View Full Version : critique please

May. 16, 2009, 03:46 PM
I haven't been on coth in ages as I am now a busy working student, but I was hoping to get a critique and possibly some help with the greenie that I'm currently working with. He's either 5 or 6 (some debate about that) and I am absolutely in love with him. He's a great jumper, but he likes to swap leads in front of the jump and I really don't know how to fix that. Also please critique me and tear me to shreds. I really need it!

May. 16, 2009, 03:52 PM
No photos

May. 16, 2009, 03:56 PM
also an example of his lead swapping http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOqnH9Quf_U

May. 17, 2009, 03:07 PM
bump :)

May. 17, 2009, 03:23 PM
Looks like he's throwing his shoulder out as you come out of the turn. I'd spend a lot of time on flat work, and blocking his soulder with an indirect rein. Also working on serpentines where you are very straight in the center then changing the bend (at the trot).

Placing ground poles as a chute before the jump would help IF he were swapping right before the jump, but he is swapping just after the turn. Slowing down a little and really riding the turn, concentrating on keeping your outside leg against him, and not leaning will help.

Jumping a small jump on a circle will also help. Concentrate on rhythm, and keeping bend.

My overall impression of the video was that it looks like you are chasing him and erratic, with no control over where his body is.

He's cute, but I'd work on relaxation and control of his body.

May. 17, 2009, 03:39 PM
Ditto the lack of control. I'd start with you... get the stirrup on the ball of your foot, heel down, shorten your stirrups a few holes, and which should steady your body. You aren't sitting in the middle of the horse, and you aren't steady, so you aren't in a position to help a horse that already has straightness issues/scrambling issues. Also, be careful about dropping back in the air.

Work without stirrups on the flat, and work on gaining control over his shoulders and haunches. Lots of leg yield and turn on the haunches. Then work on relaxation, because it looks like he is either being run off his legs, or like he is running off his legs because he thinks he's supposed to/doesn't know what else to do.

When you can accomplish all those things on the flat, I'd start him with a decent cross-rail on a circle. Trot it a few times, and then canter it a few times. Keeping the bend around the circle should keep him from swapping. Then I'd set two cross rails down the outside line and circle before the first one, and between the two.

I would also work on dropping back to the trot after the fence, or cantering and dropping back to the trot 5 or 6 strides out from the fence. Both of those exercises will help him learn to keep his hind end underneath himself a little better (though shortening and lengthening on the flat in all gaits will also help that).

He's super cute in the air, so all of this is not aimed at changed his jumpint at all- just changing the way he getes there.

May. 17, 2009, 03:54 PM
ok so just a bit of background...
Harvey is the owner's sons horse who is used to riding show jumping ponies and has been running him at fences and helped the horse develop a habit of putting in a short stride right before he takes off. I've been working him on the flat for about three weeks now doing a lot of turns on the haunches, square turns, serpentines with circles and then very straight lines. He also just had his back done a couple of weeks ago because his back end was out of line and there are some left over issues with that...
I haven't actually been doing much jumping over here and working on the flat for the most part because the horses I have been riding are just broken. I'm really excited to be working with Harvey though because he's a super horse and should turn out quite nice. The owner's have just been traveling a lot trying to get their sons qualified for the Dublin horse show and on some pony European show jumping teams and they haven't been able to help me so much with Harv...
Any other suggested exercises for both of us would be appreciated!

May. 17, 2009, 09:08 PM
You stirrups look way too long which isn't allowing you to keep your heels down so your stirrup has slipped back.....very dangerous. I would take your stirrups up a few holes a do a lot of work in two-point to try to strengthen your base, it looks like it is causing you to fall back behind the motion with your feet out in front of you both over fences and on the flat.

I think the pony is super-cute and he looks like a lot of fun! Good luck!

May. 17, 2009, 09:21 PM
Ditto jetsmom on the throwing the shoulder. He looks unbalanced in the turn which makes him get crooked and then once he tries to correct himself, he overcorrects, which throws his balance off again. :lol:

I also suggest shortening and taking your stirrups away. Even if you warm him up first, and then drop your stirrups for 10-15 minutes, that's great. This is what I do when I school my horse. It will help you become more secure in your leg and seat and then you will really be able to sink into your heel and grip with your calf. In your jumping pictures, it looks like you are swinging your knee out and gripping with your heel. Rotate your toe in, sink down in your heel, and wrap your calf around and down on him. Focus on releasing towards his mouth rather than an exaggerated crest release. Give him a big release so that he learns it's okay to use his head and neck when jumping. From the video, it looks like you fold and unfold over the fences very quickly, which seems to make him rushy. Try slowing your motion down in the air and allow his impulsion to carry you over the fence. Slowing yourself down will help him use himself over the fences.

Overall I would fix a couple things on your position, but focus on slowing him down a bit. It's easy to make them faster later on, but let him focus on a steady rhythm and just let the fences come naturally. Try working on a circle to help him balance himself in the turns. Ride your courses like a smooth, flowing hunter course. Then you can add in a little more impulsion, shorter takeoffs, and quicker turns.

A wise horsewoman once told me, "Jumping is just flatwork with obstacles in the way." Very true.

He's so cute, good luck with him! :D

May. 18, 2009, 12:08 AM
This is going to sound TOTALLY from left field but he's doing all this out of fear. I had a horse i helped with the same issues, and looked identical approaching jumps, lotsa knee rolling etc. Baby baby gymnastics and lots of praise. once his head is in the game that body will do what it needs to.
you need to shorted your stirrup about 4 holes and bring the iron onto the ball of your foot.

May. 18, 2009, 09:41 AM
I have to agree to going back to ground work and working on yourself also. I do think also though is alot of it is out of fear and nervousness. He is not switching behind (from what I can see, he is moving so fast) just up front which makes me think he doesn't have a real clue about whats going on except he is being ran full speed ahead and out of balance at something he needs to launch over. Also as he launches he is getting hit in the back which doesn't help his fear. Really work on ground work and slowing him. Then start TROTTING ground poles and small xrails until he can relax and is so bored he wants to walk over it. Then try to canter nice and slow. If he runs break him back down to the trot and make him trot it again. He just looks like a confused and scared pony.

May. 18, 2009, 02:24 PM
thanks so much for the input! I will try to work on his basics as much as possible, but he will be going showjumping at 1.10 meter beginning this weekend and by midsummer they are planning on doing him at 1.20 meter... The owner's son would like to ride him in the Royal Dublin show in the 6 & 7 year old young jumpers next year and he needs a lot of points
What would you suggest to help my "snappiness" over fences? Also regarding the stirrup length. Over here (Ireland) they are constantly trying to get me to lengthen my stirrups. The ones in the photographs are actually up 2 holes from my flat length... And I do spend quite a bit of time without them
Generally when I ride Harvey who is actually a 16.1 Hackney pony (registered Irish Sport Horse ;) ) I work for about 20 minutes in the walk without stirrups getting him to relax and go on the bit. I try to do haunches in and square turns. Then I work into the trot with a lot of changing of reins; serpentine's, figure of eights, etc)
Do you think it would be beneficial to also do a lot of work in the canter on changing reins?
I've included another video sorry for the quality it's even worse and I'm not so sure why.. http://picasaweb.google.com/mduff421/Harvey#5337230299998584178

May. 19, 2009, 03:55 PM
I think the thought of having him in the meter ten by this weekend (to me) is a horrible idea... He already looks freaked out as it is by jumping any vertical... Showing at 1.10 seems like the perfect way to ruin this horse and cause him to never want to jump again... Thats just my opinion though...