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enjoytheride
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:14 PM
This is probably long and whiny.

I've been struggling to move up to BN for awhile. I've been doing Starter for about 2 years. I'm always clean but slow in stadium and XC.

I decided that this year is the year I was going to move up. I've been picking smaller BN events as a stepping stone.

I moved up to BN in May and was very nervous stadium so it was rough but my horse was great and we jumped clean. XC I had 4 stops but I had not jumped XC since last September and we jumped 18 inches then. XC was about 2' 3" with one or two 2' 6" fences. I felt like the mistakes were rider error and it was the first real time we galloped. I was really pleased.

I had another BN last week. The location of stadium was in a clearing in the woods, and it had rained so the grass was very long and wet. It was also pretty big. My horse went bonkers ran out twice, and I fell off. We were able to run XC over mostly 2 feet - 2 3" fences and ran double clear except I skipped a max size fence with brush that made it about 3 feet (nobody else liked it and someone who was with me suggested that my horse would clear it by 4 feet and that I might not want to do it, so I was easily persuaded).

Jumped our first ditch and bank. My horse has never stopped at a fence, and I really think the location and footing upset her. I've been really surprised at my confidence and my horse's confidence jumping XC. I came off XC both times feeling like I could jump the moon.

I had entered another show at BN in a few weeks. It's at a recognized facility with Max fences but for the last two years they brought in smaller fences and it was very easy. I could have jumped %75 of it with my skills last year. For the last two years there I went Starter and got a 3rd and a 4th jumping around clean in both.

I spoke with a friend who suggested I do Starter at that show based on the possiblity of max fences and my fall last week but I wanted to do BN so we decided to go schooling and decide on that. I went schooling at the place I jumped BN at in May. I don't know what it is about schooling but I didn't feel as confident. I strung some fences together and jumped most of what I'd jumped before but I didn't jump anything bigger or get a gallop going and my horse got nervous stopping and starting, walking between fences, waiting for other people to jump, and going away from the group. I never seem to be as brave on my own as I do in a lesson.


So the question is do I stay at BN at this next show and assume it will be small like in years past or do I bump down and do yet another Starter over probably crossrails? I don't want to get eliminated or give my horse a bad ride, but I am really frustrated with my lack of ability to move up. I'm getting differing opinions from my friends.

ThirdCharm
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:31 PM
You should always be schooling the next level above where you are competing. So unless you'd be comfortable schooling Novice at the courses you're contemplating, I wouldn't do BN.

It sounds like you and your horse are both a bit green and/or lacking in confidence? Is there any way you could lay hands (even temporarily) on a nice, broke BN/N packer to get some mileage to help with your confidence? Maybe your trainer could arrange for you to borrow or lease or take lessons on one?

Jennifer

enjoytheride
Jun. 17, 2011, 11:44 PM
I've jumped every BN fence at two seperate facilities, I can't get to the other facility to school at. It is closed. I have no desire to jump Novice LOL.

I do take lessons on lesson horses as often as my budget allows.

Honestly I was feeling fantastic after my first BN outing and a bit worried after my fall but fantastic after my second XC outing. It is just I didn't get what I wanted from schooling and I don't know why.

Bugs-n-Frodo
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:12 AM
I agree with training a level higher than what you are showing, it is true with dressage as well. But, I also know that we do not improve as long as we continue to stay within our comfort zone. I commend you for pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone, next year you'll look back and realize how far you've come. I have a German instructor, I love her because nothing is hard enough for her, she constantly pushes past her own comfort zone, and she does that for me too. This is good. Keep it up. We all have a first. Do not melt down, just learn.

PAF
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:15 AM
I believe eventers should feel very comfortable schooling a level above where they compete. We tend to have nerves come into play during competition that are not present during schooling and those nerves can make us do things (or not do things) we normally wouldn't (or would) do.

Riding should be fun and relaxing. Competitions should be the icing on the cake. It is OK to take as long as you or your horse need to move up to BN.

Having said that, do you have regular instruction? Good instruction should help a lot with your issues and confidence. It will give you the skills you need to safely and confidently ride a BN course. Also keep in mind that if you are clear but "slow" on the starter courses, you probably should stay there until you are safely not going so "slow". A slow speed (absent any outside reasons to go slow) usually means you don't feel confident enough to "let go" and proper impulsion is needed to jump, especially as you move up the levels. During lessions, ask your instructor to set goals for riding skills that are measurable and obtainable and that will translate into more confident and safe riding in competition. Measure your sucess by obtaining those goals and the competitions will improve because of it.

Kudos to you for verbalizing your concerns and as your signature says....Enjoy The Ride!

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 08:10 AM
I made time the last two events at BN. Galloping was fun and easy.

How am I supposed to get comfortable jumping bigger at shows if I continue to school at home over bigger heights but I show over crossrails?

I'm tired of being stuck at a level for years where my horse trips over an XC fence because its so small.

How do I gain experience jumping XC when schooling is so different then galloping around?

asterix
Jun. 18, 2011, 08:19 AM
I don't know what the right answer is, but you may want to try a clinic or set of lessons with a fresh eye -- an importantnpart of xc is going forward to your fences at an appropriate speed, which then makes the actual fences much easier. If you are still slow at Starter after 2 years this is a skill that you need to develop.

Don't read too much into the gap between your experience schooling vs showing. Lots of folks have the same issues!

And I for one think the old canard of "be comfortable schooling one level up before you compete" is bunk. This isn't dressage. Taking a novice rider ready to move up to Training and insist she school Prelminary first will intimidate her, not improve her.

I rode safely and competitively at Training for quite a while before I was ready to really tackle Prelim questions in any meaningful way.

That being said, however, you do need to be comfortable at the level you intend to compete at.

It sounds like your last outing was really confidence building.

Go Bn. If you walk the course and find something you really hate, have a plan to pull up if things haven't flowed well by then.

cranky
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:12 AM
I would also go BN. I remember the first time I went BN. I had been doing about 2'3" and below for a couple of months and had a new horse. My trainer (who is extremely conservative about moving people up) suggested that I enter a HT at BN. I remember walking both SJ & XC and more or less freaking out. 2nd time walking XC and things started to look a little more reasonable. I remember having terrible warm-ups, but once on course, just shrugging everything off and flowing forward and having both a wonderful SJ and a REALLY wonderful XC course. I pretty much got over my fears instantly and it worked out really well. I think if I hadn't been pushed to try, I probably would have dithered around at elementary/starter stuff all season and not really improved much. I just needed that little push and then everything was fine. And really, we're talking about BN here, not taking a chance on Prelim when unsure. BN was designed to be super entry level. You've done plenty of BN schooling, you've done some shows already at BN. A fall is troublesome, however, falls happen and if you can look back with perspective and know what went wrong, then I would say it's not a show-stopper. I would say to go ahead. How else are you going improve unless push yourself a little bit?

Highflyer
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:33 AM
Honestly, it sounds like 90% of your problem is nerves. I think if I were you, I would try to go to some hunter or jumper shows and do lots of 2'6 classes. It sounds like the height is intimidating you, and it really shouldn't. Almost any horse can jump 2'6 comfortably, and not even notice the difference between that and 2'.

Schooling xc is nervewracking for exactly that reason-- because it is hard to get a rhythm going. Are you working with a regular instructor? Do they have any input? Is it possible to get a "private" xc lesson with them? I know around here there are a number of unrecognized courses open by appointment. It might be worth the $ to get to go out and really gallop around a course.

One other thing to try--think about what exactly you are worried by. For me, the big fear is that my horse will stop and I'll fall off. So I ride down to a fence already thinking about how he's going to stop and I take my leg off (who wants to fall off from a gallop? Better a wimpy canter, right?) and my horse is no doubt thinking that clearly I don't really want to jump the fence, and maybe there is something wrong with it, so brakes on. It's a vicious cycle, really.

GotSpots
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:42 AM
What does your coach say? When I hear stories like yours, the first thing I think is where-is-this-person's-regular-coach/trainer-and-why-aren't-they-doing-their-job?

I don't mean that to be harsh. But consistently going slow at Starter or having your horse "go bonkers run out twice" at a BN stadium means that there are likely some pretty basic holes in you/your horse's education. A BN stadium should ride like a baby hunter course: it should flow, be smooth, be fun, feel easy. A starter or even a BN XC should be pretty similar. When it's a "struggle to move up to BN", I worry that the OP isn't getting the kind of regular, confidence building, skill improving coaching that can really help. In your shoes, I'd start by looking at who I'm working with: is there a good coach who is helping you regularly? Someone who knows his/her stuff? Even if it's not an eventer, working with a good HJ coach can really really help the basic jumping, which will translate brilliantly into a safe BN round. Trust me, the differences aren't so important, particularly at the lower levels, and the skill and confidence building a good coach can instill is fantastic. If you were my student (and I wasn't an amateur), I'd suggest that you be working toward going to some schooling HJ shows so that a 2'6" stadium round stops feeling like a big deal. Then, if you're going to school XC, do it in a setting when you can string a bunch of jumps together - not just a jump here and a jump there.

I'd also look at whether you can get some experience on a horse with a bit more mileage. Horses at BN should not be "going bonkers", particulalry not with riders who want to be a bit nervous, and you might find that you get more confidence by riding ones who can take a joke.

Beam Me Up
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:47 AM
Am I reading right that you had 2 years of clean but slow starter events, then 2 BNs this year, both of which you were E at (one for xc stops, 1 for an sj fall)?

Agree that if you are bored at starter and feel ready to tackle more, that you should, but is there a way for you to do more schooling (xc schooling, schooling jumper shows) so that you don't feel so much "at your max" when you get to the shows?

FWIW I feel much less confident x-c schooling without a trainer too. I will do it with babies, trot little stuff, etc., but when jumping things at the top of *my* confidence range I feel much better with a trainer.

deltawave
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:48 AM
XC I had 4 stops


My horse has never stopped at a fence

Which is it? :confused:

I'm not sure you should expect success if you aren't overprepared, when nerves are a big issue.

Being overprepared does not HAVE to mean "schoolong a level above". It can mean lots of really good and consistent mileage at your current level. It can mean some very successful clinics or lessons. It can mean being really comfortable cantering and galloping along out in the open without schooling a single jump. It can mean doing schooling jumper shows so the SJ rounds are a no-brainer.

Dr. Doolittle
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:10 PM
What does your coach say? When I hear stories like yours, the first thing I think is where-is-this-person's-regular-coach/trainer-and-why-aren't-they-doing-their-job?

I don't mean that to be harsh. But consistently going slow at Starter or having your horse "go bonkers run out twice" at a BN stadium means that there are likely some pretty basic holes in you/your horse's education. A BN stadium should ride like a baby hunter course: it should flow, be smooth, be fun, feel easy. A starter or even a BN XC should be pretty similar. When it's a "struggle to move up to BN", I worry that the OP isn't getting the kind of regular, confidence building, skill improving coaching that can really help. In your shoes, I'd start by looking at who I'm working with: is there a good coach who is helping you regularly? Someone who knows his/her stuff? Even if it's not an eventer, working with a good HJ coach can really really help the basic jumping, which will translate brilliantly into a safe BN round. Trust me, the differences aren't so important, particularly at the lower levels, and the skill and confidence building a good coach can instill is fantastic. If you were my student (and I wasn't an amateur), I'd suggest that you be working toward going to some schooling HJ shows so that a 2'6" stadium round stops feeling like a big deal. Then, if you're going to school XC, do it in a setting when you can string a bunch of jumps together - not just a jump here and a jump there.

I'd also look at whether you can get some experience on a horse with a bit more mileage. Horses at BN should not be "going bonkers", particulalry not with riders who want to be a bit nervous, and you might find that you get more confidence by riding ones who can take a joke.

This.

I have had many students at your level, when working with them, I have prioritized giving them (and their horses) the appropriate tools to have safe, enjoyable, confidence-building experiences at competitions. If there are "holes", they need to be addressed in schooling, during lessons, and at low-key competitions (which are *used* as schooling!) It shouldn't take forever, IF you have good, regular, thorough, competent instruction with a thoughtful trainer who prepares you and the horse appropriately; but it will "take as long as it takes" to do this! You will always get there more quickly if you take your time, as they say ;) (If you were my student, we would have discussed all of this in detail, dissected the issues, talked about the role your nerves have played and how to work on that, evaluated the horse's individual quirks and what she needs to feel more confident, what *you* need to do make her more comfortable and able to do her job, etc., and would have come up with a game plan to fix these things, going forward. Proper preparation is KEY!) Good luck with this, I know it's frustrating.

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 12:35 PM
Deltawave, she has never stopped in stadium or when I have shown her hunters. She can get a bit quick stadium and does tend to overjump if she is unsure of something. My biggest issue stadium is that I ride quietly so she doesn't think I'm gunning it and overjumps, then when she has a question she will slow down and pop over and up. She really knows her job jumping stadium and we've done a lot more of that then XC.

I know it sounds silly, but the Starter fences are small and narrow and I don't want to uhhh miss them so I'll come back to a trot so she actually sees them. I felt more comfortable galloping the BN fences because she locked on early and took me to more of them.

In my division at the last show 3 people fell off and everyone had stops or rails, I think the location and the weather played a huge part in it. I've never seen her behave that way.

I do take regular lessons and I feel confident in my lessons and have asked my coach to start pushing me. I don't do so well pushing myself but if someone is yanking up fences and pushing me I'll spazz, realize it isn't a big deal, then be fine. On my own I'll just say "today I'll skip that one because I jumped it last week."

The biggest thing for me at shows is organization between fences and dealing with the more forward pace a new location and open arena bring me. I'm trying to get out more but I have to borrow a ride when I do so.

mvp
Jun. 18, 2011, 01:18 PM
How do I gain experience jumping XC when schooling is so different then galloping around?


But consistently going slow at Starter or having your horse "go bonkers run out twice" at a BN stadium means that there are likely some pretty basic holes in you/your horse's education.

I haven't evented in a long time, but I have made up a lot of show horses and field hunters.

Like all others, I think these problems can be addressed in your schools. It does sound like your mare gets insecure in a new place and that you contribute some nerves. But that means she needs to be really broke and rideable. If you have that, your whole Stadium round will go better. The XC problem? Why not gallop on a bit in your schools?

As a high school kid, i was sent out alone with instructions to condition eventers and field hunters. (That's what child labor is for-- doing the time-consuming stuff an adult doesn't want to do. Adult supervision would have defeated the purpose as far as my bosses were concerned!)

It worked out well. it was just me and the horse and we did do some long canters over uneven terrain. I had "more horse" at events, but at least I had the experience and fitness needed to find a rhythm, fix it as necessary and keep going. Is this unusual in EventingWorld as it is run now?

deltawave
Jun. 18, 2011, 01:42 PM
If she overjumps, she overjumps. Carry on, go forward, tackle the next one and let the horse jump.

But if overjumping a 2 foot jump unseats you, I'd argue that eventing and possibly even jumping courses are not in your repertoire just yet.

Can you get some lessons on a patient, tolerant school horse?

kkindley
Jun. 18, 2011, 02:25 PM
As a high school kid, i was sent out alone with instructions to condition eventers and field hunters. (That's what child labor is for-- doing the time-consuming stuff an adult doesn't want to do. Adult supervision would have defeated the purpose as far as my bosses were concerned!)

It worked out well. it was just me and the horse and we did do some long canters over uneven terrain. I had "more horse" at events, but at least I had the experience and fitness needed to find a rhythm, fix it as necessary and keep going. Is this unusual in EventingWorld as it is run now?

It seems that now a days, kids aren't as fearless/invincible as they once were. With all the laibility, suehappy parents, etc., kids just don't get to yahoo as much. I boarded (briefly) at a hunter barn and was considered a yahoo because I galloped my horse around the perimeter. The dairy I worked for rented the fields and I was allowed to ride in them. Of course, I was only allowed to if the horses were in, and I had to stop if a horse in the ring got upset at seeing me out there. None of the kids would join me when I invited them on a hack because "my pony will buck me".

I encourage you to ride out as much as possible. Tag along on fitness hacks with someone else to get comfortable rolling along at whatever pace they set. Try a couple hunter paces or paper chases. It sounds like you just need confidence, and your horse needs you to feel confident. Nothing wrong with a forward pace to a fence. Far better than poking around, getting sticky spots and popping up over. I can understand how having a round like that can erode your confidence. Push your horse forward, keep it infront of your leg, and you should get rid of those pop up fences. A couple good, forward rounds should really boost your confidence,

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 18, 2011, 02:28 PM
There should not be ANY struggle to move up to BN.

If you are struggling...like others have said, you really need to examine some things.

For example, if she is green...and a little looky...Trot. You just said at the starter you would trot...well, you can do that just fine at BN. I trot training level sometimes....and have trotted things at Prelim. Trotting gives the horse more time to think about the question...and you do NOT need speed to get over fences of this height.

There is no galloping at BN. You are at most doing a working canter. There is no reason at all why you can't trot some questions and STILL make time....and regardless...time isn't important.


Sounds to me like you need to change your mind set and your preparation. Don't move up or go to a competition when you haven't schoolled (somewhere) xc in many months. You are both too green to do it cold like that. Make sure you are comfortable trotting the height you will be competing and jumping the height you are competing. Jump more challenging things at home so the competition will actually seem easy. The jumps--even maxed out--should not look big at this level....especially in stadium.

Then to help with your competition nerves...change the way you think of the competition. It isn't about doing well...it is about riding well. So don't think you have to canter...don't think you have to make time...don't think about the score...and just ride and do what you need to do to give your horse a good ride (including trotting).

Practice competition issues at home. Set a course (and dress it--you can get cheap flowers at Walmart), warm up over different jumps and then go do a full course like you would in a competition. Put competition pressure on yourself....and practice how you deal with it. Evaluate what you did when you got nervous...did you compromise your positition (I curl into a fetal position;))...did you stop thinking....did you drive your horse too fast. These will show you where the holes are in your riding and what to practice more.


Bottom line...it sounds like you need a better program to prepare you for a competition. Once you get that...it shouldn't be a struggle...but fun instead!


ETA: I also wouldn't be out there competiting at BN unless you can at home comfortably jump a 2'9" course. That is not novice level...I don't take a horse out novice until they are easily jump 3'-3'3 courses at home.

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 05:09 PM
Unfortunatly it worked out that I couldn't school at all before the first two competitions because the ground was so wet and we had so much rain. As it was the first couple shows had the date changed and their courses altered to make them safe and dry.

I went to the first event after talking to the organizer, letting them know I had not been out to school and I was in it for schooling and not ribbons. Same with the second event, it was only yesterday that I was actually allowed to get out and school anywhere.

I've been told that I can't trot jumps this size, I have to canter them because I'm not going to have the impulsion to clear them. Even in this thread, I'm told if I am not making the time then I shouldn't be competing.

I don't get how to get forward without getting a scoot. I can put my leg on and go forward but then I feel like I'm hurtling at the fence and I'm lacking any control or balance.

I do take lessons on school horses, and it's really nice to not have to worry about setting my pace and driving the horse forward so we make a one stride smoothly. They also jump flatter and are softer off the ground. But then I get on my own horse who needs more balance and support and can jump really hard off the ground with a pop up and I struggle with that.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 18, 2011, 05:19 PM
Since we are in cyber space...I don't know what people are seeing to tell you have to canter. There must be something going on.


But honestly....I would not want to ride a horse over solid fences of any height that couldn't trot a 3' fence.

I've seen full draft horses trot 3'.....if your horse lacks the scope for that, they perhaps shouldn't be an event horse (hopefully this isn't the case).

But impulsion is NOT speed. Having a horse move off your leg and engage their hind end does not come from going faster. Look at a horse in GP dressage doing a piaffe or passage...lots of impulsion and power with NO speed.

I said trot because it is often easier to keep a horse with impulsion and balance while trotting. With the canter...people tend to think speed...and lose the balance...which makes for ugly jumps. But to trot....you still need the horse to have impulsion and push from behind. If you have trouble getting this at the trot...you may have even more trouble with the canter.


My point was even if you trot a fence...you can still make time at BN xc or stadium. I think the point people were making on time was if you are not making the time at the level below...perhaps you are not ready to move up. Personally...I wouldn't be focused on time at all. BN, Novice...these are the learning levels. Get smooth rounds....even if you trot in places or certain fences. Then once that is mastered...you try and reduce the amount of times you trot.

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 05:30 PM
If it helps, here is me.

http://www.youtube.com/user/horsetime?feature=mhsn

I want to event, and I like to jump, that's what I want. I don't like running into a wall of my own making in front of something I want to do. I had a trainer tell me to quit jumping after I had a couple bad shows on a green horse and made a school horse stop. It really hurt my confidence for a very long time and I really considered if maybe I was just not supposed to jump maybe there was something wrong with me that made me incapable of jumping.

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 18, 2011, 05:40 PM
If it helps, here is me.

http://www.youtube.com/user/horsetime?feature=mhsn

I want to event, and I like to jump, that's what I want. I don't like running into a wall of my own making in front of something I want to do. I had a trainer tell me to quit jumping after I had a couple bad shows on a green horse and made a school horse stop. It really hurt my confidence for a very long time and I really considered if maybe I was just not supposed to jump maybe there was something wrong with me that made me incapable of jumping.


wow...you really need some better people helping you. We all go through rough spots....if you want to jump, then you should be able to jump as long as your horse is sound enough.

If we all quit after some rough rides or causing our horses to stop...well...there would be a lot fewer riders in this world.


The video didn't show you riding (just a cute kid on a cute horse). If that is your horse...didn't see any reason he couldn't do the job based on that video. But he does seem like his "go" speed lacks natural impulsion;) So he will be a harder horse to get that impulsion on and keep in front of your leg. Work on lots of transitions....when you put your leg on, he needs to jump forward off your leg. Add a neck strap when jumping and make sure you keep your hands on the strap so you stay out of his way.

And get some good consistent help. Even if you can't afford a ton of lessons...you need some one positive around you who knows you and can help you come up with a program to get you where you want to be.

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:03 PM
LOL, that is my retired horse who made a nice dressage horse but did more stopping then actual jumping.

I do have a different trainer now who is much better for my confidence.

If you click on uploads you'll see other videos.

ThirdCharm
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:33 PM
I think the OP is riding the grey arabian in the other videos on that account.

So we have a trainer who doesn't think 2'6" cross-country fences are trottable (to which I would reply "Did one of my horse's legs fall off when I wasn't looking??"). What is the actual specialty of the trainer/barn? Have they actually evented themselves, or competed over fences in any style at a high level, or do they do the huntseat/stockseat/open show kinda thing and happen to have had some students who wanted to go to some schooling horse trials and dressage shows too?

Might be time to find some more specialized help. With nerves, your horse's jumping style and temperament, etc., a trainer who really knows the ropes can be invaluable.

Jennifer

bornfreenowexpensive
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:38 PM
LOL--I didn't think that was the video:)

ok...no reason why you two should stop jumping. But after you had a stop...you trotted a BN fence perfectly well....so you are clearly capable of jumping a BN jump from the trot;) I would have told you to trot it and jump it the way you did after the stop the first time. It gave her time to process the fence and jump it well.

You horse is very cute. I think you need to add a neck strap and keep a hold of that while jumping. I think getting some good help and keep working on your goals. No reason you shouldn't get there and it shouldn't feel like a struggle.

enjoytheride
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:48 PM
Current trainer isn't telling me that I can't trot and they specialize in eventing and have evented.

deltawave
Jun. 18, 2011, 06:59 PM
So trot!

My trainer's horse trotted half the Prelim XC course at IEA 2 weeks ago and did so very easily.

Who, exactly, is telling you you can't trot and shouldn't compete if you can't make time?

But whether you trot or canter, you need IMPULSION and a horse going forward off your leg. I completely agree that impulsion and speed are not the same. A horse popping over jumps lacks impulsion, yet a horse that is engaged and forward can walk over them.

Gwen used to jump VERY large jumps from the walk, NOT always when her rider was expecting this! :lol:

katie+tru
Jun. 18, 2011, 07:22 PM
I agree. I very irritated watching people fly through BN. It's BN for a reason people... it's an introduction. Unless you're riding like a 13h pony you can trot/canter XC in time. Frankly, I think people should be penalized for going at a full gallop. It's unnecessary and many of the riders don't have the experience/ability to safely jump from a gallop yet.

I also agree that you need to find some way to build your confidence over fences of BN height/width. I'm sorry, but 4 stops on XC is not a good day in my book. That's some serious pilot error that needs fixing before heading back out. If you continue trying to push yourself into places you aren't comfortable and causing your horse to refuse you'll not only keep wrecking your confidence but also your horse's training.

I say do BN when you can jump BN sized stadium fences and school BN XC without feeling terribly nervous or thinking about the height. That height needs to stop even crossing your mind. Then you know you're confident and comfortable.

yellowbritches
Jun. 18, 2011, 08:16 PM
A few impressions from the BN video I watched:

I agree with bfne about your help. You have a few holes that can be easily addressed and fixed that should give you AND your horse a lot more confidence (riding a forward, marching rhythm, waiting with your shoulders, and a stronger position in the tack). I also think that if you are lacking such confidence that you can't jump ALL the fences on the course, you have some holes. I would hunt around and see about some lessons with some other people in your area and see if they may have some better insight for you. It can be REALLY hard when you are very new to a sport to know if your coach is actually good, but you should NOT be struggling this much for this long at THIS level (it is BEGINNER novice...there shouldn't be this much thought to it).

Second, your horse is VERY capable, but she looks like she has a cheeky streak! ;) Her stop on the video wasn't a "oooo, scary!" stop nor was it because you gave her a bad ride (you jumped ahead at the fence before the stop and she jumped despite it, but you gave er a nice ride when she stopped). Working on all the things I mentioned above will make you more capable of dealing with that cheeky streak and give you better rounds. A cheeky horse can be challenging, especially if you aren't sure of your own skills.

I am also going to go along with all those who are saying "get thee to some hunter shows". And just jump course after course at 2'6" until you are super confident and your horse is, as well. Lots of gymnastics at home to help you learn to sit still and keep her moving with power and balance (she should be able to do both at the trot and canter!). And go school xc with GOOD HELP. Someone who can help you work on your position and keeping your rhythm and just jumping things out of stride. Also someone who can talk to you and coach you through what to do when things aren't quite right.

Honestly, I think the only thing that is hindering you is a few small holes that should be easy to address with a good coach. I hate to be so negative, but if you've been doing STARTER level for two years (most of our green riders, if they start there, do two EVENTS at that level), you are not being coached and helped well enough. BN should be EASY, and I think the fact that you are finding it so hard is a sign that you are under coached.

VCT
Jun. 18, 2011, 08:16 PM
I watched your video.

I see you getting loose in the tack and left slightly at the jumps, occasionally catching your horse in the mouth, etc. I see this because I am dealing with the same issues myself! The answer is STRENGTHENING!!! I am working on it a lot! No stirrups work, lots of 2 pt., get that leg and position strong! Then you won't get popped loose.

I agree with the neck strap idea. In fact I am saving up for a breast-plate type dealie for my horse so I can grab it if need be!

Also, I think you need to get comfortable going faster. I don't think you need to go faster on course AT ALL... but your horse was just in a nice canter and you were yelling slow down and such. The horse needs to be able to go FORWARD (not faster), but if you keep making her go slower and slower, and you are not backing up your half halts with a really strong leg so she gets more bouncy, then the horse gets behind your leg and you have stops...

In short... you just need more mileage and a stronger position. I know because I am going through the very same type of situation right now. Don't give up.. you'll get there. Your horse looks really cool and I think your BN goal is doable... you just have more work to do.

Be proud of all you have accomplished so far and keep working on it!

Carol Ames
Jun. 18, 2011, 10:59 PM
Is it the speed which makes you so unsure? If so, you/ your instructor can set up suitable sections in a field, with/ without jumps to practice galloping at speed; it takes only time and effort to mark off the distance then to put "rampy" jumps in it. Have someone hold a stop watch ; setting it up in intervals so, the clocker can coach the rider to "move up" each part until finally "up to speed"

Carol Ames
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:04 PM
I see you are from IN and realize this might not be feasible; but, if so, you and your horse should try foxhunting:yes:; you will learn "the thrill of the:cool: chase" and find you both trust oneanother;) better afterwards.

Carol Ames
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:17 PM
Are you doing canter sets in 2 point? You do need a much stronger position;); your horse is reluctant to move up:( to a jump because he feels you loose and knows that if he jumps big, he may lose you:no::sadsmile:; smart horse:lol:; after seeing the video I agree that you need better help:yes: given your area :no:, you may have to get it in clinics:yes::cool:.

Carol Ames
Jun. 18, 2011, 11:20 PM
neck straps can be a stirrup leather or a neck strap for a martingale; doesn't matter which

kkindley
Jun. 19, 2011, 10:33 AM
Didn't watch the video, but yes, BN jumps are very trotable!! Far better to have a wonderful trot wth lots of impulsion than a sticky, pokey canter.

asterix
Jun. 19, 2011, 12:53 PM
Just watched your video, and I agree with some of the others that one thing you need is to go practice being comfortable cantering "at speed" (the speed she was going was perfectly fine, relaxed and steady mostly) on terrain.

I was just out this morning doing sets on my two horses with my husband, who is a newish rider and mainly likes to hack out. He has been working at doing sets with me because it is so helpful for his position, his relaxation, etc. I have one horse who is rehabbing so he rides that one for shorter sets, and I gradually up the difficulty of the terrain we do.

Certainly at your level you don't need to condition as you would for something like Preliminary, but I think it would be REALLY REALLY helpful if you made it a part of your weekly routine to go out and, say, trot over hill and dale without stopping for 10 minutes, give your horse a few minutes walk break, and then take up your stirrups a hole or two (they looked pretty long to me) and try the same route at the canter for 2 or 3 minutes at a time...rest...and do it again...

You want to get to the point where you are comfy just cantering around in a nice relaxed forward canter, changing your position as the terrain changes, staying deep in your leg, butt out of the saddle, and not balancing on her mouth (resting your hands on the neck and/or bridging the reins is fine).

bigbaytb
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:00 PM
"I've been told that I can't trot jumps this size, I have to canter them because I'm not going to have the impulsion to clear them. "

ENT..that is the biggest bunch of crap I have ever heard. I know you..you know me so You know I'm not being mean to you. I have no idea who told you that, but that is UNTRUE

horses get more impulsion with a strong..not scrambling..trot..especially at novice...my 16 hh horse, since she is still green, prefers to trot a fence to get a better look..and she'll jump it fine! So i'm not sure who said no trotting, especially for you..that's nuts!

I think your biggest issue is that you lack confidence and you easily get intimidated. your horse is more than capable and she does try her hardest for you. Honestly, as suggested, I do think foxhunting would be great for you. even hill topping would help you let go and not try to make the perfect jump everytime. You know I'm not the greatest rider, and hunting has helped me.

I do invite you to come out and huntm or do the summer rides!. you've got my number and email! we have summer rides where there are no capping fees. it would be helpful and I think you would enjoy yourself, and your horse will do fine.

oh..you need to grab mane or get a neck strap...you're getting launched out of your tack..I bet if you grab mane with both hands and look where you are going, that lovely mare will do exactly what you want.

enjoytheride
Jun. 21, 2011, 09:28 PM
Thanks!

I've decided to move down to Starter for this next show, speak with my coach, get some more outside lessons from clinicians, and see how it goes. I certainly do get frazzled easily.

I've been worried in the past that my mare would not be behaved in a group setting of foxhunting but I think she's good enough now that we should be ok. If you know anyone my way I'd love to hitch a ride.

pony grandma
Jun. 21, 2011, 11:38 PM
I agree with the loose in the tack and lack of confidence to get together with your ride. You need time riding 'out.' Learning to stick and go with your horse.

You have some of the country's best trail riding just south of you -- those hills and ravines really put a seat on my daughters and made them trust their horses. Go ride in that wilderness area down there and it will make eventing look easy. :lol: You get on one of those 6-8 hour loops and there's no short cut back! Trial by fire but I guarantee it will fix ya!

phoebetrainer
Jun. 22, 2011, 03:11 AM
I haven't read all the replies after the video, but what I saw was:
Horse not going forward in canter.
Rider not riding horse forward in canter.
Rider loose in the tack.
Rider riding horse forward in trot - so horse going forward in trot.
Rider not wanting? to ride forward between fences (you were barely riding at canter, let alone gallop).
?Horse getting bored with piddly little fences and making life more interesting for herself (ohhhh, I'll juuust duck out now - all done in fairly slow motion).

If you are riding bigger fences with this lack of impulsion, horse will have to launch herself to get over them - that will unseat you, especially if you are thinking backward.

The best suggestion is to go fox hunting - either on this horse or find one that will be okay. Horse won't wind up if you let her gallop and jump - only if you try to slow her down and "place" her at the fences. If you can't go hunting, find a group of friends and go to one of the schooling places (not for a schooling show, just as a group) and whoop it up - all of you galloping and jumping together, take turns in front and behind, don't stop between fences, really get going over them. Once you've done it in a group, make up a course that each of you can go around at decent XC speed.

These fences are little enough that if she walked up to them, she could pop over them.

From experience (my own and working with others) spending more time jumping little jumps does not make you better over the bigger ones, especially if the issue it that you are scared of the bigger ones. I remember one teenager I was working with - had a lovely arab cross not unlike yours. Horse could jump the moon. Rider was tentative and tended to hold him back. One weekend I was riding a young horse and I ended up following her on XC. I caught up to her and basically chased her around - she had to stay in front of me. It was the biggest course she had jumped and had a lovely clear round. She came off the course thrilled with her round, but also saying that it was the fastest she had ever gone. I was a little astounded because we weren't going fast at all - I was riding a young horse at her first event, so I was going at a very steady, but forward speed.

When you first start riding XC it can be hard to go forward without going fast. Maybe you need to learn to go fast first - without any jumps in the way, just get the feeling of speed and power.

deltawave
Jun. 22, 2011, 08:53 AM
find a group of friends and go to one of the schooling places (not for a schooling show, just as a group) and whoop it up - all of you galloping and jumping together, take turns in front and behind, don't stop between fences, really get going over them. Once you've done it in a group, make up a course that each of you can go around at decent XC speed.

What a refreshing idea. Reminds me of my childhood. :D

KateWooten
Jun. 22, 2011, 02:38 PM
Unless you're riding like a 13h pony you can trot/canter XC in time.

umm... EVEN WHEN you are riding like a 13hh pony, you can trot XC and still make time. Specially if it's a supah-pony what can do that whole 'trot the 3ft fence' thang.