Need Help With Finding Distances
My horse and I are green jumpers, I can't judge my distances, nor can he. He either squeezes in a half stride and jumps me out of the saddle, or takes off too early. He gets frustrated, while I'm scared.
Can anyone share an exercise we can do to help with this?
This is difficult to explain over the internets/via text, but I will give it a shot.
Firstly, I will say you should be able to "see" your distance about three strides out. This gives you enough time to adjust (collect or lengthen as necessary) before the take off. Often times we think that we can adjust right at the fence, and the horse isn't always able to do that for us.
I got pretty lucky in being able to see my distances fairly easily, but it doesn't come easily for everyone.
If jumping without supervision is allowed at your barn, set up a couple small cross rails.
Start by trying to count one stride before the take off. You can do this quietly to yourself. So it would be "One." And then the next 'stride' would be the take off. When you've got that down, count "One. Two." Jump. When you're proficient in that, try doing three strides back "One. Two. Three." Jump. If you don't count correctly, add the stride in there, or recognize when you jump too soon.
In my experience, this is a good way to get people to see. ...Hopefully I explained it in a way that makes sense... x.x
We don't usually have the problem with crossrails, it's more of the verticals that get him, but if I can figure out to count distance it will help us a lot :)
I'll be practicing that today.
You could try using placing poles, a jump pole on the ground in front of the fence that gives both horse and rider a physical cue to the right distance. This link will give you the distances you will need to measure for different paces http://www.pcuk.org/uploads/training..._Exercises.pdf
I'm sure I will take some crap for this, but try this exercise. It involves actually looking the fence.
Put a single vertical on a 20 meter or larger circle. Place a quarter on the crossbar dead center. Pick up a nice rhythmic canter and look at the quarter as you approach the jump. Once the quarter goes out of sight, look between your horse's ears over the fence and resume the nice rhythmic canter. What you will find is that seeing a distance takes backseat to a nice balanced canter. When you have that, the distance sorts itself out, at least over the smaller stuff.
Please note, by looking at the quarter, I don't mean slump over and throw your horse off balance. Just use your soft eyes (ala Centered Riding) to watch it come toward you. I'll bet within 3 circles you will be jumping that thing in perfect stride.
This is one of those "green horse + green rider = black and blue" situations. I am not saying this to be mean or rude or in any way offend you...but you should seek out a trainer to help you with teaching your green horse to jump if you yourself don't know much about jumping. It is a very dangerous situation and you are setting your horse and yourself up to learn some bad habits.
Try this video.. I love these guys! They always do a silly skit at the beginning of their videos :) It's a husband and wife team. EVENTIONTV
What a great video!
LMAO @ this is the long distance, also known as the holy $%^& distance. hahahahaha, isn't that the truth!
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