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  1. #1
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    Default Spinoff: Influencing Jumping Form

    I have seen comments in threads lately referring to the variability of rider and horse position - specifically, that the jumping form of the horse is influenced by the rider and vice versus, that the rider's position is influenced by the horse's jumping form.

    I have seen this not just like the rider get's jumped loose, but that their faults can be related to the jumping style of the horse. Or that the horse' jumping style can be related to the rider.

    What do people think about this? In some ways, it could be seen as circular, but in other ways, it seems there may be truth in it.



  2. #2
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    I have seen a horse hang a front leg from a rider jumping up on its neck,(over jumping) and from riders shifting weight to one side to get canter lead.



  3. #3
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    Time and time again I've seen (and experienced) a horse have a rail with their hind end due to the rider either by opening the hip angle too soon after the apex of the jump or by sitting back in the tack too early.



  4. #4
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    Using a crest release can in fact flatten a horse over a jump.
    An automatic release can help to free up a horse and allow it to round itself over the fence and follow through with it's hind end.

    How the rider gets the horse to the jump is just as important as what happens over the jump. If the quality of canter is bad on the way to the jump, so will the jump be bad.

    But some horses, rare though they are, jump great regardless of what the jockey does or does not do to them, those are the gems.



  5. #5
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    Just sat thru about 300 trips working a good local rated show this weekend and rider position is a very big part of getting a good jump. You sit thru enough trips and you can easily see the biggies.

    That ever popular neck riding and throwing the shoulder at the jump/ducking/jumping ahead 2 strides out puts all the riders weight on the forehand right at the base of the jump when they have to lift the whole mess off the ground. It also almost always creates a too deep spot out of a distance that was perfect 4 strides out as the horse starts to hone in on the jump, he gets the anchor thrown out. Then the rider stays laying on the neck out of that deep spot...they will give you one of those but most will stop next time you do that to them. If you are still on the neck, guess where you are going when they stop.

    That improperly done crest release-the floaty, perchy one-with only a too weak leg and no base of support guarantees a total failure if the horse stumbles a bit on landing...as in a face plant. Spooks, wiggles, lead changes? You can't control them from that perch. Just along for whatever ride they give you.

    Then, on the other side of the bad riding coin, the chair seat. That eliminates all chance of any kind of pace and usually results in alot of rails down as the rider either never does get off their backs or comes back down too early. Probably safer then the floaty perching neck riding though, you won't get run off with or deposited in an oxer.

    Assuming proper conformation to do the job and a halfway decent attitude, it's not the horses. It's us.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  6. #6
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    I lean to the left as my horse leaves the ground to jump-I have to THINK about it to correct the habit/weakness. This makes my horse uneven with his front-it's very clear in our pictures. When I'm in the middle of him, he's square.

    I'm 5'2", 100lbs, and he's a big 16.2-so even a little out of balance can make a big difference.



  7. #7
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    But can the horse's form affect a rider's position?

    To mean, we look at positional faults of the rider, but never relate them to positional faults of the horse. Are these related?



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastieOaties View Post
    But can the horse's form affect a rider's position?

    To mean, we look at positional faults of the rider, but never relate them to positional faults of the horse. Are these related?

    Well, of course BUT...

    It is the job of a good horseman to recognize faults and adjust their ride to minimize them or compensate for them. We must recognize any health and pain issues and deal with them. We must be aware of any limitations basic conformation puts on them. Where they are strong, we can be weak but we must be strong where they are weak...so you have to acknowledge that weakness in any horse (and your own riding).

    That means you cannot be barn blind and you have to be brutally honest in evaluating any horse you want to take to a horse show. That is also why working with somebody on the ground makes such a huge difference, they can see what you cannot....as well as what you can see but do not want to acknowledge.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastieOaties View Post
    I have seen comments in threads lately referring to the variability of rider and horse position - specifically, that the jumping form of the horse is influenced by the rider and vice versus, that the rider's position is influenced by the horse's jumping form.

    I have seen this not just like the rider get's jumped loose, but that their faults can be related to the jumping style of the horse. Or that the horse' jumping style can be related to the rider.

    What do people think about this? In some ways, it could be seen as circular, but in other ways, it seems there may be truth in it.
    Of course it is circular. It is called a feedback loop.

    On the obvious level, if the horse rushes and takes off long, the rider is more likely to get left, which makes the horse more likely to rush and leave long.

    Conversely, if the horse chips, the rider is more likely to jump ahead, which can make the horse more likely to chip.

    Or if the horse jumps twisted or crooked.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  10. #10
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    Oh boy, am I gonna get flamed for this, but I must say it anyway...

    ToastieOaties, to answer your second question about the horse influencing the rider's position, I say yes, absolutely it does! While we complain so much about today's riders being all over the neck, I see it more as a case of the horse's neck being all over the rider!!

    Case in point: horses #1 and #5 of your "who's the best jumper" poll. These riders are all over the neck BECAUSE each horse has failed to bascule properly, especially at the moment of takeoff. Because the horse's back drops AWAY from the rider as they arch the back to pull the knees up, the rider is forced to stand in the stirrups in order avoid being left behind the motion. They are "all over the neck" because the neck has not dropped AWAY from them as it would in a horse basculing properly off the ground. And then, because the horse remains flat through the back over the apex of the fence, the rider's knee angle remains too far open with the rider still all over the neck. Again, because it's still all up in the rider's business! And clearly, the crest release is the ONLY option with a horse that jumps this way.

    So what people are claiming professionals do (and therefore others emulate) to advertise their horse's "fantastic" jump is in all actuality merely an advertisement of a horse that comes off the ground inverted, despite the spectacular use of the knees. And judges are rewarding this...just as dressage judges are rewarding stiff, tense horses with spectacular action caused by leveraging up the forehand with a tight topline. It doesn't mean it's anywhere NEAR correct or worth emulating...it wins because it's spectacular. It's very sad to think where we are headed. It's like the circus riders of old, replacing correct methods with those that create the spectacular, yet incorrect. The fault, I fear, lies with the judges. They need to PENALIZE the horse with the overexpressive front end unless accompanied by a truly round back. This is the horse that jumps great from the DEEP distance, not the gappy hunter distance that is favored today. What do you think created that overexpressive front end with the hollow back? That gappy distance! Why do you think people are riding this type of horse to the gappy distances? Because when ridden to the deep one, they invert as usual and lose almost ALL impulsion! (Exhibit A: photo #1 in the "best jumper" poll) Why do you think they are slow off the ground and slow through the air? (That's NOT a good thing, people.) Because they are not efficient in their jumping style. Their forward energy escapes through their inverted backs (read: they lose power!) and they fail to jump efficiently.

    A proper bascule is what creates optimum power and optimum efficiency, maximizing and balancing both forward and upward thrust. It also creates maximum style. The horse that comes off the ground truly round, with the entire back rounding as the withers come up, directs his energies upward through the wither and back area, and then forward through the telescoped head and neck. This energy is what CLOSES the rider's hip and knee angles as they allow the horse to jump INTO them. Because the horse's back remains round over the apex of the jump, the rider's knee angle remains closed. In some cases, (see horse #2 in the poll photos) the horse's upward energy/bascule closes the rider up too much, resulting in the horse's withers contacting the rider's sternum. (Ouch!) While this is sometimes painful, it (effectively!) serves as a sign that the rider needs to resist the closing of the upper body somewhat as the horse is jumping a little TOO much through him/her. And that telescoped neck is what allows the rider to use that following hand we all so wish to see more of, which should be the primary release for any properly basculing horse.

    We as spectators need to be a lot less impressed with what WINS if it is not CORRECT. Judges need to pin what is CORRECT, not what is spectacular. We need to realize that the "slow off the ground and slow through the air" hunter crap we see today is NOT CORRECT. Just as an overcadenced, hovering, passagey trot in a dressage horse is not correct. And for the same reasons. What do I think is much of the cause of it? The tremendously liberal application of...draw reins. Think about it.

    Perhaps the judges can't pin what's truly correct because it's hardly even present in the hunter ring to be accounted for...and that's a sad state of affairs. We need to recover what we've lost, the classic jump that promotes the classic rider.
    Last edited by LudgerFan; Oct. 26, 2009 at 01:51 PM.



  11. #11
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    Nobody is going to flame you, ludger, those are well thought out observations and a well expressed opinion. Not sure I completely agree but there are some good points there when looking at jumps that are higher.

    My comments were more directed at the lower levels I sat through this weekend and majority of those asking for critique post themselves jumping. Not sure a 3' vertical creates that much influence, let alone 2'6" or 2'.

    My biggest beef is the proliferation of crap trainers that prouduce rushed and/or unsuitable horses and bad riders to the ring, they get lucky and everybody thinks they are good and we lose the standards we once had.

    Styles have changed and that's fine, type of horse is a little different. But bad riding is bad riding and people pay to learn it.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Nobody is going to flame you, ludger, those are well thought out observations and a well expressed opinion. Not sure I completely agree but there are some good points there when looking at jumps that are higher.

    My comments were more directed at the lower levels I sat through this weekend and majority of those asking for critique post themselves jumping. Not sure a 3' vertical creates that much influence, let alone 2'6" or 2'.

    The same laws of physics apply. The biomechanics are the same. The only thing that is less noticeable at the lower heights with the inverted backs is the loss of impulsion. Which of course is logical.

    The problem is, the round jumper is undesirable at the lower fence heights because they are either a bit drapey with their front legs or accused of way overjumping if they're not.



  13. #13
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    LudgerFan,

    THat is all really sensical....I don't think I've ever heard it expressed exactly like that (no one talks about that sort of thing!!) before.

    I'm a visual person - what would you say about these photos? Rider error? Horse error? both?

    http://www.ewbnewswire.com/files/Lav...vensSchatt.jpg

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/Photo_Ga...nchAndiamo.jpg



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastieOaties View Post

    THat is all really sensical....I don't think I've ever heard it expressed exactly like that (no one talks about that sort of thing!!) before.
    This is ALL we talk about in my lessons. You just have to get away from the typical H/J trainer to get to have these discussions but I aim for the Jumper ring and have 0 interest in the Hunters, too political for me.



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ToastieOaties View Post
    LudgerFan,

    THat is all really sensical....I don't think I've ever heard it expressed exactly like that (no one talks about that sort of thing!!) before.

    I'm a visual person - what would you say about these photos? Rider error? Horse error? both?

    http://www.ewbnewswire.com/files/Lav...vensSchatt.jpg

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/Photo_Ga...nchAndiamo.jpg
    Certainly a bit of both in the first photo. The rider is still in balance for the most part as evidenced by the hip at least being somewhat over the heel, despite the open knee angle.

    The second photo is utterly ridiculous. The rider is clearly "making a bid." Or, should I say, "making a BAD." He is not at all in balance regardless of the horse's jumping style, as is easy to see from the base of support being so far removed from what it is supposed to be supporting! The horse's expression I would say looks uncomfortable at best, expressing his displeasure at the extra load on his forehand.

    I think of rider position as a 50/50 proposition...the horse is responsible for 50%, the rider responsible for the other 50%, whether for better or for worse.
    Last edited by LudgerFan; Oct. 26, 2009 at 02:25 PM.



  16. #16
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    bar.ka here

    ludger.fan is 'bout to rock the hunt.er world by knocking photos of some of the hunt.er elite. u might find urself in trouble with the hunt.er mafia saying havens is not doing a million dollar job.

    not.hing like knowing special ed judge has a 6 figure deal on the table to get a horse sold to little suzy q's trainer who is right behind you at the ingate. all things being equal, suzy q is gonna beat u, every time.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LudgerFan View Post
    Case in point: horses #1 and #5 of your "who's the best jumper" poll. These riders are all over the neck BECAUSE each horse has failed to bascule properly, especially at the moment of takeoff. Because the horse's back drops AWAY from the rider as they arch the back to pull the knees up, the rider is forced to stand in the stirrups in order avoid being left behind the motion. They are "all over the neck" because the neck has not dropped AWAY from them as it would in a horse basculing properly off the ground. And then, because the horse remains flat through the back over the apex of the fence, the rider's knee angle remains too far open with the rider still all over the neck. Again, because it's still all up in the rider's business! And clearly, the crest release is the ONLY option with a horse that jumps this way.
    I don't disagree, but rather think this might be an oversimplification? There are plenty of horses that don't have the conformation to 'bascule' properly as proven when free jumping horses. You can see horrible jumping form in horses that have never had a rider on their back to have influenced anything.

    Also rider errors like jumping ahead and standing in your stirrups (open knee angle) are often caused by a stirrup that is too long and the horse's jump has nothing to do with it.

    It's a combinations of things that cause these issues and they most certainly influence each other but you'd have to look at the cases individually to determine the origin of the faults.
    Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
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  18. #18
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    I hope people here can understand that there is "knocking" and then there is "critiquing". Knocking someone is personal. I try very hard never to do that. Critiquing involves an objective comparison of a horse or rider against an objective standard. There's nothing personal about critiques until the objective standards we once had suddenly become relative and subject to fads or trends, and that admittedly gets my knickers in a twist. But it only becomes personal because emotion enters into it.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugBug View Post
    I don't disagree, but rather think this might be an oversimplification? There are plenty of horses that don't have the conformation to 'bascule' properly as proven when free jumping horses. You can see horrible jumping form in horses that have never had a rider on their back to have influenced anything.

    Also rider errors like jumping ahead and standing in your stirrups (open knee angle) are often caused by a stirrup that is too long and the horse's jump has nothing to do with it.

    It's a combinations of things that cause these issues and they most certainly influence each other but you'd have to look at the cases individually to determine the origin of the faults.
    Of course! I have stated on previous threads my belief that people are jumping in stirrups too long as a rule, rather than an exception. I even brought to light some apparent discrepancies between GM and Steinkraus on the topic correct stirrup length for jumping work. I believe I also stated my opinion that there was a correlation between GM's displeasure with modern equitation and his displeasure with modern jumping stirrup length. Certainly it is a contributing factor to be taken into consideration!

    As far as free-jumping horses is concerned, every horse can bascule to a fairly large extent. They have to bascule their head and neck to reach the ground to graze. They have to bascule through the back to walk up inclines or step into trailers or engage in a variety of daily activities. This is simply how horses are designed. If a horse free-jumps without much bascule, one simply needs to develop him gymastically on the flat and over fences to teach him how to use his body properly and develop in him the strength to do so with ease. But one has to know HOW to do so, and sadly it is that knowledge I believe that has been lost or is in danger of being lost. And one also has to have the PATIENCE to do so, and far too few have that. That's where all sorts of short cuts are tried, and the horse's proper development sacrificed.

    What's all but been lost is the ability (or maybe just the desire) to see beyond what a horse IS (whatever his various shortcomings may be) to what he could BECOME if developed properly. We are not a nation of horse DEVELOPERS, we are a nation of BUYERS of already developed or mostly developed horses, generally from Europe. Our horsemanship is suffering. Our riding is suffering. We need to do something about it.



  20. #20
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    Hey, bark.a nice to "see" you again. Always make me laugh.

    Thing is, ludger, we have these threads all the time and they always turn down various sidetracks and send the train off a cliff. Hard not to get your knickers in a knot if you know somebody pictured at an awkward moment or you actually don't care for the way they ride either but don't want to join a regular "why does everybody else ride so bad that's why I don't show anymore thats no fair" party.

    If you can keep it centered on the basics you feel are lacking and how to achieve them, it could be a productive discussion. Otherwise it's another 15 page trainwreck that does not do anything productive. Usually not the fault of the original poster. Kind of like the seemingly innocent auto release threads.

    More people agree with you then you may think but these threads can get contentious and, again, go nowhere in solving the issue for the bulk of riders that post on here. Alot don't care to get involved in them as they turn into just bashing and end up leading nowhere. As is starting to happen here when the pics get posted that really are a bit off what you started to try to say regarding the influence of horse and rider on each other.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



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