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VelvetsAB 08-17-2011 03:30 AM

Hunter Critique!
These were taken at the show I was in on Sunday. Although they are not all right over a jump, I would like an over all critique. The horse IS a school horse, and not mine, but if you see anything glaring...let me know. But really, any mistakes that happened were mine anyways, so.

Since there are 4 videos...just combine the two warmup's together, just to make it easier.

Can't really see the first fence I took, sorry. Got my lead in the corner, although a stride in. Took the first fence in the line at the right spot, with a good release and position. Stuck just a little bit jumping out, and the line was supposed to be in 5, but we did get the lead. Horse blocking the outside fence, but can see most of the jump. Decent release. Wasn't aggressive enough going into the green line, so Bart decided to bail. If I had chirped, or tapped, he probably would have gone over. Second time was good, although we did chip in again. (You can hear my Dad and his wife wondering why it happened!) I am not sure why I pulled out of the grey line, but I must have needed to collect myself before attacking it again (next video).

Again, chipped in at the second fence of the green line, but my position over the fences looks good. First jump in the grey line you can't see because a horse is in the way, but it felt good going over, and we got the striding correct. (Yay!) Outside natural single it looks like I came back a smidge too early, but was taken at a good spot. Got the lead slightly around the corner, but didn't have to fight to get it.

Warm-up Over View-- Ride more forward to get the correct striding!

First Course- I got 4th (out of 7 or 8).

Nice approach to the first fence, and take it nicely and got the correct lead. White line, again, I added. (Adding, as you can tell, is my nemesis) Outside natural, by far seems to be my best jump. (Pause at :32 seconds, and you can see my smile/grimace!) Got the lead. Green line we added again, and I came back a smidge to early it looks like on the first one. Should have taken the more scenic route, and longer corner coming to the grey line. Grey line was the correct striding. I did a bit of an opening outside rein to adjust where we were going to hit the last fence. Both jumps look really nice.

Over view--need more pace!

Second Course--Got a 6th. Sorry that it is a bit more blurry, but it was taken on the same camera as the others....

Short strided into the first fence. Got the lead late. Again, used a slight opening outside rein for a small adjustment, but got the striding perfect again. Good position over the fences. White line was also short strided coming in, and then we added. Outside single looks really good, and is probably the best jump. Added in the green line. Could have had a better corner, but last fence was also nice.

Over view--again, more pace, and everything would most likely be bang on.

My position is much better then it used to be. My leg still slides a bit, but nothing too horrifying. I am getting forward into my two point, without over jumping, although I sometimes ask for a bit longer spot then I should. Thankfully, Bart is smart, and goes for the correct place. However, my speed isn't where it should be. I need to hunt to the fences more, to get my striding. This show we seemed to do very well with leads and getting them in a more timely fashion, or getting them over the fences.

I haven't shown "much", and am still getting over freezing mid course. This is the second time I've been able to make it around and actually keep thinking.

alexischristina 08-17-2011 05:23 AM

I feel like you really need to calm your canter, you rushed a few fences and once you start rushing it's harder to get the turns, get the leads, get the striding- if you calmed your canter you'd get the turn, stride, and lead every time- for the most part. You seemed to jump ahead a lot as well, and I think that has something to do with your position. You're in a bit of a half-seat, which is good, but you need to pull your shoulders back more, and stick your chest out and up a little bit as you're still slouching and pitching your weight forward. Additionally, your body is moving a lot and your elbows sometimes get to sticking out to the sides, practise keeping them closer into your body.

maura 08-17-2011 05:26 AM

Just a few general comments -

Sweet old Bart the school horse has a lick he likes that will carry him to most of his fences in stride. Try to learn to recognize it. When he feels like he's galloping on a little too much, he's just right. You'll also notice that when he's in his "lick", he gets a little happier - ears perked, and he doesn't stick or bulge to the outside in the corners when he has his pace. His best pace is a little more forward than what you would see in a rated show where big, long strided horses appear to crawl down the lines, but that's okay - let him settle into his pace and you'll find the distances work a lot better.

He also likes to "motorcycle" (lean in) around the turns. You do a very good job of using the whole ring and not cutting off the corners, which can be a challenge with an old, smart horse, but also try to work a little on balance through the turns. Step down in your outside stirrup as you land from the second fence in a line, and hold him on a straight line to the end of the arena with a lot of inside leg, then softly ask for a bend. If he lands and starts leaning, you're stuck riding defensively - try to anticipate this. You may find with a better balanced turn, the distance to the first fence in the next line just happens. Sticky turn usually = sticky distance to the next fence.

Very much like your solid lower leg and your release. My only comment on your position is that your two point can be more still/quieter. When you "stop thinking" or freeze on course, it seems like you lock you knee, and you get a little extra motion above the saddle, which makes you look "busier", if that makes sense. Remind yourself to soften your knee and allow it to move and act as a shock absorber.

Like your turnout and presentation very much. You do NOT look like a student on a school horse.

marella916 08-17-2011 03:27 PM

I think that you are a little busy in the canter. You seem to be pumping your arms a lot more then you need almost looks like you are rushing the horse forward. I'm going to agree with alex, definitely work on a calmer canter and you will get better striding and better leads. It looks like you are leaning forward and throwing your weight. Practice putting your shoulders back. Also, you were making a left turn (in the 1st run video)and you pulled your hand away and down from the horses neck. I would work on keeping it a little more subtle.

VelvetsAB 08-18-2011 02:13 PM

Alexis- thanks for commenting :). The thing about quieting the canter is that a stride is already being added to most of the lines. I actually need a bit more pace. Unless you mean something else?

Maura- thank you! The lick pace makes sense, as sometimes I feel it is too fast, but we always seem to get things right with it.

Marella- thanks for the critique. Bart has a big canter motion, so my hands are following his mouth, or I'd chuck him every stride.

After all three of you said being busy, I went and looked at the videos again, and I do see it. I think part of it was trying to urge Bart on a bit, because I hadn't done a good job of pace establishment. I will try being quieter and really soften into my knee.

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Alwaysbehind 08-19-2011 03:18 PM

I will start with, you are coming right along. You should be proud of yourself.

Then I will cheat and say - What Maura said.

What happens when you just sit there in the lines and let Bart do his job instead of trying to find the jumps for him? Does he sometimes get too strong? Or do you nit pick his pace (which I am an expert at myself) because it is just so hard to do nothing?

MudPaint 08-20-2011 04:37 PM

*sighs* Well Maura's already said it all.

I would echo Alwaysbehind's questions. What happens if you just let him cruise along? He's not a greenie that you must manage every stride. I would say try a lower halfseat, bringing your shoulders back, and just keep your leg on through the lines. I know... easier said than done. I am struggling with this issue as we speak.

Allison Finch 08-20-2011 05:15 PM

Well, everything I would have said has already been said. Overall, you two make a really nice team and, when you address a few of the above issues, will really improve. What a nice school horse! You are lucky to have him as I think he will teach you a lot.

One question....has he been scoped to see if there are any procedures that can address his "roaring"? Sometimes a surgical procedure can help with partial tracheal problems. Has it been diagnosed as a small roar or some other physical abnormality?

VelvetsAB 08-20-2011 06:05 PM

Always-- If I let him cruise, sometimes he will slow down or speed up. Honestly, at almost every show, we add or chip in going away, and then either get the striding coming home (or get super fast and leave out strides). So I do have to do a little bit of managing, but probably not the amount that I am doing. Sometimes it just depends on the day.

MudPaint-- You are right, it is easier said then done. BUT, if I was keeping my leg on, I wouldn't have to urge as much, which would make me quieter.

Allison-- Thank you! He is really a good school horse. He puts up with the more advanced beginners, but still has enough quirks that as a novice rider, I have to watch out for. Sadly, I will only be able to finish out the year showing on him, as this is my second year in Novice. Supposedly, and who knows if it is true or not...he is said to have been shown at Madison Square Gardens. But I have never seen proof, so its all heresay.

As for the roaring, I don't think it has ever been addressed since he got to the barn. The BO can be a little cheap sometimes. I am sure (and would hope) that if it was causing him distress, that she would have it looked at.

Thank you Always, MudPaint and Allison for the critiques and questions. I greatly appreciate your input.

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