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Please critique this event prospect

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  • Please critique this event prospect

    Could you guys critique some photos for me?

    I've been putting off this post (although wanted to make it for a long time now) because I didn't know how to pare it down into a concise question rather than a long drawn out ramble.

    My background is that I grew up eventing/pony club (up to C-3) and then moved to an area where there is really ONLY speed/gaming and English and Western pleasure.

    Basically, my horse's personality is great for me. I can be a weenie (gosh where did all the confidence of my teen years go?). I don't have huge aspirations in terms of eventing. Basically I want safe, fun rides at any event I do, goals being completion and being somewhat competitive. I don't see myself having the cajones to do much more than Training. On the right horse I MIGHT consider going Training or schooling prelim.

    The horse I have now was born and raised as a Hunter Under Saddle and Western Pleasure horse. I did those two things with him for two years and he was successful. Then I was bored, wanted to event again, and so started taking lessons with my old trainer (three hours away). I'm bascially working "on my own" and trying to decide if this horse is going to accomplish my goals or if I'm wasting my time.

    He seems to enjoy what he's doing and is transitioning quite well to the whole new discipline thing. He's honest to his fences... it is the QUALITY of his jump I'm worried about. I'm wondering, how much CAN you fix with gymnastics???

    Trainer thinks that the horse is capable of BN but after a lot of work. He sees the horse as topping out at 3'. Now, the horse got a month off (he was sick) in between our two lessons with the trainer and the trainer still felt that Tuff had improved GREATLY in both his flat and jumping. We had one lesson at the end of May, then he was off for all of june, worked for 2 weeks and was back for a lesson in mid July. He's done gymnastics in two of those lessons (2 or 3 fences in a line) and just starting to gallop fences.

    Any thoughts or opinions are really welcome here. I've got an offer from someone to buy him (see my post in Off Course) so it isn't like I can't sell him and get something else, but I really love this horse and his personality to the point that I'm almost willing to give up my dream of eventing again just to keep him around.

    Ok on to some copious amounts of photos.
    My website--they're on the front page, Photos, News, and Horses. He's the big red gelding....

    www.heritageoaksfarm.com

    And there are more on my Facebook (public). Some of them are duplicates but I put the good, bad, AND UGLY on FB but not on the website.

    MAY: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...8&l=603dbfbba4

    JULY: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?ai...8&l=bc0ce7b2ad



    Is this a losing battle? Keep in mind I'm doing this largely on my own with lessons once or twice a month. I'm OK with "harsh." I just am really confused and trying to sort it all out.

  • #2
    What a lovely horse! And what on earth do you think is wrong with his jump? Even pretty ordinary jumpers can make perfectly nice eventers up to 1*/Prelim level. If everything else is in place (soundness, rideability, amiability, basic suppleness, enthusiasm) why would you question this horse's ability?

    Comment


    • #3
      Is it a losing battle, no no no.
      Keep, keep keep this horse if you like him and he's nice - and looks like he is trying hard!
      Learn, enjoy, and go all the way. Don't worry about tomorrow. Ride for today. Many a backyard horse has gone to the Olympics, my dear. And he's certainly not "backyard", he's an accomplished show horse so I say go for it.
      Last edited by retreadeventer; Sep. 7, 2009, 08:14 PM. Reason: lost sentence added back
      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

      Comment


      • #4
        If it's just a question of the leg hanging, it looks to my (untrained, unqualified) eye as if the horse is just...smart. He's not one of those horses who's going to tuck his little knees up for a 12-inch crossrail. When he's presented with a reasonable challenge, he seems capable of jumping in decent form. And if he's cute and has a good willing personality, what more could you ask for?

        If it were my horse, I'd hand the reins over to my trainer and ask her to school him on the long line over fences (those stacker/stand combos make this a safe endeavor). My trainer does this with pretty much every horse that comes through for training, and it seems to produce better and faster results than gymnastic exercises. Of course gymnastics are useful, but it helps if the horse has his act together first. You can put a riderless horse over a jump many more times in a day than you can with a rider on board, doing less joint damage in the process and learning more about what the horse does if/when the rider gets out of its way.
        Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          From the photos, I see a very green horse who doesn't always know what to do with this legs and body. It looks like you've had to literally "shove" him over some of the fences.

          How long has this horse been jumping? To me, it seems like you need to go back to small cross-rails and verticals, lots of them, so that he can concentrate more on "How To Leave The Ground And Land Safely." The fences in your photos, while not huge, seem to be a bit much for him to handle. I'd build a line of low bounces (building up to at least 3 or 4) to help him learn to compress his body, snap the knees, snap the hocks, and think quickly. It won't presto-chango fix his form, but it will make him more aware of his body.

          How forward is he? Does he "take" you to the fences, like he LOVES to jump? Or does he just throw himself over it because he's a good guy, and wants to do what you ask? You must be very careful with the latter type of horse, because they are easier to overface and "lie" to them by asking for more than they can give. A horse who really honestly loves to jump, even with questionable form, can handle mistakes better because he's constantly thinking (on his own!) how to best make it to the other side.


          I see no reason why a HUS/WP-bred horse cannot do lower level eventing. As you said, he's a wonderful partner and looks very cute on the flat. But don't rush the jumping, especially if you feel like it's not high on his list of natural talents. His form will limit his scope (as your trainer said), but he must make up for it with desire and brains-- wanting to get to the other side, and knowing how to do it safely in whatever style he can.

          I know low jumps can make them bored, but mix it up with bounces, one-strides, scary tarps, etc. Make sure he stays 100% in front of your leg, all the time. Be careful to NOT throw your upper body ahead, and overweight his already lazy front end.

          I would also free-jump him if possible, so that he can learn on his own. In that situation, you can make the jumps a little bigger to challenge him (but don't scare him!), without having to worry about him landing in a heap on *you*. You can also chase him a bit with the lunge whip to get him moving forward, and let him deal with whatever distance he gets to.

          Good luck!
          “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
          ? Albert Einstein

          ~AJ~

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Equa View Post
            What a lovely horse! And what on earth do you think is wrong with his jump? Even pretty ordinary jumpers can make perfectly nice eventers up to 1*/Prelim level. If everything else is in place (soundness, rideability, amiability, basic suppleness, enthusiasm) why would you question this horse's ability?

            To quote my trainer "he hangs his legs like dirty laundry" Not aLL the time, no. But a large portion of the time. Sometimes I think "we can do this" and other times I'm thinking "this isn't his bag."

            The trainer has told me that 3' is his top. So Prelim is out of the question and Novice is right at the top of the line. Obviously the trainer could be mistaken but so far he's been really honest and great.

            He's sound, he's ridable, he's mostly amiable (he has a bit of a stubborn streak) he's supple, he isn't enthusiastic about ANYTHING (that is the pleasure horse breeding) but he's totally willing.

            He's literally the kind of horse you can take out of the stall at a horse show, get on and ride with no longing and go in and win a HUS class. Literally. His transition to dressage requires more warmup and same with jumping...

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
              Is it a losing battle, no no no.
              Keep, keep keep this horse if you like him and he's nice - and looks like he is trying hard!
              Learn, enjoy, and go all the way. Don't worry about tomorrow. Ride for today. Many a backyard horse has gone to the Olympics, my dear. And he's certainly not "backyard", he's an accomplished show horse so I say go for it.
              He is trying. Do you think it matters that he's accomplished in WESTERN pleasure and western-style-English?

              Comment


              • #8
                OK - what I see a horse just like my beloved Saint of a Paint I just sold. Sam jumped a LOT like your boy - hung his knees because he was jumping over his forehand. It looks like you boy is having trouble lifting his shoulder, especially when you get him deep to a fence, and so he jumps up and over, making up for his lack of lift in his knees/shoulder by having a back-cracking jump. Here are some pictures of Sam, sort of doing exactly what your boy is doing:
                Sam loose with his front legs
                Getting in too deep
                Again - uck

                But then, after lots of strengthening work and getting him to canter UPhill to his fences, he started to look consistently like this:
                XC planter
                stadium
                stadium again
                XC cabin

                No, he'll never be a knee-snapper, but his saving grace was that we NEVER, ever had a rail down in competition (up through Novice, and then I sold him, but I did a 3'3-3'6 jumper round with him and we went clear). He also never touched a fence xc. There is one picture on your Facebook page that alarms me - the one where he appears to have scissored a rail between his front and back legs! Does he normally have rails down? Have you tried him xc? Is he more careful over solid fences? Sam hung his legs at times, but he was a very careful jumper and respected the rails, and he didn't like to touch them.

                My suggestion to you would be to make sure that you have a very uphill, bouncy canter, which will keep his shoulder lifted up to the base of the fence, and then allow him to jump up into you.

                Good luck! He's a cutie, and I hope you can make things work.
                "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post
                  If it's just a question of the leg hanging, it looks to my (untrained, unqualified) eye as if the horse is just...smart. He's not one of those horses who's going to tuck his little knees up for a 12-inch crossrail. When he's presented with a reasonable challenge, he seems capable of jumping in decent form. And if he's cute and has a good willing personality, what more could you ask for?

                  If it were my horse, I'd hand the reins over to my trainer and ask her to school him on the long line over fences (those stacker/stand combos make this a safe endeavor). My trainer does this with pretty much every horse that comes through for training, and it seems to produce better and faster results than gymnastic exercises. Of course gymnastics are useful, but it helps if the horse has his act together first. You can put a riderless horse over a jump many more times in a day than you can with a rider on board, doing less joint damage in the process and learning more about what the horse does if/when the rider gets out of its way.

                  This post caught my attention. I don't know if the trainer can do that option... it is a bit of an interesting situation with him. He's very good but he's more of a teacher-trainer, and isn't taking horses on for training. I'd be willing to do the long lining and get him over the fences, if someone could tell me what to do. It is something I could consider.

                  To be honest it isn't so much the leg hanging that bothers me (ok it does) because I believe he can "get up" high enough over them to not cause a problem. But he has this issue with sort of ski-jumping over fences, folding his legs under his body. When we galloped one fence (ONE) it scared me because he made no adjustments in his stride, just launched over.

                  Here's the photo. http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._5117615_n.jpg

                  What do you do to teach the horse to rock back and JUMP? Can they learn this?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                    From the photos, I see a very green horse who doesn't always know what to do with this legs and body. It looks like you've had to literally "shove" him over some of the fences.

                    How long has this horse been jumping? To me, it seems like you need to go back to small cross-rails and verticals, lots of them, so that he can concentrate more on "How To Leave The Ground And Land Safely." The fences in your photos, while not huge, seem to be a bit much for him to handle. I'd build a line of low bounces (building up to at least 3 or 4) to help him learn to compress his body, snap the knees, snap the hocks, and think quickly. It won't presto-chango fix his form, but it will make him more aware of his body.

                    How forward is he? Does he "take" you to the fences, like he LOVES to jump? Or does he just throw himself over it because he's a good guy, and wants to do what you ask? You must be very careful with the latter type of horse, because they are easier to overface and "lie" to them by asking for more than they can give. A horse who really honestly loves to jump, even with questionable form, can handle mistakes better because he's constantly thinking (on his own!) how to best make it to the other side.


                    I see no reason why a HUS/WP-bred horse cannot do lower level eventing. As you said, he's a wonderful partner and looks very cute on the flat. But don't rush the jumping, especially if you feel like it's not high on his list of natural talents. His form will limit his scope (as your trainer said), but he must make up for it with desire and brains-- wanting to get to the other side, and knowing how to do it safely in whatever style he can.

                    I know low jumps can make them bored, but mix it up with bounces, one-strides, scary tarps, etc. Make sure he stays 100% in front of your leg, all the time. Be careful to NOT throw your upper body ahead, and overweight his already lazy front end.

                    I would also free-jump him if possible, so that he can learn on his own. In that situation, you can make the jumps a little bigger to challenge him (but don't scare him!), without having to worry about him landing in a heap on *you*. You can also chase him a bit with the lunge whip to get him moving forward, and let him deal with whatever distance he gets to.

                    Good luck!

                    Ok to answer some of your quesitons. He is green. His previous owner did a little jumping with him (a 2 week crash course where they RAN him at the fences and beat him over them). When I got him to use as a WP horse, he was really nervous even going over poles on the ground. He would still jump willingly but was totally nervous. I stopped jumping and I didn't do anything but poles for 2 years until he got his confidence back and was able to canter over poles on the ground. He was pretty fried..and then this spring started him over fences again. The photos are all from lessons with my trainer who was creating exercises / gymnastics that he felt would help the horse learn.

                    When you're on him he doesn't feel like he struggles to jump AT ALL.... but he pulls a lot of rails and sometimes he feels akward. He completely is green insomuch as his "education" has been rushed and spotty. I feel that the trainer is building up really great exercises. What we don't have pics of are all the pole work or the first lesson. So sometimes, yes, I feel the horse is being pushed but I can see the reason why. Maybe it isn't appopriate and maybe it is. I'm going to ruminate on that tonight. I really respect the trainer and do sort of blindly trust him.

                    I think that bounces are a great idea. I'm going to try them. My trainer told me that my "job" until my next lesson was to get him taking me to the fences. He does sometimes but other times he just does it because he's a good guy. He's honest to a fault, too. I feel that he might not stop if he SHOULD and would try anyway. I could be wrong but my hugest fear is that we'll have a rotational.

                    I've also considered longing him over fences, as the arena I have to work in is not appropriate for free jumping as it is not fenced in!

                    I don't WANT to give up but I also don't WANT to sour my horse or put him in a gratuitiously unsafe position. Given that eventing is already dangerous I don't want to add more risks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RegentLion View Post
                      This post caught my attention. I don't know if the trainer can do that option... it is a bit of an interesting situation with him. He's very good but he's more of a teacher-trainer, and isn't taking horses on for training. I'd be willing to do the long lining and get him over the fences, if someone could tell me what to do. It is something I could consider.
                      It is not something I would ever recommend to an amateur. Having seen my trainer do it many times, it's not something I would try to do myself. Ever. And I consider myself a very good "regular" lunge-line operator.

                      Some people also do it with free jumping, but with free jumping you can't be quite as directive about things like consistent pace and exactly where/how/what angle to turn into the fence. But in the absence of long lining, free jumping through gymnastics would help.

                      What do you do to teach the horse to rock back and JUMP? Can they learn this?
                      Assuming the horse is not a wicked coward or a total idiot, yes. Again, I've seen it done on the long line many a time.

                      If you're interested, the trainer that I'm talking about is only about 4.5 hours away from you (I recently moved from Michigan to Ohio). You could chat them up about it; I don't know if they "give lessons" on how to long line, but at the very least they'd probably let you watch THEM do it. PM me if you want more details.
                      Head Geek at The Saddle Geek Blog http://www.thesaddlegeek.com/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RegentLion View Post
                        He's sound, he's ridable, he's mostly amiable (he has a bit of a stubborn streak) he's supple, he isn't enthusiastic about ANYTHING (that is the pleasure horse breeding) but he's totally willing.
                        LOL. I can totally relate to this. There's a QH at the farm, stockhorse type all the way, that I taught to jump last year. He has the same attitude... enthusiasm is reserved solely for FOOD. Lazy, but will do what you ask, grudgingly at first. In the beginning, I had many second (and third...) thoughts that this horse Was Not A Jumper. This QH had the definite opinion that If Horses Were Meant To Fly, They Would Have Wings.

                        He was as fat as a sumo wrestler (and this was AFTER he lost 100+lbs) and it was seriously scary to point him at a 10" crossrail at first. It took several days for him to get the concept of "all legs leave the ground, and there is a flight phase." He'd trot and canter groundpoles all day with confidence, in various complex configurations, but actually leaving the ground was difficult. He learned best from the canter (harder to step over one leg at a time!), and I had to kick/beat him over it initially, with ENORMOUS praise on the landing side. After about six "jump" schools, something clicked, and he's been a jumping machine ever since. He loves it now, hops over 3' coops in the hunt field and could easily pack a monkey around BN. He could go novice with a good ride, but I'd say that's the limit of his scope.

                        He has a bit better form than your horse, but the point of my story is that even the least-likely horses can sometimes surprise you. Don't give up yet. In my QH horse's case, I firmly believe PRAISING him, making a big deal for any and every improving effort made the difference. As you said, he is kinda "indifferent" to most anything the rider asks. But I made him think he was Gem Twist for accomplishing a 10" vertical, and his outlook greatly improved.
                        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
                        ? Albert Einstein

                        ~AJ~

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                          There is one picture on your Facebook page that alarms me - the one where he appears to have scissored a rail between his front and back legs! Does he normally have rails down? Have you tried him xc? Is he more careful over solid fences? Sam hung his legs at times, but he was a very careful jumper and respected the rails, and he didn't like to touch them.

                          My suggestion to you would be to make sure that you have a very uphill, bouncy canter, which will keep his shoulder lifted up to the base of the fence, and then allow him to jump up into you.

                          Good luck! He's a cutie, and I hope you can make things work.
                          Your description of what happens through his body is very accurate. He can be back cracking and he's trying to compensate through his body what he's not doing in his legs.

                          The picture on the FB page was really a sucky moment. I don't think he actually even tried in that picture. He does have rails down fairly frequently but generally only when he gets tired at the end. The photo with the scary rail (I'm assuming the one where he looks like he's going to nosedive) was at the end of the lesson. He has jumped over solid fences and is a lot more careful. In the picture he did pick himself up and then afterward REALLY was careful. He scared himself... and me.

                          His rails are generally like he's trailing one of his front hooves over the top pole... like feeling where it is. He does respect the rails, then gets lazy and knocks one or two, then he tries hard for a while again. I'm not sure what to think of this--laziness maybe?

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                            There is one picture on your Facebook page that alarms me - the one where he appears to have scissored a rail between his front and back legs! Does he normally have rails down? Have you tried him xc? Is he more careful over solid fences? Sam hung his legs at times, but he was a very careful jumper and respected the rails, and he didn't like to touch them.

                            My suggestion to you would be to make sure that you have a very uphill, bouncy canter, which will keep his shoulder lifted up to the base of the fence, and then allow him to jump up into you.

                            Good luck! He's a cutie, and I hope you can make things work.
                            Your description of what happens through his body is very accurate. He can be back cracking and he's trying to compensate through his body what he's not doing in his legs.

                            The picture on the FB page was really a sucky moment. I don't think he actually even tried in that picture. He does have rails down fairly frequently but generally only when he gets tired at the end. The photo with the scary rail (I'm assuming the one where he looks like he's going to nosedive) was at the end of the lesson. He has jumped over solid fences and is a lot more careful. In the picture he did pick himself up and then afterward REALLY was careful. He scared himself... and me.

                            His rails are generally like he's trailing one of his front hooves over the top pole... like feeling where it is. He does respect the rails, then gets lazy and knocks one or two, then he tries hard for a while again. I'm not sure what to think of this--laziness maybe?

                            Oh, and your horse is ADORABLE and he definitely improved with work. Coincidentally, Tuff is also a paint, just didn't get any color!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by EventerAJ View Post
                              But I made him think he was Gem Twist for accomplishing a 10" vertical, and his outlook greatly improved.
                              HAHAHAHA that is hilarious. I'm going to try it. For real. It might make a difference to him, we shall see.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by jn4jenny View Post

                                Assuming the horse is not a wicked coward or a total idiot, yes. Again, I've seen it done on the long line many a time.

                                If you're interested, the trainer that I'm talking about is only about 4.5 hours away from you (I recently moved from Michigan to Ohio). You could chat them up about it; I don't know if they "give lessons" on how to long line, but at the very least they'd probably let you watch THEM do it. PM me if you want more details.
                                He's lazy but not a coward or an idiot. You have a PM.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by RegentLion View Post
                                  Your description of what happens through his body is very accurate. He can be back cracking and he's trying to compensate through his body what he's not doing in his legs.

                                  Oh, and your horse is ADORABLE and he definitely improved with work. Coincidentally, Tuff is also a paint, just didn't get any color!
                                  Thanks! I adored Sam, and I have days when I truly regret selling him on.

                                  I really believe more than ever, based on your description, that you're dealing with a horse that is on the forehand to the fence. He looks on the forehand in your flat pictures, too, and we all know that translates over to how the horse jumps.

                                  Sam would practically pop me out of the saddle over some fences, which gave me an incredible feeling, but to my disappointment, he was hanging his legs. You are not jumping ahead - in fact, your form is quite commendable given what is going on underneath you at times! - but he is definitely jumping over his shoulder in a lot of the pics. Let me guess - when he takes a bit of a long spot, or even a flyer, his form gets better, no? And when you get in a tad deep, he cracks his back, but hangs his legs? That was Sam to a T.

                                  Work on getting your canter very, very uphill - think "pop wheelies", keeping those hind legs driving up underneath him, lift your hands so that it helps to keep him in an uphill balance. As my trainer says, if he gets to pulling, don't pull back - put your leg on and pull "up", so you raise him off the forehand. Don't, don't, DON'T allow him to jump unless he's giving you a soft, uphill canter, one that you feel you can float the rein the last few strides, keep your leg on, and nothing changes. If they're pulling on you all the way to the fence, they're just fallen on the forehand and you need to get that forehand UP. Don't worry about his head, as long as it doesn't feel like you've turned into a lawn dart at the jump. Get the canter you want 4-5 strides out, even if you have to really get after him to do it, and then ride him "up and out" towards the jump. If he pulls and blasts through your hands, that's when you have the scary jumps and he could take you down - get as aggressive as you have to get to get him to listen to you. If he's the lazy type, then he needs a lot more lengthening/shortening work on the flat - open his canter stride, sit down, keep those hips moving (yours), keep your leg on, raise your hands, and think of bouncing him UP into a shorter canter, then let him go out again. You need a lazy horse to immediately jump off your leg forward, but you also need them between your hands and legs for balance. As Denny says, "rev the engine, then cock the lever" - you cannot create impulsion from nothing.

                                  Good luck! I think that his carelessness at jumps probably stems from his laziness to rock back and balance himself to the fence, so I'd definitely work on balance. Btw, your dressage scores should improve immensely when he no longer looks heavy on the forehand. I know - I've been there. I used to score in the high 30s with Sam (35-39), and then after moving to my new trainer (thanks, Christan!), I was scoring in the low 30s before I sold him on.
                                  "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

                                  So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."

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                                  • #18
                                    Honestly, I think you need a new trainer! That horse should not be jumping as high as some of those jumps are. He shouldn't be doing anything over 2ft until he gets better balance and learns his distances. I think part of the problem is that he is on his forehand. If you got him working consistently off his haunches, I bet he would start jumping better. However, I still think you need a new trainer because I'm no where near being able to be a trainer, and I can plainly see this horse is too green for the jump height. Plus didn't you say you where traveling 3 hours to get to him? This is a horse that you need to have weekly lessons with so that you can really progress. Find a good trainer in your area. Don't limit your self to jump eventing trainers though. My trainer is mainly H/J(but did some eventing), but she is still a fantastic trainer.

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                                    • #19
                                      I hate to be the one to disagree but I have a horse that jumps in a very similar fashion a lot of the time. He almost always placed very well at any sanctioned event we competed at, qualified for the AECs every year we competed at BN and novice.... but....even though I never felt him to be unsafe , almost all my cross country pics look similar to yours. My guy just is all about minimal effort.... We almost never had a stadium round without 1 rail down.
                                      I made the decision to lease him out as a dressage horse (was showing first and schooling most of 2nd level) because I felt that eventually our luck would run out and he would flip on a fence. It was a very difficult decision because he was bold, never stopped and tons of fun to ride, but if he couldn't be bothered, or didn't have the talent to pick his knees up over a solid cross country fence consistantly (the occasional bad jump wouldn't bother me), I didn't want to be the one to get hurt or get him hurt....
                                      You are the one who knows his training etc... In many of your pics he looks quite capable but you are the one questioning and I'm a firm believer in listening to troubling gut instincts..

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by RegentLion View Post
                                        This post caught my attention. I don't know if the trainer can do that option... it is a bit of an interesting situation with him. He's very good but he's more of a teacher-trainer, and isn't taking horses on for training. I'd be willing to do the long lining and get him over the fences, if someone could tell me what to do. It is something I could consider.

                                        To be honest it isn't so much the leg hanging that bothers me (ok it does) because I believe he can "get up" high enough over them to not cause a problem. But he has this issue with sort of ski-jumping over fences, folding his legs under his body. When we galloped one fence (ONE) it scared me because he made no adjustments in his stride, just launched over.

                                        Here's the photo. http://photos-f.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos..._5117615_n.jpg

                                        What do you do to teach the horse to rock back and JUMP? Can they learn this?
                                        He didn't adjust because he doesn't know HOW to adjust. He's too green. Horses don't just naturally know how to adjust and rock back and collect. It really shows how willing he is that he simply didn't slam on the brakes and refuse. It scares ME that your trainer told you to do this. You should NEVER EVER gallop your horse at a fence. That is how you get rotational falls, etc. People that are riding cross country gallop between the fences. Whenever they approach a jump you will always(or you should at least) see them collect their horse to prepare for the jump. Some jumps need more collection than others based on their difficultly, but no one ever gallops flat out at a fence unless they want to kill their horse or themselves.

                                        A good trainer should have already be helping you teach you horse to rock back. Some horses already know how to do this more than others, but all need to learn it to a certain degree. Learning this is one of the basics of jumping, IMO. Trust me. you sure as hell don't want to be out on a cross country course with a horse that can't rock back and adjust.

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