Was this right?
I just came back from a jumping clinic for fair. My mare hasn't done any kinds of actual courses in a few years, and she was running or at least trying her very hardest through almost the entire course. Especially when we had to go in deep in some corners. It felt like I was doing a bad barrel pattern. lol Now I know this isn't right, and I want to fix this. I just want to know if the trainer there was actually telling me the right thing to do.
She wanted me to sit reallllly deep/lean back, put all weight in my heels, pull my reins into my pelvic bone, and she kept telling me not to let my knees grip the saddle. Now, either I wasn't doing it right, or she doesn't realize how hard it is to this, and then when my mare is about to jump I have to quickly lean forward, grip with knees, heels down, etc. It felt like I was on a blender the entire time! Will my mare eventually calm down after this exercise, or is it complete b/s?
I'm not going to comment on the trainers idea on fixing it... Instead i'll share the way I fixed with my old horse, under a really good trainer in my area.
My old horse pulled like a steamtrain... lol. And he loved jumping. He would race around and harge the jumps... Well, it wasn't so much about slowing him down as collecting him.
The trainer had me lift my hands, have a good strong contact, and push to all get out with my seat and squezze with my legs. Eventually he worked up into the bit, and came back into a more bouncy, short, collected canter that was perfect to make tight corners and to jump from...
I thought generally you weren't supposed to grip with your knees, but with your lower leg...
:lol: sry, that's what I meant to put.
Idk, they way she had me do it was just bizarre. I mean I'm learning to jump better, and I want to jump better. I havn't really jumped a courses in years, and I'm sure I wasn't great or anything. I just feel like there has to be a better way to fix this problem.
My mare is the same. Wild Spots advice is good, and a bouncy, active canter is what you need to aim for. Dont get discouraged tho, because it wont be a quick fix, its something that you are gonna have to really work for.
Who was the clinitian? Did the clinitian get on your horse at all?
I've never seen a clinitian tell their students to pull the reins with such contact, and keep their hands near their crotch - that's baffling to me?
As Wild Spot said, proper hand carraige is to be sought after, because when you do this you aid your horse to be lifted up/come up into you, you aren't giving them something to lean into, and by you carrying your hands, you obtain functional, moving aids.
I remember one of the first times I rode him, I was out on the cc course. I remember doing just a small BN fence, and by the time I was able to bring him down under me - we were already on the opposite end of the cc field.
So I signed up in a clinic with Dorothy Crowell when she came to our barn for our local Pony Club. She helped us immensly.
LOL, I remember doing the 3 jump combo that was set up - and he took the strides that were supposed to be done, in a much less amount of strides. He was so strong, I was literally standing up in my irons trying to stop him.
So Dorothy pulled us aside and worked with us 1 on 1. She really emphasised flat work, but correct flat work - using Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften.
Seat first, always and foremost. Engages, slows *your horse always comes down to the rhythm of your seat* your seat must always remain functional *3 points, 2 seat bones and crotch* and must always remain balanced.
Then legs, your legs are there to lift your horses ribs up, they keep the rhythm created through your seat.
Hands always come last. They must be functional to allow the energy your seat and legs created, to recycle back through.
I have a completely different horse now. COMPLETELY. ONLY if I ride him correctly.
Seat into Legs into Hands to Soften. Never hands first.
Remember - Jumping is Dressage with speed bumps. The fence is never of importance, it is control and rhythm. Always go back to basics, always go back to Dressage work.
If you are stiff, tense and locked - so will your horse. Our horses reflect what we are doing in the saddle 100% of the time.
^^ thats exactly how Vodka was, except I still couldn't stop him standing up, lol!
And that's exactly what Trevor had me doing, as well as a TON of grids. You just explained it better :]
Afterwards I had a horse who could jump the sky if I asked. Although he did always kick a** at speed events and jump offs... lol.
Here's the sad thing - it took an Olympic Eventer to show me this, to show me how to ride seat into legs into hands..........when that is something I should of learnt years ago.
But the issue is - too many people coaching now-a-days without the proper education. Uneducated turning out Uneducated.
Coaches are not emphasising enough Dressage. It is a travesty.
If Olympic Level Riders - Ian Millar, Bill Hoos, Dorothy Crowell, Darren Chaicchai, David O'Connor stress time and time again - SEAT into LEGS into HANDS to SOFTEN , and DRESSAGE DRESSAGE DRESSAGE - then why aren't lower level coaches?
A lot of them are very preoccupied with controlling a horse via it's head, when true control comes through the body of both you and your horse... I agree, it creates bad situations for horses and riders.
When problems with jumping, most people say, practice jumping! But really you need to go back and evaluate where in your flatwork/dressage training you have missed a step or gone wrong.
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