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Help me ride up banks in water!

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  • Help me ride up banks in water!

    Thanks in advance!

    Any pointers on how to make myself ride better to the up banks out of water?!

    I can get that nice bouncy canter in regular up banks.... even double up banks...we just bouncy right up and up and over....
    But you add water and I go for some reason and panic! I don't quite know how to balance out the balance, the impulsion, and the...whatever! I know in my brain.... I need more power because the water takes some away. I know I need more spring and bounce (ie coffin canter) because they need to collect and bounce up the wall. I KNOW (very acutely now.....sigh...) NOT to run my horse at it and throw myself at it. But I can't seem to make myself not want do that.

    Any helpful advice? Ways to mentally think about it? Ways to help myself ride it? Exercises?

    I can almost get it to where we can get there to the base and get up without launching but it's underpowered and we're left with nothing to get over a second element. However, that is MUCH preferred to my alternative plan which seems to be run him at it gunning it... which doesn't end well.
    Ask me how I know!! Sigh......

    So yes please... Thanks for the help!! I just don't like them... I don't!

  • #2
    Me too!
    Bonnie Mosser once told me to think about the aids for extended trot -- how you need to be up in the withers yet with the leg on and driving, not sitting down and retarding the forward movement, half halting and soft with the hand yet keeping serious contact. When I get that extended trot-aids-picture in my head it is easier -- but I am the same way you are about them....once in a clinic I must have done it six or seven times holding up the whole group while the instructor worked and WORKED on it with me; we never did "get" it right. I have the horse that launches from an underpowered stride and it's darn hard to keep that bouncy rhythm in the water with him!
    Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
    Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


    • Original Poster

      Oooh thanks!! I'll try that mental picture next time I do like the sound of it

      Keep em' coming!! I desperately need something that will work! My horse agrees!!


      • #4
        Ride forward and, a few strides out, soften the reins! By trying to MAKE a better canter in the water, you end up pulling them right out of a good canter...or, at least this is Lucinda Green's theory. This is how I've ridden banks out of water ever since she told me that, and, for the most part, it works. Also works for jumps IN the water.

        I find when I hold on too much, my horses (especially the bold ones) tend to launch from way out. When I remember to soften several strides out, they get to a better distance and jump out with power.


        • #5
          I agree with the others. Plus, my trainer always tells me there's no shame in trotting through the water, so long as you make it a nice, forward trot.
          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


          • #6
            Also a good tip is to keep your on the top of the bank. Pick a spot(on the bank) and ride to it. I often have students bewildered by the water and take their eye off the bank==horses leaving long.


            • #7
              Originally posted by teamwallace View Post
              Also a good tip is to keep your on the top of the bank. Pick a spot(on the bank) and ride to it. I often have students bewildered by the water and take their eye off the bank==horses leaving long.
              this. Keep your eye on the lip of the bank and be patient. Eye on the lip, be patient, eye on the lip be patient. Sing it in a rhythm.


              • #8
                Think about getting his hind legs to move up and under you in the canter. Think about a horse that is doing a great canter pirouette - very uphill balance with their hind legs under them, and picking themselves up and moving from the hind legs.

                Now think about doing that from your seat and legs but in a straight line in the water.

                Totally agree with yellowbritches (soft reins both into and out of water) and teamwallace (keep your eye on the lip).

                It is often better in water to add a stride rather than to go long/flat and leave a stride out. So think about waiting with your upper body for that "extra" stride - that you will allow to happen by waiting, keeping your horse's hind legs underneath him, and having a soft hand.

                You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng


                • #9
                  Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post

                  I find when I hold on too much, my horses (especially the bold ones) tend to launch from way out. When I remember to soften several strides out, they get to a better distance and jump out with power.
                  This is by far the best thing I learned from the person I was riding with in CA a while back, and I still think about it when I'm planning every course I do now. If you want your horse to jump boldly, like at a big ditch/wall or something of that ilk, take a stronger contact. If you want your horse to jump softly, like off a drop (or to keep a super bold horse from getting too enthusiastic), keep those reins soft. My old horse used launch both into and out of the water, and focusing on a less holding contact with the same intensity of "engine revving" really helped him jump more appropriately.


                  • Original Poster

                    THanks guys!
                    I'm going to print this out and take it with me next time we go school.

                    Hopefully our little *disaster* will be enough to help me remember what NOT to do from now on, but... I'm really struggling with it for some reason. So I need all the help I can get.



                    • #11
                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                      Ride forward and, a few strides out, soften the reins! By trying to MAKE a better canter in the water, you end up pulling them right out of a good canter...or, at least this is Lucinda Green's theory. This is how I've ridden banks out of water ever since she told me that, and, for the most part, it works. Also works for jumps IN the water.

                      I find when I hold on too much, my horses (especially the bold ones) tend to launch from way out. When I remember to soften several strides out, they get to a better distance and jump out with power.
                      This but add...WAIT for yourself. There will be one more stride than you are probably seeing...so shut your eye off and just wait for your horse. Take a little mane so you don't get left.
                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                      • #12
                        The drag effect of the water requires that you KICK many horses (usually the less naturally impulsive type) into a soft contact to get that bouncier canter stride required to make a nice jump at a bank out of water. Merely keeping the leg on is often not enough to prevent the water from sucking the energy out of the stride. The rider should sit up and sit down more than usual and slightly raise their hands as they try to maintain the horses RPMs (energy within the stride).

                        And don't let the distraction of the relative chaos of galloping through the water with all of the splashing take your focus off the top of the bank. Horses have to learn this too!
                        Last edited by lstevenson; Jul. 18, 2010, 06:50 PM.


                        • #13
                          Wow - what a great question, OP - lots of great advice here. thanks guys.
                          Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                          Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)


                          • #14
                            What do your trainers advise you to do?

                            It would add to this great question and discussion if all of the posters and the OP herself asked their trainers for what THEY do and post that here too...thanks for posting!!!!
                            ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan


                            • #15
                              I'm going to agree with SOFTENING the contact. The Pony is SUPER forward, and if you take a hold to try and find a spot, she just races and leaves long...NOT fun going UP (or anywhere) what with the scrambling etc. Sit back, soften the hand, and wait. One thing that has helped us a bit is just working on that bouncy canter in the water through the pass through's so that you can create it without thinking as much about it, just like you would school your coffin canter a bit.


                              • #16
                                I really like the (slightly subtle, if you think about it) advice from Lucinda via yellowbritches -- you can't hold too much in the water trying to "keep" that coffin canter; at that point you need to be soft (and patient, as bornfree said, AND keep your eyes on where you are going)....

                                I have a hard time with this too and too many times have relied on the fact that my horses are big and athletic, so they manage to muscle their way out of bad rides on my part

                                Last time I worked on this my coach just really got on my case about the canter BEFORE the water -- like from way out, 10, 15 strides. It had to be powerful and uphill and connected...once I got THAT right, I had both the stride (before I was leaving one out and scrambling, or losing energy and chipping) and the impulsion. I think we focus on the canter "in" the water, but by then it's really too late -- you have to have the right canter way before, and just keep your eye and energy focused forward once you are in the water...
                                The big man -- my lost prince

                                The little brother, now my main man


                                • #17
                                  Let your reins get a little long and put your hands in your lap. Grab a little mane and WAIT. Yes, you need an engaged, uphill, round canter in the water, but kick-kick-kicking tends to just get the horse fast and flat, and the rider up and out of position.
                                  Click here before you buy.


                                  • #18
                                    Can you practice just riding in the water, without the bank being a question?
                                    Riding in a lot of water helped me develop a good feel for it, or at least it did when I was lucky enough to ride somewhere with a water complex! I would just add it into my trot sets or canter sets, focusing on keeping the same rhythm in, through, and out. I still hear Eric Horgan going "ping-PONG-ping-PONG" in my head when I trot through water. That nice active rhythm helps quite a bit.
                                    ~T3DE 2010 Pact Clique~


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Thanks so much guys!!

                                      I think part of my problem is that.... I have a decent forward horse... and we have a decent canter in the water... but then I try to get a bouncier coffiny canter in the water...then I panic that I'm in the water and it took it away so now I must kick kick kick and then... it turns into running. I think I should just forget that I'm in the water and ride it like there is no water, but add the soften the hand part and I will probably be okay. He's a pretty gung ho kinda horse. I think too much kicking is what gets me into trouble. And I think the soften the hands part is what I need!! I think that might be the missing part. (And not the throwing myself at him a stride away part- doh!)

                                      But.... I'll definitely print this all out and read and reread before we head back out again.

                                      Super duper thanks!!!!


                                      • #20
                                        How bout breathing, centering, and trusting your horse? You have the super appy...

                                        Of course, the above advice is great, but you do already know how to ride your horse--I know. You just sometimes overthink and worry instead of being in the moment and enjoying it!