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  1. #1
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    Red face Stadium Jumping VS Show Jumping

    In UPPER LEVEL EVENTING.

    I really like watching eventing and would love to give crosscountry jumps a go at the non-life threatening level haha, but, as a 'show' jumper, I have always wondered about the Stadium Jumping. Granted I only see the VERY limited televised stuff, and when I get the urge I check out horse and country TV so I don't have a fast experience with eventing.

    Now maybe it's cause I am a straight jumper rider but it's seems like stadium is the least strong event for the majority of eventers. When I watch most of them do stadium I find it looks quite awkward and a lot of them either rub nearly every fence or knock down quite a few and the horse's form is much different to most show jumpers. If I were to watch a 'show' jumping class and saw horse and rider going around like this I would think that they needed more practice or weren't maybe quite ready for this height.

    I am not dissing eventing riders in the slightest as the upper level riders are obviously crazy good, but I do wonder about why there is a fairly large difference (in my opinion) from regular jumpers, to eventing stadium jumpers.
    I especially found it interesting watching Merideth (wow can't spell today) since she was a prominent show jumper and she ended up with 12 faults at rolex I believe and looked very much like the other eventers in the way the horse went and jumped (though the announcer did say that the horse had issues with stadium so that could have been it, more so than anything else I don't know)
    In you opinion, what is the biggest or most influential reasoning for this.
    Is it because:
    To do cross country you need a horse with a much different jump style than your average show jumper? If so, how come a different jump style is better for cross country?

    Is it just b/c they are tired from having to do dressage and cross country before hand? If so, is fitness a problem that needs to be worked on more or is there just no way for a horse to REALLY be that fit? Would it take obscene amounts of riding to achieve that?

    Is it conformation? Ties in a bit with jump style but do eventers need different confo than regular jumpers? If so, why? They need more endurance and maybe that affects confo, but could you not still get a horse to be built for any jumping style if stamina was the biggest confo issue (ie. large girth, well sprung to allow for lungs to expand well...)

    Is it training? Do eventers spend more time schooling cross country than schooling jumpers? Should people spend more time on jumpers or would that too greatly and negatively affect their cross country scores?

    Or any other reasoning.
    I am asking this purely out of interest in learning about why there is such a big difference, and if anything can or should be done to improve it. Like I said, I really enjoy eventing and am not bashing it or dissing it in anyway, this has just always been something I have wondered and has caught my interest.
    Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by ElisLove; May. 1, 2012 at 01:18 AM.



  2. #2
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    I'm a fellow show jumper would love to know the answer as well. Such different styles for pretty much the same sport.
    Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!



  3. #3
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    I have to say that a lot of them knocking rails were dead tired. At the end of a 4* they are just beat, both rider and horse, and an accurate round is tough.

    That is of course at the upper levels. The lower levels there are rails flying left and right on some rides and other rides look smooth as glass. Fitness, carefulness, and rider skill/eye play a factor. Some horses are not careful in SJ, but they are honest on XC and a nice mover in the dressage. You have to give and take on some.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.




  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify I do mean UPPER LEVEL eventers. I will add that to my OP



  5. #5
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    My opinion, coming from the jumper worl, and now here.

    1. Horses are more tired. At the end of these big events.

    2. At lower events, i think jumping isnt worked on as much.

    3. Mostly, jumpers are a lot more round. They go "up" where we need them a bit flatter on xc. Those spreads you see on tv....yeah, they dont do them justice. I think its prolly a bit more rare to see a horse capable of doing the gallopy, flat jumping, going thru brush on xc, and then see them round on stadium the next day.

    Jmho.
    May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
    www.mmceventing.com



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElisLove View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Just to clarify I do mean UPPER LEVEL eventers. I will add that to my OP
    They also have to give and take on their horses. MLM got a safe XC horse and said she could fix the SJ. Allison has been working on her SJ rounds. Karen has been working with MLM on her SJ rounds.

    A few of these are new partnerships, so there are bumps. A few are older partnerships and there are still bumps.

    My trainer's horse, in her opinion, will have SJ as his downfall. He jumps the advanced jumps with ease but he does not pick up his feet for SJ. Not worth his effort. She has him running Intermediate and he rubs the rails. Just feels his way around the course. On XC, its just over jumping each fence by a foot or two.

    Some horses are great at all phases and some are better at XC and SJ then dressage or XC and dressage then SJ. But really what I saw when watching the jogs and the rides were tired horses and riders pulling rails and jumps.

    Not slamming regular show jumpers, but they don't have a huge endurance test before they do their rounds. True they do more rounds, but it is not the same pace and length as the XC course.
    I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.




  7. #7
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    I compete in higher level eventing with my horse, and speaking of us (each horse/rider pair in eventing, as in all showing, is different) .. Comanche usually "screwed up" his form during stadium jumping because he was so wiped by the xc course. Also, Comanche is a OTTB. He loves to run. If he's not wearing a martingale when I do a half halt, he throws his head up like "REALLY MOM?!?!" because he doesn't want to shorten his strides and collect himself. He just wants to GO. This often led to our wronky form in stadium jumping as well. In xc I can more often then not give him his head, with the occasional reminder to slow down and collect himself, while in stadium jumping I am usually holding him back the whole time and asking for more precision and slow(er) and collected movements. He hates that.

    Like I said, this is just speaking of what I know to be an answer to your question as it applies to me and my guy. Every horse and rider pair is different. Personally, I love watching Jumper classes All the horse and rider pairs seem so effortlessly smooth for the most part



  8. #8
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I definitely understand there being give and take even at upper level (there is give and take though to a lesser extent in jumpers too).

    So for those that say it has to do with endurance or being tired, do you think this is something riders need to work harder at or overall is that as fit as they can possibly be?

    Tec- so do u think that you could train that more into him, do u need to spend more time on the flagging or jumper part to make it better or would that actually be detrimental to your cross country?



  9. #9
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    I would imagine some of this would be self evident.

    i) a GP show jumper is a purpose bred specialist (usually a generationally bred WB) that is bred and trained to do one thing, i.e jump real high and round in a gymnastic cat-like fashion. An eventer is an all rounder with a heavy emphasis on being a galloper jumping at a higher rate of speed (hence a flatter more efficient jump in the galloping field), and while it too is increasingly purpose bred it has a higher degree of TB to facilitate that.
    ii) they just galloped 4 1/2 miles the day before over 40-50 fences, so they are kinda tired.

    I'm curious that some one would question the fitness of 4* eventers. The only thing fitter is a racehorse. Take any GP showjumper like Sapphire, Hickstead et al out and gallop them 4 miles and see how well they jump the next day over a GP course. I bet you'd see plenty of rubs and flatter jumping.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElisLove View Post
    Thanks for the replies.

    I definitely understand there being give and take even at upper level (there is give and take though to a lesser extent in jumpers too).

    So for those that say it has to do with endurance or being tired, do you think this is something riders need to work harder at or overall is that as fit as they can possibly be?

    Tec- so do u think that you could train that more into him, do u need to spend more time on the flagging or jumper part to make it better or would that actually be detrimental to your cross country?
    hmm.. good question. First let me respond to your first question about the horses being as fit as they could possibly be. I train for eventing by schooling my barns xc course (4 1/2 miles) and making my horse canter for long periods on the open trails (its not really work for him,he loves it!) and more often then not after these training sessions he's still feeling good. He's in pretty good physical shape. Now could he be in better physical shape? Possibly. I believe any athlete could theoretically be in better shape, but I dont know how well it would affect their overall performance. I mean, when you're tired..you're tired..

    And in regards to working with my boy more in that one aspect, I have a lot. One thing I've noticed about Comanche over the years is he puts up with his dressage work (because it stimulates his mind and he finds it somewhat challenging), ABHORS stadium jumping (you can just see it in his face. He's like, what the crap mom?! this is so BORING) and he lives for cross country. lives for it, seriously. I think this aspect can factor into his less than ideal behavior and conformation during stadium jumping. A horse naturally excells in something they enjoy as well, just like we do

    And also like other people have said, especially in the upper levels of eventing, the horse just flat out gets tired. Our usual xc course in an average show is anywhere from 3-4 1/2 miles long with 12-17 obstacles at an average height of 3'9 and a 3'3 ditch measurement. Heck I'm tired afterwards too and I'm (I'll admit it) not even working as hard as he is. He even has this look he'll get right before a big fence in stadium jumping like he is trying to psych himself up to get over. He always gets 2 or 3 days of total rest after a show. 4 if he brings home a ribbon (haha just kidding)



  11. #11
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    Compare eventing dressage with 'straight' dressage and you'll see the same thing.

    It comes down to being a specialist vs an allrounder. It's not easy to get a horse competing successfully at that level in ONE of those disciplines, so to get one that will do all THREE there have to be some compromises.

    Think about human events like the penthalon. The heights/speeds/distances/etc records for each section of the event aren't remotely close to the heights/speeds/distances/etc records achieved by 'specialist' athletes who compete in only one or maybe two of those disciplines.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tec890 View Post
    Our usual xc course in an average show is anywhere from 3-4 1/2 miles long with 12-17 obstacles at an average height of 3'9 and a 3'3 ditch measurement.
    They are unusual stats, but then I am not based in the US.
    What level do you compete at?



  13. #13
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    There are the technical factors, too.

    1) Speed (yup, speed!) the SJ course at top level eventing is run at a higher speed than "regular" sj (at the same height levels).

    2) # of fences - that is perscribed, too, and there are more than generally on a comparable SJ course.

    3) Length - the length of the SJ course is signifcantly longer (and was a CD's bugaboo to have a long length with not as many jumping efforts), so, as you probably noticed there tends to be a lot of galloping between efforts.

    Nothing like having to gallop to make the tired horse get strung out and totally uninterested in jumping sticks!

    So jumping the SJ course at the end of a **** (or any event) is an art unto itself.

    And, frankly, the rounds are better now than I've seen in the past!
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  14. #14
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    Those aren't any kind of US stats, either, Napoles.

    As for the OP, it is many factors. They are TIRED, being the biggest. They lose a lot of rideability when they get weary. I think you'd be surprised with a lot these horses if they came and showed at a comparable level at a jumper show. They are GOOD jumpers (yes, there style is probably very different than the purpose bred show jumpers), and when they aren't tired, a lot could probably knock your socks off.

    As for training....a lot of those riders spent time at Ocala or WEF working on their show jumping this winter. But, keep in mind, they have three disiciplines to train for PLUS fitness work. They probably actually spend the least time on xc (you just don't school xc of that size and technacality). They will school skinnies and angles and turning questions with show jumps, but you probably won't see them out schooling lots of xc fences. In fact, eventers probably jump way more fences at home than GP show jumpers do. But they also spend a lot of time on their dressage, not to mention the hours of various fitness work every week.

    It is not easy to pull off three beautiful phases, even a the lower levels, but especially at the top, especially on the weekend you most want to. It's a challenging sport, no doubt.



  15. #15
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    I was at Rolex this year and some of the horse just seemed really worn out. It amazes me when a rider has 2 or 3 horses to ride all these phases! The entire thing is a triathalon. I have never seen so many horse withdraw or be excused in the XC before.

    The horses are fit but some are better then others just like human athletes.
    One year we were at Rolex with a "DQ" and she was disappointed in the level of the dressage.. about 4th level.. we said wait until tomorrow. After being out on the XC, we said would your I2 horse do this? and then the SJ on day 3.. she never said anything again except when can we come back. To really appreciate it you have to either ride an event and it does not have to be a 4* or at least attend one and walk the whole course and see the other phases...

    I wish I was introduced to eventing in my younger years.. pre back injury, and I probably would have switched to the dark side long ago.....
    wish they still did the long format though.....I really liked watching "ALL" of it...
    Mai Tai aka Tyler RIP March 1994-December 2011
    Grief is the price we pay for love- Gretchen Jackson
    "And here she comes. Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's ZENYATTA!"



  16. #16
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    I think stadium jumping is probably the weakest phase of the three for many eventers. As a lower level rider, it is for me. My trainer is always saying, "You need to go do more jumper shows!" When I do them, I love them! BUT there's absolutely no pressure on me there. At a Horse Trial, I go in to the ring knowing that I only have one chance and one round. Very different mentally for me. So, I agree with all that's been said above. Different type of horse with a different attitude toward those "flimsy" knock down fences, particularly if tired, lack of practice by horse and rider, and a different style between a defensive XC ride and a forward stadium ride. Getting that impulsive, powerful canter is very easy on a good event horse XC. Not at all so easy in stadium-for me.



  17. #17
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    I think what everyone has said is true. Eventers (both horse and rider) are generalists. But I also think there is really a (necessary) mentality difference between the horses.

    A good eventer has to be (IMO) a bit of a rough neck. He has to be bold bold bold to face the types of cross country jumps they face, and honestly they CAN'T be afraid of hitting something. Some jumps on cross country (like brush) the horse can't possibly jump over. He has to jump through it. And as the move up the levels, they become a bit toughened (and perhaps desensitized?) by their training. Even good cross country horses pretty routinely have a hard knock here or there. They have to jump from trappy ground or they don't get quite straight and they have to GO ANYWAY.

    Take a horse that has been taught to jump through brush and scrape over logs, and you'll find that frequently they just aren't all that impressed by little colored poles. Some great eventers were REALLY unimpressed by the show jumps. Sure, some of it is fatigue, etc. But frequently I think some horses want to do a good job for their riders, but they just don't particularly see the point in picking up their hooves that extra bit. Why go over something if you can go through it?

    I had a super careful jumper once. She was a great mare. Never touched a THING. She hated anything touching her dainty little hooves. She did GREAT in show jumping, but she was a rotten event horse. The cross-country scared her, and she maxed out mentaly at a much lower level than her body was capable of.

    I think you need a different mentality from an event horse.



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by rileyt View Post
    I think what everyone has said is true. Eventers (both horse and rider) are generalists. But I also think there is really a (necessary) mentality difference between the horses.

    A good eventer has to be (IMO) a bit of a rough neck. He has to be bold bold bold to face the types of cross country jumps they face, and honestly they CAN'T be afraid of hitting something. Some jumps on cross country (like brush) the horse can't possibly jump over. He has to jump through it. And as the move up the levels, they become a bit toughened (and perhaps desensitized?) by their training. Even good cross country horses pretty routinely have a hard knock here or there. They have to jump from trappy ground or they don't get quite straight and they have to GO ANYWAY.

    Take a horse that has been taught to jump through brush and scrape over logs, and you'll find that frequently they just aren't all that impressed by little colored poles. Some great eventers were REALLY unimpressed by the show jumps. Sure, some of it is fatigue, etc. But frequently I think some horses want to do a good job for their riders, but they just don't particularly see the point in picking up their hooves that extra bit. Why go over something if you can go through it?

    I had a super careful jumper once. She was a great mare. Never touched a THING. She hated anything touching her dainty little hooves. She did GREAT in show jumping, but she was a rotten event horse. The cross-country scared her, and she maxed out mentaly at a much lower level than her body was capable of.

    I think you need a different mentality from an event horse.
    Absolutely!!!
    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!



  19. #19
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    "Fitter".... you want them to be FITTER?!?!? AND stay in the dressage ring???

    And since event riders are limited in having only 24 hours in a day and 7 days in a week, there just isn't the time. Plus, you need your horse to have legs left to actually compete. Even at the lower levels the horses are usually fit for the level they are competing. It would be a wee bit difficult to run a horse at novice that was 4* fit.

    I also believe that not matter how fit the horse is, and many had plenty of run left at the end xc at Rolex, they are physically tired the next day. SJ get a different kind of tired, but those 4* are just muscle sore.

    My admiration for event horses has no end.



  20. #20
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    I think saying they need to be more fit because they are tired after cross country is like saying marathon runners clearly need to be more fit because they are tired at the end of their race.

    Cross country looks to me to not only be totally physically taxing but mentally too. Those horses (and riders) are not just running and jumping.

    The fact that they can go and jump a stadium course the next day totally impresses me.



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