep fit over the winter, but I also do many HT's over the summer - because Eventing is my passion.

But just because one competes, does not make them a good rider :) *wink*

I would far wrather see a functional rider, 100x over a pretty rider.

Pretty is as pretty does.

And again we agree...and I agree with your earlier reply to me. So much is lacking in education - and just because a rider can get on a polished horse and jump a 4' or 5' course does NOT make them a trainer, or a good rider for that matter. There was a trainer around here that was riding and showing all over the world - this person came from $$ - and looked to be a beautiful rider. Wound up getting a job at a barn not too far from me, and at the shows, the students of this person were all awful. If they were on "made" horses, they placed, but often in harsh bits and riding off the hands. (They showed jumpers.) Even worse, a client that had left my barn to go to this trainer who was closer to their home had severe issues with their horse....when with me the student/horse were doing 2'6" courses with ease, and showing combined tests up to 2'3" courses and intro and training level dressage. With the new trainer, the student dq'd 2 of 3 jumper courses at 2'. TWO FOOT! And then the "trainer" got on and had to use a crop and spurs to get the horse - a previously willing jumper - over a 2' course at a show. Even worse - their "follow up" training at home was free jumping the horse 4', and bragging with pictures all over the internet. It was heartbreaking to me to see for the horse, who has a heart of gold, and frustrating that there are unfortunately so many trainers out there like this.

Have I let students jump high to build confidence? Sure. What I love to do is let them do a gymnastic where the last element his higher. For example I let a 10 year old pony-clubber with her own push-button pony and she has been riding for about 6 years, do a gymnastic where one day for fun I let the last fence go up to 3' (the rest was 2' - 2'6"). All easy distances where she simply needed to stay in two point. Her confidence soared, and yet I reinforced the rules that 1. she was NEVER to do that alone and 2. she was NEVER to do that outside of a lesson (and her mom is a horse person so I know it won't happen). Would I let her do a 3' course? Or even an individual 3' fence? No way! When she shows 2' she still gets stage fright and all the good at home training goes to toes down and knee gripping! She's not ready for that. So there's also a place for allowing a student to jump higher as a reward or to learn the feel of it, in a controlled environment like a gymnastic exercise with easy distances on a well trained horse. VERY different than saying I SHOW 3'.

Again - it's not height that's riding ability.

Life Without a Paddle...a blog about life out here, and great for a laugh!
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Last edited by CJ82Sky; 02-18-2009 at 04:22 PM.
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post #23 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 04:20 PM
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And just because you've now got me on a tirade ;) Something I wrote a while back (and not directed at anyone in here) but I feel it bears restating....

Bad trainers + beginner riders + 3'6" fences = SCARY/STUPID

From a post on one of my groups on MySpace -
Worth resaying - the girl was 14, riding for less than a year, and was jumping 3'6" at camp and asked what everyone thought. EVERYONE thought it sounded pretty **** stupid.

My reply:
Um ditto to everyone else out there. Sure - a push button horse pointed at a 3'6" fence w/a beginner rider can probably handle it and from the sounds of it, you didn't get hurt - THIS TIME.

Here's some food for thought - how big was this horse's stride (in feet)? How many strides did you need to the fence? Coming off the fence - between fences? What's the average horse's stride length? How does this horse compare to the standard hunter stride on course? How does the
horse like to jump - chip, fly, just right and do you know the difference and why horses do what they do? And how to correct it if you hit a wrong spot?

Counting 1, 2, 3 to a fence does not at ALL by any means constitute knowing where to take off. Anyone can count strides but how do you pick your distances? If you just trust the horse to do it for you, eventually he'll make a mistake and if you don't know how to ride that long spot or that half stride chip, you're in for a world of hurt.

I've been riding for 25+ years, even went to Centenary and got my degree in training, and evented jumping solid obstacles up to 4', and that took YEARS to get to. Even now, my jumper that I hope to be training with one of the top Grand Prix riders on the East Coast, and showing professionally in the next year or two when he is ready is only doing a max of 2'6" - 3' to school on a regular basis, with some course work to 3'6", even though he's jumped 4'3" under saddle and 5'6" free jumped. There's a whole lot of technical work we are doing well before we start hitting the pro shows. And it sounds like that's a lot of what you are missing.

Like stridage and the difference in riding a vertical or an oxer or a triple bar or a 1 stride or a bounce and how all of that affects the rest of the course. Riding a gymnastic combination for balance and position and takeoff spots. Lead changes over fences, riding deeper to bigger fences, jumping up and down inclines, over liverpools, taking a broken line vs. a bending line vs. a straight line vs. a combination thereof that includes oxers, combinations, triple bars, and liverpoools.

Hey - I don't think anyone here is bashing you - we just all want you to know how stupid and dangerous what you’re doing is, and if you are comfortable with that, well then hey, that's your prerogative.

Final Thought: Christopher Reeves - AKA Superman - was jumping a well-trained horse that he had ridden before with an excellent trainer that knew what he was doing, and the horse was a good jumper and knew his distances and was able to just point at a fence and go. Look how tragically that turned out. Even the best horses make mistakes.

Guts only get you so far. Skills and Heart will get you Grand Prix.

Life Without a Paddle...a blog about life out here, and great for a laugh!
TLC Stables & East/West Arabians
Are you getting the most out of your horse?

Last edited by CJ82Sky; 02-18-2009 at 04:24 PM.
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post #24 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 04:37 PM
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Great posts :) I agree whole heartedly, and 100%
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post #25 of 26 Old 02-18-2009, 05:10 PM
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I agree that too many riders out there are falling into the trap that everything must be done in a certain time frame... I find those who coach/teach one on one dont end up rushing the rider, like they would in a lesson size say eight-twelve horses. Over here in NZ I went to a riding school as a kid where these large numbers were the case. I find they couldn't really work on the individual per say, although we did all learn and get advice, I find that by the time you've spent five minutes on one person you've gotta move onto the next.

I went over my first pole on my first ride -ever-... I also trotted.
I went over my first cavaletti I believe a month later (I was led). By the end of the first two months of riding I was walking, trotting and cantering and taking my trusty palomino friend Sunny over all the cavaletti heights.
Looking back on it, I realise I could have a better, more balanced style now if I hadn't of learnt so many ways to lack. I don't regret my early riding training, I was a kid, I had fun with all my friends, and always rode the more difficult horses, so I do believe that made me a better rider anyway. However now as I have three horses of my own and getting private instruction, I realise how much further I'd be along had I had more training in the earlier days.

I don't jump now... I'm too scared to. I'm not really sure why, I think its because both my riding horses are still learning... and I feel like I don't have the balance to jump these days. I have turned into a nervous rider from my past experiences too, but am pushing past that slowly.

I think it's important to not rush things... you've got the time. There's no need to be out competiting immediately or doing all the things your friends can. I prefer to have my horses going exceptionally well at home and then take them out... instead of rushing and then creating another bad experience.


Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #26 of 26 Old 02-20-2009, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Kansas
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wow, thanks guys! i don't have the time to read all the posts yet because i'm heading out to eat, but the ones i've read have really helped. i'm going to start working at a ranch near me in exchange for lessons, so i might look into it!

sorry i haven't posted for a while, lost internet for about four days! :)
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