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Punkie
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:07 AM
I was watching the GM clinic from this past winter and GM made a comment that struck me as odd. During one of the rider's trips (I believe it was Molly Braswell's) he had her stop in the middle of her course and scolded her for counting out loud. Now, I'm not on par with the EAP kids, that's for sure, but I do the A/Os (hunters) and show up to the 1.35s and I still count out loud! In fact, my trainers all encourage it! I never realized that this may be a "no-no". I'm a rider who relies heavily on pace to find my distances as I don't have that coveted natural eye that some do, but counting aloud makes it significantly easier for me. Am I the only one who is no longer a "pony baby" (GM's words, not mine!) that still counts quietly while on course?

PNWjumper
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:50 AM
Yes and no.

I see my distances 6 strides out to every fence (doesn't matter if it's a straight shot or around a corner) and I count in my mind as I come up to the fence. But I don't count in long lines or when there's more than 5 or 6 strides, and I don't count out loud (but then I never did for better or for worse). I do "math," though, where in a long line like a 9-stride, I'll count to 3 (or however many strides I take before hitting my "six spot") after landing and then do my 6-count. Typically I don't care what number I come up with, despite the fact that I'm counting, it's more about giving myself an idea of where I am in the line. I do like it when the numbers match up, but I'm not particularly bothered when they don't as long as I "see" the fence early enough.

I don't count at all during clinics, lessons, or when jumping at home. I guess I force myself to ride more off of my eye in a more casual environment....probably more because of the fact that I'm not walking the course in a setting like that than any other reason.

I did a show with Greg Best the week before last, and while walking courses he made the comment (several days in a row during several riders' walks) that so many riders are so fixated on a number when it should be the ride that dictates the distance. His point being that he sees a lot of mistakes made BECAUSE of counting and reliance on a number.

I would imagine that GM's point comes from a similar perspective in that a high level EAP kid or a high-level-aspiring-to-be-pro rider should be past the point of counting a number when the actual number shouldn't matter. My guess is that he wouldn't care as much with an amateur rider, but that he holds the kids who are supposed to be the future of the sport to a higher standard. But that's total conjecture on my part, so take it for what it's worth :D

fourmares
Jun. 6, 2011, 02:13 AM
Depends on the horse. I either count or sing... I don't think I count out loud... singing out loud, maybe, but quietly. I might move my lips doing either... I'm not sure. It's unlikely that I will ever clinic with GM, so I'm not too worried about it.

Rel6
Jun. 6, 2011, 02:26 AM
I've always gone off my eye and never counted. In eq and hunter I'll count strides in lines in my head, but honestly in jumper courses I tend to go off my eye once the line is six strides or longer. I had a trainer that forced me to count out loud (3-2-1) wayyy before I was ready to actually see a distance and to this very day I see spots that are too long because of it. I had to really trian myself out of throwing my upper body one stride out (lots of jumping with my eyes closed!)

tidy rabbit
Jun. 6, 2011, 06:10 AM
I count my rhythm. 1.1.1.1.1.1. I do this for 2 reasons, I listen to the beat of the horses outside front foot and make sure it's on beat with my counting, so I *know* I have enough pace. And second, to keep my mind focused. If I'm not counting, my mind tends to wander, so its more of a discipline/focus thing than anything else.

I count strides between jumps, mostly to make sure I stick to my plan. For instance, yesterday we were schooling a vertical, 4 strides (as the add) to an oxer, land roll back to the left. If I'd done the 3 it would have been extremely difficult to make the left turn after the oxer. Riding for the 4 on the approach to the line gave me a completely different canter than I would have if I were riding for the 3.

I think when you are carrying enough pace, the distances will pretty much always work out well, it's when your horse is behind your leg and creeping along that you will find yourself in trouble. Going fast enough will hide a multitude of sins. ;-)

fordtraktor
Jun. 6, 2011, 07:50 AM
I often find myself counting to eight over and over again. I do the same thing when running myself. Has nothing to do with the distance, everything to do with rhythm and my compulsive tendencies.

I also count in my head during lines that ARE a related distance so I know where I am. Like TR I have a plan, and counting helps me follow it. It is more of a marker than anything else, though, if I need to modify the plan you can do that while still counting.

But anything more that 6 or so is not really much of a related distance, so much depends on how you jump in and the track you take when the lines get that long, and you need to adjust accordingly. Especially bending lines. A straight 7 I will still count in my head but I can adjust if I see it is not going to work.

Counting is a useful tool for those without a great eye. Maybe by the time you ride at Horsemastership you should be good enough not to need it, but I have no problem with it as a tool for the less-well-resume'ed.

If you can think of nothing but counting that can be a problem, but at this point I don't really think about it, it is almost subconscious. I am thinking about whether I need to adjust to make the jumps work, or making myself let well enough alone.

mrsbradbury
Jun. 6, 2011, 07:55 AM
I count a benign rythym in the corners, and then a little like PNW in my long lines in the jumpers I ride off my eye, my jumper mare is very game and scopey.

Right now I have a ton of green bean horses showing in the baby hunters, I am counting the strides in the lines for this because the tiny jump and the green horse make me want to pick, pick, add. Which is fine at home but not for showing.

Wholehearted
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:00 AM
Sometimes I count, sometimes I don't. The only thing I dislike about counting down to jumps is that then I fixate on the number and can get left behind over the jump because we're not at zero yet. Obviously my horse doesn't understand counting too

fordtraktor
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:13 AM
That brings up an interesting point -- do you count backwards or forwards, counters? I count forwards, not backwards like a countdown. I can see where that might be too confining, it would worry me to do it that way and it would focus too much on the numbers for me. Easier to adjust your plan as necessary with the forward count, you can just see where you are and whether there is going to be room for the 7 or the 8, for example, based on where you are in the count.

Oldenburg99
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:39 AM
I count 1.2.1.2.1.2. I need it to help find a rhythm and pace. I count outloud but not enough for someone to hear me.

GingerJumper
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:40 AM
A previous trainer used to make me count out loud, several in fact did this. It never really did much for me, it just stressed me out when I was still learning to ride off my eye better (I feel old now... that was years ago haha). So, they ended up making me sing. I'd be going around doing my course singing "twinkle twinkle little star" and other embarrassing songs... Needless to say, I quit that as soon as I moved trainers lol.

I think it's a good exercise at first, but you should probably be able to count in your head or at least very quietly for a show type setting, and the girl in the GM clinic could probably see her spots without it ;)

tidy rabbit
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:01 AM
I am counting the strides in the lines for this because the tiny jump and the green horse make me want to pick, pick, add.

This made me chuckle. Ain't it the truth!? :yes:

tidy rabbit
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:03 AM
Oh, and to the point that the OP was asking about.

I do not count outloud, only in my head. If I'm having trouble concentrating, I might make my mouth move to try to get refocused on the rhythm, but I never count outloud.

SkipChange
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:10 AM
Punkie--

Was she counting the number of strides down the line?
Or was she counting rhythm? "1, 2, 1, 2..." (people count rhythm different ways 1,1,1 or 1,2,3, etc)

I tend to not even count strides in my head if I'm on a jumper course. 4 strides or less is the only time I consider it close to necessary to do the numbers. I do count strides when I'm doing hunters, but never aloud. I count rhythm aloud if I'm helping a friend school her green horse to help her find a distance and remind her to count--but I'm not the one sitting on the horse then.

KitKat987
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:14 AM
I count for rhythm because it makes a big difference on my two green beans and the spots we get, and usually down lines that are three or more strides just to make sure I'm where I want to be, but it's all in my head. The odd time my trainer has tried to get me to count outloud I feel like a dork, and can't seem to make myself do it. But otherwise I'm a very vocal rider and like to talk to my horse around a course, which I really need to watch when I'm doing hunters.

Beethoven
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:35 AM
We talked about this at our barn one day whether we counted or not. I said I didn't but then noticed when I jump I subconsciously count 1,2,1,2. I never really count the number of stride in the line as it messes me up. :lol: I do sometimes, but in general I know what a 12 foot stride feels like. Although riding green beans, it does help me if I actively count the strides in line, but I forget most of the time.

Its not something I think about, but its something I am doing without knowing, so if I all of the sudden say wait what stride am I at in the line I know. I know that sounds weird.

I wouldn't say I have a great eye, but rather you get a good pace and rhythm and just ride to the jump. I never focus on finding a distance its usually just there.

purplnurpl
Jun. 6, 2011, 10:05 AM
I count for rhythm.
So I don't count up to a fence but I count between the fences and it doesn't matter what number I'm at when I actually get to the fence.

I have one horse that has a way of going that makes me want to shorten, shorten, shorten.
So as I go around instead of saying a number each stride I say "go, go, go," and give with my hand and add leg every step to keep myself from picking at him.

It's all for rhythm purposes.

MoonRiver5
Jun. 6, 2011, 10:14 AM
I count for rhythm, usually under my breath but occasionally out loud if I am nervous. I also count strides in the lines because sometimes I put the "Amateur" in Adult Amateur and forget where I am... Pretty sure there's not a whole lot I do on a horse that would get the GM stamp of approval, except maybe how well I polish my boots, so I'm not too worried about it.... He demands perfection from those he coaches, and I suppose that if one were perfect, one would not need to count because distances and rhythm would just come naturally. Or, so I'd imagine.

abv1269
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:04 PM
Usually I'm too busy praying on the approach to a fence to count anything, but lately have gotten better about counting. There's also something in the whole multitasking thing and my general challenge with numbers that makes the idea of counting (internally or externally) a generally hysterical exercise.

My trainer has recently gotten into me (deservedly so) for needing to be better at knowing the number of strides. She's told us to watch other riders and count their strides and not just riding off my eye and hoping for the best. At a recent show she so impressed upon me the need to count strides to a particular line that I did count them, and then promptly went off course.

Was watching one of my numerous FEI World Cup DVDs while on the treadmill the other night and was practicing counting strides. Got so involved in one particular round that I wound up going bass-ackwards off te back of the treadmill.

Clearly this counting thing is going to be a learning curve for me. :D

HGem
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:43 PM
I am pretty sure that any kind of verbal communication with your horse is looked down upon in the show ring wether you are an ammature or a pro (talking hunters and eq here). Everything else equal the judge should place the non-talker/singer above the person who counts/sings/talks/etc.

Not saying its an awful thing - but you should strive to get past it. You want invisible/unaudible aids. Atleast that is what I've always read and been taught is the goal for horsemanship.

LoveJubal
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:44 PM
I count 1.2.1.2.1.2. I need it to help find a rhythm and pace. I count outloud but not enough for someone to hear me.

Just to clarify... Are we talking about counting the strides in the lines or counting strides on the jump approach?

I definitely count my strides in the lines so that I am aware of any adjustments that need to be made, like the others have said. Otherwise, it's just the 1-2-1-2-1-2- etc. to keep me on the rhythm :cool:

Arelle
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:52 PM
I do occasionally. I show a 14 hh pony and a 17 hh horse. The pony is green. The first few fences, I absolutely have to shift my eye and I use the counting in my head to help do that.

There have been schooling rounds with some scary fences where I audibly count for my green pony - it seems that when I count out loud, she picks up on it and feels more relaxed about the jump ("Oh, okay, we're pacing for this jump."). Maybe I just say that to make myself less nervous. Regardless, it's not often, and not every time - but the first or second time over a spooky, solid jump (rolltop, wall, etc) on a greenie - you bet I'm counting.

When we hit rated shows, absolutely not.

eclipse
Jun. 6, 2011, 12:56 PM
I def count rythmn, 1,2,1,2,1,2 and if I don't I screw up every single time. I never count my distance (or try not too) until I'm no more than 4 strides away, or I'll start to make too big of a move. Down lines, it's depends. 7 strides or less, I'll count. More than that, then it's back to the 1,2,1,2 rythmn!

Was he mad at her for rythmn counting (which seems strange to me) or was counting too many strides in a line and adamant about putting a set number in?

Linny
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:03 PM
Counting only works in context. I was watching a lesson last week in which the trainer has a novice rider jumping a small line and learning to count strides. The line was a nice trot in-canter out 6 for her horse, no need to adjust anything, just count. She encouraged the rider to watch the other horse in the lesson and count his strides too. The girl picked it up fairly well.
This issue is that eventually you need to adjust. It's great to know that it's a 6 stride line and you are on step 3, but if you don't know that you are 4 feet behind where you NEED to be because you crawled over the "in" all the counting on earth isn't going to help. You are still going to end up counting to 6 1/2 then launching up your horse's neck, probably without your horse.

I used to ride with a "fill in" instructor who used to count 1-2-1-2-1-2 and it threw off my rhythm. I guess that I always figured I was supposed to take off after a "2" and felt off if I didn't. Jumphigh83 used to say "ride the rhythm" as soon as I got the correct canter for what we were doing. I found that easier to understand than counting like a metronome.

As for verbalizing in front of the judge, other than a quiet "whooaaaa" or "eeeeasy" I usually couldn't say a thing in the ring because of panic induced dry mouth.

salymandar
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:24 PM
I don't count ... and I probably should in some cases!

I have found that the more I focus on counting to achieve rythm, the more it messes me up, probably because I am rythmically challenged and couldn't keep my count rythmical. Or I'd be so focussed on the count, that I'd miss the obvious bad distance I was approaching until it was too late to avoid the funky distance!

However, I found that I don't count in the lines, either. I've gotten used to riding what "feels right," rather than the numbers. Although, it does sometimes "feel right" to pick, pick, pick to the add ;) So long as I remember to land and ride forward after the first jump in the line, rather than backward (which is a common fault of mine), riding the line off my eye usually works.

snaffle635
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:34 PM
I am pretty sure that any kind of verbal communication with your horse is looked down upon in the show ring wether you are an ammature or a pro (talking hunters and eq here). Everything else equal the judge should place the non-talker/singer above the person who counts/sings/talks/etc.

Not saying its an awful thing - but you should strive to get past it. You want invisible/unaudible aids. Atleast that is what I've always read and been taught is the goal for horsemanship.

^^^^ This.

I don't think GM was scolding for counting, but for counting out loud.

Gray Horse H/J
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:36 PM
I've always counted a 1-2-1-2 rythem in my head. I still do it if I'm cantering down a line, but then I do it to count strides. So if I'm riding a five stride, instead of counting 1-2-3-4-5 I count 1-2-1-2-1 knowing I want to leave the ground on the last 1. I've always done it this way for whatever reason.

I was always bad at nitpicking and going too slow, so 1-2-1-2ing in my head helps with that.

I've always had a naturally good eye as well. Of course now it's been awhile since I've jumped, so my naturally good eye may have died. :no:

mrsbradbury
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:42 PM
Wanted to add; I don't shout the counting out loud, it's mainly in my head; and I can see a distance; though sometimes I miss~ don't we all?

I don't count down in front of the jump, nor do I teach it. It wasn't a skill/ game I could ever master;and I usually biffed bad when trying to do this.

I only count around 1,2,1,2,1,2... and then in my head in the hunter ring 1,2,3,4,5, etc.

I agree with the GM comment being an outloud, kind of nervous or novicey thing. If you are counting or singing in your head no one wil know.

I teach my kids/ adults to count & out loud so I can hear them, for two reasons.

1) So I know, that they can feel the rythym and understand how/ why they got there in 5 or 6. Lots of them come to me counting the land as 1, then run and chip out!!!

2) I find for the nervous riders, it soothes their aids on the approach and forces them to breathe.

M. Owen
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:42 PM
I count 1,2,3,4 to keep myself on rhythm and calm so I don't start picking on the way to the jump. I don't count out loud unless I am having a really rough day and can't seem to stop interfering with my horse on the way to a jump. I would never count out loud in a clinic unless asked to by the instructor, and definitely wouldn't count out loud in competition. I have been known to sing under my breath to a nervous horse during an undersaddle, but never when near the judge.

jrzeqrider
Jun. 6, 2011, 01:46 PM
For the most part, no. But when I've got an iffy distance coming up, I'll count out loud the last few strides. Maybe to justify whatever distance I take? ha not sure why. I'm always counting in my head though.

Big_Grey_hunter
Jun. 6, 2011, 02:09 PM
I count (in my head) through lines, but not 1,2,3,4,5,6..... I count by two's (and 3's for an odd number) So a 6 stride I would count 1,2,1,2,1,2 and add them up as I go. A 5 would be 1,2,1,2,3. It gets a bit harder when you're doing a 10 stride to keep track, but that's just how my mind works.

ParadoxFarm
Jun. 6, 2011, 05:44 PM
I have just recently started the 1,2,1,2 thing because I tend to hold my breath jumping a course. And you know what? I sometimes feel worse because I am still holding my breath, but since I'm counting I run out of air faster! (or I should say I count as I exhale..and forget to inhale). But I'm working on it. It's definitely made me aware of the issue. But I am doing the 1,2,1,2 also to work on rhythm. I'm slowly getting it.

Mtn trails
Jun. 6, 2011, 05:54 PM
I count down out loud starting at 3 so it's 3..2..1 jump. And yes, I say the word "jump" and my horse knows what it means and jumps. I think it helps her rhythm as well as mine and we both see our distance.

KateKat
Jun. 6, 2011, 06:08 PM
I usually just count in my head, but the times where my horse has rushed at jumps I will count out loud, because I think hearing me voice the rhythm helps calm her down.

I'm not overly obsessed with it though, I will often not think about striding and then my trainer asks "how many did you do that in" and I give her that blank stare I'm sure all trainers love... ;)

paw
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:26 PM
Doesn't GM also think that advanced riders should be riding off the eye and not counting strides? IIRC, that (and the crest released used by riders who should have developed a following hand at their level) are his two big regrets.

Bigbutt
Jun. 6, 2011, 08:53 PM
I have just recently started the 1,2,1,2 thing because I tend to hold my breath jumping a course. And you know what? I sometimes feel worse because I am still holding my breath, but since I'm counting I run out of air faster! (or I should say I count as I exhale..and forget to inhale). But I'm working on it. It's definitely made me aware of the issue. But I am doing the 1,2,1,2 also to work on rhythm. I'm slowly getting it.

Oh thank god i'm not the only one that holds her breathe! Its a long course sometimes, and then I come off just panting, and my coach will always say, so you forgot to breath. From the side lines I will only ever hear her yell BREATHE, and COUNT.... I count the 1,2,1,2,1,2 --- more for the rhythm, but it also gets my head focused on something other then nitpicking about distance or getting my eye down. I suck at actually counting the distance. But if I ride the rhythm the distance comes, and just at launch - I stop my counting and think heels down, just so I don't pitch myself forward.

I also watch GM clinic last week online- while at work, doing data entry. And I have heard for many years what a bully he can be, but I have to tell you, I was floored by his behaviour. I'm sorry but talent doesn't excuse behaviour. - But I think that might be another thread.

snaffle635
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:07 PM
I count (in my head) through lines, but not 1,2,3,4,5,6..... I count by two's (and 3's for an odd number) So a 6 stride I would count 1,2,1,2,1,2 and add them up as I go. A 5 would be 1,2,1,2,3. It gets a bit harder when you're doing a 10 stride to keep track, but that's just how my mind works.

Good Lord, you must have a PhD in mathematics! I'm in finance and I can barely count 1,2,3,4 etc when I'm on course, nevermind doing division. :-)

Pennywell Bay
Jun. 6, 2011, 09:30 PM
I count 1.2.1.2.1.2. I need it to help find a rhythm and pace. I count outloud but not enough for someone to hear me.

Me,too. And now my toddler does it- while watching the derby at Devon- 1 2 1 2 1 2 JUMP. Wherever it works, establishes my pace.

JOBEAN
Jun. 6, 2011, 10:20 PM
Good Lord, you must have a PhD in mathematics! I'm in finance and I can barely count 1,2,3,4 etc when I'm on course, nevermind doing division. :-)

Too funny!! Thought the same!!

I sing to myself !! Row row row your boat!!

greenwoodeq
Jun. 6, 2011, 10:56 PM
I don't count lines and just go off my eye instead. Counting has never been a natural thing for me... if I don't see it counting won't help me get the right spot.
I can see why people do it though I think it helps keep pace really well, but for EAP I'd expect them to keep quiet unless the clinician was actually asking them to count out loud. It's like showing I wouldn't look at someone on a hunter course counting out loud with the same eye i looked at a confident rider keeping quiet and riding to their fences.

Hunter Mom
Jun. 6, 2011, 11:03 PM
Usually I'm too busy praying on the approach to a fence to count anything,

:lol:LMAO:lol: Me too!!

I do count 1-2-1-2 to maintain a rhythm. It also gives my brain something to do besides pick at the poor boy who is about to launch himself and my sack-o-taters self over a fence, and because it makes me breathe. I forget to do that sometimes.

Horseymama
Jun. 6, 2011, 11:29 PM
The thing about counting is that you have to count on the rhythm. I have watched plenty of people counting out loud off rhythm! Usually those people are not good dancers, either!;)

I do count, usually with the placement of the inside hind, but always in my head. I would never count out loud in a clinic though, especially not GM!

HARROLDhasmyheart
Jun. 6, 2011, 11:54 PM
I always count backwards (3-2-1) before fences, with the exception of inside lines when I usually count forwards for what the line is set at (1-2-3-4). I'm not sure why this is and I'm sure it varies sometimes; however, I HAVE to count 3-2-1 to the first fence/a single fence or else I find myself getting more and more nervous. I think the counting helps focus me.

PNWjumper
Jun. 7, 2011, 12:19 AM
That brings up an interesting point -- do you count backwards or forwards, counters? I count forwards, not backwards like a countdown. I can see where that might be too confining, it would worry me to do it that way and it would focus too much on the numbers for me.

Forward on a horse that I need to push forward and backwards on a hot horse that I need to quiet. I've always done it that way subconciously, and then a clinician somewhere along the way mentioned the counting direction thing, and now I'm pretty aware of it.

But most of my horses need a little more "oomph," so most of my counting is done in a forward direction.

AndNirina
Jun. 7, 2011, 01:36 AM
I'm completely jacked up :) I count 1-2-1-2 around the corners to keep the rhythm -- especially since I tend to like kick rides, -- but I can usually see my distances 4 strides out so before the fences I count up from 1-4. '4' is the last stride before the jump. Then I also count up when counting strides in a line. If my trainer counts out loud over the microphone during a lesson I get completely messed up.

karlymacrae
Jun. 7, 2011, 02:54 AM
I'm weird. I'll do the math thing as well, but usually at shows esp. when I'm nervous I count 1,2,3,4 on course. It helps a LOT, my coach was telling me a story about a BNR who is a friend of hers (can't remember her name) who went to the indoors all winter and she all of the sudden couldn't see anything. She counted 1,2,3,4 all the way around the ring and won GP's doing so. Let me tell you, it works like a hot damn. I did my first 1.10 in April and before I went in I was extremely nervous. My coach told me to just worry about counting, so I knew where I was at all times. I didn't miss once on that course. Yes, I may have gotten deep or long but I always knew where I was and where I was going to take off. My jumper is also much more educated than I am (he's a 1.30 horse) and he "grew up" counting, and if I don't see anything and I just count out loud it really puts us into a rythm and keeps me from getting ahead of myself. I just bought him in January so I'm still working riding off my eye 100% of the time, if I adjust the last 4 strides or so he throws a fit. He likes being put on the canter I see farther out and just riding whichever distance comes.

When I'm not so nervous I feel like I'm going to vomit, I usually see my distance, adjust accordingly and know exactly where I am 4-5 strides out. With my green pony I ride her right off of my eye, keeping in mind not to gallop up because she has a HUGE stride and she'll chip out of lines. When I catchride I can usually ride off my eye as well. It's just with my new guy I struggle a bit with because sometimes I don't see what he sees. My old jumper I could see a distance on miles away and never missed, but I've also had her for 7 years!

With the GM rider, if she was counting 1,2,3,4,5,6 down a line I understand where he's coming from. That's like beginner/novice counting (esp out loud). Down lines I put myself wherever I see 3 strides out and then just ride to the jump. Don't miss that way unless I don't have enough canter! After 7 strides it's too many to count.. there's a lot of room there for adjustment and counting there can really throw me off kilter.

EmilyAlyse
Jun. 7, 2011, 09:50 AM
I don't count down to fences. I tend to count strides though (like I count steps when I run), for no real reason whatsoever. :lol: When it comes to striding on courses, I know how many I want to/can get with a particular horse at a particular pace, and it just flows from there. My counting is more just me being anal (and I don't do it out loud, because me counting to four repeatedly really doesn't make any sense whatsoever... to me or anyone who might hear me. heh!).

TrakeGirl
Jun. 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
I would like to count on course – it helps me a lot. I have a forward horse with plenty o’ stride so I usually count down between the lines, helps me know early if I need to whoa or leave him alone. I count everything at home.

However, horse doesn’t have a lot of show miles and turns into a nervous nelly at shows. He REALLY settles when I talk to him on course. So I usually find my happy counting is interrupted by the need to utter a low “whoa” before fences and an encouraging “easy” or “good boy” between fences (which I am sure would be discouraged by GM).

I apparently do not have the mental capacity to be able to count and talk at the same time.

I try to count after a line, around the corner and coming to the next fence to keep us on pace/rhythm – although that is usually interrupted by the need to say “easy”…”please slow down”...”or for the love of all that is holy, can you please listen to me”? in a soothing tone…

pattnic
Jun. 7, 2011, 12:34 PM
I don't count lines and just go off my eye instead. Counting has never been a natural thing for me... if I don't see it counting won't help me get the right spot.

I used to be like this (in fact, I really didn't know how to count), but the fact of the matter is that the ability to count is a valuable tool to have. It's not the counting itself that is so important; it's more the ability to use the information gained by being able to count. As Linny said, just the ability to count doesn't do much good... you have to be able to take it a step further and make adjustments based off it.

It's like the crest release - ideally we should all know a following hand as well as the various crest releases, but we should also know which one is appropriate at which time. So while we should be able to ride off our eye, we should also know how to count and use the information (that's the key part), and apply whichever is appropriate in a given situation.

kateh
Jun. 7, 2011, 05:54 PM
I do 1-2-1-2. Usually I can see my distance without counting in lines, but if we're working on fitting strides (do it in a 4, then a 5, etc) then I'll count 1-2-3-4. I never count down, it stresses me out that I won't be right. I used to jump ahead pretty bad, so I'd count wait-wait-wait in a rhythm :lol:

Oldenburg99
Jun. 7, 2011, 06:07 PM
Just to clarify... Are we talking about counting the strides in the lines or counting strides on the jump approach?

I definitely count my strides in the lines so that I am aware of any adjustments that need to be made, like the others have said. Otherwise, it's just the 1-2-1-2-1-2- etc. to keep me on the rhythm :cool:

I do both. Depending on how nervous I am and what I can see (or can't) coming out of the corner. It helps me to pick less. lol. I can't count 1, 2, 3, 4 etc there is not enough oxygen going to my brain. :lol:

greenwoodeq
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:21 PM
I used to be like this (in fact, I really didn't know how to count), but the fact of the matter is that the ability to count is a valuable tool to have. It's not the counting itself that is so important; it's more the ability to use the information gained by being able to count. As Linny said, just the ability to count doesn't do much good... you have to be able to take it a step further and make adjustments based off it.

It's like the crest release - ideally we should all know a following hand as well as the various crest releases, but we should also know which one is appropriate at which time. So while we should be able to ride off our eye, we should also know how to count and use the information (that's the key part), and apply whichever is appropriate in a given situation.

I totally agree! I definitely can count out my strides and approaches, but when i say "naturally" i mean that when I'm out on course I am focused on other things and counting isn't what I put in my mind. I see the striding, ride it, and am thinking about the next fence/next turn/rollback/whatever never counting...unless I'm on a new horse then I do (in my head) to match our rhythm.

musicinmotion101
Jun. 7, 2011, 08:33 PM
I do not count out loud, i pretty much see my spots with my eye enough back to fix from behind. But if i do feel off in rhythm I do this extremely ugly/weird thing where my neck gets loose and I bob my head and it just helps me feel. But no worries, I do NOT do it in the show ring just in warm up or schooling just so I feel more what I need to do to correct the rhythm.
My old trainer, on occasions before shows did used to make us count three strides out and for me, it really threw me off. I got so worried about making the stride and trying to figure out where I was that I forgot I was jumping. It always made me nervous and I would either push for long or just let them chip because I would throw the horse off.