Jumpers Critique! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Arrow Jumpers Critique!

Hello HorseForum!

Cowboy and I are asking for your honest critiques! :)
I am riding in a rope gag, with two reins.
Critique away, many of you know our history ;)


~ When I Die, Remember Me By My Horses ~
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.: For Letting Me Live :. (c) xJumperx
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 02:29 PM
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You guys look really nice, I really like how gentle and effective your seat is in between jumps.

One thing I notice, when you guys get to the end to circle around to the rail, his canter gets a little wild and he falls in a lot. Then on the straight, it goes back to a nice balanced canter; sometimes through the turns it even seems to throw your balance to the outside because he's falling in so hard. Rather than bending him to the inside more through the turns, I think he needs work with you using the outside rein to support him and keep his body more upright. The same thing through the flying changes, he wants to throw his body around and lose balance; so keep him straighter and sit a little deeper in the corners to help him out. Very nice though.
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post #3 of 10 Old 03-05-2015, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your reply!

Him falling into the inside has always been an issue with him, and I'm constantly looking for ways to combat it. I've been trying to bend him to the inside, but with about as much success as you see here. Your perspective of actually using my outside aids is one I haven't thought of, and I will definitely try to implement that. Thank you!!
Me leaning to the outside is actually a conscious habit I've undertaken. Essentially, I try to counterbalance him. It started when he literally fell over one day from spinning to the inside like he does. This is obviously not correct form, and something I know needs to be corrected ASAP. Thanks again for your critique!

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post #4 of 10 Old 03-06-2015, 01:44 AM
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Originally Posted by xJumperx View Post
Me leaning to the outside is actually a conscious habit I've undertaken. Essentially, I try to counterbalance him. It started when he literally fell over one day from spinning to the inside like he does. This is obviously not correct form, and something I know needs to be corrected ASAP. Thanks again for your critique!
UGH, my horse does the same thing! He gets excited about turns and likes to fall in because it technically makes his job easier. One thing that helps is to pretend you are doing a roll back, but instead turn it into a circle. He may stumble a bit...but as you are doing it, think about literally picking up his shoulder with your inside rein (I guess sort of diagonally across the withers is how I do it...HOWEVER, this is a harsh cue, so only use as much pressure as you need. Don't yank, just a steady pressure as hard as you need). While doing that, sort of "pick him up" with your leg.

You may find doing some dressage exercises on your flatting days really helps. Especially doing a little bit of lateral movement. It's easy to find some fun exercises online!
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post #5 of 10 Old 03-06-2015, 11:14 AM
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As a dressage person, you really shouldn't ever pull across the wither. If your horse is over bending to the inside, it means they're nose is being pulled towards the inside of the circle and down, while their body leans outward like this horse is doing. If you pull more inside to correct it, you're just putting them more off balance. It seems counter intuitive, but you need to use your inside leg to push them into your outer rein. The outside rein acts as a barrier to keep their body from leaning, and gives them support to stay straight. Also, you can use your body to sit very straight and deep, to help them out.
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post #6 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 04:02 PM Thread Starter
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SaraM, thank you for such a wonderful explanation of the technique. We have lessons again this week, I can't wait to put these methods into practice.

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post #7 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 07:40 PM
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Nice to see new videos of you and Cowboy again! I like Cowboy in the gag. He isn't pulling you down in your corners like he used to. Big improvement and progress there. I'd like to see a canter with more pace when you are jumping, with more power coming from the hind end. Over several jumps Cowboy took off long and a little weak. Eventually the weak spots became refusals. Lengthening and shortening canter warmup exercises will improve a horse's rhythm and pace and make him more adjustable. Good luck!
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post #8 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 10:00 PM Thread Starter
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Updownrider, thank you for your input! :) I completely agree, he seems much happier in this new bit :) So, more gumption, and outside support to keep him from leaning. Sounds good to me!Now, updownrider, do you mean you think a faster pace would work better, or one with more energy, but perhaps a shorter stride?

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post #9 of 10 Old 03-07-2015, 10:45 PM
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I think you need more pace with a canter that has Cowboy using his hind end much more. You do not need a shorter stride, but you need to be able to shorten or lengthen his stride depending on the distance you see to a jump.

Cowboy gets behind your leg, which was why he took off weak to the long spots and then when the jumps were a little bigger and you asked for a long distance again, he stopped.

The exercise I suggested, lengthening and shortening at the canter, is a way to get a horse to come forward off your leg. It could be as simple as doing 7 canter strides in a straight line, then 6 strides in the same line, then 8 strides in the same line then back to 7 strides. You do not jump. You want your horse to go forward and come back and listen to your leg.

I hope this cleared up any confusion.
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post #10 of 10 Old 03-08-2015, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Updownrider, that makes perfect sense! That's actually a exercise we have done before, it sounds like we need to revisit it. Thank you for clarifying that :)
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