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GettingBack
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:03 AM
I can canter fences all day long, not jump ahead and be fine.

Trotting fences? Ohhhhh no. I jump ahead, launch myself out of the tack, duck to the side and turn into a general jumping idiot.

Anyone have any good tips?

Ozone
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:05 AM
Why you ask?? Because it is hard to do ;) In my opinion that is :)

How about some cavalettis before the jump? This way you cannot rush the fence. I've used this method and it seems to help out.

findeight
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:43 AM
Because you are trying to make up for the impulsion NOT provided by the motion of the horse to create a release.

Just sit there, it's little, it's a trot fence, no dramatic release needed. Fact most will say no release at all, just maintain contact by a SLIGHT closing of the hip angle. Nothing else needs to move much.

Stop trying to create something that is not there and uneccessary.

IrishWillow
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:44 AM
I can canter fences all day long, not jump ahead and be fine.

Trotting fences? Ohhhhh no. I jump ahead, launch myself out of the tack, duck to the side and turn into a general jumping idiot.

Anyone have any good tips?


Oh, how I sympathize. LOL

MissIndependence
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:45 AM
Personally - I cannot seem to master trotting fences so I have no advice. Many a trainer, clinician and other has given me every pointer in the book. Frankly, I think I'm an idiot when it comes to feeling that particular rhythm. I salute you for your attempt to master. If you find the global solution please forward to me immediately.

GettingBack
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:48 AM
Ooh - findeight, that makes sense! I think that helped me figure out at least why I've been doing it. My horse comes to the fence with his head a wee bit on the high side (we're working on relaxation), but even on a trot fence he then puts his head down on the landing side - not to the point where he is ripping the reins out of my hands or being goofy - but he does sort of round around the fence even on little cross rails - I may be compensating for that in an effort not to hit him in the mouth (because he is somewhat green).

findeight
Apr. 29, 2009, 10:01 AM
Grab the mane to steady yourself slightly out of the tack about 2 strides out and STAY THERE on landing. That way you leave him alone. He needs to figure the stuff out on his own.

BTW, my trot fences suck like everybody else's do and have found reaching a little up and grabbing that mane 2 strides out helps alot.

equest
Apr. 29, 2009, 10:08 AM
I have the same issues. Two weeks ago, my trainer had me doing lateral work which required me to sit very deep. Later that lesson, we trotted some fences and I was amazed with how much my seat and position over the trot fences improved, because I was sitting balanced and had my shoulders back, not leaning ahead as I often do at trot fences.

Equino
Apr. 29, 2009, 10:09 AM
I was having a TOUGH time trotting fences last summer, always felt so dramatic, like I was giving a HUGE release and laying on my horse's neck. And I felt so uncoordinated. Then I started jumping this young horse who was very lazy about snapping up his front end, yet jumps so round. I found slow sit-trotting to the fence, while holding my shoulder back to the point I felt like I was behind the motion, taught me to be patient. It also gave my horse time to slow down and think about where his legs go. Practice makes perfect. I'm better at it now!

GettingBack
Apr. 29, 2009, 10:10 AM
Thanks!! I'll give it a shot and see how I make out :) I really feel like I ought to be able to trot a stupid crossrail if I can jump a 3' fence from a canter :)

That explains potentially why I do just fine through grids as well - seems I don't launch myself at it if it's after a pole or cavaletti.

Sing Mia Song
Apr. 29, 2009, 10:45 AM
I suck at it too. I've found that sitting the trot forces me to keep my upper boddy tall and not collapse (or fling) my body.

It was the kiss of death in Eq tests for me. Hate them!

Janet
Apr. 29, 2009, 11:29 AM
One of the things that makes trotting fences DIFFERENT from cantering fences is that there are TWO points in each stride when the horse can jump (canter only has one).

TheHunterKid90
Apr. 29, 2009, 11:49 AM
I'm soooo glad I'm not the only one! :lol:
I feel like a retard when it comes to trotting small fences Since I ride alot of greenies I trot ALOT of fences...and I feel like I'm either left sitting on their back or eating their ears. Even though my boss says I look fine. erghhh. I can canter a 4' fence and nail a distance 10 times...but ask me to trot a 2'6" vertical. AGH, I lose it! haahaha

HARROLDhasmyheart
Apr. 29, 2009, 11:54 AM
Because trot fences suck? Nahh, that can't be it! :lol: I think that trotting fences is significantly more challenging for many of us because a) we are so used to cantering fences and it is easier to get in sync with a familiar canter stride up to a fence and b) trotting a fence in a way requires LESS work than cantering one...something that is not always intuitive! What I mean by less work is that when you trot a fence, especially a small X, it is often easiest/most beneficial to either sit the trot a few strides out, or even grab some mane. As others have mentioned, the same release as for a big fence is not needed, and you are not going to go as fast before or after the fence. The moral of the story: sometimes easier things are actually harder to do!

I have no idea if that makes any sense, especially because I suck A LOT at trotting fences as well!

chukkerchild
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:01 PM
Ugh last week I had to trot a 3'9 fence in an attempt to whip me into shape... I always jump ahead in trot fences-- did it once on this one and my horse let me know in no uncertain terms that was NOT acceptable!!

dmj
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:21 PM
ok, so what is the consensus: sit a couple of strides out, get into two point a few strides out, or post to the base? I've had many different trainers and clinicians teach it any one of those ways...

ps: I suck at trot fences too. Ugh.

lizathenag
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:25 PM
close your eyes. . .count the trot rhythm
seriously
then you will feel the rhythm and wait for the jump.

do this with a ground person

Ponyclubrocks
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:30 PM
Try posting until about 6 strides out then go to a sinking position instead of a two point. Have a placing pole about 7-8 feet in front of the fence, then you know you have about two steps after the pole before you need to release. In addition bridge your reins in one hand and grab mane with the other. Then you won't have to worry about catching your green horse in the mouth. Practice practice practice!

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 29, 2009, 12:43 PM
Because you are trying to make up for the impulsion NOT provided by the motion of the horse to create a release.

Just sit there, it's little, it's a trot fence, no dramatic release needed. Fact most will say no release at all, just maintain contact by a SLIGHT closing of the hip angle. Nothing else needs to move much.

Stop trying to create something that is not there and uneccessary.


LOL...true when you are only trotting little fences. I used to trot 4'+ fences (built up over time--Had one horse that could easily trot 4'9"--I wasn't brave enough to jump any higher).

Trotting the bigger fences is a very very good exercise...especially for the rider...but it is extremely hard. You absolutely have to wait for your horse to jump and it will show any flaws in your postion. Trotting 4'+ is an extreme though....you can get the point from the rider trotting 3'6-3'9. But it is also a good strength exercise for the horse.

That said....I still suck at trotting fences....or really more accurately, suck at posting the trot to the base of the fence. If I sit trot for the last few strides, I have no issues...but trying to post all the way....yup, suck at that most of the time.

Monarch
Apr. 29, 2009, 02:17 PM
I have always hated trotting fences too. One thing thing said to me once, that seem to help me, was to concentrate on the hind legs and wait for them. Makes sense - horse can't jump well till his/her hind legs are in place.
M

Janet
Apr. 29, 2009, 02:26 PM
That said....I still suck at trotting fences....or really more accurately, suck at posting the trot to the base of the fence. If I sit trot for the last few strides, I have no issues...but trying to post all the way....yup, suck at that most of the time.
If you POST to a jump, either you are going to be "up" when the horse jumpw, or "down". They feel very different.

I like to either go into 2-point OR start sitting about 3 strides out. But my instrutor wants me to keep posting.

GettingBack
Apr. 29, 2009, 02:43 PM
That probably has something to do with the oddness as well. If I'm up, then I would assume I have to move my body one way (probably back, if I think about it) and if I'm down, I have to get up. That's way too much to think about! LOL!

bornfreenowexpensive
Apr. 29, 2009, 03:09 PM
That probably has something to do with the oddness as well. If I'm up, then I would assume I have to move my body one way (probably back, if I think about it) and if I'm down, I have to get up. That's way too much to think about! LOL!


My thoughts too. One of my trainers wants me to post. It helps keep the rhythm for the horse. Technically if you are up...you are not supposed to make and further move since....well.... since you are already up ;) But for me, I struggle with it. I'm much better about just staying quiet and waiting for the horse if I also don't have to fuss with the up down....but I know that is me being a bit lazy and I should be able to do it either sitting or posting.

If I'm trotting a fence with a 9 foot placing rail...it helps....but then this same instructor also wants me to be able to tell which foot crossed over the pole first or last (depending on his mood). I suck at that too....but at least you have a 50% chance of getting it right;) But generally speaking, riders who jump ahead (even a wee tiny bit) will struggle with that mental exercise as well. It is a good one to practice and one you can do just over any trot pole.

tbhuntergirl
Apr. 29, 2009, 03:25 PM
It helps me to focus on a point past the jump. I try not to look at it directly. I have the problem of staring at them and over thinking where I am. Focus on a point in the distance helps me not overthink it.

Closing my eyes helps too.

fair judy
Apr. 29, 2009, 03:39 PM
i must be the only person here who actually likes trotting jumps. :D

here is a trick. start to the fence at a stronger trot and compress your stride while you keep leg to it. try to fit in the extra stride every time. always meet the trot fence to the deep spot with impulsion.

eqrider1234
Apr. 29, 2009, 03:55 PM
For me it is hard because it is harder to tell when the horse is going to jump where as at the cater it is alot easier.An excercise I use alot of times is to just halfseat and stay the same, dont move you body at all just slide your hands foward for the crest release or drop them for the auto it will help alot, let your horse pick the distance and just go with the flow.

Triplicate
Apr. 29, 2009, 05:19 PM
Dear Hunter Kid, I am sure you didn't mean what you wrote, but think first before you call or compare yourself to a "retard". I know you can come up with a better word, especially if you consider how terribly bad a learning disabled person would feel reading it. Not trying to pick on you, but a poor choice of words.
With that said, trot a million jumps and it will become easier. Lots of sitting trot, work without stirrups until you feel what the horse's is doing with his legs.
Trot to the jump sitting and do it from the rising trot, but keep the post low, slow and close to the saddle. Grabbing mane a step away, but in a soft slow motion and not a frantic grab.
Let the jump come to you and you will work it out. Good luck

Go Fish
Apr. 29, 2009, 06:01 PM
I seem to gain about 200 pounds in my ass the minute I start trotting fences. I think it's because my 2-point is weak at the trot. I try to work on this while I'm warming up...it's seems to help some...that and grabbing a big fistful of mane! My horse is a saint...:D

*Teddy*
Apr. 29, 2009, 07:34 PM
I have the opposite problem: i would rather trot fences than canter them.
things to remember when trotting jumps

1. troting gives more control and you dont have to worry so much about the distances

2. Trot in with a nice forward trot-impulsion is key

3. if nessasary start two point and grab mane right after you turn towards the jump it does help then hold the two point till after going away from the fence

4.Use trot poles before the jump - pick up 2 point at the start of trot poles that way your not anticipating or getting in the way

tidy rabbit
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:27 PM
Try walking some small jumps. That will make you think trotting them is a cake walk. You'll really get the feel for impulsion, or lack there of, at the walk and then trotting will be a breeze.

tidy rabbit
Apr. 29, 2009, 08:32 PM
I agree with Janet, I aways stop posting about 3 to 5 strides out and just hold my position. Posting to the base of the fence would be very difficult.

theblondejumper
Apr. 29, 2009, 09:01 PM
i must be the only person here who actually likes trotting jumps. :D

here is a trick. start to the fence at a stronger trot and compress your stride while you keep leg to it. try to fit in the extra stride every time. always meet the trot fence to the deep spot with impulsion.

Ditto! Whenever trainer has me trotting jumps it is always about impulsion impulsion impulsion! Trot up to it, slightly close hip angle, and the just got right back to posting and repeat for however many fences.

I find that this is easiest with a ground person and also trying not to overthink it too much. I commend you for doing this with a greenie--that can make it just THAT much tougher. Good luck!

GettingBack
Apr. 30, 2009, 07:46 AM
Thanks guys! I will have to try these things. I was always taught to post right to the base of the fence and that is darned near impossible :) I'm prone to overanalysis and so that probably isn't helping matters either.

But, it is so refreshing to know that I'm not the only one. I was feeling like the lone goober that just couldn't get it!

Arcadien
Apr. 30, 2009, 11:57 AM
Try walking some small jumps. That will make you think trotting them is a cake walk. You'll really get the feel for impulsion, or lack there of, at the walk and then trotting will be a breeze.

This is what I was going to suggest. Lucinda Green makes riders walk to & jump over some barrels in her clinics. It teaches you to get a really *active* walk, right up to the jump, and to WAIT with the upper body. After that trotting fences is easy LOL.

Another tip I got from Stephan Bradley - he said I should sit up even a little taller (and a little back) at the very base of the jump - the complete opposite of what we often feel like doing! That bit of stretching up "taller" helped me to really feel the moment of takeoff, prevented jumping ahead, and made it easy go with the jumping movement.

Realize these are eventers but thought it might carry over!

And note, this is a more intermediate exercise, i.e., beginners should still be approaching in 2-point and grabbing mane when necessary! But once your hands are independent of your jumping balance, these are great exercises to try.

Cheers,
Aradien

Maya01
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:23 PM
Trotting fences is hard for both horse and rider!

I would suggest that you wait for your fence and keep your elbows loose. Maybe count your strides before your fence to help get your mind off the actual jump (and when I say count, count out loud for the entire world to hear! :lol:) And just let your body relax over the fence and follow the horse.

Doing a lot of bounces over small fences or cavalettis would definitely help :D

Mayaty02
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:25 PM
i must be the only person here who actually likes trotting jumps. :D

here is a trick. start to the fence at a stronger trot and compress your stride while you keep leg to it. try to fit in the extra stride every time. always meet the trot fence to the deep spot with impulsion.

I also love trotting fences, in fact whenever that was a test in an eq class, I was like "and this is supposed to be hard??". I do see everyone's points as to why it's tough for some people. The real key is that you have to wait for your horse to jump and so many people love to get ahead and rush towards it. Basically, keep trotting, posting or sitting or whatever, and wait for the horse to come up to you when he jumps and then all you do is close your hip angle...no need to toss yourself over the jump (unless of course the jump is 4 ft :)

mvp
Apr. 30, 2009, 12:45 PM
is the same reason it's hard: the rhythm of the canter stride doesn't tell you when you will leave the ground and, dammit, your body wants to know!

So, getting taller, waiting for the fence, making no big move are all the things trotting fences can teach us. It also teaches us to ride off of a rhythm when we think we have that at the canter but sometimes have those days where we just can't see a distance. When that happens, or really always, we should be able to jump from a rhythm, not a visual estimate of distance.

My horse is a slacker who doesn't want to be told what to do, but nicely takes responsibility when he's left to his own devices. We are working hard on my not doing much of anything that so that the fences can instruct him directly. Trotting fences is great for this both because it's a low-milage, low-stakes way of letting him negotiate with a fence by himself, and because it really challenges me to do nothing but wait.

isltime
Apr. 30, 2009, 01:15 PM
trotting fences is actually harder than cantering them. this is an important skill to develop since most of the handy hunter classes these days have a trot jump. i took a lesson last week just practicing trotting jumps. what works for me is not to look at the jump and keep everything the same on the approach. let the horse jump deep to the jump. the first couple of times, i got left behind, but after that, all seemed to work out. remember not to look at the jump or for a distance. let the horse figure the whole thing out himself

Little Valkyrie
Apr. 30, 2009, 01:16 PM
I have been terrible at this in the past, but I'm slowly getting better. My instructor told me to sit about 3 strides out which definitely helps, but make sure you hold a bit with your back to prevent the horse from breaking into canter (mine will occasionally do that). Also, listen for the footfalls. I'm not sure why this works, but sitting and listening for their feet really helps me to stay with the horse.

RugBug
Apr. 30, 2009, 06:51 PM
I LOVE trotting jumps...way more than cantering. There's no distance, it's all about riding to the base, not anticipating and letting the horse do the work. Too bad we don't do a course from the trot.

I have always posted to the base. Sitting encourages you to throw your body at the horse as it jumps (sitting deep at the canter to a fence encourages the same thing). It's easier to feel a rhythm when you sit, but IMO, makes the actual jump harder.

ExtraInnings
Apr. 30, 2009, 08:15 PM
Seems like this was a lot easier when we were wee kiddies learning how to jump, eh? Trotting jumps is also my achilles heel, and my trainer had me trot them with my eyes closed until I stopped jumping ahead. It's easier to be patient and resist tipping when you can't see the jump coming up.

GettingBack
May. 1, 2009, 09:02 AM
Thanks!

Yea, when I was a kid I never thought about it. Of course, when I was a wee kid I didn't really care how I looked over a fence either :)

I wanted to try the suggestions last night but a scheduling snafu occurred and I wasn't able to ride.

Tonight, for sure, I will try them!

MintHillFarm
May. 1, 2009, 09:33 AM
I can canter fences all day long, not jump ahead and be fine.

Trotting fences? Ohhhhh no. I jump ahead, launch myself out of the tack, duck to the side and turn into a general jumping idiot.

Anyone have any good tips?

I would recommend using (2) 9' trot poles; one on each side of the jump, 9' on either side from the jump itself. Start with a very low jump; a foot or less or so till you get the feel...the pole set up will get you to the correct distance everytime.

Don't stare at the poles upon approach and let your horse jump to you.
Remember, the last stride of the trot jump should be the slowest and the shortest.

imapepper
May. 1, 2009, 11:38 AM
LOL...true when you are only trotting little fences. I used to trot 4'+ fences (built up over time--Had one horse that could easily trot 4'9"--I wasn't brave enough to jump any higher).

Trotting the bigger fences is a very very good exercise...especially for the rider...but it is extremely hard. You absolutely have to wait for your horse to jump and it will show any flaws in your postion. Trotting 4'+ is an extreme though....you can get the point from the rider trotting 3'6-3'9. But it is also a good strength exercise for the horse.

That said....I still suck at trotting fences....or really more accurately, suck at posting the trot to the base of the fence. If I sit trot for the last few strides, I have no issues...but trying to post all the way....yup, suck at that most of the time.

Sitting the trot helps me too. Especially over bigger trot fences. And I also think it helps balance up your horse before the fence.

War Admiral
May. 1, 2009, 04:54 PM
i must be the only person here who actually likes trotting jumps. :D

here is a trick. start to the fence at a stronger trot and compress your stride while you keep leg to it. try to fit in the extra stride every time. always meet the trot fence to the deep spot with impulsion.

I wonder if it's an old-school kinda thang, b/c I loff it too. It's easy-peasy. RELAX, kids. Breathe. Sit up. Then do what Judy said. :yes:

bornfreenowexpensive
May. 1, 2009, 05:02 PM
I wonder if it's an old-school kinda thang, b/c I loff it too. It's easy-peasy. RELAX, kids. Breathe. Sit up. Then do what Judy said. :yes:


yeah...still doesn't help me when I'm posting though. Fine if I meet it in the down part of my post...not as fine when I meet it in the up part. Again....trotting to the fences is easy if I sit the last step or two. Just struggle with the posting to the base part.....especially when I'm sitting on green beans who want to leave out a step, or are not sure if they want to leave out that step:lol:....always fun when they don't know what they want to do! (FWIW...I'm trying to convince them to NOT leave that step out!)

Aliascml
May. 1, 2009, 08:36 PM
I have the same problem because I can't always tell when the horse is going to jump. It is easier for me to just sit and wait.

Instant Karma
May. 2, 2009, 08:53 PM
Normally I would say, the only thing I am good at is trotting fences.

However, I would be lying, because today while schooling at a horse show I proceeded to trot into a line, tip up my horse's neck, drop him, he pooped out and jumped like a lug. It wasn't pretty. And after doing it once and wanting to smack myself with the crop, I proceed to do it again trotting into the next line.

So GOOD luck... all I can tell you is don't do what I just said I did:)

fair judy
May. 3, 2009, 09:14 AM
I wonder if it's an old-school kinda thang, b/c I loff it too. It's easy-peasy. RELAX, kids. Breathe. Sit up. Then do what Judy said. :yes:

i was the favorite in the barn for doing youngsters in the trotting gymnastics! i may have had NO eye but trotting was dead easy for me.

i learned how to be actively passive because it was not a question of what to do when you Don't see the place, but when you Did.

if you can't trot a jump, try walking them. your problems are impulsion, and walking a jump will absolutely force you to have it.

DancingQueen
May. 3, 2009, 10:45 PM
You may alrady have gotten all the advice you need, but here's my two cents.

If you sit the trot to your trot jumps, try to maintain 50% of your weight in your seat to keep in contact with your saddle and 50% in your feet (25%in each leg). Angle your hips slightly forward.
This should put you in a spot where the the thrust of the jump puts you in a correct jumping position across the top. All you have to do now is relax, put your best Eq pose on and let your horse do the work. A little support from your calf could be in order if your horse needs it and should not not be a problem since half of your attention is already in your leg.

If you are posting to your trot jumps try to in the last few steps before the jump maintain that same strong 50% of your weight in your feet. In my experience it is harder to post to a trot jump as you continuously shift your weight a little and there's no certain way to time the take off from the point where you start to post. You could end up with take off on a sitting step and get slightly behind the motion or on a rising step and end up a little in front.
If you refocus your weight towards your lower leg, the true base of your balance (for the last 5-7 steps to start out, the last 3 when you really get it down) and "fake post" a little without truly putting all your weight either completely in your seat or completely out of it. Keep a little more weight in your thigh in the up part as to not get ahead while angling your hips slightly forward in the anticipation of the jump. This will allow you to keep balanced at take off no matter at what point it happens. When you get skilled enough you can sink back to a closed contact jumping position with 50/50 weight distribution at the very last second, this will come natural as your timing improves with practice.

If you are practicing at home and worry about getting left (or getting ahead for that matter) I strongly recommend "the mane grab" as an excellent practice tool.
Holding on will allow your horse to help you across with out punishing his mouth and holding mane will also make it harder for you to throw your body at him as your arms are in the way. Try to make sure that your focus is not on the strong hold of the mane but rather on relaxing and allowing yourself to feel the motion of your horses approach and jump so you can learn and improve your own balance. The mane as a learning tool is to be compared to a hand rail, not crutches!

Hope you found this helpful and good luck!

Sidenote but it's a pet peeve of mine,
The mane grab (as well as letting the rains just run through our hands if there's no time for a mane grab or our bodies needs to stay back to help our horse stay on his feet) is a tool used by all pros on occation when things doesn't go as planned.
You should never feel ashamed to use the mane for help when all goes to shit or when you just feel a touch off!
It is 1000 times better to grab mane then to be the one who gets stuck hanging on their horses mouth across the top of a jump. Every pro knows that there's no better way to ruin a horses technique (and heart) then to make him drag 120+ lbs across a jump with his mouth.

DancingQueen
May. 3, 2009, 10:57 PM
#extrainnings

You have a good point there with the eyes closed thing. I find it helps a lot with "forcing" the feel out.
I have been contemplating having a few of my students jump with their eyes closed to help them discover and develop their other sences but not felt completely sure they were ready to try it.
Doing it over a trot jump to start out instead of over a canter jump makes so much sence! I can't believe I missed the eightball on that one. Thanks for putting the obvious solution ight in front of my eyes! :-)