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Hilary
Jul. 22, 2011, 10:18 AM
A few months ago there was a Practical Horseman article by Jennie Brannigan about the "new" galloping position that is a lot more vertical that the traditional 2-point. There was a big discussion about it here:

http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=301737&highlight=galloping+position


What's in my mailbox yesterday but a new PH and Wofford's article is all about galloping positions!


His take is that the 'new', stand up position is much harder on the horse, if easier on the human, and I definitely got the impression he is not in favor.

After the first article I played around with the more straight legged approach while doing my conditioning. I found it to be a bit precarious and have not really changed my ways. I was happy to have Mr. Wofford's support for my "Nice little 2-point" which I find quite comfortable and stable.

And that's my pot-stirring for the day.

cllane1
Jul. 22, 2011, 10:35 AM
I had a great chance to compare the two positions last year. A lesson with Boyd Martin had me trying the straight leg position, which did seem less tiring to me, but not as natural. A few weeks later, we had a Wofford clinic and I asked him his views. He favors the traditional position, saying that with a straight leg, the rider has no "springs" or ways to absorb the shock of galloping, making it harder to move fluidly with the horse.

Mtn trails
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:36 AM
I am more comfortable in a modified 2 point for galloping. I feel more stable and able to move better with my horse. I haven't read the Woffard article yet but will this weekend.

andyvee
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:05 PM
I can say from a galloping point of view (as in TB's at the track) having a straight leg is WAY LESS tiring, but that is also for flat surfaces. But it also requires you to put your weight in your hands at the base of the neck. I can see if you were in between fences and needed to be in that position for a lenth of time it would be beneficial, but for short term or on approach to a fence it could get you in trouble. I would find it hard on your horses legs too if you kept that position going down hill.

I wish I could watch the videos.

Saskatoonian
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:08 PM
I've tried both ways too, and find the old style much more secure. I think also that it gives the horse a smoother ride. I'm sure that some of it depends on body type - I'm have a pretty long torso, so I'm not really balanced upright.

Hilary
Jul. 22, 2011, 12:19 PM
He spent a lot of time on physics, including that when the horse gallops he not only moves forward, but he goes up and down a little. When your knees are bent you absorb quite a bit of that up/down effort, but in the straighter knee/hands on neck position, the horse must lift you up too with every stride - so it's harder on the horse.

Now, maybe the proponents of uprightness will say that the rider's weight is negligible and it's not THAT Much harder on the horse?

lstevenson
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:14 PM
Haven't gotten the lastest issue yet, but of course I agree.

The new "American way" fad is embarassing for our country!




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ThirdCharm
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:31 PM
When I worked at the track standing up straight in the stirrups was strongly considered to be a lazy/weak rider making things way harder on the horse than necessary. But hey, making things easier on ourselves at someone else's expense..... it's the american way!

Jennifer

jenm
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:36 PM
I had a great chance to compare the two positions last year. A lesson with Boyd Martin had me trying the straight leg position, which did seem less tiring to me, but not as natural.

Boyd made an interesting comment about the galloping position to my group at a clinic. He said his observation is many riders are not out of the saddle enough, and therefore, their "bum" slaps against the saddle, which is not good for the horse's back.

In watching many riders on the cross country course, I see he has a point, but it's mostly in the LL.

He was not advocating a straight leg position, but did say it was important to stay enough out of the saddle so your "bum" doesn't hit it. :)

ThirdCharm
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:41 PM
Of course, if your stirrups are too long, it is hard to get your bum out of the saddle without standing straight up!! Many many problems would be fixed by jacking the stirrups up a couple holes.

Jennifer

asterix
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:46 PM
Boyd made an interesting comment about the galloping position to my group at a clinic. He said his observation is many riders are not out of the saddle enough, and therefore, their "bum" slaps against the saddle, which is not good for the horse's back.

In watching many riders on the cross country course, I see he has a point, but it's mostly in the LL.

He was not advocating a straight leg position, but did say it was important to stay enough out of the saddle so your "bum" doesn't hit it. :)

Well, for what it's worth, Jimmy certainly would agree that when your a** hits the saddle, you are doing something wrong. I've been in clinics with him where part of his assessment of you at the start is to have you gallop a big loop at whatever pace he sets (without a watch of course -- you have to show that you can feel it), without letting your butt touch the saddle ever.

llevent
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:48 PM
i think both need to be used. the new style is much more efficient for long gallops between fences. if done correctly, your butt will not touch the saddle. nothing kills me more than watching people go around xc with the butt smaking the saddle every stride. of course, as someone said above, for up hills and down hills, obv the old style is more appropriate. if you watch the best xc riders, they can do and use both.

lstevenson
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:49 PM
Of course, if your stirrups are too long, it is hard to get your bum out of the saddle without standing straight up!! Many many problems would be fixed by jacking the stirrups up a couple holes.

Jennifer



Yes, but see Jennifer, that's much too *hard*. It's much easier to just lean on the neck. :winkgrin:




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lstevenson
Jul. 22, 2011, 02:53 PM
i think both need to be used. the new style is much more efficient for long gallops between fences



You've obviously drunk the Kool Aide.....

Please explain why none of the other countries, you know....the ones that beat us all the time, do not use this position.

The ONLY benefit is that it's easier for the rider. What happened to the rider working hard to improve their balance and strength instead? So that they can do it correctly?

Galloping along off the horses back using the natural shock absorbers (of the rider's knees, hips, and ankles) is actually the most "efficient" way to gallop long distances.




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Bobthehorse
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:16 PM
I dont think I would want to be in any position where my balance point is forward on my hands pressing into the neck. Maybe its because the little dude is not above random spooks between fences, or maybe its because I dont see how you can keep a horse between your aids like this.

llevent
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:34 PM
You've obviously drunk the Kool Aide.....

Please explain why none of the other countries, you know....the ones that beat us all the time, do not use this position.

The ONLY benefit is that it's easier for the rider. What happened to the rider working hard to improve their balance and strength instead? So that they can do it correctly?

Galloping along off the horses back using the natural shock absorbers (of the rider's knees, hips, and ankles) is actually the most "efficient" way to gallop long distances.




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And apparently you are far too good to try it.

It is not necessarily easier.. if you properly tried the positio, it does require stamina and a ton of balance. the point of the position is to stay OUT of the horses way as much as possible so they can do their thing.. i think the "most efficient" way is whatever stays out of the horses way for those long gallops, esp when trying to make time at the UL, not so much for LL.

and i dont know, but our most recent olympian to win gold for us uses this technique. so there is one. plus you have to keep in mind that a lot of people don't "work hard" to improve their balance. there are way too many LL riders smacking their @$$ on the saddle. yeah, i take pride in the fact that my @$$ doesn't touch the saddle unless i want it to.

both positions require a lot of practice; whatever one that keeps you from bashing your horses back is the one, well i think both, you should use.

lstevenson
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:49 PM
And apparently you are far too good to try it.



it does require stamina and a ton of balance.


Oh I've tried it. That's why I hate it so much. I was down at the training sessions in Florida when this new "fad" came about. It put my well balanced galloping horse way on the forehand (which increases the concussive forces on the horse's front legs), and made me feel like I was way too forward. If the horse stumbles (which he is more likely to do when the weight he is carrying is so far forward over his front end) you are in a very precarious position. It's like riding your bike with your hips way up over the handlebars! And it was clear that my horse hated the fact that my shock absorbers in my legs were not working. Horses would much prefer to carry an object that moves with them at the gallop.


And no, leaning on the neck does not require balance. Look up the word "balance" in the dictionary.




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llevent
Jul. 22, 2011, 03:56 PM
Horses would much prefer to carry an object that moves with them at the gallop.


And no, leaning on the neck does not require balance. Look up the word "balance" in the dictionary.




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I'm pretty sure people using it move with their horse.. i mean you can try and tell boyd or karen or jennie that they dont, but you'd probably be wrong... and yes, you use a bridge on the neck, but the majority of your weight is balanced over your center of gravity.

to each their own. whatever works for you, use it. there are hundreds of variations in riding. riders and our horses are all built so different. just because you don't use it doesnt mean its improper or horrible for the horse, and on top of that, just because you don't like it, it doesnt mean that it wont work for a lot of other people.

lstevenson
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:06 PM
Iand yes you use a bridge on the neck, but the majority of your weight is balanced over your center of gravity.



If you are leaning your weight on that bridge, like they suggest, your weight is NOT over your center of gravity, it's on your hands. Which are way up the horse's neck.

I honestly think anyone who promotes riding this way should try riding a bicycle with their hips way up over the handlebars to see what happens to their bike's balance when they do that.

Bottom line is the best riders in the world of Eventing are not from this country, and they do not ride this way, and never will. And it's an illogical position.




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bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:08 PM
The 'straight' leg is easy to teach in a clinic situation when you have a lot of weekend warriors.....but I don't think it is the best gallop position. A quick fix for crappy position and better than sitting on your horse...yes...but not what I would model as the best position.

llevent
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:22 PM
Lol, do you know who Lesley Stevenson is? Also, what gold-winning Olympian are you talking about? If you're referring to Gina Miles in '08, she got silver. Not gold. And I'd love to see what you mean about her using a straight-legged galloping position...
http://www.google.com/imgres?q=gina+miles&um=1&hl=en&safe=off&sa=N&biw=1091&bih=608&tbm=isch&tbnid=8cMyBQ5BJqTqIM:&imgrefurl=http://www.regardinghorses.com/2008/08/09/gina-miles-profile/&docid=w-P0CTxciQ2DuM&w=434&h=640&ei=E9QpTvfNJtK20AGNip37Cg&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=352&page=1&tbnh=131&tbnw=89&start=0&ndsp=19&ved=1t:429,r:0,s:0&tx=41&ty=73

Does that look straight legged to you? Cause it sure doesn't to me...

i dont care who she is, i was refering to her "drinking" comment, which was kind of rude.

also, no im not refering to Gina obv she got silver. think about it. i know who won gold, apparently you don't.

it gets old when people on here try to tell other people, through a computer!?!, how they ride is wrong, without even seeing. these forums are wayy too judgemental a lot of the time.

clm08
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:31 PM
Hehe, Cothers need to tell Phillip, Boyd, Karen, and Jennie that they really suck in the XC galloping position. Once they learn how to do it correctly, maybe their horses will do better in competition.:lol::lol::lol:

bornfreenowexpensive
Jul. 22, 2011, 04:43 PM
Hehe, Cothers need to tell Phillip, Boyd, Karen, and Jennie that they really suck in the XC galloping position. Once they learn how to do it correctly, maybe their horses will do better in competition.:lol::lol::lol:


No one said they suck....just that the "straight" leg gallop position is not the best or ideal position. Phillip's position has always been unconventional. It works well for him...but even he doesn't teach his students to mimic his style exactly.

And this isn't COTHers challenging this postion... the article is written by Jimmy Wofford....and his creds are as strong if not stronger then the people you named above.

VCT
Jul. 22, 2011, 05:52 PM
Well I can't wait to read Jimmy's article. I read the article last month about the more straight legged galloping position and basically I remember reading it and going, "WTF... seriously?"

If your horse tripped or refused or spooked you'd be ass over teakettle in a minute.

ThirdCharm
Jul. 22, 2011, 06:42 PM
It's not like JW made his theory up out of whole cloth, aside from his decades of experience he was referencing an article published in _Science_ on a research study conducted by the Structure and Motion Laboratory at England's Royal Veterinary College in partnership with the British Racing School at Newmarket.

Jennifer

subk
Jul. 22, 2011, 08:10 PM
I've wonder about the lack of aerodynamics of the standup position. Stick your body straight up and out the sunroof of a car then drive 20 mph. The drag is not insignificant. It would be absorbed by the horse, not the rider.


If your horse tripped or refused or spooked you'd be ass over teakettle in a minute.
In a clinic last year I was told by one of the straight leggers just the opposite, that having your shoulder further back should make you more resilient to a trip. Of course I tried to explain to the skinny whip of a guy that the difference in my weight distribution--caused by my nicely rounded bum being behind me when I gallop--makes it stronger in the old position than my shoulder being upright because as a girl my center of gravity is lower. He was not impressed. So I did it his way for a day.

ltmac
Jul. 22, 2011, 10:02 PM
Haven't gotten the lastest issue yet, but of course I agree.

The new "American way" fad is embarassing for our country!




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Absolutely! Get off the couch, America.

ThirdCharm
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:09 PM
Also, dunno what they are doing now but when David won his gold medal all those years ago, the O'Connors were still teaching the "old-style" "C" galloping position.

Jennifer

gold2012
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:13 PM
I have never understood a straight leg position, or mega long stirrups, or balancing off your hands that are buried in your crotch on the neck. I have never understood hunter riders, and jumper riders riding in a two-point that, often, clearly have horses falling on the forehand. I see a common denominator here....both are used ONLY in the USA, and both were started by individuals who thought this was the way. as for it being more secure.....hogwash!!!

I think our lack of medals at international competition speaks for itself. One can only hope it gets figured out.

llevent
Jul. 22, 2011, 11:31 PM
I love how you feel the need to be rude to make a point...


Obviously, you are unwilling to politely listen to others opinions and politely state your own, so there's really no point in wasting my time trying to carry on a debate with you... And don't even say someone else was rude first, please. You can still be polite when others aren't.

i've been just as polite as anyone on here. all ive said is to each their own-- people can ride how ever makes them get their job done correctly for them and its no ones business to tell them otherwise! learn how to read!

and also you should take your own advice by "being polite when others aren't" because your demeaning posts accusing people and taking sides are distasteful. posts like yours make these forums a joke and deter people from stating their own opinions, because they think they will get attacked by the ignorance of drama-consumed people like you. leave me alone, and stop trying to pick cyber-fights. grow up.

JER
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:23 AM
But hey, making things easier on ourselves at someone else's expense..... it's the american way!

No, it's not. Americans work more hours than their western-nation counterparts, and do so without any mandated sick days, parental leave, vacation days and fewer workers' rights, like maximum weekly hours or a living wage or basic health provisions.

And despite the comparatively poor working conditions and the shocking income disparity between workers and owners, a staggering number of Americans can't find work at all.

There's no need to kick sh*t at ourselves. We work hard -- and have little to show for it.

:)

retreadeventer
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:13 AM
Amazing thread here.

---JER sticking up for Americans

---LLevent actually making some darn good points, and she / he has been polite and, I think, picked on with this thread a bit

---living up to the pot-stirring prediction

---just another reminder that the rest of us smurfs can't ride, look like crap on a horse, are overweight and out of shape, and will never be as wonderful as (pick someone foreign, rich, or upper level). Why does nearly every thread mention this? Can't we be more positive and not lay everything at the foot of this problem? I know LOADS of overweight riders who are fabulous on horses.

Who cares how you gallop as long as you don't scare anyone, hurt anyone, or cost anyone money.

GingerJumper
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:22 AM
It certainly did live up to the pot-stirring thing...

Obviously, there will always be two (and maybe even three) camps on this,
-the old way is right.
-the new way is right.
-it doesn't really matter.

Obviously, people who think one way think the others are wrong, and probably won't be persuaded otherwise. That being said, I have made my point (a long ways back in the thread, actually) and am now off to read threads where something will happen other than a rapid deterioration to name calling, while a few people actually discuss the original topic. Ciao.

LookmaNohands
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:22 AM
No, it's not. Americans work more hours than their western-nation counterparts, and do so without any mandated sick days, parental leave, vacation days and fewer workers' rights, like maximum weekly hours or a living wage or basic health provisions.

And despite the comparatively poor working conditions and the shocking income disparity between workers and owners, a staggering number of Americans can't find work at all.

There's no need to kick sh*t at ourselves. We work hard -- and have little to show for it.

:)

We may work hard but do we work SMART?

There is a lot to be said for individual conformation an how it affects your position on the horse. Everyone is different. A tall lanky rider has to sit differently than a shorter legged rider as the leverage and balance are different. What works for one rider is in no way going to work for everyone. I think you have to figure out what works for you and make sure it doesn't work against your horse.

I can see during a long uninterrupted gallop if you were getting tired maybe putting your hands down and sort of resting for a few strides but what does that say about your fitness level? And these days the courses are such that there are not long breaks between fences like there used to be.

I always come back to what is best for the horse and try to do that.

wildlifer
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:47 AM
off to read threads where something will happen other than a rapid deterioration to name calling, while a few people actually discuss the original topic. Ciao.

What? You must not be reading any COTH threads then! ;):lol:

GingerJumper
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:56 AM
What? You must not be reading any COTH threads then! ;):lol:

HAHAHAHA! So true... after browsing various other deteriorating threads (or boring ones, or short ones) I ended up back here just to see what happens... Done arguing though, I'm not into adding more than sarcasm to the deterioration. ;)

yellowbritches
Jul. 23, 2011, 09:07 AM
Meh. This argument gets old. I physically can not do the "new" style comfortably. In a xc lesson with a proponent of it last year, a weekish after spraining my ankle, I was encouraged to gallop in it. Killed me, and I leaned off to the left to compensate for a very painful and sore ankle that felt like it was about to split in two. When I bent my knees and relaxed into my a horse a bit more, then pain was a little less, and I was able to sit more evenly. Even now, if I get too straight in the leg, I get pretty serious pain up my leg.

That being said, I do believe that conformation plays a big part in a rider's position, and that not everyone can gallop in the same way. I think there are a few basic principles to follow- ass out of the tack, stirrups a proper length, balance that works with the horse, not against it. I also think there is a starting point in teaching a proper galloping position (and here I fall toward the "old" style), but I think as a rider grows, rides more horses, and gallops more often, they will find a way to balance themselves efficiently, comfortably, and safely...and it might not look the same as one way or the other.

Galloping different horses also warrants different position tweaks. The way I sat on my little rocket powered knife blade of a short necked little mare was probably way different than I how I sat on 17.2h, freight train of a WB Reilly, which is probably way different on how I gallop Vernon...which is probably different then how I gallop Toby. I DO know that I sat in the middle, kept my balance so that they could do their job with minimum effort, and kept my butt out of the tack, and my stirrups short enough.

Funny...I feel the same way about how horses gallop. Not every horse can gallop the same way and they need to learn how to balance in a comfortable, efficient way. Toby's gallop is different than Vernon's...Reilly's was different than both. An OTTB is going to have a much different gallop than a sport bred horse who didn't have that early gallop training.

llevent
Jul. 23, 2011, 10:22 AM
From the sound of this post, I was agreeing with you. You just said "whatever gets the job done CORRECTLY." (emphasis mine). I said the straight legged position was incorrect, and it doesn't get the job done as well. You basically just said the same thing.

you are soooo frustrating. you admit to being a jr, and by your false arrogance i would have known that without you saying it, so yeah grow up!!! stop arguing just to spite people. everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

and i am NOT saying the same thing as you! If you would take the time to actually read, i said whatever gets THEIR job done. they can chose what's best for them and their horse! they don't need some mouthy jr telling them from behind a computer that they are wrong! i highly doubt you can ride better than boyd or jennie, i know i can't. so stop

as i said before, and as yellowbritches said, all riders and horses are different! there is no one correct way.

baxtersmom
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:54 AM
LL, I think people might be more interested in your point and take your advice to "grow up" better if you could be bothered to use the niceties of capitalization, grammar, and punctuation.

As to your point regarding people choosing what's best for them and their horse, the biggest issue seems to be that there is a very valid argument that the "modern" galloping position is actually NOT best for the horse - both in terms of what it does to the horse physically (increased impact, likelihood of putting the horse on the forehand) as well as compromising the rider's safety and ability to ride effectively. If you have something to contribute on those points, I'm sure everyone would love to hear it.

wookie
Jul. 23, 2011, 01:48 PM
as for the "new position" advocated by team dutton...don't you find it interesting that they all sort of ride phillipish? i know they are all great riders but perhaps his unorthodox, yet effective way, influenced them? and perhaps when you ride a gazillion horses in one event then you need to ride the "lazy" way as some refer to it.

and as for knocking the LL riders....knock it the blankity blank off!!! LOLOLOL without our arses slapping the thousands of saddles they do, the ULR would have to come up with much larger entry fees to keep their legs straight in their class of not so many as they gallop over the same track for the 14th time of the day.

and sometimes our asses aren't really slapping the saddle as it may seem to appear to those watching the little people ride around. perhaps if your head was between my saddle and my ....you might get that. just sayin

GingerJumper
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:13 PM
the biggest issue seems to be that there is a very valid argument that the "modern" galloping position is actually NOT best for the horse - both in terms of what it does to the horse physically (increased impact, likelihood of putting the horse on the forehand) as well as compromising the rider's safety and ability to ride effectively. If you have something to contribute on those points, I'm sure everyone would love to hear it.

This is true, and well said.

GingerJumper
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:33 PM
you are soooo frustrating. you admit to being a jr, and by your false arrogance i would have known that without you saying it, so yeah grow up!!! stop arguing just to spite people. everyone is entitled to their own opinions.

and i am NOT saying the same thing as you! If you would take the time to actually read, i said whatever gets THEIR job done. they can chose what's best for them and their horse! they don't need some mouthy jr telling them from behind a computer that they are wrong! i highly doubt you can ride better than boyd or jennie, i know i can't. so stop

as i said before, and as yellowbritches said, all riders and horses are different! there is no one correct way.

I'm sorry if you feel I'm arguing with you simply out of spite; I'm not. Seriously, I'm from a family chock full of lawyers, the spiteful tone is perhaps there, but not intended. I in no way meant to piss you off (although obviously I did) so I apologize for that. Yes, I did get pretty pissed off that you chose to resort to things such as name calling and insults, which I consider immature, but it was equally immature of me to respond sarcastically, and I again apologize.

Boyd and Jennie are very accomplished riders and I have the utmost respect for them. If they or other riders who use this position would like to present research supporting their galloping position then I would consider it to be another correct position in a good rider's toolbox. However, right now, I've yet to see, hear, or read any convincing research supporting that, so until that day comes, I will dismiss this new position as well-meaning (and sometimes very talented) attempting to fix something that isn't broken and making it worse.

Xctrygirl
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:38 PM
Link:


Wofford Article:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/improve-your-galloping-position-for-cross-country/

~Emily

ThirdCharm
Jul. 23, 2011, 02:55 PM
I am quite sure there were many riders in the 1800s sitting on their horse's backs over fences with their stirrups down to their bellies, who were probably still better riders than many of us and who could get more out of a horse than we could ever dream of getting. So maybe we should go back to emulating them?

Results do not = omniscience. Or perfection.

Jennifer

Xctrygirl
Jul. 23, 2011, 03:09 PM
I am quite sure there were many riders in the 1800s sitting on their horse's backs over fences with their stirrups down to their bellies, who were probably still better riders than many of us and who could get more out of a horse than we could ever dream of getting. So maybe we should go back to emulating them?

Results do not = omniscience. Or perfection.

Jennifer
(No snark intended in this post.)

Uhhh Jen.... they also shot lame horses when they were injured. Should we emulate that as well?? Maybe not. ;)

Just saying.... there's things from all times and people in the horse world that should and shouldn't be emulated. The conditions with those 1800's horsemen were severly different than what we have nowadays. Terrain, ground moisture, training, equipment and the role of a horse in society. Many positives, some negatives and some relatively close to where they are now.

I don't think looking back at a time where we cannot conceptualize what the reality was like and idealizing it is exactly the best way of finding our own paths forward.

But then I don't want to suggest to any on here what is the best for each of you. That's both a suicidal and improbably awful of a proposition.

Your life is your own and the choices you make and trends you follow, your onus.

I will say that having galloped racehorses that I believe that the classic vs new galloping position is a bit too black and white. Go out and gallop for a couple years... 100's of horses go hundreds of ways. And as a rider you adapt. So that yes the two ways being debated are correct starting points, but for every different eventer you may see adaptations that blend the positions into what works for you.

~Emily

llevent
Jul. 23, 2011, 04:55 PM
LL, I think people might be more interested in your point and take your advice to "grow up" better if you could be bothered to use the niceties of capitalization, grammar, and punctuation.

As to your point regarding people choosing what's best for them and their horse, the biggest issue seems to be that there is a very valid argument that the "modern" galloping position is actually NOT best for the horse - both in terms of what it does to the horse physically (increased impact, likelihood of putting the horse on the forehand) as well as compromising the rider's safety and ability to ride effectively. If you have something to contribute on those points, I'm sure everyone would love to hear it.

you sure are the prime example for growing up, mom, by adding fuel to this stupid cyber cat fight i've tried to stop. congrats!

this isn't english class its a freaking forum. since i am not writing an essay, i use punctuation (which i guess you overlooked) so people can read how i am talking/typing.

if people go around clean, make it look easy, and have a sound horse after, what's wrong with doing it? i really don't get why people on here think they can tell others how to ride!?! this is what i have said from post one, im not saying there is right or wrong. people can chose what they feel is best and what gives them the best results.

baxtersmom
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:06 PM
you sure are the prime example for growing up, mom, by adding fuel to this stupid cyber cat fight i've tried to stop. congrats!

this isn't english class its a freaking forum. since i am not writing an essay, i use punctuation (which i guess you overlooked) so people can read how i am talking/typing.

if people go around clean, make it look easy, and have a sound horse after, what's wrong with doing it? i really don't get why people on here think they can tell others how to ride!?! this is what i have said from post one, im not saying there is right or wrong. people can chose what they feel is best and what gives them the best results.

I hardly think any onlooker would share the view that you are trying to stop the so-called cyberfight - since you are the one doing much of the fighting.

You may, of course, desecrate the English language to your heart's content; however, your readers are not obligated to think well of your ability to express yourself as a result.

I haven't noticed anyone "telling anyone else what to do," but in regards to ostensibly "having a sound horse after"... well, there's the rub. In case you've missed it, there seems to be some concern that a move towards the use of this position may result in injury to the horse (from increased impact) as well as the rider (likely from an acute fall). Especially since many of us are concerned more with the well-being of horse and rider, and not merely "getting around clean and making it look easy."

Eventer13
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:24 PM
I just read the article.

Did the study actually test the "old" style vs the "new" style? Because it sounded like many of the horses just had sand bags added as weight and that was tested against the old position. Not saying you can't extrapolate anything from that (i.e. what "dead" weight does to a horse), but you can't necessarily say that the newer, straight leg position has the same effect on the horse without actually TESTING it. The riders using it may actually be absorbing more shock that we think, esp. those that ride many different types of horses in that position.

And for the record, I prefer the old style and also though WTF when I heard about balancing on the hands and putting your weight that far forward. Sounds like an accident waiting to happen.

llevent
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:47 PM
I hardly think any onlooker would share the view that you are trying to stop the so-called cyberfight - since you are the one doing much of the fighting.

You may, of course, desecrate the English language to your heart's content; however, your readers are not obligated to think well of your ability to express yourself as a result.


wow, i'm really impressed at your obvious attempt to sound sophisticated!!!

i'm only defending myself-- not fighting. if you were to read the posts in an unbiased manner, you would see that i was attacked first. i don't tolerate people who accuse and harass me. this is what always happens when people can hide behind usernames and act like they know something.

why don't people get that these forums are for opinions? everyone is entitled to their own opinions and they should be able to express them without bullying

here's a suggestion: instead of ganging up on people in online forums and telling them what position is best for them, why don't you go work on your riding position? your arms look like wet noodles. stop messing with me.

JER
Jul. 23, 2011, 06:55 PM
The riders using it may actually be absorbing more shock that we think, esp. those that ride many different types of horses in that position.

Which begs the question: how well and where are they absorbing it?

The straight leg galloping position has always looked to me like an advertisement for hip replacements.

You wouldn't waterski like that, would you?

:)

VCT
Jul. 23, 2011, 07:17 PM
:eek:

Maybe this heat is getting to people.

:uhoh:

Eventer13
Jul. 23, 2011, 07:56 PM
Which begs the question: how well and where are they absorbing it?

The straight leg galloping position has always looked to me like an advertisement for hip replacements.

You wouldn't waterski like that, would you?

:)

Not saying they are absorbing it, I just dont think a study using sandbags can be extrapolated to the straight leg position. And, hey, maybe their position is as bad as a bunch of sandbags :) But I think they need to re-do the test with that position in mind, first.

seeuatx
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:00 PM
i'm only defending myself-- not fighting. if you were to read the posts in an unbiased manner, you would see that i was attacked first.

You were disagreed with. Disagreeing =/= attacking. That is all.

woodrwo
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:00 PM
And that's my pot-stirring for the day.[/QUOTE]

Ha, ha. I love COTH forums! Great topic.

baxtersmom
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:13 PM
Am I getting trolled and falling for it? I think I must be. Because, really, there is no other explanation. :lol:

GingerJumper
Jul. 23, 2011, 08:37 PM
Am I getting trolled and falling for it? I think I must be. Because, really, there is no other explanation. :lol:

Happens to everyone, lol.

pony grandma
Jul. 23, 2011, 09:00 PM
Oh I see. The 'heated' debate moved over here. :lol:

asterix
Jul. 23, 2011, 09:53 PM
OK, first of all, I think the heat IS affecting everyone - we've all been meaner than normal on here the last day or two...

But I do think that perhaps the truth is somewhere in here...

\
I will say that having galloped racehorses that I believe that the classic vs new galloping position is a bit too black and white. Go out and gallop for a couple years... 100's of horses go hundreds of ways. And as a rider you adapt. So that yes the two ways being debated are correct starting points, but for every different eventer you may see adaptations that blend the positions into what works for you.

~Emily

I mean, think about it. Are you built like William Fox-Pitt? Gina Miles? Is your horse the size of McKinlaigh? Teddy?

It's perfectly reasonable to assume that there are a range of effective positions for different size/shape riders on different size/shape horses. Heck, I have two beefy horses that are 17+ hands, and I feel REALLY different on them and have to adapt my position a little depending on who I am riding.

Let's not turn this into a snarky fest about who won a gold medal or (for goodness' sakes!) whose arms are "wet noodles."

Honestly, unless one of you IS WFP incognito I doubt any of us hold some kind of authority on the best position for everyone.

I am one of those taught quite explicitly the JW version (by a JW student). I have cliniced with the "Stand Up" theory and tried it, but have yet to really feel comfortable with it and revert to my comfort zone when competing. It worked for an awful lot of people, and it seems to work for me.

Dr. Doolittle
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:10 PM
OK, first of all, I think the heat IS affecting everyone - we've all been meaner than normal on here the last day or two...

But I do think that perhaps the truth is somewhere in here...


I mean, think about it. Are you built like William Fox-Pitt? Gina Miles? Is your horse the size of McKinlaigh? Teddy?

It's perfectly reasonable to assume that there are a range of effective positions for different size/shape riders on different size/shape horses. Heck, I have two beefy horses that are 17+ hands, and I feel REALLY different on them and have to adapt my position a little depending on who I am riding.

Let's not turn this into a snarky fest about who won a gold medal or (for goodness' sakes!) whose arms are "wet noodles."

Honestly, unless one of you IS WFP incognito I doubt any of us hold some kind of authority on the best position for everyone.

I am one of those taught quite explicitly the JW version (by a JW student). I have cliniced with the "Stand Up" theory and tried it, but have yet to really feel comfortable with it and revert to my comfort zone when competing. It worked for an awful lot of people, and it seems to work for me.

:yes: (and FWIW, agree with yb and the others who say "it depends".) Geez, people, does this subject really warrent an out and out snark/bitch fest, culminating in personal attacks? Cool off, chill out, have a nice cold beverage and agree to disagree, already. It's not horse abuse we're discussing, here.

ThirdCharm
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:15 PM
Emily--

Wow, missed that entirely eh? My point was, the old "appeal to authority" (Boyd, Jennie, Phillip are better riders than I am and they do this so this must be okay) argument which is getting dragged out over and over here is inherently fallacious. I'm sure some of the riders from the 1800s could have ridden around Rolex, which I sure as heck can't, and that still doesn't make sitting down on the horse's back while galloping and jumping GOOD. Just because someone CAN ride around Rolex standing straight in the stirrups doesn't mean it's the best way, or even a particularly good way. YMMV.

Jennifer

JER
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:19 PM
OK, first of all, I think the heat IS affecting everyone -

No, it's not.

You have no idea, you callous east coasters!

It's is July 20somethingth and summer has yet to arrive in southern BC. Temps are around 60F, colder at night, and it's grey and rainy most of the time. This has been going on since about November 2010.

And, due to the bursts of rain, the biting bugs are booming. The blueberries are still green, not even the lettuce wants to grow.

This week, my three year-old OTTB decided he'd just rather stay in his stall. That's how bad it is.

Carry on -- just be aware that some of us are really suffering.

:)

yellowbritches
Jul. 23, 2011, 11:53 PM
No, it's not.

You have no idea, you callous east coasters!

It's is July 20somethingth and summer has yet to arrive in southern BC. Temps are around 60F, colder at night, and it's grey and rainy most of the time. This has been going on since about November 2010.

And, due to the bursts of rain, the biting bugs are booming. The blueberries are still green, not even the lettuce wants to grow.

This week, my three year-old OTTB decided he'd just rather stay in his stall. That's how bad it is.

Carry on -- just be aware that some of us are really suffering.

:)
That's what you get for living in freaking Canada! ;)

Karosel
Jul. 24, 2011, 06:55 AM
That's what you get for living in freaking Canada! ;)

Right now it's sweltering hot in Ontario (that's in Canada for those American's who don't know ;) )

mugsgame
Jul. 24, 2011, 08:59 AM
I am quite interested in this debate.

So thought I would throw some videos up of WEG to compare riders as round same course.

WFP
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2xIGi2odH2k

Michael Jung
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFnRmePZCNw&feature=related

Phillip Dutton
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6x1ok3MNmko&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL

Karen O Connor - somewhere between the two?
http://www.youtube.com/user/pegasus444444#p/u/24/FfF7cJgQKyw

So just from my uninformed observations I would say that WFP and Jung look a lot softer especially through the leg because the angles are more closed. Also the difference is that WFP and Jung use their shoulders more to control the pace of the horse rather than their hand as perhaps the shoulders can be a little more subtle but saying that I am not taking into account the horse and how strong it is?

Weatherford
Jul. 24, 2011, 01:50 PM
Agree with your observations and adding my own:

You can really see WFP's knees absorbing the bounce and his body remains in the same, very balanced, position above his horse. (He is very tall, right?) Even when he "sits" about two strides out from a fence, it is a very soft "sit". He balanced ahead of time without putting his butt in the saddle. His hands never touch/lean on the neck; he always looks soft.

Michael Jung is not as smooth than WFP - and he is significantly shorter, from what I can see. However, his balance is always centered - if it weren't he'd never have gotten through the first water jump. I love how his pats his horse :)

The little I've seen so far of Phillip looks more like a "seat of the pants" ride - not the tight smooth ride of WFP. He looks like he stands in his stirrups rather than in his heels and using his knee and ankle joints as shock absorbers. Is he very tall in the torso? He looks it, and perhaps this style helps him find his balance better. This obviously works for him.

I think each of us need to find what works for our body shape and size. I am old fashioned enough, however, to prefer the JW/WFP approach.

I recently (getting back into seriously jumping) was told to "stick out my butt" in my 1/2 seat - and voila, FOR ME, that worked to close my hip angle, tighten my leg, and maintain my (very tall upper body) balance. Tiny thing that has made a huge difference for me. Especially with the stirrups as short as I like them for galloping and jumping.

Interesting discussion! Thanks!

yellowbritches
Jul. 24, 2011, 02:34 PM
The little I've seen so far of Phillip looks more like a "seat of the pants" ride - not the tight smooth ride of WFP. He looks like he stands in his stirrups rather than in his heels and using his knee and ankle joints as shock absorbers. Is he very tall in the torso? He looks it, and perhaps this style helps him find his balance better. This obviously works for him.
I always think PD is much taller than he is because of his galloping position...then when I am standing next to him, I realize he's pretty average (5'10"ish?)...I think he has a very long upper body (another interesting point...I'm 5'3" and have a very long femur...I fit perfectly in the blue Ioldy of his they were auctioning off or something last fall. Tells you a bit more about his conformation!). I don't think he is "seat of his pants," though. It is different than WFP, but he is a master of xc riding...just like WFP. He just goes about it a bit differently.

lstevenson
Jul. 25, 2011, 10:49 PM
Not saying they are absorbing it, I just dont think a study using sandbags can be extrapolated to the straight leg position. And, hey, maybe their position is as bad as a bunch of sandbags :) But I think they need to re-do the test with that position in mind, first.



Finally got the magazine and read the article! :D

And it says the study performed by the Structure and Motion Laboratory at England's Royal Veterinary College tested the effects of sandbags *AND* upright riders, and compared that to the mechanical load that the horse which carried a jockey that was crouched over the withers. And found that the mechanical load was less with the rider in the classic galloping position. Which is not surprising, as it's really common sense.

I also found it interesting to read about how our classic galloping position came about. That the jockey that popularized this aerodynamic position back in the 1890's "won an astounding 46% of his races" and "forced the rest of that era's jockeys to abandon their traditional long stirrups and upright positions. This new position led to the greatest incremental change in the racehorse times ever recorded."

That sure proves that the what we call the classic galloping position is much more efficient for the horse than the ridiculous new straight legged, standing straight upright fad.




http://www.MyVirtualEventingCoach.com
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William Ireland
Jul. 26, 2011, 05:22 AM
William Fox-Pitt is wonderful evidence in support of Jimmy Woffords argument. His balance and harmony must be a delight to his horses and without doubt the show jumping world has also moved in this direction with the leading riders in the world ....Rodrigo Pessoa, Michel Robert, Billy Toomey, Eric Lemaze, Rich Fellers, Michelle Meredith Beerbaum, Beezie Madden etc.....all showing the same balance, harmony and softness, making them an easier load for their horses. To compare William's horses towards the end of a course with other high level riders who stiffen and straighten their positions is more evidence in favour of keeping a bend in the knee.

However there is even stronger evidence in the British and Irish National Hunt racing world where they race over fences and hurdles in a highly competitive and almost daily basis. National Hunt racing is as important as flat racing in these countries. As there are jockeys who ride straight legged between fences and jockeys who keep the angles more closed a direct comparison of success is possible.

For 15 years the extraordinary Tony McCoy has been champion jockey, riding almost 3,500 winners. His two greatest rivals are Ruby Walsh, who has ridden over 1,500 winners and a record 31 winners at the Cheltenham Festival (the National Hunt World Champs) and Richard Johnson with over 2,000 winners. All three ride with bend in knee throughout the race.

Particularly with safety in mind there is no doubt that horses with a more comfortable burden on their backs are going to benefit .... certainly the racehorses ridden by these three jockeys appear to benefit and with fewer falls the jockeys themselves have benefited. Of course there are other factors involved but it is a fact that we are still waiting for a straight legged champion in the modern era.

Kim K
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:05 PM
OK. My take on what little I have seen on this forum is that yes the galloping position is a good debate. Stick with me briefly as I explain why I feel I am in a position to comment. I have not posted before.

As someone with an ‘A’ Pony club rating my skills were honed through foxhunting, eventing, showjumping, and dressage competitions in Ireland. I represented Ireland at an international level before I came to U.S.A. at age 19.

Because I had no money I was a working student for a top competitor and was lucky enough to compete at all levels in this country including Advanced.

I also had other side jobs (including mucking stalls in the evenings to make ends meet) but to this discussion I also galloped racehorses for 14 years in the mornings.

Galloping a racehorse and keeping him relaxed does require an almost straight leg, your ‘behind’ is higher than your shoulders. You stand on your toe and push your knuckles into the neck just in front of the withers. BUT our stirrups are short and if you can’t hold the horse then you may need to stand up and put your torso into preventing them from running off. Once they back a little of the bit then you return to your ‘keep them relaxed position’.

This ‘keep them relaxed’ position whether stirrups are long or short is precarious. If the horse spooks or stumbles you fall off before you even know what is happening. It has no place in eventing where being secure, balanced and being able to help your horse is ALL about riding cross country. Note I say help, not dictate every move he makes. Helping a horse cross country that makes a mistake or is being green requires the rider getting behind the motion. That is impossible to do if you are ahead of the motion in the ‘keep them relaxed’ position to start with.

While I admire what the good show hunter riders can do, their technique has NO place for cross country riding. They too like the straight leg, crotch over the pommel position. A trickle of that into eventing is not suitable and is potentially dangerous.

Our job as riders is to prepare our horses well so nothing shocks them when they compete. Teach them at home to be brave, clever and confident. Riders need to discipline themselves to ride in balance. Don’t scold your horse when it is your lack of doing the hard work to make yourself the best you can be. If you are confident that you have done the diligent training then ride your horses at the correct pace, balance and line for the jumps in question.
Then you have great odds of being safe, having fun and becoming a consistent ribbon winner through the levels as you move up.

fooler
Jul. 28, 2011, 04:53 PM
Dutton is successful with an unorthodox position. As was Harry DeLeyer in showjumping.

However I don't remember instructors teaching us to ride like Harry. Because he was very talented and could 'get away with it'. I put Dutton in the same class, although PD's position is not as "unique" as was Harry's.

And something for those advocating PD's more upright position to consider. For years PD noted that he wanted fewer falls in the new year than in the last. And I watched one of his very dramatic falls in BN SJ several years ago.

FYI - When I rode western it was with rather long stirrups. Shorter stirrups require more work from me, but end up being far more comfortable at the end of the day.

JP60
Jul. 28, 2011, 05:33 PM
Link:


Wofford Article:

http://www.equisearch.com/horses_riding_training/improve-your-galloping-position-for-cross-country/

~Emily

Well this has been a hoot of a thread and as one who wants to learn, I swum through all the muck and clarity that's been typed. Well the proof is in the pudding as they say so I checked out the article. Ah ha, Mr Wofford indicates I should check out my riding rating before I continue. Two links later and I am humbled to the point where I did not go further

According to James I'm...not quite ready to try these ideas out. Yep, seems I got a bit more to go before I can chime in with the oldsters on bent or straight (unless they're talking about drinking states). I will comment that as a beginner, I so want to get out of the way of my horse, but I also want to stay on him. I've been walking that buckle up one hole at a time to where my butt now brushes that saddle like a lovers hand to a cheek, most of the time.

Someday when I get to that vaunted stage 5 I'll chime in, but by then there will be some new method and this will start all over. I am inspired, this weekend, I'm going up one more hole, let's all pray the horseman of the eventing Apocalypse is not around when I do :D