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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2012
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    41

    Default Auto-release in hunters??

    So I am working with a green medium pony hunter and we aren't jumping anything all that big, but he is one of the more difficult ponies to ride through a course....he doesn't have a lot of confidence and will refuse a x-rail he jumped the day before. So basically, I have to hold him under me to THE very last second before the fence or else he will run out or dirty stop. However, he has a gorgeous round hunter jump, but won't execute it correctly unless I give his mouth some 'space' (but by doing so I risk him refusing the fence all together) I mean I am not yanking and or balancing on his mouth...just simply keeping him in my control. So yesterday I tried doing an auto-release and he was VERY happy with it. I could hold him under my all the way up to the fence and let him have the freedom he wants for his mouth, without losing too much control for the next fence. But I do know auto releases aren't too popular in the hunter world and some frown upon them, because it indicates your horse needs too much control, where as a loopy crest release shows off how your hunter can do the course with little help from the rider.
    What are your opinions on auto releases??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Currituck NC
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    1,337

    Default

    I ride my greenie in a short release/auto release. Granted...we are only doing very local shows but she usually pins quite nicely and jumps beautifully.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011
    Location
    Ontario
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    906

    Default

    I love auto release.... I used to do the loopy crest but with my greenie, I learned the hard way....

    *Do not forget rule #2- Don't trust that he/she will jump...* Or else the evil dropped shoulder comes, I fall on neck sideways, horsey bucks you off since she thinks you are a cougar clingy to her neck. Ha

    I think hunter judges are coming to appreciate the auto release, I see alot of great riders doing it and pinning high.
    It really helps greenies with balance and really helped my mare learn to use her neck and back. The connection seems to recycle the energy back to the hindquarters and results in a rounder jump.

    Maybe I am crazy but unless, you are jabbing them in the mouth I think a light contact is good.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 5, 2010
    Posts
    202

    Default

    Auto-releases are a refined skill when perfected. Why not use it at all times if you are able to? Its looks better in the Eq, Hunter, and Jumper ring and arguably more effective ( and your case just proves that). I have never heard of someone not doing an auto-release for the fear of someone thinking the horse is difficult. To me it just speaks " effective/balanced rider".

    I say go for it.
    Footnote
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2000
    Location
    SW PA
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    2,242

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqRider112 View Post
    But I do know auto releases aren't too popular in the hunter world and some frown upon them, because it indicates your horse needs too much control, where as a loopy crest release shows off how your hunter can do the course with little help from the rider.
    What are your opinions on auto releases??
    Seriously? THIS is the reason it is not used?
    Good grief....
    An auto release requires skill -- TPF hunter said it well.
    Proud to have two Gold Prince POAs!
    Takaupas Top Gold
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2011
    Posts
    348

    Default

    [QUOTE=EqRider112;6499577]But I do know auto releases aren't too popular in the hunter world QUOTE]

    Holy cow! You dont see them because people cant do them!

    You should strive for the auto release!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 21, 2009
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    South Central: Zone 7
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    Default

    The only time auto releases are frowned upon is when done incorrectly and the rider is hanging on the mouth (lol, often mimicking a water skier). Judges just don't care so long as you get the most out of your horse.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2012
    Posts
    41

    Default

    Lori- those aren't my beliefs, but what I have heard from some trainers/judges/riders
    I know GM is a fan of the auto-release so that is a good enough reason for me to give 'em a try



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2011
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    Ontario
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    906

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hntrjmprpro45 View Post
    The only time auto releases are frowned upon is when done incorrectly and the rider is hanging on the mouth (lol, often mimicking a water skier). Judges just don't care so long as you get the most out of your horse.
    Water skier---- Love it! and So true when I think about it.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2011
    Posts
    348

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by EqRider112 View Post
    Lori- those aren't my beliefs, but what I have heard from some trainers/judges/riders
    I know GM is a fan of the auto-release so that is a good enough reason for me to give 'em a try
    Maybe the trainers dont know how to teach it

    The riders dont know how to do it

    I dont know about the judges....that part puzzles me.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
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    Default

    In Hunter Seat Equitation, George Morris clearly states that anything LESS than an auto-release or "release out of hand" is a merely a learning tool for beginners; the definition of an advanced rider is using the auto-release exclusively!

    The problem is that most people never have the lower leg and security to "graduate" from using a crest release as a balance crutch.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
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    People just don't know how to do the auto release. I have seen on that judge my ride website where people have told posters that the auto release was wrong! I made sure to correct them that the auto release was the advanced way of riding.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 22, 2005
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    Where it is perpetually winter
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    Default

    Or... people know how to do an auto release and choose not to. I know how to do one and have known for a long time, but I rarely, if ever, use it. I don't think it's the be-all, end-all release that some people think it is.

    ^Derby Lyn, a lot of people post pictures on that website with releases that are incorrectly done automatics, which (IMO) can be awful on a horse's mouth.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2005
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    Cazenovia, NY
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    Default

    It seems to me that when we talk about the AR often it is often expressed as some strategic, planned release. That it can somehow be a bad thing or that there are better releases for certain circumstances.

    The reason it is called automatic is because it requires not thought, intervention, and is dictated by the horse.

    You cannot do an AR if your balance is not good; core, seat, leg, etc., and it is almost impossible to negatively impact the horse using the automatic release, as when all the aforementioned are are correct because you do not have the leverage without changing one or all of the those same elements to generate the power to counter what the influence the horses jump has on your hands arms and shoulders.

    In the hunter ring there is a lot showmanship going on, which has nothing to do with the release. If you horse jumps with its knees to its eyeballs, and is a rocking horse between fences they will be successful regardless of the type of release you use.

    The idea is to maintain light consistent contact between and over fences without using the neck to support that contact in any way.

    Some GP riders have down played the AR, but I believe this is more of a riding culture argument than a release argument as they all employ the same model, whether it is the NA style that is very obvious, or the WE style that looks more like a crest release, neither is employing the horses neck as a support base. Frankly the type of release being employed can be hard to discern because it is controlled by the horse, and sometimes they made need to use all of their neck sometimes not as much, and consequently the horse will position the riders hands where they need to be. Over a water jump a horse may jump fairly flat, which may leave the riders hands in a almost crest release position, over a big oxer the horse may be very round and move the riders hands well down the neck which we associate with a classic auto release, but the bottom line is that it is the horses jump that really positions the hands, the rider just needs to keep from using the neck as support.



  15. #15
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    Jan. 30, 2000
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    SW PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqRider112 View Post
    Lori- those aren't my beliefs, but what I have heard from some trainers/judges/riders
    I know GM is a fan of the auto-release so that is a good enough reason for me to give 'em a try
    I say if you are advanced enough to jump out of hand, then forget the people who don't/can't/won't.
    I stick with the old riding style of GM's generation as the foundation that I learned as a child.

    Hauwse, BRILLIANT post!!!
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  16. #16
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    Oct. 21, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hauwse View Post
    Frankly the type of release being employed can be hard to discern because it is controlled by the horse, and sometimes they made need to use all of their neck sometimes not as much, and consequently the horse will position the riders hands where they need to be. Over a water jump a horse may jump fairly flat, which may leave the riders hands in a almost crest release position, over a big oxer the horse may be very round and move the riders hands well down the neck which we associate with a classic auto release, but the bottom line is that it is the horses jump that really positions the hands, the rider just needs to keep from using the neck as support.
    This brings up a good point. Your hand position over a fence doesn't necessarily fit perfectly into one of the three types (long, short, auto). There are so many variations and possibilities that can be "correct" depending on the situation. Positions over a jump won't be "cookie cutter" since horses never jump *exactly* the same every time, nor do any two horses jump exactly alike.

    My second rant for the day... I don't care for the term "automatic release". The point is to maintain contact over the jump not release the contact. I really agree with Greg Best on this topic. The jump is merely another canter stride which should ideally have contact just like any other canter stride. Gasp, no "release" is necessary. In fact GM will even talk about "rating" your horse in the air (a subtle and advanced maneuver for jumpers that spend too much time in the air jumping across).



  17. #17
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    Jun. 17, 2001
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    down the road from bar.ka
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    Default

    I like following hand better then auto release. It is one tool in a riders kit of many different releases PROPERLY executed depending on the situation. PROPER trainers teach all of the releases PROPERLY when the riders are ready for them. Otherwise they are simply bad trainers producing bad riders.

    Here I was just thinking we were going to get through the summer without our annual summer auto relaease trainwreck. Time for a "back in the day" and "that's why I don't show Hunters anymore, everybody else rides bad"...

    I realize OP did not intend it but I am going to put some wine on ice should this follow the usual, annual track.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun. 3, 2010
    Posts
    370

    Default

    The whole "release debate" has always confused me. Our job as riders, especially Hunter riders, is to not interfere with our horses natural ability as much as possible. I have pictures of myself that rival Jimmy Kohns picture in Hunt Seat Equitation... probably because I was riding with him at the time... but I also have pictures of my hands as far up the horses neck as possible, with zero contact. My mare now doesn't want or need anyone in her mouth. She will accept contact, but if there is minimal contact and she can stretch at her own will over the fence, she bascules BEAUTIFULLY. I've done this with the majority of my jumping horses since I've been riding her, and I've seen improvements in all of them.



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