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  1. #1
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    Default Distances- who was right?

    Had a lesson with my trainer this afternoon on my Novice-going-up-to-intermediate horse. Rue has a very long stride. Trainer sent us to jump a double, which rides very short. Rather than asking him to put the stride in, I pushed on and bounced it.

    It worked very well with a nice neat jump out. My trainer was annoyed that I haden't asked for the stride, and snapped at me about it. Basically, she said that it was a one stride, I should had added the stride and sent me back to do it again. I collected him on approch, fit the stride in and got an awful jump out. He hung a knee and nearly flipped us both.

    Had the striding worked out longer on this jump, then I would always add the stride. Because of the ground (it's on a slope) there's not enough room for Rue to put in a stride. Was I right to ask for the bounce? I'm wondering if my trainer was right and I should have collected him even more to get it.
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  2. #2
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    what was the distance in meters or feet?



  3. #3
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    Its hard without knowing the exact distance.

    That said your trainer probably knows he has a huge stride and knew the distance was short. The point of the exercise was probably to make him more adjustable/shorten his stride up. So, asking him to bounce it probably defeated the whole purpose of the exercise and probably asked him to open up his stride even more.

    I'm making a couple of assumptions, but any horse that is jumping needs to learn how to adjust his stride - especially if it is as big as you say.



  4. #4
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    As snoopy said, the distance is important.

    But in general, bouncing a combination intended to be jumped in one stride is very dangerous. When you're measuring a combination, you start with 12' for the take off and landing, and add in 12' for each stride. Thus, a one stride is 24', a two stride is 36', etc.

    To take out one stride from a 5 stride combination (72'), you need 4 15' strides assuming a normal jump arc, or 14.4' per stride plus a long takeoff and long landing.

    To take out one stride from a one stride combination, you're asking the horse for the equivalent of a 24' stride. Not quite that, because he can and will cut down on the far side (land close). But still. Keep in mind that Secretariat's stride was documented at 25' (maybe not at full throttle) and that Man O' War's was said to be 30'. You're asking for a stride that is extraordinary for a horse, and you're doing it with obstacles. I don't know any trainer who would be OK with a student bouncing a correctly set one stride under any circumstances.

    If, as you say, this is a horse aimed at the upper levels, not only does he need to be able to jump a one stride correctly, but he will also need to be able to bounce a true bounce with solid obstacles. I didn't see your lesson, but assuming your trainer is competent and the one stride was set correctly, I think the problem is that you probably didn't truly "collect" him. Maybe you slowed him down, but that is not the same thing as shortening the step while maintaining the same energy level.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    As snoopy said, the distance is important.

    But in general, bouncing a combination intended to be jumped in one stride is very dangerous. When you're measuring a combination, you start with 12' for the take off and landing, and add in 12' for each stride. Thus, a one stride is 24', a two stride is 36', etc.

    To take out one stride from a 5 stride combination (72'), you need 4 15' strides assuming a normal jump arc, or 14.4' per stride plus a long takeoff and long landing.

    To take out one stride from a one stride combination, you're asking the horse for the equivalent of a 24' stride. Not quite that, because he can and will cut down on the far side (land close). But still. Keep in mind that Secretariat's stride was documented at 25' (maybe not at full throttle) and that Man O' War's was said to be 30'. You're asking for a stride that is extraordinary for a horse, and you're doing it with obstacles. I don't know any trainer who would be OK with a student bouncing a correctly set one stride under any circumstances.

    If, as you say, this is a horse aimed at the upper levels, not only does he need to be able to jump a one stride correctly, but he will also need to be able to bounce a true bounce with solid obstacles. I didn't see your lesson, but assuming your trainer is competent and the one stride was set correctly, I think the problem is that you probably didn't truly "collect" him. Maybe you slowed him down, but that is not the same thing as shortening the step while maintaining the same energy level.



    absolutely agree poltroon.



  6. #6
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    Distance is key, as is what you were jumping. Leaving a true stride out can be dangerous, especially if the out is a big wide oxer. I can guarantee you that if I had made that decision, I would not have survived the lesson... not because of an accident, but because my trainer would have murdered me.

    Aside from that, everything Poltroon said is spot on. You bounced it first, which set your horse on an open stride and making it 5 times harder to get the true stride the 2nd time through. I remember a lesson with a good jumper rider (she is known, but probably not considered BNT) where she set a 4 stride line. After riding the correct stride several times, the object was to collect and set as many strides as you could without chipping or losing impulsion. It was hard, but one of the girls I rode with managed to get a lovely 7 in the set distance on a normally big strided horse. It was awesome to watch that big thing sit right back on his hocks in a powerful but super-collected canter.



  7. #7
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    At the O'Connor camp this year, I watched David (on his Walk on The Moon, who's probably a prelim level horse) and Amy Tryon (on one of her less-experienced horses), set up a normal 5-stride line, a 4' vertical to a probably 3'9" squarish oxer. Then they went through in 5 even strides--then 6 even strides, 7, 8, and 9. It was lovely to watch.



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gully's pilot View Post
    At the O'Connor camp this year, I watched David (on his Walk on The Moon, who's probably a prelim level horse) and Amy Tryon (on one of her less-experienced horses), set up a normal 5-stride line, a 4' vertical to a probably 3'9" squarish oxer. Then they went through in 5 even strides--then 6 even strides, 7, 8, and 9. It was lovely to watch.

    Yes, David does some wonderful adjustability exercises with some fantastic results.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    Trainer sent us to jump a double, which rides very short. Rather than asking him to put the stride in, I pushed on and bounced it.
    Your trainer might also have snapped at you because she was annoyed that you ignored her instructions. Why did you decide to push on and bounce it? Perhaps next time you could talk to your trainer about feeling unable to do the exercise, instead of just disregarding her directions. My guess is that she knew it rode short and wanted you to practice shortening for a reason. If she had known you had a problem with this she might have given you more details about how to do it, started you out with a longer distance and gradually shortened it, practiced shortening the stride on the flat or over poles first, etc.

    If you do not trust this trainer, why not? If you do trust her, why pay her to teach you but not do as she says?



  10. #10
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    Looks like I owe my boy a big hug for saving mu bacon today then. (Where's the embarrased icon?) He is usually very adjustable, and thinking about it, you're all right. I should have fit the stride in. I'm having a few physical issues that make it uncomfortable for me to ride and I took the easy option.

    I do trust my trainer. I've just never had something like this happen before. She didn't give my any spercific instuctions for this jump, so I didn't think 'oh, I know better than her here'. I don't know more than her, and the more I learn the less I know
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    Looks like I owe my boy a big hug for saving mu bacon today then. (Where's the embarrased icon?) He is usually very adjustable, and thinking about it, you're all right. I should have fit the stride in. I'm having a few physical issues that make it uncomfortable for me to ride and I took the easy option.

    I do trust my trainer. I've just never had something like this happen before. She didn't give my any spercific instuctions for this jump, so I didn't think 'oh, I know better than her here'. I don't know more than her, and the more I learn the less I know

    Sounds like she's doing a good job teaching you....but perhaps should have taken the time to explain the purpose of riding a line that rides short. I have a big scopey youngster. The horse can jump a dump truck....and he has a big stride. Getting that big boy to shorten his stride isn't always the easiest thing...and since he has more bravery than brains right now, the fences don't back him off (so I do have to really ride). NOW as he is still learning, I'm trying very very VERY hard to not have him learn that he can leave out that stride. Like your boy, he could do it very easily now....but that will create a hole in his training (and mine) that will eventually catch up to us. So while it may be easy for both of you now.....take the time to do it right, add that stride in this situation....and know that you are making him (and yourself) better prepared for when things get harder.


    I'm often practicing lines that ride both short and other lines that ride long.....know what the excercise is trying to teach you and do the exercise in the manner that lets you both learn the most.

    He sounds like a great horse!
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  12. #12
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    I went through this at my lesson this week (although my Novice horse is just a plain just moved up to Novice horse, with a huge stride). My trainer set up a two stride, Pol and I did it comfortably in one, and she said something along the lines of "Go back and do it and this time you better get two d*mn strides in it!" So I did it again, got one and a half, and flattened the second part. Did it a third time and as we came down to it Apollo came back to me on his own This weekend at our event there was an in and out at the end of the stadium, and when I walked it I thought, long two or short three, and ordinarily I would have done the long two, but wow, the short three rode nice! I can't wait to see my pictures!

    I hate, hate, hate the feeling of getting in close (almost as much as my big lazy TB does) but something that has been drummed into my head over and over is--better to chip in than get the long spot.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    Sounds like she's doing a good job teaching you....but perhaps should have taken the time to explain the purpose of riding a line that rides short. I have a big scopey youngster. The horse can jump a dump truck....and he has a big stride. Getting that big boy to shorten his stride isn't always the easiest thing...and since he has more bravery than brains right now, the fences don't back him off (so I do have to really ride). NOW as he is still learning, I'm trying very very VERY hard to not have him learn that he can leave out that stride. Like your boy, he could do it very easily at the lower levels (Prelim and below)....but that will create a hole in his training (and mine) that will eventually catch up to us. So while it may be easy for both of you now.....take the time to do it right, add that stride in this situation....and know that you are making him (and yourself) better prepared for when things get harder.


    I'm often practicing lines that ride both short and other lines that ride long.....know what the excercise is trying to teach you and do the exercise in the manner that lets you both learn the most.

    He sounds like a great horse!
    Are you me?

    Thank you, he is a great boy. He is so athletic and has such a big stride that he just skips around. The fences today were 3'3, and he made them feel like a groundpole!

    What are you doing with your boy to teach him to be adjustable? I'm always on the lookout for new exercises for my boy because he's so darn smart!
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Highflyer View Post
    I went through this at my lesson this week (although my Novice horse is just a plain just moved up to Novice horse, with a huge stride). My trainer set up a two stride, Pol and I did it comfortably in one, and she said something along the lines of "Go back and do it and this time you better get two d*mn strides in it!" So I did it again, got one and a half, and flattened the second part. Did it a third time and as we came down to it Apollo came back to me on his own This weekend at our event there was an in and out at the end of the stadium, and when I walked it I thought, long two or short three, and ordinarily I would have done the long two, but wow, the short three rode nice! I can't wait to see my pictures!

    I hate, hate, hate the feeling of getting in close (almost as much as my big lazy TB does) but something that has been drummed into my head over and over is--better to chip in than get the long spot.
    I hate getting in close too. Scares the life out of me sometimes! You boy sounds a lot like mine too.
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  15. #15
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    Lightbulb Use stadium jumps for stride adjustment practice

    If you are experimenting with strides adjustment, you should use stadium jumps for stride practice. Was the slope up hill or down hill? That would definitely make a difference on how to ride it too. Please make sure your horse is adjustable in stadium before you attempt weird distances with slopes cross country. Stadium jumps are much more forgiving than fixed jumps. You said your horse almost flipped............. Be Careful......



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    Are you me?

    Thank you, he is a great boy. He is so athletic and has such a big stride that he just skips around. The fences today were 3'3, and he made them feel like a groundpole!

    What are you doing with your boy to teach him to be adjustable? I'm always on the lookout for new exercises for my boy because he's so darn smart!

    Well my boy is much younger and has enough scope that several jumper people have told me they want him if I ever sell him.....and is one of the bravest young horses I've ever sat on. It isn't always a good thing!! LOL. I do a lot of work on his dressage....the better more adjustable his flat work becomes, of course the easier he gets jump. Damnit...dressage does influence jumping!

    I do lots of stadium jumps with placing poles before and after the fences both in the trot and canter. Sometimes putting down a rail for every stride! LOTS and LOTS of bounces.....including things like a double bounce two strides to a wider jump like a hogs back two strides to a double bounce...that woke him up! Lots of jumping and turning....figure 8 over two fences or three fences in a serpentine....lots of bending lines trying to bend the lines so we add a stride instead of jumping the direct line.

    And just basically trying hard not to rush with this boy. It is tempting because he has talent...but I need to get his brains working better than mine so he can save our joint behinds when he moves up the levels!
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  17. #17
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    Re: adjustability exercises

    I spent a lot of time working over poles with my mare. Start with 5 canter rails 9' apart, and gradually roll them in; upper level horses should be able to maintain a balanced, active stride over the rails set at 5'. It took several lessons for my mare to get down to 6', but it is a really cool feeling. Once you have that extreme adjustability, you can play around with it over straight lines; over poles to start, then low fences.

    I also set up two rails at 12'... open up her stride to "bounce" them, and then shorten to fit a full stride in between. This helps to prevent backwards riding (or thinking!), while still maintaining flexibility.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by kookicat View Post
    I'm having a few physical issues that make it uncomfortable for me to ride and I took the easy option.

    I do trust my trainer. I've just never had something like this happen before. She didn't give my any spercific instuctions for this jump, so I didn't think 'oh, I know better than her here'. I don't know more than her, and the more I learn the less I know
    I'm with bornfree-- it sounds like your trainer perhaps needed to communicate some more about the exercise she was asking you to do. Communication disconnects happen to the best of us. If something doesn't make sense to you, don't be afraid to ask. Sorry you are uncomfortable riding-- I hope you feel better soon.



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