Another reason stadium is such a pressure cooker (besides all of the aforementioned reasons) is that it is like performing in a fish bowl. I mean, who really watches your dressage test? Maybe an SO is filming, maybe a coach is on the sidelines, who even sees the judge cloaked in their vehicle or shadow box?
But stadium, good gosh, the railbirds are everywhere. There's riders watching to see how many strides you get in the turn, strangers putting on their judgy pants, other competitors secretly hoping you drop the rail in the combination, and photographers capturing every moment.
Whether we realize it consciously or not, it's a lot of pressure. It's fun, but it's fun under pressure.
Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.
Speaking strictly as an HP, learning that the base is my friend and learning to ride to it helped the heck out of my riding when on a horse with too much motor. It transferred nicely to hacking out jumping stream beds and logs uphill and downhill in a big field too.
That last stride to the base is almost impossible to get in there if the horse is not balanced and ahead of your leg or pulling or just flinging themselves over. Leaving that stride out off a long spot with the horse behind the leg is not only ugly, it's dangerous and you risk not clearing the beck rail on a spread or, horrors, hooking a leg and going rotational...which happens in regular SJ and even Hunters.
This is one reason counting strides and staying on the count is a good idea-helps you hold the proper canter with the horse ahead of your leg right to that fence and eliminate the long and weak spot.
It is all about the flatwork and using that Dressage. Having watched quite a bit of CC, I can't say the best riders are hell bent for leather either. Fast? Yes, but always with rear coming up under and ahead of the leg.
When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.
JP60--- a lot of rider who say they panic in SJ do not mean Panic in the fear sense. They typically mean panic in the sense of over or under riding when things do not go perfectly.
Good show jumping at a high level requires a slow mind but quick reaction. It requires a rider to stay calm. To adjust quickly when things are not going well but not over adjust. Often, you just have to be patient. This is what is meant by "panic". Instead of just waiting for the fence, they put too much leg on and send their horse for that first distance they see (often the long spot). Or know that is what they have a tendency do and start riding too backwards.....
It isn't panic in the sense that is scares them....it is panic in the sense of an OCD clean freak in a dirty room.
ETA: I'm FAR from perfect in stadium....and understand up close and personal what are probably YBs issues in stadium
(please note, slight tongue in cheek)
"Panic: Sudden uncontrollable fear or anxiety, often causing wildly unthinking behavior."
Sooooo....differences please...talk amongst yourselves if you like
Would this mean that us low level jumpers can have a quick mind, but slow reaction for that sounds about right for my riding
I get what you are saying (though maybe, slightly, a little presumptuous on the higher level comment). When riding Stadium it is important to be patient, let the course flow and not "push" to much. I think that view could be applied to 2'7 as to 3'11, it is just the level of experience, not height. This view does match my somewhat simplistic thought of just have fun for when its fun, then we are more relaxed which allows for more patience, less brain farts and voila! clean rounds.
I'm way outta my league here so I wont presume to understand YB issues like you might, but I've sat in the saddle (waiting for my go moment) many a time watching riders come close to throwing up, turning blue, so tight they resemble a guitar string, then going out in SJ and either knock em down or provide wonderful *GASP* moments...seems to me that has some aspect of "panic" (in the traditional sense) involved Personally, I don't worry about rails, from the moment I enter I just have two thoughts in mind, enjoy the ride, get out of Sterling's way, and finish in the saddle.
wow...JP60. You did not take my post at all the way I meant it. Take out the "high" level in my post....it was intended more to mean at a sophisticated level not the height of the fences. And by sophisticated...I mean at a level where riders are aware that it is not going well. Which can happen even if you never jump above 2'6"....but comes with time and experience.
I was addressing more YB issues which are VERY common for riders making the jump up the levels when things start happening faster and jumps start getting a bit bigger....and often the same rider doesn't have "fear" to jump a scary ass xc fence. The "panic" often comes out for most riders at training and prelim when the courses begin to get more technical and of course big....but can rear its ugly head at any level. And yes...to jump bigger and better courses, I stand by what I posted.
Of course riders can "panic" for many different reasons and at any level. But I had an idea of the type of panic that YB was talking about....and that was what I was addressing in my post.
Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:43 AM.
** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **
wow...JP60. You did not take my post at all the way I meant it.
Now hold on there Sally, you may have missed my "Tongue in cheek comment"? I was actually agreeing/understanding using a little (seemingly bad) humor along the way. I did "get it" (really, I did). I am just ... oh ... fussy about words so panic means one thing, doubt means another, over thinking completely different. I get patience (don't have much, but I get it) so hope to apply it better when I ride. My major issue is that I allow Sterling to get behind my leg and am not aware (at times) this happens till we bury ourselves at the base of a jump.
Anywho, I'll bow out of the discussion (got things way off topic) for I seem to lack the experience to really comment or understand the OPs original issue. Y'all enjoy
Being a h/j rider, I was a little shocked when I started doing BN and watching sj! I have to get OUT of SJ mode for XC.
1. I'm in a RING which means planned turns and corners - pace is SO important through these turns. keep your power and your rhythm. Rebalance before the corner, then keep the impulsion through the corners.
2. Start with the canter you want to end with, do not build, and do not fall apart. easier said than done.
3. keep your reins short and keep your eyes up! look where you are going! jumps come up a lot faster than xc (most of this applies to xc as well).
4. look at your course ahead of time. watch other riders ride it and see what they did wrong and you can fix to make it right. visualize yourself doing it. (it is a lot easier for me to visualize SJ than XC because I can see it all at once!)
A great thing that I don't think xc people use enough is ground poles! set up a course of ground poles. you don't have to worry about missing and ruining your horse. make a 5 stride line. do the 5 a few times, do a 4, do a 6, do a 4, do a 7, do a 5. this will really help you learn your horses rhythm and stride. practice your distances over poles.
bfne, you summed up my "panic" very, very well. Far better than my stomach bug addled brain probably could (I am not convinced that what I posted early this morning even makes sense, as I was shivering on the couch trying to will my body into submitting to getting dressed and out without keeling over).
I WANT to be good, and my "fear" of failing (basically) in my hard phase, does not always mean that I sit down and ride the hell out of the course. Usually it means I ride the hell out of the first couple of fences, make a minor mistake, and then freak out because I did it WRONG. Then I start to over or under ride at every fence, just making it all go worse.
The OCD person in a messy room is a good analogy. And why I think the experiment of treating myself like an Eq rider may be an interesting way to solve to problem.
JP60, some of my issues are pretty deep, too. I've had a VERY rough year competing (as I have discussed some on COTH). My "OCD" tendencies have actually crippled me from performing, which is why I am seeking out the help of sports psychologist...somewhere there is a miss fire in my brain and its reaction to mistakes, and I have to reset it!
(Again, I'm not sure I'm writing coherently today, so please forgive me if I seem disjointed and weird...the only calories I've consumed since 3pm yesterday have been a bottle of ginger ale and a piece of toast!).