Beginning Over Fences Critique - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Beginning Over Fences Critique

Hi Guys!!!
Here is my 6 year old APHA mare, Jazz or Ultimate Showoff. I've had her since she was 2 with 45 days on her. Recently I have started wanting to get into jumping and start showing the Hunter Over Fences at the APHA shows and maybe start going to some local hunter shows. I've been popping her over small cross-rails for the past week. She was doing really well, so I decided to string together some lines. Here's a video of us after we had practiced some, so she is a little tired. Also, I put some still shots of the jumps and stuff in the video after the "course"


And here we have a video of me popping her over some barrels the day after the video above. I will say, my legs were killing me!! I've been riding my entire life, but I must say, you don't really ride until you do 2-point for an hour a day! lol. Again, I put screen shots after majority of the jumps so you can really get a good look at my equitation and her form.


Also, this is my first time really jumping, so I am completely new to this and have no idea what I need to be doing with her to make things better. So any tips on exercises to do to help her form and mine are greatly appreciated. Especially if you can link videos or articles, that would be amazing! I have a trainer, but he's a cowboy who know how to get a horse to jump, just doesn't know about form and proper strides and what not.

So, what do you guys think? Does she have the potential to be a good Hunter? I know I need a lot of work, and I know she needs help on her form as well. Any tips are greatly appreciated! Thanks guys!

Last edited by LittleFish; 08-22-2014 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Video Links not put in right
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 04:27 PM
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You might have to re- post those links - I can't get access to them so others might not be able too.
Have you got them 'public' or private' on your youtube channel?
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 04:30 PM Thread Starter
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 05:02 PM
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You look to have a nice tidy position, maybe a little ahead of her at times because she isn't going forwards with much impulsion - but I'm thinking her style is something like you'd expect to see from a hunter over fences in an APHA class. She falls over the fences occasionally but then at other times really lifts her front legs up nicely and evenly so I'd think with more schooling and fitness training she should be a nice horse for the job. Don't over do the jumping work or she'll get bored with it. Grid work rather than single fences help a horse to be more athletic and balanced
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 08:14 PM
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One thing that is worrying me about your beautiful mare is how careless she is. She seems to just run right through the barrels, which frightens me. Unfortunately, I am not sure how to go about correcting that, just hoping to point it out for someone that would know.
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post #6 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 09:23 PM
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you are a born natural jumper!

your mare, she needs some umph. she seems to struggle to get her hind up and over . . .
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 10:43 PM
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I would agree with the above posters. She seems to struggle getting up over the jumps. Unfortunately, the English Pleasure and Western Pleasure looks that horses are trained and bred for are not conducive to jumping always. There are times that your mare does seem to get over the jumps, so I think it is there. Could you find a dressage trainer to take a couple of lessons with? I think a dressage instructor could teach you to teach her to balance better so she can get some oomph over the jumps.


My horse was trained to drop his head like a WP/EP horse but did not have the gaits. I will tell you that we still have problems with him being heavy on the forehand and him leaning on the bit and digging for the ground. Luckily, your mare was trained by you mostly and seems a lot lighter!

There's definitely potential, but I would enlist in the help of a trainer or two specific for dressage and/or jumping to get you there.
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post #8 of 10 Old 08-22-2014, 10:44 PM
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Oh, and PS, you don't look new to jumping at all!
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-23-2014, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the input guys! Everyone seems to agree that I need some more impulsion. Looking at the videos I can see that now, thanks! I think she might have been a little tired, at the point of the videos I had been popping her over fences every day for about a week, so she might have been burned out. I'm out of town till Monday so she's on a bit of a break. When I get back I'll try to get another video to see in she goes over better when she's fresh. And thanks Jaydee, I'll try to remember not to overdo the jumping!

Corazon Lock, unfortunately, another trainer isn't really in the equation, I work as an assistant to my current trainer, so it wouldn't really be looked upon well by him if I wanted to take lessons from another trainer. We do have clients that do the hunters bring their horses for tune-up on flat work that I can ask for some help, my trainer always encourages us to do that.
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post #10 of 10 Old 08-23-2014, 11:40 AM
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I agree with all of the above.

One quick comment on your position. You are grabbing too much with your knees. Thai has loosened your lower leg allowing it to slide back over the jump. You are "pivoting" on your knee. This destabilizes your position a LOT causing your upper body to topple forward. Then, you have to rely on your crest release to hold up your upper body.

Grabbing with knee, toppling forward, leg sliding back



This photo isn't perfect, by a long shot. I am no equitation rider. But, the knee is more relaxed and flexible, my lower leg is closer to the girth, my seat is further back over the saddle, and I am not relying on my crest release to support my upper body weight. I am in a more balanced position.



You need to relax the grip of your knees and allow them to be more flexible...allowing your seat to move back more over the saddle. Then, you need to concentrate on keeping your lower leg at the girth! Then, you will be able to wrap your leg around the horse, settle into the stirrups with your weight and develop a bombproof position.

Riding without your reins, with your arms out like an airplane, (in both two point and over jumps) will help you develop a more solid lower leg.

Your horse has the beginnings of some decent form, when she gets to the jump with the correct distance and better impulsion.

I am not a western breed jumper rider, so don't have the proper appreciation of the long and low and slow approach to jumping, so cannot offer much critique in that department.

But, you two look like a really nice pair with some future.

Last edited by Allison Finch; 08-23-2014 at 11:50 AM.
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