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  1. #1
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    Default 36' distances

    Okay, so I have a couple questions, and could really use some input.

    Basic Info:
    17.2 ISH, 7 y.o. In his whole career of Eventing, 30 or so events at Training, a few at Prelim. 1 rail. EVER.

    In open Jumpers, was area champ, at 4', Had a rail one time as well.

    Decide to check out a couple different trainers...mom/kid thing not working so well.

    Trainer 1: BIG NAME: Has her come over, loves horse, has her send him forward, forward, forward. Don't worry so much about distance, more about keeping self back, keeping him in front of leg. Sets up DIFFICULT courses, some at Advanced Level, horse never brings rails. But flies, gets kinda flat. Has more long spots than short, or deep.

    Trainer 2: Also big name: Has her come over, and works and works on shortening his stride, and getting deeper. Now he is bringing rails right and left.

    Trainer 1 would prefer her to do 2 strides in a 36' combo, but doesn't seem to upset by one.

    Trainer 2: Have to get those two strides in.

    Tonight, with money on line, did a two in two, buried into the first, and on second brought down rail. I am upset. This is the second class in a row that has had rails, even though they have been slow, and gotten distances that trainer wants. I use to make her do gymnastics the day before, he gets sloppy without them. Trainer 2, doesn't think he needs them. Rails = Gymnastics to me. Daughter is starting to think Trainer 1 is wonderful, and maybe Mom not so bad...

    BUT IS it right? I dunno. I just know he clears the moon with a bit longer spot. He can or use to be able to move forward enough on a 36 that he could do it in one and be huge over both. Now, he is bringing rails at 33". WHAT DO I DO?



  2. #2
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    You are getting 1 stride in a 36' distance? How big are these fences?


    I suspect the horse could use the gymnastics to be sure s/he is capable from ANY spot. I would be concerned if an athletic horse cannot put 2 strides in a 36' distance when the fences are 3-3'6 without pulling a rail.



  3. #3
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    I am no pro, but form your description it sounds like you have to potentially great trainers giving your horse mixed signals. I know from my own experience that sometimes an exercise makes things worst at first but much better in the long run.

    Is there a reason that you are committed to using two jumping trainers who sound like they are working on divergent concepts? Maybe the horse is just confused?

    I know that some people use multiple trainers and I think often a fresh set of eyes is a great benefit, but maybe not if one thinks the horse needs to move up and stay forward/in from of her leg and the other wants to shorten his stride. It sounds like you have two totally opposite trains of though going on here.

    Just my observations.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals" Immanuel Kant



  4. #4
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    Horse has am amazingly big stride naturally. Probably should have put that in the first post. The jumps are 3'9". he is hanging in the knee's and just pulling the back legs over the jumps. From the deeper distance. From the longer distance he uses himself a lot better.

    I too know that sometimes training isn't always suppose to feel better. But I watched the video of a Jumper round and it was so slow it looked like a nice hunter round. SO....I dunno. I just know in the past year I could count rails on one hand, and in the past week, the amount of rails is REALLY excessive.

    Trainer 1 thinks the horse is extremely rateable, which btw, I agree with. trainer two does not...and thinks horse is downhill.

    I dunno, personally I LOVE trainer 1. If I could name names, believe me, so do most of the eventers in the country. I have seen a MAJOR difference in my daughter's dressage with that person.

    The reason for the two different trainers, one goes to the jumper shows, the other is all eventers. If I could get him to go everything would be awesome.

    Sigh.....btw, he can get a one stride in a 36 if he is going forward. HE jumps HUGE...So he takes up a lot of the space on both sides....so it leaves a medium stride really.



  5. #5
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    It's all about the balance of the horse. The number of strides between obstacles is really irrelavant.

    BUT I can tell you that if your horse is putting one stride in a 36' distance, the horse is most likely strung out and on the forehand, no matter how big he is. Even at 17.2 with a big stride, a well balanced horse would have no problem putting two in 36'.

    The deeper spot is the ideal. And the fact that he is knocking rails in that deeper spot shows that the horse is on his forehand and is not rocking back to jump off his hocks.

    The answer is not to force him to a deep spot with the hand, but to work on his general balance in the canter and adjustability on the flat in the canter. That and gridwork.

    The only way a horse like this can jump well from the deep spot is because the rider can find that canter where the horse is balanced and engaged behind on a shorter stride. Then the rider can ride forward to the deep spot instead of riding backwards to it (pulling). That is when any horse will jump to the best of his ability.

    ETA that I usually make sure ground rails are rolled out a couple of feet on takeoff side when training horses like this. It helps them learn to rock back at takeoff instead of getting in underneath the jump, hanging legs, and knocking rails.



  6. #6
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    L:

    Okay, I gave the impression he can't do a two stride in a 36. That isn't true, he can and does. There were 3 of those today, and he brought a rail on only one. So watching on video, he was too deep at number 1 fence....this made distance to second fence really short. Coming up, he didn't get the legs up in time, but he WAS sitting on hind quarters....so he obviously was trying to get out of the way. Seems the issue comes also from not being quick enough in the front end.....or being deep and not having enough room to pull the knee up and get it out of the way. Suggestions?



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by gold2012 View Post
    L:

    So watching on video, he was too deep at number 1 fence....this made distance to second fence really short. Coming up, he didn't get the legs up in time, but he WAS sitting on hind quarters....so he obviously was trying to get out of the way. Seems the issue comes also from not being quick enough in the front end.....or being deep and not having enough room to pull the knee up and get it out of the way. Suggestions?

    IMO, the rider over rode the second. On a big horse with a big stride....I can see 36' being a quiet 2 stride. So if she got in deep to the first fence...that should have made it EASIER to get the two...it would not make the distance shorter, it would make it longer. An average horse, you get in deep to the first fence, you better be kicking on landing to make to two. If you have a big horse and get in deep to the first you....you should smile and just be able to sit quiet or do a light check. If she was short to the second fence...then the rider kicked when they shouldn't have (and lengthened his stride---as opposed to creating a canter with more power but not more length).

    Honestly...it sounds like he has a hole in his training. He should be able to jump from a deep distance AND a long one. And if you are jumping 4 foot courses....you should be able to easily get a 10, 12 and 14 foot stride...not always be stuck with the 14 footer... My big guy...we have spent ALL his training on having him learn to be quicker and comfortable from a deep distance. He can do long all day long...we don't practice that. We work on creating a powerful canter...but not a long stride.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  8. #8
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    okay, prolly looking like an idiot here, but asking anyway, what the heck. If you get deep into the first fence, like as in about a foot away from the fence, on 3'9 verticle, the arc of the horses jump takes you into the distance further doesn't it? I have always been a bit confused about this. so, if you take a longer distance in, shouldn't you land closer to the fence you just jumped? So in deeper, out further, in longer, out shorter. If you go out further, that doesn't take away from the distance you have left? Ugh, have always hated this.....

    I think his problem isn't so much the strde length, after review of the tape about the hundreth time. It seems it's more to do with the front end quickness. When he takes a long take off, he gets knee's up and out of the way and up by his ears. When he takes a deeper distance, seems knees get in way....so I guess still needs to do gymnastics.

    BUT bornfree, she DEFINITELY IS OVERTHINKING. Trying too hard.



  9. #9
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    1- It sound to me as if the horse has learned to jump well out of a long (probably slightly strung out) stride, but has nevere learned to jump effectively out of a shorter, more "rocked back", stride.
    To put it more bluntly, there is a hole in his foundation

    2- He may be able to get away with it now, but it is going to cause difficulties when you have a very short approach to a combination, or when you have a sharp turn immediately after, it will be difficult for the horse.

    3 - It may also make it difficult for the horse to learn a "coffin canter" for cross country.

    4 - Filling in the hole involves his learning how to jump out of a shorter stride. While he is learning, and developing the new muscles, he will be pulling rails. But ones he learns the new techniquwes (both mental and physical) he will be capable of MUCH more.

    Obviously, I have not seen the horse, and this is based on what you wrote, but that is all I have to go on.
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by gold2012 View Post
    okay, prolly looking like an idiot here, but asking anyway, what the heck. If you get deep into the first fence, like as in about a foot away from the fence, on 3'9 verticle, the arc of the horses jump takes you into the distance further doesn't it? I have always been a bit confused about this. so, if you take a longer distance in, shouldn't you land closer to the fence you just jumped? So in deeper, out further, in longer, out shorter. If you go out further, that doesn't take away from the distance you have left? Ugh, have always hated this.....

    No..Flyer fence (longer distance taking off) you create a flatter arch over the jump and land further out. When they get in deep...they jump more "up" with a more curved arch over the fence...so they land closer on the backside. I could show it to you better drawing...but can't do it here!

    But I agree...he needs gymnastics and learning how to get quicker with his front end to be a really good jumper. It isn't all about scope. He probably needs to learn to jump from a different canter (shorter, more powerful) based on what you what described.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  11. #11
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    Agree as usual with bornfree... the first thing that popped in my head was "hole in training". The horse is athletic so thus far it hasn't been a problem. But you don't want that hole to be their undoing if they move up a level, or if they get in a bit of trouble over solid fences on XC.

    I had a horse with a huge stride. I did Jimmy's "lengthen the horse" gymnastics which are supposed to precede the "shorten the horse" ones. My horse left out a stride in the "lengthen" exercise. Needless to say we only worked on shortening from then on.

    Once, my coach set up two corners (one facing each way) out of show jumps, set at 36'. We got one stride - and she tore a strip out of me. Not because it was horribly ridden - in fact it was smooth and I was going faster than SJ pace. It was because my horse shouldn't be encouraged to leave out strides everywhere - because we need to work on rocking back, work on me not having a "long eye", not allow the horse to jump fast and flat at what will be a legitimate question on XC. I got a strip torn off me in a lesson, so that my coach wouldn't have to pick up the pieces when we misjudged, left a stride out and while doing so caught a knee on a XC fence and did a major somersault. This is especially apparent when jumping a fence at the top of a run uphill, for instance - so often the horse needs to pop in that extra one, and if the rider isn't ready and/or asking for it, the horse will stop or leave a leg and the rider will go flying.

    It took quite a while for me to feel like this was "fixed" - part of it was rider error asking for the long spot. Eventually, I got to the point where my eye saw the extra stride, my horse could do the extra stride, and I felt the power and the control that came with that. Our SJ improved when we became more adjustable, too.
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by gold2012 View Post
    okay, prolly looking like an idiot here, but asking anyway, what the heck. If you get deep into the first fence, like as in about a foot away from the fence, on 3'9 verticle, the arc of the horses jump takes you into the distance further doesn't it? I have always been a bit confused about this. so, if you take a longer distance in, shouldn't you land closer to the fence you just jumped? So in deeper, out further, in longer, out shorter. If you go out further, that doesn't take away from the distance you have left? Ugh, have always hated this.....

    Nope.

    And that was one of the really instructive things in the clinic at the national meeting.

    When the fences are very low, yes, if you are short on the takeoff, you will be long on the landing.

    But once the fences have any height, if you get in close, the horse has to go UP at a steeper angle in order to clear the fence. That translates to coming down on the other stride with a steeper angle, and thus closer to the fence.
    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).



  13. #13
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    Thanks Janet, not feeling "quite" as stupid. Okay, so have to work on her eye for those shorter distances....ugh. Any ideas on quickening the knee's?



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by gold2012 View Post
    Thanks Janet, not feeling "quite" as stupid. Okay, so have to work on her eye for those shorter distances....ugh. Any ideas on quickening the knee's?

    Bounces, bounces and more bounces.

    Gymnastics with things like an oxer to a double or triple bounce to an oxer.
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
    Bounces, bounces and more bounces.

    Gymnastics with things like an oxer to a double or triple bounce to an oxer.
    Yes, but be careful with them. Music is a bit like that, would much prefer to jump out of a long, strung out stride. But she doesn't have the scope to compensate, so teaching her to jump out of the shorter stride and the closer spot was essential.

    One time we were doing an exercise that was a series (5 or 6) of low bounces, and at one point she chose to treat one of the bounces as a VERY wide oxer!!!!
    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).



  16. #16
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    I would suggest, just as an experiment, to go back to the video, ignore the distances and the striding and only look at the balance and how forward the horse is to the fence. Riding forward to a deeper distance is hard. The ability to do it consistently is what separates the big dogs from the rest of the pack. While I wouldn't rule out a fundamental problem with the horse's training I would certainly want to rule out rider error FIRST. Funny (and a little embarrassing) how often they go the way we ride them...



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    I would suggest, just as an experiment, to go back to the video, ignore the distances and the striding and only look at the balance and how forward the horse is to the fence. Riding forward to a deeper distance is hard. The ability to do it consistently is what separates the big dogs from the rest of the pack. While I wouldn't rule out a fundamental problem with the horse's training I would certainly want to rule out rider error FIRST. Funny (and a little embarrassing) how often they go the way we ride them...

    Boy isn't that the truth!!!
    ** The difference between genius and stupidity is genius has its limits. -- Albert Einstein **



  18. #18
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    well what will he do in a 2 stride to a 1? You will also get 2 stride 2 stride or a 1 to a 2.. I am sorry but I am not picturing how this guy would do that?

    How will he ever jump bigger or safer if not better schooled on how to use his body?

    Maybe you need a third opinion. I agree with some that sometimes at certain heights having the horse jump from whatever step he gets there on is ok but SOMEDAY something BAD will happen and instead of getting out in 1 he will swim that second element and maybe break a pole and REALLY HURT HIMSELF OR you're daughter

    If the horse is jumping 4 foot he should be broke enough to get 2 strides in a 36 foot line. CLEARLY you have a problem however I show jumpers as well and just watch enough classes and rails come down from grand prix to speed bump jumpers. I think you know what you need to do.

    IF you did gymnastics my opinion would not be on one that built to a big fence at the end. SO MANY people drill those to death and sometimes they can teach rushing and horse getting longer and longer..

    I would suggest working up to the three 9 foot bounces then 1 stride to wide-ish oxer (3 to 4 foot) and one stride back to 3 nine foot bounces. Great exercise to teach horse and rider to come on the canter stride they need in the first place and not be strung out. SLOWLY OF COURSE and also there are tons of grids that work on
    2 strides with placement poled or cavaletti. It would be good over small fences to have several (2-3) 2 strides set up teaching him he needs to be patient and connected to get out. IT NEEDS to get fixed as rarely at 4 feet have I and other trainers not GASPED when you see a horse leave one out at that height!
    Last edited by JumpingBug; Jan. 29, 2010 at 11:17 PM. Reason: edited to say and maybe you're daughter
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  19. #19
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    Count me among those who think he needs to learn better balance... BUT I also am thinking he might be sore somewhere, since his performance has changed recently. I'd look at hocks to start.



  20. #20
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    Thanks Cookie Pony, cause I got to thinking that last night too. I have video of him clearing a 4' fence when he came in way too deep, she was on his neck, and he still easily cleared it. Am thinking that we have been going at the conditioning for Preliminary for the past 7 weeks and maybe he is a bit sore....

    I did take a look at the video, and actually, really, it almost looks like he is just....bored. His knee's were droopy, his hocks were droopy, I know, not a very good equestrian term, but there you have it. He wasn't going forward and he wasn't really behind the leg. He was in the middle somewhere, she was off his neck over the jumps, (she has a tendancy to want to get ahead) and he made time, actually, when I reviewed the tape, he was faster than a lot of them, big stride again, probably.

    Anyway, thanks to all of you so far. I am going to have his stifles and hocks looked at this week.



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