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Long spot vs. the short spot

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  • Long spot vs. the short spot

    This may be a stupid question, but given the choice betwen the long spot and the short spot, why is the short spot often preferred? Is there a short spot and then the under and you are going to flip spot? I love the long spot, and fear the short spot.

  • #2
    A short spot is usually encouraged over a long spot because of the width of fences. You have a better chance (yet dismal) of making it over a wide fence from a short spot than from a long one. Either way, neither are putting you in a very good place....and they both tend to shake the confidence of the horse.
    Fillys By Vibank - 2017 Road to RRP
    https://www.youtube.com/user/jealoushe

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    • #3
      Originally posted by oldbutnotdead View Post
      This may be a stupid question, but given the choice betwen the long spot and the short spot, why is the short spot often preferred? Is there a short spot and then the under and you are going to flip spot? I love the long spot, and fear the short spot.
      Niether. Long or short doesn't matter if you are jumping out of a stride. The key is you want a close take-off out of stride at a wide fence. However, it is more vertical at the face you want to open the gap up. I think there is a greater chance of accident when we, as riders, try to ride a specific take-off. Dictating when to take off is an impossible task to do correctly every fence.

      So, to answer your question specifically, the "short spot" is for the wider fences out on XC.

      Reed

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      • #4
        I'm gonna attempt to answer this how I see it.

        I'd choose the short spot vs. the long spot because a horse can control his take off much easier than his landing. In the deep spot, the horse needs to just jump more upright to make the fence. For the long spot they would have to try to keep their hind legs up longer and possibly buck up their back end to make the fence.

        Think this way:

        Is it easier for you to jump over an object from a far distance or from the base of the object? It's probably easier to pick your feet up higher and just jump from the base vs. trying to stay in the air longer.

        I tried That's just how I feel about it.
        To be loved by a horse, or by any animal, should fill us with awe-
        for we have not deserved it.
        Marion Garretty

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        • #5
          As a good jumper trainer once said...short is like putting money in the bank....long is making a withdrawal (and hopefully you don't over withdrawal). Doesn't matter the type of fence.

          bottom line though....balanced and with energy is more important.
          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            But _why_ is the short spot money in the bank? I've heard this, and I know that it is all about the quality of the canter, straightness, balance, and letting the horse (who knows where his feet are) decide when to leave the ground, but it seems to me that the short spot makes is more difficult to get over the jump (must push way up and not out) and easier to flip.

            I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I want to learn, so please keep the information coming, and thanks to those that have posted!
            Last edited by oldbutnotdead; Aug. 13, 2008, 05:34 PM.

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            • #7
              Thanks for posting this! I am very interested in the answers too. As I have a habit of "liking" the long spot. I have been working on sitting back and letting my horse choose the spot, but I still have a tendency to be more comfortable with a long spot. Funny enough, he seems to prefer it too. But that may be because I have unintentionally asked for it in the past so he thinks that's what I want... Hard to say. But it seems to me like if you are too close in, it's harder to push way up. I guess though, that if you're that close in, maybe the next stride out wouldn't have been long to begin with? IDK, but interested to see what other, more experienced eventers are posting on this. I am not an adult "re-rider" but am an adult "re-jumper" after taking 6 years off from jumping so it's all sort of new again

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              • #8
                If your horse is balanced with energy, any short spot will work. If your horse is balanced with energy and has to take a flyer, you could end up coming down in the middle of the jump -- a nasty crash.

                Rotational falls are not a threat for a horse that is balanced and energetic on the short spot.

                The key with a short spot is not to push your hand at him and give up. Support the horse with hand and leg, and he will jump nicely from the short spot. I see a lot of people who think "short" means that they need to take leg off, which is the exactly wrong reaction.

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                • #9
                  Long spots are like rats--they tend to multiply if they don't go unchecked. You get one and the chances of getting another (even longer) at the next fence skyrockets. I always try to ride for tighter than normal spot after a flyer. I also tend to think they screw with your eye for the next few fences making harder to see the other options for take off. If you can see (or even sense) your distances the long one is the first one you will see. It takes some patients to wait for the next option.

                  Yes, the short spot takes more physical work (which is why you and your horse like the long one) but a balanced horse jumping from a short spot has all sorts of options on how they manage themselves not only in the air, but on the first strides after landing. Part of that is that I think you have a big difference in the shape of the bascule between the two spots. In the flattened bascule of the long spot I don't think there is as much adjustibility for the horse to get himself out of trouble. They also have a better ability to stop from the short spot--an option I like if I've done something extremely stupid.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mr Morris

                    I believe I remember that George Morris said something like this about "distances"

                    "they are like boyfriends, a better one always comes along if you wait for it"


                    Does anyone remember the exact quote?
                    Susan
                    http://community.webshots.com/user/ss3777
                    www.longformatclub.com

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fordtraktor View Post
                      If your horse is balanced with energy, any short spot will work. If your horse is balanced with energy and has to take a flyer, you could end up coming down in the middle of the jump -- a nasty crash.

                      Rotational falls are not a threat for a horse that is balanced and energetic on the short spot.

                      The key with a short spot is not to push your hand at him and give up. Support the horse with hand and leg, and he will jump nicely from the short spot. I see a lot of people who think "short" means that they need to take leg off, which is the exactly wrong reaction.
                      Bingo. Your deep distance is a power distance provided your horse is balanced. The horse can sit down on his haunch to jump up and around the fence. Some big jumper riders intentionally choose a distance such that their last stride to a fence is a couple of feet shorter than their travelling stride in order to compress and get more power. The deep distance is all about balance.

                      From a long spot, the horse's haunch is behind him and he jumps across (read: flat). Now, a chip is not one of the aforementioned deep distances, and burying a horse such that he can't get out isn't good. But I'll take either of those over a flyer. However, if you see the chip coming, you can pull your shoulders back, compress the horse and change the balance for a good deep distance.

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                      • #12
                        Thank you Subk!!!

                        Originally posted by subk View Post
                        Long spots are like rats--they tend to multiply if they don't go unchecked. You get one and the chances of getting another (even longer) at the next fence skyrockets. I always try to ride for tighter than normal spot after a flyer. I also tend to think they screw with your eye for the next few fences making harder to see the other options for take off. If you can see (or even sense) your distances the long one is the first one you will see. It takes some patients to wait for the next option.

                        Yes, the short spot takes more physical work (which is why you and your horse like the long one) but a balanced horse jumping from a short spot has all sorts of options on how they manage themselves not only in the air, but on the first strides after landing. Part of that is that I think you have a big difference in the shape of the bascule between the two spots. In the flattened bascule of the long spot I don't think there is as much adjustibility for the horse to get himself out of trouble. They also have a better ability to stop from the short spot--an option I like if I've done something extremely stupid.
                        Thank you for that clear explanation. You have really clarified a lot of things for me with your post. And also why I keep "seeing" long distances now that I am jumping again, when I know I didn't used to do that when I stopped jumping 6 years ago. Which has been frustrating me! I was really confused about the whole thing, as far as why short is better than long. I just knew I was getting long spots too often. Now it makes much more sense, so thank you from me and my horse!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by oldbutnotdead View Post
                          But _why_ is the short spot money in the bank? I've heard this, and I know that it is all about the quality of the canter, straightness, balance, and letting the horse (who knows where his feet are) decide when to leave the ground, but it seems to me that the short spot makes is more difficult to get over the jump (must push way up and not out) and easier to flip.

                          I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, but I want to learn, so please keep the information coming, and thanks to those that have posted!

                          When you stay compressed for the closer distances as opposed to the flyer....your horse generally stays in a good balance and better shape...which increases your chances of continuing to have good jumps since you are a good shape on landing (like earning interest on your money in the bank). (assuming that you have kept the power....short distances achieved by riding backwards and picking to the base is not good). If you go for long....you generally keep getting long and the horse will get more strung out and you are more likely to have issues.

                          It is about risks....you are more at risk by taking long one.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Ralph Hill, in the warmup ring somewhere, having missed his distance a couple of times---

                            "Here Spot, here Spot!" "Where is that f****ing Dalmation when you need him?"
                            http://www.tamarackhill.com/

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You dont want to push for the long, because you will just mess with your horse. You will end up pushing too hard, and the horse will always look for the long, and get you both into big trouble. You want to keep the pace/balance and wait with all you have for your horse to find his own spot. Dont ever try to pick his spots for him, or assume he is taking a certain spot. Just wait for him to decide and help him do it.

                              Long spots are fine for single fences at a modest height. Once you get into higher jumps, tight combos, water jumps, banks, etc, you need to learn to ride more to the base to get the kind of jump you need for such tricky situations. You cant just barrel at everything and jump long, because you have to land and ride 2 short strides to a skinny, or off a bank into the water, etc. Approach the way you want to land.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Awesome post!!!

                                this is exactly what i needed to read to remind myself again of WHY i need to wait!!! cause yep.... i prefer the flyers!!! But... this penetrated my brain in the right way to make me really REALLY realize WHY i don't need to be taking the flyers and waiting waiting waiting

                                hee hee......i like that quote....something better comes along. And i love the fact that someone said it's just the first spot you see... AHA!!! i always thought it was the only spot... not just the first one. that makes total sense!!!

                                leg on and...wait.....

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  The base of the fence is more difficult to jump from because it requires the horse to sit on his hocks, wait, lift his shoulder, and PUSH. It requires patience and trust from the rider, as well.

                                  Interestingly, MOST horses prefer a deeper distance when jumping at liberty. However, add a rider to the mix and all of a sudden they start looking for flyers. (hmm...) Many horses (and most riders!) must be "trained" to be comfortable at the base; eventually they start seeking it.

                                  A flyer seems a little easier, mechanically: the canter/gallop is a forward-going "push out" gait. A flyer is a "push out" jumping effort. Thus, you see steeplechasers leaving from gappy distances. When your 800mpm chaser gets deep, it can get ugly. But we aren't steeplechasers; most of our fences aren't brush, we don't go 800mpm (safely anyway!), and our horses must jump "up and around."

                                  A deep spot is a severe adjustment to the "push out" balance, thus why green riders/horses avoid it (it's uncomfortable!). But, with more training, producing better strength and balance (a better canter!), the deep distance becomes easy. A horse already on his hocks is better prepared to spring up from any distance.
                                  “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                                  ? Albert Einstein

                                  ~AJ~

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Thank you for the posts! And I loved the comment about Ralph Hill!

                                    Knew I should have selected Dalmations instead of German Shepherds!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      HA!
                                      i've got spots all over the place and....sadly......

                                      (check out my pic!)

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by FLeckenAwesome View Post
                                        HA!
                                        i've got spots all over the place and....sadly......

                                        (check out my pic!)
                                        Awesome! Is that jump on your farm or is it a lucky coincidence? Wonderful shot.

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