Well..If you remember awhile back I posted that a trainer said how much hunting has improved my jumping...
Well, trainer number 3 (and one clinician, an olympic rider) has said the same thing. Since my schedule makes it tough for me to have consistent lessons at one place, I've worked it out with area trainers that are willing to work me in their schedule when I have time available. thus all the different trainers.
the clinicican, who i had ridden with for the third time in as many years, couldn't believe it was the same horse and rider. A couple years ago, we were having stops everywhere on 2'6" fences because I was choking back/trying to help my horse jump. even last year..but this year we ended up schooling 3'3" plus with him and never a question from my 17hh TB. He asked what changed..I said a season of hunting..and he couldn't have been more tickled pink!
The other trainers have all commented on it too, and some of their students are thinking of trying some summer rides to get a feel.
The difference, I'm letting my horse do the work and not micro-managing him. now, when we are screaming across xc, i barely have to half-halt/leg him to set him up for a fence..and he takes it perfectly...i've been doing novice (3ft) for a few years but am starting to school the training level (3'3" and faster)..the cool thing is now I have to be very careful where I look because my horse will start taking me to the fence. heck, my last show, where we were double clear stadium and xc, I actually had a discussion on the xc course with my horse. I looked at a really cool prelim jump and he went for it...and wasn't convinced with me that it was the smaller one near it. ..i was comfortable enough to smile and wave at my friends while on course too (they all thought it hilarious cuz I'm the queen of the "oh s**t!" face.)
My horse used to lumber around course, now I hit the gas at the start, pick a pace and safely go around course. He really listens to whoa and go..and i barely have to do it now..all on a snaffle bit too..not bad for a OTTB! He also is so much handier and quick with his feet..and he actually pays attention to where he it placing his feet...he is so good!
I'm such the addict to hunting now too..I was able to move the the huntclub barn now..so no reason to miss a hunt next year!!
Micro-managing seems to be a universal problem and it seems if we set a good rhythm and balance, and let the jump come to us....the horse will do his job and jump it fine!
Of course, I still have yet to go hunting...always wanted to. But I do love the Hunter Paces and Team Chases our local hunt club organizes! I ride with my sister, so the Pairs Classes are our favorite.
A book I just picked up has an exercise where, once you are in line with a jumping grid, you literally turn your head sideway to LOOK AWAY. Let's the horse jump the jumps, and NOT the rider.
Glad hunting has helped your XC so much. I only hope to do Novice someday. We dabble around at BN (unrecognized/schooling type stuff)
The clinician I rode with is from the UK, and he said the same thing and was encouraging some of the other clinic riders to try hunting; but they thought it nuts. Our hunt club doesn't have too many jumps past 3 ft, so its all fairly easy.
I come from the Mid-west where it seems that riders don't like to cross polinate between disciplins too much. (please note tongue in cheek) The show hunters never leave an arena, the eventers think "what, doing a course without walking it five times", the back yard riders don't want to do anything fast, same goes for english pleasure....just to name a few.
Just reading some eventing history says that's how people trained to event. I do think more event riders out on the east coast might hunt more. I think people believe it will ruin their horse since hunters don't wrap their horse in bubble wrap before going out. I have been able to get a handful of eventers to come out and do the hunter pace and chase and summer rides and they had a blast! they know I was never the "ballsyest" rider, but they have seen my better confidence and more relaxed /trusting rides on my horse. And my horse, who was quiet to begin with, is even more calm and doesn't get all wound up during the warm-up melee at events!
When I finally went back to taking lessons earlier this spring, after more than a year off during which all I did was trail ride and pretend to hunt Mr. Blondie, my trainer commented that she was surprised that I hadn't lost ground while not taking lessons. In fact, she thought my riding had improved.
Imagine if we actually kept up with the field!!!
Approved helmet: Every time; every ride.
"When a sport gets to be predictable it ceases to be fun." - RAR's wise brother
Back in the good-ole-days, we evented our foxhunters to make us get the ground
work in, 'cause the jumping was a no-brainer for the horse.
I love hearing how foxhunting helps with the bold-ness confidence in the new day!!!!!!!!!
Aren't you lucky to be able to do both & with your Trainers' blessings!
Spread the word!
I only went hunting a few times last season with my horse, but it was completely awesome! The club I hunted with only has a few coops so I actually only jumped the last time I went and joined first field. I'm super paranoid so I didn't always like the footing situation, but that is kind of a part of it; my horse is surefooted, and it turned out fine. It really helped our partnership even more because he took such great care of me. We did some strong, fast gallops, and when I realized he came back so well in a loose ring snaffle (in a huge group with some horses who weren't always totally under control)...I think it boosted both of our confidences a lot. Now that I think about it, I need to remind myself about my foxhunt gallop again on course. The events we went to after foxhunting where I thought about that feeling...the announcers would mention something like "And a great gallop up to fence #10" etc.
t sounds like a great idea. Do you know any hunts in Virginia that my firends and I could get into??? Loudon , formerly Loudon west, in Leesburg is very tolerant of eventers!Good people and territory; my first time out with them, we galloped and jumped for three hours straight!My horse and I loved it!;As we, the small handful of horses and riders who remained posed for a picture; the hunt secretary rode over to me and said "We hope you realize it's not always like this several members had pulled out early and gone in saying "cubbing, which this was, is usually just walking around a corn field"
All the best,
Last edited by Carol Ames; Jun. 13, 2009 at 03:38 PM.
There is still both a Loudoun and a Loudoun West, I've hunted with the latter when members of the Irish eventing team were in the field. Early 90s. And I've hunted with, or known of hunting by, advanced level eventers with Bull Run, Orange County, Piedmont.
Dream Team, just contact your nearest hunt, ya know there are more hunts in VA than anywhere else! I'm sure any hunt will be welcoming, just ask!