Are softening & dropping the same thing? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 4 Old 02-28-2014, 07:22 PM Thread Starter
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Are softening & dropping the same thing?

I've been struggling to keep my elbows supple when cantering and jumping so I don't catch him in the mouth. While I almost have it sorted out, I've noticed that I've been softening the reins when I'm about 5 strides out from the fence. Is that the same thing as what's referred to as dropping the horse? I'm thinking dropping is more when you release a stride before the fence, but any clarification would be nice. I just don't want to replace an old bad habit with a new one.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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post #2 of 4 Old 03-02-2014, 12:19 PM
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You're right. Dropping a horse is more right before the fence and usually it's because the rider has gotten to a funky distance and they're "bailing" on their horse. I see it as almost an emotionally related thing. I ride a jumper that will jump anything from anywhere as long as you're with him and definite. He will stop on a dime the second you drop him! Softening is more of a prep to free up the horse a little before the jump. Some horses want a soft ride and some horses (like the jumper) need to be "packaged" all the way up to the base of the jump.
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post #3 of 4 Old 03-02-2014, 12:21 PM
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Puck, was it you with the video where you'd straighten your elbows about 3 strides out? Is that what you're asking about?


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post #4 of 4 Old 03-02-2014, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustDressageIt View Post
Puck, was it you with the video where you'd straighten your elbows about 3 strides out? Is that what you're asking about?
I don't think that was me. I don't think I've ever posted a jumping video, but then my memory sucks lately.

My horse tends to stay forward and straight as long as I add leg to compensate for the softened reins. My ultimate goal is to be able to follow him without any slack, but it sounds like we're in okay territory with this method until I find that sweet spot.

You just have to see your distance...you don't have to like it.
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