~ Wow! She Can Go Slow...

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~ Wow! She Can Go Slow...

This is a discussion on ~ Wow! She Can Go Slow... within the Jumping forums, part of the English Riding category

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    07-10-2010, 05:21 PM
Smile ~ Wow! She Can Go Slow...

Lately Damper has been going bonkers when we jump, rushing the minute you aimed her at the jump. Even my dressage instructer (she owns Damper) was battling to keep control over her.

Today, same thing, went mad etc...at the end of the group lesson, the other two went to untack, but my instructers told me to stay behind, then my jumping instructer climbed on board....

He walked her around a little, then trotted over a knocked over pole a few times, when she calmed down he took her over one upright a few times from trot. He went around just playing with her and everytime she freaked out he took her away from the jump and took her over the pole again.

Eventually after a while he was cantering her around with hardly any contact on the reins and she was going calmly over the jumps, it was unbelievable! (what did he do to the real Damper?! LOL)

He explained to me that all I have to do is to USE my body to keep her calm, and only use the reins to check her if she speeds up a little, and guess what? It worked! It was amazing! I got on her, cantered her around using my seat to keep her slow, then went over the jumps and I only had to use my hands twice to slow her!

It just goes to show, that sometimes when a horse is freaking out and going fast maybe the fact that you fight her to get her to slow makes them freak out more. As soon as Damper went fast, I would always lean back and try to slow her with the reins, then she would just throw her head up and fight the whole way. Now, I will first use my seat, if she doesn't listen use my hands then as soon as she calms down I give her her head.

I love days like these....
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    07-10-2010, 05:29 PM
Green Broke
Haha exactly! Isnt it fun when you figure things like this out?!?! I was reading a book about the stallions of a spain riding school, and the instructor got on a horse who was spooking at a train and he had loose reins and he kept his seat still, and I was amazed when I read that this guy did this, I was like "oh, dang, I can't keep my horse from spooking with my seat...' lol

Pulling and fussing with the reins make them so nervous! Or, that's what I've found, and apparently what you have too, because my old horse would get jumpy and spook at EVERYTHING if we went for a hack and I kept a tight grip on the reins, but when they were loose and I used my seat? He was perfect. Haha
    07-10-2010, 05:36 PM
Lol - isn't that what I've been saying? Seat into legs into hands to soften? :P

I am glad you've been able to discover this!
    07-10-2010, 05:37 PM
LOL, yeah. I just automatically pick up my reins when the horse is being silly or fast, but now I have seen how much my seat can really influence the horse, so from now onwards I'm going seat first!

MIE, your advice has always been a great help, and today it was for sure proven.
    07-10-2010, 05:48 PM
It's not my advice, just advice I enjoy passing along :)

What I've learnt is by going to as many clinics as I can, whether I ride in it or audit it - learning by great riders who are far and above me in skill, level and experience.

My first experience with Seat Into Legs Into Hands To Soften was with Dorothy Crowell, a 4* Eventer/Olympic competator. At her clinic I rode Nelson with. I also learnt it from some great Dressage Clinitians and lets not forget David O'Connor.

I am very thrilled that you were able "To see the light" and experience it first hand - now you, can carry on that "teaching" to help others around you :)
    07-10-2010, 06:14 PM
Yup. For sure, will definitely do so.
    07-10-2010, 08:33 PM
You know, after I learnt how to ride with my seat and core first, legs second and hands last - after I "saw the light" I notice ALOT of riders who ride hands first.

It's dumbfounding!

The most memorable thing I saw was when I audited David O'Connors clinic a couple of winters ago. He got on a riders horse and rode at the buckle.

He showed us how you use your seat and core and how your horse will come down to you if you learn to use it correctly. He brought the horse to a canter, all the while with the reins at the buckle, and through his seat he brought the horse to a trot. Then to a walk, and to a halt - all by using his seat.

It was awesome to see! When I got home, I got on a TB Gelding I was riding and exercising for a boarder. He was a flighty TB and sometimes he intimidated me. I did the exercise David O'Connor showed, and it worked! It was awesome, it was a great experience and helped me see a whole new aspect to riding.

So many riders go around hands first, because they aren't being taught correctly. I never saw it before, until these experiences.
    07-11-2010, 04:12 AM
Green Broke
I thought Damper looked WAAAAY to calm yesterday lol! That's fantastic! Now just remember to do it at the show. Now I have to work on Love Story. Lol
    07-11-2010, 06:21 AM
MIE, wow, that's amazing!

LoveStory, yup. I will remember to use it in the show. And don't worry about Love, she's doing just fine. You two will be great.

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