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Controlling Speed

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  • #21
    Originally posted by SuzieQNutter View Post

    Sorry I was referring to the OP saying she was circling to disengage the hindquarters.

    Instead engage the hindquarters and it is the outside rein that controls the shoulders not pulling on the inside rein like a one rein stop. This is probably why one of the posts referred to Natural Horsemanship being used.

    First the OP needs to get her riding muscles back and stop riding off her hands.

    Comment


    • #22
      I would add one more thing, to control speed YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE AT SPEED. Many times control comes from fear, leading to a stiff hand, arm, and body. This just feeds the anxiety of the horse, leading to a bigger fight.

      Go GALLOP at speed (600+ mpm) and get comfortable at it. Get a grab strap, learn how to throw a full or half cross, shorten the stirrups 6 holes and go. You might learn you don't need to control speed. You only need to influence balance. My novice students regularly come in 30-60 seconds under the time without dangerous riding penalties. Why? They are so smooth and consistent letting their horse carry what they have because they are comfortable at speed. Of course then they move up.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by RAyers View Post
        I would add one more thing, to control speed YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE AT SPEED. Many times control comes from fear, leading to a stiff hand, arm, and body. This just feeds the anxiety of the horse, leading to a bigger fight.

        Go GALLOP at speed (600+ mpm) and get comfortable at it. Get a grab strap, learn how to throw a full or half cross, shorten the stirrups 6 holes and go. You might learn you don't need to control speed. You only need to influence balance. My novice students regularly come in 30-60 seconds under the time without dangerous riding penalties. Why? They are so smooth and consistent letting their horse carry what they have because they are comfortable at speed. Of course then they move up.
        Judging by the OPs other threads and videos she posted here, I think you nailed the problem the OP is having.

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by LookmaNohands View Post
          Anne Kursiniski exercises. We did them when I rode with Jimmy Wofford, I called them blue-in-the-face exercises when I did them with a mare I had at the time. We did this in an arena but they really helped cross-country. You can also set up a similar thing in a field. I would start in an arena. You only go on to the next exercise when the one before it is pretty easy.

          Set a line of 6 or 7 strides. Start with X's or low verticals.
          1.Trot the first one. Halt and back, trot the second one, halt and back--in a straight line. It may help you to kick your feet out of the stirrups when you land as it makes you sit and not brace against your stirrups to halt.
          2. Once you are doing that well, eliminate the backing up and just halt after the first one, trot the second one and halt in a straight line.
          3. Once that is good, eliminate the halt and just walk a few steps in between the jumps then trot the second one and come back to walk in a straight line.
          4. Trot the first fence and trot the second one. Halt in a straight line after the second one if you need to.
          5. Once that is good, CANTER the first fence and TROT the second fence.
          6. Canter the first fence, keep going and canter the second fence. Halt in a straight line.

          At this point your horse should be really listening to you. The next step is to start adding strides between the two fences. But that is a more advanced exercise.

          These are really good but they are tedious. Horses really learn to listen!!!


          This is a really, really good exercise. You can even start with one jump if you need to. Right after jumping, halt as soon as you can in as straight a line as you can. Get to the point where you can practically land, throw your reins away and halt with your seat in a perfect straight line from the jump within about five or six strides. Then it's just a matter of asking your horse to continue instead of halting after the jump when you really jump a course or string.

          I highly encourage lots of flatwork without jumping in the field (cross country field if you can) as well. Work on getting the "we are doing flat work and there is occasionally a jump in the way" attitude.

          Comment


          • #25
            You sound very conscientious, your horse is lovely, and I think you have gotten a lot of great advice here. Especially from RAyers and LookmaNohands (the Anne Kursinski exercises).

            One thing that I like to do to combat the tension in my own body is to purposefully clench my muscles in groups for five seconds, then release. When I get on to ride XC, for example, I start with my eyes and squint them as hard as I can for five seconds, then release. Then my jaw, then my neck, then my shoulders.. all the way down to my toes. This has been a great way for me to release tension I wasn't even aware of. Of course, I do this while halted or walking (great during schoolings!). Heck.. I even do it at work!

            I also like to set up ground rails or cross rails in the field and practice getting different strides - so I set a line for 5, and practice getting 4, 5, and 6 strides. (Apologies if this was already mentioned). Just another way to work on adjustability.

            Good luck!

            Comment


            • #26
              Time yourself between markers in the field so that you learn to feel the speed
              "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Equestrianette
                Went out to the XC field and did flat work today. There was a moment where he got on the forehand and was difficult to get back to me but I didn’t let it make me anxious. We just trotted down the down slope and cantered going up the slope. The field isn’t perfectly flat. So? Neither is XC. I can 2 point sitting up and just bridge my reins and relax going up the slope but I really have to sit down and back if I were to go down the slope. Why? You should see the hills we gallop down. I absolutely need to get more strength to be able to get up off his back. It felt like when I did get off his back during a canter he just fell to the forehand and started running regardless if I was sitting up or not. I’ve said in this thread and before that my perception of speed as a new eventer is still developing. Fair enough, hence why you need to learn to "feel the speed," know the speed, love the speed. Previously I mentioned that my app on my phone only said we went a max speed of 12 mph and that isn’t even beginner novice speed. But when I no longer have control and he’s plowing around on the forehand it is unsettling and has the potential (and does) cause me to get anxious and pull. I know it doesn’t work and I’m doing my best to work on me and staying relaxed. My biggest fear when he’s running on the forehand is that he will fall. Do you think your horse actually wants to fall? This is a trust disconnect between you and the horse. Horses want to fall as much as you! Time to start trusting that.I would suggest you watch horses in a hilly pasture playing. Haven't seen one gallop and chase and fall down yet. Not that I will fall but HE will fall. I definitely don’t want him hurting himself that’s why I address everything as soon as possible. And I never do these things without eyes on the ground (my trainer).

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                  Time yourself between markers in the field so that you learn to feel the speed
                  Agree with this. You’re probably not going nearly as fast as you think you are and he is probably not as unbalanced as you think he is. I also recommend asking someone to take video of you - I think you’ll be able to see on the video that he probably looks slower and more balanced than he feels, which can help to change your perceptions.

                  But I think you’re off to a good start. Make working in the field part of your regular routine and it will become much more comfortable.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Reading the suggestion about timing yourself reminded me of an (AMAZING) experience I had last November that highlights the importance of doing so. I had the privilege of riding in an XC clinic with William Fox Pitt, and at the end he sent us out onto the steeplechase course. He told us he would be timing us for the level (Novice) from Point A to Point B over fences, and to try to get to our correct pace.

                    H'WELL, LET ME TELL YEW. I would have sworn I was cruising across that field at 570 MPM. We all crossed the finish, ecstatic and panting from the thrill, we each guessed we were far over. Nope. I think it was almost exactly 375.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Having watched the video you posted, and then watching a video you posted on April 13 of an event, your horse needs more dressage work. He is not accepting the bit and working over his back in the dressage ring, so I can completely understand why he won't do it out galloping.
                      He is off the track; he is trained to run hard and lean on the bit as a fifth leg. It takes time. And by time, I mean it can take years. You are also asking him to gallop by himself, something he is likely not used to. They train together at the track; they are never galloping alone.
                      I don't mean this is a negative way; you may think you have spent lots of time on dressage, but you likely haven't. I have a gelding that has been off the track 3 years this summer, and he has just in the last year started to become rideable enough to jump well. I have no hard plans with him, so we just take our time and when he's ready, we'll do it.
                      Also, as others have said, how often do you just take him out in the field and ride? No plan, just go and have fun. My horses hack AT LEAST once a week, often daily.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        This sounds very similar to my horse. I used to literally spend the entire XC course thinking “woah, damnit!!!”. Then I learned if I don’t pull on her she can’t pull on me. Let go of his face and he will stop pulling. This requires using your core and seat and leg to maintain balance though and it is hard to do. Another epiphany I had at our second to last event last year was to just let them go and not fight the whole course (or schooling or whatever) with them. If they are moving out a bit but balanced I honestly don’t see a problem with that. Also I almost always have a running martingale on when jumping, but especially xc. I love the running martingale because (if adjusted properly), it doesn’t do anything unless something needs to be done......having my horses poll in my face is not a pleasant experience and the running helps with that. I’m not a trainer and only competing novice, so take my opinion with a grain of salt! One of the most important things is to make sure you and your horse are having fun, so don’t forget about that either !
                        Another Adult Amature and her OTTB: https://eventingottb.wordpress.com

                        Repurposed Racehorses
                        https://repurposedracehorses.weebly.com/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Maybe add on a neck strap when you go out in the field so that you can pull on it if you feel yourself becoming unbalanced. The balance of the horse will change as he goes up and down slopes and you, as rider, must both adapt your own balance and support his as the horse moves under you. That is the partnership: you help each other and learn together.

                          "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            P.S. Running a horse xc is not about 'control' but 'partnership' as both sides have to trust and understand each other. It is absolutely impossible to control every stride and set up every jump for perfection when out in the real world. It can't be done over 11 minutes at Badminton or Kentucky. It can't be done over 4 minutes at the lowest level. The reason, perhaps, why eventers tend to be good horse people?
                            "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              He’s a lot better? The video was 10 days ago. Is this the horse you wanted to lunge in side reins over fences? I feel this is all related.

                              Dressage is the key here. If you can’t control your horse XC you shouldn’t be going XC. Time to step back and fix the training on him and you before you get killed. This is how rotational falls happen.

                              Taking a step back in training is not taking a step back overall! It’s important to solidify the basics for you and your horse to ensure you can be successful as you move forward through your training.

                              and I agree with others, LOTS and I mean LOTS of practice galloping and in 2 point. Not over fences.
                              Boss Mare Eventing Blog

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by RAyers View Post
                                I would add one more thing, to control speed YOU NEED TO BE COMFORTABLE AT SPEED. Many times control comes from fear, leading to a stiff hand, arm, and body. This just feeds the anxiety of the horse, leading to a bigger fight.

                                Go GALLOP at speed (600+ mpm) and get comfortable at it. Get a grab strap, learn how to throw a full or half cross, shorten the stirrups 6 holes and go. You might learn you don't need to control speed. You only need to influence balance. My novice students regularly come in 30-60 seconds under the time without dangerous riding penalties. Why? They are so smooth and consistent letting their horse carry what they have because they are comfortable at speed. Of course then they move up.
                                This^ I see a fair number of people on TBs forcing them to trot, but the horse is uncomfortable and ends up accelerating towards the jumps. They would be better served just letting the horse canter at a steady speed. The easier this gets on the flat, the easier it will be over fences.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by pologirl27 View Post

                                  This^ I see a fair number of people on TBs forcing them to trot, but the horse is uncomfortable and ends up accelerating towards the jumps. They would be better served just letting the horse canter at a steady speed. The easier this gets on the flat, the easier it will be over fences.
                                  It’s not a TB issue it’s a rider issue. When riders force any horse to trot a jump because of their nerves a lot more is going on to make it uncomfortable to the horse beyond trotting.

                                  In the jumping video the OP posted to show how “controlled” her horse can be is a good example. There is no release and the OP sits down way to soon catching him a bit in the mouth. All of the OPs issues can be resolved from strengthening her self and not moving up until she can be there to support the horse. In her bucking thread she says previous riders, before she owned said horse, had zero issues with anything she’s posting about.

                                  In her dressage video her hands are in her lap and wide. She balances on her hands.

                                  Fix that and I bet it all comes together.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    My first real coach would not let us jump until we could contol the speed at the canter, on a slope, while riding an enormous circle--on a loose rein. This takes serious core strength, trust, & balance.

                                    He wouldn't let us jump xc until we could trot a low jump in the ring on a loose rein, & halt in a straight line afterwards.

                                    We would go for pretty extreme hacks, & do dressage any time there was decent enough footing, in between climbing up & down the mountains. We would also randomly pop over jumps while doing dressage in the ring.

                                    Reed's suggestions, & the Anne Kursinski exercises, are spot-on. I'd also suggest at least studying the photos in d'Endrody's book Give Your Horse a Chance.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      And no I’ve never wanted to lunge him over fences in side reins!? Seriously wtf. I put him in side reins one time and they weren’t even tight enough to put contact on the bit. Never did it again because I didn’t need to.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by Equestrianette
                                        I know it’s hard for you to grasp that horse shows add a layer of tension sometimes and doesn’t always reflect the quality of work done at home.
                                        Really? I'm not sure who this is direct at but I think most people who compete (or even those who don't) understand this phenomena.

                                        This is the second post on this thread that kind of makes my jaw drop. You're asking for advice and people are giving it to you, so I'm not sure what the problem is. Honestly, it sounds like when you are given constructive criticism that you don't like, you tend to get defensive about it. At the end of the day, if your horse is pulling on you it means you're pulling on him. Let go and he can't pull. Like others have said, work on getting comfortable at "speed", work on your own position / balance, work on going forward and coming back within the gaits on the flat and the rest will come.
                                        Another Adult Amature and her OTTB: https://eventingottb.wordpress.com

                                        Repurposed Racehorses
                                        https://repurposedracehorses.weebly.com/

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Equestrianette View Post
                                          And no I’ve never wanted to lunge him over fences in side reins!? Seriously wtf. I put him in side reins one time and they weren’t even tight enough to put contact on the bit. Never did it again because I didn’t need to.
                                          Sorry must have confused you with another poster, my apologies.

                                          I still think there is more going on, I see you posted about ulcer woes. Is this the same horse?
                                          Boss Mare Eventing Blog

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