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Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 11:45 AM
I have noticed in looking at a lot of pictures of people eventing, that the horse's form over fences is different from what I have come to consider ideal. Yes, I am basically a H/J person but I would like to understand why so many of the horses in eventing use different form. I would think that it would be desirable to have a horse that jerks his knees up level or higher than his chest. That way, if they hit something, they can just tuck up tighter and regain their balance. If the knees are lower and underneath the horse and they hit something, the knees are pushed back and they are more apt to fall. Why do so many event horses jump this way? Isn't it dangerous? I would think using the knees well would be a prime requirement for a horse that has to jump solid obstacles! Please enlighten me!

PS I will try to find some pictures to illustrate what I am talking about.

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:19 PM
http://www.equineequip.com/images/AmandaA.JPG

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:21 PM
http://www.equineequip.com/images/WhiteHorse1.JPG

Eventer13
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:21 PM
I think if the knees are below the horizontal, it is dangerous. But usually if a horse hits something badly, its because he hangs a leg, not because his knees arent up to his eyeballs. The real danger is if the horse hits a fence on its forearm, then he's likely to stumble over the fence or flip. I've also seen quite a few jumpers that dont have "ideal" form, but still manage to leave the rails up.

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:22 PM
http://www.equineequip.com/images/RileyBob3.jpg

Eventer13
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:23 PM
Also, those pictures, I wonder what level the riders are competing. You usually find better form as you move up the levels. But not everyone can afford a lovely jumper. And its hard to judge all eventers by two pictures. I bet I can find some jumpers and even hunters with a bad fence.

Most event horses Ive seen have had good form: safe, even if not "ideal" by the hunter standard.

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:27 PM
Eventer13 - I agree hanging a leg is the most dangerous of forms, but it seems that a lot of event horses use the form I have posted 3 pictures of. I just wondered if there was a reason for this.
I too know of several jumpers who are amazing and don't have proper form all the time. Authentic is one of those and he is a superstar! But he is an exception, not the rule. It seems that a lot of event horses jump over themselves, not just the few exceptions. I just wondered why.

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 12:29 PM
LOL!! I'm sure you can! I just grabbed those pictures off the first eventing site I could find an, sure enough, several were illustrating my point.

FrittSkritt
Feb. 17, 2007, 01:11 PM
Oh man, if you saw some of the photos of my trainer's horse, you'd cringe... wait, here's one:

http://www.trollope.net/photos/fairhillinternational/05/eventing/FHI05_M0H9076.php

http://www.trollope.net/photos/fairhillinternational/05/eventing/FHI05_M0H9079.php

:eek:

It's not that he can't pick up his legs, it's just that he feels it's easier to jump high and not pull them up. He's never caught a leg on a fence, and they're aiming for Rolex this year. :winkgrin:

subk
Feb. 17, 2007, 01:58 PM
Leesonlady I agree that those pictures are less than desirable for any jumping discipline. Where I don't agree with you is that this is in any way "typical" of eventing. Quite frankly looking at some of the details in those photos none of them look like particularly accomplished riders or horses. Should I run out to my neighbor's who rides in a couple schooling hunter shows a year and snap some pictures and suggest they represent the "hunter world?" Because that's what the photos you have chosen look like to me.

Sure we have much fewer horses that jerk their knees up to their ears than hunters. We even have upper level horses you would consider hangers, but we are more interested in an athletic jump than a stylist jump. Knees up with level or higher forearms isn't the only determination of a quality jump or athleticism. Although in the years I worked on the HJ circuit you would have thought that how the horse used his knees was the ONLY indicator of form that mattered. It's not. You will see all kinds of jumping form in eventers.

twotrudoc
Feb. 17, 2007, 02:15 PM
I don't event but my trainer does. I have seen horses at the barn with a less than "stylistic" form over fences. I think, and this is just my limited opinion from what I have seen, the emphasis is more on the riders ability/position. I have seen no stoppers at the barn. Sure, if the rider screws up badly enough a horse may stop, but it is a very rare occurrance. I also don't see the "perching" or riding way ahead of the motion that I have encountered at various hunter barns. I have drawn the conclusion that the better, more educated a rider is, the safer jump you will get. Not saying every horse in the world can jump because of a great rider. All horses have the ability to jump, some much better than others, but a correct rider seems to make the jumping come naturally. Just my two cents LOL!

CookiePony
Feb. 17, 2007, 02:46 PM
Quite frankly looking at some of the details in those photos none of them look like particularly accomplished riders or horses. Should I run out to my neighbor's who rides in a couple schooling hunter shows a year and snap some pictures and suggest they represent the "hunter world?" Because that's what the photos you have chosen look like to me.



What subk said. All of these photos are of poor jumping efforts, whatever the discipline. The horses are on their forehands i.e. they are not making balanced jumping efforts. The turnout makes it appear that this is a low-level competition.

Fritt Skitt's trainer's horse is an exception if he jumps like that consistently. If you look at some of the other photos on that photographer's site, you will see some awkward jumps (it is a water complex after a downhill and a big jumping effort) but the horses are balanced and using themselves.

For some pictures of a far less advanced rider/horse combo, you can look at my greenie's pictures in my sig line (one or two of which subk took at a local competition!). Sometimes we get an awkward or hangy jump because he's green, as you can see in one of our early xc pictures, but he does it right more of the time as he learns.

(Now, if I can just get MY lower leg back where it belongs! ;) )

enjoytheride
Feb. 17, 2007, 02:46 PM
here is a pro site.

http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/store.aspx?p=5242

Whisper
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:10 PM
The guy I leased last year, and am taking lessons on, doesn't have great form, especially over the smaller fences. For example, in this picture (http://groups.msn.com/BAENAddicts/whisper.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=12714), he's basically cantering over it. In others, like this one, (http://www.agilchrist.photosite.com/CullCanyonOct06/CullCanyonOct06_0002_20_319_1923_1.html) he's doing a lot better. In a little over a year of riding him, he's had a total of 3 rails, all of which were my fault (I got nervous in the competition and jumped ahead). He's never had a rail in any of our lessons. It doesn't always look pretty, but he gets the job done, and he usually takes good care of both of us. I feel really lucky that he's given me such a great introduction to eventing. He's actually done Jumpers and Hunters at a few A shows successfully (with other riders) - when the fences get bigger, he puts more effort into it.

I don't think anyone *wants* bad form, but a lot of eventers, especially at low levels, can succeed in spite of it.

PiedPiper
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:13 PM
How do you even know those are eventers? It isn't a competition and anyone can go out and just cross country jumps that size, they look to be about beginner novice height. I really find it offensive to assume those are eventers and that is how eventers want to jump.

I do think that at beginner novice you will get horses that are jumping over their knees more often b/c of the rider and/or horse being green. A horse not set up correct can do that. Shoot I will show you pictures of my guy, before he started getting bodywork down where he was jumping over his knees b/c he didn't want to use his back. But he was at beginner novice and hardly a dargerous height to do it. As he has progressed and has he has had acc/chiro/massage he has stopped jumping that way.

I would think you would be much harder pressed to find poor jumping styles at Prelim and above.

Shoot I could have quite a few "interesting" observation of hunters by some of the local show and even A shows I have seen. Honestly jumping up your horse's neck is as dangerous as hanging of the knees, both can definitely end in rider falls.

Go to some rec events and see if what you think are some of the faults of eventing are actually there and make sure it isn't just some yokels in your area who say they are eventers.

PiedPiper
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:15 PM
http://www.useventing.com/bios/images/Chiacchia%20and%20Windfall.jpg

http://myweb.cableone.net/equestrian/Dan-Jet-Eventing1.jpg
http://www.statelinetack.com/media/slt/images/articles/details/eventing_38421.jpg


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9ibyiD3YtdFyncB9XCjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBsdmIydTZ hBHNlYwNwcm9mBHZ0aWQDSTAwMV83MA--/SIG=12ljcab8e/EXP=1171829879/**http%3A//www.thejoyofhorses.com/apr00/eventing-spring-roundup-3.jpg


http://rds.yahoo.com/_ylt=A9ibyiEXY9dFEu8ATFyjzbkF;_ylu=X3oDMTBsdmIydTZ hBHNlYwNwcm9mBHZ0aWQDSTAwMV83MA--/SIG=12l42istn/EXP=1171829911/**http%3A//www.thejoyofhorses.com/apr00/eventing-spring-roundup-9.jpg

Appaloosa1224
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:25 PM
Also, the back cracking jump preferred in hunters is not something I would want to ride xc. I must say that terrible form in eventers is a exception not the rule, as you seem to think. If you look through a recognized event show's photos you will see a lot better form compared the picture you chose which seems to be a schooling event. Also, in xc a closer distance is often preferred over a long one, so when a horse gets to the base of a fence it ften results in a less than perfect jump.

ThreeDays
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:47 PM
Well - I'll have to agree with what a few other posters are saying. The example photos that you posted are clearly lower level horses and seemingly novice or amateur riders.
I'm sure the examples you posted are representative of your average local unrecognized eventers. Nothing wrong with that - but please don't mistake these photos of what the 'ideal' would be.

Additionally - to attempt to answer your question:

Yes - it's true - eventers certainly do strive for a different style of jumping on the xc phase than do hunters or jumpers. We are looking for a more efficient type of jumping style on the xc phase due the nature of that phase. We would ideally like to see a horse jump a bit flat with safe form. In hunters the rider gets out of the saddle a bit more and feeds the hands up the neck which encourages the horse to round and snap the front legs. This is not a good or safe style of jumping for xc phase. When riding xc the rider needs to stay more balanced to the center of the horse and remain in a low defensive position. This position usually asks the horse to take a flatter position in the air. The flatter jumping style helps the horse land in a way that is best for continuing on at the gallop with little loss in momentum or rhythm.
In the jumping phase (more similar to your jumpers) it's OK to ask for a bit more scope and tighter (tidier) front end. The course is shorter with tighter turns - totally different type of balance required.
I think we can all agree that hanging a leg - (no matter what phase or jumping discipline) - is not ideal. Less than perfect form is totally acceptable so long as the horse is reliable and safe in his style.
Does this help??

ThreeDays
Feb. 17, 2007, 03:59 PM
Here are a few examples of solid efficient jumping form/ style that one should strive for.
This is a flatter type of jumping form than what you would maybe look for in the show jumping phase.

slp2
Feb. 17, 2007, 04:27 PM
I think it's really hard to be black and white about a topic like this. You certainly shouldn't look at a few random photos and decide that all event horses are crappy jumpers. Even a good jumper has an occasional awkward jump, especially those at the lower levels who are just learning. Let's also not underestimate a couple of key things that are factors in eventing that H/J riders don't have to deal with.

1) Terrain. Hunters get to jump in a ring that is manicured and level. With eventing, we have to jump heading down a hill, or jump in places where our horses cannot really see the landing behind the jump, etc. Either way--it can affect the quality of the jump because it is hard to have your horse perfectly balanced the entire round, when the terrain changes throughout the course.

2) no schooling the fences/course ahead of time. At the lower levels, horses that are still green have to jump things that may be new and surprising to them. Many times, horses will have poor jumping form when they are unsure of the obstacle they are jumping. Usually the form gets better when they have more mileage under their "girth". And *neither* the rider or the horse have ridden the course before--that means you have a few jumps that do not ride like you planned. I think David O'Connor said once that on x-c, you're lucky if you get the ideal take-off spot to about 1/3 of the jumps, the other 2/3 are either too close, or too far--you just have to deal with it because that's part of the challenge of eventing.

3) Time: even at lower levels, stadium and x-c, are timed and you get penalty points for going too slow. We can't take the longest path around the course just to get the perfect approach to our fence. Many times, we have to cut inside of turns, take a fence at an angle, and push to make the time--and yes, sometimes we have an awkward jump or 2 because of that. Hunters don't have to worry about making time--they just make sure they get a nice spot to take off from so the jump looks pretty.

Ja Da Dee
Feb. 17, 2007, 04:45 PM
I learned how to event on a horse who could jump the moon, but anything under 3'3, he would usually hang his right knee. He just wasn't impressed with the fences enough to snap those babies up. BUT, he was a very reliable jumper, honest as the day was long. Never stopped unless I was making a bad mistake, or just about falling off him.

At the lower levels with beginning riders, if a horse is a good, honest, safe jumper, that's more important than a snappy jumper who has a nasty stop on him.

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 05:52 PM
Thank you threeday for answering my question so eloquently! I didn't mean to upset people by implying that I thought all event horses are "crappy" jumpers! I know they are not! My question was simply why is it more acceptable for eventing horses to have less than perfect jumping form. Threeday explained that nicely.
Frittskritt, those pics are scary! He may get over and he obviously does if he's headed to Rolex, but that form looks like an accident waiting to happen! It must feel really strange from his back!
I think my area must have more less than perfect horses doing eventing than most. Enjoytheride, on the site you posted at Poplar Hill, there are a few upper level horses who jump in less than perfect form. But it is absolutely true that the higher the level, the more consistent the better form. And the majority of the horses on that site look wonderful! I really enjoyed looking at the site! Thanks!
Piedpiper, I'm sorry I offended you! I simply went to a site where they specialize in cross country to find pictures that would illustrate what I meant by jumping with the knees lower than the chest. Yes, those riders are obviously not experienced. That is undoubtedly why the examples of what I was trying to point out were there! Please don't think I dislike event horses! They are the bravest jumpers of all! I volunteer at a large event and have seen levels up thru CIC**. But even there, I saw more than one that jumped over itself so I simply asked why that was okay. (I am a friend of Darren's and a big fan of Windfall!)
Appaloosa1224, that makes sense about the close jump, especially at high speeds, being less than pretty. That is the case in H/J as well.
Slp2, yes, I would imagine that even the most talented of hunters would lose some form jumping downhill with rough footing at a good gallop. But almost all horses form gets more consistent with mileage. Don't all events give you a couple fences to warm up over before you head out on xc?
Whisper - I have known several horses who do not jump in good form until challenged. Your horse looks like he has a willing disposition and just needs to get more mileage. As a H/J trainer, I would school him mostly over ramped oxers so he gets consistent about reaching forward with his forarm. Verticles tend to make a horse jump over himself more. I would want to encourage him to use himself properly as much as I could. But I am H/J oriented....
Thank you all for your input! Especially Threeday! :-D

eventmom
Feb. 17, 2007, 06:07 PM
Lessonlady, I for one took no offense to your question. I did not taste any pretense in it at all. Sounded like a person looking to learn something. I see a lot of people easily getting offended in the h/j forums and yelling at one another. I figure they don't have much confidence in their convictions. As for eventers, I hope they can be bigger than that and give an honest answer to an honest question. I agree, threeday did that very well!

Lessonlady
Feb. 17, 2007, 06:14 PM
Thanks Eventmom! I was feeling a little bad at making people angry. I did not have any intention of stirring up trouble!

GotSpots
Feb. 17, 2007, 06:27 PM
Where I think you may see an actual difference is that many event horses may be less neat below the knee than the classic hunter, and definitely less uniform. For example, you may see horses with the gorgeous vertical cannons on some of the really good jumping eventers, but you're also likely to see ones that open up a little early in the air or are perhaps a little less tidy below. You may also see upper level eventers arrow their front legs a bit: close up too tightly below the knee over a huge effort. They may also be a bit straighter through their body, depending on the question asked and the speed of the jump. Compare, for example, the rotating horses on the home page of this site (http://www.allisonspringer.com) who are all what I would describe as being very good jumpers with a picture of what I would think of as being a world class hunter, for example: Popeye K (http://www.fieldstone-farm.com/images/popeyek.jpg) or Rox Dene (http://www.geocities.com/heartland/meadows/7078/roxdene.jpg) The hunters almost uniformly have their cannons perpendicular to the ground at the top of their jump, and are much rounder through their bodies. And, they can lay down eight jumps that all look like that. In contrast, though all of the event horses pictured here have their knees up, you'll see a variety of lower leg positions depending on the question being asked: from opening up a bit early, to being super tight over a monster jump to a much more classical front leg but still bit flatter in the air than you'd want in a hunter.

In hunters, that gorgeous, consistently round jump is prized above just about anything else. In event horses, they are asked to jump so many different types of jumps, at different speeds, that you are going to see more variation inherently. Plus, event horses are being asked to jump at a considerably faster speed than the hunters are which also affect the style of the jump.

Classic Melody
Feb. 17, 2007, 06:46 PM
I think Gotspots has it right.

In addition - and this is so obvious, perhaps it goes without saying - I'd also like to add that a horse that doesn't square up stylishly simply isn't going to be a competitive hunter because stylish knees win hunter ribbons. And many of those horses without the snappy front end become eventers because they don't have the style for hunters.

Perfect knees do not a perfect jumper make, although they can help. But since your average hunter horse is doing 2'6" to 3'6" courses, they don't have to be exceptional jumpers with the rest of their bodies. The nice knees create a flashy picture that's easy for a judge to decipher and pin accordingly.

Nothing against hunters here - I'm a former hunter rider myself. But it just seems like comparing hunter knees to eventer form is comparing apples and oranges.

subk
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:30 PM
My question was simply why is it more acceptable for eventing horses to have less than perfect jumping form.
I don't think you get it yet. Don't define our sport by your ideals.

In Hunterland your "form" has no real use other than "style." It takes a lot of work and good riding for most hunter horses to create a "Rox Dene" stlye outline. You are riding for an ideal that doesn't exist outside an all weather surface.

In Eventingland form follows function. What you seem to think is "perfect form" is not something most riders want to ride on XC--therefore it is not "Perfect Form" as far as we are concerned. (Rox Dene is lovely, but god forbid as a field hunter or eventer!) We are riding for function on real and varied terrain. If we rode for hunter outlines it would be dangerous. So our definition of "perfect form" are not the same. Don't paint us with your brush, as if Hunterland is the standard for the rest of us.

Your comments drip with bias regardless of whether it was intentional or just out of a lack of knowledge. Personally I thought the OP was a troll, hopefully I was wrong.

spirithorse22
Feb. 17, 2007, 07:46 PM
Slp2, yes, I would imagine that even the most talented of hunters would lose some form jumping downhill with rough footing at a good gallop.

:lol:

No offence, but most of the hunters I know have been allowed a 'hand-gallop' every once in a while, and are not half fit enough for a schooling show cross country course...is that the exception or the rule for hunters? If its the rule, then I find it incredibly hard to believe a hunter would GALLOP (at a decent sized, solid, vertical jump with a landing they can't see, and out in the middle of a cross country track) and jump with just some 'loss of jumping form'...I wonder if the hunters I know would even attempt the jump.


As for jumping form, I evented a Tb who would make every hunter on this planet cover their eyes in horror...he zig/zagged the last 3 strides, left, right, left, took off from an angle left/right but damn if his knees didn't come up to his EYEBALLS over every effort. Just because they don't have 'perfect' form doesn't mean parts/the over-all effect isn't as 'good' an effort.

This horse ran prelim and if you pointed him at a fence, no matter what (say you just jumped the crap out of the first part of a coffin combo), he was going to the next fence. I'll never forget my first training at Poplar- I came through the white tent jumps, suppose to make that sharp (probably 2 or 3 strides, bending) left turn to the vertical drop fence...and even though I was practically closing my eyes and praying to the horse gods, he said, 'Hang on, I'll get you out of there.' Our photo of that EXACT moment is definitely 'not pretty'. But did I trust him? With my life. Now, I'd rather ride that than a horse trying to get a perfect 'knees up, back cracked' snapshot over something.



Verticles tend to make a horse jump over himself more. I would want to encourage him to use himself properly as much as I could.

Wow. When I walked my cross country courses, I was always pleasantly shocked if I had a handful of nice, ascending fences...mostly, it was vertical fences with drops, banks, water, odd angles, and airy middles...my job as a rider was to ride him the best as possible to that fence, but it was his job to take the last couple of strides and get us over. It's not like we can pick and choose our jumps out there. We're going at a 450 mpm gallop (or, I was when last competing), trying to keep my thrilled-to-be on the xc course- Thoroughbred from charging everything, while also negotating terrain, trees, other jumps, and while thinking of my approach, and landing. It's not foremost on my mind to 'encourage him to use himself properly'...I'm hoping that he jumps clean, and well, and puts some 'money in the bank' for the next fence.

Okay, had to get that off my chest. Tell me if I'm wrong about the majority of hunters...are they really fit? The ones I know and work around are most definitely not. AND their riders/trainers consider any little toss of the head to be 'hotness' and put them on a lunge line. :no:

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:05 PM
Lessonlady...NONE of those photos look ANYTHING like any event horse that I have owned or ridden.....nor do they look like the vast majority of eventers that I watch at most events. Sure you see some bad fences occassionally....but not the form you just posted. There are some bad photos out there for sure...but often those bad photos are a result of bad timing and occassionally a bad jumper. But a bad jumper doesn't typically stick around for long in eventing.

You often will not see knees set like hunters...because often that is not necessary to jump the jumps. But most event horses are good jumpers. I think GotSpots described it the best...and to be honest, if I have a young horse that jumps in perfect "hunter" form...and has the right mind set...I don't event him but sell him for big money to the hunter riders ;)

beeblebrox
Feb. 17, 2007, 09:21 PM
lesson lady

A will admit that some lower level eventers may have a "unorthodox" style of jumping, this comes from a lot of green riders as much as the horses themselves. It is difficult for a horse to bascule when being restrained by a nervous rider and you do see this more often than I would like. But in general most of them jump like any normal horse. The photos you listed were not what I would call they typical eventers that I work with but any horse can be caught in a bad moment and you can certainly see that in the H/J ring as well. For a very long time eventing was kinda the step child of the jumping world at lower levels but now with many of the adults and juniors wanting to be competitive they are buying better moving horses to win the dressage which also can equate to better jumping. By the same token we also have a lot of pasture pets of unknown breeding packing pony club and other riders safely over the same jumps. It is a mixed bag at best. ;-)

As for the upper level eventers (say prelim and up_) When you are traveling that fast over grass, slippery mud and what have you these horse get as close to the base for safety and sometimes this does not always produce the ideal jump. Typically you would not be jumping from that kind of speed over something that does not fall down in the stadium ring.

Oh I agree they do not have the form of most hunters but then again is they did they would be worth 5X more and be in the hunter ring ;-)

subk
Feb. 17, 2007, 11:44 PM
Tell me if I'm wrong about the majority of hunters...are they really fit?
The ones that a lunged for hours on end to insure they are quiet are fit!

Eventer13
Feb. 18, 2007, 10:29 AM
The ones that a lunged for hours on end to insure they are quiet are fit!

:lol: Seems like longeing would be the last thing you'd want to do then!

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 11:52 AM
OMG!! I can't believe how upset some of you are getting over this!!! Relax, will you?
Let me see if I can restate what my question was so that you can understand what I wanted to know!
When a horse jumps a fence with his forarm up (regardless of what his cannon is doing) it seems like it would be a safer style. If he should happen to hit the jump (regardless of what caused him to hit it), he has a better chance of recovering and continueing. To the best of my knowledge, negociating the obstacle safely (regardless of whether its on good footing or bad, up hill or down) is the prime goal of eventing. So it was my feeling that a forarm up style of jumping would be important in an event horse. I found some pictures of horses with low forarms to illustrate what I meant by low forarm and you attack me!! I never said anything about fitness or footing or speed! Correct me if I am wrong, but I would think that any jumping horse that jumped with it's forarm up would be considered a safer ride. Therefore I would try to train my green horse to jump in that style. An athletic horse is always better than a non-athletic one. Rox Dene and Popeye K would probably surprise you if someone attempted to event them. They are brave athletes and I think they would do well at eventing once they had some experience at it! No horse would be good at eventing without experience just as your average event horse would probably not win in the show hunter ring without some training at that.

Elliot
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:39 PM
I'm not offended and I know that my horse is a poster child for exactly what you're talking about, the dreaded hanging forearm!

I think it's been made clear, but I want to reiterate that eventers do NOT train their horses to jump with hanging forearms. Sure you see lots of photos where they are, but we don't train them to do that! I've worked quite hard to try and teach my horse to be better with his front legs, using gymnastics, wide oxers, etc. and he is improving. But he's never going to have hunter form.

The thing is that while I'm working on his form, I'm also working on his flatwork, his fitness, his ability to shorten and lengthen his stride to a jump and countless other things. With the hunters, their form over fences is being judged, so that's really important to work on. With eventers, form isn't judged, so if the horse jumps around consistently clear and confidently, we aren't going to stress if he hangs his forearms a bit.

Again, with hunters, if the form isn't there, why bother competing? But with eventers, if the flatwork is good, and the horse can clear the jumps, make time etc., then a rider may just live with less than ideal form and continue to work on it with gymnastics. That's where I am with my horse right now, and we spent the last year at preliminary.

So ideally, I think we'd all love to horses with a beautiful front end over a fence, but there are so many other things to consider with an event horse, plus the budget factor, that's it's just not as important as in the hunter world. While my horse may look a little scary with his dangling forearms, he's actually very aware of which fences come down and which ones are solid. If he needs to yank those legs out of the way for a solid x-c fence, he does!

flyingchange
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:52 PM
Lessonlady -

As others have stated, the horses in those pix don't really represent eventing. They look to be out schooling over quite small jumps - and they aren't really trying. Riders look like beginners/inexperienced.

Eventers do need to pick up their knees and bascule over the jumps that require that form. Generally speaking, we eventers all work to improve our horses' and our own form over jumps.

Anyway, here are some pix that more fairly represent eventing. This is at a horse trial in Virginia at Prelim. It's a small jump at prelim level, but it should give you a better idea of what event horses generally look like at events (there are some non-pretty pictures there too - couple of people getting left behind ... but in eventing that is much preferred to the opposite whoopsie of jumping ahead...).

There are also some with looser front ends than others in this list. That's just statistics. Not every one of them is going to have that perfect tight form (if they did they would probably be sold for mucho $$ as hunters).


http://www.photoreflect.com/scripts/prsm.dll?eventthumbs?event=308E00QZ4D&start=0&ts=1171821110

glfprncs
Feb. 18, 2007, 12:53 PM
As an individual who has evented through the CCI* (prelim. 3-day), I want to ride a horse with a safe jumping style. That said, my first real event horse, who I purchased from a hunter barn, didn't have the best form to be a hunter. Unless he was truly challenged (put into a snug distance, or the fences above 3'6"), he simply didn't snap his knees. He wasn't a 'knee hanger' per se, but they definitely weren't horizontal. He was, however, a good jumper (just not great), and I always felt safe on him. I did work with a hunter trainer while I owned him, and he frustrated the man tremendously. The other horses I've evented, while not round, backcracking jumpers, were quite good with their knees. Below are some links (I only have 2 different horses in my current photo page), and I think they typify (sp?) your average event horse. Some are better jumpers, some are worse...

Cestus--training level XC (this horse went on to compete the Rolex CCI**** with another rider)
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/glfprncs/detail?.dir=/e3b6&.dnm=b6e3.jpg&.src=ph

Riley--training level stadium (this horse had a tendency to have good knees, but would swing his lower legs on occassion, which you can see here)
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/glfprncs/detail?.dir=/e3b6&.dnm=d809.jpg&.src=ph

Riley--training level XC
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/glfprncs/detail?.dir=/e3b6&.dnm=2497.jpg&.src=ph


I think a lot of people have already stated that with event horses, you're generally not going to see perfect form at every fence simply because of the speed and terrain in which the horse travels from which it must jump. The horse's bascule is much flatter, because if the horse truly rounds in the air, it's a jump that takes more time in the air (and time is valuable in eventing) and is perhaps, more physically taxing. As far as uneven knees and such, on many courses, especially if the footing is sand like we have here in the south, or if there has been rain, the take-off and landings of many fences get quite deep. So, a horse may leave a knee a little lower than the other, simply because it was the last to leave the ground and may have been a little "stuck" in the deep footing. The same goes for truly galloping down to a 'fly' fence...when you leave at speed (and no, I'm not saying galloping down at some horrendous speed), the horse has less time to get his/her parts in order, so one knee may be lower than the other. This also can be said about jumping out of water. The nature of water provides drag, which can affect a horse's jumping style.

That said...there are plenty of examples of poor jumping technique that can be found at horse trials, whether it be due to the rider's influence on the horse's balance, riding at a speed that is too fast for the jumps at hand, the terrain, fatigue, or simply because the horse is not a naturally good jumper. The same, however, can also be said to be true at hunter/jumper shows. When I think of truly poor jumping form, I think of Hap Hansen's "Hai Karate." He was horrible with his knees, but was tremendously successful as a grand prix jumper. Instead of raising his knees higher, Hap found, the horse would just jump higher. I don't think Hap worried that he was going to hang a knee into a rail, and I'm sure he had great confidence when cantering down to a 5'3" vertical when looking between Hai Karate's ears.

Gunnar
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:13 PM
To the OP I tend to agree with you. Everyone says that the pictures you show are low level riders. Isn't this sport packed with lower level riders? In my experience I have seen some poor jumping horses at the BN and N level! That means there are probably a lot of them across our nation.

But I also tend to agree with most that if the horse can get the job done, at the level they are at, then their form is not too important. I would not want to ride a hanger but some can jump well and be safe. Not all can be safe of course so how do you find out? You jump them and let me know how it goes!:eek: :sadsmile:

That being said I really feel safer on my super jumping atheletic horse than I do on my draft X who does not make much effort at the BN level! Given the choice I would always choose the horse with the most atheletic jump, no matter where they put their legs! :yes:

If all horses jumped, with grand style, over any moon we point them at then we would all be so happy. Alas they do not all jump that way or will they all go over what ever we point them at.Those saints that do are to be commended!:yes:

Back to your discussions but try to be nice! It makes life a little better you know!;)

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:14 PM
Lessonlady....I don't know of any event rider that would buy a horse that hangs his forarm when jumping. Yes, some folks might not have the best jumper in the world and do work to fix their jumping form but the photos you posted are NOT a true representation of good event horses (they could just be a bad photo of a generally good jumper or just bad jumpers). I sold three horses in the past years who didn't work out as eventers for different reasons. One went on to do low level hunters...3 foot. The other two became jumpers....one doing the low ammy (4'-4'3) and the other the highs (4'9") These horse jumped with their knees to their eyeballs...but I have some shots where as green horses they made a mistake. Event horses need to be good jumpers but they do not need to have perfectly level knees like you prefer for hunters. I like them to be tight below their knees and pick up their forearms...but they do not need to crank their knees to their eyeballs over a basic 3foot jump. A horse that has to do that often doesn't have the scope to jump higher (often but not always).

But we also jump from speed over some fences and some fences you just miss...but if I see a photo with my horse hanging its knees...I cringe. Most of the time, it is either just bad timing of the photo...she is putting down her landing gear....or it is a result of BAD riding on my part (throwing her balance off). Finding and producing a top event horse is very hard since they both need to be a good jumper and a good mover...careful but still bold. But as eventers...we focus on horses that are good safe jumpers...and for that they do not need perfect hunter form. In fact...many hunters are looser below the knees then what I consider a good jumper. I think that the photos that glfprnces posted are more of a correct representation of what eventers want in a jumper. All her horses look like good safe jumpers with some scope...and while they may not have perfect "hunter" form, they have an effective form that will get you safely to the otherside of the fence.

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:17 PM
Thank you Elliot! I am glad you are aware of your horses good and bad points and are doing everything you can to encourage improvement. It sounds like he is a good safe mount and you are enjoying him. By suggesting to that one person that they practice mostly over ramped oxers to encourage their horse to raise it's forarm, I was simply offering a tool to help the horse develop a good habit. I see your thinking is along those same lines.

Behavior over fences is judged a lot more in hunters which is why some people resort to lunging. Personally, I prefer to ride the horse till he settles. A fresh horse overjumps, plays, gets strong, rushes and may do any number of other things that would count against you in the hunter ring. So you fix it using whatever legal method you feel is best. It is not as important in eventing. Even though you want an obedient horse in eventing, you won't lose because your horse is being strong over the first few fences. Therefore the two disciplines have several different goals! Apples and oranges but both are fruit! :-D

slp2
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:19 PM
Lessonlady: I'm not sure why you feel like you are being "attacked"--I think many of the responses you have gotten are very courteous while explaining their opinion related to your original post. But let's face it--if I went over to the H/J forum and asked something like . . .

"I went to a hunter jumper website and in several photos on the website the riders had terrible lower leg position. Do all hunter jumper riders have problems with keeping their lower leg in place?"

Do you think I might get some responses from folks that disagree with me? You betcha. And they would most likely respond and tell me that "one hunter/jumper website does not represent the entire sport / community and I shouldn't draw any broadbrush conclusions over that."

I think that is all we are trying to say here.

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:27 PM
Once again I say that the pictures I posted were representative of horses jumping with a lowered forarm, not as examples of the way all eventing horses jump!! I know better!!

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:37 PM
slp2 - I am thrilled that people want to give me their opinions and I don't mind one iota that they may disagree with me! It makes for good debate! But when I get accused of my comments dripping of bias, I get the feeling someone is angry with me! threeday explained what I wanted to know without demeaning me.
And if you posted your question on the H/J site, I would nicely explain how much work it takes to develop a secure lower leg etc etc. But I certainly wouldn't say DONT' ACCUSE ALL H/J PEOPLE OF WEAK LEGS! That's silly and inflamatory!

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:38 PM
glfprncs - I love those 2 horses! :-D

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:44 PM
Once again I say that the pictures I posted were representative of horses jumping with a lowered forarm, not as examples of the way all eventing horses jump!! I know better!!

IMO--those are bad shots. Not a photo of form I want to see my event horses in and not a form encouraged. Those could be bad jumpers or just bad jumps (rider got in to deep, climbed ahead of thier horse and threw the horse's balance off so they couldn't get their knees out of the way). There is not a jump x-c with any sort of height that you want to see an event horse hanging its forearms and if an event rider has a horse with such a problem...I think you will find, most are working hard on improving that horse's form through gymnastic jumping (lots of bounces!). BUT you will not see an event rider focused on getting their horses to have perfect hunter form...just like you will not see a jumper trainer focusing on getting a jumper to have perfect hunter form. In hunters, the form matters. In jumpers and eventing...form is a function of a good jumper and not otherwise important. So a horse that may not keep its knees perfectly level but picks his legs up and jumps clean, effectively and safely is what we want.

That said...you go to any event and you will see some scary bad jumping....but you will also see some very good riding and very good jumping. Since form isn't a factor...sometimes riders with VERY scary jumps but by the grace of god their horses cleared the fence and stayed on their feet may still win. But those riders do not stay lucky forever and that is why the USEA and participants in our sport are so focused on safety and trying to educate folks about good riding and good horsemanship (including knowing when your horse is a bad jumper and perhaps you shouldn't be trying to move up until they get better!)

cosmos mom
Feb. 18, 2007, 01:46 PM
I have noticed in looking at a lot of pictures of people eventing, that the horse's form over fences is different from what I have come to consider ideal. ....
Why do so many event horses jump this way? Isn't it dangerous? I would think using the knees well would be a prime requirement for a horse that has to jump solid obstacles! Please enlighten me!

PS I will try to find some pictures to illustrate what I am talking about.

I'm very confused, based on your initial post and the photos you posted (which were all of very low level pairs jumping x-c fences, not necessarily eventing), It sound's like you believe that this is what eventers "do" soo...

[QUOTE]Once again I say that the pictures I posted were representative of horses jumping with a lowered forarm, not as examples of the way all eventing horses jump!! I know better!![QUOTE]

If this statement is true, what are we discussing??? Not- flaming- just asking for explanation of what we are answering :).

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:36 PM
LOL, Cosmos Mom! I'm asking the same question! I noticed several event horses jumped in less than ideal form. I asked why this was acceptable. Several people pointed out that due to the terrain, the speed and they circumstances of the jump, compared to those presented to show hunters, it is often more difficult for an event horse to maintain traditional form. That makes perfect sense to me. But some people flew off the handle and blew this into some big brouhaha as if I had criticized all horses in eventing! I did not intend to do so! I have the utmost respect for a good event horse and simply wanted to know some of the things that were accepted in an eventer that are not accepted in a show hunter and why.

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 02:59 PM
bornfreenowexpensive (I love that screen name by the way!) I agree that the USEA is doing a terrific job of promoting safety and good horsemanship. When I was a kid, eventing was much more thrown together and a lot of instruction was from parents who had read a couple of books! Things are definitely going in the right direction.

EventingRed
Feb. 18, 2007, 03:03 PM
As long as their safe. I don't particularly care if they look like they could win the hunters. If I did, I would be a hunter.

As long as we get around safe, no one said it had to be pretty :)

sunhawk
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:20 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ0O4hSsRZ4

this is more interesting than still photos -- watch how these intermediate horses deal with some tricky fences

you'll never see hunters manage this

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ0O4hSsRZ4

this is more interesting than still photos -- watch how these intermediate horses deal with some tricky fences




It is a cool video....you can tell the more experienced horses from the greener horses based on how they jump that first fence. The older guys are slamming their feet down as fast as possible looking for the next thing while the green horses jump big and pretty! You see that a lot at jumps like that first one where the horses really can't see the landing before they jump.

horseguy
Feb. 18, 2007, 04:39 PM
Interesting… “jumping style” and “how eventers jump” and so on. This is all very contemporary.

Forgive me, but I have not read every post. What I got from a sampling of posts is that there is a belief in a specialized eventer’s view of a correct style or form. Why come at it from that perspective? If you watch Phillip Dutton, he rides every horse individually. Sometimes he will look almost like a different rider on the same course, on the same day, on different horses. He's a truly gifted athlete.

Forms, of which “correct” styles are made, are static. In my view their importance in equestrian sport is the direct result of the rise of the very specialized H/J phenomena. Go to any H/J forum and see the obsession with detailed levels of form. Forms are like the snapshots that are put up for critique, one in a series of moments. This works for the H/J riders because they will face a judge who will be comparing their poses or forms to an ideal snapshot in his or her mind. The person with the best forms wins.

If you can free yourself of the idea that forms are the goal, then you can look at rider’/’s horse and see more abstract elements of riding like effectiveness, unity, intention, and balance. Sure there are “pictures” or forms that are pretty, and they are the direct result of these seemingly more abstract elements of riding, but these pretty pictures must be the result of applied technique. They should never be the goal of the rider.

If you train your eye to see variations of balance in a rider and in a horse, you see movement or energy, but sometimes interference, disunity. Sometimes these balances will fool you. The may, for example, look behind, but be more driving. From a single photograph you cannot see how forward a horse is, or what the rider must accomplish in the air in order to execute a complex landing. Some of the riders who “have good form” over a cross country course look like passengers to me. I prefer the intensity of active riders, who may not be picture perfect, but are “right there” with their horse in every moment. Should their horse stumble or slip, these riders are on top of a solution before things get out of hand.

The tradition of eventing is military and that is a broad context of which the current specialty of eventing was a small part. I posted some pictures of a jumping soldier (the ones with red lines, elbow to bit) on another thread. One thing I love about that series is that the rider is not perfect. The Army could have taken pictures until they had a series that was perfect for this manual, but they didn’t. It’s about effectiveness. When I was a child my instructor did “follow me” rides. The riders who received praise were the ones that were there with the instructor at the end. He rode out in front, occasionally looking back to count who was left. I remember few comments on form after those rides.

I’d say be effective. If correct forms are important, go to a show. Otherwise the forms come with effectiveness, but they tend to be a little different on each horse, at each jump, in each footing. That’s what I think.

subk
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:36 PM
The answer to lessonlady's question if that question is "isn't a higher forearm better for eventing" is: Yes, BUT only up to a point. On a scale of one to ten if Rox Dene is a ten and your photos are a one I say that once you are a four or five you don't gain any more safety than a horse that is a ten. Nine's and ten's are overkill and don't provide you with more of anything you need. In fact you probably have less safety with a horse that is a ten than with one's that's just five. Which is why the hunter ideal is NOT a eventing ideal. I don't want what the OP (as well as some other commentors) seems to indicate is some marvelous way to jump that should we should all strive for regardless of discipline. The basic premiss that higher knees are safer is just wrong.

Why? Once you're riding a horse who has an exceptionally high forearm other things are happening to the horse's body. His spine lifts (springs!) higher as his head and neck drop. If you've ever ridden one who jumps like this it is quiet disconcerting at first because the head and neck literally disappear in front and below you all while the back comes up making it physically more difficult for a rider to keep and/or control her position. (It takes a very talented rider to jump a horse like this while making it look easy in a hunter ring!)

Think about it in a practical situation. If you're jumping say a vertical-land-bounce down a step or say a water jump that drops 5 or 6 feet on landing in the water you do NOT want the front of your horse to disappear over the top of the fence! Nor do you want a physically expressive jump that will jar your position and make it harder for you to stay on much less make your weight shifts to correspond to the changes in balance more difficult than they already are. Horses that make you fall off are less safe!

Give me a horse who is workmanlike (average) with his knees, but has good footwork, a strong ping off the ground, naturally balanced frame and a tidy hind end. Once the knees are merely adequate these other things improve safety much more significantly than getting those knees higher.

Rox Dene was a special, fabulously, athletic horse, but if Rox Dene had been a successful eventer Rox Dene would not have jumped like Rox Dene.

And yes, I'm pretty irritated when someone comes to an Eventing forum and asks in effect "aren't many eventing horses bad jumpers since they don't jump like hunters and why in the world would you eventers want to ride bad jumpers since you are concerned about safety?" Maybe if the question had been "I noticed that eventers don't place as much emphasis on high forearms as hunters. That is opposite of what I would assume one would want for safety reasons. Since I don't know a lot about eventing can someone explain this to me?" Instead, there is the assumption that if you don't do it like we do then what you do is a lesser quality--THAT is what I meant by "dripping with bias."

enjoytheride
Feb. 18, 2007, 05:43 PM
here is another one, same author. Can anyone explain the gal on the paint horse to me? What would you have done different?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AaGx-d70Cs

Lessonlady
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:32 PM
HERE IS WHAT I SAID:I have noticed in looking at a lot of pictures of people eventing, that the horse's form over fences is different from what I have come to consider ideal. Yes, I am basically a H/J person but I would like to understand why so many of the horses in eventing use different form. I would think that it would be desirable to have a horse that jerks his knees up level or higher than his chest. That way, if they hit something, they can just tuck up tighter and regain their balance. If the knees are lower and underneath the horse and they hit something, the knees are pushed back and they are more apt to fall. Why do so many event horses jump this way? Isn't it dangerous? I would think using the knees well would be a prime requirement for a horse that has to jump solid obstacles! Please enlighten me!

PS I will try to find some pictures to illustrate what I am talking about.[/QUOTE]
subk - Where do you read rudeness and condescention in that? I think my wording was fine.

I agree, (especially now that several people have explained to me why event horses often use different form) that if Rox Dene had done eventing, she would not have used the form we have seen her use in the show ring. Obviously the different situations would require her to use different form in many cases. But she was an athletic girl and I bet she would have figured it out and been right up there with the best of them!
bornfreenowexpensive - I enjoyed the video! I know a lot of those riders from having volunteered at an event in our area. A lot of tricky stuff was thrown at them! But I still think, if you took a brave and athletic hunter and gave him some training in cross country, he would have as good a chance of being successful as most other horses!

Eventer13
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:34 PM
No expert, but first, I would have hit him on a stride or two before the log into the water, and before the bounce (she just seemed to be in a driving seat). On the second approch, I would have hit him closer to the fence, only a stride or two back. The third approach would have hit him again when he landed into the bounce. But the whole picture was kinda worrying, he just didnt seem to be forward and "in the game." But I've never ridden at this level so take my words with a grain of salt :)

Love the horse though.

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:41 PM
here is another one, same author. Can anyone explain the gal on the paint horse to me? What would you have done different?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9AaGx-d70Cs

The horse was never on her aids. Watch him closely. You can see him backing off of the first fence in 5 strides away easily. She chose to take the long route so he probably didn't feel very "game" to her and very responsive.

She came into it in a VERY driving seat but taking back with her hands the whole time with her upper thigh clenched telling him to woah, but whipping him telling him to go. Then when he started to toss on the breaks, she immediately went from driving seat to on his neck because she wasn't deep in her leg and had no security.

That's just my opinion. Some days, horses just don't want to play the game. Tough to have it happen at YR's though. They've obviously done well at the ** level to get there though. :)

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:52 PM
I don't know if Subk comments were directed at me...but personally, I don't like a horses forearms pointing down when jumping fences that don't fall down..otherwise I agree with most of her post. They don't need to have their knees to their eyeballs but shouldn't be hanging their knees pointing down on regular basis. I've ridden horses that have a big round jump and bring their knees to their eyeballs up through Prelim. They are harder to stay on. My current mare (who I have been told by more then one upper level rider is a serious Adv. level prospect--we will have to wait and see) has a much flatter jump and is average with her knees. The flatter jump...like Subk mentions is a hell of a lot easier to stay with on x-c (and faster). But she is a good careful jumper and more then enough scope for what I have asked of her. I think this topic has been betten to death and I think most of the post have said basically the same thing. Basically, eventers (like jumpers) want good safe and effective jumpers..who leave the fences up and get safely and quickly to the other side...they do not need perfect hunter form because that is not necessary to be successful (like it is in the hunterland) nor always effective. There are many out there that do jerk up their knees...most are the WB crosses (although some are TBs) but in the end...knees up high really has nothing to do with scope and since as event riders, we are more focused on horses with the good mind, the speed, the bravery, the movement and the carefullness to be successful in all THREE phases....the quality of jerking their knees to their eyeballs just isn't that important. Jumping over the fence safely and carefully, having the good mind, the speed and having the movement in dressage...those are more important qualities. If you look at the videos...you will see an assortment of forms....it is what works for the individual horse and as long as it is safe and they get to the other side of the fence...then we are happy.

And the number one reason...when we have a horse who jumps like a high end hunter....most of us sell them for big bucks to the hunters. No idea if Rox Dene would have been a good event horse (I didn't make that comment)...but having known her, I don't think she would have had the speed but she was a beautiful hunter and seemed to enjoy that job.

PiedPiper
Feb. 18, 2007, 06:59 PM
Listen you didnt annoy me before though to be honest are starting to now. I really think if you subsitute your sport in the place of eventer and go post it on the Hunter board you will see some major anger. Doubt it? Give it a whirl. No group likes to hear blanket negative statements again them. But I think everyone here is very happy to help those that are truly interested in the sport and the eventing board tends to be a pretty low key board. So here is a synopsis of what has been covered:

1. Hanging a leg is never desired.
2. Hanging a leg may be the lesser of two evils.
3. Hunter style, horse and rider, are not considered ideals in eventing.
4. One would think that if you have seen "alot" of eventer pictures that show the hanging leg you could find legit ones to show instead of some backyard looking pictures of the same people. That is in now way a good representation of Eventers and hanging forearm.
5. There are multiple reasons for a hanging leg that may be fixable. As stated, function follows form.
6. Learning the sport is greatly appreciated with eventers but having had other Hunter's come over and slam the sport I think most are gun shy.


So, ignoring what you thought were angry retorts, what are your thoughts now? Do you see what others are saying or holding true to the idea that eventers are okay with unsafe form?

vacreekfarm
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:12 PM
Ok I've had enough of this. :no: Lessonlady and Horseguy had a 'discussion' on this bb a bit back. In my opinion Lessonlady looked at Horseguy's web page found pics of some folks having fun and went to picking a fight. Bottom line, hunters are not eventers and eventers are not hunters. Kudos to Horseguy for an intelligent response.

KellyS
Feb. 18, 2007, 07:28 PM
Ok I've had enough of this. :no: Lessonlady and Horseguy had a 'discussion' on this bb a bit back. In my opinion Lessonlady looked at Horseguy's web page found pics of some folks having fun and went to picking a fight. Bottom line, hunters are not eventers and eventers are not hunters. Kudos to Horseguy for an intelligent response.

You're right--it looks like Lessonlady pulled those pictures off Horseguy's Web page. Me thinks there is more "motive" to Lessonlady's post than she is letting on. Why take pictures from a fellow poster's Web page and use them as examples of "bad jumping." Poor form on the OP's part (no pun intended ;) ).

horseguy
Feb. 18, 2007, 08:11 PM
From the “Eventing for the Hunter/Jumper” thread…


BTW, if you look at our farm photo gallery you will see riders on the x-c course using the crest release. That’s because we encourage riders who take pictures to email them so we can post them. We don’t seem to take a lot of pictures ourselves. We post these pictures without regard to style so that lots of people can see that it is fun and possible. We want riders to use their skills safely and get hooked, and then learn more.

Maybe lessonlady got the idea from this post of mine, but maybe too she might be trying to understand what’s up with riders who say (to borrow a phrase from Rhett Butler) “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a da*n,” about the things that are important to how she teaches and rides.

Early on in my exchanges with lessonlady I made a point that forms must come from balance, not balance from forms. That is an incredibly difficult concept for H/J riders and instructors to grasp. I think this simple fact of physics is foreign to them because they measure success in terms of forms.

When you think of all the possible combinations of back lengths, leg lengths, shoulder ranges of motion, and more in horses, and then combine those many variables with the variations in rider’s leg lengths, weights, athletic abilities and so on, you get an infinite number of possible combinations. Theoretically each of those combinations could produce an effective style. It is just a matter of time and coaching before a rider takes their personal set of variations, combines those with the variations of their horse, and works it all into a winning method.

Yes, there are laws of physics and biomechanics that are constant that give some common principles to everyone’s individual effective seat, but the key to effective riding is finding your seat with your horse and working it until it is very precise. Riders like Phillip Dutton can apparently hop on any horse and find it immediately with each horse, thus his wide range of “styles”. Most of us are lucky to “click” with one or two horses over our career.

At any rate, the H/J approach is from another planet in comparison to the whole traditional way of thinking. They know from experience that ideal forms win ribbons and they work backward from there. It is as if they are reverse engineers in biomechanics. It ties my mind in knots thinking about their process, and I SPENT TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE teaching at a H/J barn. I am still recovering.

So, don’t get down on lessonlady because she’s from another planet, the one where money grows on trees. :) I give her credit for coming here in the first place.

Tuckertoo
Feb. 18, 2007, 08:32 PM
I'm not in any way trying to add fuel to the fire. I just want everyone to know that from the get-go:D.

Lessonlady-Here's my view on this whole hullaballoo. I think that you might have offended some people in your original post because it sort of sounds like you're making a stereotype. I'm not saying that I think you were! I think other people might have thought that you were, though, when you said:


I have noticed in looking at a lot of pictures of people eventing, that the horse's form over fences is different from what I have come to consider ideal. Yes, I am basically a H/J person but I would like to understand why so many of the horses in eventing use different form. I would think that it would be desirable to have a horse that jerks his knees up level or higher than his chest. That way, if they hit something, they can just tuck up tighter and regain their balance. If the knees are lower and underneath the horse and they hit something, the knees are pushed back and they are more apt to fall. Why do so many event horses jump this way? Isn't it dangerous? I would think using the knees well would be a prime requirement for a horse that has to jump solid obstacles! Please enlighten me!

PS I will try to find some pictures to illustrate what I am talking about.

When you say "so many" and "a lot", it sounded like you were putting a label on all event horses, which might have offended some people. I know that people are misunderstood all the time, and I think that this is one of those times.

C'mon, folks. Let's stop fighting and give her some slack. It's not like she said "OMG. Event horses are terrible jumpers and I don't know why anyone would ever want to ride one. They are just so unsafe and horrible." She stated her observations, asked why things are different from hunters, then gave her reasons for wondering why. It's a valid question, and many of you gave good answers. She's tried time and time again to try to restate what she said so as not to offend people. We all just need to chill:cool:.

Whisper
Feb. 18, 2007, 08:50 PM
Whisper - I have known several horses who do not jump in good form until challenged. Your horse looks like he has a willing disposition and just needs to get more mileage. As a H/J trainer, I would school him mostly over ramped oxers so he gets consistent about reaching forward with his forarm. Verticles tend to make a horse jump over himself more. I would want to encourage him to use himself properly as much as I could. But I am H/J oriented....

He's 16 years old, and used to event at Training , and do both Hunters and Jumpers up to 3'6", so I don't think milage is the problem. :lol: He dislikes the water jump at one place we have done Horse Trials at, but otherwise, he usually packs me around quite happily. A 9 year-old kid has been learning the very basics of H/J type riding on him (she's not ready to try XC, and is uninterested in dressage), and the two of them did quite well at her first show (one 2nd and two 3rds in pretty large classes). We do sometimes use oxers in our lessons, and I agree that they help sharpen him up, but he still sometimes gets a little lackadaisical about the small stuff.

vacreekfarm
Feb. 18, 2007, 09:42 PM
It ties my mind in knots thinking about their process, and I SPENT TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE teaching at a H/J barn. I am still recovering.

So, don’t get down on lessonlady because she’s from another planet, the one where money grows on trees. :) I give her credit for coming here in the first place.

:lol: Jack and Coke will help with the recovery. Oh, I've killed a few of those money trees so far. Anyone have any ideas on how to get them to grow? Enjoy your posts Horseguy!

Eventer13
Feb. 19, 2007, 01:35 AM
It ties my mind in knots thinking about their process, and I SPENT TWO YEARS OF MY LIFE teaching at a H/J barn. I am still recovering.

:lol::lol: I'm almost too afraid to laugh (the people from h/j land might come over and claw us to death in a catfight) but this is too funny :)

Lessonlady
Feb. 19, 2007, 08:46 AM
Pied Piper - I'd like to address what you have said which was:
1. Hanging a leg is never desired.
2. Hanging a leg may be the lesser of two evils.
3. Hunter style, horse and rider, are not considered ideals in eventing.
4. One would think that if you have seen "alot" of eventer pictures that show the hanging leg you could find legit ones to show instead of some backyard looking pictures of the same people. That is in now way a good representation of Eventers and hanging forearm.
5. There are multiple reasons for a hanging leg that may be fixable. As stated, function follows form.
6. Learning the sport is greatly appreciated with eventers but having had other Hunter's come over and slam the sport I think most are gun shy.

#1 I was referring to a horse jumping over itself, not just hanging a leg.
#2 Hanging a leg still scares me whether it's ae event horse or a H/J.
#3 Thanks to threeday, I now understand why hunter form is not necessarily what an event horse needs to use to negociate the particular challenges it faces.
#4 Because eventers cannot use hunter form over a lot of the fences they are faced with, it was easier to find pictures of event horses jumping with their forarm below the verticle. I was looking for photos that demonstrated a low forarm and I had just viewed some so I used them. I think very highly of Horseguy and had no intention of picking a fight with him. If using his photos offended him, I apologize. The horses in the pictures could well be wonderful old schoolies doing their best to cope with beginners, I have no idea. I only used the pictures because they happened to show horses with their forarms low.

#5 I know hanging a leg can often be fixed, It is often just a green thing even in hunters. I was referring to a horse jumping over itself more than actual hanging though both concerned me.
#6 I honestly didn't know others had come over from the H/J threads just to slam Eventing. I volunteer at a major event in our area and have a great respect for event horses. They are among the bravest and most honest horses in equine sports! I did not come over to slam anyone, simply to learn why event horses used different form a lot of the time.

Many of you seem to think ALL H/J people are sanctimonious and condescending. Talk about stereotyping!! Money may grow on trees in a portion of the H/J world but most certainly not in the part I am in! I worked my butt off for years in the horse business and consider myself a horseman. I teach basic lessons specializing in beginner jumping and green horses. I don't teach people to be passengers, I teach them how to ride. Please don't stereotype me with the wealthiest segment of the H/J business or with the dishonest segment of it either. All I asked you guys for was a little education.

Lessonlady
Feb. 19, 2007, 08:52 AM
About the pinto in the video, it looked to me like she used her stick and legs right up to the last 2 or 3 strides. Then she stopped being as forceful and he simply petered out. Also, it looked like the horse had become a bit immune to the stick. I think she needs to do more homework to gain more responsiveness from her horse.
Now I am just a H/J person and am not criticizing all event riding. In fact, my analysis may not even be correct in the event world. They are simply my observations and my reactions.

PiedPiper
Feb. 19, 2007, 10:55 AM
Like I had stated, at no point has anyone said that hanging a leg or jumping over themselves is an ideal. No eventer wants that and it is a definite safety "flaw" in a horse as they move up in eventing. I know I was looking at a horse to lease that habitually hung his legs and know that was a major issue for myself and my trainer. I actually passed on him b/c of htis. I didn't want to run the risk of flipping over a jump b/c of this. There is some consideration of a horse that works around the hanging and overjumps or such to help "fix" the hanging leg issue. Again this isn't ideal but it isn't the end of the world. But I do completely agree no eventer goes out looking for this type of style.

But I do know when it is a green issue or a set jumping style and am willing to deal with it at the green level when the jumps are only 2'6. I also recognize when it something that I am affecting and how I can help fix it. :D

I think your first post sounded like you were expressing a stereotype and that is where you got everyone's back up. Then when you showed your example of what was looking like trail riders or pleasure riders and not even actual horse trials, well that just solidified for some the "trolling" accusations. No one was confused by what you were orginally stated and most people are familar with what a hanging leg looks like. What we were "expecting" to see where multiple show pictures showing your original statement/observation.

I can't say Eventers haven't gone over to the H/J form and caused any trainwrecks either ;) but it has happened here definitely. Anyone remember the infamous Lion King thread? :eek: :cool: But out of that came the great horse flipping posts so a definite silver lining. :D

horseguy
Feb. 19, 2007, 11:20 AM
:lol::lol: I'm almost too afraid to laugh (the people from h/j land might come over and claw us to death in a catfight) but this is too funny :)
In view of the smiles my H/J experience has created, I will expand a little on that story. Not surprisingly, it did not end well. It began with me being in a new state, PA, after selling my farm to settle a divorce. I explain this to let readers know that I was an adult accustomed to having things my own way on a farm, but was at that time forced into new circumstances.

I was hired as primarily a horse trainer at a prestigious H/J farm. I was the low man in the totem pole, the only man on the farm. Nonetheless, I was “rewarded” for my diligence with the opportunity to teach group lessons after a while. Because my manly responsibilities included operating the tractor, I began using it "on the side" to make a secret cross country course around the farm. I used the tractor bucket to widen a ditch here and make a sort of bank there, all very inconspicuous. I used these improvements for training horses.

Eventually out of sheer boredom, and with a pledge of secrecy, I took a few students out on “my course”. After a while I had an all boys group lesson, something the farm had never seen. Since I was training horses there, I always rode, as is my custom, during lessons. In time I took my lesson groups off the property onto unposted farmland, and just as I was becoming comfortable in my job, I was found out. I recall the owner saying to me in my “evaluation”, “What do you think we are running here, a GD hack stable?” It was back to the indoor and outdoor arenas for me.

The last straw involved a snippy little girl and her crop. I was teaching transitions, and I instructed this student to hold her crop in her inside hand, and thus hold the horse between the aids of the crop and the wall of the indoor so that she could get a straight crisp transition by reinforcing her leg. She informed me that, “We never carry our crop in the inside hand.” I asked why (I had developed saint like patience at this H/J barn). The little snip in her condescending tone replied, “So the judge will not see it.“ I explained the “between the aids" concept again, and she rolled her eyes and refused my direction. I told her to dismount and leave the arena. She refused. I rode calmly over to her and told her to dismount, where by she tried to ride away from me. Considering this possibility, I had positioned myself so that I could grab her reins below the bit. I halted her horse and insisted that she dismount. She refused. I then informed her of the possibility of her reins being jerked sharply until her horse reared, such that she might slide of the rump of her horse. With this information she dismounted and left the lesson, and I returned to teaching.

Ah… the joys of the H/J children. The next day I returned to the same chair where I was told that this H/J barn was not a GD hack stable. I was directed to apologize to the little snip and her parents who had “purchased two very expensive horses" from my boss. The conversation that followed, which included my demand of an apology from the little snip, will always be my summary memory of “my Hunter/Jumper days”. Every rationale, every motivating word from this barn owner, who I had come to like, was about money and “how it works in this business.” Good character be da*ned. The responsibility of adults to contribute to the development of children didn’t matter. All that matter was the money. I was repulsed, actually sickened by this experience.

The good news was this resulted in me getting off my butt, renting a farm, and starting back on the long road to getting own place again, where for many years now I have sent snippy girls packing. My point is that, with only a few notable exceptions, it is my experience that the H/J world today lacks character. We have discussed many of the differences between the traditional equestrian sports and the new since 1970 show world. The character issue is, in my view, the big underlying difference. I apologize in advance to the exceptions like lessonlady, and I suspect that she knows of what I speak.

horseguy
Feb. 19, 2007, 11:23 AM
About all this hanging leg business. Just take your horse out hunting a few times and that tends to stop it. Diversity, now called cross training, fixes a lot of things.

pvcjumper
Feb. 19, 2007, 11:36 AM
here is a pro site.

http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/store.aspx?p=5242

This is a neat site! I dont get to see a lot of events, but i am going to volunteer at one in March :)

I just wanted to ask, the gray on this page... if you look at all the photos...

http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=2671347&g=05&s=75

That is not normal or acceptable either right? I know 'style' doesnt matter but the rider seems consistantly left way behind and the horse extremly hollowed out and inverted?? Is there a reason for jumping this way or maybe just a bad round or off day? I dont see most of the other riders jumping like this so i assume just an off day for horse and/or rider?

pvcjumper
Feb. 19, 2007, 11:53 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZ0O4hSsRZ4

this is more interesting than still photos -- watch how these intermediate horses deal with some tricky fences

you'll never see hunters manage this

These people are suicidal....
... ... I want to do it too!!! hmmmm.... just bought a vest yesterday...thats $250 down and an event horse left to go :winkgrin: ... and some experience ...

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 19, 2007, 12:05 PM
This is a neat site! I dont get to see a lot of events, but i am going to volunteer at one in March :)

I just wanted to ask, the gray on this page... if you look at all the photos...

http://www.photoreflect.com/pr3/ThumbPage.aspx?e=2671347&g=05&s=75

That is not normal or acceptable either right? I know 'style' doesnt matter but the rider seems consistantly left way behind and the horse extremly hollowed out and inverted?? Is there a reason for jumping this way or maybe just a bad round or off day? I dont see most of the other riders jumping like this so i assume just an off day for horse and/or rider?

Could be an "off" day such as the pinto and rider in the NAYRC video, or it could be the way these two work, which could be the result of lack of miles and experience or training. Hard to say taking a picture in time of a rider/horse combo that you don't know anything about. It's not a picture of what eventers strive for though ;)

I just have a couple of pictures of my own guy competing at prelim. Any BNT that I've talked to thinks this horse is extremely talented and Phillip D couldn't stop saying what a fantastic jumper he was when I had a clinic with him. I'm just using this as an example of form vs. Function because he needs to work on a lot of stuff that I can highlight in my pics.

Our first event - training level: Nice stretch, no effort, knees barely even because they don't have to be: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1413491103048917466naiMcH

Here's a good example. Prelim vertical 3'6", doesn't require much effort. He is safe and functional but his knees are not parallel to the ground. http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1455617268048917466MiLcMs

This is my favourite pic. This is his "hunter" jump that we are trying to work out of him. This is a bit of a stretch but he tends to pose like this over wider fences which can and has gotten him in trouble before if we have a long distance because he's not as "stretchy" over the fences as we'd like him to be in some instances. This is why often a "hunter jump" will not be functional on cross although it is in the pic.
http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1498746351048917466wPjtyA

And here we have knees up tight and nice and round over the large oxer in the woods. http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1498748876048917466UApwYp

And for fun: Nice stretch, staying nice and low with landing gear accessible on a downhill landing: http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1526954585048917466dSKahi

I think these highlight different "jumping styles" in an event horse and how form follows functions. A lot of the fences in eventing aren't that large, and when you have a talented horse, sometimes they don't put in the effort that others might have to. Conserve the energy for the big stuff ;)

Also, if you had a horse with a "hunter" jump at every fence, you'd have a hell of a time at a big drop fence because you need a horse who can jump a little flat and low at a drop in order to balance and prepare themselves for the landing. http://pets.webshots.com/photo/2332732900048917466WCyOmZ (Ignore me, it was my first drop of that size and I didn't slip enough rein) but he just skimmed over the fence and therefor had a successful landing.

Picture pretty is nice sometimes, but I speak from experience with my guy when I say, sometimes a little less "look at me, look at me" in the air is nice ;)

pvcjumper
Feb. 19, 2007, 12:05 PM
My point is that, with only a few notable exceptions, it is my experience that the H/J world today lacks character. We have discussed many of the differences between the traditional equestrian sports and the new since 1970 show world. The character issue is, in my view, the big underlying difference.

Honest question:

So what happens to people like me that dont fit in any one category and wants to do/try it all?

I have spent a LOT of my time riding horses that noone else wanted to, taught myself for a several years in H/J style to the best of my ability, recently got a trainer that i am ecstatic about who has experience in H/J/Eq/Dressage, I have recently started fox hunting at the end of last year, soon (next few weeks) i will have the opportunity to get behind the racing scene and try exercising steeplechasers (which i am still nervous/not sure of), i have a western background of 10+ years from when i was little, and now, i too want to try eventing because it helps me feel like i am completing a well rounded picture. Maybe i wont be good at all of it, maybe i will be ok at most, better at some, and sucky at others... but does it mean that I am characterless because i enjoy being picked apart in hunters, or that maybe i will have crappy riding style because i am interested in eventing? Does it mean i might end up a DQ because i think basic dressage can help probably any horse and rider at least a little?

Will i be a misfit because i want to try everything, and am involved already in several different disciplines? I am only 21 and i figure now is a good time for me to try my hand at all these different things while i still bounce off the ground relatively well:winkgrin: but does that mean i wont 'fit in' with any one group and will be judged by all of them?

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 19, 2007, 12:10 PM
Honest question:

Will i be a misfit because i want to try everything, and am involved already in several different disciplines? I am only 21 and i figure now is a good time for me to try my hand at all these different things while i still bounce off the ground relatively well:winkgrin: but does that mean i wont 'fit in' with any one group and will be judged by all of them?

It means you will be well rounded in your equestrian education and have an appreciation and understanding for other disciplines and will be less likely to judge yourself. :)

People always judge things they don't understand. It's human nature. Just ignore it if it does and continue on your education.

pvcjumper
Feb. 19, 2007, 12:12 PM
I just have a couple of pictures of my own guy competing at prelim. Any BNT that I've talked to thinks this horse is extremely talented and Phillip D couldn't stop saying what a fantastic jumper he was when I had a clinic with him. I'm just using this as an example of form vs. Function because he needs to work on a lot of stuff that I can highlight in my pics.



Very neat pictures! I am excited to get to watch one soon. I WAS going to watch a specific horse do XC last year... until he got DQ'd in dressage.... so my day was cut short and i only got to walk the course... didnt get to watch anything, but the jumps look neat and you can tell that they definitely require 'at the moment' thinking and riding. Its very obvious to me at least WHY there are different styles of jumping for each discipline and it requires something different of each horse/rider to make it work.

LookinSouth
Feb. 19, 2007, 01:32 PM
Leesonlady I agree that those pictures are less than desirable for any jumping discipline. Where I don't agree with you is that this is in any way "typical" of eventing. Quite frankly looking at some of the details in those photos none of them look like particularly accomplished riders or horses. Should I run out to my neighbor's who rides in a couple schooling hunter shows a year and snap some pictures and suggest they represent the "hunter world?" Because that's what the photos you have chosen look like to me.

Sure we have much fewer horses that jerk their knees up to their ears than hunters. We even have upper level horses you would consider hangers, but we are more interested in an athletic jump than a stylist jump. Knees up with level or higher forearms isn't the only determination of a quality jump or athleticism. Although in the years I worked on the HJ circuit you would have thought that how the horse used his knees was the ONLY indicator of form that mattered. It's not. You will see all kinds of jumping form in eventers.

:yes:
I agree. The pictures are clearly from some sort of schooling XC experience . Some of the riders are not even wearing vests. Even most schooling HT's at facilities that host rated HT's require vests. To me that is clear give away that these riders are probably not even eventers!! Perhaps they are H/J's out hacking a XC course??? And the horses are the like what the *** is this????:eek: As are the RIDERS!!!

BarbB
Feb. 19, 2007, 02:42 PM
I think she needs to do more homework to gain more responsiveness from her horse.


I think that if she is riding in the NAYRC she probably does a lot of homework.

I'm not defending the rider and I think we all learn from watching and being critical and trying to apply what we see to our own riding....that said.....

I have been to NAYRC (as a spectator, for those of you who have your mouths open to comment that there was no NAYRC that long ago because of the danger from dinosaurs) and was VERY impressed by the quality of the riding.
I was also somewhat surprised that there were not more meltdowns on and off course. The pressure on those riders at that competition was something that even uninvolved spectators could feel.
BNRs, BNTs, coaches, parents, family, school friends, TV cameras. I would imagine that a lot of them have never ridden a competition in that sort of pressure cooker.
Now add that they are suddenly riding for a team and not themselves.

I think the rider being discussed had a little bit of a meltdown. Not surprising. It's a learning experience.

BarbB
Feb. 19, 2007, 02:51 PM
Honest question:

So what happens to people like me that dont fit in any one category and wants to do/try it all?




Take every possible opportunity to do everything that you are interested in. When I was in high school I did barrel racing and pole bending. In my twenties I rode exercise on the track and did western pleasure, reining and was on a city police horse detail. I also put hundreds and hundreds of miles on trail riding, not competition, just get on the horse and go.
I packed into remote areas and learned to pack in and out and camp alone with a horse.
I stopped riding at all for a very long time and what got me back into it was a long time desire to learn to jump. I didn't have the opportunity when I was young. I am now officially addicted and obsessed with becoming a good jump rider.

I don't regret ANYTHING I learned to do with horses, I wish I had done more.

Hony
Feb. 19, 2007, 03:24 PM
IMO hanging a leg is not a common problem with eventers, nor are low forearms. The pics that were used to demonstrate by the OP were over such low jumps that the horses barely had to make an effort to jump them. They looked more like they were in half a canter stride than an actual jump.
90% of the photos I look at have nice looking jumpers. They are not the same form as a hunter because they have to move a bit quicker and they have to deal with varying terrain.

If you were to compare a top hunter with a top eventer you would see a significant difference. The top hunter would show a better bascule because he would not be galloping. A top eventer would likely be a bit more flat because he would be galloping.
A top hunter should roll his shoulder over the jump. A top jumper, or eventer is more likely to snap up his legs.
This is in a way a silly discussion because the fact is that top hunters and top eventers come from different bloodlines and styles. They could not possibly jump the same because the ideal conformation for each type is totally different and offers a totally different jump. Of course they're different, not better or worse, just different.

horseguy
Feb. 19, 2007, 04:38 PM
So what happens to people like me that dont fit in any one category and wants to do/try it all?
It means that you want to be a horseman (term inclusive of women) and that’s the highest aspiration that a rider can have, in my opinion. Consider that this current trend of specialization may be a temporary trend. It certainly has no basis in history. Up until recently a rider that was active in only one discipline was considered quite limited. There is a great story about Harry D. Chamberlin, perhaps the greatest American rider ever. He was in Italy for an international jumping competition, having traveled there with the US Team’s horses in the same ocean liner with plans to be in Europe for a while. As the story goes, he read in the paper about a dressage competition on Germany. They loaded up the horses onto a train and went to Germany where Chamberlin beat all the Germans at their own game. He was a great horseman, played polo, and hunted, like Gen. George Patton and many others.

This specialization business will eventually run its course because horses are capable of doing so much more than one discipline. Riders will eventually figure out that the commercial interests are simply trying to sort everyone into their market segment and control them in order to obtain their money. Then riders will again wish like you pvcjumper, to be real horsemen. You are just a little ahead of your time. Others wil catch up.

bornfreenowexpensive
Feb. 19, 2007, 06:10 PM
I just have a couple of pictures of my own guy competing at prelim. Any BNT that I've talked to thinks this horse is extremely talented and Phillip D couldn't stop saying what a fantastic jumper he was when I had a clinic with him. I'm just using this as an example of form vs. Function because he needs to work on a lot of stuff that I can highlight in my pics.




Jazzy Lady...your guy looked great in all the pictures. He looks scopy and effective....you will have a blast with him.

Janet
Feb. 19, 2007, 06:38 PM
I think that the difference is that in a hunter show, form IS the objecitve, it is what the horse is judged on.

For eventers, and for jumpers, form is simply a means to the end- jumping cleanly and effecively.

"All other things being equal" (which they never are), the eventer or jumper will chose the horse with "classically correct" jumping form.

But there are plenty of horses with "classically correct" jumping form who are simply not athletic enough to be eventers (I've worked with a couple of them). They have difficulty dealing with uneven ground.

Conversely, there are plenty of horses with jumping form that is far from classically correct, but who are athletic enough to compensate.

The most well known example in jumpers is Hans Gunther Winkler's Olympic level jumper, Halla. Although he worked very hard to improve her form, she DID regularly "hang" her knees, but she just jumped higher to compensate.

Eventers are not LOOKING for horses that hang their knees. And in an unproven prospect, it would be a definite drawback. But when a horse has already proven itself, it can be forgiven.

subk
Feb. 19, 2007, 06:49 PM
"All other things being equal" (which they never are), the eventer or jumper will chose the horse with "classically correct" jumping form.
I agree with everything Janet said. I'm just curious as to her definintion of "classically correct." If classically correct means they jump with their knees up around their eyeballs then thanks, but I'll pass! I'm to old to put up having to ride that jump--I generally have other things to think about over the top of a fence than staying on!

Janet
Feb. 19, 2007, 07:02 PM
I agree with everything Janet said. I'm just curious as to her definintion of "classically correct." If classically correct means they jump with their knees up around their eyeballs then thanks, but I'll pass! I'm to old to put up having to ride that jump--I generally have other things to think about over the top of a fence than staying on!
MY definition of "classically correct" (when jumping a fence of decent height at a show jumping pace) is
Straight (not twisting)
Upper front leg parallel with the ground (but not necessarily up near the eyes!).
Rounded rather than flat- if you draw a line from the poll to the base of the tail, it passes a LITTLE below the withers (but not neccesarily down by the rider's knee!)
Hind legs tucked up nicely out of the way.

Jazzy Lady
Feb. 19, 2007, 11:19 PM
Jazzy Lady...your guy looked great in all the pictures. He looks scopy and effective....you will have a blast with him.

Awe, thanks bornfree! He is a tonne of fun. Sometimes he's got that jump you out of the tack power, but I put up with it for his talent ;) hahhaa... or rather he puts up with me for my carrots!!!

flyracing
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:05 AM
I think that if she is riding in the NAYRC she probably does a lot of homework.

I'm not defending the rider and I think we all learn from watching and being critical and trying to apply what we see to our own riding....that said.....

I have been to NAYRC (as a spectator, for those of you who have your mouths open to comment that there was no NAYRC that long ago because of the danger from dinosaurs) and was VERY impressed by the quality of the riding.
I was also somewhat surprised that there were not more meltdowns on and off course. The pressure on those riders at that competition was something that even uninvolved spectators could feel.
BNRs, BNTs, coaches, parents, family, school friends, TV cameras. I would imagine that a lot of them have never ridden a competition in that sort of pressure cooker.
Now add that they are suddenly riding for a team and not themselves.

I think the rider being discussed had a little bit of a meltdown. Not surprising. It's a learning experience.

Thanks Barb, I think you hit it head on. I was in the same boat in '05. I had two stops at fence 18 (angled skinnies). My horse locked on to the second fence and I had to literally pull him off of it. Totally rattled our confidence and he then stopped at the A when represented. After the second stop, I WALKED a circle, I was ready to flip out and needed a second to figure out that after traveling from Idaho, spending 10 weeks as a working student in TX and then traveling to VA, that I was NOT geting eliminated. He ended up jumping and we finished the rest of the course. I was heartbroken after all the hard work!! (that was our last event of the season, we played in the jumpers a bit that fall)

I started pounding my fists on the table when I saw his approach to the water, he had the same look I could feel in my horse at young riders! I felt the pain all over again (even though I didn't get eliminated). It's the only time I remember being on course and thinking 'this can't being happening, it's all over'! Usually there is always another horse trial, but this was my one chance at YRs. I had friends and family fly in from Idaho and believe me it's a pressure cooker (I was in my third season of showing and eventing too)

But your right its a learing experiance, I haven't made the same mistake of letting a situation rule my riding since.

What I would have done different: In her situation I probably couldn't have done any better at that time, I know how hard it is to ride that last stide when everythings riding on it. Pun intended.

PS We redeemed ourselves (a little) by being one of three horses to go double clean in stadium Sunday!!

flyracing
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:08 AM
To the OP, I think most things have been said, but add my boy to your eventer photo list :D

http://kateshorses.myphotoalbum.com/

flyracing
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:19 AM
:D Just saw this, Australian champ I think. Would make a hunter proud!

http://www.auseventhorse.com.au/lska2.jpg

Lessonlady
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:32 AM
Flyracing - I love both those horses! A good athlete is a good athlete! :-D

Lessonlady
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:35 AM
BarbB - Yes, I am sure you are right about the amount of pressure on the kids at NAYRC. That makes perfect sense. A young friend of mine rode in it and said while it was wonderful, it was very intense. She did very well but she handles pressure better than most.

sunhawk
Feb. 20, 2007, 12:30 PM
Honest question:

So what happens to people like me that dont fit in any one category and wants to do/try it all?

I have spent a LOT of my time riding horses that noone else wanted to, taught myself for a several years in H/J style to the best of my ability, recently got a trainer that i am ecstatic about who has experience in H/J/Eq/Dressage, I have recently started fox hunting at the end of last year, soon (next few weeks) i will have the opportunity to get behind the racing scene and try exercising steeplechasers (which i am still nervous/not sure of), i have a western background of 10+ years from when i was little, and now, i too want to try eventing because it helps me feel like i am completing a well rounded picture. Maybe i wont be good at all of it, maybe i will be ok at most, better at some, and sucky at others... but does it mean that I am characterless because i enjoy being picked apart in hunters, or that maybe i will have crappy riding style because i am interested in eventing? Does it mean i might end up a DQ because i think basic dressage can help probably any horse and rider at least a little?

Will i be a misfit because i want to try everything, and am involved already in several different disciplines? I am only 21 and i figure now is a good time for me to try my hand at all these different things while i still bounce off the ground relatively well:winkgrin: but does that mean i wont 'fit in' with any one group and will be judged by all of them?
Don't worry so much about labels, just do what you do because you enjoy doing it.

wannabegifted
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:00 PM
oh crap, thank goodness for this thread... I thought my mare was a good jumper. Come to find out, all eventers are bad jumpers!!!! (obviously a joke) :p you can add theses to the eventer photos!

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1364686499061630255wAxXSn

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1428302890061630255SBsefW

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1511994536061630255BgKckK

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1398755549061630255mtRuav

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1457253728061630255aOFxds

some of my other bad jumpers...

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1530989933061630255BuhlxA

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1530989641061630255YfOfsW

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1270293341061630255hqbGuH

http://www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine/Rick%20red%20hills%20jumping.JPG



couldn't resist!

Ja Da Dee
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:12 PM
Well, I read this and finally understand why everyone mentions how my horse has a "back cracking jump" ... and why he so often pops me out of the tack. /:

Haiku to the back cracking jump...

I float above him
o-round back over the jump
helps not my poor seat

will I land on him
he throws me from the saddle
pray I don't hit dirt

I must learn a-new
some say heals down is the clue
keep buns in saddles

Eventer13
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:45 PM
Love it, Ja Da Dee!

Invested1
Feb. 20, 2007, 01:51 PM
oh crap, thank goodness for this thread... I thought my mare was a good jumper. Come to find out, all eventers are bad jumpers!!!! (obviously a joke) :p you can add theses to the eventer photos!

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1364686499061630255wAxXSn

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1428302890061630255SBsefW

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1511994536061630255BgKckK

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1398755549061630255mtRuav

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1457253728061630255aOFxds

some of my other bad jumpers...

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1530989933061630255BuhlxA

http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/1530989641061630255YfOfsW

http://pets.webshots.com/photo/1270293341061630255hqbGuH

http://www.freewebs.com/teamtangerine/Rick%20red%20hills%20jumping.JPG

couldn't resist!


You are right, those jumpers are VERY dangerous. I think it best for you to just give them to me. :lol: :lol:

BarbB
Feb. 20, 2007, 02:16 PM
never mind....

Whisper
Feb. 20, 2007, 03:52 PM
Honest question:
Will i be a misfit because i want to try everything, and am involved already in several different disciplines?
Some instructors do seem to want their students to stick to one specialty, especially beginners. Noone else seems to have any problem with people who cross-train! In the last year I've showed Dressage, Hunters, Eq, Jumpers, eventing, and vaulting. I've also gotten out on the trails, and ridden bareback and Western occasionally. I was going to go foxhunting last weekend, but it was cancelled due to the footing, but I still hope to get out there this season. If I can work out the logistics, I plan to show in all of those disciplines again, and maybe some Hunter Paces, Competitive Trail, and possibly Western, as well as going horse camping. :D If I ever get the opportunity, I'd love to learn how to drive, and ride sidesaddle. I don't have the nerve for the huge fences, or the money to be likely to make it to Grand Prix Dressage. My eventual goals are to be able to competently ride at Training Level eventing (ideally doing a T3D), 2nd Level Dressage, 3'6" H/J, and have fun with the horses along the way! I hope you get to do everything you want to as well.

Lessonlady
Feb. 20, 2007, 04:43 PM
Wannabegifted - I love those "bad" jumpers! They are my kind of horses! :-D

RugBug
Feb. 20, 2007, 06:00 PM
Considering this possibility, I had positioned myself so that I could grab her reins below the bit. I halted her horse and insisted that she dismount. She refused. I then informed her of the possibility of her reins being jerked sharply until her horse reared, such that she might slide of the rump of her horse. With this information she dismounted and left the lesson, and I returned to teaching.

<snip>Good character be da*ned. The responsibility of adults to contribute to the development of children didn’t matter.


You think you exhibited good character in that situation? Interesting.

If I was the trainer at the barn, even if you were the second coming of Littauer (or Caprilli, if you choose) and you pulled that with a student, you would be fired.

ideayoda
Feb. 20, 2007, 08:21 PM
Almost all the horses shown who were hanging did not have a correct take off. That is why we do stadium fences/caveletti/bounces/etc, to help the horse modify its jumping style to be safer given what territory it is jumping over.

beeblebrox
Feb. 20, 2007, 09:52 PM
wannabegifted

Anytime you want to pay me to take those bad jumpers off your plate I will. My god how do you live with yourself!

NICE pictures............................

:-)

wannabegifted
Feb. 21, 2007, 08:34 AM
Thanks guys, I know. I am ashamed to be seen on them most of the time.