• 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

4yo adjusting strides?

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

  • 4yo adjusting strides?

    Okay, so I'm bringing along my 4yo. We didn't start until end-summer/ early Fall with training, although he was broke summer the year before.

    In a group jump lesson we were asked to adjust our strides between a cross rail and a vertical. My horse's comfort was 5 strides. We could do 4, but couldn't get 6. I was asked to try again and again, before I finally said no. I felt I was sending mixed signals by doing all this checking when he was so forward and happy to the fence. (He did not act frustrated or unhappy during the checking, but I wanted to quit while I was ahead.) His primary issue was taking the first fence big and then me trying to get him back was not very successful.

    One person in the lesson thought that I was simply being asked to ride more technically and this wasn't out of the scope of my horse. Another rider thought I was right in stopping.

    We're doing dressage but still working on balance in corners. We're doing walk-trot transitions, but not canter-trot transitions. We're on the bit at the trot, but not at the canter yet. My dressage trainer is different from the jumper trainer.

    So... am I babying this horse, or is it too much to ask too soon?

  • #2
    Originally posted by Martina View Post
    We're doing dressage but still working on balance in corners. We're doing walk-trot transitions, but not canter-trot transitions. We're on the bit at the trot, but not at the canter yet. My dressage trainer is different from the jumper trainer.

    So... am I babying this horse, or is it too much to ask too soon?
    It sounds like your not asking him things in the right order.

    If you can't yet adjust his stride on the flat without jumps involved I wouldn't expect much success trying to adjust it with fences involved. I think the trick to bringing along a young horse over fences is to set him up to move from one success to the next. Which means you're only asking him to do new things he's already been prepared to do.

    Comment


    • #3
      Agree you are not asking in the right order..I don't ask my young horses to canter fences if they are not able to be connected at the canter. Trot the fence than canter away and work on balance but go back to trot before the next fence. If you work on this you would be doing canter-trot transitions. You need to be able to do a 1/2 halt at canter to add strides in a line, so does not sound like he is ready to canter show jumps yet to me.

      Comment


      • #4
        in other words yes, you were right in not forcing the issue at the clinic.

        I don't understand any of this and how it relates to your initial question:

        We're doing dressage but still working on balance in corners. We're doing walk-trot transitions, but not canter-trot transitions. We're on the bit at the trot, but not at the canter yet. My dressage trainer is different from the jumper trainer.

        The reason I don't understand is because EVERYONE works on flat work, or dressage. Our entire lives are spent looking for balance. If you can walk, trot, and canter than you must also be able to do it in reverse--canter, trot, walk. If you horse is on the bit at the trot then why is he not at the canter?

        You don't have to have a horse that understands a 1/2 halt in order to jump fences--if this were so we would not be jumping horses until they were good and solid at 2nd level. The majority of horses understand a check, a whoa, and a go.

        But yes, connection at the canter comes before cantering fences.
        I think your horse is fine and the clinic was just a tad over his level.
        http://kaboomeventing.com/
        http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by subk View Post
          It sounds like your not asking him things in the right order.

          If you can't yet adjust his stride on the flat without jumps involved I wouldn't expect much success trying to adjust it with fences involved. I think the trick to bringing along a young horse over fences is to set him up to move from one success to the next. Which means you're only asking him to do new things he's already been prepared to do.
          I agree. He needs to be balanced and responsive for lengthening and shortening his canter on the flat first, and it doesnt sound like he is there yet. He does need to be able to hold a balanced frame to do this. If he cant canter in balance on the flat, how can you expect him to balance himself at the canter with fences involved?

          So while it may be well within the scope of the horse, this seems to be a mistake people can easily make with talented youngsters. Just because he has the physical ability, does not mean he is ready just yet. He still needs to progress through the appropriate steps and foundation just like every other horse.

          Comment


          • #6
            And to add to the above posts.....last last LAST thing I would be doing with a young horse is teaching them to leave out a stride in a line.

            If it was a comfortable 5...then you do it in 5 not 4. Being able to add or leave out a stride in a correctly set line (straight line not bended line) is a fairly advanced jumping exercise....not one I would be doing with most early 4 year olds...certainly not a novice horse. We start that exercise with poles on the ground...not jumps. I would be able to add a stride easily long long long before I would taking a stride out on purpose with most horses....especially with a bold jumper who is jumping too big into a line. He probably LOVED leaving that stride out and if he learns that habit...you will be hard pressed to change it. It is a very dangerous habit to create and can limit an otherwise talent horse in the future!

            you were right to stop.
            ** 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


            • #7
              Agree with BFNE. Introducing this concept should not be done with jumps, but with POLES on the ground. And the horse should already have some idea of shortening and lengthening.

              However, I do not believe that the horse must perfectly "carry itself" before attempting this exercise (with poles). He doesn't have to have a 10 lengthening/medium canter before you start to teach adjusting between obstacles.

              Perfect balance is not required. In fact, I find that this exercise really *helps* the horse's balance in some cases. I've had some who hit a little wall, a very minor "why should I" attitude about using the hind end to come back, or push out. Add some poles in the mix, and the horse figures out for himself "why" listening to the rider's leg and hand (and voice) is needed.

              This is all done JUDICIOUSLY of course... some horses (and riders?) really need the challege of the rails to honestly attempt the change of stride. Trip over the rail once or twice and the horse learns that, hey, maybe it IS easier to add a step instead of floudering in a half-stride. Sometimes it's better to do this with two rails on the curve of a big circle, so you can also use the circle to help you (though it makes it more difficult for others... horses are different!).
              “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
              ? Albert Einstein

              ~AJ~

              Comment


              • #8
                Agree with PP. ALWAYS add with the youngsters. That being said, I wouldn't be jacking on his mouth to get the add done, just not trying to leave it out. Your ground person needs to make this happen, not the rider.

                I also will not ask for adjustability in the line until they are cantering around a course of 8 fences set on a 12 foot stride at 2'6".

                I am probably the opposite of every other person on this board. I want my young horse jumping around a small course before I start the "dressage" work. For the first 6 months they do not have to accept the bit, they do not have to be round or connected or anything else. They need to let me steer them around the corner and down the line and around the corner until they are BORED with it. I know there will be STRONG disagreement with this but I want my horses to flow quietly up to a fence and figure out how to get out of their own way.

                IMHO, dressage makes us hand ride our horses. This is not good for a baby. You set the fences to teach the green ones a lesson, you don't ride the green one for the fences. So for example, green one is WAY to bold, set the line a little tight, but as a rider you do nothing. Horse learns to back up because jumping out of a tight one sucks. If you try to help the horse, he blames you for the discomfort. If you leave him alone, he blames himself.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                  Agree with PP. ALWAYS add with the youngsters. That being said, I wouldn't be jacking on his mouth to get the add done, just not trying to leave it out. Your ground person needs to make this happen, not the rider.

                  very much agree with this...done not riding back wards, grounds person assisting...placing poles assisting....rider WAITING and not climbing up the neck

                  You want to encourage and reward their decision to pat the ground in front of the fence. You want their instinct to develop that WHEN you reach a fence on a half stride...they will collect up themselves, shorten their stride and pat the ground....not fling themselves over the fence. You want that as their default reaction....so until that is well set in their mind...I don't mess with going long if I can!!! and damn that is hard for me because *I* like the long ones too
                  ** 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


                  • #10
                    I once was asked to do this in a clinic on a very nice young rather big (16.2) 4 yr old OTTB who had just started jumping; 3 strides, 4 strides, 5 strides dowm the same line...fortunately for the horse, I - as in ME, knew immediately that I didn't feel like I could feel how to shorten this horse and I said "That's it for me today"...and left before things got ugly. At that point in time, I beat myself up a bit as I untacked for being such a pukey rider, no guts, not willing to try...later, several of the other clinic participants came over and told me how smart I was to have thought of my horse first...ha!
                    ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                      and damn that is hard for me because *I* like the long ones too
                      "Leaving it out" is my middle name. My current rising 5 yo is so of the same mind. His middle name is "Did you say move up?" I like the ones with the big stride. So easy to screw them up.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                        Agree with PP. ALWAYS add with the youngsters. That being said, I wouldn't be jacking on his mouth to get the add done, just not trying to leave it out. Your ground person needs to make this happen, not the rider.

                        I also will not ask for adjustability in the line until they are cantering around a course of 8 fences set on a 12 foot stride at 2'6".

                        I am probably the opposite of every other person on this board. I want my young horse jumping around a small course before I start the "dressage" work. For the first 6 months they do not have to accept the bit, they do not have to be round or connected or anything else. They need to let me steer them around the corner and down the line and around the corner until they are BORED with it. I know there will be STRONG disagreement with this but I want my horses to flow quietly up to a fence and figure out how to get out of their own way.

                        IMHO, dressage makes us hand ride our horses. This is not good for a baby. You set the fences to teach the green ones a lesson, you don't ride the green one for the fences. So for example, green one is WAY to bold, set the line a little tight, but as a rider you do nothing. Horse learns to back up because jumping out of a tight one sucks. If you try to help the horse, he blames you for the discomfort. If you leave him alone, he blames himself.
                        What you are doing is the basis of good dressage, not NO dressage! what you describe is the basis of the training scale - with little jumps added (much more interesting for everyone). BAD dressage makes us hand ride our horses. If only we can stay on the straight and narrow, riding GOOD dressage, we would have no problems with our jumping.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Wow, guys, so many great comments, its hard to put a succinct resonse together! Thank you all very much for this, as it is very, very helpful.

                          I don't ask my young horses to canter fences if they are not able to be connected at the canter. Trot the fence than canter away and work on balance but go back to trot before the next fence.
                          Great advice. I didn't know that. And I understand this will help him get deeper to the fence, which I hear is a good thing. He had been leaving early, and I thought THAT was a good thing until just yesterday when my friend steered me right. Geesh.

                          If you horse is on the bit at the trot then why is he not at the canter?
                          My dressage trainer had me cantering with zero aids, getting deep into the corners because he was falling in so horribly. He didn't want me supporting him at all, i.e. my horse was to do all the work to build the muscle and better balance. In our last lesson though he said it is now time, so next week we will start cantering on the bit.

                          Just because he has the physical ability, does not mean he is ready just yet.
                          If you can't yet adjust his stride on the flat without jumps involved I wouldn't expect much success trying to adjust it with fences involved.
                          I whole-heartedly agree

                          We start that exercise with poles on the ground...not jumps.
                          This is great, thank you. I'll give it a try, but to EventerAJ's point, probably not now, maybe soon. I just don't think this is the next step yet.

                          last last LAST thing I would be doing with a young horse is teaching them to leave out a stride in a line.
                          If it makes you feel better, my instructor said no more leaving a stride out because he was so jacked up. (And YES, he LOVED doing that, heaven forbid.)

                          You want their instinct to develop that WHEN you reach a fence on a half stride...they will collect up themselves, shorten their stride and pat the ground....not fling themselves over the fence.
                          I am not sure what this means, and what PnP said by it being up to the ground person?

                          I like the ones with the big stride. So easy to screw them up.
                          Don't I know it!

                          Again, thank you guys so much. Bringing up a young one is pretty daunting when you're not an expert yourself. I love where I keep my horse, but its hard for me to get the regular lessons I need. All this advice is so helpful.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            you did the right thing. It sounds like your trainer needs to be reminded the level your horse is dealing with.
                            Jumping gets better from a better balanced horse, which is achieved on the flat, through dressage principle
                            www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                            chaque pas est fait ensemble

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                              "Leaving it out" is my middle name. My current rising 5 yo is so of the same mind. His middle name is "Did you say move up?" I like the ones with the big stride. So easy to screw them up.
                              lol. me too. I seem to get stuck with the guys that are born with a 15 foot canter stride.

                              You really just have to ride the horse you are on.
                              I knew something was wrong with Boomer when at his last show (2008) he put 5 strides in a 5 stride line. Never had he done that before in his life. He ALWAYS does an easy 4. Took him to the vet and tah-dah! big issues.

                              Any clinician that I have ever used has always said to me..it's a 7 but you'll get 6.

                              Also, Will had us adjust striding. My 4 year old had been jumping for just a couple months. He gave us 18" verticals on the circle and we did 3 and 4 strides from the canter with no stirrups. ; ) But they were on a circle so you really don't change stride length, you change your arch.

                              Moral: you do what you feel is good for your horse. Youngsters should always be set up for success. Especially jumpers/eventers. You have to make those kids feel like they are the best damned horses on the planet. That's how you build a safe partner that can hold his own in the tough situations down the road.

                              Have fun with your kid! Good for you for speaking up at your clinic!
                              http://kaboomeventing.com/
                              http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                              Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Quote:
                                You want their instinct to develop that WHEN you reach a fence on a half stride...they will collect up themselves, shorten their stride and pat the ground....not fling themselves over the fence.

                                Originally posted by Martina View Post

                                I am not sure what this means, and what PnP said by it being up to the ground person?
                                By half stride...I mean you are not going to meet the fence well....instead of just being able to jump out of stride (which your distance may be a little close or a little long)...you are meeting it where you either need to leave a stride out or add a stride. My point was that we ALL meet fences on half strides....and what you want is a horse that if you do nothing...sit quiet, loop in the rein...your horse will add the stride...not leave it out. He will shorten his stride himself. He will rock back his balance, add the stride and pat the ground in front of the fence. If you don't develop this instinct...with a bold jumper...when they are reaching a fence on a half stride, left on their own...they will launch and leave the stride out. BAD habit that if you progress up the levels you have a much higher risk of flipping, falling or crashing them...especially event horses but also top show jumpers...and will need to do a lot of work undoing that bad habit....better to do it right from the start.

                                A ground person can help you by doing things like walking in front of the fence as you approach to help back the horse off (so the rider doesn't have to use their hands). You need an experienced ground person to do this.....if you watch the top trainers working with the bold young jumpers....watch what they do. They are not just wandering in front of fences (done to help get the horse to add the stride)....or standing to the side of a fence (done to help keep a horse straight) by accident or for no reason...they are doing all of that on purpose.
                                ** 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

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  That makes a ton of sense now, thank you.

                                  Its funny because I literally thought it was good that he was leaving out the stride. He didn't always do it though--this is pretty recent. That's when my friend had enlightened me that its not a good thing. I hope we can nip this in the bud now, because I have to say he likes to leave early. She said that trotting to fences and trying to get as deep as you can is helpful.

                                  I'll talk to my instructor and hopefully I can get a private with her. The group is hard because we are the greenest pair. Next group lesson I will be riding a more schooled horse, which will be good for me.

                                  Its getting on her schedule for a private that's tough. I am doing more clinics off the farm though, so that will be helpful.

                                  Thanks again everyone!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                                    IMHO, dressage makes us hand ride our horses.
                                    I think this is only true if you are riding dressage wrong.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Bobthehorse View Post
                                      I think this is only true if you are riding dressage wrong.
                                      I agree, and I disagree. Sometimes it is not "wrong" per se, but where you are in your education. I also both agree and disagree with the PP who said I am riding dressage in the early schooling of my youngsters.

                                      It takes a well schooled rider and a well schooled horse to half halt off the seat and thigh. It is also a very natural impulse to pull when you don't see anything. Only reinforced by flat work that tends to encourage the hand over the leg. (I am not saying it is correct, just that it is pretty common. I fall into that trap all the time - I don't think I am above it or better than that.)

                                      Teaching a horse to carry himself on a consistent stride is not an easy exercise. Keeping one "cocked" to jump without holding him up with your hand is even harder. Asking one to add without killing the engine, same thing.

                                      As to the comment that I am doing dressage with my youngsters. I am not. You would be seriously appalled by what I let them do while they sort out their own legs over the jumps. They don't accept the bit, their ears aren't level, they may or may not be in front of my leg, I turn with an opening rein. I find them totally annoying to ride on the flat and to a certain extent over fences because they don't adjust and they sure don't hold a stride length. They do have rhythm. I look for it. Now, maybe some people call that dressage, perhaps it is semantics.
                                      Last edited by Gry2Yng; Jan. 22, 2010, 07:02 PM.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Gry2Yng View Post
                                        As to the comment that I am doing dressage with my youngsters. I am not. You would be seriously appalled by what I let them do while they sort out their own legs over the jumps. They don't accept the bit, their ears aren't level, they may or may not be in front of my leg, I turn with an opening rein. I find them totally annoying to ride on the flat and to a certain extent over fences because they don't adjust and they sure don't hold a stride length. They do have rhythm. I look for it. Now, maybe some people call that dressage, perhaps it is semantics.
                                        Seeing as Rhythm is pretty much at the bottom of the dressage training pyramid you might be guilty of doing some...

                                        I don't have any problems asking a horse without a lot of finesse on the flat to start jumping (currently guilty!) But expecting finesse you don't have on the flat when jumping is the problem.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X