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Equuestriaan 11-15-2008 08:50 PM

Take-Off Spot? Need Advice =]
I just switched to a new barn and have been assigned a horse that I will be riding in lessons for probably several months. I only have ridden him once and am still trying to figure him out. He's the type of horse that you need to set up exactly right for the jump or he'll run out. If I set him up so he takes off at the perfect spot, he is an awesome jumper. However, I only get lucky about half the time.

The other half of the time, we'll end up too far away or too close, and he will run out. I'm not asking for advice on how to keep him from running out. I feel like I'm messing him up when I don't put him in a good spot, and I want to help him by giving him the best possible chance at jumping well, if that makes sense.

My instructor was trying to tell me to give a feel down the reins as we approach, but even doing that I still have trouble seeing the right spot.

Does anybody else have this problem? I'd like any advice you all can give me on how to get him to that perfect take-off spot. All help is appreciated. =] Thanks in advance!

gotxhorses 11-15-2008 09:14 PM

Watch the other horses jump and see about where they take off. Then look at that spot, and try to count your strides, lengthening and/or shortening them, to get to that spot. When you get there, give a little squeeze to let him know its time to jump. I hope that was a good enough explanation. (I'm awful at giving instructions.) Anyone else, feel free to correct me. :)

fedex 11-15-2008 11:01 PM

Forget the Distance - Just Canter!
Top 'A'-circuit hunter rider, Scott Stewart, shares his secret for getting to the right spot in the right rhythm.

I learned this lesson the hard way as a junior. I mostly did the equitation, but every once in a while I'd get a catch-ride on a hunter, and I'd invariably miss the in-and-out. Oh, I'd see the distance far back - like ten strides away - but I'd commit to it, give 'er the gas, and charge. It didn't present a good picture or create a good jump. And I didn't start doing better until I stopped looking for the distance (for a while I even forced myself to close my eyes or look away from the jumps) and started hanging tight, trusting my horses, feeling a good canter rhythm, and letting it all work out. Result? My horses just naturally started to carry the rhythm right to the base.

This article first appeared in the October, 1999 issue of Practical Horseman magazine.

steff 11-17-2008 04:38 PM

I'll agree with fedex here concentrate on getting a good canter rythem first with even strides.. remember the last 3 strides are your horses by then you should be commited to go on what you have if you have a good canter rythem the horse is then more able to help you if need be..

fedex 11-17-2008 09:48 PM


Originally Posted by steff (Post 191424)
remember the last 3 strides are your horses by then you should be commited to go on what you have

Exactly. You have to be committed to whatever distance YOU gave the horse. It's not their job to fix you at the last minute :/

I do not know what's worse than jumping into a combination with a bad spot over the starting fence. It's a mad scramble of adjustments to make the second.

If you jump long, you will land long, COLLECT. If you jump short, you will land short, LENGTHEN.

I'm sure you knew this idea, and you probably already use it. But it helps in the moment to remember that you can't just sit a bad spot after the fence. Before? Yeah, you got to leave your horse alone.

But I think you'll do great. So practice counting strides, and waiting with your horse! :)

Jacksonlover 11-21-2008 05:37 PM

i had that same problem. like the others said, get a good rythm whacth others, but what i have to add is that sit REALLY DEEP in your saddle like three strides beforse the jump. you will be able to feel the horse underneath you alot better. this will help you find your spot, lengethen,shorten. etc! hope it helps

FoxyRoxy1507 11-21-2008 06:10 PM

I think the best advice i was ever given by a lot of top jumpers and it works: Listen to your horse! They can see the distance and most of them know where to take off from, u just have to trust them.

hunterequlover781 11-27-2008 11:47 AM

Pretty much like everyone else is saying, The most important thing is to find a pace and rythm and keep it. Once you start getting more accustomed to this horse finding your spot will be easier. I have noticed that my horses have always been pretty good at finding their spot themselves, if I interfere too much thats when we chip in or jump long. It's important to find the perfect pace. But like I said the more you get used to a horse, you will learn how to best prepare them for a jump. Like my gelding is on the lazy side and if he doesn't have enough pace up to the jumps, he will chip in everytime. My pony is more forward and when she takes a line, she has a tendency to get more forward before the second jump, so I know to sit and wait after the first. Each horse is different and has different tendencies that you will learn to get used to and cope with to help get the perfect spot.

ditzydoo 12-23-2008 12:23 AM

when im walking course i look at my take off for each jump and walk my courses as if im riding it ( if that makes any sense =]) if you want to find your take off imagine that you lie the jump down flat towards you where the front of the jump lies , is where your take off is (for uprights) and for spreads its where the back rail lies if you lie the jump down flat so the bigger the fence the further out your takeoff will if this makes any sense its a lot harder to write down than say

equineangel91 12-23-2008 01:18 AM

you need to practice with your horse and really feel his stride. If you cant judge his stride, its hard to find and control the takeoff spot

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