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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2005
    Location
    BC, Canada - PNW
    Posts
    652

    Default Developing eye for distances?

    I've recently gotten a fabulous little all around gelding who was a 2'6-2'9 jumper, and I'm a (mediocre) low level dressage rider. He's needed lots of work (as have I) to adjust to contact and work on the flat, but today I took him for a spin in the jumper tack and WHEEEE! So much fun! He went very nicely in it, and I'm confident in my position and ability to get out of his way over (small) fences, but I have ZERO eye for distances, so I only trot in (though a couple times he throws in a stride or two of canter before takeoff).

    I've seen video of him previously and watched a barnmate canter him to fences, and he seems pretty forgiving if you're a bit off, but obviously I don't want to ruin a good horse with repeated bad distances, even to small stuff. I'm thinking I'll throw down poles and count like a maniac, but specifically what else can I do? Will it help me to walk lines more? Or specific exercises?

    I do have a fabulous coach, though I don't think we'll touch jumping for a while, as the focus is on his flat work and my talented barnmate/friend will keep him going over fences beyond my trotting x rails for kicks.

    Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2004
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    2,160

    Default

    Concentrate on developing a feel for a good pace and your eye will develop accordingly.

    Good luck to you and your new horse.
    friend of bar*ka



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2001
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    4,256

    Default

    Cantering ground poles is one good exercise. Another is setting up 2 fences with a related distance. Trot in and canter out and count the strides in the middle. Have fun!!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2009
    Posts
    524

    Default

    When you are that new to jumping (or if you are a chronic overanalyzer like myself), *don't* look for a distance. Keep a good rhythmic, forward pace, keep your leg on, eye up, and let your horse figure it out. I heard someone say (quite possibly on here) that the lower jumps especially are like a human walking off of a curb. You don't see people making huge changes in their gait, panicking, or falling off the curb - they just automatically make adjustments so they walk off the curb without an issue, and don't freak out if they are "deep" or "long."


    7 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2012
    Posts
    1,799

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BostonHJ View Post
    You don't see people making huge changes in their gait, panicking, or falling off the curb - they just automatically make adjustments so they walk off the curb without an issue, and don't freak out if they are "deep" or "long."
    Except for people like me who are impossibly klutzy, LOL


    5 members found this post helpful.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2009
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PaintedHunter View Post
    Except for people like me who are impossibly klutzy, LOL
    Don't worry, I slipped on a manhole cover the other day! It is a dangerous world out there



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2011
    Posts
    1,425

    Default

    I have face-planted over curbs before


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    It's okay guys, we can't all be jumpers... some of you may be dressage horses.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2009
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by over the moon View Post
    It's okay guys, we can't all be jumpers... some of you may be dressage horses.
    Too bad I am a terrible mover!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 2005
    Posts
    1,218

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BostonHJ View Post
    Too bad I am a terrible mover!
    Do you like chasing cows?


    1 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 27, 2009
    Posts
    524

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by over the moon View Post
    Do you like chasing cows?
    I think I am more of the first horse type - not useful over more than 2' and prefer to have minimal direction, but excellent at being fawned over and memorizing courses.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 9, 2012
    Posts
    1,799

    Default

    Personally, I think I'm more of a cute local-show, ornery, lazy, judgmental walk-trot pony.


    4 members found this post helpful.

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