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Aikenites
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:07 PM
So this morning I set up some gymnastics for my pony and for some reason he was running away after the excercises. again and again, I could not figure out what was causing him to do this. The jumps were all x's so nothing huge and there were a bounce with a one stride to a verticle out.

i did it a few times and after the 4th attempt, i called it a day and did a trot fence to get him to settle.

just figured out that I had put the bounces at 9' and the one stride at 12' - so basically i messed up the striding which was causing him to freak a little and panic- i'm guessing on landing.:cry::cry::cry::o:o:o and he is a big horse. yes i'm trying to teach him to rock back and use his body more correct.

Trainers/ Pro's, my question is this, having only done this excercise today (albiet 4 times) how much did I screw up my horse when I screwed up the distance? I feel so bad after i figured out what was wrong tonight with the gymnastic. Will he remember when I fix the distance and try to do it again?How/ Can do I fix this for my poor pony?
TIA.

whbar158
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:10 PM
I usually start with a one to a one for a horse that hasn't done much gymnastic work with it being a trot in 18' to a 21' distance. I doubt you messed him up as long as you go back and repeat the exercise correctly.

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:29 PM
Set Three poles on the ground/ low avaletti and canter over them; then, with someone to set fences for you do a graduated distance exercise, set first at one stride ( 18') then 2 strides( 28' then three,( 38') ; you are starting with either a crossrail with placing poles , before and after / a avaletti bounce; to an oxer, step, your job is to play “Big Dummy” as Ralph Hill used to say, grab mane keep your eyes up and sit tight

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:39 PM
I agree with whbar148:yes:; our horses are SO ;)forgiving; if you go back to poles on the ground, then a crossrail to a one, etc. then 2 bounces, first one bounce, then 2-3 etc. It will be a good review for you, too. I did this with my last prelim horse again and again!

Carol Ames
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:41 PM
Take it from the beginning:yes: one step at a time!:cool:

retreadeventer
Aug. 3, 2011, 09:49 PM
How do you not screw up again? Well,....don't do what I do, which is just wing it and hope I set it right....instead.....
MEASURE the distances correctly. Get a 16 foot measuring tape at the Dollar Store, yep, a whole $1. (I've gone through a couple of these so I found the cheap ones! :))
And MEASURE your distances between jumps. Measure from the back of one fence, to the front of another. There are times when you will want to measure from the CENTER of an oxer, for instance, but Jimmy explains all that I think in his book, and others have written about gymnastics, too. Denny has a super chapter he wrote on Gymnastics in the old USCTA Book of Eventing, as I recall.
And search online for gymnastic exercises, and their measurements, if you cannot afford to borrow or buy Jim Wofford's book on Gymnastic Exercises.
Distances depend upon what you want to do and what kind of stride your horse has.
A 9 foot bounce is fairly typical -- that would be 9 feet measured from the back of Fence 1 to the front of Fence 2. There is no stride there, it's just a leg exchange -- and usually you build up to multiples, starting with one, then building or going to two, etc. To start right out with three or four in a row can make a horse rushy because it's really an athletic "hard thing" to do that many in a row. It takes a lot of muscle and timing and can worry a horse into hurrying and landing and rushing off as if to say, "whewww, that's over with!"
The 12 ft. not sure what you were doing there. Very very tiny for a stride and rather open (large) for a bounce (that would be the distance for an upper level cross country bounce, I think.)
Not sure this fits with what your exercises were today but I agree with above about the 18 foot (cross rail to vertical or low oxer), then 21 ft. to third jump usually an oxer. This is a comfortable gymnastic for most horses!
Does that help? I think you are very smart to post what you did because it really made me think about measuring, which is always good to do. (I'm learning to trust my stride but I still like to tape it to be sure.) Thank you.

Come Shine
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:03 PM
i did it a few times and after the 4th attempt, i called it a day and did a trot fence to get him to settle.

Good for you for realizing something was off and finishing on a good note. Kudos to you for thinking about what you did, not just blaming your horse for not 'getting it', and fixing it for next time.

Aikenites
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:05 PM
Thank you everyone for your posts- they have been very very helpful!!!

I will be going out first thing tomorrow to buy a few tape measures to check, double check and triple check my distances.

let's go back to the basics and build up from there. :)

Thanks Come Shine, at least I got one thing right....

retreadeventer
Aug. 3, 2011, 10:08 PM
Oh Aikenites you got LOTS right! Remember, it's all "fifth leg training" even if its wrong! Your horse won't be hurt a bit, you'll be fine. Get a friend to video you next time, I love videos, they really help.

whbar158
Aug. 3, 2011, 11:10 PM
Not sure this fits with what your exercises were today but I agree with above about the 18 foot (cross rail to vertical or low oxer), then 21 ft. to third jump usually an oxer. This is a comfortable gymnastic for most horses!
Does that help? I think you are very smart to post what you did because it really made me think about measuring, which is always good to do. (I'm learning to trust my stride but I still like to tape it to be sure.) Thank you.

Yup I almost always do x-rail to vertical to oxer with the 18' to 21' one strides. Love it. I also am usually very good at walking my distances but almost always measure especially if I am working with a green horse or really trying to get them to rock back just to be sure I have it right. With my own personal horse I will often just walk it and wing it ( I know him so well I can tell if something is off and hes not just being weird). If I were you I would do the simple 18' to 21' one strides next time, of course starting with x-rail with poles then making the second an x-rail and then the third an x-rail then put them up once the horse gets it. I don't do a ton of bounces but they are useful!

retreadeventer
Aug. 4, 2011, 09:34 AM
Yes: The thing with the 18 to 21 is that you can develop it easily, so that the horse learns to jump better.

-- X's to verticals.
--Remove ground lines.
-- Make 2nd and 3rd jumps low wide square oxers, etc.
--Or make 2nd vertical no ground line, 3rd a swedish oxer placing a single pole on the ground in the center which creates an optical illusion and encourages good bascule.
-- Or only verticals, no x's, place V poles in centers to get the knees snapping, etc.
-- put 2 poles together as a ground line close to base, this makes a sloppy horse think about getting up quicker in front bec. it gives illusion of depth

Or any combination of above. With just two or three sets of standards and 8-10 poles you can do a lot.

And I usually start with the pole on the ground in front of the first fence to force the correct step in with gymnastics, that way you don't get a bad first fence.

Without changing the distances at all, you can really rock the learning curve just by changing the jumps!

NMK
Aug. 4, 2011, 11:19 AM
My XC wheel can change from meters to feet, so I can use it for both. Very nice!

RiverBendPol
Aug. 4, 2011, 03:09 PM
Lay your tape out on the ground, anchor the ends and measure out your own stride. Then you can walk out your distances and KNOW what you're setting. It also helps to know your horse's stride length.

Aikenites
Aug. 4, 2011, 06:19 PM
I know how to walk distances (should I admit that after this mess up :0 ?)

I just wasn't thinking when I did the distances and thought that the 9' and 12' were correct.

Definitely going to set up those excercises that were suggested.

Thanks!

subk
Aug. 4, 2011, 06:33 PM
You didn't screw up. You were just channelling your inner Lucinda Green! Sounds like some weird distance she'd throw at you in a clinic. retread is right: good 5th leg training today. :)

Hilary
Aug. 4, 2011, 07:19 PM
You didn't screw up. You were just channelling your inner Lucinda Green! Sounds like some weird distance she'd throw at you in a clinic. retread is right: good 5th leg training today. :)

I was just thinking the same thing - while Wofford's exact measurements are fantastic for teaching them what 'perfect' feels like, at some point he will have to deal with imperfect and he has to learn that he can cope. What you set was tight, but not impossible (although you didn't say how big the jumps were - if you had them at 3'6"? Yeah, that was bad. )


Now, I wouldn't drill him through an impossible distance but I'll bet if you set a friendly line, he might rush once or twice but then say "oh, ok, no big deal".

Give him something really easy to do next time you jump - maybe even tomorrow so he doesn't remember the bad one for too long - tiny fences, easy distances.

Carol Ames
Aug. 5, 2011, 07:47 PM
Find someone to set fences for you:yes:; I went for many years without this:no:; jumped through the "grid, pulled up :eek:, got off, adjusted fences, remounted, much to my horses' annoyance; asking them to stop for all of this was bad enough, but. then, making them stand while I pulled:eek: on their sides while remounting:mad: , setting up a mounting block would have helped some but, best would have been to walk quietly:cool: until fences were ready to jump.:yes: