PDA

View Full Version : "Backward Riding": Is it the courses or the horses?



pwynnnorman
Nov. 3, 2007, 10:41 AM
The thread about Ginny Elliot had many people discussing how today's courses encourage "backward riding." I'm not totally sure what is meant by that term--I'm imagining it means sitting more-or-less upright in the saddle and pushing to package the horse into the hands and gain ultimate control to get through complexes and the like. And maybe lots of half-halting (like--who was it Clayton Fredericks or Phillip Dutton?--said at Rolex: that they'd used one or two half-halts too many), resulting in slowing down or bracing back on the horse's part.

But I guess what I really think of as the essence of backward riding is the upright (rider) approach, (and all that comes with it--including the mindset, maybe?). Is that what others mean?

If so, then I wonder if it is not the courses but rather the increasingly Euro-bred (in contrast to TB-based) horses not the courses that are causing this. Thinking back over time, I'd say there were a lot of great horses whom you just couldn't approach a jump on from the backseat: the rides they appeared to be looked like you had to find some other way to bring them back and prepare them--while allowing them to continue in the forward way that was the only way they accepted.

Could it be that because today's WBs are more rideable, they are being "more ridden"? When I think of those still riding TBs and/or the very TB types, I do not think of them riding backwards at all. When I think of Young Riders, yes, THEN I think I see a lot of backward riding. And tons upon tons of it at the lower levels.

I don't want to drag this on, but I want to point out that what makes me wonder if it's the horses not the courses causing this. I'm thinking this because the very same syndrome seems to be apparent in hunters and jumpers. I'll never forget watching Mark Jungherr win the Gold Cup at Devon on this strung-out-looking chestnut. I know the response will probably be that, at least in jumpers, the courses require more packaging these days. OK, if that's the case, then why is backward riding also seen in pony hunters--but NOT in the professional (three-six to four-foot divisions?

I think plunking your arse into the saddle and staying securely there--maybe because your base isn't strong enough to package the horse without seat and/or without losing security--is rapidly becoming so necessary and/or so acceptable that other ways to ride are not even being considered any more, much less taught--in any discipline.

flyingchange
Nov. 3, 2007, 10:49 AM
I'm not an expert and don't proclaim to be. But I think there is a real difference between packaging a horse for a technical jump/combination and backwards riding. And sometimes it can be a thin line and it can sometimes be easy to cross.

A horse that is being ridden backwards is one whose forward momentum is being blocked, sometimes by the failure of the rider to give when the horse has given/softened. So the horse is being pressed on and at the same time told not to press on. It must be very confusing/frustrating for the horse.

You HAVE to package your horse for the technical stuff, but correctly packaging it means softening when your horse softens and then riding forward through the combination/jump. I think that many of us get so caught up in getting and then keeping the package that we forget to soften and ride forward. And so it is only because our horses are such generous souls that we get through the combo even when we have failed to do our part and soften and push forward.

I don't think this issue is the fault of course design at all. I think it is simply, as Lucinda has said, a failure on our part as riders to really learn to ride a correct coffin canter. And any breed can canter in a package - be it a warmblood or a TB - if asked correctly.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:00 AM
In editing, I managd to lose a statement which fits with what you just wrote, flyingchange. Watching the Syracuse show online yesterday evening, I noticed a couple of jumpers going down to the fences like they were actually bracing against the motion--their front legs acting more like pogo sticks angled backwards rather than springs bouncing upwards and forwards.

That whole "bracing" thing, I think, is part of this syndrome--and, yeah, it looks like the horses learn to cope with it well enough, but I wonder what would happen if the three-point was discouraged more often--especially at the lower levels where so much packaging is certainly not necessary.

Every time I jump judge lately, I can't help but notice how many riders sit the last three strides of every single jump, regardless of what type of jump it is, the terrain or what comes afterward.

Foxhunting is the ultimate x-c riding, IMO. And yet horses and riders survive just fine--sometimes for hours on end and always without ever "walking the course"--without grinding into the saddle before each jump. I'll admit that part of my questioning lies in the fact that that was never my style, so I don't understand it--we'd sit to balance on turns and to slow and collect, but not routinely in front of every jump. I just don't get it, I guess.

And so I guess I'd kinda like to hear what others are instructed to do on an approach--say going to down to a single fence in a field. Watching, it seems to me someone has told them to sit the last three strides. Zat true?

flutie1
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:03 AM
It's a matter of impulsion, not speed or rider position. Backward riding is losing the impulsion, and there's a lot of it to be seen. Whatever position works to get the impulsion is the one to be used. Benny O'Meara could jump enormous fences from the slowest canter imagineable, but the horse's hind end was under him and working and the impulsion was there. It's like bottling up energy and having it balanced do do whatever at a moment's notice.

RunForIt
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:12 AM
As I'm coming back into jumping after a 3 year old-horse-had-EPM hiatus, this thread is givng me a lot to think about in terms of my riding, what I was specifically TRAINED to do, and what I failed to recognize AND understand about "sitting down the last 3 strides". My old guy (DWB/appendix QH) is fairly long-backed, thick neck from dad, and built a bit down hill from mom - sitting down always helped me rebalance and then ride forward - at least that's what I THOUGHT I was doing. My current trainer certainly tried to do a bit of both with Buddy and me, but he was out of commission pretty soon after we got going with her. EPM sucks! Its going to be different jumping with little short backed OTTB Rasta; methinks a lot of old habits may get in the way and some tune-ups with Lucinda whenever she's in this area may really help!

occasionally during my time eventing Buddy, I had lessons and/or clinics with Beth Perkins - Beth had us riding forward to the jumps, sitting only if necessary, but balancing nonetheless. Maybe getting over to do some work with Beth may be in order.

Thanks for the thinking going on in this thread! :cool:

pwynnnorman
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:16 AM
"Losing impulsion" Or slowing down? One seems the unintentional result of passive riding. The other seems intentional due to wanting (and being able to get, more or less) more of a certain type of control. When Clayton or Phillip (whichever one it was) said that about half-halting too much, it sounded like the result was the latter: it slowed him down. THAT would imply it's the course, in a way. Anyway, I didn't get the feeling from the other discussion that backward riding was just a novice issue, which losing implusion would seem to imply...wouldn't it?

west5
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:41 AM
And so I guess I'd kinda like to hear what others are instructed to do on an approach--say going to down to a single fence in a field. Watching, it seems to me someone has told them to sit the last three strides. Zat true?

This is NOT what I have ever been taught.

I have learned that when you have a long open field and/or a big gallop before a fence one must, re-balance/half-halt/whatever you want to call it somewhere (I'd say 4-5 strides out) so that your horse is not running on its forehand to the fence.

I do not do this by placing my but in the saddle but rather by shifting my shoulders into a more upright position.

After that re-balance you must ride FORWARD in that NEW balance with horses hind end underneath them, not strung out, feeling the boing-boing-boing of each canter stride to the upcoming fence.

I will add that I don't always get it right which can lead to no re-balance or too much. I believe the too much would fall into your category of riding backwards to the fence. I have on occasion had a mount that said "I don't hear you" as they charged at the fence any which way they d@mn well pleased.

RAyers
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:48 AM
I think we are in an area of definitions.

To me, backward riding is what fluties says. A rider will hold a horse to the point that impulsion is lost. A rider can sit deep and sit up (old cavalry style) and still be forward in the ride. A rider can also be very slow but still be forward in the ride.

So, is "backward" riding the course or the horse? To me, it is the combination of a weak rider and a too technical question on the the course. The rider usually is unwilling to trust the horse and will continue to take away from the foward impulsion (no leg and all hand), robbing the horse of the energy it needs to clear a fence.

The XC courses today ride more like jumper courses (speed and accuracy) so of course we will ride the fences like jumpers and look like jumpers.

Reed

RunForIt
Nov. 3, 2007, 11:56 AM
This is NOT what I have ever been taught.

I have learned that when you have a long open field and/or a big gallop before a fence one must, re-balance/half-halt/whatever you want to call it somewhere (I'd say 4-5 strides out) so that your horse is not running on its forehand to the fence.

I do not do this by placing my but in the saddle but rather by shifting my shoulders into a more upright position.

After that re-balance you must ride FORWARD in that NEW balance with horses hind end underneath them, not strung out, feeling the boing-boing-boing of each canter stride to the upcoming fence.

I will add that I don't always get it right which can lead to no re-balance or too much. I believe the too much would fall into your category of riding backwards to the fence. I have on occasion had a mount that said "I don't hear you" as they charged at the fence any which way they d@mn well pleased.

:D This is what I was referring to in my earlier reply: that Beth teaches you to rebalance with your shoulders and its never about pulling back...I found it very difficult, but I think I now know why - I was depending on being able to sit down, brace with my back, and THEN go on to the fence. Buddy could easily trot a 4' fence so my backward riding was never an issue for clearing Training fences. By stupidity we jumped Intermediate/Advanced corners out schooling one day with only dear hubby along for safety. I went in too slowly and yes we got over cause Buddy was so talented, but I ended up on the ground as he clearly had to practically jump from a standstill. Got back on, and listening to Lucinda in my head and body I got the engine going, galloped forward to the corner, Buddy rebalanced himself and we rode the corner in a proper way, galloped away ecstatic. Today, I may have learned the lesson that corner should have taught. thanks y'all! :D :cool:

flutie1
Nov. 3, 2007, 12:13 PM
"... I got the engine going"

This is what individuals who ride backwards DON'T do! They let the engine idle which makes it that much more difficult and uncomfortable for the horse.

I agree, Reed. The technical questions on todays courses are ridden "backwards" when ridden incorrectly, and the results aren't pretty - or safe! When they are ridden in an energetic show jumping package. they tend to ride just fine. A show jumping package and riding backwards are not the same thing at all, but sometimes one can be confused with the other.

RAyers
Nov. 3, 2007, 12:24 PM
By stupidity we jumped Intermediate/Advanced corners out schooling one day with only dear hubby along for safety. I went in too slowly and yes we got over cause Buddy was so talented, but I ended up on the ground as he clearly had to practically jump from a standstill. Got back on, and listening to Lucinda in my head and body I got the engine going, galloped forward to the corner, Buddy rebalanced himself and we rode the corner in a proper way, galloped away ecstatic. Today, I may have learned the lesson that corner should have taught. thanks y'all! :D :cool:


This is one example of the differences between today's courses and older courses. Corners are now used as part of complexes with related distances and the type of ride you describe is not necessarily doable. For instance, the OI at the AECs had a coop/bending line/off set corner that required an amazingly accurate ride to both fences. I had to come at the complex as I would riding in the stadium. To an onlooker it probably looked like I was holding and pulling to the fences (i.e. riding backwards). However, my horse was under me and going forward at about 200 mpm in order for us to make the turn to both the coop and the bending 3 strides to the corner and not bounce off of the face of the corner.

I suspect that is what is being asked. In this case the course required a "backward" ride, e.g. that not normally being associated with XC.

Reed

snoopy
Nov. 3, 2007, 12:37 PM
[QUOTE=pwynnnorman;2778746]"Losing impulsion" Or slowing down? QUOTE]



AH!!!! This is where the principles of dressage come in....

Losing impulsion and slowing down are two very DIFFERENT things. This thought is where riders are making mistakes....

Impulsion is derived from the hind end and has nothing to do with speed

Speed is derived from the forehand/shoulder...hence speed can be very dangerous when used INSTEAD of impulsion when approaching a fence.

There needs to be a combination of both with certain types of fences.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 3, 2007, 03:15 PM
A rider will hold a horse to the point that impulsion is lost. A rider can sit deep and sit up (old cavalry style) and still be forward in the ride. A rider can also be very slow but still be forward in the ride.



Of course, RAyers, that is possible and done well by good riders. But that is NOT what I've been seeing--and it is not always associated with impulsion or speed at all. So maybe I misinterpreted what was stated on the other thread.

Recall this comment, from Sleepy:


And, while some riders may, in fact, ride these courses backwards, they wouldn't be if they were properly trained. Lucinda Green recently commented on this, saying something to the effect that she was shocked at how many riders at the upper levels are getting around the courses without knowing how to ride a coffin canter. I don't think it's what the courses are "encouraging" per se, but rather where the emphasis is in the training (or, really, where the holes are).


This is why I don't get the way I see, rider after rider, galloping in an open field down to a simple, single jump sitting in three-point the last three strides. How much re-balancing is necessary in front of a fence and why is it necessary at EVERY fence? And, yeah, what I see is not sending the horse forward afterward, which implies getting out of the tack (or never actually getting into--as in a deep two point, as someone already described, verses a full three-point position).

[And, no, I'm not talking about those rarer times when one has to sit and push the reluctant horse--I'm talking about why the arse has to sit, stride after stride, in the saddle to approach a jump, jump after jump.]

You see backwards riding as a necessary evil, rAyers--because we no longer have open, galloping courses, perhaps? I think I am defining it as an unfortunate trend, as was Lucinda Green. Best contrasting example I can think of right now is how Bruce or Karen or Phillip or Kim can go down to some whopping big oxer--yes, a galloping part of a course--without sitting. If THEY can do that, why can't the Novice level rider stay out of the tack in that field? And wouldn't the Novice be developing more skill if he or she did? And what is the result of that tendency do sit even when it isn't necessary? In my mind, that is backward riding...and the observation I'm making is that I see it not on your classic forward TB, but on the type of horse that puts up with (and maybe even needs) it.

flutie1
Nov. 3, 2007, 03:46 PM
"... In my mind, that is backward riding"

I think we're experiencing a semantic issue here. How about instead of "backward," the sitting up riding style be called "deep seat" or "three point" or something that describes the rider's position (which is what Wynn seems to be struggling with) rather than "backward" which seems to have a different connotation to many of us, myself included.

ss3777
Nov. 3, 2007, 04:08 PM
"think we're experiencing a semantic issue here. How about instead of "backward," the sitting up riding style be called "deep seat" or "three point" or something that describes the rider's position "

I think you are right. I know that I often (maybe to often) ride with a deep seat but don't think it is always backwards riding. My usual plan is to ride in my two point and let the horse travel between fences, rebalance (shoulders back, deeper seat, hopefully does not involve pulling back of the hands) about 4-5 strides away from the base (what I think of as the zone and it is never closer than 3 feet), and than ride forward to the fence. If my stride gets shorter and shorter in the last 3 strides, yep I am riding backwards, if I have a nice bouncy, jump anything canter, no matter what "seat" I am riding with......... life is good :)

Clear as mud, no?

RAyers
Nov. 3, 2007, 08:26 PM
You see backwards riding as a necessary evil, rAyers--because we no longer have open, galloping courses, perhaps? I think I am defining it as an unfortunate trend, as was Lucinda Green. Best contrasting example I can think of right now is how Bruce or Karen or Phillip or Kim can go down to some whopping big oxer--yes, a galloping part of a course--without sitting. If THEY can do that, why can't the Novice level rider stay out of the tack in that field? And wouldn't the Novice be developing more skill if he or she did? And what is the result of that tendency do sit even when it isn't necessary? In my mind, that is backward riding...and the observation I'm making is that I see it not on your classic forward TB, but on the type of horse that puts up with (and maybe even needs) it.

No, no, no. I don't see "backwards" riding as a necesary evil. One can be slow, compact and not backwards. That is my point. One should NEVER ride backwards to a fence.

I agree with flutie1. To me what you are describing is a 3-point/deep seat type of ride. I agree with you, in that you do not need that to a single fence in a field (e.g. fly fence). What I do is to get closer to the saddle but not open up my upper body when I "fly" a fence but there are not as many of those fence out there anymore. I hate the new comapct courses that don't allow you to fly. Rebecca Farms is an old style, Mark Phillips course with huge long gallops and I rarely actually get into a 3-point other to balance to on that course. Because of that we usually are in under the time unlike other courses.

I suspect what you are seeing at the upper levels is the result of the run your horse's ass off and then try to slam the horse onto its back end as quick as possible to get over the single, hence the comments by Lucinda Green?

Reed

BarbB
Nov. 3, 2007, 08:56 PM
I agree with those who say that backward riding is not about position.

It is about impulsion, but more important it is mental. It is a rider who is hesitant, killing the engine, being TOO careful, sucking back. Not thinking forward.

The rider must THINK forward, attacking, get to the other side. Whatever you have to do physically to navigate the obstacle has nothing to do with riding backwards. It could be the bouncy coffin canter or a wide open gallop....position is separate from riding backwards or riding forward.

BarbB
Nov. 3, 2007, 09:02 PM
On the separate issue of sitting in the saddle. I think that depends on the horse. My horse did not like to be jumped out of two point. He wanted your ass in the saddle and leg on supporting him right to the base of the jump. Other horses hate this and much prefer a lighter seat to the jump. I don't think you can judge whether a rider is giving a good ride by whether or not they are sitting in the saddle.

flyingchange
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:10 AM
On the separate issue of sitting in the saddle. I think that depends on the horse. My horse did not like to be jumped out of two point. He wanted your ass in the saddle and leg on supporting him right to the base of the jump. Other horses hate this and much prefer a lighter seat to the jump. I don't think you can judge whether a rider is giving a good ride by whether or not they are sitting in the saddle.

This is SO true. My current prelim horse wants your ass in the saddle too, and leg on all the way to the base. But my novice mare does not do well with this type of ride - she does much better with a 2-point approach. VERY different horses (very interesting to go from one to the other!).

At a Lucinda Green clinic I did recently, she was adamant that with this horse I keep my rear end in the saddle - she said as long as I do this, and stay back, "he'll do anything for you." So ... I am trying to follow her advice!

RunForIt
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:32 AM
This is SO true. My current prelim horse wants your ass in the saddle too, and leg on all the way to the base. But my novice mare does not do well with this type of ride - she does much better with a 2-point approach. VERY different horses (very interesting to go from one to the other!).

At a Lucinda Green clinic I did recently, she was adamant that with this horse I keep my rear end in the saddle - she said as long as I do this, and stay back, "he'll do anything for you." So ... I am trying to follow her advice!

pwynnorman:

Best contrasting example I can think of right now is how Bruce or Karen or Phillip or Kim can go down to some whopping big oxer--yes, a galloping part of a course--without sitting. If THEY can do that, why can't the Novice level rider stay out of the tack in that field? And wouldn't the Novice be developing more skill if he or she did? And what is the result of that tendency do sit even when it isn't necessary? In my mind, that is backward riding...and the observation I'm making is that I see it not on your classic forward TB, but on the type of horse that puts up with (and maybe even needs) it.

the lesson here - at least for me - is ride forward, but lots of us get stuck in thinking that because the horse is moving toward the jump while we're sitting up in our dressage seat and HOLDING, that we're riding forward...not so! I've got to learn the difference and this thread has been the wake-up call. Thanks. So much to learn and learn how to do. :cool:

Xctrygirl
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:43 AM
Just wanted to chime in that backwards riding is not solely a beast of the upper level dungeons. While at a starter event yesterday I saw plenty of backward riding from Training level on down.

And honestly my belief is that the roots of this "disease" are what need to be treated, not the noticeable "flower" that we see at events.

I ask myself when I see those riding backwards what other things I can see about this horse/rider as they pass by me? Is there a large assortment of metal in the horse's mouth? Is there a smile on the rider's face or a worried grimace? Does the horse seem bright and happy or are the ears working like Dutch windmills? Is the rider making more noise that Monica Seles at Wimbeldon?

Overall I think that backwards riding comes from a deeper base of anxiety, fear, or simply a lack of comfort with some part of what the challenges are in front of them.

I>E> Are one of both of the combination not comfy with ditches, water, banks, etc? Has the rider come from or to a horse that is more "forwardly inclined" than what they are used to? Did the horse come from a rider that was more/less confident?

All these things can be possible causes of anxiety, fear and lack of comfort. In turn its because of these little things that our teaching system of today is failing the horses/riders. So many trainers aren't able to stop a rider from competing and send them back to the arena to work on the issues before they get into the uncomfy moments out at the events.
Too many riders are in a rush to be out there competing and quite honestly shouldn't be there yet. But the plentitude of trainers and events means that a determined to compete rider, will just keep switching and will ignore a lot of good advice in the process.

And conversely the riders from my generation and before were only allowed to enter when a trainer said they were ready. Heck I remember sitting out months because of problems going on with one of my horses. But the trainer said no, so mom and dad followed suit. And now I appreciate it. But back then I was frustrated and bored. Nowadays we seem to see some, not all, parents not stepping in enough and relying on the professionals to guide Jane Doe's actual schedule.

Land woes have led to many many riders not knowing how to gallop. And I mean take the saint of a horse/pony out and GO! Not just 400 mpm. So many riders feel that they're flying and I can count to 50 before they clear the space of 300 meters.
All these basics are only getting covered at best 70% and the 30% gaps add up.

I think that when it comes to the over technical courses, those with the fullest backgrounds do still ride correctly through the techinical stuff. Sure it may not be pretty all the time but the effective riders get it done, because the issues described above have all been dealt with and covered.

A great example of this is our own Reed. Sure he describes how he approached the corner combo at AEC as a very dramatic change in speed, but he knew what his horse and he needed to do to get over it, 200mpm, and he got it, and made it work. His horse still had engine and he had a plan, and I'd bet a plan B, and C if plan A didn't work out. ;)

Truly backwards riders haven't got that full of a plan of attack. They pull, they forget the engine, and the horse is left to decided, "Hmmm do I think she fed me enough carrots to handle this by myself?"

All in all I think we're slowly making a situation that could result in more injuries and rule changes that make little sense.

There should be standards that people must complete before they can move up a level among the lower levels. A scary BN rider can easily become a terrifying training level rider and there's nothing to stop this from happening. Its great that the sport is blossoming but losing land won't be the biggest worry if the riders start hurting themselves more and more.

Ok thats my take.

~Emily

flutie1
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:59 AM
"Overall I think that backwards riding comes from a deeper base of anxiety, fear, or simply a lack of comfort with some part of what the challenges are in front of them."

Excellent point.

3dazey
Nov. 4, 2007, 09:00 AM
I think Reed is spot on here...what I am seeing that I consider backwards are the horses galloping wide open xc, then, as the next fence comes in sight, the rider is hauling back on the reins, sitting bolt upright trying to get control, horses mouth is gaping, head flipping and this is how the two of them arrive at the fence. The result is often a hollow, God-awful looking effort and only the sheer athleticism of the horse saves the day.

The horses are fit and fresh, yes, but they have to learn to balance back as necessary at the request of the rider so that when they arrive at the fence, the momentum is forward and positive. If you are wrestling with your horse all around the course, you will not be able to achieve this, ergo, more training, more bit, whatever it takes to be able to let go and gallop between fences but be able to quietly rate beforehand in time to jump the fence safely and in a forward-thinking way.

This was such a difficult concept for me...and one I didn't really grasp until I'd been intermediate a couple times. By then, luckily, I learned to let go and the horse learned to look for the effort and balance himself against the jump, not my hand. Lo and behold, we started to make time, easily. The more experienced the pair, the faster they can do this before a fence...and yes, at the higher levels hopefully you can maintain your two-point and execute a fly fence without any noticeable change in horse or rider.

Sitting in the saddle before the fence is a function of what each individual horse needs, as well as the rider. The kids mentioned who sit before every fence have probably been taught to do this for security's sake, and the horses probably don't care at those lower speeds and smaller heights. Now I do have an issue with the occasional rider you'll see sitting through the ENTIRE xc course, often with stirrups very long and with a banging butt. Not only is it not fair to the horse and contrary to the idea of xc, but it just has to be exhausting and painful for the rider. :eek:

snoopy
Nov. 4, 2007, 09:12 AM
for me anyway...it is a rider's state of mind transfered to the horse's way of going. A rider who is not thinking "forward"...not to be confused with speed... rides the horse in the same manner.:(

pwynnnorman
Nov. 4, 2007, 02:04 PM
Interesting discussion. A telephone conversation about this resulted in a new term to consider.

Maybe what I'm describing is not "backward" riding, but rather--as someone indicated earlier on this thread--"backseat" riding? That kind of term would accomodate the fear factor and the novice taught to sit aspects, wouldn't it.

It's a reactive rather than proactive seat. RAyers and others described a functional, proactive seat based on the horse (but, I'll admit that some of what I read kinda confirmed, at least to me, what I was saying initially about "it's the horse, not the course").

That parenthetical slammed me back to my original query, in fact. ARE THERE more horses these days that require the "full seat ride"? I'm trying to imagine Abigail Lufkin going down to a table on Jacob Two Two in three-point.

Hey, how about examples? In an effort to get this straight in my mind (and avoid cleaning the kitchen for a little while longer), I looked at some video on YouTube (Morven, 2006): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygi2whFP1NM. It's a longer clip, so to save time, consider, in light of this conversation, the rides seen at 1:23 and at 4:26. Compare those to each other, but then take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=463PhvZuzeE or this (starting at 1:07) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Sa_W2xmuA, or maybe this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghG1YHP7UaM (and my apologies to using the riders in this way--these aren't necessarily illustrative; they're just samples, if you will). Tell me what you think.

Blugal
Nov. 4, 2007, 03:06 PM
I'm with Reed and snoopy.

A few other points:
-Pwynn's first video showed the 2nd rider in a multi-element combination. It's wise to sit if you only have 2 strides between fences & need to influence the horse.

-Pat Burgess (who has coached many 4* riders, most notably Lucinda Green), says you need to sit to have maximum influence over your horse and for security. I've ridden in several clinics with her, and she emphasizes staying out of your horse's way when you do this (i.e. sitting before the fence, then smoothly into jumping position over the fence with soft hands, landing & immediately ready for the next thing).

-weight: sometimes all you need before a fence is to get the horse off its forehand, pay attention, and a little packaged for the effort. Some riders can do this by simply sinking weight down in the saddle in a 2 1/2 point. As previous posters have said, some horses require a bit different ride. For anything with speed (Training level and up) I prefer sitting about 5 strides out, half-halting, and riding forward in a rhythm. I'm only 5'3 on a tall day, and the horses are usually 16-17 hh, so a modified 2 1/2 point usually doesn't get it done for me. Plus, I feel a lot more secure sitting in the saddle if I have to do last-minute kicking, steering, stride adjustments, and staying on in the case of anything weird happening in the last stride - in other words, don't jump before the horse.

Hony
Nov. 4, 2007, 03:24 PM
The gray horse in the CCI video is a saint!
I agree with Blugal that the seat can be very effective as a back up to your leg. The problem with the seat is that it's easy to get into a habit of pumping before every jump. I always sit the last stride because I feel that I can actually stay out of my horse's way better from that position and stay secure if we do end up in a bad spot. I also feel that I can influence my horse's stride better from that position. I'm a Lucinda follower too! You never feel more secure than after one of her clinics.
I have been known to be a pumper so I work on excersizes that keep me out of the saddle until the last stride where I will lightly touch down. I know from that position I can sit and pump if absolutely necessary to drive the hind end under and get a better stride but if I have the canter I want then I'm out of the way.
I think the real key is to push with your legs and wait with your shoulders (easier said than done). Doing this prevents you from getting ahead of the motion and toppling off the front.
I guess the seat serves two purposes, one to help acheive a forward stride and two to be in the back seat for difficult combinations. Some horses definitely like it better than others. I have ridden several horses that hate it when you sit so you just don't. Others find it more secure and appreciate it.
I don't think riders are either backwards or not. I think many of us have backwards rides at times depending on how mentally ready we are for the challenge at hand. I know for sure that my second prelim started out foward, got backward after I got a bad spot and ended forward. I was a little tentative after a difficult jump and it caused me to be backward for part of the course. On the other hand, my first prelim I was so excited that it was an extrememly forward ride. Mood means a great deal.

RAyers
Nov. 4, 2007, 06:26 PM
Hey, how about examples? In an effort to get this straight in my mind (and avoid cleaning the kitchen for a little while longer), I looked at some video on YouTube (Morven, 2006): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ygi2whFP1NM. It's a longer clip, so to save time, consider, in light of this conversation, the rides seen at 1:23 and at 4:26. Compare those to each other, but then take a look at this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=463PhvZuzeE or this (starting at 1:07) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_Sa_W2xmuA, or maybe this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghG1YHP7UaM (and my apologies to using the riders in this way--these aren't necessarily illustrative; they're just samples, if you will). Tell me what you think.


It is hard to tell. Some of the rides that may appear to be at fly fences are ridden differently (on the first video) because of the small compression about 3 step in front of the fence (e.g. it was a small "pimple" type fence). The second video looked like the footing was a bit iffy and the ride was more defensive than normally would be ridden.

Now that we got the definitions are agreed upon, I agree with you observations though. I still think both course and horse are factors. I find I ride the same horse differently on different courses, hence why I agree with your observations.

Reed

KBG Eventer
Nov. 4, 2007, 06:26 PM
Of course, RAyers, that is possible and done well by good riders. But that is NOT what I've been seeing--and it is not always associated with impulsion or speed at all. So maybe I misinterpreted what was stated on the other thread.

Recall this comment, from Sleepy:


This is why I don't get the way I see, rider after rider, galloping in an open field down to a simple, single jump sitting in three-point the last three strides. How much re-balancing is necessary in front of a fence and why is it necessary at EVERY fence? And, yeah, what I see is not sending the horse forward afterward, which implies getting out of the tack (or never actually getting into--as in a deep two point, as someone already described, verses a full three-point position).

[And, no, I'm not talking about those rarer times when one has to sit and push the reluctant horse--I'm talking about why the arse has to sit, stride after stride, in the saddle to approach a jump, jump after jump.]

You see backwards riding as a necessary evil, rAyers--because we no longer have open, galloping courses, perhaps? I think I am defining it as an unfortunate trend, as was Lucinda Green. Best contrasting example I can think of right now is how Bruce or Karen or Phillip or Kim can go down to some whopping big oxer--yes, a galloping part of a course--without sitting. If THEY can do that, why can't the Novice level rider stay out of the tack in that field? And wouldn't the Novice be developing more skill if he or she did? And what is the result of that tendency do sit even when it isn't necessary? In my mind, that is backward riding...and the observation I'm making is that I see it not on your classic forward TB, but on the type of horse that puts up with (and maybe even needs) it.

I haven't read the rest of the thread, but I wanted to comment on the whole sitting thing.

My current trainer has me ride in a lot more half seat then I ever done before. And boy has it changed my riding. I am now learning that I can stay out of the tack a little bit (and it helps me keep my leg locked, on, and secure) and just use my shoulders/upper body to rate the horse. I love watching my trainer ride because he can just gallop down to anything in that half seat, the horse is in complete balance, and he is SO relaxed and soft!

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 4, 2007, 06:48 PM
I agree with a lot that has been said on this thread...and yes I do sometimes sit to my fences....but you also have to learn how to influence your horse WITHOUT siting down on their back. One of Jimmy's exercises...is jumping into a line and having you STOP your horse before the next fence while still in your jumping position. Hard....HELL yes...but a great exercise to teach you how to influcence your horse without sitting (or picking up your hands).


As to the initial discussion...backwards riding to me is completely a RIDER issue. It is the RIDER who rides backwards...and it is a response to either their horse or the course or fear etc....not a new problem. But I do think that asking a question after question after question of accuracy as we are seeing on todays courses encourages riders to micro manage their horses on x-c....which can easily lead to backwards riding...but don't kid yourself...people have been fighting the tendency to ride backwards forever. It isn't a new problem...and it isn't unique to eventing...you see a lot of it in show jumping as well.

KBG Eventer
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:11 PM
I agree with a lot that has been said on this thread...and yes I do sometimes sit to my fences....but you also have to learn how to influence your horse WITHOUT siting down on their back. One of Jimmy's exercises...is jumping into a line and having you STOP your horse before the next fence while still in your jumping position. Hard....HELL yes...but a great exercise to teach you how to influcence your horse without sitting (or picking up your hands).


As to the initial discussion...backwards riding to me is completely a RIDER issue. It is the RIDER who rides backwards...and it is a response to either their horse or the course or fear etc....not a new problem. But I do think that asking a question after question after question of accuracy as we are seeing on todays courses encourages riders to micro manage their horses on x-c....which can easily lead to backwards riding...but don't kid yourself...people have been fighting the tendency to ride backwards forever. It isn't a new problem...and it isn't unique to eventing...you see a lot of it in show jumping as well.


I totally agree. :yes:

And my trainer makes me do that exercise, and it is darn HARD, but it works!!!

subk
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:15 PM
There is some very insightful info on this thread--the best I've seen here in a long time.

I too am of the school that backward riding has nothing to do with the rider's position. (And to me "backseat" riding is not about position either, but about being behind the motion.) I agree with so much here, but let me advance the thought: backward riding is also very evident in the dressage ring and it's the same thing that's on XC.

For me a horse who is "backward" is the opposite of "forward." Another way to think of it is a forward ride is one in which the rider is riding the hind end. If you do that "backward" you are riding the front end. (Have you ever heard: "ride back to front, not front to back"?) In the dressage ring if the horse is coming in to a frame because your hands are pulling him into it, it means you're riding the front end. The result is his neck shortens, his back hollows and his hocks are not very active. Although he can be very obedient, the plane of his face is on the vertical, and the first impression can be that he is correct. This frame is often seen in eventing dressage, especially the lower levels--and it will often score well by poor judging too! (This is very frustrating because when you get up the levels you will have to reschool dressage from the beginning to score well. In my opinion it is a Great Big Problem in eventing right now--but that's a whole 'nother thread...) Anyway, that's backward riding, just in the dressage ring.

If you are forward in the dressage ring the horse is coming into the frame as a result of leg--meaning you're riding the back end. The results are the neck lengthens over the top, the back lifts, the shoulders lift and the hind end is engaged and active. Remember too that a correct half-halt has two (yes 2) components. You restrict with your hands (while continuing leg) THEN release and allow the horse forward. Without the release it ain't a half-halt!

Now think about all the same things in front of a XC fence. Coming into a fence--even (or maybe especially!) a technical question, do you want the horse inverted (shortened neck, hollow back) with his hind end not engaged or do you want him with his neck lengthened (though his head is not necessarily on the vertical) shoulders elevated, back up and his hindend under him and firing like mad? I'll take the later every time, thankyou.

I think the reason Lynn might have confused backward riding with a deep upright seat is that what she's also seeing is the horse's back inverting, which with some horses is the result of the deep seat, but with many may just be part of the whole package of bad riding. Someone mentioned Wofford earlier. He makes a point as to how little effect a driving seat has on a horse by getting the rider to pull their leg off then "drive with their seat." The result is that without the leg the horse continues to just stand there...something to think about anyway.

Don't you just hate it that even XC has to come back to dressage?

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 4, 2007, 08:22 PM
Don't you just hate it that even XC has to come back to dressage?


YES:lol::lol:

Great post.

lstevenson
Nov. 4, 2007, 11:05 PM
There is some very insightful info on this thread--the best I've seen here in a long time.

I too am of the school that backward riding has nothing to do with the rider's position. (And to me "backseat" riding is not about position either, but about being behind the motion.) I agree with so much here, but let me advance the thought: backward riding is also very evident in the dressage ring and it's the same thing that's on XC.

For me a horse who is "backward" is the opposite of "forward." Another way to think of it is a forward ride is one in which the rider is riding the hind end. If you do that "backward" you are riding the front end. (Have you ever heard: "ride back to front, not front to back"?) In the dressage ring if the horse is coming in to a frame because your hands are pulling him into it, it means you're riding the front end. The result is his neck shortens, his back hollows and his hocks are not very active. Although he can be very obedient, the plane of his face is on the vertical, and the first impression can be that he is correct. This frame is often seen in eventing dressage, especially the lower levels--and it will often score well by poor judging too! (This is very frustrating because when you get up the levels you will have to reschool dressage from the beginning to score well. In my opinion it is a Great Big Problem in eventing right now--but that's a whole 'nother thread...) Anyway, that's backward riding, just in the dressage ring.

If you are forward in the dressage ring the horse is coming into the frame as a result of leg--meaning you're riding the back end. The results are the neck lengthens over the top, the back lifts, the shoulders lift and the hind end is engaged and active. Remember too that a correct half-halt has two (yes 2) components. You restrict with your hands (while continuing leg) THEN release and allow the horse forward. Without the release it ain't a half-halt!

Now think about all the same things in front of a XC fence. Coming into a fence--even (or maybe especially!) a technical question, do you want the horse inverted (shortened neck, hollow back) with his hind end not engaged or do you want him with his neck lengthened (though his head is not necessarily on the vertical) shoulders elevated, back up and his hindend under him and firing like mad? I'll take the later every time, thankyou.

I think the reason Lynn might have confused backward riding with a deep upright seat is that what she's also seeing is the horse's back inverting, which with some horses is the result of the deep seat, but with many may just be part of the whole package of bad riding. Someone mentioned Wofford earlier. He makes a point as to how little effect a driving seat has on a horse by getting the rider to pull their leg off then "drive with their seat." The result is that without the leg the horse continues to just stand there...something to think about anyway.

Don't you just hate it that even XC has to come back to dressage?



Great post.

Backwards riding really has become prevelant, hasn't it? And yes, I think the current trend of course design has a lot to do with that. Lately at the upper levels, nearly every other jump has a tight turn or major technical question involved. Which riders certainly don't have to ride backwards to get done, but often do. I have mixed feelings about how technical the upper levels have become. I really like the fact that they test how well schooled and on the aids the horses are, but I really hate the trend of all of the turning questions. We do enough of that in show jumping. Especially when they use big spread fences for the jumps on the turns. In the old days, we never had to punish the horses for galloping up to and making a great leap over a six foot wide table, by immediately ripping their faces off to make a really tight turn. :mad: A more vertical jump going into a tight turn would be much kinder on the horses. This is a personal pet peeve of mine.


And I totally agree with pwyn and others who talked about riders sitting too much. That's another one of my pet peeves. Lower level trainers who teach riders to sit the whole time they are jumping. To be in harmony with the horse at the gallop, the rider should be off of the horses back. There are only certain jumps that need to be sat in front of (and a minority of horses that will go better if you sit in front of every jump). Riders should be being taught how to balance for each jump without sitting and without riding backwards to it. But unfortunately, they are largely not.

Whisper
Nov. 4, 2007, 11:17 PM
And what is the result of that tendency do sit even when it isn't necessary? In my mind, that is backward riding...and the observation I'm making is that I see it not on your classic forward TB, but on the type of horse that puts up with (and maybe even needs) it.

I do a lot of backward riding (http://groups.msn.com/BAENAddicts/whisper.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=11613), but not to fences, if I can avoid it. ;)

Seriously, though, I've found TBs to be if anything more forgiving and putting up with stuff better than horses of other breeds, so I'm a little surprised you mentioned that twice in the thread. If anything, I'd think that people would be more likely to do backward riding on TBs or other really forward-thinking horses, while a warmblood or a heavier, less forward horse would get the rider focused on having more impulsion. My trainers do sometimes tell me to sit up/stay in the tack closer to the fence. I usually jump ahead, so they feel that if I focus on staying a little more upright and letting the horse push me out of the tack instead of getting into two-point early, we're safer, and I'll be more likely to be where I'm supposed to. They do want me up off the horse's back in 2-point or half-seat between fences, though.

Oh, and subk, I think the dressage stuff really helps me on XC! I like feeling like I have a *practical* use for it, to help keep the horse more engaged and relaxed through the back and poll. :D

pwynnnorman
Nov. 5, 2007, 07:11 AM
encourages riders to micro manage their horses on x-c....


That's a neat way to put it.

Whisper, you wanna know why I keep mentioning it? It's psychological: every time I bottle Kevvie up too much (the last time being the day before yesterday), he turns me into a lawn dart. :D

Whisper
Nov. 5, 2007, 09:12 AM
Oh, I'm absolutely not saying that all TB's will put up with it! :lol: It just seems like TBs, especially OTTBs, have a stereotype that they're really difficult horses who are all spooky, won't cope with beginners/bad riding, and have bad feet. Well, some of them *don't* have the best feet, but I've part-leased 5 TBs, and have been lucky to ride several others. I'm certainly not the greatest rider, but all of them have tried harder than any other kind of horse to take care of me and figure out what I want from them. They can be a little spooky/reactive sometimes, but they have very rarely done it in a way that scared me or made me feel like I'm going to fall off, and they often soldier right through stuff that might legitimately scare any horse. They seem to enjoy me riding them, even when I know I've messed up by jumping ahead or whatever. Of course, I'm not going to deliberately ride badly just because they'll let me, but I'm grateful that they've been so kind and generous. A couple of them also are used in lessons for people who've never been on a horse before, or never jumped before, and they're very sweet and careful with those riders, too!

pwynnnorman
Nov. 5, 2007, 09:38 AM
True--but maybe not the kind of TB that'll do the upper levels? (Big maybe.)

And another example of what you've said are all those lovely pony horses at the track, many of whom are ex-racers. (Now THEM is some "backseaters," those pony riders. Oh, "my poor loins," some of those horses must say at the end of the day!)

Oh, Oh! I MISSED the link! Backwards, indeed, Whisper. :lol::lol:

subk
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:15 AM
Just a quick thought before I get on with my day.

I think the reason that technical questions seem to bring out the worst in backward riding is that I see riders tending to undervalue the "free half-halt" most horses (even very brave ones) offer up in front of a technical question. By "undervaluing" I mean that they don't add the leg/forward element required for it to be a true half-halt. Adding additional rider iniated half-halt into the mix means you end up with too much whoa and not enough go.

Maybe the real causation is fear. Although I much prefer the term apprehention as oppose to fear--and having some of it is a good thing! But what I think happens is some of this deep seeded concern even if it is not really concious tells our bodys' to slow down. Slower being safer to the sub consious than hell bent for leather. Unfortunately, on XC that's just not true. Slower is almost always the least safe option. One of the mental things I always did on XC was when I felt the least bit of concern about a fence I made a very concious point to override the subconcious with intelect and added more leg and revved the power up to be a bit more than I thought I needed. I found that to be very efffective.

Whisper
Nov. 5, 2007, 08:43 PM
True--but maybe not the kind of TB that'll do the upper levels? (Big maybe.)

And another example of what you've said are all those lovely pony horses at the track, many of whom are ex-racers. ...

Oh, Oh! I MISSED the link! Backwards, indeed, Whisper. :lol::lol:

Definitely not *all* TBs are so patient with beginners, or any other breed for that matter! The ones that are competing at upper levels may well be hotter, fitter, and more sensitive and less beginner-friendly. Certainly their owners are less likely to want to risk them getting messed up by someone who is just learning to post, or doing their first X-rails. ;) I just think that TBs in general get a bad rap as all being tough rides, and that just hasn't been my experience at all.

Oh, and I couldn't resist as soon as I saw the thread title. ;) It reminded me of my boyfriend mixing up "jumping" and "vaulting" several times - pretty reasonable considering that pole vaulting involves jumping over something. He's non-horsey and not particularly interested, but asks how they're doing, listens, and asks intelligent questions. :D


Subk, I think part of it might be fear, but like Milocalwinnings said in this thread (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=120699), I think a big part of it is having trouble judging pace, especially under pressure at a show. It's not necessarily that people feel scared, but the adrenaline on their part and a little tension from the horse makes it feel like the horse is going Mach 1 when it is actually going like a WP horse. I know if the horse is tight in the back and poll it sometimes feels like he's really rushing, even if he isn't actually moving very fast.

CookiePony
Nov. 5, 2007, 09:54 PM
Remember too that a correct half-halt has two (yes 2) components. You restrict with your hands (while continuing leg) THEN release and allow the horse forward. Without the release it ain't a half-halt!

Great post Susan, and I would even argue that a correct half-halt actually has three components-- asking for more energy, then restrict, then release. I think it's Lendon Gray who calls them "half-gos" because she wants to emphasize the forward/engaging component.

Blugal
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:07 PM
I was discussing this with a fellow UL rider... we discussed some of the questions being asked.

Example: a sunken road: A: vertical, one stride, B: drop, one stride, C: bank up & D: bounce over a vertical. (4 elements total). The distances were shorter than a 12 foot stride (I don't remember exactly, but something like 21 feet to the drop, 18 feet in the bottom). I was doing an extreme "coffin canter", and this was after a long gallop stretch.

This is the sort of thing that can encourage backwards riding. I'm not saying that a question that asks if you can compress your horse doesn't belong on XC. I'm just saying that if all the complexes are like that (and I've noticed a tendency to have things on a 12 foot stride), then you *have* to go from 550 or 600 or whatever you're doing on the gallop stretch, to 325/350 for the combination.

What I'd like to see is a complex that demands forward riding - like Burghley of last year - I think it was a corner combination with undulating terrain. You could only get the correct striding if you stayed on a nice forward, committed, balanced stride throughout.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:08 PM
Best contrasting example I can think of right now is how Bruce or Karen or Phillip or Kim can go down to some whopping big oxer--yes, a galloping part of a course--without sitting. If THEY can do that, why can't the Novice level rider stay out of the tack in that field?

This may be a digression at this point in the discussion, but I think Bruce and Karen and Philip are more likely to be riding horses which CAN easily rebalance off a lifting of the riders shoulders rather than needing more assistance from the riders. The Novice level rider, on the horse she got for her whatevereth birthday, which originally she trailrode/foxhunted/rode hunters on, may not be so gifted in the uphill balance department, BUT will be staying in that Novice riders "string" anyhow...

pwynnnorman
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:55 PM
True, Jeannette, but I'd have to count that one as a vote for "horses, not courses"! :D



What I'd like to see is a complex that demands forward riding - like Burghley of last year - I think it was a corner combination with undulating terrain. You could only get the correct striding if you stayed on a nice forward, committed, balanced stride throughout.


Do you mean the Rolex (or did they call it "Lexington"corners)? They were approached on a slight uphill (maybe one or two strides up from a flat), were huge, maybe a one-stride (I think--or perhaps two? No, must've been two.) and had to be ridden very forward. There were hardly any problems at all with them, although MP thought they'd be some of the toughest jumps on the course.

Blugal
Nov. 5, 2007, 11:16 PM
Ok I changed this post b/c I wanted to look it up (see Pwynn's link below).

pwynnnorman
Nov. 5, 2007, 11:24 PM
Same jumps (light-colored, pine-looking?), but different location. I may have been referring to THIS year's, in fact. Did William Fox-Pitt take a tumble at yours? The one I'm thinking of was approached basically from a straightaway, an open field. It was in the reserve direction from the first year they were used. Look's like they were #15 ab, Rolex corners, in 2007: http://www.burghley-horse.co.uk/3DayEvent/fence15.htm. I think just about everyone took it on the left. I guess we couldn't see the ditch from the camera angle on the live vid.

Blugal
Nov. 5, 2007, 11:32 PM
I just looked it up... You could jump either side of A - for some reason I thought it was more like 4 strides to B, but looking at the pics, you're obviously right Pwynn - probably 2 strides. The pics don't show the fences dressed up either (like the sketch does when you scroll over it). I remember the camera angle being behind A and then sweeping to B... perhaps I'm mixing this fence up... or it just looked different from that angle.

Anyway, the other fence I mentioned, the Dairy Mound, is indeed what I was thinking of - a blind combination which rode much better the 2nd year when riders had figured out to go forward and ride positively, rather than wait and hold for an extra stride hoping their horses would see it earlier.

Re-reading: Yes, I was thinking of 2006's course, which explains why I'm so confused!!! The fence I'm talking about wasn't the Rolex corners - it's #20 on this course, at about 2:25:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZU6UPyED7g

Gnep
Nov. 6, 2007, 09:29 AM
The backwards riding we see, or how I define it, is the lag of leg when slowing the horse, for turns or jumps. Its done only with the reins, not with the body and the legs are used as a brace against the pull of the reins.
If the horse would be galloped into the reins, with the leg and the body ( seat ) used to slow the horse ( as in Dressage extend and than back to the collected canter, leg, seat, hand in that order ) than the forward, while slowing the horse, would not be lost.
But strangely, even the 29.0 in Dressage forgets all he/she has done in the sandbox once they go in the startbox.
I think, somebody mentioned it already, far to few realy know how to gallop a horse at high speed and far to few horses know how to handle the high speeds they only do it for a longer stretch at a HT and not as part of their training.
Todays courses are extremly technical and because of it they need a lot of forward riding so that the horse is on its hind legs and very UP, forward riding has nothing to do with speed.
One more observation, on longer gallops one can observe that far too many riders just let the horse run, they are not riding the horse into the high speed, so once they get to the set up point, they have to use their hands with al strength to slow down, they have lost the hind completly, it is basicly still at the last jump. So they have a fight on their hand and are riding backwards till the hind catches up.
If they would have learned to gallop properly they would have ridden the horse into the high speed from behind, so they have a horse that gallops nicely into the reins and than have nice and smooth transitions.
In my opinion its not the courses and the horses, but lack of proper training

Interesting observation from a knowledgebal observer at Grass Ridge, befor the second water, we had a very long gallop with 2 fly fences. The person considered my horse to be very tired and that the reason for our crash and the reason for that explanation was I did not have a major fight on my hand when I set her up for the combination.
I found that a very interesting observation.

subk
Nov. 6, 2007, 12:51 PM
Subk, I think part of it might be fear, but like Milocalwinnings said in this thread (http://www.chronicleforums.com/Forum/showthread.php?t=120699), I think a big part of it is having trouble judging pace, especially under pressure at a show. It's not necessarily that people feel scared, but the adrenaline on their part and a little tension from the horse makes it feel like the horse is going Mach 1 when it is actually going like a WP horse.
I'd say we're talking of the same thing. The adrenaline is there precisely because of the presence of the danger implicit in the activity. You can call it pressure, stress, tension or fear--I think it all works the same because they are basic responses to danger. You said it better though referring to adrenaline. Which is why when I feel those elements kicking me in the pants on XC I make myself override and go a step faster and/or a step stronger than I think I need or are even comfortable with at that moment, because usually those factors are causing us to underestimate what we need. Comfortable does not equal need. XC is a mind game.

RAyers
Nov. 6, 2007, 01:30 PM
I just think you don't know how to gallop your girl and wasted her out before the water. Now you are just making excuses. ;)

I learned how to gallop as a kid running around the pastures and I agree with your observation. One of the best ways to get a feel for position, leg and body is to do gallops up small hills. One can gets to feel how to use leg at speed and the hill will encourage the horse to round up into a good frame with power so the rider knows what a gallop frame feels like.

As for your 29.0 comment, obviously that is where our success at XC comes from. We have nothing to forget on XC. Conversely, we remember our XC training as we enter the big white box.

Reed



...
But strangely, even the 29.0 in Dressage forgets all he/she has done in the sandbox once they go in the startbox.
I think, somebody mentioned it already, far to few realy know how to gallop a horse at high speed and far to few horses know how to handle the high speeds they only do it for a longer stretch at a HT and not as part of their training.
Todays courses are extremly technical and because of it they need a lot of forward riding so that the horse is on its hind legs and very UP, forward riding has nothing to do with speed.
...

Interesting observation from a knowledgebal observer at Grass Ridge, befor the second water, we had a very long gallop with 2 fly fences. The person considered my horse to be very tired and that the reason for our crash and the reason for that explanation was I did not have a major fight on my hand when I set her up for the combination.
I found that a very interesting observation.

subk
Nov. 6, 2007, 04:19 PM
As for your 29.0 comment, obviously that is where our success at XC comes from. We have nothing to forget on XC. Conversely, we remember our XC training as we enter the big white box.
Yeah, my XC master would have gotten great scores in the little box if he'd bothered to pay attention to me and execute his transitions half as well as he did on XC! He was a "you think it, he did it--unless you were thinking something stupid" kind of XC ride. Dressage was exciting. Funny how that worked...

purplnurpl
Nov. 6, 2007, 04:24 PM
One of Jimmy's exercises...is jumping into a line and having you STOP your horse before the next fence while still in your jumping position. Hard....HELL yes...but a great exercise to teach you how to influcence your horse without sitting (or picking up your hands).




Jim has us do an easier version of this.

He makes us go from canter/gallop O/F to walk and still be up off the saddle.
It makes me feel like a grade schooler.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 6, 2007, 06:37 PM
I'm glad to hear that sort of riding is still being taught. When I was growing up, no one sat, sat, sat (the light seat that is "close to the saddle yet out of it," yes; but the butt-cheeks to the leather stuff, no way!) like they do today. Not even the old gents who were REALLY in the backseat over jumps out hunting (the ones who rode like in those old hunter prints--leaning back over every jump).

Sadly, I also remember when the German invasion began, we used to call that "heavy" seat the "German seat," contrasting it with the Portugese and the French. (Anyone remember the Robert Hall stuff and those great articles in COTH about riding the TB and various types of seats?)

Now, the seat we used to disavow seems to be the very one everyone has adopted--to the point where different seats aren't even a subject of discussion any more. Back when they were, many discussions did indeed center around the type of horse in relation to the type of seat. Now, it almost seems that horses that can't take "that" seat are like horses that do poorly in some pro's "programs": they get discarded. (By the latter I mean, y'know how it is when you send a horse out and if the pro can't get it going easily, there's something wrong with the horse, not with the pro's way of developing it: the inflexible pro for whom the horse must fit the program or the horse is wrong, not the program.)

Anyway, that's where I'm coming from here with this inquiry. I wonder about it. I breed hot little suckers and I like hot little suckers--and I guess I'm saddened that the light, sensitive seat that can handle a lot of rpms under the hood seems to be rather under-appreciated these days. People seem to prefer horses that can and need to be pushed forward rather than those that need to be held back. (Oversimplification, I know.)

Anyway, therein lay the thoughts behind my original question: Is it the horses or the courses? Remember Lucinda Green and Regal Realm? He's right up there with Jacob Two Two in my mind. But then, could Regal Realm or even Murphy Himself have gotten around today's courses? Would they have been controllable enough to get through the skinnies and corners inside the complexes? Is this really a chicken-or-egg kind of situation? Teddy is more like Jacob Two Two than he is like, say, Connaught--and it took Karen a while to get the skinnies with Ted, but they did get them. Same with Headley Brittania, IMO--or even Woody (who, to my eyes, goes around cross country looking like a Regular Working Hunter anyway).

snoopy
Nov. 6, 2007, 07:39 PM
[QUOTE=pwynnnorman;2786065]
Anyway, therein lay the thoughts behind my original question: Is it the horses or the courses? Remember Lucinda Green and Regal Realm? He's right up there with Jacob Two Two in my mind. But then, could Regal Realm or even Murphy Himself have gotten around today's courses? Would they have been controllable enough to get through the skinnies and corners inside the complexes? Is this really a chicken-or-egg kind of situation? QUOTE]


Knowing these two horse, I seriously doubt either would be suited to today's courses....and there for would not have been as succesful today as they were back then. But they were great for the job that was required then...who knows if they would have been trained differently for the demands of the sport as it is today. I am not just talking XC...RR was gastly in dressage...not just in the ring but actually schooling. MH...although a great mover and did some nice tests was beastly on the flat during training. That horse would rear and jump of the ground...ALOT... and he was a nightmare to teach anything new.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 6, 2007, 08:21 PM
Yeah, but they were so exciting to watch!

vineyridge
Nov. 6, 2007, 08:22 PM
Gotta agree with Pwynn about the difference in the seat. In my palmier days, we all rode "forward seat", which is now being called "Italian seat"; the point was to get the rider up, forward and over the center of the horse's balance. Now everyone seems ride in the German seat (or balance seat) which seems to me to be essentially reactive and also based on dominance. Or worse, a whole bunch of eventers have taken to riding in the old hunting seat, which was replaced by the forward seat. It's very ugly and has to be hard on the horses.

It's entirely possible to be secure in the lighter seat; whether you can micro-manage a horse around a technical XC course is a whole nuther question. If you ride off your legs, the turning and bending should come, even without the seat aid.

Agree with Gnep about riding the horse at a gallop off its hindquarters. Since you never drop the horse, you don't have to work so hard to pick it back up again.

Gnep
Nov. 6, 2007, 08:50 PM
Pwy, have you ever heard of Rolf Becher, a very intersting guy, ex German Cav, he taught in the 60s as in 1960s and 70s as in 1970s a combination seat. He is the best known of the old school.
The easy well balanced 2 point and the 3 strides out deep seat. The old teaching in Germany, since you mentioned it, was a light a bit forward with the upper boddy seat, stirrups not as short as today, which allowed when throteling back a more upright stance above the saddle and with a lot of lower leg on the horse and than a smooth slide into the saddle for the last 3.
When I grew up we trained actual galloping at high speeds 600 and so on and we had exercise lines on the galloping track were we had to slow to speed X with the means of our seat a very interesting exercise, al you do is plant your hands, get upright similar to dressage, while standing in the stirrups with locked knees and push the horse with your legs into the reins and it just slows down and is on the hind and up.
Thats why I am say it aint the horse or the courses, it is the riding that has changed.

Since we lost the chase, were you needed this, a horse that was extremly comfortable going at very high speeds ( not breed, but training ) and a rider who knew how to do it by training.
If you look at older videos, you will be surprised how many horses were going in a plain snaffel. If you look around a Show today, with the amount of metal the horses have in their mouth on X-C day you could built a fleet of monster SUVs.

If you have to do 2-4000 meters at far above 600 with jumps and than an adittional 4 to what ever thousand meters, you need a horse and rider that don't blow everything away on the chase.

Snoopy you are correct, the horse has changed, the horses I rode as youngster were outright monsters in the dressage ring or at flat work, but they could gallop and jump and I think they would do very much ok in todays X-C, but you know an 80 in dressage, with the ambulance at the ready and judges in protectiv gear, does not cut it today.

But one more observation, the riders that grew up with the long format ride differantly, their horse go differantly than the riders and their horses that never had to do the long.

Reed she was so tired that she just droped and took a cooling bath, while geting rid of me, smart girl. Females always out to trick us boys and I thought it was good training, for once.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 7, 2007, 07:14 AM
Since we lost the chase, were you needed this, a horse that was extremly comfortable going at very high speeds ( not breed, but training ) and a rider who knew how to do it by training.


Now there's a really interesting observation!

Say, a little aside based on the above: Has anyone ever thought of putting three or four consecutive steeplechase fences within x-c courses so that a certain section had to be taken at 600+ or there'd be time penalties?

Gnep, never heard of him. Was he "old school" from a German perspective, European or world-wide?

Gnep
Nov. 7, 2007, 09:04 AM
pwy,
Rolf Becher and many others like him, all cavellerie, were basicly the people who redifined and rebuilt equestrian ( Dressage, Jumping and Eventing ) after the devastation of WWII.
They had ahuge influence on the German Riding School and The Principals of Riding.
Rolf Becher split from the FN later and developt his own riding school based on a very light and forward riding seat.
If I compare the style I learnt with todays, longer stirrup, more actual leg on the horse, a long leg stance in the saddle and a differant balance point over the horse. Far less bit, mind you we had even a bit rule in X-C, only starting with OI could you choose a Pelham or a Kimberwick, try to empose a bit rule for X-C nowadays, snaffels only till OI, that would be killing fields.

I know 2 Events here in the west, that have very long gallops at the UL, Rebecca and Galway and they produce some very uggly pictures outright scarry, the horses a run away fright trains and riders desperately pulling on the reins to get them back for the jumps, even with those monster bits.
Something has changed in the last 8 to 10 years, there is more biting less riding, more hands than seat and leg.
I always like to watch Reed and his racetrack reject, just a snaffel and a horse that is so very Up that his front legs are dancing in the air, he has a longer stirrup than standard in the US, more leg on the horse and a differant stance and ballance point, realy nice to watch, very smooth.

Whisper
Nov. 7, 2007, 09:18 AM
subk, I guess I don't think adrenaline is necessarily from fear, or at least not physical. Plenty of people just get show nerves from performing in public in all phases, or even doing public speaking in a venue with no rotten tomatoes at hand. ;) Plus, staying up in 2-point for most of an XC course at a canter can be a lot of physical exertion, which tends to get me "up" even if I'm just dancing or running. Some people might indeed be frightened, but I think people can have enough of an edge that it affects their perception of pace (or of time in general, to some extent) without being in fear for life and limb.

RAyers
Nov. 7, 2007, 09:59 AM
pwy,
I always like to watch Reed and his racetrack reject, just a snaffel and a horse that is so very Up that his front legs are dancing in the air, he has a longer stirrup than standard in the US, more leg on the horse and a differant stance and ballance point, realy nice to watch, very smooth.

Shucks. (Blush).

I have to admit, like you, I am a product of the old school cavalry training (e.g. mine comes from the 1960s). So, I guess I am another point to your argument! We were taught to be forward with a longer leg. What is funny is that my sister, who rides in the jumpers, has the same leg. When you see picutres of us side-by-side, you can tell we grew up in the same school by our legs.

I find my position works beautifully on those long gallop courses and not nearly so well on the newer "short" courses.

pwynn, the idea of consecutive fly fences would be great! However, designers are making the courses so short and compact that I doubt it would work at many venues. I would love to see 1000 meters added at a horse trial to include steeplechase fences (put them first out of the box).

Reed

asterix
Nov. 7, 2007, 10:29 AM
Just a quick thought before I get on with my day.

I think the reason that technical questions seem to bring out the worst in backward riding is that I see riders tending to undervalue the "free half-halt" most horses (even very brave ones) offer up in front of a technical question. By "undervaluing" I mean that they don't add the leg/forward element required for it to be a true half-halt. Adding additional rider iniated half-halt into the mix means you end up with too much whoa and not enough go.


You posted this a while ago, but I just wanted to call it out again -- this is VERY true and I suspect many of us low level ammies fall prey to it all the time. This is why really experienced coaching can be SO important...big learning curve for me has been to analyze what happens on course when it doesn't go the way I wanted -- and I have gotten better at this because my coach is SO analytical and exacting when we school...

Two examples (both instructive, I think, to the general conversation we are having):
1. Training, downhill approach to a max table. Used to put a rolltop here, rode well. Table caused several serious problems, one involving a helicopter flight :eek:. I rode down to this fence thinking about going forward so we didn't puke over it. Horse was feeling macho (not always his natural thing -- I have to usually think forward as he is a wb), and left out a stride. Trust me, NOT a good thing. Apparently the same thing that caused the helicopter incident, according to the TD. In my case, horse is somewhat overscopey for training, big and careful to boot, so he just clocked it with his hinds as he went, me literally yelling "Jesus Christ, Piko!" all the way.
On reflection, what did I do wrong? Missed the half halt -- both parts of it -- that the course designer "suggested" by putting this table about 5 strides away from a brief flat spot -- if you had really half halted there, and then sent the horse forward again, you would have re-engaged the hind end, lifted the shoulder, and encouraged a more correct takeoff at the base.

Now, I think this escaped most of us Training riders -- I don't generally walk with my coach and missed this point, but you can bet I figured it out once I was done!

2. At Prelim, my first full one, water was a drop in, angle out over a big rolltop -- going straight in would line you up with the Training "out" instead. I really wanted to get my line, angle the small drop in a bit, make sure he saw where we were going. I completely missed the "free" half halt" that my horse offered as he sized up all the stuff going on at the complex -- so over half halted, ended up trotting. Not my original plan to trot the intermediate rolltop out of the water, but, again, horse neatly compensated. Apparently lots of folks trotted there, I'd venture to guess by over half halting like I did. Again, this was clear to me afterwards, but I will only figure it out on course as I get more experience. Lots to learn!!! How do we make sure the riders moving up learn it in time to be safe?

purplnurpl
Nov. 7, 2007, 10:32 AM
Reed and Gnep:
I don't know where the short stirrup trend came from.

But if jumpers can ride foward with a longer leg why can eventers not tackle the new more technical courses this way? There is no need to 'adapt' a new position. Everyone says the new courses are turning into SJ courses with some gallop inbetween fences.
The old school position was secure. There is no question about it.
Get off the perch and ride damn-it!


I would like to see someone suggest that Phyllis Dawson should shorten her stirrup to free up her horse's back. Obviously she is limiting his jump. Can we all make a guess as to where she was 4 strides back?
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p189/xckaboom/phyllis.jpg

(this is one of my all time favorite pictures. Thanks Phyllis!)

Jleegriffith
Nov. 7, 2007, 12:11 PM
I find this thread very interesting. I am 26yrs old but I struggle finding which style is really the most ideal style for me and then try to change to fit each horse that I ride. I think it's hard to find the right instruction. I like to lesson with the BNT's within 2 hrs of me but each one wants you to ride differently. It's challenging to get the analytical breakdown of why certain styles are necessary.

We all know that you don't want to jump ahead and repeatedly I hear it's better to be in the backseat. Well I ride mostly ottb's and they don't want you sitting down and back. Or green horses who simply aren't balanced enough with a stong enough hind end to allow you to sit.

I can ride hot horses b/c that is what I learned to ride on. I can stop a horse just using my knee to shift them down in gears. It's possible to do it all while staying light in the tack. Yet it seems like when people see those of us who still ride out of the tack we are accused of being too huntery:lol: I don't think that is a horrible think b/c it's hard to stay soft yet supportive. Now there are fences that require you to sit up and ride the collected canter but you should be able to sit up and stay soft.

My goal is to keep improving my riding and knowledge of the sport and find the trainers that take the time to give the detailed explanations like asterix trainer.

asterix
Nov. 7, 2007, 02:02 PM
Gretchen Butts, for the record.
She is VERY analytical. It rubs off (not, as my stories show, always in the moment, but I am learning to ask the questions, at least after the fact).

subk
Nov. 7, 2007, 07:41 PM
We all know that you don't want to jump ahead and repeatedly I hear it's better to be in the backseat. Well I ride mostly ottb's and they don't want you sitting down and back. Or green horses who simply aren't balanced enough with a stong enough hind end to allow you to sit.
I said this earlier but I'll repeat it since purlnurpl posted such an fabulous photo as an example. http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p...om/phyllis.jpg Being "in the back seat" or "behind the motion" doesn't AT ALL mean that your butt is in the saddle! If you look closely at that photo I think you would see that even though Phyllis has her rear end in contact with the leather of the saddle she has hardly any weight there at all. Even if you can't tell it's pretty safe to assume that she doesn't just based on the effort and bascule of the horse. Being in the backseat/behind the motion is about rhythm and center of balance not necessarily weight distribution.

Jim Graham (and others) talk about a "light 3-point" where your fanny is in the leather, but your weight in still in your feet. It's a defensive position that keeps the horse's back free, but can be really handy if you find yourself in trouble because it's a small move from there to get behind the motion. jlee, I think what you are looking at that you don't like is the pumping and griding so many people do in front of a fence. I don't think it's particularly good riding that people should emulate.

lstevenson
Nov. 7, 2007, 11:10 PM
Being "in the back seat" or "behind the motion" doesn't AT ALL mean that your butt is in the saddle!



Totally agree. I wish more people understood this. For the sake of horses backs everywhere. :cool:

Gnep
Nov. 7, 2007, 11:14 PM
The whole picture does not make sence to me. The 20 something leaves the dressage arena and basicly goes to the armory of the Marines for X-C in order to survive, the 40 plus something only switches the saddel.

If my horses is forward, subtle, through, up, collected, soft in my hands in the sandbox and rough, backwards, down and brutal in my hands in X-C consistently without improvement, than there are huge pieces missing.
The ICP prgramm has The Principals of Riding band 1 and 2 as a must read on the list, actualy they are a must read for every equestrian, they adress the training and education of the event horse, too. One of the main points is how to train a horses for the ever increasing speeds and difficulty of obstacles. That education is based on the base of the dressage, so why does one see more and more that the superb quality work in the sand box is not transvered into X-C.

Reed its not your style, its very nice, as I said and admire, it is the just letting it go, relax, trust your instincts. You are trying to be to perfect, follow to much the script instead of leaving yourself room to improvise. Be an artist not a mechanic.
Have somebody set up a 4 or 5 times combination, and strides at 3.5, or 1.2 or 3.5, 2.6 and 1.5 and so on, or a 3 stride with a long and 2 short and similar stuf, absolut off strides and all you know you are going to find out how screwd up it is when you approach the first jump and you go in to short or to long or you land an see the sucker is 2 feet to long or short and you have to make it fit, because the combination has 4 more screwed up jumps. Its fun.
Please put as much boot as possible on your boy when you try it.
Or have 5 or 6 bounces in a row, first one perfectly set and each bounce after that one a food longer, a sweet one is if you have 4 bounces like that ( at number four you are not quiet at a 1 stirde ) than have a 2 stride to an oxer and than again a short bounce, and let your guy do it not you, when it works, than you can put in line changes, or skinnies.
Sweet stuff and a lot of fun, but it kinde simulates what actually happens during X-C.
Nothing wrong with your style, its perfect, just be more relaxed and use your instinct, hihihihi it is not science.

ss3777
Nov. 8, 2007, 06:55 AM
"but your weight in still in your feet"


That is what separates the "men from the boys". How many riders are actually doing this successfully? Not just heels down but actual supporting weight. Oh and it took a guru from ICP to really get me to start doing this and reap the rewards. It is still a work in progress. My hunter, equitation days sometimes come back to haunt me.

Jleegriffith
Nov. 8, 2007, 08:03 AM
Totally agree. I wish more people understood this. For the sake of horses backs everywhere. :cool:

Yes, but don't you think the problem with all these riders is they are being told to sit back and they understand that to mean sit down to sit back? Who do you fault the riders or the instuctors who are not teaching their rider how to keep the shoulder back with weight in the feet and still stay light in the tack.

In my personal opinion I see to many riders who sit straight up over their fences. What ever happened to allowing the jump to fold up the angles? I think it comes from the riders who ride to the fences sitting back and when the horse leaves the ground they just stay sitting back.

I am just throwing this up for the sake of discussion but when I see the picture of phyllis I see someone who is in a safety position. She is not restricting the horse but when the horse left the ground I would say see probably did not help with the effort. Compare to some of the pictures of Bruce D. who I consider one of the classic event riders. He makes it look like he is doing nothing. Over a similiar fence to the one phyllis is jumping he is following the motion of the horse. http://www.brucedavidsoneventing.com/ListHorsesOfFarm.aspx?r1=95&r2=938

Hony
Nov. 8, 2007, 09:11 AM
I really don't think the problem is sitting down or staying in the backseat but rather it is being left behind the motion.
I also don't think it is 'riders today.' Some people have great natural balance, some don't. Phillip Dutton seems to keep very little weight in his ankles but man he is balanced.

I do think that one difference today is that many riders ride less and don't have the experience hunting that so many eventers used to have. That being said, the courses have changed so much that perhaps hunting isn't necessarily as relevant as it was.

IMHO backwards riding still stems from their being a gap in training which causes a bit of anxiety on the part of the rider. Only once the rider realizes that's what they are doing can they fix it. The thing is that you can get around N and T without making your faults too apparent. At P the holes become abundantly clear. I am working on things now that I never would have thought to work on in the past because all of a sudden they are really relevant.

lstevenson
Nov. 8, 2007, 12:47 PM
Yes, but don't you think the problem with all these riders is they are being told to sit back and they understand that to mean sit down to sit back? Who do you fault the riders or the instuctors who are not teaching their rider how to keep the shoulder back with weight in the feet and still stay light in the tack.

In my personal opinion I see to many riders who sit straight up over their fences. What ever happened to allowing the jump to fold up the angles? I think it comes from the riders who ride to the fences sitting back and when the horse leaves the ground they just stay sitting back.





Oh yes, I agree with you totally. The blame falls squarely on the instructors who don't teach riders how to go with the horse over jumps. And how being safely behind the horse's center of gravity does not mean sitting down and sitting straight up over the fences.

And Hony mentioned Phillip Dutton. Since he came around, I think more and more people ride that way. Phillip is a great horseman and is very successful. But as Jimmy Wofford said on the Rolex video, "Watch the way his horses go, but don't try to ride like him" ;) Very few riders can pull off that style without interfering with their horses balance and jump.

Hony
Nov. 8, 2007, 04:06 PM
Since he came around, I think more and more people ride that way. Phillip is a great horseman and is very successful. But as Jimmy Wofford said on the Rolex video, "Watch the way his horses go, but don't try to ride like him" ;) Very few riders can pull off that style without interfering with their horses balance and jump.

I agree entirely but rather than riding like him he demonstrates to me that it isn't perfect equitation in the classical sense that gets the job done but balance (certainly classical equitation can be a means to an end). I myself try to do excersizes in practice that will improve my balance. There are aspects of an individual's style that will never change, no matter how much practice, but you can improve your balance drastically and once you're in balance you have better timing which allows you to stay with the horse. The best way to do this is to ride a lot of different horses. Unfortunately a lot of amateurs do not have this option.
I actually started staying for the day after my riding lesson to ride my coach's greenies. Even riding those couple more once a week has helped to change my riding.

vineyridge
Nov. 8, 2007, 08:39 PM
This is kind of on point.

There is thread over on the H/J forum with lots of pictures of high jumping horses. It starts with a photo of Beezie Madden jumping Judgement 6'4" at Syracuse recently, and as she is landing, she has the exact same position as in the Phyllis Dawson picture cited earlier in this thread.

Then the thread goes back into history, and I was much taken with this landing gear photo:
http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/2/2f/300px-ALarraguibel.jpg
I believe this is the Chilean TB that set the world record for the high jump that has never been equaled.

Look at the totally different ride he is getting from his cavalry officer.

Gnep
Nov. 8, 2007, 09:00 PM
vineyard,
I think you are dead on, look at the chilean's tack, bridle, its a snaffel. There is even a video of it, it is a vey smooth approach, extremly balanced, not very fast, no rush into the rains, look at the length of the stirrups, compare them, the one is at the very edge, the other one is just nicely in controll, despite the unbelivebal hights. I think we have lost something.

Hony
Nov. 8, 2007, 10:29 PM
I thought these videos might be interesting in this discussion. They are old military training videos that have been posted in this forum before I think.
This one is pretty elementary but shows how to use a neck strap to practice position
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xyEXM4EQn3I
The end of this video has interesting info on jumping position at different points in the jump.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXbhvwPb11k