PDA

View Full Version : Question For Gymnastics Gurus



EAY
May. 7, 2010, 03:47 PM
I had written some gymnastic exercises on a piece of paper that my daughter decided to use for scissor practice and though I've taped it back together as best I can I'm still having some difficulties figuring it out.

What I have is 3 bounces set at 9' and then 28' to an oxer and then 28' to 3 more bounces. Does this make sense? Is 9' enough for a big-strided horse and isn't 28' a little too long?

The exercises are specifically to get the horse to pick up her knees and round through the back and neck.

Justice
May. 7, 2010, 09:37 PM
I am not a guru, but those numbers are correct and will get those knees snapping. Have fun, and be glad that she practiced on paper and not her hair like mine did!

Mac123
May. 8, 2010, 01:29 AM
I had written some gymnastic exercises on a piece of paper that my daughter decided to use for scissor practice and though I've taped it back together as best I can I'm still having some difficulties figuring it out.

What I have is 3 bounces set at 9' and then 28' to an oxer and then 28' to 3 more bounces. Does this make sense? Is 9' enough for a big-strided horse and isn't 28' a little too long?

The exercises are specifically to get the horse to pick up her knees and round through the back and neck.

Is the 28' supposed to be a 2 or a one? I ask because a one should be 18 feet, which could have been easy to mistake when piecing back paper, while a 28 would be mighty short for a 2 (a normal one stride is 24 feet)

My rule of thumb is that you take 6 feet off of the normal distance if trotting in or if following a bounce, 3 feet off if cantering in or if it is the second section of a gymnastic.

In this case I would likely set that 9 feet for the first set of bounces, 18 feet or 30 feet for the one or two stride, 19 or 31 feet for the next one or two stride (I would keep this tight since you're coming up to bounces again) and I might lengthen the bounces to 10 feet on the way out.

You could set this with all the distances the same so it can be approached either direction, but it definitely would ride more technical. With a greener horse or rider or one new to gymnastics, I would probably set it as described above so it rides a bit smoother. I would tighten it up later.

Hope that is helpful! :)

Nikki^
May. 8, 2010, 06:55 AM
I was wondering at what height the jumps start (bounces and oxer) and how high can you set them.

EAY
May. 10, 2010, 09:51 PM
I was wondering at what height the jumps start (bounces and oxer) and how high can you set them.

I'm not sure how high you can set them but when I was taking a lesson with an event trainer, by the end he had us doing a cross-rail to two 3' bounces to one stride to a 3'9 oxer, though we didn't have any bounces on the other side. I'd say when we started the bounces were set at about 2'3 and the oxer at 2'9.

I guess it would depend on how athletic the individual horse is and it's a good reason why it's best to do these sorts of exercises with a competent trainer. I'm sure on my own I never would have set the jumps this high as I had never really done much over 3' with my green horse but she did really well with the exercise.

DMK
May. 10, 2010, 10:05 PM
yeah, 28' sounds long, if for no other reason than the gymnastic standard is a 1 stride to 1 stride gymnastic is 18 followed by 21 (trot in to the 18, of course). And a 1 stride on an open course could range between 25'6 and 27', with the 27' being for an open gallop at 4'0.

BUT jumpers like to create some package and get to the base, so you could crate that with a 28' 2 stride maybe? Not so much for a hunter though...

DancingQueen
May. 10, 2010, 11:49 PM
If you're not entirely sure, a good place to start is by setting ground rails or x-rails instead of actual jumps and adjust as needed.

This will also give your horse a chance to figure the exercise out before it gets tougher. Once you've built up all the elements you will be able to just go straight throught it but if your measurements are off, skipping through a set of x-rails won't be that big of a deal (and will train her in handling a bad distance too! LOL)

There will be some variations in how you set your exercises depending on the horses stride and experience.
Even with a known plan, I like to sometimes just balance the rail on the cup so it comes down easy, speacially if it's a less experienced horse. That way he won't get in too much troubble if he doesn't figure it out right away.

fourmares
May. 11, 2010, 01:23 AM
generally you adust the distance when the umps get above 3'6"... 28 is a two stride. (18 ft is a one, 28 is 18 + a 10 ft stride... yes it's short, but the bounces will take away length of stride.) To be safe have a helper there and build the exercise as you go. Start with just the bounces. Then add a small verticle at 28 ft. (or even a pole on the ground the first time). Adjust the distance if necessary, add the first element of the second set of bounces, and then, finally build the bounces. Finally make the oxer bigger. (remember if you make it wider, you have to adjust your distances.

tidy rabbit
May. 11, 2010, 10:11 AM
I can tell you that doesn't sound right to me at all.

As an example I presently have this set,

bounce, 2 SHORT strides to an oxer, 1 stride to a vertical.

It is set at 12', 26'.6", 19' and the heights are 3' vertical, 3' vertical, 3'6" oxer, 3'6" vertical.

This is on a big strided horse as well and you better get in slow!

tidy rabbit
May. 11, 2010, 10:26 AM
You can even ride my gymnastic if you like.... on the helmet cam! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvSa8ERlo9w

LOL.

EAY
May. 11, 2010, 10:43 AM
bounce, 2 SHORT strides to an oxer, 1 stride to a vertical.

It is set at 12', 26'.6", 19' and the heights are 3' vertical, 3' vertical, 3'6" oxer, 3'6" vertical.


I trust your measurements but that last distance seems awfully short. I'd be worried that my mare might try to bounce it.

tidy rabbit
May. 11, 2010, 10:44 AM
If your mare bounces it you're not riding it correctly.

tidy rabbit
May. 11, 2010, 10:45 AM
I'm riding this exercise on a 5 y.o. 17.2 hand WB, he has no trouble with it, nor does my 17 hand TB.

We did this same gymnastic at the GM clinic in April and all the horses did it fine in all the groups, at different heights of course.

The only way you're going to bounce that is if you do a 1 in the 2.

DMK
May. 11, 2010, 01:27 PM
however, I'm guessing you would not ride that gymnastic like a flowing hunter gap type ride. ;) The 18 to 21 is about encouraging basic jumping skills or tuning up on hunter form, but some gymnastics can be to teach the horse to find the base and rock back. If you ride them the wrong way, you may well get the wrong result.

So I guess the most important question you should ask yourself is "what do I want the gymnastic to teach my horse or the rider?" Then you will probably find the gymnastic or measurements might change! Tidy's gymnastic would be bad for my older hunter, but was exactly what the other - now sold - horse needed.

EAY
May. 11, 2010, 01:50 PM
So I guess the most important question you should ask yourself is "what do I want the gymnastic to teach my horse or the rider?"

These exercises are for a hunter so tuning up hunter form is definitely a prime objective. She can be a bit lazy so I like doing bounces to encourage her to pick up her knees. Unfortunately with my current trainer we rarely do bounces so I'm on my own as far as they go.

At the same time I also want exercises that encourage her to rock back and compress her stride as her default mode is long and low.

EAY
May. 11, 2010, 01:58 PM
Is the difference between Mac123's 9' or 10' and TR's 12' the difference between trotting and cantering in?

Mac123
May. 11, 2010, 02:30 PM
Is the difference between Mac123's 9' or 10' and TR's 12' the difference between trotting and cantering in?

I tend to set 9'-10' for trotting in and 11'-12' for cantering.

IME, setting at 11 or 12 for trotting in takes away from the point of the exercise.

On Saturday for a student's horse that leans, leans, leans on his shoulder after fences, I set 9' to 18' to 9' - Bounce One Bounce. That second bounce was quiet, but wow did he stand up afterwards!!!

DMK
May. 11, 2010, 02:32 PM
Most likely, but I will even push a trot in closer than 9' if I have a horse that likes to cheat with that canter/hop stride at 9'0. Then again, if the horse is a bit of a klutz and easily scared, that might not be a good idea.

For a hunter, let's just say most people believe they have good form and if they don't you are not significantly going to change it. But if I had a horse that I wanted to tune on for tightness and being a bit tidier with the front end I usually choose very steep Xs with 9 foot take off/landing poles. Think Xs with poles in the top cup and the standards pulled in so the lowest part of the X is at least 2'6. And sometimes an X to an oxer - 18' but use a super skinny oxer with the front element about half as high as the back (this is more for an out at least 3'0. Not so much an oxer as a vertical with a bit of a cheater pole to help them get the front end up. I might mix both these in while riding the adds on the line and being very supportive going out the oxer so he has a chance to rock back. Then I would hope and pray he remembers all that when we ride on down to the gappy forward "huntery" one.

Now that I said all that, that's assuming the horse is not sharp with his front end even when he gets there correctly. If he is not sharp with his front end because he ends up on his forehand at the base, then there is a whole 'nuther set of things I would add to the mix, probably including Tidy's gymnastic and a slew of flat work.

LOL, so now we will add - what do you want out of the gymnastic and what is the root cause of the problem? ;)

Midge
May. 11, 2010, 03:03 PM
I recall a video, I think of a Jimmy Wofford clinic, with a similar set up, though I didn't know the distances. I remember thinking that whatever rhythm and pacing issues you horse might have, that would cure it.

As a help for snapping knees, I am not so sure. That many jumping efforts is about controlling pace. Decide why his knees aren't good. Mine tends to jump up with his neck, so I like low wide oxers as the question. I do a step rail to an x, then 17' to a wide oxer. The shorter distance forces him to the base, while the wide oxer makes him stretch.

If it just takes him longer to get his knees up DMK's rampy oxer would be the question. If his lack of straightness allows him to dangle his legs, DMKs big Xs and swedish oxers are the question. If the rest of him is good and he just dangles his knees, give him a different job, because that's his jumping style.

DMK
May. 11, 2010, 04:03 PM
If the rest of him is good and he just dangles his knees, give him a different job, because that's his jumping style.

BTDTBTTSTH ... been there done that, bought the t-shirt, sold the horse. :D

But damn, I tried for a very long time to change the horse.

Mukluk
May. 11, 2010, 04:30 PM
You can even ride my gymnastic if you like.... on the helmet cam! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvSa8ERlo9w

LOL.

LOVE the helmet cam- nice ride.

However, I have to wonder...What would it look like if you put the camera on your horses head? I mean I think that is just so cool that you should try it.

And I also would like to see a picture of your horse outfitted with his "helmet cam"

tidy rabbit
May. 11, 2010, 04:35 PM
HAHA! I've done the horse wears the helmet cam! Here it is! ....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbPOyDOTJ6g

Midge
May. 11, 2010, 06:30 PM
BTDTBTTSTH ... been there done that, bought the t-shirt, sold the horse. :D

But damn, I tried for a very long time to change the horse.

Is that the one you brought to Aiken lo those many years ago? Lots of scope, not much style? He probably was hard to give up on since he had all the other parts. (pardon my grammar, long day!!!)

DMK
May. 11, 2010, 10:42 PM
Is that the one you brought to Aiken lo those many years ago? Lots of scope, not much style? He probably was hard to give up on since he had all the other parts. (pardon my grammar, long day!!!)


Uh huh, and the fact that Danny was hot on him made it that much harder (to be fair he never saw him jump). Yeah, quiet, pretty, good moving, honest, catty, 17'2 hand hack winning knee hanging fool. And the worst part was that I was sure if I could ever create a combination where he HAD to rock back, I thought I might crack the code.

I shoulda realized when I trotted him into a trot pole to 3'3 vertical with an 18' to a swedish oxer set about 3'6 in the center (and a landing pole in between the two fences) ... and he decided to canter the trot pole in, more or less landed in a heap on his knees on the landing pole, heaved himself out the right side of the swedish (5'0 or thereabouts) from his knees and a) did not get rattled and b) did not use himself ...
well I should have seen the writing on the wall! Instead, in the nature of the delusional I focused on HOW WONDERFUL it was he didn't get rattled. True enough, but not really the issue, right? ;)

Justice
May. 12, 2010, 10:45 AM
The 28' is indeed a short cantering 2 stride, The 9' bounces are short, but doable, designed to compress the horse and yank up those knees. Ya'll freaked me out, so I went and checked the gymnastic section of the De Nemethy Method for the two stride. Tidy, I love your helmet cam, and I am very jealous of your set-up. Except when it snows ;)

EAY
May. 12, 2010, 03:07 PM
This morning I did four trot poles set at 4'9 to 9'6 to DMK's skinny oxer set at 3' with the lower front element. I didn't have any eyes on the ground but her effort felt right. She trotted right to the base and rocked back.

Sunday Best
May. 13, 2010, 03:33 PM
Any recommendations in the way of a gymnastic for a horse that already has amazing snappy knees but has a bit of a weak hind end and likes to get heavy?
Thanks!

tidy rabbit
May. 13, 2010, 04:42 PM
I don't know of gymnastics over fences but I know plenty of gymnastics in flatwork that help with that issue! :)

Mac123
May. 13, 2010, 06:14 PM
Any recommendations in the way of a gymnastic for a horse that already has amazing snappy knees but has a bit of a weak hind end and likes to get heavy?
Thanks!

Developing a hind end is a split between flatwork and gymnastics. There are plenty of configurations that build power, including trotting 5 or 6 raised cavaletti to large fences, trotting 5 or 6 raised cavaletti to a bounce that is 3' on the out, lots of square oxers, triple bars, etc.

Power is built by developing push and thrust, which means the fences must be large enough for the horse to *need* power (which means that for most horses they should be bigger than 3', more in the 3'6 to 4'6 range).

Bounces are fabulous for horses who get heavy and low after fences....jump a line that ends with a bounce, for example, and that will teach the horse to pick himself up and rock back through the corner.

Really, there are lots of variations depending on the horse and his state or level of weakness. Some need power jumping up and across, some need power to stretch over something wide.

But the simplest way is trotting larger fences (3'+) precluded with cavalettis. It's a sure way to build the power to rock back over a fence.

Sunday Best
May. 13, 2010, 09:15 PM
Thanks! We work on this heavily on the flat and with cavalettis, but always looking for new exercises! Thanks for the suggestions

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2010, 03:39 PM
Generally speaking bounces are not :no:designed to encourage a round curve thru the back/ neck They will get the hocks "under ,:cool:, and the front end sharper:yes:







I had written some gymnastic exercises on a piece of paper that my daughter decided to use for scissor practice and though I've taped it back together as best I can I'm still having some difficulties figuring it out.g
What I have is 3 bounces set at 9' and then 28' to an oxer and then 28' to 3 more bounces. Does this make sense? Is 9' enough for a big-strided horse and isn't 28' a little too long?

The exercises are specifically to get the horse to pick up her knees and round through the back and neck.

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2010, 04:05 PM
set up series of 3 cavaletti bounces(3) to a small 3 ' oxer preceded by a cavaletti 18 ' once he handles them easily , take away all the cavaletti except the first two; canter the first cavaletti and canter 3 strides to the oxer, then go back and do it in 4, even 5 if you can:cool:

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2010, 04:10 PM
set up a series of cavaletti bounces(3) (3) to a small 3 ' oxer preceded by a cavaletti 18 ' once he handles them easily , take away all the cavaletti except the first two; canter the first cavaletti and canter 3 strides to the oxer, then go back and do it in 4, even 5 if you can:cool:

LudgerFan
Aug. 4, 2010, 11:23 AM
Generally speaking bounces are not :no:designed to encourage a round curve thru the back/ neck They will get the hocks "under ,:cool:, and the front end sharper:yes:

It is the "getting the hocks under" that makes the jumping effort rounder. The hocks come further under the body at takeoff (by nature of the horse properly contracting his abdominals) which makes his whole topline longer, with a corresponding stretch forward/downward of the head and neck. Horses that jump flat fail to contract their abdominals and bring their hocks further under at takeoff. They jump by flexing their hocks out behind them and contract their TOPLINES to leverage their bodies off the ground. Can make for pretty knees, but little else. A flat jumper needs a longer trajectory, so if you put him into an exercise like multiple bounces set short he MUST change his jumping style in order to perform it correctly.

In my experiences, there is hardly a BETTER exercise than multiple consecutive bounces to change a horse's shape over fences. Perfect for the horse that jumps too much across and not enough around. If they jump too much across, they get themselves in a pickle right quick! However, I believe most people do not set the bounces short enough to realize their full gymnastic benefit. I always set mine at 9' (trotting in) and generally have four cavaletti coming in to the line of bounces. I work up to about 5 bounces in a row, eventually all at about 3' in height.