I agree with everyone on the forward issue, and the straightness, but I'd like to add that I'd be careful which jumps I aimed him at until you can be confident. I didn't see one jump where you just galloped and jumped. Until you can do that, I'm not sure what you'll accomplish messing with the combinations, and especially the half coffin. Some of the jumps I thought it was a good thing he stopped, he didn't have enough impulsion to get over them!
I would stop trying for the perfect approach. Just get up in your two point and gallop him at something, even a 6" log. He has to learn to GO TO a jump when he sees it. Then move up to bigger stuff. Combinations come much later.
It's not necessary to warm up in a dressage frame. Again, I'd like to see you in w point galloping. Until you can do it in warm up, it won't happen jumping.
And you have a great position and feel, you just need to understand getting his engine going.
First off, Charlie is adorable.
Secondly, he needs to be more forward, as everyone else has said. He was being silly --- he wasn't afraid of those jumps, and lord knows he had no need to tap the one jump with a foot. Can we say LAZY? Some good smacks with a crop, you using more leg, and you committing to the jump --- head to the jump, know you are going over it, and GO!
You ride well. But I think Charlie is too big for you, so please send him to me! :-)
Add a neck strap and keep your hands in it (this will give YOU confidence). GO FORWARD. Even when he is feeling UP they can not buck as hard if they are going forward...besides, if you keep his head up (a nice bridge in the reins and the neck strap can help with that) he will not be able to get you off.
I second what many of the others have said but add one more thing...throw a bigger party for him when he does jump. Yes, you need to be aggressive and committed before the fence but then when he does jump....GOOD BOY, pats or scratches within the first stride off the fence...make a BIG FUSS over him (you did a little but need to do more) AND LET HIM gallop off. You seem quick to pull up or slow down...and on a horse like this, it is all about having fun galloping on even if you are a bit out of control for a little while. You want him to jump and think he is KING and let him go on a bit. That is what will get him braver and thinking more forward.
ETA: You look like a lovely rider and I would suspect come from a more H/J background. You like having control. That is what you need to give up a little right now. XC riding is all about letting go of your control a bit and being comfortable with that. You look perfectly capable and so does your horse....be confident in that.
I really appreciate all the advice and comments (and especially compliments on how cute my "pony" is ;)) I know he's a bit big for me, but that's how he came, and everything else "clicked" so I didn't mind the size difference.
It might be hard to believe but I actually do ride this horse more forward at home--even when riding out in the fields/on the trails over our little XC jumps at home. He also goes in a snaffle at home, even out in the jump field and doing "gallop sets" (okay, more like forward canter sets) on the trails.
I have very much seen the errors of my ways holding myself/my horse back...unfortunately, that was definitely the last XC school of the year (winter has come to NY), so hopefully I haven't permanently installed bad habits in my horse.
If I read correctly the folks who were saying he was too big were joking and trying to steal your horse.
Typical eventer humor. :)
Originally Posted by cleozowner
Gad no you have not installed unfixable bad habits in your horse. Not at all. Just print this thread...and read it before your next xc school next year. You are doing fine....and will do fine!
I think you are doing a great job. I agree with what other posters are saying - particularly about going to a jump with authority.
However, he is still a bit green to jumping, the flowers seemed to back him off a bit at first, then he was quite genuine. I'd suggest warming him up around the jumps, without making it your intention to show him the jumps obviously, but rather work around them. So, do some circling around the ditch, spiraling in & out. The work isn't about the ditch but they get to see it from all angles & learn that they must work even though there could clearly be a monster right next to them, about to jump out from said ditch ;) Usually a circle is a safe-place for a horse, we spend lots of time going around in them :lol: , and it can be a good way to mentally make it 'safer' for them.
As a rider, it also gives you more confidence knowing that they've seen it, which is probably just as important as the horse seeing the scary jump.
I rarely contribute to these "critiqueing" threads, because I'm not a trainer, however....speaking of trainers. I know the video was edited quite a bit, but all I heard from your trainer was "ride, ride". In my 25+ yrs. of eventing I've taken lessons from numerous instructors. I can recall only 2 that I took nothing away from the lessons. One was what yours sounded like. Her main comment was "now ride, ride!". Ok, I AM riding, can you be a little more specific. :confused:
Other than that I agree with everyone. You have a very nice position, but your horse isn't going forward. And, yes, he's really cute!
Nah, I'm not joking. He's way too big for you but perfect for me :lol::lol::lol:
Originally Posted by Xctrygirl
My guess is the trainer is telling exactly what everyone on here is saying. Off camera, she may be talking in length about what needs to be done when the rider is standing around. But when a rider is on their horse, across a field, focused on a jump, simple instructions are clearest for most riders. "ride, ride, ride!" is probably code for 'sit up, leg on, tunnel the reins, eyes up, don't give up...." Same way when someone's having stopping problems and my trainer yells "attack, attack, attack!" or "GALLLLLLOOOOOOOP".
Originally Posted by Toadie's mom
I have not read all of the wisdom posted here but figure I'll take a shot. First of all, why so much hardware in his mouth? I am not knocking you in ANY WAY but you are a little clutchy bc you are a little nervous (believe me, I get that) so I would put him in a full cheek snaffle. It will help keep him a little straighter and when you take an unnecessary tug he won't get so much braking power in his face. He does not look like a runaway to me so soften up your brakes. 2ndly, where's your stick? Always carry a stick. He's green, you're timid, get a stick and give him a crack with it when he says nope. Even if he says no bc you said it first. Look at the top of the jump till it disappears between his ears, then look out ahead for your next fence. Don't be looking down at the jump. Train him to be a little quicker off your leg by using it less. You shouldn't be squeeeezing all the time. Put on a neck strap-one, for your own balance/grip if you get worried, 2 so you can have a place to reach your hands over the jump. You need to oil your elbows and make them more flexible. Do some cantering around in 2-point and canter your jumps. I think the very controlled trot, albeit LOVELY, is working against you. XC is meant to be forward. You can't think forward if you're clutching into a dressage trot to a flowery log. Get going! Your horse is divine and you look like a very happy pair. Have fun!! Send more videos!
If you aren't going to get back out xc for a while you can work on scary jumps at home. Throw a cooler over a rail, or drag a (safe) object under a small vertical. For example, I had a spare rubbermaid water tank out for Sandy, and put it under a jump after I dumped it. I also use "brush" that I get when I trim my cypresses back. Be creative!
He goes in a french-link boucher at home, but earlier in the ride when he decided to be a turd (ack! the wind!) and buck/"run" (I put it in quotation marks because he IS a lazy draft cross, after all), I literally cannot stop him without the pelham. I agree I was too handsy that day, though. :sigh:
Originally Posted by RiverBendPol
I actually WAS carrying a crop...I can't believe that I never used it after watching the video and seeing how backwards we were at times.
@kcmel, I'm going to try and come up with some ideas for scarier jumps!
I really appreciate the advice. Charlie and I are going to work hard, and hopefully next spring I'll have a much improved video for me to share!