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  1. #41
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    I wrote out a longer explanation, but here you go:

    Bottome line... Good riding is the goal. Good riding comes from being effective. Effective can either be pretty or not so pretty. Being a pretty rider will not guarantee a good, effective round.



  2. #42
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    I went to my first big hunter show last week (AAA rated) to watch. It happened to coincide with seeing the side banner for the hunter spectacular. So I guess it was a bit of both that was making me wonder about these things.

    HorseLuvr - I totally understand that. But wouldn't it make sense if you have a good position it would stay there (for the most part) whether or not you're thinking about it?

    Trixie - Sorry to come off that way. Wasn't what I was aiming for. "Any leg slip from a rider like Scott is not because he doesn't have an educated leg. Really." . I get that these are great riders and I couldn't do anything like that. I'm just trying to understand WHY it is happening. Is it the horses jump? Is it something the rider is doing with their weight to help the horse jump better? And do you really think the actual riders are beautiful, or do you think the performance they get from their horse is beautiful?

    LH - The only point I got was that you think a good horse jumps so hard no one can keep their leg in place (if I could figure out a way to say that where it didn't sound so rude I would have!). My conclusion from that would be if the horse made it that hard to be ridden wouldn't the rider would be making them perform worse not better?

    BABYGREENTB - I understand that the release isn't judged, however it seems in many show rings there is a correlations to horses and riders with un-judged factors that win or don't place and as such those factors either become trends or get dropped. I was under the impression that the auto release was at one point very popular in hunters and no longer is. So even though it isn't judged people may choose not to do that if they feel it could impact their placing. I was thinking the more you try and reach up a horses neck, the more your lower leg would want to swing back.

    alterhorse - are you implying that it's impossible to hold position while jumping? Or maybe you were just trying to say form has no impact on function? Not sure...

    NOMIOMI1 - awesome!! I really like how you put that. Do you think riders with less natural talent are the "be good" group? It's almost convoluted to think about because if being good makes your horse as good as the riders that are good at it, wouldn't they (the ones that are good at it) make their horses even better by being good? Okay that's making my head hurt. But I think you are spot on

    Flagstaff Foxhunter - thanks for actually answer a question! I guess I fall into the form to function GM group which is why I can't seem to wrap my head around horses looking so amazing with the person not.


    This seems to be coming down to form to function. Does it only apply if you aren't a naturally gifted rider?



  3. #43
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    I think people take this form/function thing too literally. It doesn't mean that there is one specific rider form that will guarantee perfect form for every horse, over every jump. A good rider will be able to adjust his/her form depending on what is being judged in any given class as well as according to what the individual horse he or she is riding needs, to put in the best round possible.

    Two of the top juniors who rode in Saturday's class are a good example of this, because they both ride in hunters, jumpers, and equitation. And both of them adjust their riding style according to which division they are in. And they both have their own personal styles too, probably based on both their body types and likely their training when they started riding. Both are incredibly talented, effective riders. And both win, a lot, against riders who most likely have "prettier" photos to show for their efforts.

    Trixie's post proves that there hasn't been a time in the last 40 years or so where the top riders in our country have ever displayed what some here consider perfect form over fences, every time they rode a jump. The best riders are the ones that get the best performance out of the horses they ride into the show ring, regardless of whether or not they should be the poster children for "perfect" equitation. Why is this so difficult for some to understand?



  4. #44
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    Forgive me but I did not read all 3 pages. However, I had a
    TB in CA that I bought as a 4 year old and rode up to AA A/O hunters AND qualified for the many wonderful equitation series in CA - the Foxfield, the PHSA, etc etc. I did both with him ALL THE TIME - and he loved it and so did I

    Moving back to NC I am stricken that the idea of an Adult EQ class is - well, a hunter warm up - I miss CA for the terrific equitation series they have AND a good horse can do both - the trainers have created a whole new species to sell LOL - the FLAT jumper Wow, perch and ride - a whole new concept!!!!

    Ugh
    "Her life was okay. Sometimes she wished she were sleeping with the right man instead of with her dog, but she never felt she was sleeping with the wrong dog."



    www.dontlookbackfarm.com



  5. #45
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    JustMyStyle

    TROLL ALERT!!

    enough already. The questions you ask show your total lack of experience and awareness.



  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3Dogs View Post
    Forgive me but I did not read all 3 pages. However, I had a
    TB in CA that I bought as a 4 year old and rode up to AA A/O hunters AND qualified for the many wonderful equitation series in CA - the Foxfield, the PHSA, etc etc. I did both with him ALL THE TIME - and he loved it and so did I

    Moving back to NC I am stricken that the idea of an Adult EQ class is - well, a hunter warm up - I miss CA for the terrific equitation series they have AND a good horse can do both - the trainers have created a whole new species to sell LOL - the FLAT jumper Wow, perch and ride - a whole new concept!!!!

    Ugh
    I don't think this is true at all. Back when horses did double duty in the hunters and equitation, the hunters were very different than they are today (equitation was too, but that's a different thread). Today they jump much rounder, and are much slower off the ground. It IS harder on today's hunter (3'6" and above) to maintain picture perfect equitation throughout the entire effort. And any rider who DOES make a conscious effort to do so is likely to interfere with the horse's effort, which will cost dearly when it comes to the results.

    Bringing Adult Equitation (3') into this discussion is comparing apples to oranges. That's not the level of ability being discussed here.



  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelico View Post
    Yes, many of the top junior hunter riders are also top junior equitation riders, BUT, why on earth does their eq go to $#!+ when they mount a hunter? Are we really trying that hard to convince the judge that your blind grandmother could ride this horse? Hunters and eq horses are two totally different rides, I understand this. However, since when do the fundamentals change from a hunter to an eq horse? Most of all, where has posture gone? That irks me senseless. Whether you are walking on foot, riding a jumper, eq horse, hunter, green bean, I was always taught to have good posture.
    The top eq horses have fairly flat jumps,are more 'packaged' and carry more pace to the jump. Eq horses have less 'hang time'. All of this makes it easier to maintain good form.

    The top hunters canter less packaged and slower, then have a hard, round, slow jump. In order to allow for the big, slow, round jump, riders worry more about staying out of the way and giving the horse room to jump while remaining soft, rather than keeping good position.



  8. #48
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    Oct. 31, 2006
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    trends come and go, and the horse world is no different. I was so absorbed watching the class, I never noticed anyone's position-nor did I care.
    But unfortunately kids emulate the greats. Scott could ride an elephant and make it look like Rox Dene. But unless you ride like Scott (Tory for instance) his style, will probably hurt you imo rather than help you advance.
    Tennis greats can hit the ball off their back foot and win. The rest of us?-probably better we stick with proper form...
    I think the same goes for any sport, riding included. Lying all over the horse's neck, pinching your knees, and clicking your heels a la Dorothy, and laying down there for a couple of strides because oh my that bascule was so wow I couldn't get up...there is a reason for proper form being taught-someone didn't just make it up on a whim one night.
    The pros-they will ride however it has evolved for them-bad backs included, and the jrs will always emulate someone-so now we have posting to the canter and jumping up the neck. Anyone remember all the jrs with their elbows out? and on it goes. It was a great class though-the horses just seem to get better and better! and damn the kids out there can ride!



  9. #49
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    Done to death yes, but sometimes you question your own sanity. It makes me feel a bit better to know there's someone else out there wondering what exactly it is on the ground under the fences that these riders find so interesting.
    " It's about the horse, and that's it."
    George Morris



  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Running Fox Farm View Post
    Done to death yes, but sometimes you question your own sanity. It makes me feel a bit better to know there's someone else out there wondering what exactly it is on the ground under the fences that these riders find so interesting.
    Their talent?

    Incidentally would you be ok with someone picking apart a trainer that you admire and have recommended? Because here is a pic I found on first google of a trainer you suggested on this very forum at the beginning of the month.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...9QEwAg&dur=400

    Just making a point. Good riders have bad moments. Good riders do things we don't always understand.



  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlissTate View Post
    Their talent?

    Incidentally would you be ok with someone picking apart a trainer that you admire and have recommended? Because here is a pic I found on first google of a trainer you suggested on this very forum at the beginning of the month.

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=...9QEwAg&dur=400

    Just making a point. Good riders have bad moments. Good riders do things we don't always understand.
    If you watch closely you will see that this rider has the ability to balance from either the stirrup, or from the knee.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYhF6QKuMUU

    A beginner rider must come to an understanding of balance, and be able to ride with balance, in order to advance in ability.

    Riding with proper position, with a foundation of balance based upon weight over the stirrup, will help the student "discover" the proper use of aids, and enable the student to develop the most effective abilities, in the most efficient manner.

    Once balance is understood, the rider is free to create variations of riding styles, that may all incorporate those same "principles" of balance, but the position may be that of the riders own design.

    Thus we arrive at examples such as this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYhiD...eature=related







  12. #52
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    Fortunately for those who prefer the old school, classic hunter riding still exists in the Other Ring. Wander over to the jumpers and feast your eyes on Beezie, Jeffrey, Leslie, Molly, Katie and Joe. There's nothing more fun than seeing a 1.60 course that looks like it could earn a 90 on the Other Scale.



  13. #53
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    Do you mean this Katie? This Beezie? This Joe??

    This is why you can't judge based on a few pictures of an event. Each of the above is an outstanding rider and those courses were probably as smooth as glass (and probably almost perfectly equitated), but you just can't base your knowledge of their equitation on a few photos.

    Same as you can't say that this rider doesn't know HOW to use his leg or that this rider gosh, PINCHES WITH HIS KNEE! and therefore, should never have bothered to develop a style that works for him and is somehow responsible for the downfall of equitation.

    The bottom line is that each of the above can get the very best out of their horses and they do it consistently. Admittedly, some riders emulate them who shouldn't - but that wasn't what this thread was about. This thread was started with criticisms intent upon slaughtering the equitation of some of our very best riders. I would say, in fact, that it sails right by the point.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  14. #54
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    Balance

    Staying with your horse and staying out of his way.
    If you are riding a horse with a big stretch or very round bascule, the emphasis is to not interfere and this may result in eq compromises. But the balance is still there.
    I think the pros & good ammys go with the flow.

    what alterhorse says.....



  15. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    Do you mean this Katie? This Beezie? This Joe??
    Not that it really matters, but is that Beezie or Leslie in the second photo? I'm not sure I've ever seen Beezie ride without gloves.



  16. #56
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    ynl063w - couple interesting thoughts. Are the riders actually changing their form between divisions? How much is just the type of horse changing them? In my head I work it like this: if the rider is allowing their leg to swing back over the fence (and its not the horse) then they would be riding with a looser leg with more pressure on their knee than calf. That would mean a more sensitive horse to continue going forward nicely without calf pressure. My overall conclusion would then be that the hunters take much less leg than eq horses or jumpers. Not sure theres any truth in that...

    I think you've really hit on something with horses doing double duty and now being much more specialized.

    Big_Grey_hunter - "riders worry more about staying out of the way and giving the horse room to jump while remaining soft, rather than keeping good position" do you think softness leads to losing your position? It's amazing how adjustable the top riders are. I can't imagine riding hunters, eq and jumpers!

    alterhorse - that was very enlightening. I've never thought about riding like that, but it really rings true because that is how we approaching training. There are basic methods that good trainers learn and then they develop their own style that works best for them. Very cool thought! I also like your explanation because it shows that only riders that started with a good foundation can be effective with-out good eq. while riders that never learned the basics are completely ineffective in their position.

    Trixie - Very first sentence : "Why is it that no one seems to be able to keep from pinching with their knee and swinging their lower leg back over a fence in the hunter ring?" Now I admit that is an exaggeration I used to get my point across. However, I don't see how that is "slaughtering the equitation of some of our very best riders". Great photo finding by the way. You're right that it is important to remember that a picture reflects just a moment in time.

    Trees4U - Do you think there is any element, of oh, if I stick my elbows out it looks a little softer, so the judge will think my horse is so amazing because he looks great no matter how he's ridden....?



  17. #57
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    Alas I can't engage in a photo war. Sometimes it sucks being a technological dinosaur. But that photo of Joe above... if you were to remove the horse, he would still be balanced on his feet. And look at the shot of Beezie in the Jumping
    Derby story next to this column. In a 1.50 speed class no less. It's all personal preference. I used to love wandering down to watch the regulars, and that was in the twilight between ace and reserpine being banned and mag sulfate being discovered. Ken Berkely was the only uber-sprawler on the scene then, with Charlie Weaver being slightly artistic and Buddy going around curled up in the letter C with his feet on the dashboard. But you noticed the rider drama a lot less, I think. If the horse was a beautiful jumper, the judge would figure it out independently.



  18. #58
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    http://www.flickr.com/photos/30881955@N03/2891633920

    It is ID'd as Beezy, but I didn't take the pic.

    That being said - my point is that it's very, very limiting to judge someone's equitation from a photo.

    OP, your entire post was designed to be derisive. Lets please not pretend that it wasn't. If you had an actual question, I'm sure you could have managed to ask it without all the hyperbole about how bad everyone is riding:

    Why is it that no one seems to be able to keep from pinching with their knee and swinging their lower leg back over a fence in the hunter ring?
    I just don't understand why you are jumping over 3ft if you can't even keep your heels down let alone keep your leg in place.
    not that in my very personal opinion you have any business jumping if you can't hold your position over a fence)
    Do you not understand that that is, exactly, slaughtering their equitation?
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  19. #59
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    I think the issue of trainers that "pose" their students like frozen statues on the backs of horses is a more important point of contention then the scrutiny of the positions of "successful" riders.

    What does really mater is that every individual who desires to ride well, be taught with the intent of forming a proper foundation of ability from the beginning of each student's total riding experience.

    Foundational abilities are the things that even the pros must continue to practice to remain at their top level of performance.

    Most of the common barriers to advancement in all disciplines can typically be traced back to some basic foundational weakness that had never been fully addressed in training or mastered by the rider.

    Sometimes the reason for the existence of a weakness is phycological, such as a bad fall at one point in a riders experience causing them to subconsciously ride defensively to detriment of their overall effectiveness.

    Mostly though, in my opinion, such weaknesses are caused by trainers rushing their students to achieve loftier goals before they have properly mastered the base of abilities required to excel at a given level.

    I think the books "Centered Riding" (one and two) by Sally Swift, are two of the best resources for a rider to study as a tool for self examination of their own level of ability, as way to do a double check of their own knowledge and abilities, and perhaps help in discovering the source of any foundational weaknesses that the rider may not have been fully aware of.



  20. #60
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    not that in my very personal opinion you have any business jumping if you can't hold your position over a fence)
    I hate this. HATE.

    You know what no one has any business doing? Deciding someone else has no business riding based on watching them do one round. Or worse, seeing a photo of them do one fence.

    I've seen lots of Legend-in-their-own-mind Railbirds ride. You know what? They screw up too. Only when they put in a garbage round, there's a great story for why. So then it's ok. Seems to be a pretty common condition on this forum too.


    My horse and I put in 4 garbage rounds this weekend. Our "good" round was a standout, only one refusal I was so nervous to be back in a "big show" that I doubt ANYONE watching would believe that two weeks ago we showed over an IDENTICAL course in our home barn and did really well. Two weeks ago we actually placed 2nd in a match-the-clock...which is NOT BAD for a 16.3hh Green Jumper in an indoor tournament. No, anyone who saw only this weekend will 100% believe that I can't ride for crap and my horse is a talentless, sucked back, lazy POS. Do I need to make up a great story for my crap riding? I certainly hope not. I hope that at least some of the people watching could give me the benefit of the doubt that maybe I CAN hold my position over jumps, but that when I am nail chewing, lip biting, panicky nervous...maybe then I am less able to deal with my horse's "good ideas." How can I get over this nervousness? Well, by showing some more. Realizing that it isn't the end of the world to NOT be perfect.

    Except that for some people, they'd be happy to tell me to my face (or at least mutter from the rail) that I have no business on a horse. That'll help my confidence.

    Crap happens on course. It doesn't mean you have "no business" TRYING. FCS. Give people on course and in photos the same breaks you'd give yourSELF. And you know you would. You'd forgive losing your position if your horse suddenly popped over like a deer, randomly. You think pros don't have "moments" with their horses? Even the best schooled, most spectacular Hunter mount is still A HORSE.

    Horses exist to make a complete liar of you. Just like kids. Next time you feel like critiquing photos and televised rounds, maybe HONESTLY try to remember what excuse you'd allow yourself if the photo was you. If you honestly can't imagine yourself making the same "error"...then you lack self-awareness to the point that you probably can't be helped. If you can't imagine a situation where some horse and some course and some combination of factors could POSSIBLY make you do whatever you're seeing...then you can't be helped. Enjoy perfection.
    Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior



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