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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default Changing leads during a course in lines?

    Okay so I am prepared to get burned. However, I was jumping yesterday and while I went to re-watch my video I noticed that my guy was changing his leads in between the lines. Is that bad, does it mean anything? It actually is never a constant lead, like always switching to the left, etc. He's never done it before and just curious on your thoughts.

    Also if you have any critiques Id love to hear them. I think we are slowly coming along. that is a 2'9 course...actually I think the last fence is 3ft.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref...v=508168813961


    Sorry it is a facebook video for those who might not be able to see it.

    Thanks again!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 28, 2008
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    1,418

    Default

    I only got to see the first line b/c then the video quit but it's very common for a horse to swap its lead in front of a fence when the distance is long and they're having to reach (like the second jump in that line).



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin
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    Default

    It's called "swapping off" and it's not good. It is considered a fault by judges.

    Some things that can cause it include poor steering, bad distances, and lack of athleticism. Some be-straight poles through the line may help. Make sure you're not getting out long, as that is a prime place to swap. Try to stay very straight and even and quiet between the fences.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Yeah a lot of those distances seemed long to me, but I was told that the distances I was aiming for was what the course was set for. I know hes athletic, you should see what he saves me over! But hes never done this before, but I have also never really worked with him on pushing him forward to get distances. I'm in the process of getting comfortable to see distances. So the lines were made so I can add or do the lines correctly and practice my pace. Maybe they are too long.
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    There is really no "correct" lead within a line but they have to stay on the lead they land on, no swapping off. Alot will swap to the strong side at the base, especially if it's a long spot or bad distance. It is a fault.

    He is switching to his left because that is the strong lead (they all have them, usually left), try to work on holding whatever lead you land on within your line-it's not so easy unless you are pretty adept over fences so you may need your trainer to get on him for a few rides. Work on strengthening the right side with lateral work on the flat and excercises over ground poles.

    I cannot see the video so hard to say but if he is swapping in the line itself not just the base on a bad spot? I had that last year and it was new on one I have had forever. It was a soundness issue-she's got bad hocks so we figured the one that never finished fusing was in progress and she could use a hock job I could not afford at that point so I just quit showing for the fall and let her rest. Imagine our surprise when the farrier found huge stone bruises on both front toes on the next trim and reshoe-pasture ground was hard as a rock last fall. Never lame and never moved short, just could not hold a lead because it hurt her feet when she landed. She is fine now but I may put her up in a rim pad this summer.

    Anytime things change like that, something is wrong so if this is new, you need to consult your vet. Likely culprit is hocks or bruising in the feet or a sore back or any number of other things. If you want to show and continue to move up, you need to fix this or it will kill you in good competition.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008
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    Default

    Lots of horses will swap off if the last stride ends up being a little long. You can correct it by making sure you ride to the base of the jumps.

    If you find something riding a little longer than it measures, ride more forward to it. Sometimes there may be something you can't really see (a little incline in the arena, a little spotlight nerves) that makes it ride differently.

    If you have one that swaps no matter what, use a little outside leg, slight opening of inside hand, and contact with outside rein to hold him on the lead. You can also use this when you ride up to something that ends up being a little long despite your best intentions to ride to the base (it happens!) Think the same cues you use to hold a horse in counter-canter -- those cues can be used to hold a horse in a lead anywhere else too.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2007
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    Alpharetta
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    Default

    I'll agree with what everyone else has sad. But to me your have a bigger problem and that is chasing your horse to the fence and pumping with your upper body, you are riding upside down.

    You are not riding forward like you think you are, and you think you are because you are going fast. But you are not riding forward you are chasing him off the ground to go faster.

    Going fast does not equal forward.

    If you ask me, I would go back to some basic work with him, he is a cute good guy and with some sound flat work you could be doing 2'9" course in no time.
    You need to learn about self carriage and sitting lightly and quietly in the saddle, your distances need to relate the size of the fence as well as your pace, needs to relate to the size of the fence.

    Once you learn self carriage then you will open his stride to accommodate the step and not just go faster. You will open his step with your leg and opening your hand ( aka softening) not your pumping of the upper body.

    Good luck you have a nice willing guy here, so keep at it.



  8. #8
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    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Great thanks alot for the tips. I am having a trainer come out next Wednesday to give us a lesson and hopefully start a program with her I am very excited. I haven't had a trainer for the last three years. So this will be so much help. The woman helping me has seen us at a show and loved us so it will work out great.

    The last show we were at we had to add strides into the lines, which honestly was a first. I have never really worked with stretching him for the stride. What is the correct way to do so? I do feel like I am driving him, I feel like I am flying around the course.

    To correct myself I do lots of videos and watch them and get my COTH friends to help! Then I know what the next step is! Without you guys, regardless if its good critique or straight forward the kind you don't really want to hear, it has all helped!! THANKS SO MUCH!

    I have a show in three weeks, so hopefully Ill have pictures and videos to see what you guys think.
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2006
    Posts
    62

    Default

    You ride pretty well and your horse is pretty cute so things should be pretty fixable. First your jumps are not helping you. All your jumps should have groundlines and the groundline should be out from the base of the jump. The few jumps that have groundlines have them behind the vertical
    I think the swapping you see in the video is of two different types. The first swap comes at the base of the second jump. The long distance and lack of direction from you (leaning forward and kicking is not direction) have led him to swap right to left in order to help him off the gound. The other two are in line swaps from left to right when you approach the line off the left lead. The line you did from the right, he held the lead even though he lands left.
    Your horse is behind your leg. You are leaning forward and running at the jumps. He should be in front of you and carrying you to them.
    In all of your turns, you have very little contact with the outside rein. You are turning him with pretty much just your inside rein. You can really see it in the diagonal coming toward the camera. you are turning him with just the left rein and his right shoulder bulges out. As you get to the jump you let go of the turning rein, he jumps the jump and swaps to the right because letting go of the left rein has slingshot him to the right.

    I am thinking a lot of the problem comes from a general lack of straightness, especially when going left. Establish a forward pace into your hand, then settle back to a good canter he can jump from. Going to the left, close off your outside aids and help him though the turn with your right leg.

    One last thing. Your course should not be designed to get long distances.



  10. #10
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    Kind of hard when you can't see the video but it sounds like this may be a flatwork and rider position issue.

    Stride length is created by conformation but is managed by the rider. Your adds were because you are not managing the stride length, so are the long spots and that is something you can ask the trainer about. If that trainer is any good, don't be surprised if s/he takes you back to some pretty involved flatwork and alot of work over just poles on the ground.

    You can help yourself out by just working over ground poles instead of jumps. If you are bulgy on the corner, crooked, unable to hold a constant stride length, you can practice over those poles until you "get it" then start to build them into crossrails and then low verticals. if you cannot get it low, you are not going to get it any higher so work the poles, not the jumps.

    A very basic excercise is to just place 2 ground poles about 58 to 60 feet apart. That's a 4 stride line distance off a good canter. Come around and do it in 5 a few times-the add. Then do it in 6-the double add. Then do 5 again. Finish up by doing the numbers-the 4. You will quickly see where you need to work in your flatwork. It helps to place some road cones or other markers on either side of the center of each pole-that helps you get to the middle and stay in the middle.

    If you work mostly alone, this kind of excercise really helps you see where you lack and what to work on. Forget the real fences until you can manage stride length and stay straight over the middle on the ground poles.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 12, 2008
    Posts
    202

    Default

    Lots of good advice on here.

    Just wanted to comment that your ring looks a bit on the small side. Once you turn the corner you really don't have long before you're at the first fence of the line. That can make the lines ride longer than they measure. It does seem like you're slowing down in the corners to make the turns and then trying to gallop down the lines. Maybe just move the lines in a foot or 2 and practice maintaining the same pace in the corners and down the lines? I also noticed that the first line of your course is a 3 stride. That can be really diffcult and can get ugly if you don't jump in with the pace you need. I've always felt that the fewer strides in a line the harder it is to adjust once you've jumped in. It's easier to move up when the line is a 6 or a 7 stride. Your course is a 3 to a 4 to a 4 to a 5. Maybe a better option for that ring is to practice having a forward, collected pace over a course of singles? Or set up broken/bending lines so you could have 5 or more strides?

    And I love your horse... he looks very fun and sweet!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2003
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    Virginia
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by FarnleyGarnet View Post
    Lots of good advice on here.

    Just wanted to comment that your ring looks a bit on the small side. Once you turn the corner you really don't have long before you're at the first fence of the line. That can make the lines ride longer than they measure. It does seem like you're slowing down in the corners to make the turns and then trying to gallop down the lines. Maybe just move the lines in a foot or 2 and practice maintaining the same pace in the corners and down the lines? I also noticed that the first line of your course is a 3 stride. That can be really diffcult and can get ugly if you don't jump in with the pace you need. I've always felt that the fewer strides in a line the harder it is to adjust once you've jumped in. It's easier to move up when the line is a 6 or a 7 stride. Your course is a 3 to a 4 to a 4 to a 5. Maybe a better option for that ring is to practice having a forward, collected pace over a course of singles? Or set up broken/bending lines so you could have 5 or more strides?

    And I love your horse... he looks very fun and sweet!

    Thanks! He is a good boy! He is celebrating his 22 birthday April 1st! The ring is very short and we have a problem with the black and blue line all the time becasue it is such a tight turn. Ill go out today and bring in the lines some and see if that helps striding wise. Though I don't plan on jumping him today since I did yesterday. He lacks a lot of muscle behind and I am trying to teach him to move forward from behind instead of his front, so that is an issue I know will take time to fix. But LOVE the advice and fully plan on using it! Canter poles just might be on the agenda today!
    Forrest Gump, 15, OTTB
    Little Bit Indian, 27, TB

    Owner of Spur of the Moment, Custom made spur straps! Find us on Facebook



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2007
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    Alpharetta
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    Default

    [QUOTE=cswoodlandfairy;3934432]The last show we were at we had to add strides into the lines, which honestly was a first. I have never really worked with stretching him for the stride. What is the correct way to do so? I do feel like I am driving him, I feel like I am flying around the course.
    Yes, that is exactly what you are doing, but that's not what you want to be doing.
    You want your horse to take you to the jumps, not you take him to the jumps and wait for the jump to come to you. Your horse need impulsion which come from him, not you pumping and driving him.

    The way you allow him self carriage is that you teach him to come from behind and carry himself, without any pumping, only leg and a supporting seat and hand. In front of your leg. Allow him to come up to you, its subtle, its a feel, once you feel it, then you know.

    Substituting pumping and driving to go faster is not the hunter way, it gets you around the course doing the step, but its incorrect and many people have no idea they are doing it wrong. At least you are asking, that's alot more than most people.Your upper body needs to be in control, still and quiet, watch some of the great pros, you'll get the idea.
    You seem like a good thinking type rider, I have no doubt with the correct instruction you will get it.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 22, 2006
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    2,107

    Default

    From what I saw the horse consistently swapped to his right lead, the first line right at the out, the second line he actually landed crossed, with right lead behind and left from and switched to whole right the next stride. The he stayed on the left lead the whole time the next line then in the last swapped half way down to the right. It would seem he would rather jump out on his right lead esp off of a longer one. I would work on making his left side a little stronger and then since he is older you may have to deal with it. My horse will be 20 in april and he loves to to swap to his right but he also drifts right and bulges right really bad so sometimes we take a swap with him being pretty straight and call it quits as it is something physical and training wise. So what I am trying to say is work on being straight and getting him stronger but not over do it and demand that he not swap ANY time since he is older.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2006
    Location
    MA
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    777

    Default

    First off, I want to say I like your horse and there is something about him that reminds me of my favorite horse I've ever had. He looks like he has a big heart and enjoys his job. I think that with a couple of lessons to smooth things out a bit, you guys will be great!

    I watched the video a couple of times, and I think in the first two lines, he actually lands cross cantering (right lead behind, left lead in front), then switches to one lead. I found it interesting that in both cases where he lands cross cantering, the jump in was a little bit long. When the distance is long, he dwells in the air a bit and loses some forward motion into the line.

    I think your horse has enough step to get down these lines, but he needs to have more impulsion and be driving from behind a bit more, rather than cantering long and flat pulling from his front end. You started your course a little slow, so given that your ring is a bit tight, it may help to start on a single fence to get your pace going a bit, then carry your pace a little more around the ends of the ring. At the ends, it looks like you sit down and rebalance. I agree everyone needs to rebalance a bit at the ends of the ring, but if you could do it a little more within the rhythm and let him carry his pace a little more, it may be easier to get down the lines.

    Even when lines are a little long, you shouldn't try to get a long distance on the way in, you want to get a forward distance and then continue. When you establish your canter for the course, you should feel like your horse's energy is travelling in a circle from your leg to your hand, then back to your leg again. It should feel like you have enough energy to compress the stride a little, think about the energy becoming an oval that is standing up the tall way- same amount of energy, just more travelling up then forward. You should also have enough energy to lengthen the stride, picture the energy lengthening to an oval on its side. Creating that circle and feeling of energy will allow you to have a more balanced and adjustable canter over time.



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