Cross Country Jumping
Hey, I usually do hunters and jumper shows, but I'm looking to get into eventing and cross country. I am new to the whole cross country thing, so I have some questions. I was wondering about in all of the pictures I've seen, the riders are hanging on the horses mouth coming off of the jump. Isn't that to keep the horse from falling onto their face after the jump? I was just wondering though, is there a specific way that you are supposed to do it? Or do you just like really hold back coming off of the jump without like jerking on their mouth? (Is it just a steady grip?) Thanks!
I don't really know what you mean. Coudl you show some pictures?
All I can say right now is no one should be 'jerking' on their horse's mouth at any point. However, for most horses, it is NOT adviseable to EVER drop the contact over a cross country course. XC has a brilliant way of firing up the laziest of horses, and in many cases a horse you can ride on a featherweight contact in the arena may pull like a steam train over XC and you'll need a firm contact just to keep your breaks and steering.
I think a lot of hunter/jumper riders in the US are taught the crest release, but I've always been taught an automatic one, meaning you keep the contact consistant all the way over the jump and through the get away, whether you're doing XC or showjumping.
ok I don't know which pictures you were looking at but don't. no rider should ever hang on the horse's mouth, and any decent eventer (or even horse person) knows this. When you land from a xc fence, it basically is the same as when you land for a stadium jump, the only difference is if there is awhile to the next jump, you can let your horse open up his stride which would require the opposite of hanging on your horse's mouth, it would mean after you land centered on your horse sliding your hands forward a little. when you are getting your horse back to you, any amount you take back with a soft, spongy hand, you should also keep your leg on to maintain impulsion.
i hope i helped, and i hope you don't hang on your horse's mouth when you land from ANY jump....
I mean, I could be wrong, but it looks like they're holding gripping awfully hard. So basically you just want to keep a lot of contact between you and the horse?
And I said WITHOUT jerking on their mouths in my first post. Yeah, I don't ever do that unless its an accident that I couldn't avoid. That's why I thought it was so weird that they used that much contact. I know they're not jerking on their mouths, I just didn't know if that much contact would like make the horses mouth hard or whatever.
Those riders are all riding at a level it would take years to get to. I would not worry about the way they ride in the photos you see on the internet.
Would you be able to find a trainer local to you? You could start taking lessons there or trailer to a local cross country course? What about the option of joining a Pony Club? It's an excellent way of getting into eventing.
Yeah, I have a trainer who could teach me. My only issue is we don't really have too many cross country courses around here to practice on. I'm going to have to see about this one barn to see if they would let us borrow theirs. (so that my trainer can actually teach me out on a course) I went schooling there once, but it was just on little like 2'3" or 2'6" jumps.
I know that, I guess I didn't make myself clear. I meant like borrow as in trailer over there and use their course for the day or whatever. I know that you cannot move the jumps because they're stationary.
I think the jumping part would have to be the same (like releasing the same way you would in the hunter/jumper ring!). ;) They do look like they have lots of contact...but I agree with M2G- they are very experienced & are at a high level.
Anyway, I think it's great you'd like to start some XC! At my barn we have an XC course/field & it's very fun (I'm also a hunter jumper!). :D It gets the horses used to being somewhere else rather than riding in an arena, since it's open. About trailering to another barn, I think that'd be pretty cool too. It's worth a try!
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