• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Is there ever a time when gymnastics will not help?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is there ever a time when gymnastics will not help?

    I was just thinking about this after my jump lesson the other day. My OTTB gets quite tense on the flat and that translates to his jumping. He is not challenged by the novice height we are jumping, but he is not using his back on the flat or over fences as well as he should be. My trainer who found him (and Ishi, who recognized his talent) thinks he could do the upper levels.

    Whenever we have a jump lesson, we are always working on cantering little courses or series of fences. Whenever I ask her about doing some gymnastics, she says they would be counter-productive for him because we know he's athletic. She thinks gymnastics would only make him quicker, and he would fly through, only moving his feet out of the way. It is basically true. But, the trainer I had before whom I still work with on the flat is very big on gymnastics. I know they are great for me to practice my position. She insists that they will make him more athletic and teach him to think for himself. I am definitely a believer in gymnastics.

    I guess I'm just looking for opinions. I occasionally work with my dressage trainer over fences (the one mentioned above. Used to event in England, not anymore). I think my guy needs to learn how to do these things, even if we will never see them in competition. He may get by on talent and athleticism now, but I think if he does go on up the levels, it would be fun to be able to do some more complex grids. He needs to be challenged.

    I'm having trouble setting things up on my own though, because he does get quick. I've done double bounces and I know low, wide oxers will help him use his back more. I've got Wofford's book that I've used with my ex-advanced packer. So, any advice or opinions would be helpful. Do you use gymnastics a lot? Never?
    Lindsay

    Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com

  • #2
    I think there are always times when the WRONG gymnastic won't help. The hard thing about gymnastics is that matching the right gymnastic with the right issue takes knowledge and a good bit of creativity. Developing atheticism while certainly one possible benefit hardly scratches the surface of the advantages of using them. Personally I love the mental development they encourage. I find that quickness is a wonderful issue to address with gymnastics. Sometimes with a particularly athletic horse giving them a mental problem to solve is exactly what will encourage them to slow down.

    So while I suppose it is possible there are times gymnastics won't help I really haven't ever come across that time! My inability to be smart enough? Yes, but that's my failing not the gymnastics.

    Since gymnastics are the core of my jumping program I'd have a hard time with a trainer that didn't want/or wasn't very creative with them.

    Comment


    • #3
      The only time, I'd say, is if the horse will. never. be. a. jumper. I.e. no matter what you do, he is crashing through and just doesn't have "it" for jumping.

      Your horse sounds like he needs them.

      I would do exercises that encourage him to slow down, like putting scary things under (so he'll do that micro-second hesitation); like having a landing rail, or even a set of landing rails; canter poles in between (or even cavaletti); options (like a gymnastic that starts straight and then you can choose which direction) etc.

      Have you done exercises to slow his mind down on the flat? Like cantering a circle in 2-point on a loopy rein, and working on staying in the same rhythm, first by itself, then as you take and release contact, then as you go from 2-point to 3-point and back? Then circling around a jump, then occasionally adding the jump into your circle?

      I would also try putting take-off and landing poles for single fences - get him thinking a bit more about where he's landing, and encourage a rounder jump from him.

      Good luck.
      Blugal

      You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng

      Comment


      • #4
        Completely agree with subk and Blugal. There's a gymnastic out there for almost any problem (except fundamental inability to leave the ground, LOL).

        Like subk said, use exercises that will challenge him to think, so he *can't* rush too much. Placing rails, landing rails will encourage him to look down, place his feet, and not focus on getoverthejumpquick! It also allows YOU to leave him alone...often a tense horse needs the rider to let go, which is tough when you're trying to steer through a course or single jumps. Just because the horse is athletic/talented isn't a really good reason to skip gymnastics-- tuning up jumping style/form isn't the sole purpose of the exercise. Teaching the horse to solve problems is also very important. Many confirmed upper level horses do low gymnastics and lots of ground poles to get their focus off the jump, settle and use themselves.
        “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
        ? Albert Einstein

        ~AJ~

        Comment


        • #5
          When a horse has undiagnosed EPSM, a gymnastic will only serve to frustrate and frighten him to death and put his rider in the dirt.

          Ask me how I know. Ask Woff too, I landed at HIS feet.
          Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

          Comment


          • #6
            I feel that all horses can benefit from gymnastics, especially one that gets quick.
            But first rule out any problems : EPSM...good thought...I hadn't thoght about that! and soreness in the hocks or stifles can get a horse rushing to "get it over with."

            I knew a woman who bought a horse that had done some novice, but she was a fearful rider who took lessons but did not ride at home, did not do her homework, and when reprimanded by one trainer after another for letting her horse stand around for a week or more between lessons, she blamed the horse's former trainer for his tenseness and rushing. She found a trainer who would agree with her, the trainer took the bit out of the horse's mouth, had her order an expensive hackamore/bit combo through the trainer, and had her leave the 14 year old horse at the barn for "training". The trainer told her the horse did not need gymnastics, (it bolted with the owner after every fence) and after several years of this, the owner gave the horse away.


            Just a scenario: not suggesting those are the problems with your horse. I would stick with a trainer who wants you to do gymnastics with this horse, but the exercises do need to be adjusted to make him have to look and get careful, once you are sure he is not sore somewhere.
            Not all veterinarians will look at the whole picture, but a vet who is a fan of chiropractic work will be able to help.
            What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the thoughts. I do use a placing pole at the beginning and in the middle of one stride gymnastics (if I'm trotting in). But it really doesn't help slow him down. It just makes sure he gets the one stride evenly. Hadn't thought about a landing pole.

              I do make sure to have days where I only trot to jumps with or without placing poles to literally and mentally slow everything down. He is just a hot horse in general and has had no soundness issues so far (knock on wood).
              Lindsay

              Check out my blog at http://lindsayberreth.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I love the right gymnastics for my horse that can get quick. They make him sit back and use himself. Love Wofford's books for lots of ideas.

                Comment


                • #9
                  some assorted exercises tips

                  To use his back more on the flat - spiral circles help build the roundness. Also a horse cannot go round without relaxation.

                  Figure eight before your first fence, several times if you need to to stop the rush.

                  Set a line of fences with enough distance between them so that you can circle before jumping the next fence. Linda Allen uses this for hunters. Stay real calm and use that 'slow circle' to knock the horse back down on it's pace, and keep a pace doing it. Repeat it over and over until the horse goes - oh dear (sigh) I'm not going anywhere.

                  Always stay back in your seat and hang your weight there and down the back of your leg, keep your shoulders back, don't ever get ahead of the horse, slow your body rhythm a lot. Practice making him come back to your rhythm, no pulling with the hands, just your seat. Use turns and bending. Reverse turns back to the rail.

                  My daughter has a very quick little OTTB mare! I thought about breeding her to a contesting Quarter horse, yikes it would be a nice baby for the right use.

                  I just had a girl come ride this mare and she couldn't sit the canter departs!! Her leg then flew all over the place. I had her do 2 point to get into her leg (horse still rushing - oh boy! 2 pt - where's the fence ) then when she got solid I had her sit down and circle using her eyes and her shoulders to turn with a relaxed open inside rein, keeping the outside rein. The horse slowed and relaxed immediately, going round and soft. The girl grinned from ear to ear, she could feel the easy connection and the soft round lightness. Circling with a relaxed inside rein helps. And a solid lower leg on the horse for support. The horse needs the comfort, a swinging leg (which means a bad seat too and no true connection) upsets a sensitive quick horse.

                  Do let us know what works for you as you find your answers.
                  Last edited by pony grandma; Oct. 3, 2009, 02:21 PM. Reason: answer to your question - NOPE
                  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


                  • #10
                    wow....wonder why your trainer thinks gymastics are counter productive to an athletic horse. Sorry...but there are many many many athletic super jumping horses who benefit from gymanstics. Hell..DeNemethy system of training with gymanstic jumping was develop for training and developing olympic horses.

                    I don't think I've ever had a jumping lesson that didn't include a gymanstic exercise of some sort....not all gymanstics is jumping a straight grid trotting in....

                    but it is setting the right exercise...and giving your horse the right ride...that is the key to getting the most out of gymnastic exercises.


                    And tense OTTBs are no exception.....
                    ** 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


                    • #11
                      I've found that gymnastics make athletic horses think because they can't use just talent to get them through it. I have an Irish mare who was going prelim when I bought her but had clearly never been taught trotting poles! She got very worried when she couldn't take the fence exactly the way she wanted (ie too fast and flat). I've done TONS of trot/collected canter gymnastics with her and now she doesn't rely on speed and momentum but instead she can balance herself and read the question accurately.
                      My two favorites for rushing horses:
                      x-oxer-x (thanks Denny): small (18") xrail, 18' to oxer, 18' to small xrail. Keep widening and raising the oxer but keep the distances at 18'. Come into it in trot or collected canter. The horse can't use speed, they have to coil back onto their hocks. If he bounces it, halt quietly in a straight line and repeat it, coming in slow and patient. You can use a false groundline under the oxer with more advanced horses, which helps them rock back even more.

                      Double bounce--one stride to oxer (low-wide is my favorite) one stride to double bounce: This gets them to compress, reach, then compress again. With a real speed demon I'll place landing or placing poles in the one strides. Double bounces are much harder to fly thru than single ones. You can come in from trot or canter. I do 9-10' between bounces and 18-20' for the one strides.
                      Have fun!

                      Comment

                      Working...
                      X