Snap those legs up!
Since show season is over, it's time to work our butts off this winter. Right now, I'm taking a private lesson once a week, and hacking about four times a week.
In our lessons, as far as jumping goes, I'm working on staying off of his back (I'm starting to pick up that splendid habit again where I sit back too early) leg still, and give a bigger release. With my horse, we're working on keeping a steady forward pace, not rushing or backing off as we approach the jump, and getting my horse to jump better. At the beginning of the jumping part of our lesson we usually do bounces without reins or stirrups, then we do lines with a VERY collected canter, and then towards the end my trainer will set up some jumps anywhere from 2'9 to 3'3. My horse tucks his legs better over the big jumps and he is really trying, but we still aren't quite doing it right. We have always worked on this, but with my old trainer it would only be on and off. With my new, wonderful, trainer, we are working on this consistently.
In my last lesson, after one of the jumps he was really landing hard, so we made it an oxer and that fixed that problem :wink: Oh and that REALLY got his legs tucked. My trainer said he just ins't one of those horses that is going to over exaggerate the leg tucking because he could care less what the jumps look like, but he will pull his legs in tight once the jumps get higher. I'm thinking that after a lot of bounces, gymnastics, and really focusing on this, it should help. What do you think? Also, after I can get out of the habit of short realeases and sitting up early that should help A LOT. In my lessons we are working on what we can, but I was wondering if there was anything I could do to help this on the flat when I just hack. As far as I go, I know I need to do lots of no stirrup work, and maybe as far as my horse goes work on nice forward movements? I don't know if I can really help this without jumping, but if you know of anything feel free to share! And any jumping exercises that will help him tuck his legs and round his jump better? And what can I be sure to do while approaching the jump?
Sorry this was so long, didn't want to leave anything out! Thanks so much! :D
Not all horses are conformationally built to "round" more and "tuck" more over a fence. Some horses, are just the way they are.
After saying that, George Morris constantly stresses in his critique columns, that doing smaller fences when the horse and rider are capeable of doing bigger - really encourages a horse to become sloppy. And he states that doing bigger fences, and grid work at bigger heights, will teach a horse to get back to where they should be.
I don't think we have reached the height where my horse cannot round or tuck, although every horse will reach their maximum height eventually. If my horse has rounded up and tucked before, wouldn't that mean he is capable? And I'm assuming that since my trainer is still having us work on this that he is capable, or else we would not really be wasting our time. I forgot to mention that he is lazy, so if at the base of the jump I give him an encouraging tap behind my leg, he rounds up and tucks and is all like "ok mom! just don't hit me!" lol! Once he realizes I won't let him get away with being slow, he picks up the pace, so he isn't at a death march.
And referring to doing smaller than we should be, that is a really good point. I often think that is one of the reasons he is sloppy over small stuff. We have been together for three or so years, and have been taking our time moving the height up. I think the reason we start out low is to work on my position so I'm not horrible over the big ones that we do later on in the lesson.
totally agree with MIEventer, also i like to use painted solid fences ;)
Whenever George Morris sees a shot sent into him for his critique column, he will stress that moving to bigger fences will aid the horse to round and tuck.
And there is nothing wrong with riding smaller fences to encourage and work on functional form.
Your horse is capeable of rounding and tucking if he has done it before, but he isn't going to do it, crop or not - over small fences. Small fences encourages not so tight form in horses.
But there's nothing wrong with that. So long as he is taking care of you and helping you do your job, and he will go over anything regardless - then who cares? Not like you guys are going to the Adult Ammies for Equitation anytime soon.
Thanks so much MIE!
I will ask my trainer about maybe doing some bounces that are bigger, that seems like it would help for us. And good point, I'm 14 years old for petes sake and I love my horse, he takes care of me and we are learning together; what's the rush? :wink:
My guy Nelson, was competing Prelim a few years back with his previous owner. My guy can DEFINATELY round and tuck when needs be - but when we go over smaller fences, he isn't as tight as he is over bigger fences.
Novice CC fence:
Training Level CC fence:
First Novice Stadium Fence, on the smaller side:
5th fence in the course, maxing Novice height:
Nelson can round and tuck if he needs to, but I'm not going to worry about it. He does his job and we have a blast together and enjoy eachother very much - that's all that matters to me :)
He's so cute! He's like OK LET'S GO MOM! That's how Geof is! And on the subject, I agree with everything MIE said
Thanks Stormy! Nelson absolutely LOVES to jump - he's locked into a fence, before I am. He even has nasty temper tantrums if he wants to go over a fence, and I don't let him.
Should of seen him at a fox hunt one time - everyone was jumping this massive round bale *on its side of course* and Nelson definately wanted to do it too, but I said no way - and he blew up. He reared, he stopped and started to back up non stop. He wouldn't move forward and if he did, it was airs above the ground. Stomping, spining - just a total jack ass. I had to have the Hunts Master come back and grab my reins and lead us out. *rolls eyes*
I look forward to pics of you and Geoff.
HAHA! Sounds like a lovly time! I want to go up and try a hunt with Geof sometime, I think it would be fun!
I'm going to try to save some and post some from Facebook.....
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