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View Full Version : Not starting a debate - rider position over fences



spacytracy
Nov. 26, 2011, 07:49 AM
This is a legitimate question. I have been out of the real show scene for many years, I don't take lessons like clockwork on a weekly basis, so this is a purely educational question.

When I look (on here, and elsewhere) and see critique photos, or just photos on fb, to me, the riders are perched up on the horse's neck, and have their body SO far out of the saddle, jumping WAY ahead, no closing of the hip angle at all.

I jump ahead too, but I *know* I'm wrong. But I see this SO much, maybe this is more acceptable than I think?

Even looking through a show's photographer's site, all I see are riders jumping ahead. Now, granted, I realize in some of them, its just the timing of the picture (like right at the point of takeoff). But more often than not, that position continues over the fence.

Is this just the way a riders position is supposed to be? Or are more people just committing the same mistake?

When I think about it, I don't see it as much in the jumpers. Could it be that its because a jumper goes at a fence with a little more forward, therefore thrusting the rider into a correct position, versus a quiet hunter? Or is it that I'm seeing it more in smaller fences, where the horse doesn't really have to give a big effort over fences? I find my position is far better over bigger fences.

Just curious, honestly, not meant to be some sort of "the state of US riding" or something.

magnolia73
Nov. 26, 2011, 07:54 AM
It's probably a habit, and given that hunters are about the horse, take place on nice even footing, over a fairly uniform course its just not the same big deal it is in other disciplines.

Silk
Nov. 26, 2011, 09:13 AM
This is a legitimate question. I have been out of the real show scene for many years, I don't take lessons like clockwork on a weekly basis, so this is a purely educational question.

When I look (on here, and elsewhere) and see critique photos, or just photos on fb, to me, the riders are perched up on the horse's neck, and have their body SO far out of the saddle, jumping WAY ahead, no closing of the hip angle at all.

I jump ahead too, but I *know* I'm wrong. But I see this SO much, maybe this is more acceptable than I think?

Even looking through a show's photographer's site, all I see are riders jumping ahead. Now, granted, I realize in some of them, its just the timing of the picture (like right at the point of takeoff). But more often than not, that position continues over the fence.

Is this just the way a riders position is supposed to be? Or are more people just committing the same mistake?

When I think about it, I don't see it as much in the jumpers. Could it be that its because a jumper goes at a fence with a little more forward, therefore thrusting the rider into a correct position, versus a quiet hunter? Or is it that I'm seeing it more in smaller fences, where the horse doesn't really have to give a big effort over fences? I find my position is far better over bigger fences.

Just curious, honestly, not meant to be some sort of "the state of US riding" or something.

is it too early for chocolate flavored wine? its my new favorite drink ;)

GingerJumper
Nov. 26, 2011, 10:06 AM
Fair warning, this is probably about to turn into a train wreck, even though you didn't intend it to be one.

Personally, I think it's a style that is more common in the hunters but really not functional in the jumpers, so you see less of it there.

Mukluk
Nov. 26, 2011, 11:47 AM
I was told that if you are in a correct balanced position and the horse suddenly "vanished into thin air." You should land on your feet. I always think that when I see my many chair seated casual trail rider friends who would land on their butts if horsey suddenly vanished into thin air. :D In my opinion, good athletes are balanced. Seems it would be much easier on the horse as well.

findeight
Nov. 26, 2011, 12:04 PM
There is no way to avoid a debate on this one...and statements like...all sorts of things were better back when...we are going to h*ll in a handbasket...why is everbody so bad...ad nauseum. It's a trainwreck recipe.

Pictures, even alot of them, do not infer it's the way everybody rides and the way everybody is taught. Most of them are Hunters and most over pretty lowish fences (all the way down to 2'6") in level rings. Many are not accomplished riders on those show photographers sites as well. Just average riders having fun showing in a very controlled environment.

I wouldn't worry about everybody else or make any assumptions.

webmistress32
Nov. 26, 2011, 12:12 PM
good equitation should not depend on the footing or the predictability of the mount.

either you practice good equitation or you do not.

many riders today, and it seems rampant in the H/J world, do not seem to care or value good equitation.

it's a shame too because those fine horses they ride would shine all the more brightly if ridden properly.

doublesstable
Nov. 26, 2011, 12:30 PM
Find a trainer you like, that does well with their clients at shows and listen to what they tell you. Are you comfortable and safe? Then your good. Also remember each horse jumps different so you will ride a bit different.

I pick a style I like and try to ride that way. And lucky I LOVE how my trainer rides so I watch him and try to do that.

It's something that can be debated but no side can ever win because everyone has a personal taste and way of riding and as said before; horses are all different.....

Losgelassenheit
Nov. 26, 2011, 02:21 PM
good equitation should not depend on the footing or the predictability of the mount.

either you practice good equitation or you do not.

many riders today, and it seems rampant in the H/J world, do not seem to care or value good equitation.

it's a shame too because those fine horses they ride would shine all the more brightly if ridden properly.

I'm with you.

I also think that in addition to the jumping ahead, the ducking, collapsing upon horse's neck on landing, and the lower leg trailing 10 miles behind the rest of the rider's body o/f (and in hunters) are other things that have become way too commonplace for my liking. Pros over big fences included, and surprisingly more common.

But that's just me. Of course there are some select times when it's more about function over form..

Angelico
Nov. 26, 2011, 02:28 PM
Not trying to start a debate of sorts either, but I think it has a lot to do with how most riders are taught the crest release nowadays. I literally had a trainer tell me one to put most of my weight down on the neck over the jump.... 0_o

Another factor could be, many taller riders do seem to go up farther on the neck, but it is a method of helping them stay balanced over the horse and it might not be as bad as it looks.

ReSomething
Nov. 26, 2011, 02:38 PM
Here's my theory. Being up high on the neck using a crest release creates a beautiful composition for a photograph. I remember the first time I saw a pro photograph with the rider's face turned to look at the upcoming fence and facing the camera, horse's head and rider's arms and reins balanced so nicely in the frame - it was very attractive and a new to me angle.

I know there are a few my age or better here, who possibly still have photos from back in the day - what angles were used/taken back then and do you all think it is like the phenomena of spelling and grammar - seeing it done a certain way makes it "the way"?

findeight
Nov. 26, 2011, 02:44 PM
It's also a reflection of too much incompetent instruction, which should be dealt with but don't ask me how.

But also a fact that many riders are far more recreationally minded then in the past. Many only ride 2 or 3 days a week, they are not really strong enough in the saddle to get away from using the neck for support-and most of them are not jumping high enough to create any problems. Other then it is ugly and they are very insecure should anything go wrong. But they don't care, they are just in it for fun. And lord knows even the AA mega circuits have classes at their level now.

None of my trainers allowed me to jump until I was stronger-but I was always a serious minded competitor. I learned not to worry about what others were doing and concentrate on moi.

snaffle2
Nov. 26, 2011, 05:05 PM
it seems to be a common bad habit to me - no one wants to be ahead of the horse's motion in a vulnerable position.

i think we often try to "jump for our horses" and also were probably always told to "not catch them in the mouth" -

so how do you fix a habit such as this? - i have been working on it for a long time myself!

keeping your hands up and out in front of you seems to help somewhat - work on keeping your leg underneath of you in landing - letting the horse jump up to you and slowing down your personal motion (jump) in the air as to not get ahead of the horse.

I am interested to see what has helped other riders.

Foxtrot
Nov. 26, 2011, 05:13 PM
I also think many people don't teach auto release. People learn one thing and stick with what works.

englishcowgirl
Nov. 26, 2011, 05:14 PM
I was told that if you are in a correct balanced position and the horse suddenly "vanished into thin air." You should land on your feet. I always think that when I see my many chair seated casual trail rider friends who would land on their butts if horsey suddenly vanished into thin air. :D In my opinion, good athletes are balanced. Seems it would be much easier on the horse as well.

My mare once spooked at some flags and I ended up standing on the ground next to her :eek: Up in the saddle one second, standing next to her holding the reins the next. The girl I was hacking out with said it was the weirdest thing she had ever seen :D

ynl063w
Nov. 26, 2011, 05:59 PM
Even looking through a show's photographer's site, all I see are riders jumping ahead. Now, granted, I realize in some of them, its just the timing of the picture (like right at the point of takeoff). But more often than not, that position continues over the fence.

My advice is to step away from your computer, stop looking at photographs, go to some actual horse shows, and watch entire rounds. Some of those riders you are seeing on the websites that you say look so awful are likely the same riders who are so effective that they are frequent winners at the top shows in the country.

I'm not following how you can tell from a photographer's website that the position you describe above continues over the fence (most photographers don't take multiple, sequential frames of each horse over a single fence), but I also don't buy that you started this thread as innocently as you proclaim.

Regardless, GO to a real show and OBSERVE entire trips from start to finish. You'll learn a lot more from that than from whining on the internet about a bunch of photographs.

crazyhorses
Nov. 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
good equitation should not depend on the footing or the predictability of the mount.

either you practice good equitation or you do not.

many riders today, and it seems rampant in the H/J world, do not seem to care or value good equitation.

it's a shame too because those fine horses they ride would shine all the more brightly if ridden properly.

exactly.

Mukluk
Nov. 26, 2011, 07:18 PM
My mare once spooked at some flags and I ended up standing on the ground next to her :eek: Up in the saddle one second, standing next to her holding the reins the next. The girl I was hacking out with said it was the weirdest thing she had ever seen :D

That's awesome!!!

Fun Size
Nov. 26, 2011, 09:39 PM
I'm a new-ish rider, so for me it is a BAD habit. I just cringe when I see pictures of me doing it. I know that "back in the day" there weren't really classes at horse shows at the lower heights, like 2'6", that there are now, so maybe we are all just seeing photos of the less experienced riders become more prolific.

How to fix it? If someone yells "squat" at me in front of the jumps it works. I know my horse Max likes to get slow and behind my leg, so sometimes it is a symptom of me being desperate to go forward. We just work with no stirrups/1 stirrup/2-point and trying to be balanced and in the heel over fences. I think it just takes time.

spacytracy
Nov. 26, 2011, 09:41 PM
I should clarify - I have seen this in real life, at shows (mostly as an observer, a few times as a rider), and I am still seeing the same thing. I realize that behind a camera lens, you can capture a bad moment. Or maybe its my perception of what I would ASSUME is a bad moment, and really, its ok.

I swear to you, I'm not trying to start something. I'm just wondering if this is the acceptable way?

I'm guessing no, its probably not, but its kind of become so commonplace that more riders do it than don't?

I honestly, and truly, am not trying to debate. Is it really just to make the horse look better? In an equitation class, would you see a deeper seat and less of that?

I will freely admit, this is a problem of mine. And I know I do it, and I try really hard not to. I'm pretty much going back to basics in a sense.

Please please please, dont debate. I'm really trying to be educated. And all I have to share is some Bully Hill wine and leftover red velvet cake.

doublesstable
Nov. 26, 2011, 10:47 PM
Many of us jump ahead of our horses ((as I raise my hand))... It can be created by weakness, not enough ride time etc. Mostly for me not seeing my distances.....

It also can depend on how the horse jumps and how high the jump is. I don't think it's right to lay on the horses neck (seems like it would be hard for the horse to jump well) but so often we are focusing on our lead change or being straight in the line so some other things fall by the wayside. Some riders need to lean on the neck or put their hands in the neck; it's better than hitting them in the mouth or falling off....

Also, are you seeing this at local schooling shows or A shows? That can make a difference as well as to what you are seeing out there.

I don't think many of us have enough ride time (and lessons) to truly be as good as we would like to be. So a lean on the neck, no auto releases, they happen. God bless our wonderful horses!!!

spacytracy
Nov. 26, 2011, 11:17 PM
Thanks - appreciate the post - makes alot of sense.

ponymom64
Nov. 27, 2011, 09:03 AM
I think it's hard to judge from a photo, honestly. And I think many hunters are hard jumping horses - if you watch many of those same riders on their equitation horses or jumpers, you'd find that their equitation in those rings is more textbook

findeight
Nov. 27, 2011, 09:54 AM
I honestly, and truly, am not trying to debate. Is it really just to make the horse look better? In an equitation class, would you see a deeper seat and less of that?...

...I will freely admit, this is a problem of mine. And I know I do it, and I try really hard not to. I'm pretty much going back to basics in a sense...



Perhaps time would be better spent discussing this with your trainer so that you can stop doing it?

You probably do it for the same reasons most do, lack of core strength, lack of basics, lack of saddle time, bit of poor or lazy instruction, inconsistent/green/bad horse you cannot relax on and so forth.

Physically working on it beats armchair quarterbacks talking about how bad everybody else rides. At some point in your riding, if you know you do something, it's time for you to stop. Bring it up with your trainer and make a point of losing the neck riding habit.

spacytracy
Nov. 27, 2011, 10:18 AM
Why do I do it? I do it because I've had 4 abdominal surgeries and am facing a 5th in 2 days. Core? HA. I don't even know if if one exists anymore. So. Needless to say, when I'm too sick to ride, I peruse COTH.

Making a pure observation, no more, no less. Not armchair quarterbacking, just asking questions.

findeight
Nov. 27, 2011, 10:43 AM
I didn't mean you were armchair quarterbacking. You asked a question, I was referring to alot of the answers.

But it was on the negative side...sort of a "why is everybody riding bad" like we get every few months. And the responses always parrot the same old, same old. From "It's the fault of the crest release" to "People just don't try anymore".

Anyway, you have your reasons for doing it. Others have different ones. Many don't do it.

Mukluk
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:22 AM
What if trainers did not allow students to jump until they had independent hands and seat? Such riders would be able to jump with their arms held out to the sides with good form. Just thinkin'. Of course I suppose you can be capable of riding in a balanced fashion yet choose to be unbalanced. In my riding I just try to let my horse do her job by staying as balanced as I can. Perhaps we need to rely on the wisdom of Ghandi "be the change you want to see in the world."

doublesstable
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:29 AM
What if trainers did not allow students to jump until they had independent hands and seat? Such riders would be able to jump with their arms held out to the sides with good form. Just thinkin'. Of course I suppose you can be capable of riding in a balanced fashion yet choose to be unbalanced. In my riding I just try to let my horse do her job by staying as balanced as I can. Perhaps we need to rely on the wisdom of Ghandi "be the change you want to see in the world."

They would lose said client to a trainer that would allow them to jump :)

Not sayin' your wrong (at all)

findeight
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:54 AM
Yup, stick to your guns and insist riders who came to you to jump actually ride well enough to jump...and you watch those Ponies going down your driveway in somebody else's rig-along with your mortgage payment.

People don't try to lower the bar but have to make a living, so do show managers with all those speed bump, maybe, someday, wannabe "jumping" classes.

You don't have to be good any more. Don't have to move up. Too many trainers cannot ride their way out of a feed sack at anything over 2'6"-but they are cheap, available and give people what they want.

Got no answers on that one either. Different thread anyway.

Mukluk
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:17 PM
I think it is too bad for our sport that trainers allow students to jump when the students really don't have the proper basics to do so. I am sure that there is the pressure from mom and pops to get little princess jumping ASAP. I also can understand that trainers can't afford to lose clients. And it is too bad for the horse that has such a rider.

Star's Ascent
Nov. 27, 2011, 11:37 PM
I think it is too bad for our sport that trainers allow students to jump when the students really don't have the proper basics to do so. I am sure that there is the pressure from mom and pops to get little princess jumping ASAP. I also can understand that trainers can't afford to lose clients. And it is too bad for the horse that has such a rider.

At the last barn I was at I was riding in the dressage arena above the H/J trainer's arena. I like to watch the lessons.:D And she was working with an adult beginner who was not able to even tell if she was on the right lead. I look over a little while later and she's got her going over small fences! I was thinking..."isn't something missing here?"

Mukluk
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:00 PM
I think the problem in the sport is that you can get away with a lot because of the horse. On the other hand, I used to teach skiing and you can't fake your way down a slope and/or on conditions that are too difficult for you. And good skiers, like any good athlete, need to be balanced in order to perform well!!!

OveroHunter
Nov. 28, 2011, 12:16 PM
I think it comes from bad habits, bad instruction, and the type of horses you ride. For instance, I became a ducker when I started riding greenies more often. I tend to ride to the base (as you really have to with a greenie that may make a last ditch effort to refuse) and make a big effort with my upper body to stay out of their way at the last minute. More than anything, I hate catching a horse in the mouth, so I tend to release too big: Exhibit A (https://www.facebook.com/////#!/photo.php?fbid=10100509688676650&set=a.10100102391513430.2786872.4923850&type=3&theater).

However, I work with a trainer on all of this and am hoping to get back to the equitation I used to have as a teenager soon!

findeight
Nov. 28, 2011, 02:46 PM
On the other hand, I used to teach skiing and you can't fake your way down a slope and/or on conditions that are too difficult for you. And good skiers, like any good athlete, need to be balanced in order to perform well!!!

But you can just stay on the carefully groomed bunny slope in 40f weather and fire any coach that tells you to work on your basics...maybe even enter some ski "races" on that bunny hill so you can say you are a winning ski racer-don't laugh, I have seen it.

We, horse sports, are not immune from what is affecting most other sports.

Piadosa
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:27 PM
What if trainers did not allow students to jump until they had independent hands and seat? Such riders would be able to jump with their arms held out to the sides with good form. Just thinkin'. Of course I suppose you can be capable of riding in a balanced fashion yet choose to be unbalanced. In my riding I just try to let my horse do her job by staying as balanced as I can. Perhaps we need to rely on the wisdom of Ghandi "be the change you want to see in the world."

I wish this could be possible.

Where I ride, most trainers would not have clients if they enforced this. (For the record, I 100% agree with your point)

At the barn a few weeks ago, a mom and her kid came to tour the barn. She told my trainer that they left their last trainer because she was not jumping her kid every lesson, and not allowing her to jump higher. It's sad, because if my trainer did take this client on, the pressure would be on her to please the mom and maybe ditch some basics in order to keep the client around.

In many cases, trainers have to jump their clients to keep them happy and interested. My trainer is so used to this, that I often have to request flat lessons, because she assumes I'd rather jump like her other clients. I'm a jumper rider, and I'd like to get out to the bigger shows next season, but I don't need to jump my horse every week. The issues I'm having between the fences aren't going to fix themselves!

nightsong
Nov. 28, 2011, 03:54 PM
I am an old hunter rider; used to show a LOT (back when a 13-hand pony was jumping 3' in the classes), and was APPALLED when I saw a show (for the first time in YEARS; I'd been out west where we had NO hunters, just the occasional event) and the riders didn't RIDE over the fences but perched WAYYYYYY up on the horses' necks and stayed there, not moving with the horses as we had ALL been taught.

I know you need some seat and balance to ride what we seem to agree is "properly" over fences, but it's not rocket science. People who learned to ride before striking a pose and HOLDING it over fences became common, people in other countries, and kids messing around with their ponies, among MANY others, manage it. I think it's more a matter of relaxing enough that the horse throws you up as he rises up to the jump, instead of rigid "do this, do that" with no attention paid WHATSOEVER to the animal with you. The "horse as motorcycle" mentality.

2ndyrgal
Nov. 28, 2011, 04:03 PM
and yes, those riders do win.

Just don't drink the Kool-aid and repeat after me

GM is right, GM is right

Go get one of his old books and watch Beezie Madden jump.

You'll feel better.

Todays classes are proof that if you have a) a fancy enough horse and b) the right trainer by the ingate, you can win as long as your horse has a good trip and you don't fall off.

Flame suit zipped,.

ElisLove
Nov. 28, 2011, 04:05 PM
For me, I find my position changes depending on the horse and on the height of jump. Over low fences I tend to jump ahead or duck too much, specially on my older guy I just sold.
Like this
http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL701/13282219/23805569/396878635.jpg

But here is my position over a larger fence on my young horse.
http://pic100.picturetrail.com/VOL701/13282219/23650875/399098980.jpg
(Both pics were taken from the same year within a couple months of each other)
Now it does change a bit from fence to fence, but overall my position is better on my young horse and over a bit bigger fences than it is over small fences on the older horse.

BTW, not that a bad position should be accepted at a lower height, it just doesn't mean the rider doesn't work on their position or doesn't try to ride correctly. I work very hard on my riding and try to be as correct as possible but in the heat of the show ring, I find my position tends to stray more over low fences on my older horse, but my position stays more solid on my young horse over bigger jumps.

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2011, 04:07 PM
Todays classes are proof that if you have a) a fancy enough horse and b) the right trainer by the ingate, you can win as long as your horse has a good trip and you don't fall off.

Um, aren't hunters judged on the horse having a good trip?

It isn't supposed to be judged on the rider.

That isn't to say it's correct per se, but when we start judging hunter classes based on what the rider is doing we have another problem.

In eq, obviously the focus would be on the rider but you still have to judge the best of what's out there.

ynl063w
Nov. 28, 2011, 08:10 PM
I get what some here are saying about today's trainers allowing students to jump before they're ready, but I have to disagree a bit too.

No number of years practicing flatwork is going to allow a rider to jump a course perfectly the first time. Just like anything in life, the only way to improve yourself when it comes to a skill is to DO IT. And PRACTICE it. OVER and OVER. There is really no reason that a beginner can't start trotting (stepping) over some crossrails before she's mastered everything known to George Morris on the flat. And being allowed to step over those smaller jumps could be exactly what keeps her from becoming completely bored and quitting altogether, and her becoming the next decade's top hunter rider. There is no reason that a student can't continue to receive an education in balance through flatwork, while also learning what it feels like to be able to stay with a horse over some tiny jumps that the good lesson horse doesn't give a crap about anyway, all at the same time.

FLeventer
Nov. 28, 2011, 08:31 PM
I did the eqs during middle school and high school. Watching the hunters over the years have always made me cringe and just have to walk away before I said anything. This wait is over.

Here is the deal, it may not be judged on the rider, but the rider should help the horse jump its best. That is the whole point of jumping, helping your equine partner while having fun. The hunters today are somewhat embarrassing to watch. Jumping up the horses neck, no contact for the most part, throwing your legs behind you and heels up by your saddle seat. No, no, no!!!!

Sit up, legs underneath you, steady contact. Shouldn't that be the main goal??? You would think but that is not the case. They get horses that will jump whatever with a monkey on their back, and the monkey would most likely be the steadier rider.

That being said there are some pleasing hunter riders, but they are few and far between.

Star's Ascent
Nov. 28, 2011, 08:46 PM
I did the eqs during middle school and high school. Watching the hunters over the years have always made me cringe and just have to walk away before I said anything. This wait is over.

Here is the deal, it may not be judged on the rider, but the rider should help the horse jump its best. That is the whole point of jumping, helping your equine partner while having fun. The hunters today are somewhat embarrassing to watch. Jumping up the horses neck, no contact for the most part, throwing your legs behind you and heels up by your saddle seat. No, no, no!!!!

Sit up, legs underneath you, steady contact. Shouldn't that be the main goal??? You would think but that is not the case. They get horses that will jump whatever with a monkey on their back, and the monkey would most likely be the steadier rider.

That being said there are some pleasing hunter riders, but they are few and far between.

Agree!!

ynl063w
Nov. 28, 2011, 08:52 PM
I often wish that everyone who comes here with her judgmental panties in a wad was forced to also post the following along with her opinions on the state of hunters today: 1) a current video of herself jumping a full course over at least 2'6", and 2) an honest assessment of her riding prowess from her current trainer as an attachment. But if that were the case, activity on this board would largely cease to exist.

DisputeOver
Nov. 28, 2011, 09:13 PM
I don’t get it. Aren’t most of these amateurs? This is a hard sport, and most do not get to ride 3 horses a day, 6 days a week. Like someone else mentioned it takes practice, and a lot of it. This is a sport where even the best of riders still take lessons. Theres always something to learn. From the horse shows I’ve been to (everything from schooling to A shows), I commend the riders for being able to make it around as nicely as they do. Granted, I understand disliking those who commit these faults on purpose due to some fad, but I really don’t see much of that. I also think theres a big difference between watching someone ride live and to critique a single picture of someone.

IveGotRhythm
Nov. 28, 2011, 09:51 PM
Tee Hee. This amuses me, as I look back over my childhood pictures on ponies. My small was quick as hell- quick to run out if he got a chance. You will see me jumping ahead in a lot of photos, but only if I thought he was going to actually jump the fence.

My medium pony was plain as a brown paper bag, but honest as a hard days work. In every every indoor photo we have, I am jumping ahead (and ashamed to say it). However in every outdoor photo we have (because I am old and we showed over open courses, often the infield of racetracks) I have my butt close to the saddle and am ducking like mad, because she rushed like a crazy woman outdoors.

It's not until I got my uber fancy large pony who was a wicked evil stopper that I ever got nice eq shots, since the only way to ride him was to wait for the jump and go with the motion. Stupid evil SOB, I got lovely pics and either championships or absolutely nothing. I wouldn't wish him on my worst enemy.

I do think that just having so darn many nice horses leads to bad habits, because they let you get away with them. Darn them anyway. Talk about white collar problems!

allintexas
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:07 PM
I often wish that everyone who comes here with her judgmental panties in a wad was forced to also post the following along with her opinions on the state of hunters today: 1) a current video of herself jumping a full course over at least 2'6", and 2) an honest assessment of her riding prowess from her current trainer as an attachment. But if that were the case, activity on this board would largely cease to exist.

Agreed!

As one who, despite her best efforts, "lays on the neck" of my very tolerant boy, I would also add that most amatuers are showing for fun, riding as much as they can, and trying to break bad habits, with variable degrees of success.

And if they/we can put in reasonable/safe/or even winning hunter trips anyway, I say get out there and do it. And ignore the naysayers that say that if your leg isn't perfect or you sometimes jump ahead or you don't jump 3'6' you shouldn't even be at the a shows

snaffle635
Nov. 28, 2011, 10:11 PM
I'm not sure how long ago 'way back when' was. 20 years? 30? 40?

In any case, I wonder if we rode just as crappy back then as we do now....only now we have so many more pictures showing our crappy eq.

Back in the day, pictures were much more difficult to come by. We didn't have online galleries from the horse show with every picture the photog took. We had a show photographer who developed film and sent out selected proofs of pics they thought you'd buy. I think some of this phenomenon is due to the proliferation of digital images.

I remember reading GM's jumping clinic in PH from the 70's and 80's and I think he said the same things back then that he says now...shorten your stirrups, don't jump ahead.

Mukluk
Nov. 28, 2011, 11:00 PM
But you can just stay on the carefully groomed bunny slope in 40f weather and fire any coach that tells you to work on your basics...maybe even enter some ski "races" on that bunny hill so you can say you are a winning ski racer-don't laugh, I have seen it.

We, horse sports, are not immune from what is affecting most other sports.

I don't think any ski race worth it's salt would be run on a bunny hill!!! The races I competed in were typically on black diamond runs. If you couldn't ski you just didn't do well.

wanderlust
Nov. 29, 2011, 12:21 AM
I especially love when eventers pop over here to malign hunter riders. Those poor, poor hunters. It's so hard on them to get quiet soft rides to good distances, and nice releases where they aren't getting cracked in the teeth. I mean, it's practically abuse the way they are ridden with all that lightness and softness.

FLeventer
Nov. 29, 2011, 02:09 AM
I especially love when eventers pop over here to malign hunter riders. Those poor, poor hunters. It's so hard on them to get quiet soft rides to good distances, and nice releases where they aren't getting cracked in the teeth. I mean, it's practically abuse the way they are ridden with all that lightness and softness.

Thanks for the low blow. I did the eq riding, I did the AA hunters, and I can ride with light contact over fences but I'm not throwing the contact away like I see some hunter riders doing. Its not too hard to maintain contact with your horse and to support your horse to and over the fences. It also does not mean you are cracking him in the teeth when you have contact.

Also on the distances, we get correct distances in our show jumping rounds. We also learn to sit up and hunker down in our leg over the fences. Its not all breaking teeth believe it or not ;).

DarkStarrx
Nov. 29, 2011, 03:34 AM
http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvct1rhCMc1r6ugkuo1_500.jpg

Just posting a photo of a hunter rider NOT laying on the neck and using a following hand...

ynl063w
Nov. 29, 2011, 04:20 AM
Just posting a photo of a hunter rider NOT laying on the neck and using an auto-release...

This is not an automatic release. Actually, I don't think whatever this is even has a name. It IS, however, proof that a rider can do things outside of the textbook perfect definition of what is considered proper equitation and still end up producing a very lovely picture of what looks like a happy, effective partnership between horse and rider. OMG, imagine that!

FLeventer, you forgot to attach your video (I'll let the memo from your current trainer slide for now).

magnolia73
Nov. 29, 2011, 07:25 AM
A few things re: eventers vs hunters:

1. Low level eventers and low level hunters often look like crap over fences because they are learning how to ride. They tend to have opposite problems. It is what it is.....it takes time to develop an eye, a good seat and a solid leg.

2. Upper level riders in all disciplines often have unique styles- have seen some ugly form from riders in ALL disciplines yet somehow their horses jump really well- whether in a hunter derby, a grand prix or over a giant table. The riders with great eq are amazing to see! But the others also get the job done.

Horses can be amazingly tolerant of us, be it quietly jumping the 5th jump on course where we jumped ahead while burying them and kicking or happily jumping the coop and ditch despite the rider sitting up early and catching them in the mouth over the last 6 jumps on course.

Of course, we all should strive to be better and I have never heard an event trainer telling a rider to land early and balance on the reins nor have I ever heard a hunter trainer promoting jumping ahead and ducking....If you have... well, find a new trainer....

findeight
Nov. 29, 2011, 07:43 AM
http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvct1rhCMc1r6ugkuo1_500.jpg

Just posting a photo of a hunter rider NOT laying on the neck and using an auto-release...


That horse is lovely and he's about to give himself a nosebleed with those knees. Thanks for posting that.

Because it is not an auto/following hand. More like a proper crest release that got low when he jumped up so hard or a mite later then the rider expected. Rider is trying not to interfere, as she should. Quite well too, strong position basics let her do that-stay out of his way.

Back when-and I mean about 40 years ago, trainer would get on the rider for losing contact/"abandoning" the horse over the fence. That is a big style difference from todays show ring Hunter.

It's also something Eventers are not going to want to do. Field Hunters too like that nice chestnut on the right here. But this black horse in the picture is in a flat sand ring, not the crest of a hill and the rider does not have to make the time or keep up with the hounds without getting run off with.

GingerJumper
Nov. 29, 2011, 08:24 AM
A few things re: eventers vs hunters:

1. Low level eventers and low level hunters often look like crap over fences because they are learning how to ride. They tend to have opposite problems. It is what it is.....it takes time to develop an eye, a good seat and a solid leg.

2. Upper level riders in all disciplines often have unique styles- have seen some ugly form from riders in ALL disciplines yet somehow their horses jump really well- whether in a hunter derby, a grand prix or over a giant table. The riders with great eq are amazing to see! But the others also get the job done.

Horses can be amazingly tolerant of us, be it quietly jumping the 5th jump on course where we jumped ahead while burying them and kicking or happily jumping the coop and ditch despite the rider sitting up early and catching them in the mouth over the last 6 jumps on course.

Of course, we all should strive to be better and I have never heard an event trainer telling a rider to land early and balance on the reins nor have I ever heard a hunter trainer promoting jumping ahead and ducking....If you have... well, find a new trainer....

THIS!! Someone once sent me a video of a very beginner kid doing a 2' hunter round at a local show and basically said "hunters suck. You all look like this." First, I thought that was very offensive to the kid in the video because for a relative lack of experience, the round was pretty nice. Second, that'd be like comparing a Maiden level eventer to William Fox-Pitt or something. Low level riders in ALL disciplines are going to struggle more with their position because of an overall lack of experience. They also might be playing around with some of the styles they see at the upper levels.

I don't see why many of us get our panties in a wad over (and yes, I am about to yell) SOMEONE ELSE'S POSITION. Let me repeat that: this is someone else's position. It does not have to be your's, nor does it have to be your issue. We're never going to agree on this, so how about we all just agree to disagree and then ride the way we feel is correct.

Oh, and really, the eventer vs hunter/hunter vs eventer thing needs to stop. Pettiness is immature and unbecoming.

<steps off soapbox/>

Madeline
Nov. 29, 2011, 08:29 AM
I don't think any ski race worth it's salt would be run on a bunny hill!!! The races I competed in were typically on black diamond runs. If you couldn't ski you just didn't do well.

Can you say NASTAR, the most successful recreational ski racing program? How about the Mountain Dew series? Both run on gentle terrain and complete with national championships. Sure, the most skilled tend to win, but ineptitude doesn't keep you from getting a medal...

Who says that the winners over 2'6" at WEF are winning a class "worth its salt"?

Trixie
Nov. 29, 2011, 09:09 AM
1. Low level eventers and low level hunters often look like crap over fences because they are learning how to ride. They tend to have opposite problems. It is what it is.....it takes time to develop an eye, a good seat and a solid leg.

2. Upper level riders in all disciplines often have unique styles- have seen some ugly form from riders in ALL disciplines yet somehow their horses jump really well- whether in a hunter derby, a grand prix or over a giant table. The riders with great eq are amazing to see! But the others also get the job done.


I don't see why many of us get our panties in a wad over (and yes, I am about to yell) SOMEONE ELSE'S POSITION. Let me repeat that: this is someone else's position. It does not have to be your's, nor does it have to be your issue. We're never going to agree on this, so how about we all just agree to disagree and then ride the way we feel is correct.

Well said, Ginger Jumper and Mags.


Here is the deal, it may not be judged on the rider, but the rider should help the horse jump its best. That is the whole point of jumping, helping your equine partner while having fun. The hunters today are somewhat embarrassing to watch. Jumping up the horses neck, no contact for the most part, throwing your legs behind you and heels up by your saddle seat. No, no, no!!!!

Sit up, legs underneath you, steady contact. Shouldn't that be the main goal??? You would think but that is not the case. They get horses that will jump whatever with a monkey on their back, and the monkey would most likely be the steadier rider.

I think one would have to be utterly obtuse to think that we're all riding like crap on purpose "because we get horses that will jump whatever with a monkey on their back."

I would venture that for most riders, they are - get this - learning. They make mistakes sometimes - just like riders in other disciplines do frequently. While I don't want to make excuses for bad riding, I would venture that most of us are trying to learn to get the very best jumps out of our animals that we can. I know that I am.

I would also say it's pretty petty and nasty to call another discipline embarrassing unless you want them to shine a light on the embarassing facets of other disciplines.

As far as professionals go, most have spent a zillion hours in the tack and have developed styles that work for them. They're also, as a general rule, capable of making a horse up to jump around a course softly and beautifully, with a soft contact. These horses don't train themselves - certainly none of the ones I've ever had have trained themselves. Is their equitation perfect? No, generally. But it's rarely perfect for the upper levels of any discipline.

Everythingbutwings
Nov. 29, 2011, 09:13 AM
I did the eqs during middle school and high school. Watching the hunters over the years have always made me cringe and just have to walk away before I said anything. This wait is over.

Here is the deal, it may not be judged on the rider, but the rider should help the horse jump its best. That is the whole point of jumping, helping your equine partner while having fun. The hunters today are somewhat embarrassing to watch. Jumping up the horses neck, no contact for the most part, throwing your legs behind you and heels up by your saddle seat. No, no, no!!!!

Sit up, legs underneath you, steady contact. Shouldn't that be the main goal??? You would think but that is not the case. They get horses that will jump whatever with a monkey on their back, and the monkey would most likely be the steadier rider.

That being said there are some pleasing hunter riders, but they are few and far between.

Here's my monkey (http://www.virginia-horse-farms.net/images/Rodney%20Jenkins%20and%20The%20Natural.png) :winkgrin:

Monkey see, monkey do? (http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_gE-a96aCwCk/TAm7auhQQfI/AAAAAAAABXM/hN56Phevr3I/s1600/DSC02003.JPG) Sure wish I could.

National Show Hunter Hall of Fame (http://nationalshowhunterhalloffame.com/inductees/images/rodney_jenkins.jpg)

skittlespony
Nov. 29, 2011, 10:34 AM
I agree with alot of the points made about Hunters in this day and age. Alot of them jump really round and in order to stay with their motion riders are kind of forced to throw themselves up the neck and a little more forward. Even over lower fences these hunters are jumping round then on the landing they are cracking their backs and getting their hind ends up nice and high.

It looks alot better on these hunters to have a big crest release and to be a little more forward with the motion than to have a small crest release and sit back more. Regardless of the size of the fences if the horse is a really huntery type yor going to wanna make sure your not yanking his mouth or getting left behind.

GingerJumper
Nov. 29, 2011, 10:38 AM
I agree with alot of the points made about Hunters in this day and age. Alot of them jump really round and in order to stay with their motion riders are kind of forced to throw themselves up the neck and a little more forward. Even over lower fences these hunters are jumping round then on the landing they are cracking their backs and getting their hind ends up nice and high.

It looks alot better on these hunters to have a big crest release and to be a little more forward with the motion than to have a small crest release and sit back more. Regardless of the size of the fences if the horse is a really huntery type yor going to wanna make sure your not yanking his mouth or getting left behind.

There are many things in this post that I do not agree with, which I shall not get into because this is really an inconsequential debate, but I must say one thing... Horses do not crack their backs on landing. That is something that happens in the air over the fence.

Mukluk
Dec. 1, 2011, 10:13 AM
Can you say NASTAR, the most successful recreational ski racing program? How about the Mountain Dew series? Both run on gentle terrain and complete with national championships. Sure, the most skilled tend to win, but ineptitude doesn't keep you from getting a medal...

Who says that the winners over 2'6" at WEF are winning a class "worth its salt"?

I am not familiar with the Mountain Dew series. I have done NASTAR here and there in the past- on a difficulty scale of 1 to 10 it has to be at least 5 points below "normal/real" ski racing. The difficulty of a NASTAR course could be akin to 18" cross poles, the kind of racing I did could be akin to 3'6 and the kind of racing the Olympians do is akin to Grand Prix. I am glad they have NASTAR as it is a great opportunity for folks to get an introduction to racing. The medals are based on how your time compares to an advanced skier. My point is that in a NASTAR race (or any ski race) the most technically appropriate skier/who is also fast will win (and in order to maintain speed on the more difficult courses you have to have excellent technique). There are no incompetent skiers whose "magical skis" will make up for their lack of skill.