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mustangsal85
Aug. 6, 2011, 09:15 PM
I decided to start over. And to all whose feathers I have ruffled over my specific name based threads, fear not as I will not post anymore. I've learned the lesson that I needed to and I sincerely apologize for incorrectly identifying my intentions.

SO. On to my question. How do you know if your horse is overfaced? A few bad runs? Do you just feel their confidence drop? I've seen many horses who seem unhappy with their jobs and many more horses who seem happiest in performing their duties. Eventers seem to me to be the most enthusiastic about theirs. I had a friend who is bringing her horse up say that she didn't want to overface her horse by moving up too quickly. Yes I Realize this is also a question of YOUR horse specifically, but what has been your experience?

westcoasteventer
Aug. 6, 2011, 09:25 PM
Tiana is all of 21 years old, and Ringwood Magister is only her second upper-level horse (both of which she has produced herself). She's dropped him back, and I'm sure they'll work out whatever issues they are having.

I think drawing comparisons to Mandiba at this point is more than a little odd. RM is not being campaigned by one of the most seasoned and successful event riders in the world. He's being brought along and campaigned by a very, very good young rider who is learning as they both go.

retreadeventer
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:08 PM
The turnout is spectacular, they never ever have a hair out of place. Love the tail! :)

asterix
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:13 PM
All I can say as someone who has had a major (and very public, in my little world -- I think everyone I know in Area II saw the crash or the photos!) setback, and is really struggling to come back to a modicum of confidence at a level lower than that, a year later...

let's not "discuss."

Let's let her sort it out. Best wishes to her, he's a lovely horse. I hope they are safe and happy together in the future together, and my heart goes out to her in the difficulties she's had recently.

takeone4theteam
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:13 PM
Spectacular moving animal!

CiegoStar
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:15 PM
She seems to have a wonderful attitude about the sport, whether things go her way or not. He is an incredible animal. They have a promising future.

annikak
Aug. 6, 2011, 10:51 PM
i agree. Having seen her ride, she is really kind and good to her horses. She will be one to enjoy and watch.

Her ride at Rolex in the rain brought tears to my eyes.

VicariousRider
Aug. 6, 2011, 11:12 PM
let's not "discuss."

Let's let her sort it out. Best wishes to her, he's a lovely horse. I hope they are safe and happy together in the future together, and my heart goes out to her in the difficulties she's had recently.

I agree. Tiana is a lovely girl (an opinion that I developed after numerous small encounters) and I wish her the best. There are lots of green riders on green horses that experience these types of setbacks. Jennie Brannigan is also working to restore her winning streak with Cambalda after a less than stellar showing in Germany and, by the looks of things on the Millbrook scoreboard, they are moving in that direction. Both of these young women show a lot of promise for the future of our sport and have some lovely horses. I wish them all the best and hope that the "downs" serve as all-important learning experiences. We all have them!

SevenDogs
Aug. 7, 2011, 12:26 AM
Let's see... Mustangsal85 started the Nina Ligon thread and now this one. What's the deal?

Discuss....

faybe
Aug. 7, 2011, 12:30 AM
Let's see... Mustangsal85 started the Nina Ligon thread and now this one. What's the deal?

Discuss....

I'm with you, SevenDogs...

Discuss: Trolls

mustangsal85
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:13 AM
Troll? You can look at my posting history and see that I am a very active member here and I do not tend to "troll." I apologize for inferring that I was trying to stir the pot or talk s**t, not my intention. It upsets me to have to think of who I may insult by posting a topic. I've never gotten involved in the mudslinging that goes on unless it's something that hits close to home.

At any rate, yes I started the Nina thread but I believe that my words were nothing but kind and were not intended to start a debate. I did not say anything negative about Tiana. And yes the comparison to Mandiba was more of a rookie error than anything else. It was just the first thing that came to mind.

Honestly I just enjoy reading other, perhaps more knowledgeable, members' thoughts on a subject that I am curious about. It helps me learn and see things in perspective. When I say "discuss," it means just that.

Ranger
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:15 AM
I'm with you, SevenDogs...

Discuss: Trolls

To say "Discuss!" at the end of the OP makes the entire post read like a catty Facebook post among high school girls about a classmate's new hairstyle or prom dress.

Being in England on her own dime - NOT on funds from any group that anyone here pays into - means so no one has ANY reason to "discuss" her results.

AND beware: if a single person who commented snidely on the Nina thread as to her good fortune to obtain mounts with UL experience then comments negatively HERE about Tiana's recent results, well the hypocrisy is obvious. If not, then let me explain: Tiana is taking a horse up to the UL on her own, which is what so many on the Nina thread declared to be the only legitimate way to compete at the UL....

mustangsal85
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:20 AM
To say "Discuss!" at the end of the OP is absolutely trollish and the entire post reads just like a catty Facebook post among high school girls about a classmate's new hairstyle or prom dress.

PUH-LEASE! Tiana is in England on her own dime - NOT on funds from any group that anyone here pays into - so no one has ANY reason to "discuss" her results.

AND beware: if a single person who commented snidely on the Nina thread as to her good fortune to obtain mounts with UL experience then comments negatively HERE about Tiana's recent results, well the hypocrisy is obvious. If not, then let me explain: Tiana is taking a horse up to the UL on her own, which is what so many on the Nina thread declared to be the only legitimate way to compete at the UL....

I really wasn't trying to comment negatively. It was more out of curiosity and not knowing how one would proceed at that level given what had been going on. Maybe if I had chosen my words more carefully there wouldn't be so much backlash but my intentions were never catty or trollish. The discussion was supposed to more along the lines of what would you do/what do most people do/etc. I don't know much about the horse besides having seen him go at Rolex and I've followed Tiana for a short time but was really just trying to get insight.

I apologize for seeming catty. Or like a troll. I've gotten so much interesting feedback from everything else I've posted and I was hoping for more interesting reads but I guess I will have to make do for reading replies geared towards me and my trolling!

faybe
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:45 AM
You seem apologetic, OP, so I want give you the benefit of the doubt, squint my eyes, tilt my head and try to see the angle you were going for....

That said, please consider how you would feel if your REAL name and show record were highlighted in such a public forum:

"Well that Mustang Sal, she withdrew at the last show so it must have been because of X, Y and Z."

"Oh yes, I heard from a friend's cousin's brother who was at that show that the horse just flipped out and she didn't handle it very well."

"Well that's not true, my sister's high school boyfriend was there and he said it was totally because of the way the course looked, she chickened out."

"That's not true, I heard from my trainer's Jack Russell that it was because a crazy German Shepherd two stalls down from him got loose and tried to pull her off her horse in warmup!"

"Well I think she's just a terrible rider and deserves all the things that have happened to her."

"Yada yada yada"

... and all this goes on, while you know that it was really because your horse pulled a shoe and didn't feel quite right. Or whatever. The point is, it is you and your horse's business but now there are 15 pages of pointless internet speculation and GOSSIP. So before you cavalierly throw around someone's name, consider how you'd like it if it were your name heading out there.

mustangsal85
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:54 AM
You seem apologetic, OP, so I want give you the benefit of the doubt, squint my eyes, tilt my head and try to see the angle you were going for....

That said, please consider how you would feel if your REAL name and show record were highlighted in such a public forum:

"Well that Mustang Sal, she withdrew at the last show so it must have been because of X, Y and Z."

"Oh yes, I heard from a friend's cousin's brother who was at that show that the horse just flipped out and she didn't handle it very well."

"Well that's not true, my sister's high school boyfriend was there and he said it was totally because of the way the course looked, she chickened out."

"That's not true, I heard from my trainer's Jack Russell that it was because a crazy German Shepherd two stalls down from him got loose and tried to pull her off her horse in warmup!"

"Well I think she's just a terrible rider and deserves all the things that have happened to her."

"Yada yada yada"

... and all this goes on, while you know that it was really because your horse pulled a shoe and didn't feel quite right. Or whatever. The point is, it is you and your horse's business but now there are 15 pages of pointless internet speculation and GOSSIP. So before you cavalierly throw around someone's name, consider how you'd like it if it were your name heading out there.

Lesson learned. No more name dropping threads from me! I will edit this again to make it completely general. Maybe that will de-flame the situation. Thank you for responding objectively.

bornfreenowexpensive
Aug. 7, 2011, 07:53 AM
I decided to start over. And to all whose feathers I have ruffled over my specific name based threads, fear not as I will not post anymore. I've learned the lesson that I needed to and I sincerely apologize for incorrectly identifying my intentions.

SO. On to my question. How do you know if your horse is overfaced? A few bad runs? Do you just feel their confidence drop? I've seen many horses who seem unhappy with their jobs and many more horses who seem happiest in performing their duties. Eventers seem to me to be the most enthusiastic about theirs. I had a friend who is bringing her horse up say that she didn't want to overface her horse by moving up too quickly. Yes I Realize this is also a question of YOUR horse specifically, but what has been your experience?


This is horsemanship and training question....and there is not really a right or wrong answer. It totally depends on the individuals involved. I've had some horses where I could feel they didn't have enough confidnece or the skills for a certain level (regardless of the score board---scores do not always reflect what is going on). Some, I dropped back down a level or two. Others, dropping down would not have accomplished anything because the issues were not hit until a certain level so we needed to stay at that level and do more cross training to try and address the issues.

Some of the issues were with the horse....some with the rider and sometimes with the combination. Some times it is a lack of preperation....othertimes, it is an issue in competition or competition at a certain level (and therefore have to be worked through it in competition with supporting training at home).

Having good help who can identify the source of the problem is critical. But the source of a problem is not always very apparent to those not close to the situation (or even to those close to the situation).

retreadeventer
Aug. 7, 2011, 08:28 AM
I know that in many of the lessons and clinics I've attended with Phillip, confidence is a number one concern of his. When he has a problem with a horse, as we all witnessed spectacularly at the last Event Camp at True Prospect, Phillip has a method.

He took the horse and proceded to re-store it's confidence with a short 15 min. ride, not being mean, or mad, but simply taking it away to other, smaller jumps, getting it back forward again over those, then re-attempting the bogey jump with a lot of positive riding, reinforcing the accomplishment by jumping it again with less urging, then putting the young rider back on who successfully rode it with Phillip's specific directions.

And at another camp, a famous video by Ecogold, the "come again Charlie" video, where a young rider's horse didn't want to get in the water AT ALL, and Phillip just kept working and working with them until the horse was cantering confidently in and out -- all within a 30 minute session.

The opposite of over-facing is confidence, and when you THINK as you ride and train, you safeguard the confidence so that the horse essentially becomes "bulletproof" and so sure of his ability he can jump anything from anywhere. People wonder why Phillip and his riders and horses from True Prospect are so great, and I've written about this before, and you can go up to his farm and get a lesson with him and see it yourself, or watch Phillip ride his string at any public horse trial, it's no secret -- confidence is trained logically and sensibly into horses.

Just my observation, Mustangal. And I don't mind you mentioning names, and please don't stop posting, your thoughts are important as are all posters. Lately the "messenger" is getting skewered on this board, anyhow, don't take it personally, just be really careful about how you word things. The real trolls are the people who pick apart messages rather than accept we are not all perfect writers and can't always say what we mean -- we're eventers and riders first, and writers second, a fact which always seems to be missed by the perfectionist computer jockeys.

atheventer85
Aug. 7, 2011, 09:21 AM
I had a mare a few years back that had moved up to intermediate. The first 2 runs went really well. The mare was always good on the flat, but after those 2 runs, the next 3 resulted in one "R", one "E" and one run with 2 stops. So back to the drawing board we went. As it was late spring, we gave her some time off competing, really working on basics for a few months. She came back into competition that fall, ran a training, 2 or 3 prelims, and a CIC*, then ran another intermediate, where she once again didn't impress. So we ran her in a CCI* the next spring and sold her....
Goes to say, I think that if the horse truly seems to not be happy and/ or capable, it's only fair to them to move them down where they're comfortable.

VicariousRider
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:22 AM
mustangsal85: Your re-wording is much appreciated by me.

Unfortunately, I think that this is a really tough conversation to have in the abstract and one that really isn't appropriate to have based on specifics without the subject rider's consent. Here's why:

As most riders know, each horse and rider combination have unique strengths and weaknesses and some of those are very difficult to objectively evaluate from the ground based on competition results. Competitions involve showmanship and there is a lot of "bump smoothing" that goes on on those weekends. While we might push our horse a bit harder on their "issues" in a lesson, I think that most would agree that in competition you often pick you battles.

For example, I have a spooky mare who is often lazy as well (great combo, right!!). If we head out on x-c and she stats balking at a puddle near the track because she's a drama queen, I take a more secure position and gallop past the puddle. If I were schooling, I might take a nice. big circle back and either get her to go past without drama or even make her trot through it. In competition I am there to try to put it all together, not to re-work things unless they are horrendously out of control. As many trainer have been quoted saying: the homework needs to be done at home.

In addition, I think that many would agree that the step up from 3 to 4 stars is a very large step. A horse that can win a 3 star can be overwhelmed and under prepared at a 4 star. I can't even imagine how one prepares for such an event as I have never been there myself.

In summary, it's my observation that some of the struggles that we see as horses run up the highest levels consist of showmanship (as described above) giving way to the errors. This also happens at the lower levels, but I think that it startles people more at the upper levels, in part because the mistakes can lead to more dire consequences and because we have usually already begun to see the pair as gold-plated on their way up the food-chain.

In regards to rectifying these types of foibles, I can't imagine how terrifying it must be to be in that position. Many of the horses in that position have been with their rider for many years already and the though of losing all ground gained must absolutely undo someone. I know that Tiana (http://tianacoudrayeventing.com/journal/) and Jennie (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/it-was-time-little-adversity) have said as much (click on their names for the blog posts in which they describe those sentiments in their own words). Jennie even wrote a blog immediately preceding that one (http://www.chronofhorse.com/article/first-four-star-second-chance-europe) about the pressure that she felt heading back to Europe given that her last performance there with Cooper had not gone as planned. I'll let them speak for themselves about the manner in which they have chosen to repair any damage done. I wish them both the absolute best and am thrilled to see them experiencing success this weekend at home and abroad.

Ranger
Aug. 7, 2011, 12:38 PM
[QUOTE=VicariousRider;5762808]mustangsal85: Your re-wording is much appreciated by me.




In summary, it's my observation that some of the struggles that we see as horses run up the highest levels consist of showmanship (as described above) giving way to the errors. This also happens at the lower levels, but I think that it startles people more at the upper levels, in part because the mistakes can lead to more dire consequences and because we have usually already begun to see the pair as gold-plated on their way up the food-chain."



This is so well said! And to mustangsal85, your thoughtful rewording immediately following the responses about your OP were a model response! You are the first and only poster of late to "hear" the comments about the way the question was asked, NOT the essence of the question.....doing the right thing - even if having to say mea culpa - is SO honorable! Hats off to you! Words matter....

fooler
Aug. 7, 2011, 01:50 PM
If I am understanding the basis of your question: Things go badly for horse and rider at a specific level - is it due to overfacing or is the horse unhappy at that level?

As other have noted there is no clear cut answer. Example, Many years ago the BO's offspring started their home-breds. One horse was a once in a lifetime horse born to eventing - He.Loved.It!! Because of her lack of experience - she had only done a few Prelims - they spent 2 years at Prelim. In fact "their" 4th Prelim was a YR LF 3-Day where they placed in the top 5! They spent 1+ year at Intermediate, ending with a 2nd at Radnor in the Intermediate Championships and then moved up to Advanced. They placed well at the major LF Advance 3-Days around the US.

The next year the same rider started this horse's full sibling. This horse took one full year at training and two years at Prelim to get it all put together. ;)

So in short we all learn differently and at different speeds - both horse and rider.

One thing to keep in mind - we learn more from our 'mistakes' than we do from our successes. This is true in horses and in "real-life".

GingerJumper
Aug. 7, 2011, 02:24 PM
<snip> How do you know if your horse is overfaced? A few bad runs? Do you just feel their confidence drop? I've seen many horses who seem unhappy with their jobs and many more horses who seem happiest in performing their duties. Eventers seem to me to be the most enthusiastic about theirs. I had a friend who is bringing her horse up say that she didn't want to overface her horse by moving up too quickly. Yes I Realize this is also a question of YOUR horse specifically, but what has been your experience?

I've ridden a lot of horses who were overfaced (although never an event horse...) and it is not a pleasant experience. The general vibe I get off of an overfaced/fried horse is "Oh my gosh, what the heck am I supposed to do?!" The ones I've been on tend to require a constant ride and effort otherwise they're wiggly and jumpy, need a lot of help o/f, and lack the confidence to help you out at all if you get to something not quite right... they don't try to get out of it, they shut down completely.

As far as telling if a horse is overfaced, it's definitely a case to case basis. Some people have a better sense for it than others, and some people (IMO) just don't care that much.

faybe
Aug. 7, 2011, 06:35 PM
OP, thank you for re-wording your post- I understand now what you're getting at and it makes some sense why you brought a specific rider's name into it (though, if I were to put myself in her shoes, I'm still glad you took her name out of it :)).

Fortunately I have not ridden many overfaced horses, but I do think my current horse could have easily become one had I pressed him. He is, bless his heart, a big fat chicken! I bought him as an event prospect and while he'll clock around all day long in the arena, cross country just melts his brain. I started him slowly and he ran around beginner novice for a year and half, if not bravely, at least willingly. I decided to move him up to novice and he did will at a few shows, but it quickly became apparent to me that he just did not enjoy his job. As soon as we hit the warmup, his eyes would bug out of his head and he'd start the nervous jigs (and NOT the, "oh yay! this again!" jigs). I had my trainer and others sit on him and they all felt the same thing, he just was not a happy camper. Schooling he was ok, so I could probably could have continued to school and show him and pushed him on and he may have gotten a bit better about it, but it was so obvious that he just was miserable at shows that I decided not to force it. Not every horse is cut from the event cloth, and mine is now happily doing lower level jumpers and playing at dressage diva.

mustangsal85
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:09 PM
Thanks guys.

I think that it'd be a hard decision. Me personally it's hard to figure out if an issue (behavioral) is because of unhappiness or not. I have had issues with my horse that don't tell me he is unhappy that have made me think more from his perspective and make sure I am listening to what he is telling me.

annikak
Aug. 7, 2011, 10:29 PM
ASE- girl- you impress me in many ways.

And, OP- bravo! Some of these things are hard to figure out, so I think the discussion is genuinely worthwhile. Each horse has a different way of expressing themselves, and it's a good horseperson that can judge what that particular horse needs at that particular moment. I hope in this case it's a young horse issue, but I do know she has great instruction from excellent horsemen so I would (safely) assume all angles are being examined.

To discuss is good- this is generally a terrific forum for discussion. Over the years I have learned plenty. Keep at it! It's a lovely place to be when people are being helpful!!

Galadriël Fëfalas
Aug. 8, 2011, 04:48 AM
SO. On to my question. How do you know if your horse is overfaced?

Horse at a yard years ago, was a 5 y/o IIRC, he'd been bought to be a showjumper - but the owner also evented. Anyhoos, she sent him away to be schooled and they overfaced him completely. He came back a nervous wreck and would sweat up and shake at the sight of coloured poles - although I seem to remember seeing him happily jumping logs and the like in the XC field!

He was eventually sold on to someone as a dressage horse.

mustangsal85
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:19 AM
Horse at a yard years ago, was a 5 y/o IIRC, he'd been bought to be a showjumper - but the owner also evented. Anyhoos, she sent him away to be schooled and they overfaced him completely. He came back a nervous wreck and would sweat up and shake at the sight of coloured poles - although I seem to remember seeing him happily jumping logs and the like in the XC field!

He was eventually sold on to someone as a dressage horse.

And to flip it around too, I know of a GP horse who was given to a GP rider as a failed dressage horse. Horse had completely gotten his brain fried, to the point where he couldn't go near a dressage arena without flipping. Rider worked with him and discovered his talent for jumping and ribboned in the GP I saw them go in.

Henny was also an example. Was a show hunter before and when Peter got him wouldn't even go over a ground pole and now look where they are.

Just a matter of knowing what your horse can and can't or won't do. We have a school horse who was a collegiate team horse and he is an amazingly sane horse until you try to take him in jumpers. Guess he had too many bad experiences but he won't go over any striped poles. Packs in the hunters and eq though!

Atigirl
Aug. 8, 2011, 08:44 AM
I don;t know if "overfacing" is the correct term for all situations. A friend of mine yrs ago had a very talented and very sucessful horse at the prelim level. Great dressage scores would usually put her in the top 5 and as long as the rider didn't have a brain cramp (lost on course), this horse would jump clean and come home regularly in the top 5. One would then expect after a couple of years at prelim and schooling int that they should move up.

This horse was fine schooling the int fences and questions, but was never confident as a horse at that level. Awesome prelim, and that was where he was. I don't think every horse has the mind, talent, ability, heart and will to make it to advanced. Some top out at training, some novice and some don't really like the sport much at all.

I guess my point is more know your pony and know when they have reached there best. :)

seeuatx
Aug. 8, 2011, 10:35 AM
The opposite of over-facing is confidence, and when you THINK as you ride and train, you safeguard the confidence so that the horse essentially becomes "bulletproof" and so sure of his ability he can jump anything from anywhere. People wonder why Phillip and his riders and horses from True Prospect are so great, and I've written about this before, and you can go up to his farm and get a lesson with him and see it yourself, or watch Phillip ride his string at any public horse trial, it's no secret -- confidence is trained logically and sensibly into horses.



I've ridden a lot of horses who were overfaced (although never an event horse...) and it is not a pleasant experience. The general vibe I get off of an overfaced/fried horse is "Oh my gosh, what the heck am I supposed to do?!" The ones I've been on tend to require a constant ride and effort otherwise they're wiggly and jumpy, need a lot of help o/f, and lack the confidence to help you out at all if you get to something not quite right... they don't try to get out of it, they shut down completely.

As far as telling if a horse is overfaced, it's definitely a case to case basis. Some people have a better sense for it than others, and some people (IMO) just don't care that much.

Both of these describe the issues of the over faced horses I've known to a tee. I've ridden and owned a few, and none of them presented the issue the same way.

One gelding was donated to our school. He was a big old boy who was supposed to have done the hunters for a guy that liked big pelhams and big spurs. He was a sweetheart but one little bad distance to a little baby fence would shoot his confidence out the window and turn him into a scared, sweaty mess. Then he'd start stopping even to the poles. He spent a few months in dressage land learning where his feet were, and then was able to start back with poles. He could eventually jump again but only with an advanced rider who could see the spots. What I took from that was a lesson from one of the trainers "the bigger the bit, the bigger the spurs, the bigger the rider's responsibility to get it right".

My old retired guy was over faced before I got him. He had been a 4ft jumper, but went around with a nasty mouthpieced gag bit and a short standing martingale. When I got him he would lock in on the jump and gun it, head up, running scared. We did huge vet work ups that could never pin point a physical issue, but I knew the horse I had in the dressage ring was not the same horse I had with jumps in the ring (literally they only had to be in the ring to send him into a frenzy). I tried going back to ground rails and starting again, I tried going to a hackamore, I tried free lunging to let him figure it out. It would all work for tiny while and then one day it would just snap again. It felt like he was saying "Omg, omg, omg omg" the whole time. You could feel he was unhappy, so finally I cried uncle and he just became a dressage horse until he retired.

The current greenie sometimes presents like she was over faced. She's a control freak type horse, and I know how green she was when I started riding her and was told she was jumped, so I think it was a "point and shoot" type of over facing. She is still pretty honest, but you can feel her confidence level. If all is going well she feels like a queen of the world, but if something happens (tick a rail for example) you can literally feel it plummet. As soon as that happens fences go back down to beyond tiny, we get a couple where she just lopes down and then we quit. It's that deflated feeling in a horse that leads to big over facing issues if rushed past.

When people say that a good jumping horse attacks the course, they mean it literally. It's like the horse owns the ring and those jumps. There's a little strut to a confident jumper, especially at the end of the course. When a horse has been mentally or physically overwhelmed you can see it, and you can feel it in the saddle.

mustangsal85
Aug. 8, 2011, 02:22 PM
It's that deflated feeling in a horse that leads to big over facing issues if rushed past.

When people say that a good jumping horse attacks the course, they mean it literally. It's like the horse owns the ring and those jumps. There's a little strut to a confident jumper, especially at the end of the course. When a horse has been mentally or physically overwhelmed you can see it, and you can feel it in the saddle.

Very well said. I think you are completely right on that assessment.

GingerJumper
Aug. 9, 2011, 10:19 AM
<snip>

"the bigger the bit, the bigger the spurs, the bigger the rider's responsibility to get it right".

<snip>

It's that deflated feeling in a horse that leads to big over facing issues if rushed past.

When people say that a good jumping horse attacks the course, they mean it literally. It's like the horse owns the ring and those jumps. There's a little strut to a confident jumper, especially at the end of the course. When a horse has been mentally or physically overwhelmed you can see it, and you can feel it in the saddle.

Love the quote :)

And the last part is SO true. They don't attack it in a scared way, they attack it because they freaking OWN the jumps and the course and want everyone to see that. I was trying to describe the feeling of riding a really good, fun jumper to someone the other day and what you said sums it up perfectly.

Nothing compares to the feeling of jumping a horse who "owns it" that you work well with... it feels like you're one entity, with one goal and one desire. It's an amazing thing.

OTOH, there's no feeling quite like jumping a horse who's scared to death of it, either... it feels out of sync, confused, muddled, and unnatural.