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findeight
Nov. 26, 2007, 12:04 PM
Forgive an HP from wandering over from the land of show name and fashion threads on a gloomy and rainy day but...

I happened to pick up a copy of PH over the weekend and enjoyed his thoughts on the current state of Eventing. Kind of hard on some and I wondered how it struck you all over here.

Even though I do not Event or even closely follow it, I think he made some thought provoking comments a la GM. Think he is dead on target too.

I especially liked something that went like this "...you have two chances. Slim and None. And Slim just passed out watching you careen around the warm up ring."

Should be good for some discussion.;)

jump4it
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:18 PM
I have not read the entire article yet but was hoping to see someone post on this. I loved that quote by him..the slim and none one:lol: I think this is a really good topic and I am interested in what everyone has to say.

TBROCKS
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:23 PM
Findeight I burst out laughing and kept rereading that "Slim and None" comment, it was just too funny!
I thought the article was really well-written and appreciated his giving an approving nod to other disciplines.

hey101
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:29 PM
findeight, my PH came this w/e but I have not read it yet... but if you want to find out how eventers feel about the current state of eventing, check out the already very long thread on "should we be looking to training issues"

Eventers are, and have been, VERY concerned about the state of our sport for quite some time.

I for one would appreciate a viewpoint of "other" sports- how is eventing currently viewed by the rest of equestrian-dom? Maybe an outside viewpoint or suggestions for improvement would be helpful, or at least give us another angle that we maybe cannot see from within.

rockmylittlesox
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:37 PM
Theres a video of eventing in the 80's that I watched not too long ago, I'll find the link later, it seemed so much less dangerous! And wasn't eventing designed to test hunt horses out or something? I don't think you're going to run into many giant wooden ducks that require you to jump over, on a hunt. Just my beginner opinion though. :)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4830798433323996010

findeight
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:44 PM
Think you are becoming aware there are serious Eventers and then there are people who think they are serious Eventers just like we have "real" Hunter and Jumper riders/trainers and...well...a whole lot that aren't. Some that have no business in the ring too.

Maybe some bad training and trainers starting to creep in there.

Your sport is getting more, not less, popular on lower levels-quite the double edged sword.

And, no, Eventing was not designed to test Hunt horses. It evolved out of testing cavalry horses to ride into battle-and get shot up. I'll take the ducks.

magnolia73
Nov. 26, 2007, 01:48 PM
I think the BIGGEST issue with all horse sports is the varying quality of training. I was visiting my old riding instructor and she was commenting on the poor quality of training among hunters and well, frankly the scariness of eventing. There are really excellent trainers - but then there are many who should not be teaching.

What I hear most frequently is that eventers are scary and reckless with their horses and that they buy lower quality horses. I think its 90% untrue. When I rode with eventers, the gripe was that hunters "can't ride" and buy horses that do the work- again, 90% untrue.

The best eventers and hunters are so similar- choosing good matches for their goals, lots of flat work, emphasis on control over fences, good form over fences for horse and rider. Moving up when capable.

The worst eventers and hunters are similar- no regard for riding or "control", no emphasis on proper seat, not doing quality flatwork, showing in whatever division is there.

My criticism of eventing would be that people move up too soon. I saw a few too many people happy to get around- as if getting around was an invite to move up. Too few comments on the quality of rounds (jumping) from trainers. Too many green riders on horses with shortcomings. Too many people who's form over fences interfered with the horse (catching horses in the mouth). Too little criticism in general.

My positive views include the DIY attitude and knowledge of horse care at all levels, gratitude towards the horse, willingness of trainers to work with any one on any horse.

Plus, you really notice the bad 10% more than the decent 90%. It really is scary to watch some people ride.

LookinSouth
Nov. 26, 2007, 11:32 PM
I read the PH article by Wofford and I agree with much of his commentary. However, I think it is important to point out that he specifically referred to the issue of riders moving up too soon with his "slim to none" comment and particularly referred to moving up from Training to Prelim where SPEED in terms of the XC is a huge factor of rider readiness which ultimately determines safety.

If you take a look at the lengthy thread regarding training issues you will find that the majority consensus seems to agree that there is a problem with riders moving up too soon in some cases. How can we fix this?? We're all putting our heads together to figure that out. Stricter qualifying regulations as well as age restrictions would be helpful in that regard I believe.

I also agree with Wofford's comments on "more soft riders". I personally think the shortage of quality trainers who teach correct and soft riding is not solely limited to eventing trainers either:) I noticed alot of driving with the legs followed by see sawing w/ the reins etc... in the Dressage warm up of a BN/N rated HT where I was a ring steward. I even noticed a "pro" on a green horse employing this technique and was puzzled. A good dressage trainer will not allow a rider to pull or see saw the reins at all...ever. Afterall a correct frame is the result of balance and impulsion from behind and is never the result of see sawing, pulling or restricting hands.

Wofford also commented on the lack of varied riding experiences among eventers. This is where I have to disagree with Woffords comments. I tend to think that eventers ride with trainers of other disciplines and experience riding outside of "eventing" on average much more than riders in other disciplines. Afterall, we are required to know something about dressage(hence our inclination to train with dressage pros), many of us ride/clinic with H/J/EQ trainers to improve our stadium rounds or fine tune our Eq over fences as well. Some of us don't even have an "eventing" specific trainer to begin with. Quite a few eventers use foxhunting to keep their riding and horses sharp over XC terrain beyond the event season. I think you'd be alot more likely to find an eventer at a gymkana or working cattle than riders from some of the other english disciplines, but of course that's only my opinion :D

Lastly it seems eventers have a reputation for having bad form O/F or Eq. I am not sure when/where this "reputation" began but if you take a look at the wealth of photos from many of the eventers on this board on the current photo sharing thread your not going to see a whole lot of legs sliding back,laying on the horses neck or grabbing in the mouth. On the contrary you will find alot of balanced positions, flat backs as well as a tight secure legs and an appropriate release. I think that thread speaks for itself as far as the level of quality riding in the majority of eventers today. There will always be poor examples of riding in a given discipline but those examples (if the minority) should NOT blemish the reputation of the discipline as a whole. JMHO:D

As far as the growing popularity of the lower levels being plagued by some inadequate riding?? Again this is not limited to eventing. It is a problem in nearly every discipline. I personally believe this is the result of improper training/horsemanship all around at the lower levels. Those riders that have weak skills in the lower levels are going to have a hard time moving up the levels successfully. We cannot judge the future of eventing based on some of the rounds you may see at BN/N just as you can't judge the future of the Reg. Workings based on what you see in the Modified Adults :lol::lol:

Of course this all JMHO feel free to disagree :winkgrin:

Carol Ames
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:34 AM
rockmylittlesoxThanks for posting the video; :yes:it was great to watch the "legends":lol: I must disagree with you over the issue of :no:safety; Those fences were far less forgiving, and a mistake meant a hard fall or worse, I don';t recall any deaths but one at the Worlds at Luhmulen; at a table, horse fell and landed on the rider; Look at the number of max drops i:eek:n the Badminton video, definitely harder on the horse:yes:; and the horses in the video have already done steeplechase and roads and tracks,:yes: so,their "blood is up !:winkgrin:" Also those were the days where it was possible to earn bonus points for speed, ie., coming in under the time; doing away with that plus the full format and huge fly fences was intended to save the horses , and require better riding, hence "more technical fences " causing glance offs rather than falls; actuallythere are spots at Rolex with big solid fly fences much like those at Badminton.:yes: remember eventing has undergone massive revision to satisfy the :humaniacs :mad:: who complained about the falls in the individual at Sydney, though, I personally don't remember any; and the short format was taken up allegedly to keep eventing in the Olympics:confused:; and be aesir on the horses; I , too, find it interesting that so many deaths have occurred after the short format came into use;:( Lots of indifferent factors to be considered here; David and th ecommittee will be busy; :yes: I would like to see some statistics on the frequency of falls/ injuries in the long format versus the short format there there were plenty of "dangerous fences "back in those days; there were at least 3 horse fatalities at Badminton in '92; and, in the year I went to the convention, there had also been been several horse deaths, and that was a major topic; of discussion I recall that Dr. . Mayo dvm. commented on the injuries he was s seeing,:sadsmile: and suggested collapsible fences:eek:; Karen and others ,of course, stood up and said that they wanted the fences solid, so that the horse knew he had to jump and jump clean or it would hurt; In the past concern has been over the horse fatalities, because rider fatalities were rare; as someone pointed out there are now more riders starting more times; I have not heard of any one factor, tiredness , poor lighting, or horse and rider having a :bad day: int falls resulting in rider deaths; certainly the rotational falls do seem to predominate, but, how do we ""legislate " those out of eventing? Jumping solid fences at speed will always have that element of risk








Theres a video of eventing in the 80's that I watched not too long ago, I'll find the link later, it seemed so much less dangerous! And wasn't eventing designed to test hunt horses out or something? I don't think you're going to run into many giant wooden ducks that require you to jump over, on a hunt. Just my beginner opinion though. :)

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4830798433323996010 (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4830798433323996010)Thanks, but, I must disagree!

Candle
Nov. 27, 2007, 02:10 AM
I have to compare the combinations in that video with the ones that I was standing in front of by the infield water at Rolex two years ago. In the Badminton video, the horses galloped the combinations. At Rolex, the horses had to slow down so much for the combinations, I thought they were going to start cantering in place. It was scary to watch showjumping out on the XC course, but that's what the fences were calling for.

pwynnnorman
Nov. 27, 2007, 08:36 AM
I also agree with Wofford's comments on "more soft riders". I personally think the shortage of quality trainers who teach correct and soft riding is not solely limited to eventing trainers either:) I noticed alot of driving with the legs followed by see sawing w/ the reins etc... in the Dressage warm up of a BN/N rated HT where I was a ring steward. I even noticed a "pro" on a green horse employing this technique and was puzzled. A good dressage trainer will not allow a rider to pull or see saw the reins at all...ever. Afterall a correct frame is the result of balance and impulsion from behind and is never the result of see sawing, pulling or restricting hands.


This was the point that stuck in my mind the most, too. I really think it is far too prevalent and is closely associated, in fact, with the "move up fast" mentality. It takes time to get the horse truly through and using its back.

I also agreed with him wholeheartedly that too few (no, not NONE) eventers cross train. I admired Gina Miles for doing Level 7 jumpers with McKinleigh. How many others take time out of their eventing schedules to focus on (and COMPETE in) just one of the phases? I have, however, met a couple of younger riders who gallop racehorses. [Trouble with that is that it doesn't exactly edumucate the hands:no:.]

And lastly, I really, really, truly agree with him that eventers need to appreciate hunters one heck of a lot more. [I]Quiet, effective rides are so extremely rare in stadium, IMO.

pinkngreen
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:19 AM
I haven't read the article but I will go find a PH while I am out today.


Quite a few eventers use foxhunting to keep their riding and horses sharp over XC terrain beyond the event season. Using foxhunting to sharpen your horse over terrain before or after event season doesn't really work in areas where the two seasons are running at the same time. In the south you either event with an occasional dabble in the the hunt field or you hunt with the occasional dabble in eventing. I know that I wouldn't risk hunting my event horse in the middle of the prime of eventing season. I can't afford to lose my entry fees if something should happen on a hunt. Plus it's not my love so why would I risk an injury doing something I'm not excited about? I can go out on my own and gallop over uneven terrain where I am in control of speed and what kind of muck my horse runs through.

Honestly there are few events these days that have the type of terrain we dealt with 20yrs ago. I remember that water jumps used to be truly natural and you had to walk through it to find where the crappy areas were. Now a days you don't see too many people feeling the need to wade through the water to look for mucky spots and holes. Footing is more groomed all around and you rarely get really mucked up spots on course.

I agree with Carol that the fences of the olden days were not any safer. If you saw those fences in person you'd think differently about them being safer. Especially at the local level course design and fence building practices could be scary. Most courses were random jumps placed out in the fields with weird ground lines, strange placement, scary building techniques, and many were very airy. I prefer the design and build of today's courses. I know at most events I got to there is a rhyme and reason for fence placement and build other than we need another fence so lets put one here. Though I would say my only complaint is today's ditches. At the lower levels we used to have more ditches that were not riveted or only riveted on one side making introducing ditches more friendly. I can remember rarely seeing a ditch riveted on both sides unless it was training level, occasionally I would find one on a novice course.

pinkngreen
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:20 AM
I forgot, the wind surfers in the foreground at the end of the video cracked me up! Oh the 80's!

LookinSouth
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:41 AM
Using foxhunting to sharpen your horse over terrain before or after event season doesn't really work in areas where the two seasons are running at the same time. In the south you either event with an occasional dabble in the the hunt field or you hunt with the occasional dabble in eventing. I know that I wouldn't risk hunting my event horse in the middle of the prime of eventing season. I can't afford to lose my entry fees if something should happen on a hunt. Plus it's not my love so why would I risk an injury doing something I'm not excited about? I can go out on my own and gallop over uneven terrain where I am in control of speed and what kind of muck my horse runs through.

.

Very good points!! I live up North so I did not even think of what eventers in other Areas may or may not cross train in as a result of schedule conflict. Up here the event season has come to an end before the formal hunt season begins so quite a few eventers take advantage of the hunts to keep themselves and/or their horses in shape. I also agree with you that there IS alot more risk involved with hunting than the XC portion of eventing(at the lower levels especially). The footing can be unpredicatable and the approach and landing of some of the jumps in the hunt field are far more trickier than anything I've encountered at the BN level in eventing :D This is because hunts must place their fences in areas that landowners approve of and they usually have to have a go around so sometimes fences are placed in a grouping of trees, at the bottom or top of steep hill etc.... All in all though foxhunting (even at 2nd flight) has really taught me what I need to work on as far as riding in the open! I can say for sure that what I have learned from foxhunting far exceeds what I have learned from galloping/riding in the open at my own pace with one or two other people. Even hunting with 2nd flight is much more difficult(for me) than anything I have faced at the low levels of eventing XC:D

hunter-eventer-hunter
Nov. 27, 2007, 10:53 AM
:D


And lastly, I really, really, truly agree with him that eventers need to appreciate hunters one heck of a lot more. Quiet, effective rides are so extremely rare in stadium, IMO.


Here Here!!! I started eventing after years in the H/J land. In fact I went from indoors to my first event at the age of 15. And while the whole dressage thing took a while to get into my thick teenage skull; my H/J back ground always served me well in the HT world.

When I was on college, I left my horse at home, and was the ultimate hitch-hiker. If you have a horse I would ride it. I was luck in that my H/J trainer was OLD SCHOOL. OLDER THAN GEORGE MORRIS! And those skills always served me well on the borrowed hunt horses, eventers, etc. that I jumped for 5 years.

But Eventers are so dammed if they do and dammed if they don't. With the INSANE over-evaulation of dressage at the upper levels, what is the incentive for a competive junior to really learn to ride quietly. The sport rewards getting over the fence, not getting over it nicely.

But back in the day of the three day, you and the horse had to jump in a more 'quiet' way. Who the hell wanted to jump all the XC and the stadium fences, and the stepple chase fences like you were doing twister on the back of your horse? The clean quiet ride is more efficent.

Hony
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:04 AM
I also agreed with him wholeheartedly that too few (no, not NONE) eventers cross train. I admired Gina Miles for doing Level 7 jumpers with McKinleigh. How many others take time out of their eventing schedules to focus on (and COMPETE in) just one of the phases? I have, however, met a couple of younger riders who gallop racehorses. [Trouble with that is that it doesn't exactly edumucate the hands:no:.]

And lastly, I really, really, truly agree with him that eventers need to appreciate hunters one heck of a lot more. Quiet, effective rides are so extremely rare in stadium, IMO.

Most of the people I event with do some cross training in the winter, either dressage or show jumping.
Most of the people I event with also have a good understanding of hunters and truly appreciate how far from simple it is. A group of us met at the Cup Classes at the Royal this year specifically to see the young hunters.
Having galloped up to 16 horses a day I can say for certain that it does educate the hands and teaches one how to gallop properly. Even on a race horse you have to be supple and ask the horse to come through from behind. Riding work helps to teach you to use your hands less and your legs/stick more. There is nothing worse than riding a youngster that won't come through and gallops around like a camel.

Janet
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:21 AM
I also agreed with him wholeheartedly that too few (no, not NONE) eventers cross train. I admired Gina Miles for doing Level 7 jumpers with McKinleigh. How many others take time out of their eventing schedules to focus on (and COMPETE in) just one of the phases?.
Most of the eventers I know DO cross train.

Gillian just got back from a week plus doing jumpers (level 5 IIRC) with Sportscar at Raleigh.

I do straight jumpers with Belle, straight dressage with Music (and Spy), and hunters with the young ones (Brain when I had him and Chief when he is ready).

Wendy Bebie fox hunts

Yvomme Lucas does straight jumpers and straight (upper level) dressage.

I am having a hard time thinking of someone I know that DOESN'T cross train.

grayarabpony
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:30 AM
I haven't been to any events in the last few years (waiting for baby horse to grow up), but when I did there was a lot of out of control crosscountry and stadium rounds. More than 10%. One thing that bugged me were some of the ridiculous stadium rounds for BN and N -- they rode more like a showjumping jump-off than a stadium round for people starting out. Turns were way too sharp and frequent, etc. Get people jumping in good tempo and balance before throwing more advanced stuff at them.

LookinSouth
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:35 AM
.

I am having a hard time thinking of someone I know that DOESN'T cross train.

Precisely why I was puzzled by Woffords commentary on a lack of cross training. Most of the eventers I know are BN - Training and some are very serious competitors on the national level. However, ALL of them either do jumpers, foxhunt, USDF dressage shows or at least something in addition to Eventing. I can't say I know alot of upper level eventers personally but I would think at that level it would be wise to compete in both Jumpers and Dressage beyond the regular Event season in their given Areas. In addition, in our area the riders that regularly clean up in Dressage at the lower levels are the riders who ALSO compete at the Dressage shows (and are competitive there as well):winkgrin:

Hony
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:53 AM
I think that some of us forget that sometimes people have bad days. I would say that generally my rounds are safe and clean, however I was embarrassed for myself after my last stadium round this fall. I got lost twice and presented very poorly to a triple combination, resulting in a stop at the second element. I had dodged jumps to get back on course prior to that having gotten lost after the fourth fence. It was a mess and I was certain that people were snickering about my dangerous riding. I probably would have been better to have pulled up but I didn't and ended up having a eight fault round with time faults.
I guess the question is, why didn't I pull up. I don't know. It didn't cross my mind. What did cross my mind was, how am I going to get back on course and get things going better.

I guess we also forget that horses have bad/weird days too.
I remember a time earlier this year when I rode a course much faster than I had in the past. This was again stadium. My horse literally took control and I had to haul her back several times to get the right canter to the jump. This is a horse who is normally very adjustable. Sometimes the horse takes you by suprise and behaves very differently than they usually do. Sometimes the rider just doesn't react as quickly to it as they should.

The thing is that when this happens at N or T the horse can usually jump out of any trouble spots. When it's P or I the mistake can be fatal.

Hony
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:58 AM
Precisely why I was puzzled by Woffords commentary on a lack of cross training. Most of the eventers I know are BN - Training and some are very serious competitors on the national level. However, ALL of them either do jumpers, foxhunt, USDF dressage shows or at least something in addition to Eventing.

Maybe it's Wofford's students who don't cross train :D

LookinSouth
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:07 PM
:D

But Eventers are so dammed if they do and dammed if they don't. With the INSANE over-evaulation of dressage at the upper levels, what is the incentive for a competive junior to really learn to ride quietly. The sport rewards getting over the fence, not getting over it nicely.

But back in the day of the three day, you and the horse had to jump in a more 'quiet' way. Who the hell wanted to jump all the XC and the stadium fences, and the stepple chase fences like you were doing twister on the back of your horse? The clean quiet ride is more efficent.

There is definitely a huge emphasis on dressage if you want to be really competitive at ANY level. This goes back to Woffords comments regarding "soft riding". A soft rider is effective AND soft regardless of whether they are riding on the flat or over fences. If you are taught to be a soft/effective dressage rider why would one grab/flail/swing around in stadium or XC???

pwynnnorman
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:22 PM
Maybe it's Wofford's students who don't cross train :D

I agreed with Wofford in the same general way I think he meant it. He wasn't talking about the Gilian Clissold's of eventing. He was talking about the Jo Smoe's--and, sadly, while we all have our own experiences and thus our own points of view, mine is that, of the under-30 riders I've used in the past five years, none did much if anything outside of eventing--NOT "seriously" that is (that's why I mentioned Gina Miles doing level 7, "real" stuff that pushes the horse/rider to be competitive at the cross-trained sport). And foxhunting? Come now, that's a rarity even among foxhunters! Again, please, don't take offense, but just because you are in an area where it is easy and maybe cheap/convenient to foxhunt (or gallop racehroses), that hardly means that the majority are.

And I do believe Wofford (and what the sport needs to address) is the majority, which probably automatically excludes most riders living in the mid-Atlantic states where cross-training resources are not necessarily at war with eventing goals. It's when they ARE (at war) that, I think, Wofford implies that the sacrifices (to event) are not being made. It's like the one poster said about having to choose between hunting and eventing because they coincide--and worrying about soundness issues from hunting. I worked for six years in a barn that sent horses out to hunt tough country, three days a week. The horses were fit and I do not recall any having significant soundess problems. Y'see, even disagreeing about that--that foxhunting isn't necessarily going to bang up your expensive eventer, for example--probably contributes to the issue.

Anyway, though, I disagree with Wofford on some things, but not on the cross-training thing. After all, he's the one out there giving clinics and thus getting to know the backgrounds of a lot of riders. Shoot, it'd be an interesting poll to take here, in fact--to find out just how many eventers foxhunt these days.

Janet
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:24 PM
Maybe it's Wofford's students who don't cross train :D
No- cause several of the people I mentioned are "Wofford students".

But it MAY be the people who show up at his clinics around teh country.

eqsiu
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:38 PM
Actually, in my area, few of the eventers actually do anything else. There are three hunt clubs within an hour, yet I've seen the local active eventers out no more than a few times. NO ONE would even think of going to a straight dressage show unless it was a local schooling show (we have one a year) where they practice the eventing tests. Same goes for hunters and jumpers. People go to the two or three schooling shows, but would never venture to St. Louis for some of the serious rated or even unrated shows. They don't show anywhere against non-eventers. All of the money is spent on one more event. It's sad, but it wasn't until I was in college and horseless that I began to branch out. I rode horses for a local hunter, and was hooked. I love hunting! I joined my college equestrain team and learned that I can't eq to save my life. But I had lots of fun doing it (damn, those colored shirts are addictive, no more plain white for me!). I think the people around me are the ones that make up Wofford's target auduence. They're the ones who need to branch out.

Blugal
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:41 PM
On the one hand, you are saying that eventers should cross-train in the off season; on the other, that they should be giving their horse some time off. Which is it?

And I fail to see how schooling dressage and show jumping is cross-training. That's just part of our sport.

canyonoak
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:43 PM
I think of cross-training for eventing as fox hunting/ cub hunting/ steeplechase/point-to-point/galloping racehorses.

I think the emphasis has to be on terrain, some kind of speed, developing a sense of pace-- for horses as well as riders.

That said...urbanization is killing off the chance to do any of the afore-mentioned activities and is limiting the chances to fewer riders clustered in a few spots ,at least in the U.S.

There just are less places and chances for a younger or greener rider to take a risk, gallop around madly and do other non-saftey-conscious activities. Even Pony Club has had to mandate more and more saefety controls.

And I think that is the crux of it.

Going around a tough X-C course is helpful as a learning experience.

PREPARATION for going around that tough X-C course--that is where the experiences and knowledge are wearing thin for a lot of riders-- and horses.

quietann
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:44 PM
A soft rider is effective AND soft regardless of whether they are riding on the flat or over fences. If you are taught to be a soft/effective dressage rider why would one grab/flail/swing around in stadium or XC???

I'm not sure I agree... To a lot of people, jumping is just more scary than flatwork, and they may tense up and flail a bit even if they are perfectly comfortable and soft doing dressage.

I am obviously speaking about lower level riders here...

eqsiu
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:46 PM
On the one hand, you are saying that eventers should cross-train in the off season; on the other, that they should be giving their horse some time off. Which is it?

And I fail to see how schooling dressage and show jumping is cross-training. That's just part of our sport.

The idea is to train in the pure discipline, not strictly for eventing. There are differences. Most eventers couldn't go show jumpers or hunters and do well. Some can, most can't. Most take lessons from one person, and wouldn't think to take lessons from a pure dressage rider or the hunter trainer down the road.

Blugal
Nov. 27, 2007, 12:57 PM
Most eventers couldn't go show jumpers or hunters and do well. Some can, most can't. Most take lessons from one person, and wouldn't think to take lessons from a pure dressage rider or the hunter trainer down the road.

Can't say that I agree. Casting my mind for all the eventers I actually know, far more of them take extra lessons from dressage or H/J trainers than don't. We also go to some dressage & H/J shows when we can too.

As one poster above said, I think the crux is NOT dressage and H/J. It's getting practice riding at speed over various terrain. I grew up blessed with the opportunity to do this - but since moving all over the place for school/work, I haven't had the chance to really do this on a regular basis for several years. I actively seek out opportunities to "ride out" - but so many of that group I just mentioned above that does dressage & H/J shows to "cross-train", do not.

hunter-eventer-hunter
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:05 PM
A soft rider is effective AND soft regardless of whether they are riding on the flat or over fences. If you are taught to be a soft/effective dressage rider why would one grab/flail/swing around in stadium or XC???


In theory this is the case, but I don't think that being soft on the flat translates to being soft over fences. You have to jump a whole lot of fences to learn that soft automatic release of the DeNemety, Jack, GM, etc.

RugBug
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:05 PM
And I fail to see how schooling dressage and show jumping is cross-training. That's just part of our sport.

Exactly. Straight dressage and straight show jumping aren't cross-training, IMO. It's just specified training. You wouldn't consider a triathlete doing a bike race to be cross training. They would just be training. Now if that triathlete went rollerblading or some such, now that would be cross training.

Back about a year ago, JW wrote his list of things that 'horseman' should have done. Many of those things would qualify for cross-training. (and some of them made me go :eek:).

findeight
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:12 PM
Think Wofford is using what he sees in his travels and clinics as examples to base his thoughts on. Doubt he means all.

I did like his observation that he sees too many openly thrilled just because they survived. That is not the point, the point is top get good at it. It does not mean you are ready to move up. I think that is evident in observations of others like the one a few posts back about the run and gun show jumping.
We have the same problems in the Show ring. Especially jumpers.

magnolia73
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:43 PM
I'm not sure I agree... To a lot of people, jumping is just more scary than flatwork, and they may tense up and flail a bit even if they are perfectly comfortable and soft doing dressage.

Yeah- I'm one rider with no jumps and another rider when the jumps are there. It's very easy to create a disconnect due to nerves and fear. Interestingly, some people are comfy with jumping and not dressage that's strange to me. :yes:

Like I can do a dressage test and recall everything I did and have that quality mental conversation in the ring- more bend, add leg....drifting. I pretty much blank out over jumps.

eventamy
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:55 PM
I have to think of budget too. I would love to do more "cross training" and show in a variety of activities/sports etc. But I have to save my pennies just to do schooling trials! I foxhunt when I can (haven't this season though for a variety of reasons), do local shows, schooling dressage and schooling trials, but when you talk about doing rated hunter shows etc, no way can I swing that and horse trials. I have to pick and choose, and I choose to spend my money in the eventing areas because that's what I love. I used to do the hunters growing up, I didnt' know there was such a thing as eventing!
Next season though I thing I'll be venturing more back into the Hunter/jumper shows in Southern New Hampshire, mostly because I think my trainer will be going to a few of them (she's an eventer who also has hunter students) but also because my daughter now rides (leadline) and it's the rare horse trial you'll find a leadline class ;)! For the same reason we'll also be doing more dressage shows that also offer leadline dressage, I've found a couple in New England that do, because it makes it convenient for me!

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 27, 2007, 01:58 PM
Think Wofford is using what he sees in his travels and clinics as examples to base his thoughts on. Doubt he means all.

I did like his observation that he sees too many openly thrilled just because they survived. That is not the point, the point is top get good at it. It does not mean you are ready to move up. I think that is evident in observations of others like the one a few posts back about the run and gun show jumping.
We have the same problems in the Show ring. Especially jumpers.


I agree. That article was his wish list....things he wants to see MORE of...not that there are not event riders who already do many of the things on the list. He has pointed out to me more then once in a large group which riders have the polish of someone with a show hunter background...and this is not said as the negative that people on the BB often do. Eventers can learn a lot from hunters (and it isn't a horrible place to start ones riding carreer)....and a lot from steeple chase riders, dressage only riders, jumpers etc.....and western riding too. His point was open your eyes and look around and broaden your experiences....and you will become a better horseman and eventer because of it.

I thought it was a well written article...made me think of my own wish list...which starts with more hours in the day...a 36 hour day.....including more hours of DAY LIGHT!!! But perhaps I need to think of things actually achievable.;)

snickerdoodle
Nov. 27, 2007, 02:01 PM
What about galloping 2yr olds in the morning. wouldn't that be considered cross training. i think Jack Le Goff used to require that of his students.

Hony
Nov. 27, 2007, 02:29 PM
I agree. That article was his wish list....things he wants to see MORE of...not that there are not event riders who already do many of the things on the list. He has pointed out to me more then once in a large group which riders have the polish of someone with a show hunter background...and this is not said as the negative that people on the BB often do. Eventers can learn a lot from hunters (and it isn't a horrible place to start ones riding carreer)....and a lot from steeple chase riders, dressage only riders, jumpers etc.....and western riding too. His point was open your eyes and look around and broaden your experiences....and you will become a better horseman and eventer because of it.

I thought it was a well written article...made me think of my own wish list...which starts with more hours in the day...a 36 hour day.....including more hours of DAY LIGHT!!! But perhaps I need to think of things actually achievable.;)

I think that level of polish is important because it demonstrates a level of care as well as a standard. A friend of mine uses a quote about accepting mediocrity. I can't remember exactly how it goes but basically by going above and beyond in all walks of your horse life (in grooming, in feeding, in presenting one's self for a lesson) you raise the bar for yourself.
At a clinic I went to with Jimmy he mentioned a rider showing up with shavings in her horse's tail. Of course he was put off by this. Who in their right mind would show up for a clinic with someone as accomplished as Jimmy with shavings in their horse's tail. I'm sure this immediately gave Jimmy and impression of what level her standards were at.

I really enjoy reading Jimmy's stuff and the comment about his students was meant to be a bit of a joke.

c_expresso
Nov. 27, 2007, 02:46 PM
Most of the eventers I know DO cross train.

I agree with Janet on this one. I do "A" jumper shows, when I can afford it and when I can get a ride. This winter while I am a working student, everyone will do HITS as well as event. A lot of eventers I know do dressage too, but it is too boring for me :lol:

I also agree eventers [in general, a lot already do] should respect hunter/eq riders more. It p*sses me off to no end when people rag on hunters as being lazy, slow motion, on the forehand, etc. You CANNOT do the hunters successfully and do any of those things.

Gnep
Nov. 27, 2007, 02:58 PM
just to make a comparison, 82 15 miles and 40 jumps. I think that is the differance

grayarabpony
Nov. 27, 2007, 03:02 PM
I did like his observation that he sees too many openly thrilled just because they survived. That is not the point, the point is top get good at it.

OK that comment made me laugh. I went to Radnor once and thought, "These people must jump out of airplanes during the off season."

Whisper
Nov. 27, 2007, 03:11 PM
I really enjoy cross-training (ie. vaulting and occasionally riding Western/etc.) and complementary-training (ie. straight dressage, H/J/Eq, trail riding). I'd love to do more of it if I get the chance - not sure what competition options I'll have this year aside from the vaulting. I planned to do Hunter Paces, Competitive Trail, and cap at a foxhunt this year, but the logistics didn't work out.

Xctrygirl
Nov. 27, 2007, 03:41 PM
What about galloping 2yr olds in the morning. wouldn't that be considered cross training. i think Jack Le Goff used to require that of his students.

Where do you think I got "inspired" to go gallop.....

I was a full time student of Jimmy's and he was the one who suggested that I go gallop and learn how to feel, control and use pace as an asset.

(Which of course suggests that I was not doing very well of pacing my xc rides.)

Its been a LONG road in the racing world to learn all facets of not just galloping, but the innate differences between galloping a 2 yr old colt/filly and a seasoned 7 yr old Stakes gelding. And in between are many different kinds of horses who require a broad spectrum of skills to gallop them well. And don't think that since I found that lightbulb moment on Wednesday that it would hold through Friday. No way. Racehorses are blank slates and they learn at all speeds. And what YOU teach them does carry on. And likewise what someone taught them before you, you must figure out and adapt to or fix.

I understand what Jim was trying to say about the lack of depth of riding experience in the riders now. I have been fortunate to have lived and experienced a wide range of horsey disciplines. (Dressage, hunter/jumpers, foxhunting on both coasts, whipping for a basset pack, barrel racing, point to pointing, steeplechasing, Tb racing, breaking babies, polo, western, trail riding and teaching) And I'll be the first to tell you that by far the Hunter world was the most difficult discipline for me. That's where I never truly was successful. Of course that being said, the levels of perfection and discipline are very high and I have always been the type of rider who has done best having a momentary lapse of focus, snapping myself back from the brink and then bearing down and doing my best. Not to say I am falling off, but if I miss a distance, I work that much harder to not do it again....for a long time.

In hunters that type of learning and riding style is not rewarded or really tolerated well. And I respect the heck out of my friends who can do those amazing rounds and make it like Jimmy says, so you can't see their riding.

(Jim's quote, "Whats the difference between bad riding and good riding? You can see bad riding")

I think, and forgive me if I missed someone else saying the same thing, but I believe that the litigiousness of our society, and the shrinking land available for riding on have both played a huge part. Add in the new trend for parents to hand the kids a video game or a tv to be the "parent" for a couple hours a week and where are the kids going OUTSIDE and being ACTIVE???? I know a few kids that are children of friends and it's a mighty push to rip them away from the video games and have them run around. When I was their age, it was a mighty push to get me into the house from outside. Thus there are several spin offs from this, kids are less tolerant of weather extremes because the video games are always inside in the warmth or A/C.

Meanwhile the people at lesson barns are so overcautious about lawsuits that many times after a fall now, the students must get up, be checked over and then taken to the ER. All important stuff mind you but by not tossing people back up after a fall or mistake its my thought that the fear or anxiety increases and we could be losing bright stars because of this overprotectiveness. However I wouldn't want a truly injured child pushed into an unsafe zone. It's just that this wasn't what we dealt with back even 25 years with our instructors. And I think it made us tougher riders. You fell off, you knew you were expected to hop right back on and the idea of a lawsuit was a foreign to us as the idea of being able to talk to people over computers.


OK so those are my thoughts. I'll be sure to tell Jim tomorrow when I see him that you all are going to town discussing the points of his article. :)

~Emily

LookinSouth
Nov. 27, 2007, 07:06 PM
I'm not sure I agree... To a lot of people, jumping is just more scary than flatwork, and they may tense up and flail a bit even if they are perfectly comfortable and soft doing dressage.

I am obviously speaking about lower level riders here...

Point well taken :winkgrin:
I guess what I was attempting to say is that if one is conscientious enough to work on becoming a soft/effective dressage rider (this would hopefully include having good equitation for dressage) that they would ALSO care to ride o/f with as much sophistication of eq and application of the aids o/f as well??

Granted occasional fear and tenseness can certainly put a damper on this goal but if a rider is so fearful and tense that their riding o/f is consistently affecting their horse ( and I think flailing arms/legs/catching the mouth/bad distances etc affect the horse...) they really have no business in the competition ring to begin with. Spend the money on lessons/clinics/schooling shows for exposure.

Personally speaking, ( and I am a very lower level rider) I try to ride every stadium course like an Eq course. I loathe excessive speed, irradic pace, bad form in the rider (and horse) as well as crappy distances. I learned to count the strides in the lines and I know what they are before I get in the ring. I walk my course multiple times and plan my approach to each fence. I often take the longer approach and use the ring cause at my level I CAN and it won't affect my time :D

Do I make mistakes??? Of course. Are my rides o/f perfect?? Not even close:D:lol:
But when all is said and done I can honestly say I strive to improve my eq and attempt to better my level of precision and smoothness every single time I ride. I certainly don't just go out to clear the fences.

I tend to believe if my ride is smooth and accurate it is nearly guaranteed I will have a clean round, I think this is true with alot of horses. If a horse is consistently pulling rails ( which I see very often at the lower levels in stadium) take a good look at your riding before casting blame on the horse.
I've even been labeled a "Hunter Rider" by my eventing trainer (GASP!) due to how I ride in stadium ( and sometimes in between XC fences if I've got all the time in the world at an unsanctioned:lol::lol:). The funny thing is I've never set foot in the Hunter show ring. I merely started out with H/J/Eq trainers when learning jumping and that's how both myself and my horse were started. This has worked both for and against me in some ways but I will always have the utmost respect for what it takes to win on the A circuit in the Equitation O/F Ring even at the 2'6 Modified and 3ft A/A level. It takes finesse and perfection on the part of the rider in the show ring to win consistently.

Which brings me to the point of regardless of what discipline or level a rider focuses on I believe a smooth, precise, soft yet effective ride should be the goal of every rider in ANY discipline whether your getting judged on your ride or not ;) IMO

Carol Ames
Nov. 27, 2007, 07:56 PM
wasn't eventing designed to test hunt horses out or something? I don't think you're going to run into many giant wooden ducks that require you to jump over, on a hunt. Just my beginner opinion though. :)
Nope! :no: it was designed to test HORSES FOR the military:yes: HENCE the name "military " in Germany;)

piccolittle
Nov. 27, 2007, 08:28 PM
What I find wonderful and amazing, at least in my area, is that my trainer and her students (and all the other event trainers/riders I know) *are* out there competing with the dressage people and the jumpers- and winning! My trainer commented that event horses are wonderful because they have to be experts at everything- not just get by as they have in the past, but we are consistently meeting and exceeding standards in other disciplines as our own evolves. Personally, I am another person who strives to make every stadium round as rhythmical, quiet, and forward (not fast, but through) as possible. I wish I didn't just do the jumpers, however- wish I could branch out and show in Eq or Hunters but I'm afraid I don't even really know what their styles require. From what I've seen of the hunter world I'm not sure I could hold my torso so low without collapsing- that's got to be some great core strength and good posture. Sorry if that's insulting in some way- I don't know what hunters are really supposed to look like, but the straight-legged, neck-laying crest releasing positions I see a lot look difficult to perfect.

BarbB
Nov. 27, 2007, 08:33 PM
I would just like to comment on the 80s Badminton video.
Even though the sport has changed radically since then, anyone who has not watched those films is really missing a treat and a great learning experience.
You won't see riding like that very often. Horses galloping at 3/4 racing speed on very light contact, riders rating their horses with their bodies and not their hands. Riders who are able to sit still over very difficult obstacles and let the horse sort it out when it is not perfect and horses that are forward, forward, forward without being lunatics.
The people who successfully rode those courses are supreme horsemen and should be studied by everyone.

JMO of course :D

piccolittle
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:07 PM
I would just like to comment on the 80s Badminton video.
Even though the sport has changed radically since then, anyone who has not watched those films is really missing a treat and a great learning experience.
You won't see riding like that very often. Horses galloping at 3/4 racing speed on very light contact, riders rating their horses with their bodies and not their hands. Riders who are able to sit still over very difficult obstacles and let the horse sort it out when it is not perfect and horses that are forward, forward, forward without being lunatics.
The people who successfully rode those courses are supreme horsemen and should be studied by everyone.


I totally agree!! That was very well put :D I wish I had the chance to ride a course like that once in my life- looked like it was a lot more fun and the riding was *so* good when it was good.

Gnep
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:42 PM
BarbB that is a correct observation. Our horses were much more gallopers and a lot of them trained in the hunt fields and very much used to gallop over natural ground than today.
They were used to gallop and were very relaxed going high speeds, but the one thing that makes it look so much more relaxed, they alredy had some 20 k plus of road and track and a rather long steepelchase behind them.
Horse and rider at that time were trained in Galloping.
But believe me those horses were a handfull in dressage.

If you take a real close look at the video and the course you will see a lot of stadium type combinations, vertical, one stride, max spread, one stride vertical for example, or vertical and than max spread, lots of stuff like that, lots of jumps without a ground line or a groundline that blends into the ground, the ditches, hanging logs etc.

Picco trust me it looks very nice on this blurry video, but if you would rebuilt this course today, jump by jump, nobody would want to ride it

pwynnnorman
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:44 PM
[OT: Anyone know where one can purchase the older videos? I used to collect them all--had back to 1985--but I sold my collection in a time of, uh, great financial need, shall we say...I'd love to get them again.]

eventer_mi
Nov. 27, 2007, 09:47 PM
I agree with Gnep - watching that video and imagining myself jumping those jumps made me nauseous inside :^P. To contrast, I've been to the Rolex **** several times and watched many other ****s on video, and thought to myself that it looks do-able on the right horse. I don't care WHAT horse I'm on - I wouldn't want to do some of those combinations! Those riders on that video are SuperHuman.

LexInVA
Nov. 27, 2007, 10:09 PM
[OT: Anyone know where one can purchase the older videos? I used to collect them all--had back to 1985--but I sold my collection in a time of, uh, great financial need, shall we say...I'd love to get them again.]

Unless they sprout up on Ebay (I found none) or somewhere else, you won't be able to get anything from before 99. If there is a huge demand, EEI might release whatever they have (if they have an archive of unedited footage or whatever) but I would imagine they would need to go through the original video company that shot the footage before they could do that, assuming any of what they have hasn't deteriorated to the point of being worthless.

LookinSouth
Nov. 27, 2007, 10:10 PM
Sorry if that's insulting in some way- I don't know what hunters are really supposed to look like, but the straight-legged, neck-laying crest releasing positions I see a lot look difficult to perfect.

Well as I said above I don't nor have I ever shown hunters but I can definitely tell you that laying on the neck is NOT something to be desired in the hunters;). You'll see it alot these days but most of the very correct trainers (GM included) and riders do not approve of this method. Laying on the neck is simply a result of jumping ahead; it's not hunter style IMO. A strong, supple leg with a flexed ankle correctly placed just at the girth IS correct but in my mind should be desired in all O/F work.

I have no desire to compete in the jumpers with my current horse. In my area as well there are many eventers that compete in the jumpers and dressage that do quite well. In fact, usually the riders that consistently clean up in dressage (in the lower levels anyway) are the ones who ALSO compete at the dressage shows and do well there too.
The level that I would be competing at right now in jumpers( and even in the future with my current horse) is usually filled with people whipping around recklessly as though they are competing at a backyard gymkana over fences :eek: IMO it would be far more conducive for me to cross train in the Adult Eq. I do hope to compete in the Adult Eq at some point for my own education.

BarbB
Nov. 27, 2007, 10:29 PM
[OT: Anyone know where one can purchase the older videos? I used to collect them all--had back to 1985--but I sold my collection in a time of, uh, great financial need, shall we say...I'd love to get them again.]

Equestrian Vision used to carry everything that Martin Bird Productions recorded, including all the big events in GB back to the early 80s. They don't list them on their website anymore, but they might still have them. One of those two companies should still have them.

Rainier
Nov. 27, 2007, 11:37 PM
That said...urbanization is killing off the chance to do any of the afore-mentioned activities and is limiting the chances to fewer riders clustered in a few spots ,at least in the U.S.

There just are less places and chances for a younger or greener rider to take a risk, gallop around madly and do other non-saftey-conscious activities. Even Pony Club has had to mandate more and more saefety controls.

And I think that is the crux of it.

I personally think that this is a huge part of the eventing problem. There is so much less land to just gallop around on, going over and through creeks, over logs and stone walls, etc. I think that a lot of eventers have only the opportunity to ride at a stable with an outdoor (and maybe indoor) arena and the option to go periodically to school at a xc course.

For those of us that choose to live in the red-neck boondocks, however, the options are limitless :)

TexasTB
Nov. 28, 2007, 01:38 AM
PWynn,
If you find out a way to attain the old videos, please let us know!
I'd love to get my hands on some of those as well

LookinSouth
Nov. 28, 2007, 06:39 AM
For those of us that choose to live in the red-neck boondocks, however, the options are limitless :)

:lol::lol::lol:

pwynnnorman
Nov. 28, 2007, 07:17 AM
PWynn,
If you find out a way to attain the old videos, please let us know!
I'd love to get my hands on some of those as well

Well, I tried, but didn't succeed much. Found the Martin Bird Productions website and send them an email, pleading for access (email address: info@mbptv.com). Also sent one to Equestrain Vision (email address: lara@equestrianvision.demon.co.uk).

But at least doing so enabled me to find a video of the 2002 WEG I didn't know about!

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2007, 10:11 AM
I wish I didn't just do the jumpers, however- wish I could branch out and show in Eq or Hunters but I'm afraid I don't even really know what their styles require. From what I've seen of the hunter world I'm not sure I could hold my torso so low without collapsing- that's got to be some great core strength and good posture. Sorry if that's insulting in some way- I don't know what hunters are really supposed to look like, but the straight-legged, neck-laying crest releasing positions I see a lot look difficult to perfect.

As we've pointed out probably a thousand times... they're just NOT that different. Correctly jumping a horse is correctly jumping a horse. The basic principles of equitation are the same EVERYWHERE - hunters, eventing, and equitation. If one has the proper foundation one SHOULD be able to compete in all three without much trouble.

The goal of hunters is a smooth horse jumping beautifully. It does not have much of anything to do with the rider's eq - the rider is SUPPOSED to look like they're a passenger, soft, and out of the way of the horse.

What's gotten out of hand in recent years is that a really back-cracking horse can throw a rider out of the tack. A lot of riders on horses that don't crack as much often try to LOOK like the horse is jumping so beautifully that they're jumped out of the tack, when they're not and merely tossing their body to emulate pros on back crackers. However, this is NOT correct.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 10:43 AM
[QUOTE=Trixie;2831742]As we've pointed out probably a thousand times... they're just NOT that different. Correctly jumping a horse is correctly jumping a horse. The basic principles of equitation are the same EVERYWHERE - hunters, eventing, and equitation. If one has the proper foundation one SHOULD be able to compete in all three without much trouble.

The goal of hunters is a smooth horse jumping beautifully. It does not have much of anything to do with the rider's eq - the rider is SUPPOSED to look like they're a passenger, soft, and out of the way of the horse.
QUOTE]


Riding and jumping XC requires a different approach and jumping style than Hunters. Whilst I understand what you say in theory, it is not always a practicle approach.

RugBug
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:24 AM
As we've pointed out probably a thousand times... they're just NOT that different. Correctly jumping a horse is correctly jumping a horse. The basic principles of equitation are the same EVERYWHERE - hunters, eventing, and equitation. If one has the proper foundation one SHOULD be able to compete in all three without much trouble.

The goal of hunters is a smooth horse jumping beautifully. It does not have much of anything to do with the rider's eq - the rider is SUPPOSED to look like they're a passenger, soft, and out of the way of the horse.



Riding and jumping XC requires a different approach and jumping style than Hunters. Whilst I understand what you say in theory, it is not always a practicle approach.

Actually, not really. You need balance, impulsion, pace and straightness to jump ANY horse ANY where. It doesn't matter if it's in the hunter/jumper/eq rings or on XC. If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field.

But, Trixie was talking about the principles of equitation...how you RIDE the horse. Not how the horse goes. The basics are the same, the differences are in the details.

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:26 AM
Riding and jumping XC requires a different approach and jumping style than Hunters. Whilst I understand what you say in theory, it is not always a practicle approach.

I will maintain that if DONE CORRECTLY, the BASICS in both sports are the same.

I'm on no level saying that you ride a log into water the same way you ride a basic oxer on level ground. This much is obvious.

However, you're not going to get me to say that a solid position and foundation and being in proper balance with your horse CHANGES between the sports. Sorry. It doesn't.

Please see Denny Emerson's recent Between Rounds, or look at photos of hunter riders riding correctly (often seen in vintage hunter photographs).

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:27 AM
[quote=snoopy;2831820]

Actually, not really. You need balance, impulsion, pace and straightness to jump ANY horse ANY where. It doesn't matter if it's in the hunter/jumper/eq rings or on XC. If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field.


Actually really...

footing, pace, and the types of questions require a different approach.



"If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field"



yeah at novice level.....


I am not talking about the mechanics of the jumping but rather how courses are set up to be ridden.

RugBug
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:29 AM
Actually really...

footing, pace, and the types of questions require a different approach.




"If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field"


yeah at novice level.....

Snoopy, why don't you expound? How is jumping on XC NOT about establishing pace, balance, impulsion and straightness?

I'm not saying that the pace and balance is exactly the same in a working hunter and an advanced level horse. I'm saying the principles of how to establish those things are the same.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:32 AM
Snoopy, why don't you expound? How is jumping on XC NOT about establishing pace, balance, impulsion and straightness?

I'm not saying that the pace and balance is exactly the same in a working hunter and an advanced level horse. I'm saying the principles of how to establish those things are the same.


Never said it wasn't but the courses are set up for a different ride. I have yet to ride a XC course that looks like the perfect hunter round, what is being asked in terms of effort is different

hunter-eventer-hunter
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:33 AM
[QUOTE=RugBug;2831917]

"If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field"

yeah at novice level.....

I am not talking about the mechanics of the jumping but rather how courses are set up to be ridden.

Not really...if you watch a REAL hunter ride (horse and rider) old school (not the new perch and pray method) those riders really do not have to change much besides the upper body to adjust for terrain. That basic heels, hip, shoulder routine that every classicaly trained H/J uses will get you over just about any fence out there. Think about the bank at Hickstead to the post and rails! You never see anything like that on XC anymore.

That is why is was called Hunting and Jumping.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:36 AM
[QUOTE=snoopy;2831926]

Not really...if you watch a REAL hunter ride (horse and rider) old school (not the new perch and pray method) those riders really do not have to change much besides the upper body to adjust for terrain. That basic heels, hip, shoulder routine that every classicaly trained H/J uses will get you over just about any fence out there. Think about the bank at Hickstead to the post .


Agreed. As I said I am not talking about the mechanics of jumping.

Perch and Prey will not get you far on XC....actually could get you killed.

RugBug
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:37 AM
Never said it wasn't but the courses are set up for a different ride. I have yet to ride a XC course that looks like the perfect hunter round, what is being asked in terms of effort is different

And that's where you misunderstood what was being said.

The principles of jumping a horse are the same throughout the jumping disciplines. How you apply those principles varies depending on the purpose.



Agreed. As I said I am not talking about the mechanics of jumping.

Perch and Prey will not get you far on XC.

But Trixie WAS talking about the mechanics of jumping.

(and not wanting to turn this into another hunter-bash: but most educated hunters riders don't like the perch and pray method either).

bornfreenowexpensive
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:40 AM
[quote=RugBug;2831917]


Actually really...

footing, pace, and the types of questions require a different approach.



"If you know how to establish those things in the hunter ring, you make minor tweaks and can do it on the XC field"



yeah at novice level.....


I think that hunters (taught well) are a good starting point....but unless you are jumping the Working Hunters (at 4 foot)....you will need to make more then tweaks to your position and ride x-c at beyond the novice level. Jumpers (at the higher levels) are a bit closer but there are still differences.

That said....a good rider with a soild position is able to make those changes for x-c pretty easily and quickly with guidence....it takes longer to make those adjustments second nature.

But what the hunters (especially the working hunters) stress, is smooth pace and a rider doing as little as possible to interfer with the horse. Often I think eventers tend to OVERRIDE...in that we feel the need to micro manage our horses x-c. The best rounds I watch at Rolex were the ones like Karen OC's and a few others where the pace was pretty consistent and adjustments made with the horse were subtle.....If you can make your x-c round at a **** level look like a hunter round...that is world class. And that comes from years of x-c riding and years of training with that particular horse....and probably more guts (in knowing when NOT to do something) then I will probably ever have.

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:42 AM
Never said it wasn't but the courses are set up for a different ride. I have yet to ride a XC course that looks like the perfect hunter round, what is being asked in terms of effort is different

I was talking about the BASICS of establishing those rides, not riding a "perfect hunter round" over cross country. Please read for comprehension.


"The basic principles of equitation are the same EVERYWHERE - hunters, eventing, and equitation. If one has the proper foundation one SHOULD be able to compete in all three without much trouble."

I'm not suggesting that a "perch and pray" rider should go XC, or that any GOOD hunter rider can ride an advanced XC course easily - that doesn't correlate. What I WAS referring to was the mechanics of the sport - once again, that the foundation, ie, the BASICS - for all three - are the same.
Of COURSE you'll have to tweak your ride depending on the test at hand, that much is a given.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:44 AM
[QUOTE=bornfreenowexpensive;2831951]


I think that hunters (taught well) are a good starting point....but unless you are jumping the Working Hunters (at 4 foot)....you will need to make more then tweaks to your position and ride x-c at beyond the novice level. Jumpers (at the higher levels) are a bit closer but there are still differences.

That said....a good rider with a soild position is able to make those changes for x-c pretty easily and quickly with guidence....it takes longer to make those adjustments second nature.
QUOTE]


Thank you!

Ravencrest_Camp
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:52 AM
But, Trixie was talking about the principles of equitation...how you RIDE the horse. Not how the horse goes. The basics are the same, the differences are in the details.

Yes, but the devil is in the details.

claire
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:52 AM
But what the hunters (especially the working hunters) stress, is smooth pace and a rider doing as little as possible to interfer with the horse. Often I think eventers tend to OVERRIDE...in that we feel the need to micro manage our horses x-c. The best rounds I watch at Rolex were the ones like Karen OC's and a few others where the pace was pretty consistent and adjustments made with the horse were subtle.....If you can make your x-c round at a **** level look like a hunter round...that is world class. And that comes from years of x-c riding and years of training with that particular horse....and probably more guts (in knowing when NOT to do something) then I will probably ever have.

bornfree, You can tell you come from the JW school of eventing! :cool:

This was a cliffnotes version of the last JW clinic I attended.
"Let the HORSE figure it out" :winkgrin:

Janet
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:55 AM
Riding and jumping XC requires a different approach and jumping style than Hunters. Whilst I understand what you say in theory, it is not always a practicle approach.

Riding show hunters and riding cross-country definitely require different TECHNIQUES:

-The show hunter does not need to develop the specific techniques associated with jumping drops.

-The cross county rider does not need to develop the techniques to shorten (or lengthen) the stride without it showing (though she defintiely needs to be able to shorten and lengthen smoothly).

And so on.

Similarly, some faults (which are faults for both kinds of riding) are more of a problem in one or the other:

-Getting ahead is a minor fault in show hunters (you can get away with it), but a major fault riding cross country (you won't get away with it for long).

-Opening up too soon (or even worse, getting left) is something you can get away with cross country (as long a you slip the reins), but is a major fault when riding show hunters.

But the basics and the approach and the "solid position and foundation and being in proper balance with your horse" ARE the same.

Just because you ride cross country in shorter stirrups, and with your foot closer to "home" that you would in the hunter ring doesn't change the importance of balance and a solid "base of support".

No, you can't just take a show hunter and plop her on the back of an eventer and expect a good cross county round, any more than you could take an eventer and plop her on the back of a show hunter and expect a good show ring round . (I've tried it, and it is harder than it looks.) But the BASICS are the same.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 11:59 AM
Riding show hunters and riding cross-country definitely require different TECHNIQUES:

-The show hunter does not need to develop the specific techniques associated with jumping drops.

-The cross county rider does not need to develop the techniques to shorten (or lengthen) the stride without it showing (though she defintiely needs to be able to shorten and lengthen smoothly).

And so on.

Similarly, some faults (which are faults for both kinds of riding) are more of a problem in one or the other:

-Getting ahead is a minor fault in show hunters (you can get away with it), but a major fault riding cross country (you won't get away with it for long).

-Opening up too soon (or even worse, getting left) is something you can get away with cross country (as long a you slip the reins), but is a major fault when riding show hunters.

But the basics and the approach and the "solid position and foundation and being in proper balance with your horse" ARE the same.

Just because you ride cross country in shorter stirrups, and with your foot closer to "home" that you would in the hunter ring doesn't change the importance of balance and a solid "base of support".

No, you can't just take a show hunter and plop her on the back of an eventer and expect a good cross county round, any more than you could take an eventer and plop her on the back of a show hunter and expect a good show ring round . (I've tried it, and it is harder than it looks.) But the BASICS are the same.


Once again Janet...you have put my thoughts into words...thank you.

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:01 PM
Um... isn't that almost exactly what I wrote? :winkgrin:

Janet
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:11 PM
Um... isn't that almost exactly what I wrote? :winkgrin:
I was certainly intending to amplify on your point.

Apparently a cross communication between Trixie and snoopy- Trixie was focusing on the "basic approach" - that is the same - and snoopy was focusiong on the "techniques" - that are different.

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:13 PM
I was certainly intending to amplify on your point.

And as usual - putting it into words more eloquently than I can :)

magnolia73
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:16 PM
Good riding is good riding. All jumping stems from a position that has one in balance over the jump without interfering and tweaks are made from that depending in the nature of the jump. Eventers have more jump variety than hunters, but are still seeking not to interfere and stay in balance.

I've ridden with both hunters and eventers. Both complain about my heels slipping up. Throwing away the reins. Ducking. Making large movements with my upper body. (my, I'm a litany of errors). Riding to jumps- why are you hanging? More pace! Look UP!

Going in and putting down a nice hunter trip is a good skill to have- it's a lot of finesse and focus and really, pre-planning. Jumping a perfect course is a good skill to have- because we should always aim to jump at a good pace, finding good, consistent distances and getting prompt, clean lead changes. And getting our horse to jump their best. I don't think "hunter skills" have as much to do with riders position over jumps as with the skills being used on the flat to get to the jumps just right- careful turns, using corners, commiting to distances, consistent pace- those are probably the most useful hunter skills- not where one's body is over a jump.

snoopy
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:19 PM
I was certainly intending to amplify on your point.

Apparently a cross communication between Trixie and snoopy- Trixie was focusing on the "basic approach" - that is the same - and snoopy was focusiong on the "techniques" - that are different.


YES!!! I think trixie and I can drink to that!!:D

VicarageVee
Nov. 28, 2007, 12:38 PM
bornfree, You can tell you come from the JW school of eventing! :cool:

This was a cliffnotes version of the last JW clinic I attended.
"Let the HORSE figure it out" :winkgrin:


I agree with this. I've always been taught:
(a) A good stadium round consists of dressage quality flat work between the jumps (holds true about 20 strides out for xc too).
(b) If, however, in your stadium round your balanced, quality tempo horse misses his spot, don't interfere, let him figure it out!
(c) 3 Strides out: Do not pump, Do not get handsy, Do not rush, but, Do not be a passenger.


And on the question of the move up, I have been taught the rule of thumb:
1. In your early days as a competitor: Spend one year at N, one year at T, and 2 at P.
2. Once you are an experienced competitor you and your trainer will decide together how quickly to move flopsy/muffy/spots up.
3. Prelim is the most important learning level there is. Until you can confidently ride a prelim xc on a green-ish horse, no Intermediate for you!