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  1. #1
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    Default Best Approach to a Trot Fence

    So I was at the PA National a weekend or two ago and sat in on a Hunter Hack. I noticed some riders would transition to the trot fence before they actually turned to the track for the jump and other riders would wait until they have completed the turn and were on track to the fence before they transitioned to the trot. Is there a better or more favored way, or as long as you make the fence look pretty, where you transition doesn't matter?
    Lesmiz_07



  2. #2
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    Good question. I too would be interested in the answer.

    I imagine most people would try to do whatever would show off their horse the best given its individual quirks. However, it would be interesting to hear what judges would have to say about this.



  3. #3
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    I don't know what the correct answer is, but I would probably transition to the trot before turning to the jump to be sure I have a good rythmn in the trot.



  4. #4
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    When I do the local circuit eq stuff, I always transition after my turn. My theory (self-developed and not necessarily correct) is that I want to judge to know that my horse can be lined up with the fence, be staring down the track and still transition beautifully and balanced and not rush toward the fence (cuz she can!). But I was curious about what judges or other big eq rides thing/do in these situations.
    Lesmiz_07



  5. #5
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    I show in dressage and HT, but if I had to do a Hunter Hack class, I'd transition to trot before the turn. Knowing my horse and her greenness, I think I'd get a smoother approach if I used the turn to rebalance her and set a good rhythm.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lesmiz_07 View Post
    When I do the local circuit eq stuff, I always transition after my turn. My theory (self-developed and not necessarily correct) is that I want to judge to know that my horse can be lined up with the fence, be staring down the track and still transition beautifully and balanced and not rush toward the fence (cuz she can!). But I was curious about what judges or other big eq rides thing/do in these situations.
    This is what a big name judge told me. It shows more control/higher level of difficulty to wait until after the turn, and you are on a straight track to the fence.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    This is what a big name judge told me. It shows more control/higher level of difficulty to wait until after the turn, and you are on a straight track to the fence.
    But sometimes there truly isn't enough room to do that safely. I always transition before, but not much before, sometimes on, the turn.



  8. #8
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    All other things being equal, a polished transition on the approach to the fence will score higher than the one executed before or on the turn.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina


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  9. #9
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    Oh my goodness. I'm usually trying to slow down before we even get to the second to last jump, and am praying that I can get down to a trot before we careen around that last corner.

    ...sometimes eq. is just not my thing.
    Thoroughbreds: classic

    Turn. N. Burn.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    All other things being equal, a polished transition on the approach to the fence will score higher than the one executed before or on the turn.

    I would agree with this. And when you watch the big Eq riders this is more often than not what they do....

    However, you said it was a Hunter Hack class not Eq so it seems it would work both Eq and Hunters.

    I would transition before the turn just because I like to get a forward balanced trot and be able to slow down just before the jump, feeling the horses mouth but I don't do the big Eq or big Hunters.
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  11. #11
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    Default On the approach

    Because it is to show that your horse is listening to you and adjustable.

    You should be able to come to a trot (or a halt) before any fence that is not part of a "double or triple", even if it the second fence of a line.

    That said, the trot fence means you are either in a: an Eq class, b: a hunter derby handy class or c: a good old fashioned field hunter class. Trot fences force your horse to listen and adjust and force your timing to be better.

    Personally, I don't understand why such a big deal out of trot fences, they just aren't that hard.



  12. #12
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    THe later the transition to trot (trot quality, transition quality, jump quality all the same) the better. It shows you horse listens and responds very well and you can get things done in a very short period and you don't lose any quality. However a late transition with a poor trot, jump, transition, or NOT actually getting a true trot before the jump will score worse than an earlier transition.



  13. #13
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    This is a question I have been meaning to ask for a while, myself. Also, this came up twice in showing this year, in a Handy Hunter class, the course ends with a trot jump on the end of ring at the in gate end. How far away after the trot jump should you canter, before walking out of the ring on a loose rein to show the best? I cantered most of the way around the turn on the approach, before coming back to the trot. I was pretty sure I could have gone all the way around, but it would have made the trot approach very short and right by the in gate, I was a bit worried about having her focus on a trot jump, which was higher and more substantial than she would usually see at home and I watched several horses stop. I chose to canter away until I came to the side fence, then walk, but my horse could land and walk within a couple strides and leave the ring, if I asked, I am sure.



  14. #14
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    They had this same type of situation at the PA National this year. Trot fence was last fence right by the in/out gate. Most riders had their horses land in the canter (right lead) for a stride or two and then transition back down to the trot and just trot out. The only riders who circled were the ones where the horse was too strong to transition down that quickly or who landed in the wrong lead (left) and needed a change. I've never done it myself, but that is what I observed.
    Lesmiz_07



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElisLove View Post
    THe later the transition to trot (trot quality, transition quality, jump quality all the same) the better. It shows you horse listens and responds very well and you can get things done in a very short period and you don't lose any quality. However a late transition with a poor trot, jump, transition, or NOT actually getting a true trot before the jump will score worse than an earlier transition.
    This ^^. I don't know what specific class you were watching, but I was always taught that for Handy Hunters, the closer you are to the fence, the more handy points you can get. Also for Eq, the closer you get to the fence with a smooth transition shows off how in tune the horse is listening to your aids.


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  16. #16
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    Closer you are to that fence, the higher you are going to score for that jump IF you actually get to it without breaking into the canter. Hunter or Eq.

    Trot jumps may not be that hard as stand alone excercises at home but in a show situation? With one that has been cantering whole courses in that ring...recently? And by the in/out gate at the end of the course?

    Not so easy.

    Sometimes it's best to do it more conservatively and get your trot where you know you can get it-and keep it-then try to show off and hang yourself. Trying to show off and get extra points can result in a backfire and a zero for the trot fence.

    Need to know yourself in a show nerve situation and know and completly trust your horse. Never ask for anything you are not 99.99% sure that horse will do for you. Also will add each rider you are watching is making a decision based on themselves, their horse and the best way to get at least some points for that trot fence instead of a goose egg trying to showing increased difficulty doing something they are not sure of.

    Far as what to do after the trot fence? No standard but I sure would not want to take any more time leaving the ring then needed. A tidy down transition on a straight line then out, never see any big, sweeping closing circles from successful riders in Eq or a Handy class when the last fence is a trot fence.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

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  17. #17
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    Geezer alert here. At what point did it become OK to land cantering from a trot fence? Used to be that was a major fail, even if the next fence asked for cantering.
    madeline
    * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis



  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madeline View Post
    Geezer alert here. At what point did it become OK to land cantering from a trot fence? Used to be that was a major fail, even if the next fence asked for cantering.
    Always been expected to land cantering at least since the late 70's. If a horse trots a fence and lands trotting, they usually are lacking impulsion which isn't desireable.


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  19. #19
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    At a clinic last month, Scott Hofstetter echoed what some other posters said. If your horse can do the transition close to the fence, and well, then do that. It shows off your horse's flexibility. He was talking in reference to a handy hunter course, but i don't personally know if that matters (versus eq).
    (A decidedly unhorsey) MrB knocks over a feed bucket at the tack shop and mutters, "Oh crap. I failed the stadium jumping phase."
    (he does listen!)



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    Always been expected to land cantering at least since the late 70's. If a horse trots a fence and lands trotting, they usually are lacking impulsion which isn't desireable.
    I second this. Also, I don't know many horses who could land in a trot off a 3 ft fence (the maximum height of a trot fence for horses per USEF rules).
    Professional hunter princess



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