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What is a "big" fence to you?

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  • What is a "big" fence to you?

    I realize there's a lot of variety in this question, but... when you approach a stadium fence, at what height do you say to yourself "ok, this a real jump" and get a little nervous about it. Does that height where you feel it's a real jump carry over to XC?

    My apologies if this is unclear. I'm about to go to bed and my Ambien is doing funny things to my brain. I'll clarify in the morning when I'm no longer under the influence.
    Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
    Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
    VW sucks.

  • #2
    It completely depends on the horse you are sitting on. A big fence is one that pushes the envelope of skill, scope, experience, etc. of whatever is being asked to jump it.
    Hindsight bad, foresight good.


    • #3
      for xc prelim and up look big riding to them, walking it I am normally good through I, but sometimes they look big, depends on the fence. for SJ, wide 3'6" oxers look big,3'6' vert are ok.


      • #4
        I'm a lower level rider so the first time I jumped a training sized x-country jump on a former *** horse I was like

        Being able to feel "hang time" over a fence was new and exciting to me! It also had to do with the horse who really surged over it.

        On the other hand.. my usual mount (some sort of green, greener or greeniest OTTB) makes 2foot logs look HUGE but unless they rocket over it awkwardly (which tends to happen) I don't get that WOW feeling as described above.

        I would love to someday jump an Interm or Advanced jump, even if it's just a log!
        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


        • #5
          I've been doing a bit of research on safety aspects of fences. According to Dr. Ellen Singer of Liverpool University in the UK there's a significant increase in the risk of a horse fall if the fence is wider than 2 meters so....

          Fences & fence construction will be one aspect of the Safety Forum at the Area IV annual meeting in St. Louis this Saturday.
          Brock n. (Anglo-Saxon) badger as in Brockenhurst, Brocklebank etc www.area35.us


          • #6
            here are 2

            A big fence is/ was the 3rd fence on the Morven Park fall course a few years ago; a solid LOG, c. 3'7"-9" with a very steep drop on landing; or, the Weldons' wall on the backside of that course black creosoted railroad ties all the way down to the bottom of the ditch "sucks you in and down, down, down
            breeder of Mercury!

            remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans


            • #7
              I walked one Training course (so nothing over 3'3") and it looked HUGE the first few times I walked it--but it rode beautifully, and the jumps didn't look that big riding up to them. I've schooled Prelim and even Intermediate tables that I didn't realize were that big, so I suppose it just depends on the kind of day you're having, the type of jump, how it's situated, etc.

              I've had the same thing in SJ--I was jumping up once more before a HT, and I had a friend setting jumps for me. We use these interesting "cups" that mean our standards aren't drilled. I just eyeballed it and told her to go up/down the whole time. At the end I knew I was over competition height (again, 3'3"), but I didn't think by much. The one oxer was at least 3'9" (I found out afterward), but I didn't know it. By the same token I was going through a rough patch when my horse and I were having severe confidence issues; during that phase 3' looked huge!

              All of this was on the same horse.
              Last edited by Thames Pirate; Feb. 17, 2010, 01:26 AM.


              • #8
                WELL... I would have to agree with the people who say it depends on the horse...(and the day!) my old horse who I just sold had days where nothing looked big and we could jump around a 4'6 stadium course or run around cross country and jump all of the "exciting" things... And then there were the days where 3' looked TERRIFYING and I would get royally dumped on my butt.

                New horse, young horse, everything looks big! But fortunately she doesn't care about the height at all herself...


                • #9
                  Originally posted by K. View Post
                  for xc prelim and up look big riding to them, walking it I am normally good through I, but sometimes they look big, depends on the fence. for SJ, wide 3'6" oxers look big,3'6' vert are ok.
                  Oddly enough, I've been having the opposite response in both aspects. I've been walking our Int. x-c courses going, "Oh wow these are big fences!" but riding down to them they look normal. In stadium, oxers don't usually bother me too much, but for some reason the 3'11" verticals do not look so inviting.


                  • #10
                    Tables on x-c. Just tables. Usually there is one big looking one at every level, but when you get to training and above, they are what look the biggest and most imposing to me. When I worry the night before a ride, it is always about the tables, yet they seem to ride the easiest of anything for my horses


                    • #11
                      Stadium? The only fence that ever made me go *gulp* was a big Swedish oxer at the Maui Jim CIC* years ago. (obviously I don't point my horsey's nose at level 6 jumper stuff, I'm talking "jumps I've actually had to jump" here) Stadium usually doesn't freak me out too much.

                      XC? Square-faced tables, hate 'em. And things with ditches.
                      Click here before you buy.


                      • #12
                        LL Smurf here -

                        I'm pretty brave and have a horse that's pretty brave - but i get caught up on benches and tall verticals...
                        Proud owner of a Spicy mare!!


                        • #13
                          Nothing in stadium really bothers me. Poles 'hanging' in the air do tend to look bigger than they are - that is, putting a vertical up at about 3' and not having any poles, gates or anything under it. I grew up in hunter world and had a kind of 'over it or through it' attitude.

                          Cross country is different, though...over it or through it does not happen in cross country. Trakehners are my enemy there, but I am working through it. I do not have as forgiving a horse and she will refuse if I get nervous and do something like take my leg off...so that does not help.

                          The 'biggest', scariest jump ever, though, was a...um...trakehner type drop...I do not know the proper term. There was a log as a ground line, then a log hanging in the air and the landing side was lower than the take off side. It was at Radnor Hunt Club the one time that I know of that they opened their course to schooling.

                          I made it over that jump and it is probably the high light of my career with my horse. It was also a GREAT confidence booster!


                          • #14
                            Back when I was doing the jumpers anything under 3'6" was a speed bump. I regularly jumped 4' and even did a 4'9" course once my senior year in college (that was a thrill and a half). Several years went by that I was riding greenies and I also had a kid (that alone makes the jumps look bigger). Now, anything over 3' looks HUGE- and even 3' looks big sometimes. I did my first Training last year at Morven in the fall and the stadium seemed gigantic and the XC was enormous. I am slowly getting the confidence back that I lost, but I don't think I will ever jump 4'9" again .


                            • #15
                              Depends what I am sitting on, but assuming a horse that I was relatively sure could jump the jumps, big oxers coming out of corner that are 3'9" and bigger look big in the Stadium (In 2008, sitting on the former *** horse, nothing at preliminary looked big). XC tables don't bother me much, but big drops look big and brush fences look big if they are prelim max (thanks to my former horse who would inevitably jump the entire thing).
                              OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                              • #16
                                3'6" in the ring- on my good horses. With the green ones it really depends.

                                XC, about the same thing- I don't measure XC ones very much, but a lot of the training level jumps seem quite big! I know my horse can do them. We could probably do some prelim jumps, but a preliminary course would be very intimidating for me! The eventing jumps, although smaller, seem way bigger. Out foxhunting a 3'6" coop is common and I don't usually think too much of it, but a big old eventing table at 3'6" is a different story!

                                edited to say after reading thses- I can't IMAGINE jumping a 4'6" show jumping course! ahh! heck let along 4ft. I trust my horses, but they have had me as their trainer- they definitely couldn't navigate 4ft+ on their own because I would be hanging on with my eyes closed!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Wow, the Ambien was really acting up.. I have absolutely no recollection of making this post .

                                  I know there's a lot of variety with the horse you're on and what kind of day you're having. My goal for the year is to get out of my "OMG, 2' is HUGE!!" mindset. When I get my jump course set up, I'm going to have one crossrail and everything else is going to be 2' minimum. Because really, 2' is nothing. I know it's nothing. I see pictures of myself jumping 2' and it's tiny. This post is kind of to give me a gauge to see what height is really something respectable (or at least I think it is, as I can't remember posting in the first place ).
                                  Against My Better Judgement: A blog about my new FLF OTTB
                                  Do not buy a Volkswagen. I did and I regret it.
                                  VW sucks.


                                  • #18
                                    Wow, the Ambien was really acting up.. I have absolutely no recollection of making this post
                                    Hee hee, makes you wonder what else you did last night.
                                    Click here before you buy.


                                    • #19
                                      It seems that every level looks small when you and your horse are ready for it, and then big again when you re-approach it at a different time, with a different horse etc.
                                      Talk to the Hoof


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Badger View Post
                                        It completely depends on the horse you are sitting on.
                                        Boy is that right. On my older gelding, 4' is big. On my young one.....over 3' is big (mostly because he still overjumps everything by at least a foot).