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Ashsunnyeventer 02-18-2013 07:50 PM

Let's talk neck straps
So recently I've heard people talking about how much they LOVE riding with neck straps. I guess they're supposed to make it easier to remember to relese over the jump, which is something that I could benefit from. Today I got an old stirrup leather and used it as a neck strap. I'm not quite sure how you're actually supposed to use it though...

Are you supposed to hold on to it for the jump? I tried, but I couldn't steer before or after the jump and with my greenie- steering is important. She tends to rush sometimes and/or get on her forehand, so I tend to micro-manage her, which often ends in me forgetting to release. I only have this problem on her, not my other horse.

Would a neck strap be a good thing for me to use? How/when would I use it? Where on the neck does it go? I didn't want to make it too tight so it rested right in front of her withers. I couldn't reach it with out slouching or completely straightening my arms on the flat. Tell me anything you can think of about neck straps :)

LynnF 02-18-2013 11:32 PM

I don't use a neck strap myself, but I do recommend grabbing a chunk of mane over the jump. It is easier for me because I can grab anywhere on the neck and I don't have to worry about the strap being too loose or too tight or being in the wrong spot.
I can't give you any advice about straps just thought I would toss that out there.

countrylove 02-19-2013 05:22 PM

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I don't jump (I'm a chicken lol) but a friend does and she also grabs the mane as well. She is the only jumper I know though. I have noticed watching shows around here that everyone grabs the mane during the jumps too. I thought it was a normal thing :)
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Ashsunnyeventer 02-19-2013 05:56 PM

I normally do grab mane, but a neck strap is in the right spot for a correct release. mane could be too high or too low. Also, my horses are braided for show jumping. Thanks for the ideas

gypsygirl 02-19-2013 06:07 PM

if you are having trouble micro managing and releasing as well as rushing, its not your horse, its you ! believe me, i have had the same issues in the past ! the more you micromanage the worse it will get.

they key is to give her a nice half halt [if she needs it, which she probably does] a few strides in front of the fence and then float the reins at her. when she realises she has to jump on her own [with out you micromanaging !] and you wont be in her face, she wont rush or pull against you.

i like to practice with a line of 2 or 3 poles. get her straight, half halt, float the reins, and put your leg on and stay out of her way =]

gypsygirl 02-19-2013 06:08 PM

i would not use a neck strap unless you are having trouble staying on. its all about muscle memory and training yourself !

Ashsunnyeventer 02-19-2013 06:15 PM

I figured out that when I put the jumps up, she doesn't rush as bad. It's probably avoiding the problem, but for right now- it works. I was using an old stirrup leather yesterday to help stop wil the micro managing and I guess we look okay. To me she looks really strung out and off balance, but I was letting her have her head. Also, when I completely give her the reins, she tosses her head and plays with the reins, which I don't like. I think that the neck strap is supposed to help on funny jumps like what she does when she gets to the corner jump in this video:

Ashsunnyeventer 02-19-2013 06:27 PM

As a comparison video, back in December I would've jumped her in more of a frame like this. I'd trot up to the jump like this (we couldn't canter jumps yet) and a stride or 2 before, I'd have her rock back and collect a bit more, have her nose over the jump, and then as soon as we land, back into this frame. It was the only way that I could control all of that power, but now I'm starting to trust her more and I'm trying to give her more freedom to be good by herself insted of me always telling her exactly what I want. This video is from decomber and now I see all of the things that are wrong with it. Our frame now is lower and the outside shoulder is connected. This new frame also helps keep the power controlled.

gypsygirl 02-19-2013 07:06 PM

she looks good for being a green girl ! just remember you always want to leg her up to the jumps, not let her get so buried like the jump in the corner. when you leg her up to a jump, even if she gets close to it, she will have a much easier time jumping up and over it if shes pushing forward not sucking back.

if shes tossing her head when you float the reins and her i would give her a strong half halt and get her mind back to work. my mare does that too, shes fighting me and trying to evade. i just do a quick half halt, as strong as needed, then put my leg on and keep working. its important to be able to hold her and give her rein when needed, so she is going to have to learn to carry her self and not fight against you.

i really like her she looks like she tries hard.

Ashsunnyeventer 02-19-2013 07:13 PM

Thanks! She does try hard :) She's the first mare I've ever had and I'm surprised at how well we get along.

I'm still really working on getting an adjustable canter stride so I can fix the distances before they get so deep. I've heard a lot of people say just let her figure it out from what ever distance she gets to teach her how to think for herself, but I feel bad for just leaving her hanging like that.

When we do dressage, she takes the slack rein that I give her and stretches to keep the contact. She gets a little distracted when jumping, so she won't take the slack. Thanks for the suggestions! I jump about once a week, maybe a little less, so I'll try that next time.

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