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View Full Version : Hm, dropping the bridle at the last moment



Aerial
Sep. 1, 2009, 10:05 PM
So, i have recently developed the habit of dropping the bridle and rounding my shoulders just before a fence. Not so much cantering to fences but trot fences. Needless to say, we've been doing lots of trot fences. The horse I'm riding is relativly green and will not always bail me out if I bail on her (perfectly understandable). I feel like I may be ruining her confidence by allowing her to stop at the fences because of me dropping the bridle and not supporting her over the jumps. Today, during my lesson, I held my leg on and then at the very very last split second, i dropped my leg and bridle and she tripped over the jump and fell, not hard, but hard enough. I really don't want to ruin this wonderful (correct gaits, lovely canter, cute jump, just fairly green) horse because i can't get over this habit. The problem is, I barely realize when I'm doing it....HELP!!!!

findeight
Sep. 2, 2009, 09:31 AM
Sorry, you need to fix this before you jump this youngster again, she falls like that, it has to scare her. Does more harm then good to keep going. She cannot hold herself up with you laying on her neck at the base of the jump.

Couple of things...you have to be looking down or this cannot physically happen. Keep the eyes UP.

Have your trainer put you on an older schoolie and lunge you, no hands, no irons, at the trot over crossrails or cavaletti. Close the eyes too. Then move to a grid or gymnsatic also no hands, put them on your head, out to the side, on your hips, whatever. But no reins and no neck holding. Take the same excercise to single jumps that are a little bigger.

Work on the flat on your full and half seat, learn to jump out of both of those. Save the 2 point for real jumps. Practice the full and half seat over ground poles alot.

IMO what's happening here is you are trying to jump for her out of that dead trot with nothing to push you up or fold you so you end up on her neck. You do not need a 2 point for a trot fence, just let the action fold you...and since there is no action in that jump, you will stay almost upright. learn to like that feeling and not fight it.

I suggest a Pro ride or two to help that young horse regain momentum and confidence before it does get scared/hurt and turn into a chronic stopper.

Aerial
Sep. 2, 2009, 11:18 PM
Thanks, will definitely try those

fourmares
Sep. 3, 2009, 01:41 AM
I don't think that you should be holding a greenie up on the approach to a fence. If you are then you need to work on your flat work. Babies should be allowed to trot right forward down to a fence on a soft rein. All you do is support with your leg and stay out of the way.

I have to agree with you riding a schoolie and your trainer riding your greenie for a few rides.

tBHj
Sep. 3, 2009, 07:17 AM
I don't think that you should be holding a greenie up on the approach to a fence. If you are then you need to work on your flat work. Babies should be allowed to trot right forward down to a fence on a soft rein. All you do is support with your leg and stay out of the way.

I have to agree with you riding a schoolie and your trainer riding your greenie for a few rides.

Exactly what I was thinking.

Aerial
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:50 AM
This horse isn't as green as all that. She's just not and old hand at this :) So i shouldn't have to support her in the bridle at all, even though she prefers to be supported in the leg and bridle??? I'm a little confused. I'm not actually pulling her up over the fence, i'm merely trying to no drop the reins and let her fend for herself.

findeight
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:11 AM
This horse isn't as green as all that. She's just not and old hand at this :) So i shouldn't have to support her in the bridle at all, even though she prefers to be supported in the leg and bridle??? I'm a little confused. I'm not actually pulling her up over the fence, i'm merely trying to no drop the reins and let her fend for herself.

Well, that is why you really need a Pro to help you out here.

Holding her up or back and support are two different things and more body angles then anything with your hands. That's all mastered with flatwork before going to the fences...and by flatwork, I mean extension/collection and lateral excercises for the horse. As well as you working on all 3 seats, full, half and 2 point and all 3 basic crest releases-long, medium and short- that will teach you to control your body to influence your horse.

So, yeah, you will keep contact and support but you will soften to let her figure it out...and I think a good pro can help you master that.

And the horse can learn balance on the flat that will carry her over the fences.

Aerial
Sep. 3, 2009, 10:18 PM
Bit of an update:
Rode her tonight in a lesson. Didn't do any of the exercises recomended but i think i've fixed my problem for the most part and today she only stopped a couple of times because i've been letting her get away with it, and once she realized that jumps are mandatory, her world was good. I felt like I rode pretty well, i trotted some big (for me anyways :lol: 2'9" i would guess, three caveletti stacked on top of each other) jumps and by the end of the lesson when i accidently bailed on her and reverted to the habit of dropping my leg she bailed me out. So think we're improving.

Thank you guys!! Still for sure going to do those exercises, just haven't had a chance yet.

nlk
Sep. 3, 2009, 11:31 PM
Bit of an update:
Rode her tonight in a lesson. Didn't do any of the exercises recomended but i think i've fixed my problem for the most part and today she only stopped a couple of times because i've been letting her get away with it, and once she realized that jumps are mandatory, her world was good. I felt like I rode pretty well, i trotted some big (for me anyways :lol: 2'9" i would guess, three caveletti stacked on top of each other) jumps and by the end of the lesson when i accidently bailed on her and reverted to the habit of dropping my leg she bailed me out. So think we're improving.

Thank you guys!! Still for sure going to do those exercises, just haven't had a chance yet.

No offense and I could be off the mark, this is just something I WOULD NOT do.....

If I had a student, and I have, who is dropping their horse ( and in dropping their horse I mean a stride or two out you drop your hands to the neck, lean forward, and drop your eyes, that's my Definition of dropping your horse) then I would be working on trotting cross rails and low verticals no higher then 2'. ESPECIALLY on a young green horse who is obviously unsure of them selves with a rider who is also unsure of the situation, that just sounds like a recipe to ruin BOTH horse and rider! It doesn't sound like you are a GP rider just a casual trying to learn rider so why would you be working on going HIGHER when you and the horse have NOT mastered the smaller stuff???

One of these days, and possibly very soon, you are not going to be ready for that stop and you are going to get launch and possibly ruin your self confidence let alone your horses. PLEASE talk to your trainer and see if you guys can't take a few steps back and master the smaller end of things first before you end up in another "how do I get my/ my horses confidence back.....

Good luck.

Aerial
Sep. 4, 2009, 08:45 AM
No offense taken.
Well, in that case, i don't quite fit your definition. I was tending to drop the bridle at the the half second before the takeoff, not two strides out. Said horse, really just doesn't like that so she stops.
Oh, and this is the height I have been jumping, so i'm not really working on advancing the height right now, working on mastering this one. :winkgrin:
Thanks!