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How do you do it, dressage/jump/xc mode

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  • How do you do it, dressage/jump/xc mode

    How the heck do you guys manage to switch from dressage mode, to jumper mode, to xc mode? I'm struggling with letting go of my dressage mode when jumping, and its so frustrating!!! We're pretty new at this eventing game, does it just take lots and lots of time? Any advice?
    Team Ginger

  • #2
    All three of them are about balance and rhythm so when you stay focused on that it helps bridge the slight other differences. More people will chime up tips about that.

    And yes just doing it, experience is the teacher. It layers itself. You practice and learn a piece and then the next piece builds, it does not come together all at once. You have to learn to ride every stride and practice everything at the lower levels. Focus and awareness then make the move-ups happen.

    And this is what makes this such an awesome sport!! I think that more people are now seeking this and converting - it's about you and your horse working and playing together. Just that feel is enough to make it all worthwhile.
    Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

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    • #3
      Because it is simply what's required in this sport. There really is no "mode" other than riding as effectively as one is able and to answer the questions at hand, whether it's a 15m circle or a trakehner or a triple combination. Which means PRACTICE and preparation, mostly.
      Click here before you buy.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        ok, that's what my initial thoughts were...but I've been taking a few jumping lessons, and the trainer has been telling me I need to stop riding so "dressage-y" because its interfering with my horse's ability to do its job over fences. I realize I get a little nit-picky and perfectionist, and we're still learning...but I guess my question is, *how* different should I ask my horse to carry himself between the dressage ring and the jumper ring? Or not at all?
        Team Ginger

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        • #5
          I agree with Deltawave and pony grandma, experience and the mindset are both important.
          When I'm doing dressage I'm not in dressage "mode", no matter what I'm doing I'm always thinking the same thing. Is my horse ahead of my leg? Is he going straight? Is he balanced? Ect.
          Show jumping is dressage with things in the way, and cross country is fast dressage with things in the way.

          Besides having my position be a little more forward in my jumping saddle, I ride the same for all 3 phases. Maybe have your trainer elaborate more on what they mean by "too dressagey"?
          Last edited by OneMoreForTheRoad; Oct. 12, 2012, 11:29 AM. Reason: Answering more questions
          Chrissy

          RIP Beaming Sportsfield (1998-2012)

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          • #6
            Well, Ponygrandma and Deltawave have really said it all as succinctly as possible. The only thing I might add is that part of what some of us love about eventing is that it requires the flexibility to create balance, rhythm and impulsion in your horse under such different circumstances.

            (I'm on some pain meds, so bear with me here) Your jumping instructor has told you to be "less dressagy" in your jumping. I guess I'd ask them what they mean, but absent that, I'd wonder if you are locking yourself into dressage position to create a response from your horse rather then using your body and position to allow the horse to respond as you wish. Rats. Not explaining myself well, but what I'm trying to get at is positional and mental flexibility in a rider such that you and your horse work together to create the most balance, rhythm and impulsion possible for the task at hand.
            They don't call me frugal for nothing.
            Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by NErider View Post
              I need to stop riding so "dressage-y" because its interfering with my horse's ability to do its job over fences.
              Don't count strides, count rhythm. Learn to leave the horse alone, don't adjust the striding at the last minute. The horse 'sees it's striding' several strides out, then if the rider adjusts and changes what the horse sees then you chip in or have to go long. It takes practice to learn to trust the horse to 'carry you' and do it's job.

              Gymnastics would help you learn to jump out of stride without interference! Esp with no reins make a chute and drop them. Use a neck strap. or the old BD way arms behind your back (it's torture) or out to the side.

              And also too much leg is dressagey. Don't nag with your leg on all the time. Shorten your stirrups and practice two pt and it will help your muscle memory.

              Ah the old riding is simple, it's just not easy.
              Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

              Comment


              • #8
                I would ride some 'dressage' in your jump saddle. Sometimes for me it is my muscle memory 'dressage' vs 'jumping' that gets in the way. Flatting in the jump saddle has improved this immensely for me Then it doesn't feel like such a different position when you go in for the jump lesson.
                Founder & President, Dapplebay, Inc.
                Creative Director, Equestrian Culture Magazine
                Take us to print!

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                • #9
                  Even in dressage, you should be teaching your horse and riding your horse in different frames all the time. You're not always up in the collected, nose on vertical position; sometimes you're long and low, sometimes you're warming up long and loose.

                  The horse knows, from your seat and leg and hand, whether you want a collected frame or a long frame. Your horse should be comfortable and safe, balanced and rhythmic, at all three gaits on a long rein, even if his sole competitive target is dressage.

                  Just as your child can learn that it's appropriate to have different comportment in church, school, a family dinner, and a playground, your horse can go forward with his nose up cross-country and still understand that his body shape will be different in the dressage ring.

                  When you're good, you're not needing to actively direct or goose the horse every stride: instead, you create more of a directive and boundaries and leave the horse alone inside those boundaries you set. If you're picking at the horse every stride, it will make it impossible to jump and it will degrade your dressage as well.

                  And finally, learning to ride your horse well in the different saddles will strengthen your relationship in all three phases. You cannot have as much influence over your horse's frame in a galloping length stirrup and a jumping saddle, and so the relationship you build in that circumstance feeds back to give you more influence in a dressage saddle where you can wrap your entire seat and leg around the horse at all times.
                  If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by pony grandma View Post
                    Don't count strides, count rhythm. Learn to leave the horse alone, don't adjust the striding at the last minute. The horse 'sees it's striding' several strides out, then if the rider adjusts and changes what the horse sees then you chip in or have to go long. It takes practice to learn to trust the horse to 'carry you' and do it's job.
                    I think that hit the nail on the head right there
                    Team Ginger

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                    • #11
                      I think if my instructor was telling me not to be so dressage-y, I would take that as ease off, don't worry about collection, let him stretch out a bit.

                      Sometimes my instructor tells me to use my dressage canter on approach to certain SJ and XC fences. Sometimes she wants me to reach forward with my arms to allow him freedom in his neck. But she always wants me/ him to ride in balance and carry himself. So this means 4 or 5 strides out, a big half-halt to interrupt his rhythm and then let him go to the fence in balance with me out of the way.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Oh, and I will add that I love the variety of the 3 modes. Well, 4 if you include hacking mode. I think the horses love the change.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by NErider View Post
                          I think that hit the nail on the head right there
                          Thank you very much. It's all those clinics I've been sitting thru the past year with my DD. Everything makes so much more sense now than when I was learning in my 20's. Folks, auditing clinics is a closely guarded secret! Watching makes a good eye. Of course, keep your ears (and your mind) open at the same time.

                          Poltroon really expressed a lot well. and Martina's note about the variety. It's why we love this sport and so do the horses!
                          Don't let anyone tell you that your ideas or dreams are foolish. There is a millionaire walking around who invented the pool noodle.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            2-part answer.
                            1) It's not inconsistent; and
                            2) Ya gotta.

                            There are far more canter strides than fences in any course. You want a balanced canter, rhythm, straightness to the fence. You want to ride the back end, Sure, you're not focused on the same kind of submission. She's still gotta be stepping up from behind, listening, straight, and adjustable.

                            The other half is what I'll call "cuz ya gotta." It's very liberating just to say here we are, the fence is coming up after this turn, and I gotta. I don't get three more 20M circles til it's perfect. This isn't inconsistent with dressage either. In a dressage test, ya gotta.

                            FWIW my horse goes MUCH better on the flat after jumping a few little things, as has every OTTB i've ever ridden. Lots of people I know throw a couple of crossrails or cavaletti into their flat schools.
                            Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                            Ms. Brazil

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                            • #15
                              For me it is the shorten stirrups that 'put me in the mood".

                              Plus I love the running and jumping part of eventing. Dressage makes me really, really pay attention to finesse, balance and using my body correctly so the horse can do the same.

                              So I go in the dressage arena knowing this is the 'warm-up' for the fun stuff.

                              When I took lessons with Thirdcharm - we always finished flat lessons with a few fences. That is a good way to help you learn to switch gears. Have your flat lesson, then raise the stirrups and jump a few fences. It really brings home how the dressage helps the jumping.
                              "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                              Courtesy my cousin Tim

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by gr8fulrider View Post
                                2-part answer.
                                1) It's not inconsistent; and
                                2) Ya gotta.

                                There are far more canter strides than fences in any course. You want a balanced canter, rhythm, straightness to the fence. You want to ride the back end, Sure, you're not focused on the same kind of submission. She's still gotta be stepping up from behind, listening, straight, and adjustable.

                                The other half is what I'll call "cuz ya gotta." It's very liberating just to say here we are, the fence is coming up after this turn, and I gotta. I don't get three more 20M circles til it's perfect. This isn't inconsistent with dressage either. In a dressage test, ya gotta.

                                FWIW my horse goes MUCH better on the flat after jumping a few little things, as has every OTTB i've ever ridden. Lots of people I know throw a couple of crossrails or cavaletti into their flat schools.
                                Don't count strides, count rhythm. Learn to leave the horse alone, don't adjust the striding at the last minute. The horse 'sees it's striding' several strides out, then if the rider adjusts and changes what the horse sees then you chip in or have to go long. It takes practice to learn to trust the horse to 'carry you' and do it's job.[/QUOTE]

                                This is so true. Your horse has to be ratable but you can't mess with her and interfere and micromanage. It is difficult to get your smart human brain to stop thinking for the horse but it's necessary.
                                Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                                Ms. Brazil

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Seems to me that one really big difference between 'pure' dressage and eventing is that in dressage the rider is always in charge, every step of the way, and in eventing, going xc is a partnership, setting up the horse and then giving it the space to do the job. Perhaps, to change that dressage-y thing, take a few hacks and trail rides where the horse has to work independently and you have to trust it knows what to do - or will learn what to do for itself. That confidence will then be transferred into the jumping arena.

                                  I once saw a dressage horse fall flat on its nose on a level, sandy track because the rider was engrossed in a conversation (with me)....
                                  "Good young horses are bred, but good advanced horses are trained" Sam Griffiths

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                                  • #18
                                    I somehow managed to quote myself and put the other person's insight outside of quotes. Don't know how to fix it. Duh.
                                    Shut up! You look fine! --Judybigredpony
                                    Ms. Brazil

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