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How do you get better at stadium with no stadium?

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  • How do you get better at stadium with no stadium?

    Hello,

    I'm coming down from a x-country high right now because me and Juice had the BEST school at Fair Hill tonight. We did all the novice course (including the scary double bank, trakhner, and ditch combo) and we started schooling some of the more moderate training fences.
    I get so tense in stadium and I just don't have the timing down yet. Also Juice has a great gallop out in x-country and just sort of gallops over the fences. In stadium our canter just isn't the same as it is on x-country.

    I keep him at a private farm that I love but there's no ring or indoor and we currently have 2 jumps set up (one of the other girls brought them and their just spaced out in the field we ride in). My trainer has been trying to find places we can go but people in the area are hesitant to have "outsiders" school on their farm.

    thanks
    iosman


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    Last edited by iosman123; Aug. 19, 2019, 03:13 AM.

  • #2
    Well, the difference between stadium jumping and cross country is that stadium has more related distancces, while cross country (at least at the lower levels I've watched IRL), there are no related distances, you just gallop up and over things from a long way off.

    The basic skills you need in jumping related distances are the ability to rate your horse, that is do a canter and do different speeds/stride lengths. Can you count strides between two poles? Can you do a 4,5,and 6 stride canter over the same distance? How are your circles? Can you do a reliable 20 meter circle? 15? can you "see" your corners and turn off the wall? There are lots of technical skills in jumping that you need to master on the flat, anyhow. And then you can set up a grid with related distances. Does your trainer not have you doing all these things as a matter of course? If not, you might need another trainer.

    Comment


    • #3
      I agree with Scribbler, you can get a lot accomplished by improving the quality of your canter, improving adjustability, and working over poles on the ground. I'm not sure where you are located but Radnor Hunt Pony Club sells grounds subscriptions that allow you to trailer in and use their rings and cross country course. If you are close enough maybe that would be a good option for you. Attending local schooling shows is always helpful both for practice and to get over show nerves.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by iosman123 View Post
        Hello,

        I'm coming down from a x-country high right now because me and Juice had the BEST school at Fair Hill tonight. We did all the novice course (including the scary double bank, trakhner, and ditch combo) and we started schooling some of the more moderate training fences.
        I get so tense in stadium and I just don't have the timing down yet. Also Juice has a great gallop out in x-country and just sort of gallops over the fences. In stadium our canter just isn't the same as it is on x-country.

        I keep him at a private farm that I love but there's no ring or indoor and we currently have 2 jumps set up (one of the other girls brought them and their just spaced out in the field we ride in). My trainer has been trying to find places we can go but people in the area are hesitant to have "outsiders" school on their farm.

        thanks
        iosman
        Where are you located? I can think of some farms in MD that welcome trailer ins for schooling

        Comment


        • #5
          I think people get in trouble in stadium because they don't have enough pace and/or micromanage their horses. Ask me how I know.... Anyway, I think the best thing is to put your horse into a "quality canter", maintaining the rhythm, and leave him alone.

          As for schooling, would your current place be ok if y'all brought a few jumps in? They are easy to make.

          Comment


          • #6
            LovieBird is correct. Over the past 50 years of horse ownership, I've built probably 100 different stadium type obstacles complete with wings and poles as well as the elements that go in the middle. This is possible for one woman to do with two tools: Skil Saw (or similar) and a good quality professional type drill and bits for drilling and inserting screws, If you feel all the cutting is above you (seriously? I'm an old lady and I just built some awesome Hungarian targets for Mounted Archery using a saw and drill) --but if you REALLY can't cut wood (most you'd cut is a 4x4) --then ask the lumber yard to custom cut --here, even the big box stores will custom cut, but I use the local lumber yard --better gossip. FYI this is best done in January when the lumber yard is at a stand still because no one is buying wood. So get the wood cut, drill the holes, insert the screws, and ta-da you have what you need. There are plans all over the WWW -most people find the challenge to be to get 12 (or 10') poles cut (you need the corners pealed off to make a rounder shape) but again, ask the local lumber yard to do it (they charge about $1 per cut so $4 per pole) or you CAN do it yourself with a hand saw or table saw ---hand saw is tough for my old hands to hold, but piece of cake on a table saw. You can ALSO ask you local high school shop teacher to custom cut ---some will --some won't.

            AND finally ---always PAINT before you assemble --learned that the hard way. Start by building a set of cavaletti, then you'll be hooked!

            Comment


            • #7
              Between MD and Southeastern PA, there should be a slew of unrated H/J shows. Go show at a few of those. Just be sure to know your jump off course..... I speak from experience - don't be THAT eventer (skull cap and everything) shouting, "WHAT THE HELL IS A JUMP OFF?!?!?"

              Comment


              • #8
                Schooling shows are great for this, and you might see other eventers there. Some also run 2-phases so you could get a dressage test in, too.

                If you are able to make and move jumps, ask if you can put more in the field, or somewhere.

                A lot of my relearning to jump was done on a field with a mostly-gentle slope, which was very good for my balance. The owner sets up a jump course out there every summer after haying. Most of the jumps can be done in either direction, which is interesting -- you get a feel for how "the same" jump feels going uphill vs. downhill.
                You have to have experiences to gain experience.

                1998 Morgan mare Mythic Feronia "More Valley Girl Than Girl Scout!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Scribbler hit the nail on the head. My dressage lessons have done absolute wonders for my stadium training. 20 meter circles, adjusting with the canter and keeping your horse forward without galloping. I throw poles out in my dressage arena and just trot or canter and decide to make distances. you can do it with 2 poles and count to make it in 5 then make it in 6 then half halt and wait for a 7.

                  I also jump in a dressage arena and only have 3 jumps. I haul to my trainers place maybe once a month and as long as I balance and have quality gaits I don't have an issue when I jump there. I vote for cavalleti as you can get 3 heights out of them and easy to make. lots of people on FB selling jumps these days too.
                  when the world turns on you your horse will be there.
                  -ariah

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If you are near Fair Hill and have access to a trailer you have a ton of options within twenty miles. There are places to haul in with your trainer, like Straight Up, Fox Crossing, Blue Goose, Kealani, Windurra, Michael Walton's etc. There are h/j shows and CTs almost every weekend. There are many, many good trainers if you can't coordinate with your own.

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                    • #11
                      The best way to improve your stadium, is to improve your flatwork equitation...aka: dressage!
                      Savor those rides where you feel like a million bucks, because there will be those where you feel like a cheap date...

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Highflyer View Post
                        If you are near Fair Hill and have access to a trailer you have a ton of options within twenty miles. There are places to haul in with your trainer, like Straight Up, Fox Crossing, Blue Goose, Kealani, Windurra, Michael Walton's etc. There are h/j shows and CTs almost every weekend. There are many, many good trainers if you can't coordinate with your own.
                        This! I have a ring and jumps but am lazy about putting them up and taking them down. I often trailer out to Fox Crossing for lessons, since they are easy to schedule (at Boyd's you often have multiple people using the ring which can be hard if they are schooling advanced and you are schooling novice!)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Agree with those saying flatwork will improve jumping.
                          Disagree that PVC jumps are Devilspawn.

                          DH & I cobbled together 4 standards & 1/2doz poles from heavy (3"X10') pvc bought in the plumbing dept. of Home Depot.
                          We used 4" square pvc fencing posts for standards. Drilled holes for cups/pins (from Dover). They even had decorative horse head caps - we chose plain.
                          We did make the bases from treated lumber, designed so they knocked down for easy storage.
                          20+ years later I still have them.
                          They've taken plenty rubs & knockdowns & I have yet to have anything splinter or crack.
                          Poles also used with Blok system as cavalletti.

                          OP:
                          We set three fences in a zigzag pattern across the middle of the smallish arena (60x120?) we had to work in.
                          The barn we boarded at was owned by a Cutting Horse guy - had a mechanical calf-on-a-track. We were the only riders who jumped there.
                          This setup let us approach jumps from different angles. We could go large or make Jumper turns.
                          We also used poles to setup an approach for DH's very green horse.
                          *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                          Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                          Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                          Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Check out the Baltimore County Horse Show Association as they have a slew of schooling shows - I'm not sure how many jumper classes they offer, but even doing some hunter / handy hunter classes could help your SJ as most horse trial SJ courses don't have a lot of rollbacks /inside turns as jumper courses do - but of course that all depends on the level. And I've seen some pretty technical XC courses where there are related distances - but then it depends on the level.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              All the dressage in the world won't fix your stadium if you can't GO and do it. So.. go and do it.

                              Source: someone in the exact same position as you.

                              Get some cheapo cavaletti blocks from Dover or Smartpak. I have these. You don't have to jump 3ft to work on your rideability on course. You can get a lot accomplished with 2ft cavalettis,


                              I agree with others about seeing if you can build your own standards. I also don't mind PVC poles for jumping at home. Wood poles rot, are heavy, get infested with bugs if left alone for a while, and cumbersome to move around - annoying when you are putting away someone ELSE's jumps! In a co-op situation, PVC is much better. Only issue I have with it is that it can be so light some horses don't respect it much when it's used as a caveletti vs a jump.

                              A good quality show-jumping canter boils down to:
                              Rhythm
                              Balance
                              Impulsion

                              If you have too much of one, you lose too much of the other. Too much rhythm and you sacrifice the balance which can cost you rails and a good takeoff. Too much balance and you often lose impulsion which can cause you time and rails pulled, so on, so forth. You have to learn to develop the perfect mix of all three. Be careful not to pick and micromanage - you need to develop a canter that "stays" on, without you constantly fighting for a good distance or pace.

                              One of my favorite exercises to develop a good pace and adjustability with the cavelettis is to set them to max height, which is a small jump (2 ft?). Set three of them up, around the ring at equidistant points. Ride through it on a circle: when your horse gets too strong or unrideable (I assume that's what you're referring to?), circle around the cavaletti and represent. The goal is eventually to be able to do the entire circle without a change in rhythm or impulsion.

                              This exercise develops two things: it develops the horse & rider's eye to a good distance, and it also teaches the horse not to rush to the fence - which will often help riders feel less defensive about fence approach, making the horse more amenable to small corrections....

                              Another dressage only exercise, is to work on adjustability within the canter. On the rail - ask for a "collected' canter, then ask for a medium canter -- without losing balance or changing the rhythm. This is not as easy as it sounds. Do it every ride and you will have that nice stadium canter in no time.
                              AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                zig-zags are a good way to get lots of "courses" in with minimal effort.

                                Another one our barn had this winter which was fun was a rhombus made up of two related distances so on one side it was a 4 stride straight across and the other 5, or something like that. This was spread out enough we could jump the first of one line, and the second of the other as a bending line, jump the related distance across the diagonal, or just jump one and then ride out between the top two jumps. It made for loads and loads of approach options, which kept us on our toes without being too in the way for flatwork. I'll try to do a diagram (pretend the slash marks are at more of a 45 degree angle, if you can)
                                As a variation of that, the "circle of death" is great, and you can do lots of other things with it as well (figure 8s by crossing two poles in one direction and the the other two in the other direction, cloverleaf between the poles, make loops around each pole, etc)

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                                on the note of PVC poles, my trainer was recently saying she wanted to replace hers - the reason: "the last time I mowed over one it broke!" just something to consider depending on how rarely you want to re-arrange your setup.
                                Last edited by MissCoco; Jul. 24, 2019, 09:56 AM. Reason: my arena drawing collapsed!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                                  All the dressage in the world won't fix your stadium if you can't GO and do it. So.. go and do it.

                                  Source: someone in the exact same position as you.

                                  Get some cheapo cavaletti blocks from Dover or Smartpak. I have these. You don't have to jump 3ft to work on your rideability on course. You can get a lot accomplished with 2ft cavalettis,
                                  I agree you should get your own jumps, but when I built my jumps, I only bought one pair of cavaletti bocks. They're convenient, mobile and like beowulf said, you can get a lot done with them. BUT! I thought they were overpriced, so I built my own jumps.

                                  If you know how to operate power tools (circular saw and drill) then you can build your own pretty quick and easily! I think I did 5 sets of standards and 20+ poles (which was probably too many lol) for <$200 including painting them. I bought landscape timbers to use as rails, 8' pressure treated 4x4s cut in half and 2x4s cut into 4 as the legs for the standards. Drilled holes for some cheapo jump cups and I was all set!

                                  For ~$100 you could probably build a very simple four pairs of 4' jumps from home depot, you'd just need to get a set of jump cups as well.

                                  If you don't have any of the tools on hand to build your own jumps (or have a friend you can borrow from), you could also go out and buy the 55 gallon barrels (you can find them for about $10 a barrel on facebook). They are also lightweight and easy to move and slightly cheaper and maybe even more utilitarian than the cavaletti blocks. (in case you have any barrel racers around!)

                                  All this only if budget is an issue for you, but wanted to add my two cents as well!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    We have sooooo much in and around Fair Hill for schooling. You could seriously go to a schooling show every weekend, 52 weeks a year, without driving more than an hour any direction.

                                    Also, heading out to these schooling shows is such a good way to make connections. Several of the small shows I attended within the past year were like, "oh, come back any time and use our arena..."
                                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Improve your dressage. I have never seen it to fail, as the dressage improves, your stadium improves.

                                      Although I will tell you when I was eventing, my worse fear was leaving out a fence in stadium. I never had a problem CC.
                                      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                                        Improve your dressage. I have never seen it to fail, as the dressage improves, your stadium improves.

                                        Although I will tell you when I was eventing, my worse fear was leaving out a fence in stadium. I never had a problem CC.
                                        I am quoting you even though other people are saying it too. Yes, my jumping has improved as my dressage has improved but I still think that you need to stadium jump to improve stadium jumping. At the level I am I currently at I almost prefer xc since there are pretty much no related distances. With stadium there are related distances so pace down a line makes a bigger difference.

                                        My trainer shows GP dressage. Therefore I think her dressage is pretty solid. She still benefits from a good jump school with the hunter trainer that owns the barn where we board.

                                        OP- have you considered taking a few lessons with a good hunter trainer? This way you get to use their jumps and you get the instruction. I would lean towards one that does a lot of equitation riders as they tend to not do the hunter perch and use a bit more dressage type flatwork to warm up. Or take some lessons from a jumper trainer.
                                        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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