Opinions on this statement
My 17 year old daughter is getting back into riding after a 4 year break. She started riding at 5 and started out eventing. Long story but she wound up going to a hunter jumper barn for a few years. We have purchased her a training level horse. We board him at the barn where we bought him from. The horse is fabulous but has a tendency to leave long. The seller told us that he does that. The sellers other two horses also leave long. I was talking to the previous owner about the horse leaving long and mentioned my daughter was going back to square one in jumping by working with trot poles and also work with him going deeper to the fence. Here's the comment I'd like to get response about. The previous owner said "eventing horses aren't trained to find their own spot, that is up to the rider". My view is every horse that jumps should be trained to find a safe spot to the jump. I used to ride until I had 2 failed back surgeries so I haven't ridden in a while. I evented and did some hunter jumper stuff. I was taught that the horse and rider both need to be able to find their spot. Have things changed and event horses are no longer trained in this manor and it is totally up to the rider to put the horse in the right spot at every jump?
I am interested in people's response. Sorry for the babbling
In my mind a horse should know somewhat of the right spot. However the rider needs to know were they need to take off and land. Horses have a hard time judging distance so it's best for the rider to make that call. If the horse is trained to jump on there own where they like. Then its hard to control where they need to take off if you need to bring them closer to the jump to make it safely.
The horse should be taught where to take off from.that does not mean they should never get help from the rider.but the rider cannot do everything.I agree with you and disagree with the former owner.
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Imo it's definitely a team effort. One should not solely rely on the other, and vice versa. The horse should be cooperative enough to listen to the rider when jumping, but enough of an independent and forward thinker that they can make that decision for themselves when need be. In general I think event horses need to be more of take charge type, if I am riding up to a jump and I don't see anything, or if my horse stumbles or slips a few strides out and my distance is gone all of sudden, they need to still keep going regardless and figure things out. Especially over fixed obstacles, a moment or two of hesitation can spell disaster.
So I disagree with her statement as well.
I am not a jumper at all .... not even an English rider. But it makes common sense that it's a joint effort between horse and rider. The horse needs to know what's going on, but needs to be able to take direction from the rider.
I'm a barrel racer. Same idea. I want my horse to be somewhat able to carry himself through the barrel pattern on his own. However, if I need to make an adjustment in the pattern taking into account deep ground or fast ground, or our angle to the barrel based on the arena size and shape, I (the rider) am going to need to slightly adjust our turns for optimal performance. The horse needs to know what's going on, but needs to be able to take direction from the rider.
I'm sure that applies to many other events and disciplines as well .
In my experience horses naturally take, or want to take, a jump from their own comfortable positions. While you train them, sometimes its hard to override their judgment. I've ridden a perch x appy who was AMAZING. You could hold her to the base of the jump although she basically did it on her own. That was just her comfort zone... and she had zilch training. On the other my x reiner mare... I have a scar on my left ring finger from her jumping a ditch she could of stepped over. When we were attempting to teach her to jump she took EVERYTHING long and high. You couldn't get her to a correct distance... You were either with her.... Or you weren't. I think by my 3rd lesson with her I tossed in the towel. She trotted up to a 18 inch jump, dead stopped, and without me asking she cocked back and LAUNCHED herself 4+ feet into the air. I did the falling cat pose and landed back on the saddle and hit the ground... Yeah. Lol. She was NOT a natural jumper.
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I would disagree with that statement on the sole logic that I would not want to be jumping XC on a horse that was not capable of finding a safe takeoff spot without any help from the rider. Especially at the lower levels, the horses that are worth their weight in gold are the ones who can tell the rider, "I got this one" when it realized the rider is about to find a bad distance. One of the first things my trainer had me do with my new horse was jump low wide oxers and get him used to jumping from the base. A long flat jump over a solid wide object is never a good idea unless it happens to be a ditch.
I have jumped a lot over the years, but have just started XC schooling with my horse. My horse hasn't had a professional trainer on his back, but I take and have taken a boat load of lessons. Basically my point is is that we are learning together at this point in time.
Anyways, wit that being said, my horse has saved my butt on numerous occasions. IMO, the hardest part about learning to jump is getting the correct distance to the fence. And by correct distance I mean what feels the best for horse and rider. When I ask my horse to extend or compress his stride in order to make a nice distance to a fence, he listens to me. Granted, I don't always do the right thing (sometimes I ask for an extra stride and I probably shouldn't have), but thats why we take lessons, right?! Anyways, there have been times, both xc schooling and jumping in the arena, where three strides out I'm not sure what to do and he figures it out. It doesn't always look or feel the best, but he does figure it out. And we are improving! So I guess I would have to disagree with that statement as well. It is definitely a team effort from both horse and rider.
Absolute BS. The horse's job is to find the spot. The rider's job is to help the horse get there through the quality and balance of the canter. That means if the spot is there (the rider sees it), he or she can lengthen or shorten to it--because the canter is good. If the rider sees nothing, he or she can just keep the quality and let the horse pick the spot. If the horse can't do that, then I do NOT want to jump him, ESPECIALLY on XC. Think of the danger--the rider sees a spot that is wrong or sees nothing at all while coming at a Weldon's Wall. I want a horse that will work to get out of that situation rather than blindly ending up in the ditch or waiting for instructions.
That doesn't absolve me of the responsibility. My job, as I said, is to keep the quality of the gait. And you know what so many find funny is that people can see a spot so much better when we have a quality canter. I can't see a spot well--but I can balance a canter and a gallop nicely, and so I can have nice rounds that look like I can see a spot.
Watch a rider have a stop or a rail or a miss of some kind. The instructor doesn't say "you didn't see your spot" but "you got flat" or "you let him run onto his forehand and he got deep." The horse, if properly balanced and any kind of capable jumper, can get himself out of it if he is balanced at the spot he takes off and if the rider stays out of his way. A jump from a long spot or a deep one can look lovely and even like it was intentional if the balance was good.
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